Connect with us


What I Learned about Lipstick from my Five Year Old


I walked into an interesting conversation the other day between a middle-aged woman and her teenage daughter.  It was happening in front of a ladies room mirror, and it went like this:

Mother, angrily: You’re wearing lipstick?

Daughter, sulking: No, I’m not.

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.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Mother: You are, I can see you are.

Daughter: It’s not lipstick.

Mother: Yes it is, I can see it. Is it lip gloss?

Daughter: No.

Mother: What is it?

Daughter: Whatever you have in your purse.

The mother paused and looked irritably at her daughter.  Then she said “Fine, let’s go.”

I felt sorry for the mother because I had just witnessed her losing a round in the epic battle of mother vs. the world.  I would guess that she is trying to raise her daughter with conservative cultural values- where teenagers don’t wear makeup and grownups try not to wear too much of it.  I’m afraid she’s fighting a losing battle though, not because it’s impossible to raise modest women in these insanely immodest times, but because there’s a bit of a flaw in her rules.  My mother tried to raise me with the same rules, but it took my own five year old daughter to help me spot the problem with it. The conversation went like this:

Iman: Momma, can I wear lipstick?

Me: -blank stare-

Iman: And eyes?

Me: No, you’re only five!

Iman: Why noooooot?

Me: Makeup is err… umm… let me think about that and get back to you, ok?

I had to sit down and have a think- would I tell her the same thing that my mother told me, that I could start wearing makeup when I was sixteen and not to ask her again until then?

Would I tell her makeup was somehow bad for her? If it’s bad for her, then it’s bad for me and therefore I shouldn’t wear makeup either- so that wouldn’t work.

How could I even begin to answer her?  Whether or not to wear makeup is a complicated question involving Muslim standards for modesty, the human mechanics of sexual attraction, acceptance of natural beauty, and conservative use of augmented beauty within Islamically acceptable parameters.

Makeup is not haram any more than clothes are.  Both clothes and makeup can be used to conceal, or highlight, or beautify and there is nothing intrinsically wrong with concealing, highlighting or beautifying yourself. Makeup is used to enhance a woman’s sexual appeal and attractiveness, and there is nothing haram with having sex appeal or being attractive.  What’s haram is the misuse of sex appeal- of making it a public display versus an intimate connection between spouses.

I suppose we could beat around the bush and say makeup is about feeling pretty or confident, but “pretty” is a vague concept, and science has unraveled the mysteries of “pretty” and simplified them as such:


Understanding the science behind sexual attraction helps explain why women in anime have such impossibly large eyes on such infant-like faces, and why the cosmetics industry sells products to give us large eyes on faces with flawless, baby-soft skin.

  • Prominent eyes indicate youth and femininity, and younger women are more desirable as sexual partners.  Hence, eye makeup as well as the impossibly large eyes of anime women.
  • Flushed cheeks and plump, flushed lips indicate sexual arousal as well as ovulation, hence blush and lipstick.
  • Full lips indicate of youth, and bright colors draw attention to them.
  • Flawless skin is an indicator of good health, and a healthy woman makes healthy babies.

If makeup is about prettiness, it’s only because women have been made to believe that they cannot be pretty without it.  If makeup is about confidence, then it’s only because womankind’s self esteem has been so globally damaged that we are embarrassed to be seen with our own faces.

Women are held to standards that are impossible to achieve without photoshop- they use makeup to get themselves halfway there and then feel ashamed for not making it all the way.  Some “fix” the problem with surgery, as if their faces were a problem in the first place.  We are asked to believe that anything is forgivable if you’re beautiful enough, that personality, intellect and personal accomplishment aren’t worth anything unless attractively packaged, and that their primary pursuit in life- from puberty until menopause- should be the attainment and maintenance of beauty.

I don’t want my daughter growing up and hating the imperfections in her own face like so many women do.  I want her to look at her face as what it is- an assortment of beauties and flaws that reflects only a temporary phase in her existence that is in no way indicative of her worth as a Muslim and a woman.

