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Is Piety the only Beauty?


One day a sister dropped by to pick up something and saw me dressed up with make-up and jewelry, so she assumed I was going somewhere. When I told her I wasn’t, the reason I dressed up surprised her. I told her, “Because it is about time for my husband to return from work.” She said, “You still get ready for your husband?” “Yes, what do you mean “still”?!” I asked. She said, “I used to do that in the beginning of the marriage and then I don’t it anymore.”

Unfortunately this is a common scenario among many Muslim married sisters. In fact, one of the most common complaints husbands have against their wives is that the wives don’t beautify themselves at home.

I have personally observed many Muslim sisters stop taking care of themselves once they get married. Some married sisters only dress up when they go out and while others don’t even bother with that. For some, abaya and hijab become a perfect “cover up” for outside the house and a t-shirt and sweat pants become the perfect lounge-wear for inside the house!

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Reasons Why Sisters Don’t Dress Up:
I cannot generalize the reasons why sisters stop taking interest in taking care of themselves at home, but I want to highlight 2 main points:

  1. Once married to a practicing brother, sisters assume their knight in shining armor won’t be interested in their looks but, rather, in their imaan. They believe their beauty lies in their “piety.”
  2. Husbands don’t express their desire in seeing their wives dressed up. Or, when their wives dress up, they don’t bother to compliment them, which confuses the wife into thinking, “He does not care.”

Beauty and Piety are Two Separate Characteristics:
Let’s remember, piety may add to a person’s inner beauty which may reflect through physical appearance; however, they both are independent characteristics.

There is no prohibition in looking good; in fact, to physically beautify oneself to please one’s husband and keep him happy is not only a praiseworthy act but also a means to earn reward from Allah azza wa jall.

When the Prophet sallallahu alihi wasalam was asked which woman was best, he replied, “The one who pleases (her husband) when he looks at her, obeys him when he gives a command….” (Nasa’i)

Hence, sisters, please on a daily basis before your husband returns home:

  • Take a shower (make sure you are not smelling like food)
  • Change your clothes.
  • Wash your face with cleanser/scrub.
  • Put light make up on. Please don’t use the excuse, “I don’t know how to.”
  • Wear some jewelry.
  • Show some creativity with your hair. Remember frizzy hair can be taken care of with gel, mousse, hair spray, hair straightener etc.
  • Use your perfume everyday and not only when you visit a friend.

Moreover, try to get a facial done once in a while. If you can’t afford to, there are millions of products available at very reasonable prices for home facials/deep cleaning.

Dear sisters, abaya should not be used to cover up weight gain, and neither should the hijab keep frizzy/unkempt hair covered. I understand that a t-shirt and sweat pants are the most comfortable clothing but it needs to be changed before your husband get back home.

Husbands: Pay Attention & Don’t be Stingy with Words:
In the early days of marriage, since husbands are “new,” it is important to look good. As the time passes and the couple becomes more comfortable around each other, it is only natural to become more informal. I remember the first time I wore my glasses in front of my husband was after SIX months of our marriage!

Compliments are incentives for looking good. For non-hijaabis it is easier to stay focused about their looks since their appearance is visible in public.

On the other hand, once a person is covered behind abaya and hijaab, it is easier to become careless about one’s appearance; besides, “who is going to look?”. This is where a husband’s attention and compliments become essential.  A wife desires attention from her husband. If she feels her husband appreciates her dressing up and taking care of herself, it will encourage her to take care of herself. Hence, husbands please:

  • Pay attention to your wife on a daily basis
  • Show interest in her looks, clothes and her overall appearance
  • Encourage her by buying her clothes you would like her to wear
  • When she is dressed up, make sure you praise her.
  • When she is not, remind her gently

Marriage is a mutual bond of understanding and give and take. This issue, too, requires an effort on both sides.

And finally, it’s never too late to start young.  Parents, some advice for your young girls:

  • Train your daughters to take care of themselves from a young age.
  • Instill a habit of working out regularly so they become accustomed to maintaining their physique.
  • Allow them to wear jewelry at home and even let them experiment with make up so when they get married and should be adorning themselves for their husbands, the intimidation factor isn’t there. Wearing make-up and jewelry won’t become a burden, but rather a daily ritual.
  • Train them to dress nicely and keep a pleasant demeanor every day at home in front of their family.

By taking these subtle steps you prepare them for some lifelong habits that will only make their marital life more pleasant inshaAllah.

