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Bayan Linnas Series 88: The Issue of Wudhuk-Friendly Cosmetic

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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.

The Encouragement of Adornment

The love of adornment and beauty is natural in women. Women simply love anything that is beautiful and it is an inseparable attribute for them in the nature of their creation.

Allah SWT states:

وَقُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا ۖوَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَىٰ جُيُوبِهِنَّ ۖ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا لِبُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَائِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَاءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَائِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَاءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي أَخَوَاتِهِنَّ أَوْ نِسَائِهِنَّ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُنَّ أَوِ التَّابِعِينَ غَيْرِ أُولِي الْإِرْبَةِ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ أَوِ الطِّفْلِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يَظْهَرُوا عَلَىٰ عَوْرَاتِ النِّسَاءِ ۖ وَلَا يَضْرِبْنَ بِأَرْجُلِهِنَّ لِيُعْلَمَ مَا يُخْفِينَ مِن زِينَتِهِنَّ ۚ وَتُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّـهِ جَمِيعًا أَيُّهَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ 

“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 headcovers 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.”

Surah al-Nur (31)

Sayyid Qutb commented on the above verse stating: “Adornment and beauty are permissible for women for it is in their nature. All women love beauty. The form of beauty is different from time to time but the basis comes from the same natural feeling. Beauty and adornment is a desire every woman has and she will try to be beautiful or perfect her beauty. Islam does not prohibit this natural desire women have but set guidelines for it. And in Islam, the beauty and adornment of a woman is only for a man (who shares his life with her) and not for anyone else. A woman is not allowed to showcase her beauty in front of anyone other than her husband and the group of men that was detailed at the end of the above verse; which are her mahram and men who no longer have desire from looking at the woman’s beauty and adornment.” See Tafsir fi Zilal al-Quran (4/2512).

From Ibn Mas’ud, the Prophet PBUH said:

إنَّ اللَّهَ جَمِيلٌ يُحِبُّ الْجَمَالَ

“Allah is Beautiful, He loves beauty.”

Sahih Muslim (147)

Syeikh Dr Yusuf al-Qaradhawi in his book al-Halal wa al-Haram:

Although Islam emphasizes on good and beautiful adornment, the more important thing that is the main important point is hygiene and cleanliness.

The Prophet PBUH said:

تَنَظَّفُوا فَإِنَّ الإسْلاَمَ نَظِيْفُ

Clean yourself, for Islam is a religion of hygiene.

Sahih Ibn Hibban

In another narration, the Prophet PBUH said:

النَّظَافَةُ تَدْعُوا إِلَى الإِيمَانِ وَالإِيمَانُ مَعَ صَاحِبِهِ فِي الجَنَّةِ

Cleanliness is a part of faith and faith is together with its owner in paradise.

Narrated by al-Tabarani

Hence, in Islam it is encouraged to maintain the cleanliness of our clothes, body, household and others. Islam also emphasized personal hygiene such as our teeth, hands, head and others.

One of the conditions of the worship of prayer is cleanliness. The prayer of someone is invalidated if his body, clothes and place of prayer are not in a clean and pure state, which also includes personal hygiene. See al-Halal wa al-Haram (113).

The above explanation from Syeikh Dr Yusuf al-Qaradhawi is in accordance with the statement of Imam Malik Rahimahullah regarding the hadith; “Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty.” Wearing beautiful clothes, clean and scented in prayer and in gatherings. See al-Muntaqa Syarh al-Muwatta’ by Abu al-Walid al-Baji al-Maliki (7/220).

Syeikh Dr Yusuf al-Qaradhawi explains in his book al-Halal wa al-Haram:

“If Islam permits us to adorn ourselves and prohibits the restriction of adornment, in accordance with Allah SWT’s statement:

قُلْ مَنْ حَرَّمَ زِينَةَ اللَّهِ الَّتِي أَخْرَجَ لِعِبَادِهِ وَالطَّيِّبَاتِ مِنَ الرِّزْقِ

“Say, "Who has forbidden the adornment of Allah which He has produced for His servants and the good [lawful] things of provision?"

Surah al-A’raf (32)

There are two adornments which are prohibited for men, whereas they are not prohibited for women. See al-Halal wa al-Haram (116)

Here, we include the statement from al-Fiqh al-Manhaji:

There are several general evidences that state that every creation of Allah SWT is His blessing for his servants, for them to benefit from it in their lives, whether in terms of clothing, adornment, necessities and entertainment in their lives on earth.

Allah SWT states:

هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ لَكُم مَّا فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا

“It is He who created for you all of that which is on the earth.”

