Friday, 5 February 2010

More on the Muslim woman's appearance

 The Muslim woman is concerned with her clothes and appearance, without going to
extremes or making a wanton display of herself. She presents a pleasing appearance to her husband,
children, mahram relatives and other Muslim women, and people feel comfortable with her. She does
not put them off with an ugly or untidy appearance and she always checks herself and takes care of
herself, in accordance with the teachings of Islam, which asks its followers to look good in ways that are

( Say: Who has forbidden the beautiful [gifts] of Allah, which He has produced for His
servants, and the things, cleans and pure, [which He has provided] for sustenance? . . .)
(Qur'an 7:32)
Al-Qurtubi said: "Makhul reported from `A'ishah (May Allah be pleased with her): `A group of
the Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) were waiting at the door for him, so he prepared to go
out to meet them. There was a vessel of water in the house, and he peered into it, smoothing his
beard and his hair. (`A'ishah said) I asked him, "O Messenger of Allah, even you do this?" He
said, "Yes, when a man goes out to meet his brothers, let him prepare himself properly, for Allah
(SWT) is beautiful and loves beauty."

The Muslim does all of this in accordance with the Islamic ideal of moderation, avoiding the extremes of either exaggeration or negligence:
( Those who, when they spend, are not extravagant and not niggardly, but hold a just
[balance] between those [extremes].) (Qur'an 25:67)

Paying attention to one's appearance should not make a Muslim woman fall into the trap of wanton
display (tabarruj) and showing her beauty to anyone other than her husband and mahram relatives. She
should not upset the balance which is the basis of all Islamic teaching, for the Muslim woman always
aims at moderation in all things, and is on the alert to prevent any one aspect of her life from taking over
at the expense of another.
One of the worst excesses that many modern Muslim women have fallen into is the habit of showing off expensive outfits at wedding parties, which have become fashion shows where competition is rife and is
taken to extremes far beyond the realms of common sense and moderation. This phenomenon becomes
clearest when the bride herself wears all her outfits, which may number as many as ten, one after the
other: each time she changes, she comes out and shows it off to the other women present, exactly like
the fashion models in the West. It does not even occur to the women among whom this habit is common,
that there may be women present who are financially unable to buy such outfits, and who may be feeling
depressed and jealous, or even hostile towards the bride and her family, and other rich people. Nothing
of this sort would happen if brides were more moderate, and just wore one or two outfits at their
wedding parties. This is better than that extravagant showing-off which is contradictory to the balanced,
moderate spirit of Islam.
No doubt the Muslim woman who has surrounded herself with the teachings of this great religion is
spared and protected from such foolish errors, because she has adopted its principles of moderation
So long as this taking care of one's outward appearance does not go to extremes, then it is part of the beauty that Allah (SWT) has allowed for His servants and encouraged them to adopt:
( O children of Adam! Wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer: eat
and drink: but waste not by excess, for Allah loves not the wasters.
Say, Who has forbidden the beautiful [gifts] of Allah, which He has produced for His
servants, and the things, clean and pure, [which He has provided] for sustenance? Say:
They are, in the life of this world, for those who believe, [and] purely for them on the Day
of Judgement. Thus do We explain the Signs in detail for those who understand.) (Qur'an

Excerpt from the Book " The Ideal Muslimah"

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