Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
1- It is permissible for a woman to adorn herself for her husband on condition that no non-mahram man should see her adornment. It is well known that Muslims use of the daytime of Ramadan to worship Allah so that they may purify their souls.
2- A Muslim woman’s fast will not be invalidated if she adorns herself for her husband, but she may avoid such things in consideration for the sacredness of the blessed month of Ramadan.
Responding to the question, Dr. Muhammad Ahmad Al-Musayyar, the late Professor of Islamic creed and philosophy at Al-Azhar University, states:
The month of Ramadan is a period of time during which Muslims enjoy spiritual purity and act like the angels and refrain from all or some of their physical needs. That is why they refrain from food, drink, and sexual intercourse from dawn until sunset, only for the sake of Almighty Allah.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said in an authentic hadith, “All the deeds of a son of Adam are multiplied: a good deed (is multiplied) ten times the like thereof, up to seven hundred times. Almighty Allah said, ‘Except fasting, which is for Me and I reward for it. He leaves his food and lust for Me.'” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
This refraining from all or some of the physical needs and satisfaction of desires is a Shar`i objective.
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) swore that the change of the smell in the mouth of a fasting person will be better than musk in the hereafter. He said, “By Him in Whose hand Muhammad’s soul is, the smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk” (Al-Bukhari)
Therefore, a Muslim woman who avoids such necessities of life as food and drink during a certain period of time in compliance with the divine command would not find any harm or difficulty in refraining from excessive use of cosmetics, in consideration for the etiquettes of fasting, the sacredness of this month, and the glory of the fasting as a religious obligation.
However, everybody should bear in mind that a woman’s adornment must be for her husband and can be seen only by her mahrams (close male blood relatives). If she violates this rule and reveals her adornment to non-mahram men, she will be committing an act of disobedience and will have gone against Allah’s command.
More important still, this contravention is multiplied if done during the glorified month of Ramadan. This is included in the following saying of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), “Whoever does not give up false speech (lying and the like) and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink” (Muslim)
The false speech and evil actions referred to in the above hadith include all acts of disobedience.
Finally, all Muslims should be keen on making use of the opportunities available through the divine gifts and grants so that they may have happiness in this world and in the afterlife.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.