I have a concern and am looking for an answer. I am a cosmetic product seller. My question is, is it permissible for me to do online business especially during this Covid-19 pandemic by doing tutorials for skincare or makeup for women? Is it considered as not covering one’s awrah even if it is only for the face and the model wears hijab? What are the guidelines that should be followed by cosmetic product sellers like me? Or is it better for me to leave the business altogether? Hopefully, ustaz and your team may be of help. Thank you.
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
In reality, cosmetic product and skincare sellers use social media as the means to promote their product. These sellers post tutorial videos for makeup or skincare to the public through Facebook or Instagram Live for the purpose of promoting their product. The question is, is it permissible for a woman model to showcase her face even if she wears hijab? Basically, women’s face is included among the parts permitted to be showcased, but, makeup is only limited to a permissible rate and not excessive to avoid from being a fitnah. This is in accordance with a dalil as the following:
وَقُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا
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
Surah al-Nur (31)
The verse explains the obligation for women to not expose their adornment except what is necessarily appears thereof. The meaning of adornment refers to two types which are clothes that cover the body and the adornment itself. (See Tafsir al-Kabir (23/363). While the meaning of the phrase “except that which [necessarily] appears thereof” is her face and both palms. (See: Tafsir al-Quran al-Azim (6/42). Therefore, women’s awrah in front of ajnabi men is her whole body except for her face and both palms. Sayyid Qutb when commenting on the verse said: “Wearing adornments is permissible for women for it is their nature (fitrah). Islam never goes against nature for women, but it should be in accordance with the guidelines (dawabit) set”. (See Tafsir fi Zilal al-Quran (4/2512).
Women are not permitted to tabarruj which is excessive in adorning herself to showcase her beauty and adornments in front of ajnabi men. This is in accordance with the saying of Allah SWT:
وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَىٰ
And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance
Surah al-Ahzab (33)
Therefore, promoting cosmetic products by showcasing makeup tutorial for a woman in an excessive way contradicts syara’ other than it is feared to lead to fitnah because people are driven towards her beautiful face. In fact, women should strive to avoid any fitnah and close the door towards destruction (sad al-zarai’). This is in accordance with the following maxim:
اتَّقُوا مَواضِعِ التُّهَمِ
Beware of doors towards accusation
This maxim is taken from the saying of Sayyidina Umar RA:
مَنْ سَلَكَ مَسَالِكَ التُّهَمِ اتُّهِمَ
Whoever leads his life through ways of accusation, he should be accused
Any doing that brings the risk of fitnah should be avoided because it can bring negative outcomes whether in near or long future.
Suggestion and Recommendation
Various cosmetic product sold on the market consists of skincare or cosmetic product. The usage of cosmetic product is to bring healthier impression towards others can be considered as tahsiniyyah (complementary). However, its usage cannot be excessive that it attracts the attention of ajnabi men. Therefore, we would like to suggest some guidelines to promote cosmetic products as the following:
- We suggest for cosmetic product sellers to make a group via telegram specifically for women to showcase makeup tutorial from women model. This is because makeups are used specifically by women. Promoting cosmetic product through makeup tutorial through a closed mechanism is safer and free from fitnah.
- We also suggest for the sellers to show minimalist makeup tutorial to the consumers like the usage of lipstick which is not too bright to remove the paleness. While makeup should be only to remove paleness from the face so that she appears natural. This is because, women are permitted to adorn herself excessively only in front of their husbands, but, her makeup tutorial should not be published on social media.
- However, skincare tutorial among men model can be promoted openly through Facebook Live, Instagram Live and other social media platform. This is because, skincare products like face cream, moisturizer, serum, cleanser and masks may be used by both men and women.
- Sellers may also promote skincare products online by explaining the benefits of their products through testimony and customers’ satisfaction.
- Besides, cosmetic product sellers should make sure that the ingredients used in their product is from halal and non-harmful substances.
After analysing arguments given, we conclude that it is permissible to sell and promote cosmetic products if there is no contradiction with the syara’ like showcasing makeup tutorial for women which is excessive. This is because fulfilling the human nature to appear beautiful and pretty especially for women should be in line with guidelines set by syara’. In addition, the purpose of cosmetic products is only to cover paleness as well as to appear more confident and cheerful, so that interaction with others become more pleasant.
Lastly, may we be able to live our life according to the true shari’a teachings. Ameen.