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

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Saba Syed (aka Umm Reem) is the author of International award winning novel, "An Acquaintance." Saba has a BA degree in Islamic Studies. She studied Arabic Language & Literature at Qatar University and at Cairo Institute in Egypt. She also received her Ijaazah in Quranic Hafs recitation in Egypt from Shaikh Muhammad al-Hamazawi. She had been actively involved with Islamic community since 1995 through her MSA, and then as a founding member of TDC, and other community organizations. in 2002, she organized and hosted the very first "Musim Women's Conference" in Houston, TX. Since then, she's been passionately working towards empowering Muslim women through the correct and untainted teachings of Islam. She is a pastoral counselor for marriage & family, women and youth issues. She has hosted several Islamic lectures and weekly halaqas in different communities all over U.S and overseas, also hosted special workshops regarding parenting, Islamic sex-ed, female sexuality, and marital intimacy.



  1. Umm Sulaim

    November 28, 2011 at 12:22 AM

    Beautifully put.

    And those of us who are not married, whom do WE look good for? I look good for myself, and how much it costs too! Well worth it.

    This post is making me giggle. Men are really funny. Imagine their facial expressions when I tell suitors how much looking good costs; not that much, but not what they are accustomed to. They are more into food, shelter and clothing. OUCH!

    Umm Sulaim

  2. Shuaib Mansoori

    November 28, 2011 at 1:57 AM

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    Great piece Masha Allah. So for the first 6 months, Amad Bhai had no idea that you wore glasses :)

    May Allah always fill your home with happiness and protect your family from all kinds of trials.


    • Amad

      November 29, 2011 at 9:16 AM

      w/s… what glasses ;)???

  3. A. Stranger

    November 28, 2011 at 2:43 AM

    I remember when we were kids, my mom would always dress up and be all nice and presentable at the end of the day and we would be in our lil jammies. And I NEVER understood why. Until much later, that is.

    I really wish sisters start implementing this. :)

  4. heedaya

    November 28, 2011 at 3:45 AM


    For me it feels like taking care of myself is sort of a selfish act.i.e. wasting money and time to get facials and such. I could be doing something for someone else instead with that time/ money spent on taking care of myself. However, being a wife gives a new perspective to the idea of spending time on my self since it is being done for my husband rather than myself.

    • mummyjaan

      November 28, 2011 at 3:37 PM


      Just want to offer a different perspective: I don’t believe that spending money looking after yourself is wasting money. You are taking care of the good health, good skin and the beauty that Allah Taala has given you. How could that be wrong :)?

    • nyla

      November 28, 2011 at 4:08 PM


      Great reminder for our married sistas and awesome advice to us single ones. I think for those who fall in the second category, now is the time to form a habit of making ourselves look as great as possible (not to say that we don’t do that already) but we should make it a part of our daily grooming routine, take out time to try on different kinds of make-up and determine which ones suit us better, and try to come up with a sustainable, (I repeat “sustainable”) physical fitness plan that we could accustom ourselves to now and inshaAllah continue once we’re married and have more responsibilities to take care of. If this sounds tough, how about some motivation:

      From ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud radiallahu ‘anhu who said that the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “No one will enter Paradise who has an atom’s weight of pride in his heart.” A man said, “What if a man likes his clothes to look good and his shoes to look good?” He said, “Allah is beautiful and loves beauty. Pride means denying the truth and looking down on people.” [Related by Muslim #131]

      This sums it all up. Beautification of one’s self is for the purpose of looking beautiful, pleasing one’s spouse and showing gratitude to Allah for making him/her beautiful, not to acquire bragging rights to the “I’m too full of myself” attitude. :)

      JazakAllah Khair for this article.


    November 28, 2011 at 5:58 AM

    Jazakillah ul Khair for this great reminder. I believe that besides the idea of “piety being beauty” there may lie another reason for why alot of sisters (especially in the West) may eschew beautifying themselves after marriage. Here in the West we are constantly bombarded with images of feminine beauty and almost always we are told that among other things, you have to be thin to be beautiful. So I believe that for alot of us who have gained weight after marriage/pregnancy, we may subconsciously feel like we’re not “beautiful” anymore and so we may feel it’s no use beautifying ourselves. Also I am currently reading a wonderful book by Sister Naima Robert called “From my sisters’ lips” and in it she describes the phenomenon called “New Muslim Tramp”. Basically she says that some revert sisters in Britain began to look like “tramps” (in Britain apparently tramp is used to refer to looking like a “bum”). Alot of them were so used to dressing in sexy and provocative clothes before Islam that they subconsciously decided it was no use dressing up at all after embracing the Deen. They didn’t realize until much later that one can still dress sexy (but not too sexy if you have kids!) while at home in the presence of one’s husband. And they didn’t realize that you can still dress up and look nice when attending gatherings, functions, weddings, etc with your friends. For those of us not caring to dress up anymore, we should figure out whether we have subconsciously taken in the prevailing standards of beauty in Western society, which in turn leads us to “let go of our looks” because we feel we don’t “measure up” anymore to society’s standards.

