The Incessantly Attractive Wife

Oct 10 - Bold and Beautiful

What is it that truly makes a woman beautiful or attractive to her husband? This is probably the most ancient and oft-asked question that women have sought answers to for centuries in their quest to maintain the bliss of their marital homes. Every year, women spend millions on cosmetics, fashion products and fitness programmes, as they go the extra mile in trying to preserve their youth for as long as they humanly can.

For some married women, this zeal increases with age, with the multitude of single, younger women swarming outside their houses and around their husbands, adding to their worries and insecurities about their looks. True, most women beautify themselves for their own happiness, not for the world; but it would be a lie to say that they do not do it to look good in front of others, too!

Yet, in the middle of this beauty paraphernalia, you will find a simple, practicing Muslim woman, who does not go to the gym or the salon as a routine; does not splurge on clothes at boutiques and does not purchase expensive cosmetics. Yet, from the way her husband pampers her, caters to her whims and steals looks at her in social gatherings, it is obvious that he is still in love with her, even after years of marriage and the arrival of children.

You wonder: “How does she do it?”

It was narrated that Abu Hurairah (rta) said: “It was said to the Messenger of Allah (sa): ‘Which of the women is the best?’ He said: ‘The one who makes (her husband) happy when he looks at her, obeys him when he tells her to do something, and does not disobey him with regard to herself or her wealth in a way that he dislikes.'” (An-Nasai)

Many people misunderstand this Hadeeth to imply that a good wife should be physically very beautiful. Nay, “who makes (her husband) happy when he looks at her” means that the wife’s behaviour, character, looks and conduct together please her husband, whenever he looks at her.

Muslim women should realize that the best way to be incessantly attractive to their husbands is to make themselves sincere worshippers and believers of Allah (swt); to love and obey Allah’s (swt) commands and laws and to observe His limits. An indicator of Allah’s (swt) love for a slave is that His creation on the earth also loves that slave. It is a simple solution: love Allah (swt) and others – including your husband – will love you.

Here are some tips for achieving that:

  • Make self-grooming and beautification solely an act of worship intended for Allah (swt) pleasure first, before it being for the world or even yourself. He created the beautiful, unique you, and He deserves gratitude for it.
  • Be grateful to Allah (swt) for what you are, i.e., accept how you look and be comfortable in your own skin. Be happy with your height, natural weight tendency (skinny, chubby or fat), complexion, facial features and quality of hair. If you are short, you can never be tall, so focus on your other positive qualities. Each human being has unique gifts granted to them by their Creator. This acceptance of Allah’s Qadr (decree) will lead to inner confidence.
  • Be self-confident – this happens by gaining knowledge of the Quran and becoming closer to your Creator. Even a plus-sized woman can look attractive to her husband, if she is confident about herself, and a so-called twiggy-skinny woman with a ramp model’s figure can fail to attract her spouse, if Allah (swt) does not will it. Remember, there is no single definition of beauty. What is attractive to one man can turn off another. Nothing makes a person more attractive than self-confidence!
  • An attractive person has no self-esteem issues. Stop pointing out your physical defects to your spouse (“Oh, just look at my big bum!” or “Do I look fat in this?”) and instead, focus on your plus points. Your husband will automatically notice you, when he sees you take care of yourself, without whining to him to say that you look nice.
  • You do not have to go to a beauty parlour and splurge on a makeover worth Rs. 5000 every other month to achieve good looks. An epilator and some good pharmaceutical products (scented bath gels, shower creams, deodorants, conditioners and olive oil) at home can do wonders.
  • Keep yourself clean and fresh-smelling every day, removing unwanted hair from your body every two weeks and maintaining impeccable personal hygiene. This includes fresh breath, a fragrant body, squeaky-clean hair, sparkling teeth and smooth feet, with soles and heels free of unseemly cracks. It does not matter if your nails are short or if you have not applied make-up. Prophet Muhammad (sa) was immaculately clean, so we should focus more on cleaning our bodies and cleansing our hearts from malice than going for hair highlights and a manicure every three months.
  • Stop worrying that your spouse will look at others. Rise above such insecurities. So what if he looks elsewhere? Yes, it is Haram and it hurts, but if you bear it with patience, Allah (swt) will be sufficient for you. A strong, self-sufficient wife is the greatest turn-on for any husband. Self-sufficiency comes from positive thinking and positive actions that benefit others in society.
  • Read up about and keep a keen interest in your husband’s profession. This makes him stay attracted to you. When his wife shows concern about his professional life, he will definitely want to come home to her and discuss career issues.
  • “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Though this does not always apply, there is some truth in it. You do not have to be a gourmet chef a la Naheed Ansari to tantalize his taste buds – just practice making his favourite dishes, until you excel at it. This will nurture his love for you. Just do not try to become his second “mom”!

Your weight, height, BMI (body mass index), age and dress size are nothing but numbers. Either you can let these numbers thwart your optimism and control your self-esteem, or you can lead a balanced life in pursuit of Allah’s (swt) pleasure, according to the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (sa). That will grant you the peace of both mind and soul. Then, even if your husband finds you the most attractive woman on the earth, it will no longer matter because through his pleasure, it is the pleasure of Allah (swt) that you actually seek!

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun…

Oct 10 - Girls just wanna have fun

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.

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.

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.