Real beauty is a matter of character,

Real beauty is a matter of character, not sexual attractiveness. Photo courtesy of

I want her to know that there is an important difference between beauty and attractiveness.  Real beauty is a matter of character, but attractiveness is a matter of hormones.  Makeup tricks men’s hormones into thinking you are younger, healthier, more symmetrical and therefore more appealing to the testosterone-fed animal that lives inside of them.  Women and men both have animal desires, but the animal within us is not the master, it is meant to be domesticated and put to good work, tilling the field so to speak.

So, how did I respond to my daughter? The conversation went like this:

Me: Iman, I’ve decided you can wear makeup.

Iman: Really?!

Me: Yes, but there are some rules. You can only wear makeup in the house, and if a man or a boy comes over, we need to wash it off.

Iman: Ok!

Me: You can wear makeup to parties where there are only ladies or girls.  I cover my face when I’m on the way to a party, but you don’t need to do that.  We can just put your makeup on when we get there. Also, if you wear too much makeup, you’ll look silly, so just wear a little, ok?

Iman: Yay!

I took out my cosmetics and applied some kajal to Iman’s eyes and some pink sparkles to her lips.  She asked for the purple glitter, and we used it to draw a butterfly on her cheek.  In turn, she coated the upper half of my face in eye shadow and the lower half in lip gloss.  She was proud of her work and I was proud of her creative use of every color in the box.  We washed our faces before going out for groceries later that day, and when I asked her if she wanted to put makeup on when she got back home, she said no thank you because the plumping gloss she chose was “spicy.”

We have an understanding about makeup, and it goes like this:  I don’t offer Iman makeup, I wait for her to ask for it and if we’re able to follow the rules, then the answer is always yes.  No makeup outside, except among ladies.  Makeup at home is ok, but not front of men other than Baba or your brother.  Try not to wear too much, and always ask Momma first.

And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest,  and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent,  and to draw their veils over their bosoms,  and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands' fathers, or their sons or their husbands' sons, or their brothers or their brothers' sons or sisters' sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigour, or children who know naught of women's nakedness.  And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed. The Holy Qur’an, 24:31

And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands’ fathers, or their sons or their husbands’ sons, or their brothers or their brothers’ sons or sisters’ sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigour, or children who know naught of women’s nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed. The Holy Qur’an, 24:31

I’m sure there will be room for improvement in our rules, but I am satisfied that at least we’ve escaped the hypocrisy of the made-up mother scolding her daughter for wearing her own makeup.  I’m also relieved to have escaped the arbitrary assignment of sixteen being an acceptable age to start making yourself look sexy in public.  That is where my mother’s rules were flawed.  From a Muslim point of view, there really is no acceptable age at which you can start making yourself look sexy in public.

While physical modesty is only one aspect of appropriate Muslim behavior, I’m glad I’ve had the chance to set the standard for my daughter now.  When she gets older, we’ll talk about modesty of character, speech, behaviour, and dress.  When we have that conversation, we’ll also talk about sex, attractiveness, and how hard it’s going to be for my young woman to remain natural and modest in a naked and unnatural world, but that’s a conversation for later.

For now, we’re using makeup the same way we use crayons- to color, experiment, and laugh together.  For now, the lipstick is too spicy and the glitter eyeliner is used for drawing butterflies, and I hope it stays that way for as long as possible, 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.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Zeba Khan is the Director of Development for and the producer of the newly launched Muslimmatters Podcast, as well as a writer, speaker, and disability awareness advocate. In addition to having a child with autism, she herself lives with Ehlers-Danlos Sydrome, Dysautonomia, Mast-Cell Activation Disorder, and a random assortment of acronyms that collectively translate to chronic illness and progressive disability.



  1. Cool_Guy141

    July 17, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    Assalamu alaikum
    Please correct the redundancy in the starting part of translation of 24:31.
    JazakAllah Khayran

    • Abez

      July 17, 2013 at 12:09 PM

      Fixed, JazakAllahuKheiran!

