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Are Muslim Women Allowed to Wear Make-up?

04 December, 2020
Q Are Muslim women allowed to wear make-up?


Short Answer:

  • Of course. Women love to beautify themselves!
  • They are not required to give up beautification altogether, but rather discipline when, where, and with whom it is displayed.

Salam Dear Sister,

Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

Are Muslim Women Allowed to Wear Make-up?

Almighty says in the Quran that women shouldn’t “show off their adornment” to non-mahram men . The verse says (as translated in English):

“And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their head-covers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers that you might succeed.” (Quran 24:31)

In other words, a woman’s full beauty is meant to be enjoyed within the context/settings mentioned in the Quranic verses.

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Those are the settings where the woman is with those who should respect, love, cherish, and honor her, not objectify her body or exploit her in any way, shape, or form.

Adorn Fully for Husband

The point is that women are supposed to adorn themselves fully in the right time and place, i.e. with their husbands.

Revealing one’s beauty for the spouse is an act that increases the love, bonding, intimacy between the two of them. It is something special between the two of them that is not shared with everyone in public.

Beautifying one’s self to non-mahram men, on the other hand, brings, among many things, jealousy, harassment sometimes or unwanted attention/word/look/any type of harm.

Resist Peer Pressure to Conform to Social Standards

If one feels pressured to wear makeup in public, then maybe take a few moments to think: why pile up loads of products on your face to feel beautiful or acceptable in people’s eyes or have self-worth?

Is it truly necessary?

Allah Almighty is The One who beautifies and grants one appeal and respect among people for the right reasons.

When at work/schools/any public purposes, the woman needs to be presentable, respectable, serious and straightforward.

Excessive adornments and makeup, etc. are not necessary and one shouldn’t feel pressured to follow trends and buy products that change every day and get entrapped into the hyper-consumerism mentality.

Women love to beautify themselves!

What is mentioned here doesn’t mean that they’re required to give up beautification altogether, but rather discipline when, where, and with whom it is displayed.

This is a means of self-purification and having a higher goal and purpose.

I hope this helps answer your question.

Salam and please keep in touch.

(From Ask About Islam archives)

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About Dina Mohamed Basiony
Dina Mohamed Basiony is a writer based in Cairo, Egypt. She specializes in Islam and spirituality. Dina holds an MA and BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from the American University in Cairo.