    • Nazihah Malik

      November 28, 2011 at 10:45 AM

      RCHOUDH, you bring up a good point.

      Many women begin to feel unattractive and unsatisfied with their bodies, esp. after pregnancy and/or weight gain couple years after getting married. Combine that with getting caught up in the whirlwind of life and you end up wearing mismatched pjs, crooked glasses, and looking quite masculine all day.

      A tip my husband told me: It’s not what you look like [to a certain extent], it’s how you portray yourself, it’s what you think of yourself, and how much confidence you have in yourself and your looks. If you don’t flaunt yourself a little to entice, then why would your husband bother to turn his head?

      There are days when I feel blah, and it reflects negatively in my looks. Other days, I feel great, and hence, I put in that effort to look presentable, and it does wonders :o)

  6. Noushad

    November 28, 2011 at 7:04 AM

    Thanks for the reminder .. and a really good way to look at things

  7. umm abdullah

    November 28, 2011 at 10:54 AM

    Assalamualaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh!

    JazakAllah Khayr dear Umm Reem! I neglected taking care of myself during my college days but Alhamdulillah after that I was like oh oh! i have to start paying attention to this. I would spend much time trying to do stuff on face, hands, feet , hair etc and I would go like…. I’m wasting my time on this”… subhanAllah but then I remembered with the right intention I can earn reward for this…plus I also would do dhikr whenever I would do these (i.e., while soaking the feet for 10-15 mins etc)

    Also I guess it has become an even more important duty for us women to beautify ourselves for our husbands because of the fitnah that is almost everywhere!!

    And yes please… dont wait for your husband to tell you to go beautify yourself… some of the brothers are hesitant to tell that to their wives because they dont want to offend them.

    • Umm Reem

      November 29, 2011 at 8:29 AM

      And yes please… dont wait for your husband to tell you to go beautify yourself… some of the brothers are hesitant to tell that to their wives because they dont want to offend them.

      You are right, sometimes brothers are scared to mention their preferences to their wives so as not to offend them. I really think that spouses should be able to tell each other about their likes/dislikes. For instance, if the husband does not like a particular outfit on his wife he should be able to tell his wife and vice versa.

      I think sometimes sisters become way too sensitive about what their husbands say :)

      • umm abdullah

        November 29, 2011 at 8:59 AM

        glass vessels after all :D

        and brothers say what you want to say but the way you say will make a HUGE difference!

  8. Ummbudimary

    November 28, 2011 at 2:23 PM

    What a beneficial common sense article but it’s true I see it too many sisters don’t seem to dress up. And as u rightly pointed out its something for both husband an wife to work on.

  9. Ameera

    November 28, 2011 at 2:24 PM

    There is another side to this too.

    When we dress up at home, it makes us feel better too. Self-care is a key ingredient to keeping happy. I think a lot of times, we simply give up on taking care of ourselves, thinking that’s not a priority when there is so much else to do around the house. Cooking and cleaning become “excuses” for not having time for ourselves. And yet, just a few minutes invested in self-care will go a long way – and help you feel beautiful, confident and happier every day.

    A few simple ways to take care of yourself better:

    – Make time for a small nap if you can, before your husband returns from work. This way you’ll be fresher when he comes home and won’t find a frazzled wife

    – It really doesn’t take long to shower and change but it changes everything

    – Don’t save all your stylish clothes for parties that don’t come up often (for example, short-sleeved dresses you’ve saved up for girls’ only parties that, maybe, don’t happen too frequently in your area) – dress up at home and ignore the “guilt” that you’re wearing “good” (i.e. pricey) stuff at home… hey, if you don’t wear it, it’ll wear out anyway, gathering dust in the closet!

    – Cracked heels? Google or Youtube quick solutions – it’s easy!