      • mebsworth2013

        August 13, 2013 at 8:58 AM

        Hi Abez,

        Thank you for your honesty. My fiance is Muslim (white, Indian-Raised,now in Australia) I’ve got some questions about Islam in the World today. As You Probably know, Islam is the Fastest Growing Faith in the World for a Reason.
        I want to know Why, in some Muslim Countries, women are treated like Animals/Property ex. “Child Brides” Cliteredectomies, Misogynism, 4 Wives, etc.?
        As a Western Woman, I’ve been raised to know that I am Totally as Equal/Efficient as a Male. Women/Men are Totally Equal in Potential/Ability, but Women can do More Then men. What is that?!.. Babies! (duh)
        So Abez, Unfortunately, Alot of Western Women see Islam as a Misogynistic Religion. Can you Provide me with Factual Proof that Islam is NOT Misogynistic?!

        • Abez

          December 10, 2013 at 1:08 PM

          Read the Qur’an, see for yourself. All the proof you need is there. :)

          • blueivy

            January 14, 2014 at 12:44 PM

            but you didnt answer her iinnocent question of why do muslim men act in such a way, although they do place and emphasis on following religion and attend every prayer+ friday prayer etc… I’m curious to know your thoughts…

    • Nazima Jabeen

      July 17, 2013 at 12:58 PM

      Yes indeed a great thought reflected in the article and we need to think out of the box. We have created our own Islamic values which we blindly follow. one shall not twist Islam or its teaching to abstain children from doing which are considered not age appropriate.

  2. Asif

    July 17, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    Great article. I’m sure Muslim mommies everywhere have pondered this about their little girls and you just provided them a template to follow! I just subscribed to your blog and am looking forward to perusing your works.

    Keep it up sister!

  3. Abu Asiyah

    July 17, 2013 at 6:55 PM

    Awesome! Jazakillahu khayr!

  4. A Karim

    July 17, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    Lovely article! I think so many girls/mothers can benefit from reading this. I definitely agree, we live in a immodest and unnatural world that convinces girls daily to take that mold. It’s tough but this article shows a great start! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Serendipitous

    July 17, 2013 at 11:09 PM

    All I wanna say is xoxo to you and your daughter sister Abez :)) You put such a smile on my face I know exactly what to say to my 6 yr old when she will surely ask some day..

    • Abez

      July 18, 2013 at 1:19 PM

      You’re most welcome. :)

  6. The Salafi Feminist

    July 18, 2013 at 12:22 AM

    Really enjoyed this, mashaAllah! I liked how you respected your daughter’s intelligence – being 5 years old doesn’t mean she can’t understand the parameters you set, or why. Unfortunately, a lot of mothers will stop at just being cross or snapping “Because I said so!” and it all goes downhill from there.
    I use makeup as well occasionally, and my three year old is already fascinated with it. By the time she’s old enough to start asking about it, I’ll be keeping this post in mind, inshaAllah!

    • Abez

      July 18, 2013 at 1:18 PM

      Regarding Iman’s intelligence- I don’t think I really have the alternative of ignoring it. This is the little girl who came and told me- not vice versa- where babies come from. They’re inside of their momma’s tummies.

      I looked at her and said “Oh?”

      And she said, “Yes, but why are they in there and how do they get out?”

      I said, “Allah put them there when they’re tiny, because it’s warm and safe. When they’re big and ready to be born, a doctor helps take them out.”

      She’s satisfied with this answer for now, so now I have a little bit of extra time to figure out the rest. Knowing her though, it won’t be as much time as I would like!

      • Hyde

        July 19, 2013 at 8:42 AM

        Wha..what ever happened to the stroke and Dumbo ? Kids these days :)

        • Abez

          July 19, 2013 at 8:47 AM

          Tell me about it. A good friend of mine messaged me just last night and said “Help, my daughter asked me if women marry women!” Apparently one of the kids in her class has two mommies. Because we’re in the UAE though- it’s a case of Polygamy and not gay marriage. And that’s a bit easier to explain, I hope.

