Most of us are under the notion that this life is home and we try to preserve a beauty that is destined to fade. This is not paradise and soon we will return to soil. When looking after ourselves as Muslim women sometimes we may fall into the traps of extreme or immoral means to achieve an end.
We have to remember we will God willing have eternity to adorn ourselves, we will increase in beauty as the days go by and the form our souls will house will be gorgeous beyond imagining.
These are some practises that many women Muslim and non Muslim fall into and some encouragement to navigate your way around them over time. Adopt one and work your way through them, me included!
- Acrylic nails. If you follow the opinion that acrylic nails are halal then ensure you wear them only when you are menstruating. I first hand know how it feels to get your nails done and feel extra beautiful only to have to take them off a week later. You may feel it is unfair that other women get to look gorgeous all the time but remember your purpose in this life and it will be easier to get them removed so you are able to pray. When you are getting them removed make sure that all traces are gone from your natural nail and don’t be shy to ask the technician to remove traces that are still there. Your wudhu needs to be valid and must be able to reach the nail bed.
- Eyebrows: Of the hardest steps in observing correct hijab is watching in silence as your high arch slowly morphs into a hairy raggedy caterpillar 🐛. We know that we are discouraged from plucking however you are allowed to feel that it is a difficult thing to abstain from. To ensure I feel as though I am grooming them, sometimes I use clear eyebrow gel to shape the hairs into a particular shape, you can also pluck the area between the eyebrows for a neater appearance.
- Naval/ thigh/ Bikini/ hollywood hair removal: These are parts of your body that you are only allowed to show to your husband so no matter how tempting it is don’t fall into the trap of allowing another woman to wax/ laser these areas, no matter how ‘normal’ or ‘acceptable’ this is today. When you die and they perform ghusl on (wash) your body, even when your soul has left, there is still utmost respect for the body and the private areas are covered. Don’t let your final ghusl be the first time you cover that area in front of a woman. You can get someone to laser/ wax underarms, lower legs, arms, face but not the above mentioned areas. If you are like me and you hate body hair like you hate iblis then perhaps invest in an at home laser hair removal device to laser the remaining areas of your body to keep your skin smooth and hair free.
- Extensions: If you follow the opinion that synthetic extensions are permissible keep in mind that the superior position is not to the wear them at all and maybe keep that as a goal you are working towards. Remember that all other human hair extensions are not allowed.
- Manicures/ pedicures/ nail polish: Try to avoid ‘halal nail polish’ sis don’t risk it and of course only polish on your period. Also if you go to the salon for manicures/ pedicures try your best to get a female technician and wait if you have to.
- Personal trainer: If you invest in a personal trainer to lose weight or gain muscle try your best to get a female trainer and dress as modestly as you can if you are in a mixed gym. This also goes for mixed exercise groups like yoga etc; try to find all female classes or if it’s mixed head to the back of the class where you are less conspicuous.
- Cosmetic surgery: BBL’s, breast implants, liposuction, fillers, nose jobs and other procedures are all haram sis! No matter how normal something is don’t fall into that trap. If you have done already, try to feel guilty about it and repent and if it is something you can undo like a filler try to undo this. The only exception is for medical issues where plastic surgery such as skin grafting etc is needed or to correct an abnormality: for example if you were previously obese and have lost a significant amount of weight resulting in loose skin you are allowed to get this surgically removed as you were not born that way, rather it is an abnormality.
- Makeup and perfume: This is the subject of continuous debate. The most lenient opinion I have seen is from a Sheikha at almaghrib institute. She mentioned it was acceptable to wear minimal makeup and perfume under your clothes so that no one else around you can smell it. If you would like to take the superior opinion avoid it all together around non mahram.
- Jewellery: This is a adornment and should not be worn around non mahram in excess. A few rings are fine in public but statement necklaces, earrings, visible anklets and headdresses should be avoided.
- Cutting and dyeing the hair: you can do what you like so go crazy! We must keep in mind thought that the hair is supposed to be covered outside.
- Henna: Henna is encouraged for women especially for celebrations such as weddings. It can be applied to hands feet and fingernails and your wudhu is still valid. Ensure that the henna is of good quality and if possible do a patch test.
- Piercings: ear piercing nose rings etc are allowed so long as you don’t pierce an area of the body that will make you appear immoral.
- Teeth whitening: there is nothing wrong with having your teeth cleaned and whitened to restore the natural white colour and have a beautiful smile.
These are some tips and tricks I use and I hope it helps. 🌸✌🏾 x