Saturday, April 23, 2011

Islam Made Me Ugly

Hey Khimar Cuties,
So I am on the computer doing what I love most to fashion blogs and watch YouTube videos, and I am reading some of the comments of some Muslimahs videos and  I see they get bombarded with the same questions.  How do you pray with make-up on? How do you pray with your nails polished? blah blah blah...I saw one sister put a disclaimer that she was actually on her menses to ward of any haterartion!!!! This is crazy!!!
I remember going to Jummah on Christmas Eve meeting a woman who had been a revert for about a week.  The first thing I thought as we started talking was wait until she learns about false nails and nail polish as I looked at her perfectly manicured nails.  I could feel the other ladies eyes going right to her hands as she greeted them.  I have to say I kinda felt sad for her.
As a revert myself I have to say this is an issue that comes up a lot between my girlfriends and I.  That and guhsl (for the black girls out there you know our hair goes through murder if you are married!!!!) My one girlfriends husband even proposed to research the issue of intimacy and guhsl.  Unfortunately his research rendered unfavorable for US.  Anyway I digress....I personally feel that I have struggled with this issue because I have a fashion/makeup background having worked in the cosmetics field for 10 years.  I have to say that my friends ask me often what happen all the time, as I have left that industry and even my own excitement for it.  I stayed at the nail salon, not necessarily getting fake nails but mani/and pedi's which was also my bonding time with my mom and sister.  Now I feel like it is a waste of time and money.  And Allah only knows how my hair has suffered!!! I guess what I am trying to say is that I have yet to meet a happy medium between Islam and completely letting myself go!!! Any advice.....

PS Sorry I am all over the place it is late and I am crazy tired but unable to sleep...


  1. Assalam walaikum Sister,

    The question you pose is such a mouth full and one that every sister probably asks herself at some point in life. I have just gone through the phase that you are going through myself and believe me when I say it never gets easier to overcome that feeling -- then i mean it.

    I suppose the more personal aspect of it would be that I don't think you can ever find a safe place where you feel content with yourself deen-wise. The reason why I say that is because the moment you take in Islam as a whole, especially when taking such a big step like embracing hijab you immediately continuously ponder on how you are not doing even the little that you are doing properly. So, basically the funny thing about all of this is --- when I didn't wear hijab I cared a whole lot less of whether I was wearing sleeveless or showing my behind. However the moment I wore hijab the little strands of hair sticking out from under my hijab many times unintentionally made me even question about where I was headed (heaven or hell) as opposed to how I used to show my hair all my life and didn't give two hoots about it. Point being - it's a struggle and that's exactly what it was meant to be. Now, I don't mean that in a bad way -- i mean that in a good way. It is meant to be a struggle that cannot be perfected because if you could perfect it why would you be on this Earth. However, that's not to say that you can use that as an escape goat, you have to work hard. It's kind of like how our parents tell us you work hard on your end and we'll support you as far as we can on our end -- imagine if our parents are so supportive and merciful then how merciful Allah swt will be.

    I feel as if even now I struggle with the question you have asked. When I go on long drives or even spend a little time by myself I question where my imaan is going? am i even doing anything right? i wear hijab but i wear makeup? or I wear hijab but i look good? Are women even allowed to get out of the house? If i dont wear niqaab then a man can notice me no matter what I wear and therefore I'm committing a sin. That sounds a little far-fetched, but my brain walks off in so many directions.

  2. [[continued]]

    Sister, all I can tell you is what has brought me to some sort of sanity and peace is the fact that I am AT NO PEACE. My husband says that the humility that scholars have is priceless, even though they are the ones that know Islam the best. He says that scholars are humble because they realized after researching everything about Islam, that they know nothing. And, the sooner we all realize that the sooner we'll be on our way to struggle in the path of Allah swt.

    Having said all that, I feel as if makeup, nails, jeans, tight clothes are all a transition. When you grew up your closet did not change overnight --- it took years of shopping. Similarly I believe that it takes time to transition and grasp where you are. Don't pressure yourself to such a point where you will run away from hijab and Islam and or start resenting it. Take it day by day and truly learn how to love this gift from Allah swt.