          • Hyde

            July 19, 2013 at 9:00 AM

            Wow your first part of the sentence was shocking and I was expecting the worst, but your second sentence calmed me down some what.

            Although I may find polygony “interesting”, I have built up such a well of traditional thought, I think I would not be shocked at all if some said they had two, three or even four mommies.
            Why do you think that is ? Would it be offensives with that thought process. I do believe as SH Murad said that Polygony is either for the best of men or the worst of men.

            There should be a post on polygony and misogyny-how they are not the same. In fact there should be a post on misogyny in general. I am hesitant to ask, but I think Lady Umm Reem maybe best for the job.

            Also if there is homosexual marriage in Muslim countries (although sometimes I hesitate to see UAE or even the entire gulf coast as authentically “Islamic”), I swear I am laying down in the cemetery :(

      • Amatullah

        November 23, 2014 at 1:38 PM

        Much respect to you on this article & how you treat your daughter. Beautifully written. Suggestion: I would be hesitant to teach my daughter that a doctor helps take out the baby. Many women today have home births, births on the way to hospital in the car, in the hospital before the doctor arrives….and so on. Birth is a process like no other and will strengthen her for life. Give HER the power over her own body & not that her birth is reliant on another person (i.e the expert doctor). Whether she chooses to home birth, hospital birth, birth center birth with midwife is up to her & her husband when she grows up. What is up to us as moms is honesty with our children & empowering them.

  7. AN

    July 18, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    this article has made me remember a promise i made to myself long ago. JazakAllaah Khair!

    • Abez

      July 18, 2013 at 1:15 PM

      Would it be too curious to ask what that promise was? :)

  8. Dian

    July 18, 2013 at 7:58 AM

    mashaAllah mashaAllah a beautiful article about beauty :’) Real beauty

    Jazakillah khayr

  9. HH

    July 18, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    Wonderful solution!

  10. Arfeen

    July 18, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Great Article…Masha Allah :) Keep up the good work..

  11. Jeddah Blog

    July 18, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    You and I pretty much have the same approach to makeup and our daughters. Well articulated!

  12. Beanigirl

    July 18, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    Assalam alaykum
    I don’t really get why you are framing a child’s wearing of make-up as a desire to be sexy or attractive. I think the meaning of make-up (not only the permissibility) for a 5-yr old is different than it is for an adult (or 16 yr old) woman.
    The child just wants to play – as you show later in talking about what she used the make-up for. So how is it a big deal anyway – it is not that different than letting the child play with facepaints. Why do we make an issue out of it? I think we overreact and in this way make thse things forbidden fruit to our children.
    I also disagree with your assertion that hat inside men is a “testosterone-fed animal” and that “Women have animal desires too, but the animal within us is not the master, it is meant to be domesticated and put to good work, tilling the field so to speak.” That is really insulting to men – as I know many men who are not like that mashaAllah. And it is also a bit wrong about women. In fact, it is men who, in the Quranic paradigm, are put to the work of tilling the field. I don’t understand how you are using the metaphor here, nor how the beasts that may be inside us are domesticated..
    i also think that it is not just the outer looks that are attrctive to men; we need to give them more credit. a lot of men are attracted by other good traits in women and we need to acknoweldge this and stop talking about them as if they are just animal-like.

    • Abez

      July 19, 2013 at 4:35 AM

      AssalamuAlaikum Beanigirl- you have some interesting questions and I hope I can clarify them InshaAllah.

      “I don’t really get why you are framing a child’s wearing of make-up as a desire to be sexy or attractive”

      Iman’s desire to wear makeup is not about her wanting to be sexy, it’s about playing with color and experimenting, as I mentioned in my conclusion. Right now we’re using makeup the same way we use crayons. It’s society in general that pushes makeup on to women through the pressure to be attractive in the public domain, versus the private one.

      ” I think the meaning of make-up (not only the permissibility) for a 5-yr old is different than it is for an adult (or 16 yr old) woman.”