    – If you’re out of shape or feeling all flabby – GO GO GO for Pilates! If you don’t have classes for girls/women in your area, the easiest way is to Youtube beginner videos. Honestly, if you stick to them for even 20 min a day, you’ll SEE the difference – really! Insha’Allah. What does the result look like? Well, let’s just say slender, toned and a confident posture. :)

    – Take a brisk walk daily for 30 minutes, whenever you can find time. Housework is good but isn’t intensive cardio exercise… but a brisk walk (not ambling or strolling) for just 30 min a day will help you become more fit and will improve your mood too. :)

  10. SR

    November 28, 2011 at 2:41 PM

    as salaamu alaikum
    nicely done post this.i appreciate the efforts put in by sis umm reem to help motivate the women in general with regards to their duties towards husbands… you did fail to mention the other type of attitude prevalent in some men- which would be to avoid make up at any cost.. make up for outside functions is a NO for sure.. even within the house it is to be avoided… what advice would you give to such wives who wish to look good for their husbands and where a little makeup is necessary?

    • Umm Reem

      November 29, 2011 at 8:18 AM

      I am not sure if I understood you right. Are you saying that there are husbands who don’t want their wives to wear any make up? And if so, do they have any “religious” reason for doing so or they just don’t like make up?

      • Mansoor Ansari

        November 29, 2011 at 10:31 AM

        I think they are many husbands don’t like their wives to wear make up. They want them to look clean & presentable but we don’t think make up is necessary to look beautiful. I don’t stop my wife from wearing make up but if it was up to me I would prefer that she didn’t. May be an eye liner occasionally is what I would be ok with it. The reason for me is simple, it hides the natural beauty, women in my household say that it enhances it but the men tend to disagree. But again beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  11. mummyjaan

    November 28, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    Thank you Umm Reem for another sensible article. Good points, especially about husbands needing to be appreciative.

    I must confess, however, that I do find it a bit annoying that there is so much emphasis on “looking good for your husband” and not as much on looking good for its own sake.

    Surely there is a case, even Islamically, for looking after yourself as a woman and safeguarding your health, good looks and worth for your own sake? (Does everything have to revolve around the husband? I like to dress up when he’s away too – sometimes for myself and sometimes for my girls!)

  12. Zulaikho

    November 28, 2011 at 4:37 PM

    Nice topic been discussed. Jazakallah khaeran to Umm Reem

  13. nyla

    November 28, 2011 at 5:03 PM

    Not sure why my earlier post came up as a comment to one of the sister’s post. Just to let you all know, I didn’t intend for it to be a comment to any post, it was to be a response in itself.

  14. Yasir Qadhi

    November 28, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    I have lost count of the number of time when I have a sisters Q and A session, and a brother will discreetly come up as all the brothers head out of the class, and says something along the lines of, ‘Shaykh, can you please remind the sisters that they need to look good for their husbands as well. They get ready for their other girlfriends when they meet up but don’t care to do the same for their husbands.”

    If there’s anyone on earth you should be beautifying yourself for, it is your husband.

    And yes of course the brothers need to do the same, but let’s also be real: men are much more into visuals, and women are much more in need of emotional comfort. Brothers need to start being more ‘romantic’ on a daily basis, just as sisters need to start being more ‘feminine’ on a daily basis. This would honestly solve many marital problems – sometimes even before they happen!


    • Abu Yusuf

      November 28, 2011 at 9:49 PM

      Finally, a much needed official word about Muslim women needing to be more feminine. There’s much too much feminism and individualism that has led to western Muslimaat suffering from and in cognitive dissonance if only for the reason that they consider men and women to be equal.

    • c.d.

      October 23, 2012 at 10:52 AM

      true but most importantly, especallyy for sisters between ages 20-35 where theyre more prone to beautiful men, brothers should be told to WORK OUT!!! its much much easier for men to loose weight and gain proper muscle tone than women, so i see there is NO EXCUSE for a flabby, untoned “curvy” man :D Especially if you are looking for a beautiful spouse, you must also be on the same beauty level.

  15. June

    November 28, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    A great reminder. Right now I’m often asleep by the time my husband comes home but this is a great reminder to look good during the few times we have together on our days off. It’s easy to forget he likes to see me looking nice when he’s only around during the times I’m in my pajamas.

  16. ummadam

    November 28, 2011 at 6:08 PM

    Wonderful reminder. I know so many sisters who don’t take care of themselves any longer once they have gotten married. As my dear mother in law says, “Just because a man has a long beard, doesn’t mean that he no longer notices beauty in a woman. Take care of yourself and be pleasing to your husband.” Truly words to take into consideration for all married sisters.