Surah al-Baqarah (29)

Allah SWT states:

قُلْ مَنْ حَرَّمَ زِينَةَ اللَّهِ الَّتِي أَخْرَجَ لِعِبَادِهِ وَالطَّيِّبَاتِ مِنَ الرِّزْقِ ۚ قُلْ هِيَ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا خَالِصَةً يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ الْآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ

“Say, "Who has forbidden the adornment of Allah which He has produced for His servants and the good [lawful] things of provision?" Say, "They are for those who believe during the worldly life [but] exclusively for them on the Day of Resurrection." Thus, do We detail the verses for a people who know.”

Surah al-A’raf (32)

In another statement of Allah SWT:

يَا بَنِي آدَمَ قَدْ أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكُمْ لِبَاسًا يُوَارِي سَوْآتِكُمْ وَرِيشًا ۖ وَلِبَاسُ التَّقْوَىٰ ذَٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ مِنْ آيَاتِ اللَّهِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَذَّكَّرُونَ

“O children of Adam, We have bestowed upon you clothing to conceal your private parts and as adornment. But the clothing of righteousness - that is best. That is from the signs of Allah that perhaps they will remember.”

Surah al-A’raf (26)

Thus, according to the above evidences, it is clear that the original ruling for anything related to clothing and adornment is permissible, unless what has been prohibited specifically in other Quranic or prophetic evidences. See al-Fiqh al-Manhaji (3/90)

The Rulings Regarding Adornment for Women

Adornment and beauty are natural for women and the basis is in accordance with syarak on the condition that it does not contradict the commandments of Islam and what has been specifically prohibited regarding the ruling of adornment for women.

Here, we include several discussions of the fatwa regarding adornment for women:

Fatwa issued by Syeikh Abdul Halim Mahmud regarding the ruling of women wearing lipstick and adornment.

“Among the rights of a woman is to adorn herself and her husband is permissible to benefit from her beauty and adornment. Allah SWT states:

قُلْ مَنْ حَرَّمَ زِينَةَ اللَّهِ الَّتِي أَخْرَجَ لِعِبَادِهِ وَالطَّيِّبَاتِ مِنَ الرِّزْقِ

Say, "Who has forbidden the adornment of Allah which He has produced for His servants and the good [lawful] things of provision?" Say, "They are for those who believe during the worldly life [but] exclusively for them on the Day of Resurrection." Thus, do We detail the verses for a people who know.”

Surah al-A’raf (32)

However, it is permissible for a woman to adorn herself only for her husband. It is impermissible for her to showcase her beauty to other than her husband (and the groups of people stated in the following verse), for it contradicts what has been set by syarak.

Allah SWT states:

وَقُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا ۖ وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَىٰ جُيُوبِهِنَّ ۖ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا لِبُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَائِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَاءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَائِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَاءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي أَخَوَاتِهِنَّ أَوْ نِسَائِهِنَّ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُنَّ أَوِ التَّابِعِينَ غَيْرِ أُولِي الْإِرْبَةِ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ أَوِ الطِّفْلِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يَظْهَرُوا عَلَىٰ عَوْرَاتِ النِّسَاءِ ۖ وَلَا يَضْرِبْنَ بِأَرْجُلِهِنَّ لِيُعْلَمَ مَا يُخْفِينَ مِن زِينَتِهِنَّ ۚ وَتُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا أَيُّهَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

“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 headcovers 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.”

Surah al-Nur (31)

Imam al-Tirmizi narrated a hadith from Abu Musa Asyari, the Prophet PBUH said:

كُلُّ عَيْنٍ زَانِيَةٌ، وَالمَرْأَةُ إِذَا اسْتَعْطَرَتْ فَمَرَّتْ بِالمَجْلِسِ فَهِيَ كَذَا وَكَذَا

"Every eye commits adultery, and when the woman uses perfume and she passes by a gathering, then she is like this and that.'" Meaning an adulteress.

Sunan al-Tirmizi (2786) and al-Darimi (2646)

In another hadith:

مَثَلُ الرَّافِلَةِ فِي الزِّينَةِ فِي غَيْرِ أَهْلِهَا كَمَثَلِ ظُلْمَةِ يَوْمِ القِيَامَةِ لَا نُورَ لَهَا

“The parable of the woman who walks to impress others in adornments for other than her family is that of darkness on the Day of Judgment: There is no light for her.”

Sunan al-Tirmizi (1167)

The limitations set in Islam is to close the doors of fitnah and protect Muslims especially for the youths in our community.

Beautifying oneself is a commandment of Allah SWT for He is Beautiful and He Loves Beauty, but a woman can only beautify herself in front of her husband. See Fatawa Syeikh Abdul Halim Mahmud (1/977)

Syeikh Muhammad Mutawalli issued the following statement when asked regarding hair colouring for a woman who wears a veil.