      I agree completely- and that’s why I don’t have a five year old in a hijab and abaya- unless she wants to wear her little pink flowery one. Being below the age of accountability, lots of things are perfectly innocent for her to partake of- pedal pushers and pouffy skirts- and this will change as she ages. There are other things though, whose purpose is too overtly sexual to be appropriate for a child no matter how tiny a size they manufacture it in- tiny T-back halters, leopard print mini-skirts, itty-bitty go-go boots. These objectify a little girl’s body as badly as they objectify a woman’s, and they’re not suitable for either. I see makeup as being the same way- makeup amplifies the attractiveness of a face, and no matter how young that face is: “From a Muslim point of view, there really is no acceptable age at which you can start making yourself look sexy in public.”

      “I think we overreact and in this way make these things forbidden fruit to our children” I agree- a blanket ban on makeup would be overreacting, which is what most mothers do. They just say NO! don’t ask me again, and even the child- seeing their own mother wearing makeup- sees the hypocrisy. My approach is to not make a big deal, to let Iman play with makeup whenever she feels like it as long as it’s within a halal framework.

      “I also disagree with your assertion that that inside men is a “testosterone-fed animal” and that “Women have animal desires too, but the animal within us is not the master, it is meant to be domesticated and put to good work, tilling the field so to speak.”

      For this I will apologize as well as disagree: Here is where I disagree. There is a hormonally raging animal inside of everyone, both men and women, and our job is to tame it and use it within the context of what is permissible in Islam, ie- sexual relations within marriage- hence, tilling the fields. Men and women both have physical urges- independent of logic or rationality- that push us to seek out physical satisfaction. It’s an animal (versus spiritual) desire that is part of our biological makeup. I don’t think that owning up to this is an insult in anyway.

      Umm Reem’s previous articles on MM discussing Porn Addiction, Female Sexuality, and other issues shine an uncomfortable light on how big a role sex and desire play in our daily lives. Turning the light off does not make the problem go away, and acknowledging that we have these desires is the first step to taming them; hence, domestication of the wild animal inside.

      Here is where I apologize: I apologize for letting grammar mislead the reader into thinking I believe that men are uncontrollable animals but women are domesticated and used for making babies. I will adjust the wording to make it more clear, InshaAllah. We’re equally uncontrolled and equally in need of domestication.

      “i also think that it is not just the outer looks that are attrctive to men; we need to give them more credit. a lot of men are attracted by other good traits in women and we need to acknoweldge this and stop talking about them as if they are just animal-like.”

      Even very good, pious men struggle with the fitnah of an underdressed, beautifully made-up woman talking to them. That’s why Allah has commanded us- both genders- to lower their gaze. Not wearing makeup helps us help our own men by doing our part to look modest and they look away in modesty, InshaAllah.

      DISCLAIMER: Before anyone jumps on the victim-blaming bandwagon, I am not blaming women for making themselves so attractive that men have no choice but to look/touch/rape. If a man has fear of Allah and haya, not even a fully nude woman is in danger from him. But for a man without taqwa, even a woman in niqab is fair game.

      I do hope this clears up any confusion or ambiguity, and seek refuge from Allah is making any statements about the Ummah or Islam that could be misleading or offensive, and forgiveness for my errors. Ameen.

    • Aashiq Hussain

      July 21, 2013 at 3:13 PM

      @Beanigirl, Walaikum Asalam,
      Sister, I am a guy and I know what Hormones can do to you. You are missing @Abez’s point.
      I am going a bit further to explain why I think we should be careful about what our kids wish for. I am not saying you should force kids to wear a veil at 5. I am sure you know our society now has increasing no. of Pedophiles. And I am sure you know how many children are put into prostitution each year around the globe. Why is that? Because beasts inside men want sex with younger girls. It is not insult to men to say that men generally have these beasts in them. What is insulting to men is that there are perverts and pedophiles among us.
      Story of Prophet Yusuf(AS):

      And she certainly determined [to seduce] him, and he would have inclined to her had he not seen the proof of his Lord. And thus [it was] that We should avert from him evil and immorality. Indeed, he was of Our chosen servants. [ Quran 12:24]

      So from that verse we see, Every man(and woman) has a beast inside him, It is called nafs. You need to tame this animal. Verse also suggests, It was not Yusuf’s power to overcome this invitation to the sin by Zulekha. But It was the help/power of Allah that saved Him from this sin. Even Prophets can get temptations let alone men like us. PS: I am NO Way suggesting that Prophets sin. THEY DON’T SIN.