  17. Akber

    November 28, 2011 at 6:26 PM

    Guys also need to take care of themselves. I’m sure its not fair for me to expect my wifey to look hot and me to have a gut.

  18. Subr&Shukr

    November 28, 2011 at 7:41 PM

    Asalamuaalaiykum Warahmatulahi Wabarakatuhu

    UmmReem, can I just begin with that I love you for the sake of Allah? BarakAllahufeeh sis. (:

    I used to dress up for my husband, in the beginning. But now, he continues to abuse me verbally and my selfesteem has gone really low that I don’t see the point in making myself beautiful for someone who doesn’t think im very ‘accomplished’. What should I do?

    • Umm Reem

      November 29, 2011 at 8:09 AM

      I think you should talk to your husband and explain to him how his verbal abuse is affecting you. We had a few articles published in October on Domestic Violence/Verbal Abuse and discussed what spouses can do to resolve issues.

  19. LadyQ

    November 28, 2011 at 7:45 PM

    I skimmed through the comments above – but I just want to make sure all the ladies here know that their husbands should do the same for them. Women are just as visual as men. I don’t know any women that would prefer a unkempt, sweet man over a clean, attractive, sweet man. So compliment your husband when he dresses up and encourage him to keep his facial hair groomed, eat right, work out, and smell nice.

    Dear brothers, thoubes should not be used to cover up weight gain, and neither should a turban keep unkempt hair covered. I understand that a t-shirt and basketball shorts are the most comfortable clothing but it needs to be changed before your wife gets back home. ;)

  20. Pingback: 1CupOfChai | Being religious automatically makes you pretty.

  21. UmFawzan

    November 28, 2011 at 9:03 PM

    Alhamdulilah, you reminded the men to give compliments.

    I stopped dressing up for my husband frequently when I observed that he seemed to find his computer more beautiful and interesting than me. Why would I bother troubling myself, when personally I prefer to be clean and smell good, with out make up or “dressy” clothing? Eventually I stopped altogether. I’m not going to waste money on make up (not to mention make up remover which I’d need to use for every wudu) and nice clothes for no good reason when being clean and tidy suffices.

    • Umm Reem

      November 29, 2011 at 3:00 AM

      Dear Um Fawzan,

      This is a common complain from the sisters that why should they dress up when husbands are only interested in spending time with their computers/laptops/iphones/BBs!

      I think this is an issue that every couple needs to discuss and come up with solutions.

      For example, a husband should make a commitment of spending a certain no. of hour/s with the wife daily. And the wife should agree to let the husband have some “quite time”. Men need their own time alone. It doesn’t mean that the husband doesn’t care, it just mean that he needs his some time for himself. (Plz try reading “men are from mars women are from venus” together)

      Besides, I’m sure husbands do notice their wives when they enter home, greet each other, eat dinner etc.

      You also mention an imp. point about wearing make-up and running into wudu problems. Normally husbands return home after maghrib which only leaves isha that can be delayed.

      One last point, let us remember that the bigger picture in looking pleasant for the husband is to please Allah through pleasing the husbands.

  22. Jahir khan

    November 28, 2011 at 11:35 PM

    Brothers and sisters, it can be difficult at times to get in to a good habit like that but let us primarily focus on PLEASING our almighty creator with the best of names which he called himself Allah swt n by having the correct intention to please him by beautifying oneself fisabilillah, you will be rewarded extra inshaallah. You will realize that when you do it out of love for Allah swt you will automatically enjoy doing it for your spouse! May Allah swt make it easy task for us ameen!

  23. Faatimah

    November 28, 2011 at 11:39 PM

    jazakAllah khayr for another great article, Umm Reem. You mentioned at the end of training daughters to maintain their physical appearance as well, which I agree with, but I wonder where to draw the line. My daughters are only 1 and 3, but I already worry about their teenage years and preventing them from wearing make up and perfume outside of the house.

    It’s funny, if a sister or family member sees me dressed up at home, they usually ask where i’m going as well. And i just say, “No where, I felt like dressing up.” I find it odd that women put on so much make up and perfume at a sister’s gathering but then don’t do the same at home.

    • Umm Reem

      November 29, 2011 at 2:31 AM

      Faatimah, you are right. Sometimes it does become difficult to draw a line, but not impossible inshaAllah.

      My daughters are 14 and 5. Older one is allowed to wear makeup at home but no make up & perfume outside. She has to cover her face if she puts make up on outside. That’s the rule.