He was asked: “Is it permissible for a woman to colour her hair? Thus, the Syeikh answered: “It is permissible if her intention was to adorn herself for her husband. As for unmarried woman and the intention is to attract attention then it is impermissible, for it is a form of deception.” Wallahua’lam. See Fatawa al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah (229).

The following is the fatwa issued by Syeikh Abdul Malik al-Sa’adi when asked regarding the ruling of a woman cutting her hair and wearing eyeliner on her eyes.

He was asked: “Is it permissible for a woman to cut her hair? And is it permissible for a woman to wear eyeliner in front of ajnabi men, whether it is applied thinly or thickly on her eyes? Furthermore, are all types of eyeliner prohibited? Thus, the Syeikh answered: “It is permissible for a woman to cut her hair if it does not resemble a man. If she cuts her hair too short that she resembles a man, then it is prohibited, for it is an act of tasyabbuh bi rijal (resembling a man). Indeed, a woman is prohibited to resembles a man in terms of hair, clothes or appearance.

As for eyeliner, if she wears it in front of ajnabi men, whether it is applied it thinly or thickly, then it is prohibited, if she wears it for the purpose of medication and it does not lead to fitnah, then it is permissible. However, it is best to avoid wearing it to preserve her religious conviction.” Wallahua’lam.

See question asked to Syeikh Mutawalli Sya’rawi no. 1543 http://www.alomah-alwasat.com/

Prohibition Against Najis (Impurities) and Uncleanliness

Cleanliness is very important in Islam and uncleanliness in any forms, whether it is in terms of hissi or ma’nawi impurities is rejected in Islam.

The Prophet PBUH said:

تَنَظَّفُوا فَإِنَّ الإسْلاَمَ نَظِيْفُ

Clean yourself, for indeed Islam is a religion of cleanliness.

Sahih Ibn Hibban

According to the above hadith, it is clearly understood that Islam commands us to avoid uncleanliness and impurities, for Islam is a religion of cleanliness.

Allah SWT states:

وَيُحِلُّ لَهُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَيُحَرِّمُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْخَبَائِثَ

And makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil,

Surah al-A’araf (157)

Definition of Wudhu-Friendly Cosmetic

Some wudhu-friendly cosmetic manufacturers defined their products as a type of product that is easily washed off, without the need for specific soaps or solvents.

As for most cosmetic products available on the market today, it is difficult to remove them, where specific soaps are needed to remove them. Some of the products need specific makeup remover or solvents using cotton to remove them.

According to our research and analysis, wudhu-friendly cosmetic can be defined as products which are easily removed so that it can no longer prevent water from permeating our skin.

However, even for products labelled as wudhu-friendly cosmetic, these products are not necessarily water permeable (in order for water to reach our skin for our ablution), this needs further discussion.

  • Water-permeability

Imam al-Nawawi states in his book al-Majmu’: “When there is anything covering a part of the body, such as wax, flour or henna and others. If anything blocks water, then his purification is invalid, whether it is a little or a lot. If there is some residue of henna’s colour or fat residue that does not inhibit water, then his purification is valid.” See al-Majmu’ (1/467).

The same is stated in the book Tuhfah al-Muhtaj(1/187), under chapter ablution. The following are the opinion of the four mazhab except mazhab Hanafi, where on the conditions is:

  • Remove anything that is blocking or inhibiting water from reaching the body parts for ablution. Which means anything that could inhibit water from reaching the skin, such as wax, fat and others.

Syeikh Muhammad Mutawalli Sya’rawi issued a fatwa regarding the ruling of removing nail polish before ablution.

He was asked: “Is it compulsory to remove nail polish for ablution? He then answered: “Yes, indeed you have answered it yourself. As long as it is a form of a polish that inhibits water from reaching the skin, then it is compulsory for you to remove it during purification. Whereas, for henna it is permissible. Wallahua’lam.” See Fatawa al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah (198).

According to the above opinions, it can be concluded that if a wudhu-friendly product is water resistant and inhibits water from reaching the skin, then the ablution is invalid. However, if the product is water permeable, easily removed and does not inhibit water from reaching the skin, then the ablution is valid. Even if there is some color residue left on the skin.

  • What is the status of beauty or cosmetic products that is halal certified regarding their claims in the perfection of worship?

In our opinion, if the claim regarding the halal-certified cosmetic products does not inhibit the process of worship and does not trouble someone from performing worship is true, then it does not affect worship. Furthermore, if someone is wearing these products with the intention of beautifying oneself in performing worship in order to be comfortable and feeling clean and pure, then it is considered a good deed. However, if it affects our worship, especially in regards to prayer, then it will absolutely have a negative effect on the perfection of worship.

Thus, if it is halal certified, then generally it is considered as good. The issue is more in terms of the condition and situation of the person wearing it when it comes to the perfection of worship. Wallahua’lam.

Hopefully, with this explanation, it will give us understanding in our effort in perfecting our worship. Amiin.


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