Thursday, August 12, 2010

Makeup and the Hijab: A Study with Seven Muslim Women Explores Possible Contradictions

Makeup and the Hijab:

A Study with Seven Muslim Women Explores Possible Contradictions
Written by Ruhi A.

For the majority of women across the globe, makeup has almost become a necessity for them. Samina Akhter, a Muslim businesswoman has launched UK’s first “halal makeup” meaning that it is 100% free of alcohol and animal products. After reading this article on Muslim Debates I was left with questions.

I noticed that the women who were modeling the makeup were Muslimah hijabis which puzzled me. Doesn’t makeup defeat the purpose of the hijab or the traditional Islamic headscarf?

Makeup is used to emphasize the eyes, lips, cheek bones, and so on which ultimately cause more attention to be drawn towards the subject – in this case, it’s the hijabi. Frankly, makeup even when use to its lowest minimum can make a huge difference in a person’s appearance. I have witnessed women who are covered from head to toe with eyes darkened by kohl or eyeliner, lashes thickened and lengthened, lips darkened to a sweet rouge tint, a shy blush whisked across the cheeks and so on and the majority of Muslims agree with that not being the proper form of the hijab.

When stating the points above, I was told by Muslims that no-makeup or minimal makeup with hijab is “a too strict interpretation of the hijab.” I have been misunderstood as a female misogynist! A controlling, misogynistic dictator of a woman’s life. It surprised me to be called all of these names. I am a person who stands strong for human rights.

I recognize women rights and speak in favor of it every chance I get and when I explained that makeup can do the reverse action of the hijab, I became an evil tyrant. Furthermore, I’ve been told to “butt out” of this whole debate because I don’t believe in all of this.

I have once covered my hair and my body as I felt it was a commandment from Allah. I am not against a woman who chooses to wear the headscarf. It is her choice and if she strongly feels that it is for her and what she stands for, then I too will stand by her side as I want to be respected for not wearing the hijab any longer.


I interviewed seven Muslim females of different backgrounds on the hijab to see why Muslimahs felt compelled to wear it. Read more here!


nhhas said...

Assalamualaykum wbt,

Dear sis,
it seems that there is no end for hijab issue and argument... :(

Each of person have their own understanding and believe...
As mentioned in Quran ; surah Al-Baqarah, (but i can't remember at which statement) that we must be in islam in full/overall not take it partialy.

and if i'm not mistaken,i had came accross one hadith "when we reach the Qiamat (end of the day), there will left only one person who truly obey Allah orders"...
pls correct me if i'm wrong...


NeverEver said...

that is why I don't wear makeup. I feel like it defeats the purpose of wearing my abaya and hijab. If i feel like wearing makeup I cover my face when outside the house.

nhhas said...


ok, i found the mentioned verse in Quran surah Al-Baqarah, (208)

"O you who believe! enter into Islam whole-heartedly; and follow not the footsteps of the Evil One; for he is to you an avowed enemy."

sharing is caring

nhhas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Almallena said...

Wa alaykum assalaamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh.

I agree with you whole heartedly. I thought this was just a interesting post. And subhanAllah, when I read some of the sisters posts they pretty much seem to have an understanding of what hijab really is. Its just a matter of taking ourselves out of the societies scale and start putting ourselves on Allah's scale. I have a hard time not wearing any makeup, alhamdulillah I don't wear much but even then the little mascara I put on its still makeup, though khol is supposedly sunnah, for at least one reason Im sure about is that people back then used it to block out the sun. But again its our intentions, so we could all be doing the same action but its what is "concealed" in our hearts that will determine whether we get barakaah for it. Allahu Alim.

Though NeverEnd, when you wear eye make up do you wear a burqa?

As far as makeup goes in my opinion.

1)Foundation- no. unless you have marks on your face then I can understand you want to try to conceal them, besides that theres no need.

2) Khol- its sunnah, but its a little iffy, but its sunnah being that the Prophet sallallahu alayhim wa salaam wore it.

3) Mascara- agggh (Allah forgive me). Theres really no need for mascara either, though i use it to just polish myself.

4) lip color- leave it. It anything just wear some lip balm or lip gloss, but not too glossy. Just enough to give moisture to your lips if they are dry.

All other stuff just leave it for home or other places like such.

Alhamdulillah back in the day I use to be a eyeliner junkie, I couldn't leave the house without my eyeliner. And now Alhamdulillah Im just down to mascara. Its not over powering and omg in your face, but just makes me feel more polished and less tired looking. Insha' Allah I hope that I can just feel content without the mascara all together :).

Imani said...

We both know make up is my hijab, but make up and niqab? I'd say absolutely, HOWEVER i don't agree with the bright shadows and rimmed eyes that are totally exposed, rather fixing the niqab to a way where u can see out, but the eyes arent that apparent. u get it?

I Do agree with this article though, Alhumdulilah i've been going more natural with make up, so that it's barely apparent. but i have even seen like... faces so made up i wonder how wuthoo is made through the thick pasty foundation. Allahu alim.

Jazakaallahu khair!! xoxo!!