Winter may not be the weather in which to beautify yourself. I mean, all one wants to do is wrap up warm and stay cosy…perhaps spending the day lousing around in bed. But, the ability to do this is a rarity, the chores of the day calls us despite the dull weather, and we are left with no choice but to smile, suck it all in, and get moving. Notwithstanding the cold weather, a good way to revive oneself, is to invest in yourself. By that, I mean to beautify yourself. In the wake of today’s beauty hype, that somehow still runs during the winter, it is upon us to learn from our roots, from the Sunnah left behind by the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him.
- The Right side: No matter what care routine you decide to take up this winter, ensure you begin on the right side, even for something as simple as brushing your hair.
The Prophet (ﷺ) used to like to start from the right side on wearing shoes, combing his hair
and cleaning himself and on doing anything else. (Bukhari)
Whilst we may not see the benefits of this here, in following with the Prophetic Sunnah, there’ll be something for it in the hereafter.
- Clipping the nails: long nails only cause dirt build up underneath and are unhygienic.
The prophet taught us, “To shave the pubic hair, to clip the nails and to cut the moustaches short, are characteristics of the Fitra.” (Bukhari)
- Removing unwanted hair: hair stipulated to be removed by the Shari’ah is also part of our Fitrah as mentioned in the hadith above.
- Trimming the moustache: no one wants to eat their facial hair along with their dinner…
- Leaving the Beard: It is from the Sunnah that a man leaves his beard to grow, without shaving any of it. In fact, the Prophet commanded men not to touch their beards.
Allah’s Messenger said, “Cut the moustaches short and leave the beard (as it is).” (Bukhari)
- Brushing and Combing one’s hair: As mentioned before, it is winter and the desire to hibernate burns inside many of us. But that does not mean we should emerge like an unkempt bear coming out from a den after the long night’s sleep. Don’t neglect to brush your hair! Mind you, even the bears look pretty neat when they emerge.
Abu Qatada al-Ansari said to the Messenger of Allah, “I have a lot of hair which comes down to my shoulders, shall I comb it?” The Messenger of Allah said, “Yes.” (Muwatta Imam Malik)
- Oiling the Hair: The increase in use of heated hair styling tools, has led many to seek repair in oiling their hair. What many fail to realise, is that this practice was established in the Sunnah before the hair styling boom. Oiling the hair keeps it healthy, encourages growth and thickness and repairs damages. Our Prophet was known to oil his hair, such that the traces of oil were visible.
“Rasulullah often rubbed oil in his head and also often combed his beard. He put a cloth over his head, which became like an oil cloth due to the frequent use of oil.” (Shamaa’il Muhammadiyya)
- Wearing Your best Clothes on Friday: Friday is a day of Eid for us, and we should not neglect to wear our best outfits on this day. Though many take the day off, or have a lie-in in the morning, or some do their week’s cleaning on this day, it is not a day for utility dresses passed down from your great grandmother, nor for pyjamas all day long!
- Applying perfume: wrapped up in layers, and perhaps sweating underneath does not necessitate that one smells bad. One should shower regularly, and wear perfume. But my dear sisters, you know the rules, only perfume yourselves within your homes.
Anas said: ‘Indeed the Prophet would not refuse perfume.” (Sunan At-Tirmithi)
The Prophet liked his perfume, and he even recommended to us that which is best,
The Messenger of Allah said, “The best of perfume is musk.”‘ (An-Nisa’i)
- Kohl: Skip the chemical saturated eyeliners and mascaras; kohl works as both. It is recommended by our Prophet peace be upon him, plus it increases the growth of the eyelashes!
The Messenger of Allah said: “The best of your kohl is antimony (ithmid), for it improves the eyesight and makes the hair (eyelashes) grow.” (Ibn Majah, Hasan)
- Plucking the eyebrows: Bushy brows are in this season, and grooming the brows are fine, as long as one sticks to the Sunnah and does not begin removing them, whether partially or completely.
“The Messenger of Allah cursed the woman who does tattoos and the one who has them done, and those who pluck their eyebrows and file their teeth for the purpose of beautification, and those who change the creation of Allah.” (Ibn Majah, Saheeh)
- Tattoos: To be tattooed, and do tattoos, both are impermissible, as has been mentioned in the hadith above.
- Artificial Hair: It is impermissible to artificially lengthen one’s hair. The use of false lashes also comes under this ruling.
Allah’s Messenger has cursed such a lady as artificially lengthening (her or someone else’s) hair or gets her hair lengthened. (Bukhari)
- Using Henna:
- As a hair dye: whether you’re going for a highlight or full on colour, the Prophet peace be upon him encouraged dying the hair, especially the grey ones. But it is impermissible to dye one’s hair black as has come to us in the narrations.
“The Messenger of Allah said: ‘The Jews and the Christians do not dye their hair, so be different from them and dye your hair.'” (An-Nisa’i, Sahih)
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “The best things with which to change grey hair are henna and ‘katam’ (a plant similar to henna used as a dye).” (At-Tirmidhi; saheeh hasan)
The Messenger of Allah said: “There will be people at the end of time who will dye their hair black like the crops of birds; they will never smell the fragrance of Paradise.” (Abu Dawud, Sahih by Sh Al-Albaani)
- b) to beautify the hand/nails: with the extensive range of nail products that line the beauty isles, nothing comes close to Henna. Some would reserve it for the two Eids, weddings and other such occasions, but from the hadith below we learn that a woman’s hand should be beautified, no matter the weather.
A’ishah said, ‘a woman gestured from behind a screen, with a letter to the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) in her hand. The Messenger of Allah withdrew his hand and said: “I do not know whether it is the hand of a man or a woman.” She said: It is a woman. He said: “If you were a woman, you would have changed your nails,” meaning, with henna. (Abu Dawud)
Whilst beautification is encouraged in our religion, and being presentable is of utmost importance, a muslim must not imitate the disbelievers style, whether in hair style, or cut or even in the clothes he wears. Neither should a man imitate a woman in his dress and vice versa. Furthermore, the beautification of woman is not to be flaunted, rather she must observe full hijab in the presence of non-mahrams.
This is a summary of some methods of beautification that one may use throughout the year, that has appeared in the Sunnah of our beloved teacher. The next time, you begin your beauty routine, think of whose footsteps you are following, and appreciate that long before the West had any care for beauty and cleanliness our Prophet came with Islam that set high standards, which remain so till today.