      Don’t let culture corrupt religion. With age children should be taught to differentiate between culture and religion, between pleasing the creation and pleasing the creator, between the want and the need.

      Sister, no one here is saying that men are animals. But there is actually worst than having an animal inside. Animals don’t dribble for sex all year :P Jokes apart, we have that portion of Satan inside us. Most of men are visual animals, they get excited with what they see.

  13. Shahin

    July 18, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    This was so cute mashaAllah; I love the parameters you set! I always had a hard time trying to convince my lil’ sisters not to wear makeup-now I can probably work something out with them as well! May I ask how you deal with nail polish? I was always scolded for wearing it lol so I never knew whether or not it is okay for little girls to wear it for fun.

  14. Abez

    July 19, 2013 at 4:40 AM

    I’m alright with any amount of nailpolish as long as it comes off for wudu and prayer. When wudu and prayer become mandatory for her to start (age 7) then we’ll start putting parameters around it.

    I also try to keep Iman to “kiddie” colors- fresh pastels etc. I steer her away from sexy, bright-red nails, and we always keep our nails trimmed and clean according to the sunnah. Looking well put-together in public is always halal, looking deliberately sexy is always not.

    That’s the gist of it, really. Everything is halal except for when it’s haram. Once we figure that out, making rules for our kids becomes simple because they are the same rules that we, ourselves, live by InshaAllah.

    • umm hasna

      January 21, 2014 at 11:47 AM

      My daughter at 6 wanted to apply nail polish.I told her it was ok and how it should be taken off for wudu n salaah.. which she would start at 7. She applied it eagerly n after a few days asked me to remove it saying she wanted to start salaah

  15. Teri jean

    July 19, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    Make-Up is a Mask. Make-Up Magnifies Beauty. Make-Up is Art. Make-Up Fun. Men are responsible for containing their own lusts. The pressure should not be put on the women. Women are pure and lovely created in the image of God unless they agree with sin and allow alluring, seducing spirits to rule and control their environment. Ignorance is Not Bliss.

    • Abez

      July 20, 2013 at 11:00 AM

      A modest society is a joint responsibility between men and women, very much agree that ignorance is not bliss. :)

    • Moosa

      July 23, 2013 at 10:01 AM

      “Women are pure and lovely created in the image of God”

      Neither man nor woman is created in the image of God. This thought may stem from the Christian world but it holds no Islamic basis.
      And no one is comparable to Him. (Sura Ikhlas)

    • Aashiq Hussain

      July 23, 2013 at 9:12 PM

      No offense to those who wear make-up. I agree that make-up is an art. I call it art of lying. You are lying to others and to yourself that you are perfect after you fill those imperfections with some chemicals. Yes, you should look good but I don’t think anyone is that ugly that he needs some chemicals to fool herself and other that she is perfect.
      There is only one girl perfect in this world today and that is the BARBIE Doll :P

      Come on, women are beautiful creatures already. You are created beautiful. I don’t think man-made junk can make you any beautiful. Besides that, I always say woman’s beauty is known by her heart not face. Have self belief, you are beautiful.

  16. Umm Hadi

    July 19, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    Masha allah…that was awesome…

  17. Virgie P.

    July 20, 2013 at 12:55 AM

    Thank you so much for a thoughtful, insightful, beautifully articulated piece! I’m a Christian who very much admires the seriousness with which Muslims, in general, seem to treat the issue of modesty. I wish that members of my own religion would be more willing to learn from Muslims on this issue. Again, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom!