      I need to remind her every now and then. If I find out one of her friends is not allowed to wear make up at all, I take full advantage of reminding her how lucky she is to have the “freedom” of doing whatever she wants at home =D

  24. Naaziya

    November 29, 2011 at 6:40 AM

    Assalamualaikum sister
    It was a nice reminder. My concern is that I don’t have time to get ready. I don’t have time to comb my hair daily. I have four kids and all are below 5 yrs old . Now that i am tired and typing . I have loads of work. Any suggestions sisters ????

    • umm abdullah

      November 29, 2011 at 8:40 AM

      Walaykumassalam warahmatullahi wabarakatuh Dear Naaziya

      May Allah Swt make everything easy for you.

      I would suggest you to make a timetable. This will help you to figure out where and when you can squeeze time for taking care of yourself.

      If you are super duper busy, applying kohl, vaseline (you can also apply lipstick or gloss on top of that) and hair that is combed with 2 little earrings and a chain might do.

      Scrubbing can make you feel fresh. It wouldnt take more than 5 minutes. No scrubs at home? Try applying a mixture of lemon and honey (or you may also use just one of them). Leave it for 5 minutes on your face. Take some sugar, mix it with few drops of water (it shouldnt completely dissolve) and start scrubbing. If you have a dry skin, it is highly recommended to apply face cream after washing off the scrub.

      Just few tips from me, but really each person has to check out her resources, time etc and do things accordingly.

    • Umm Sulaim

      November 29, 2011 at 8:55 AM

      You might want to braid your hair, depending on where you reside. It is an excellent way to keep the hair in a lovely style without worrying about combing it daily.

      I usually do that, but have been on a different plan since Eid al-Fitr. I want to give my hair a refreshing break from the pulling and tugging; I have it washed and set into a fixed shape at a salon and only brush it lightly each morning.

      And on make-up, I rarely wear it, but I make a point of wearing it on Eid. There is no particular reason, except I like to see my facial skin to know when the old mama needs to change tactics to slow aging. Moreover, applying facial cleanser, body lotion, etc takes at least an hour each day, enough pampering for one day. Yep!

      Umm Sulaim

    • Umm Imran

      November 29, 2011 at 9:57 AM

      Assalamu alaikum dear sis Naaziya

      I can understand how hectic your life must be. I am a mother of 3 kids all under 4 alhamdulillah. I am not really a big fan of make-up and strongly believe my natural look is my strength alhamdulillah. I think as long as I am clean and wearing a nice dress with some nice perfume I am making a good impression alhamdulillah.

      Unfortunately lot of people assume wearing make-up is essential to look good . It saddens me seeing even hijabi sisters wear make up outside and believe make up gives them confidence. The amount of make up the sisters wear make me question what’s the point of covering their hair when they are making way to much effort in beautifying their faces in public! Honestly, how many sisters have we seen who just wears it at their house, only in front of their husband? Even if someone does, then good for them mashallah. But I don’t agree with the article saying we have to wear make up to please our husband.

      I have a daughter aged only 2 and a half. I hope to bring her up as a strong muslimah who is not dependant on make up to feel good and worthy enough to be part of the society. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala help us in raising confident children, ameen!

  25. umm abdullah

    November 29, 2011 at 8:50 AM

    I just wanted to add that None of us should forget to make dua to AllahSwt to make us look attractive and pleasing to our spouses and vice verse.
    Ofcourse we have to do our part but we shouldnt forget AllahSwt is the Turner of hearts.

  26. Umm Ousama

    November 29, 2011 at 9:06 AM

    Assalamu alaikum,

    Some reasons why women do not look after themselves:

    1. They need to go out to often: if you have to take the kids to school and bring them back then serve them dinner, help with homework, you don’t always have time to shower and put make-up or change clothes.

    2. As a non-Muslim before, I was used to do all that in the morning and it was enough for the day. Now, because of the issue of going out and prayer, it is harder to have the same routine at the end of the day.

    3. Husbands should buy jewelry from time to time for their wives (apart from the set offered at marriage), they should buy perfume for them and give them money to buy clothes. How can you expect to wear all that when no money is spent on the wife? They should also spend time with their wives.

    4. Here is a catch 22 situation. If the husband would look after his wife or after the children and help the wife around the house, she might not be as tired and she will be better rested and will be able to look after herself and be in a better mood to be ready for him. Yet the husband won’t do that unless the woman looks after him and his needs!