    From what I gather and I am probably wrong but this is what satisfies me is that Allah swt never said to look ugly, because you are representing Islam 24/7, especially with a hijab. He said to look decent and not strut your stuff. So, instead of making hijab an obstacle make it your strength and inspiration. When I realized that I could not paint my nails, I asked my imaam and he answered WHO SAID YOU CANT? YES, YOU CAN --- JUST BUY THE "WATER PENETRATING NAIL POLISH." He said I would have to do research but things like nailpolish and makeup can all be found to be worn in such a way that you don't have worry about wudu if the water can penetrate to your skin. Just keep doing research and check in with an imaam that understands where you are and tries to work with you. I hope my long rant/response hasn't freaked you out ---but yeah, all im saying is it's a personal journey, so don't freak out when people question you -- they should serve as reminders but not as your decision. Life is Insh'Allah very long provided if you choose to grow in your imaan, but it's super short when you stop trying.



  3. I feel the same way. What's the point of wearing makeup and all that when you have to take it all off for wudu? It's so hard finding a balance! Let me know when you find out :p

  4. ASA thank you ladies for your input.....I guess my real struggle comes with trying to understand who I am as a Muslimah and also trying to help other people in my life understand as well. I know my mom, sister, and long time girlfriends have known me as a certain type of person and to see that change and completely change how they saw me as well....Am I making any sense...probably not....let me say it this way....I was a total fashion, make-up, beauty girl....I mean my friends husband called me "superstar"!! I loved the industry and now I am plain jane. My problem is not even with hijab....I love trying new hijabi styles and covering has its ups and downs (especially when I am in Morocco and its blazin!!!!!) but that part is not the problem. It just seems like I can't get figure it out....I see all kinds of girls around town and in the mosque looking fabulous and I just feel like how come they get it and I can't. what am I missing???
    I am having an "A Ha" moment...maybe its not related to Islam but related to my self esteem?
    Allah HELP ME!!!

  5. so, the question at hand is that deep inside you feel that wearing makeup is not allowed in Islam and that has become a drastic change from where you were before you began embracing Islam fully? Kind of like it's either do hijab properly or dont do it at all -- because wearing makeup is prohibited as well as looking good is too because it'll go against the entire purpose? Is that what this is about?

  6. @ Sobia,
    I guess that is exactly how I feel. I see girls in the mosque all the time with make-up on and with nail polish and wonder how can they have a clear mind praying. And then when I talk to some sisters who are "born" muslim they tell me that oh just make wudu then apply your make up, but I don't know about you, but I can not keep my wudu throughout the whole day!!! And I have some sisters that say I am not going to let me having my nails polished keep me from praying. But then I wonder is it being accepted? Like they consider it to be a lesser sin. Well let me give you some solutions and you can tell me if it is right or not....

    I used tinted gives me some coverage and its easy to reapply....
    I use water resistant mascara
    of course lip stick and gloss are easy to reapply
    So what about this? I know maybe the the mascara...that was actually a recommendation from one of my muslimah friends who told me like it was a no brainer to use waterproof mascara...

  7. okay, I get what youre saying and i go through that all the time. So, like i mentioned before I talked to an imaam and asked him about this problem and his answer was something I was so thankful for. He said to made wudu you just need the ability for water to penetrate to your face and nails. He said he did some research in Canada which is where he was originally based and he said that there are makeup lines as well as nail polish lines that sell products that are water based, which means that they do not compromise the penetration of water. He said that if only people did more research and looked into the TYPE OF MAKEUP they are wearing then they wouldn't have problems or concerns. He said water based nailpolish that do not have chemicals that block water from getting to your nails are now in the market, as well as makeup that is water based. So, I called MAC up asking if their makeup was water based and would let water go through the skin and they were like HECK YEAH! You just have to make sure that your makeup and nailpolish is not waterproof.
    Let me know if you need his email address, you can email him and ask for yourself, but that's what he told a bunch of us girls when we took this concern up with him :) Honestly, don't stress it too much --- just research and find ways to overcome the challenge. You can also just email me and we can talk about this further - i can tell you the makeup i am wearing these days so that I can still make wudu and re-make wudu if need by while wearing makeup.

  8. OMG OK you are like my new best friend!!!! I just got some MAC foundation!!!! Thank you so much!!! Heck yea I want to hear the make-up you are using!!!! Especially about the nail polish!! I wonder if this Imam can give some insight into intamacy and ghuls??? Man, I would be so shy to ask....I swear Morocco is the only place to be if you want to keep your hair straight!!! I mean were else can you get a blow out for $5 !!!! LOL Can I give you ALL my problem to resolve???? LOL

  9. haha so the whole ghusl and intimacy thing has crossed my mind a couple of times with me being a sister with hair that is not easy to tame. I'm not even married yet, but for future reference, i'm just a little concerned about having to make ghusl. If you ever find a solution to that issue please let me know lol.