When it comes to fashion, we usually read about the things which are forbidden. The youth are instructed to shun the latest styles and trends, as they stand in opposition to the Islamic injunctions of Hijab and Satar.
So is there anything which IS allowed? What are some of the things which Muslim girls and women can do to enhance their natural beauty and follow the fashions?
Islam encourages us to be clean and presentable in appearance. This is more than apparent in recorded descriptions of the Prophet (saw), who was the epitome of Islamic character, personal hygiene and modesty.
Muslim women have Islamic guidelines from the Quran, Ahadeeth and opinions of modern day scholars regarding the methods and limits of personal beautification. Although the list is long, the basics of it are as follows:
- Removal of bodily hair, especially from the armpits and private areas, is Wajib (obligatory) once every month. Hair on the arms, legs and upper lip can also be removed through impermanent procedures that do not involve risks to health or appearance.
- Removal of the eyebrows has a separate ruling. It is inherently impermissible to remove them, unless they are so abnormally dense that they cause a girl to look very manly or downright ugly. For such a case, the hair in between and on the sides of the eyebrows can be removed only.
- Hair on the head may be cut and styled, coloured or bleached, without exceeding the limits of extravagance. It is impermissible to cut the hair like a man’s, to imitate a hairstyle that is unique to non-believing women or to pile the hair high on the head like a camel’s hump.
- Ears and the nose can be pierced to wear ornaments in them.
- Girls can wear any kind of jewellery and clothes of any colour, fabric or embellishments, as long as they do not reveal these ornaments to non-Mahram men. Muslim girls and women should not reveal more than their head, neck, forearms, feet and ankles, even to Mahram men or other Muslim women. Therefore, it is not permissible to wear very see-through clothes. Revealing bodies to women at beauty parlours to get the whole body waxed is also impermissible.
- It is permissible to decorate hands and feet with henna or Mehndi.
- Girls can wear any shoes they want; however, shoes that make a loud sound in public that attracts the attention of men or that make a woman’s body sway provocatively are not allowed.
- Makeup is allowed as long as it is not used so much that it spoils natural skin, or in such a way that it resembles the makeup of non-believing women, or worn before non-Mahram men.
- Muslim women may use perfume that is not strong in fragrance. They should not wear it on their outer garments to attract public attention; rather, they can wear it directly on their skin, under their clothes.
- Dressing up for an all-girls’ party is perfectly alright as long as your clothes do not reveal more than your head, neck, forearms, feet and ankles.
- Dressing up for the spouse is not just permissible, it is highly desirable, so please do it.