    • Abez

      July 20, 2013 at 10:58 AM

      You’re very welcome, and I’m so glad you were able to relate. My mother is Christian, and she raised us with modesty and sincerity that were common to both of our faiths. In high school, my best friend was a Jehova’s witness, and one of the first things we had in common where finding and wearing modest clothing. Thank you for commenting. :)

    • Aashiq Hussain

      July 21, 2013 at 2:29 PM

      And when I find a Christian girl/woman is modest It makes me happy. It is like my cousin(Prophet’s saying that Christians are you cousins) is modest.

  18. ahsan arshad

    July 20, 2013 at 5:18 AM

    loved your article and your solution

  19. Kirana

    July 20, 2013 at 8:41 AM

    That’s a very logically consistent approach.

    My mom never really wore makeup, and that, plus the fact that I’m somehow fairly impervious to peer pressure anyway, plus I always have a suspicion of unknown chemicals in cosmetics, resulted in me never really wearing any either. But I understand that more typical females do find playing with makeup a lot of fun! Over time, I’ve conceded skincare and lip balm since they seem to be more ‘upkeep’ sort of products rather than paint. I did wear some when I was married though (and even then only from brands which are certified organic). But generally, I suppose I’m a bit of a hippie at heart, I’m happiest when I don’t have colours on my face! :)

    • Abez

      July 20, 2013 at 10:55 AM

      I understand what you mean about being happiest when in a natural state- the first time a cousin of mine sat down and did my makeup properly, instead of being grateful and awed at her skills, I burst out laughing. I’ve never gotten used to seeing myself with makeup on, but I understand that other people appreciate the effect, so I try to put some on when I can remember to. :)

  20. Ummu Nisreen

    July 21, 2013 at 12:59 AM

    Salam. The article reminded me of what my daughters then aged 8 and 6 asked me the same thing. I did what you did with your daughter and went a little bit further by asking them to use their own pocket money. The good brand and material (that will not cause rashes etc.) can be expensive. This made them think a while weighing the scenario before making any decision.They got some nevertheless, and really experimented with it. After sometime i noticed that they never bothered with the make up anymore. I asked my daughters why they stopped. Both of them agreed that having to apply it everytime after solat/or wudhu’ was really cumbersome and they opined that they never understood why women want to ever put it on in the first place. :) sigh! The fact that their mother never put any make up on must have never occured to them… Alla kulli hal, im so thankful for this article ( jazakilLahu khayran) and when they read it im sure they will at least chuckle and smile at their own ‘silliness’ once upon time and in time teach their little sisters and brothers about women and beauty according to Islam.

  21. Um Taqwa

    July 21, 2013 at 5:35 AM

    I loved this piece. “For now, we’re using makeup the same way we use crayons-” My 4 year old is constantly decorating her face with crayons and says it is lipstick. Unfortunately we ended up rushing to A&E once when she got the crayons stuck up her nose.
    I don’t have anything except kohl, but she sees others wearing nail varnish etc and has asked me to get her some, so I may well do that. In fact as I write she is decorating herself!
    I do have the easy answer of saying you don’t need to wear make-up because mummy doesn’t but I think she is too young to understand my reasons for not wearing it and her cousins wear it so I don’t want to confuse her. Jazakallah again!
    Um Taqwa
    Twitter: @Raising_Mumins

  22. ayesha

    July 21, 2013 at 6:01 AM

    thank you for this well-written and thoughtful article! i have two wonderful boys myself, no girls yet though we’d like to have one inshallah :) but my older boy, who is 7 now, once asked me why i was putting on makeup, because “you look like yourself without it.” reminded me that even with boys, i’m setting an example for them to draw ideas of femininity and womanhood from, and that i needed to be more careful about that example. subhanallah, there’s nothing like parenting to draw out your own unseen flaws and push you to be the best you can be…

  23. Aashiq Hussain

    July 21, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Asalamu Alaikum,
    Masha Allah, Good advice for parents in general and mothers in particular. I am not married and I am dreaming about daughters :) Insha Allah one day it will come true. Butterfly part made me smile, I could imagine a cute face. May Allah bless her with goodness of both the worlds.