    5. I know men hate shopping but why not go once every two-three months shopping together (surely 4-6 days in a year isn’t much or is it)? Again the burden of shopping is often on the woman and, if she has young children and has to go shopping with some of them, it can become too difficult and she won’t bother. Or if she needs to arrange for something to look after her kids to go shopping, she might just skip that except in case of emergencies.

    6. When a sister beautifies herself before her husband comes and the husband changes himself into jogging or shorts as soon as he comes home from work, it really creates an imbalance. So, brothers, change maybe in more comfortable clothes but not into clothes you would never wear outside.

  27. Ahsan (Cartoon Muslim)

    November 29, 2011 at 9:49 PM

    *Forwards to all the married brothers he knows.* haha just kidding.

    This also applies to husbands. We should freshen up before coming home or before our wives come home.

  28. Umm e zmrd

    November 29, 2011 at 11:35 PM

    Aoa.But the day u try to manage to dres up nicely and presentable,ur husband is too tired to notice and in the end u feel like u did useless effort

  29. Joyce

    November 30, 2011 at 12:38 AM

    i find this article wonderful and refreshing—however keep in mind that not all sisters wear make up, and the husband may not like it, wearing make up is not a must and making it one can possibly make it seem as if the beauty Allah (swt) gave us is not enough. making an effort to appear attractive and keep up appearance is necessary yes, on BOTH sides (like another comment, we women are just as visual) but the ways in which the couple chooses to do that or what they find attractive is up to them. also, there are going to be bad days , the everyday part i think is unrealistic, and this is not our only purpose (looking beautiful). I think your point was to try and make a regular consistent effort, but if you are sick, or very busy…your husband should understand and visa versa.

  30. April

    November 30, 2011 at 5:41 AM

    If you were to do a survey, I think you’d find that most men detest, or at least dislike, make-up. Every male I’ve ever heard speak about the issue agrees that natural is the way to go, and that includes my husband and all his brothers, my own father and brother, and all the male classmates/acquaintances I’ve ever had from a variety of cultural and religious backgrounds. Another thing to consider is that make-up ages the skin and is a pain to remove for ablution. If you are married to someone who actually likes make-up, that may be a different story, but find out first because there is no point in going through the hassle if your husband prefers a natural look. I personally hate make-up and am glad my husband doesn’t like it either. Looking good and being clean/presentable is a must, but this can be accomplished even in sweats and a t-shirt. I think it really depends on your cultural background and what is considered attractive in your husband’s eyes.

    • mw_m

      November 30, 2011 at 10:35 PM

      As a male, I can say that I agree that make-up (at least make-up that’s obvious) is something which looks very UNattractive.

    • MaziN

      May 13, 2013 at 12:47 PM

      Dressing up is fine. Make-up NO NO. Only Kohl Please. Plus research at UCB has shown that lipsticks, lipliners, lip gloss and other face goo contain super-toxic metals such as chromium, cadmium, manganese.

  31. April

    November 30, 2011 at 5:49 AM

    I also want to add that I believe the premise of the article is wrong. I don’t think that most women become lazy in the looks department because they believe their “piety” is attractive enough for their husbands. Many women are simply overwhelmed with the mess of kids, cooking, and housework and place more priority on comfort rather than glamour-type beauty at certain times in their lives. While a woman should not smell bad or repulse her husband, there is something to be said for being comfortable enough in front of your spouse that you can be yourself. This, in and of itself, can be attractive, too.

  32. Umm ibraheem

    November 30, 2011 at 8:34 AM

    Lovely reminder, I have since reading it been making a conscious effort to be showered and presentable when with him. It’s very easy to slip into bad habits and we need occasionally to be reminded by someone we don’t know. Attraction, passion and excitement can solve the majority of problems in a marriage. Just looking at your spouse melts your heart and your problems drift away.

    • Umm ibraheem

      November 30, 2011 at 8:48 AM

      Make up is not an essential part of beautifying oneself but a small amount of correctly applied make up makes a huge difference. The key is to look desirable for him and this can also be achieved in the correct sportswear, jeans, t shirt or dresses etc. One doesn’t have to be dressed up in formal wear to look good.

      When I meet friends and relatives that don’t wear hijab I am endlessly surprised by how well kept they manage to look all the time. Because they are on ‘display’ to outsiders they wouldn’t dare compromise their looks. They also have responsibilities and small children, but do not lose pride in their appearance. Although I do not in any way agree with them not covering, but sometimes covering causes women to lose the motivation to stay groomed.