    Children are like prophets, 100% innocent, and 100% Muslims like animals and angels, who do the will of Allah only. Never ever be angry at and shout at them. If you wanna correct them use wisdom. Wisdom says teach them by being a living example, like sister in this post did. You might teach them verses from Quran and Hadiths they won’t follow it if you yourself are not following these commands.
    You can find lessons in their innocent talks or questions or things they do. But at the same time we have to be an example. World is full of ‘role models’, Angelina Jolie, Justin Bieber, and many other homosexuals. You better be a role model for your kids. Don’t let TV do baby sitting for you, spend time with them.

    My Allah when will I have kids myself :)

    • Hyde

      July 29, 2013 at 12:21 PM

      Unmarried girls are not the only people that want kids. Fellas want them too! I can’t wait to have little brood of daughters :), five at least.
      Oh I like that line on Angelina, Biber…and homosexuals. The next generation will have to face this.Better you do it than anybody else.

  24. Asma Ahmad

    July 21, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    Great piece mashaAllah! Make up has definitely been a complicated subject for many Muslim women and families. I’ve had the same rules for my younger sister and every now then I see that her lips are slightly more red than usual when going out, but she sticks to them for the most part.

  25. D.I

    July 23, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    Salamu Alaykom Im 21 years old and im wearing hijab but the problem is i love makeup not for look sexy or something but it started when i was a child. I just love different color of lipstick lipgloss and eye makeup. Since i start To wear hijab i wonder if i can wear make up plz help me

    • Aashiq Hussain

      July 23, 2013 at 9:05 PM

      @D.I Walaikum Asalam,
      As long as you keep it to yourself and to your husband and to your mehrams Father, Brother etc. It is OK. And make sure you don’t harm yourself by these chemicals. Another thing, with make-up on your wudu for prayers might not be complete. So make sure you remove make-up before performing wudu. Nail polish for example, won’t let water wet your nails.

      Another thing, Do make yourself addicted to it. I mean life can change anytime, what if your husband couldn’t afford it ? And the money you spent on it can be used for other causes. Give it in charity. After that, when you will look at yourself, you will feel beautiful yourself and to Allah too. You know what I mean.
      May Allah help us to do things that please Him, instead of our ownselves.

      • D.I

        July 24, 2013 at 12:03 PM

        You have right. Thank you for the answer!:)) JazakAllah kahir

        • Aashiq Hussain

          July 24, 2013 at 9:59 PM

          Yes, I am right :))))

  26. aljamaykee

    July 25, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    i loved this article

  27. Minesh

    August 1, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    Beautiful conversations!! I am neither a Muslim nor a Christian….But loved the thoughts really!!!

  28. Areeba Ahmar

    August 1, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    Awesome! Thanks for the insight. :)

  29. fawad khan

    August 29, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    Intresting topic and these type of topic are very necessary for us to educate our own kids!!!

  30. Uzma

    September 6, 2013 at 8:13 AM

    Assalamu-alaikum.Very inspirational article.Thanks for sharing.

  31. Pingback: Three Good Reasons You Shouldn't Give Me Money | Abez |

  32. Bob

    January 12, 2014 at 7:59 PM

    Little girls should not wear makeup because it is bad for skin. Not to mention applying chemicals at such a young age is very bad. Older women may use it since their skin has already been exposed to such things. Also younger people generally have more sensitive skin there fore applying makeup may result in a breakout in acne or worse.

  33. bob

    January 17, 2014 at 10:29 PM

    Makeup is also generally bad for adults too but adults have better resistance to harmful chemicals.

  34. dr farah

    February 28, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    quite an innovative approach

  35. wandpen

    October 11, 2014 at 2:41 AM

    Interesting viewpoint. I like the way you handled it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

MuslimMatters NewsLetter in Your Inbox

Sign up below to get started