      Practise also makes perfect! If looking after yourself becomes a part of your routine it will InshaAllah become effortless eventually.

  33. Muddassir

    November 30, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    Well husbands also need to slim down and look good for their wives.

  34. Perspective

    November 30, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    Salam Sister,

    I get where you’re trying to go with this, and I agree with the general premise: try to look good for your spouse. With that said, I do think some of the article is a little misguided. Like another commenter mentioned, there is a certain sense of closeness and comfort (hopefully) between couples that allows them to be themselves around one another. Making such a conscious effort to constantly be on “display” for your husband seems completely at odds with that. There is something to be said about a level of intimacy where one no longer has to be on display for their spouse 24/7, and the article seems to neglect/discourage that. For example, you mentioned that you didn’t where your glasses in front of your husband for SIX months. To me, that’s not something to be proud of, if you need glasses to see, you shouldn’t feel like you’ll be less “attractive” in front of your spouse by wearing them.

    It’s also important to note that many husbands come home and quickly change into shorts and a t-shirt, leaving their wife dressed up alone, creating an awkward imbalance in appearance. What is the wife supposed to do then, strut around in a dress while the hubby is in sweats? If you’re going to give SO much advice to women on how they should look, at least use one sentence to guide men too.

    Just my two cents :)

  35. Veiled

    November 30, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    Awww mashAllah a fabulous post! I loved it. It pretty much targets relevant points between married couples today. Dressing up for the win! =)

  36. Huma

    November 30, 2011 at 10:38 PM

    Thx for the advice on how to raise the daughters to be able to implement “good grooming habits”. It’s a great idea to address these ideas young! What is halal (ie dressing up and make up at home or with girls) should be encouraged and allowed.

  37. Anon

    December 1, 2011 at 6:12 AM

    Umm Reem- I know this isn’t related to the post very directly, but since you’re MM’s resident marital life expert- I have a question. The impression you give from your MM posts and comments is that many/mots sisters hate intimacy full stop. If taht’s true, what’s the point in a young single Muslim man ever getting married, since his wife will basically hate him for it?

    • Umm Sulaim

      December 1, 2011 at 6:27 AM

      Any woman who hates intimacy should not get married. Marriage = Intimacy (physically and emotionally).

      Anon, if that perception is widely held, please ensure the woman you wish to marry – assuming you are a male – understands marriage is not for the two of you to stare at each other.

      Umm Sulaim

  38. AmatunNur

    March 14, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    Assalamoalaikum, I really enjoyed reading your post. It’s a REMINDER! 

  39. c.d.

    October 23, 2012 at 10:22 AM


    “allow them to wear jewellery..”

    you dont allow sisters to do anything in the house. you can wear whatever you want in the house, NO ONE “allows” you!!!

    and a more important factor is teaching sons and husbands to WORK OUT!! :D I would never marry a brother without the physique as me. I work out 1-2 hours a day, and love love makeup + dressing up. But the problem is im a full hijabi and wear completely covered clothing lol. So i guess i gotta find a guy with a beautiful face, and later get him to join the fitness lifestyle :D inshallah

  40. Zahrah

    November 6, 2014 at 8:30 AM

    Asallama lejkum

    What about the ones that leave with the husband family with he’s brother sisters and parents and my husband pops in at any time home as he manages he’s properties so he’s always in and out the house so I always how to be covered up as he’s family is always around the only place I don’t have to be fully cover up is our bedroom so how can I keep my self looking attractive for my husband.

  41. Zara

    August 5, 2023 at 3:22 PM

    Lol it’s like whenever I start to think of my plans regarding marriage, I find a post like this and realize again that marriage is definitely not for me. Specially if this is the kind of hell one is expected to go through. If marriage means that I’ll always be uncomfortable in front my spouse and want them to just leave the house,I’d rather stay single.

    Also,the to do list you gave seems quite extreme (taking a shower, hair styling, skin care every day). Not to mention that putting on makeup and chemicals on hair everyday for long hours can damage them. If it’s about looking pleasant, even simple lipgloss, combed hair with a decent enough clothing can do that. Sure, makeup makes you look “prettier”. But there isn’t an end to that “more” cause otherwise, someone else might say that you need to do a whole gala makeup daily and follow a kardashian diet plan. Besides, if a woman is putting that much effort into just looking extra nice, the least the guy should do is take a shower somewhere outside before entering the hoise cause no one likes the smell of sweat.

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