#505: Women Putting on Lipstick and Make-Up


Assalamualaikum w.b.t. Is it permissible for women to wear lipstick and make-up when they went out of their houses to not look sloppy and untidy? Hope for an explanation.



Waalaikumussalam w.b.t.

Alhamdulillah, praise and gratitude to Allah SWT for His countless blessings for us all. Praise and salutations to our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions and all those who follow his footsteps until the Last Day.

We begin with the statement of Allah SWT:

وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا

“And not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof,” [1]

Sayyid Qutb stated that the permissible adornment for women is to fulfil their natural desire. Every woman naturally wants to be beautiful and pretty. Although the adornments are different from one time to another, however, the basis of the adornment is the same in women’s natural desire, that is to perfect and complete their beauty and show it off to the men. Islam is not against this natural desire however; it controls and governs it. Islam wants to channel towards a clear path and that is solely towards her husband who is her life’s partner who is allowed to look at any parts of her body that are prohibited other than her husband. [2]

Basically, the original ruling for clothing and adornments is permissible whether it is on one’s body, clothing or place. However, the ruling remains the same – halal and permissible – as long as there are no specific evidences that exempted the original ruling. [3] Thus, the ruling of wearing lipstick and other make-up is permissible as long as there is no other evidence that shows otherwise. This is based on the general statement of Allah SWT:

هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ لَكُم مَّا فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا

“It is He who created for you all of that which is on the earth.” [4]

However, there is a limitation in this matter. It should be reminded and a woman should be cautious to avois tabarruj. Al-Syaukani stated that al-Tabarruj is to showcase and display – adornments and beauty – for others eyes – to look and enjoy. [5] Allah SWT states:

وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَى

“And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance.” [6]

Al-Maraghi said the prohibition of showcasing the adornments and beauty of a woman to men was done by the women during the time of ignorance (Jahiliyyah) before the arrival of Islam. [7] Likewise, al-Syaukani when interpreting the above verse stated that al-Tabarruj is when a woman shows a part of her adornment and beauty that (should) is obligatory to be covered, of which it could attract the attention of men – that is their desires. [8]

Excessive beautifying oneself for a woman is only permissible for her in front of her husband. In this matter, showcasing adornments and beauty to anyone who shouldn’t see her in such a state such as wearing tight clothing that showcases her body shape and others. Then, it incites the desires of those who look at her, the scholars said that the ijma’ for this is that it is prohibited except for only her husband. [9]

Hence, the act of tabarruj is the norm for jahiliyyah women. Hence, we say that it is included in the act of tabbarruj when a woman wears excessive make-up which such an act can attract ajnabi men and leads to fitnah. This is prohibited in the religion. As for wearing lipstick and minimal make-up to look proper and tidy (not sloppy and improper), glowing and not pale not to attract ajnabi men, then it is permissible.

Furthermore, women are impermissible from showcasing their beauty to men other than their husbands and some people as stated in verse 31 Surah al-Nur as stated by Allah SWT:

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

“And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.” [10]

Al-Sa’di interpreted the phrase “إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا” (that which [necessarily] appears thereof) in the above verse as apparent clothing that is what is customary or usually worn on the condition the clothing doesn’t lead to fitnah. [11]


According to the above discussion, in our opinion, if a woman is wearing lipstick that is not brightly coloured or wearing thin appropriate make-up – which means it is not excessive – then this is permissible as long as it does not lead to fitnah or attract the attention of men or incite desires. Especially, when wearing lipstick or other make-up is common and nit considered weird. Moreover, Islam itself emphasizes cleanliness and personal hygiene as well as tidiness as narrated by Ibn Mas’ud where the Prophet PBUH said:

إنَّ اللَّهَ جَمِيلٌ يُحِبُّ الْجَمَالَ

“Allah is Beautiful, He loves beauty.” [12]

As for wearing or putting excessive make-up on that attracts the attention of ajnabi men or leads to fitnah, then it is prohibited, for it is included in the prohibited act of tabarruj. The reason is excessively showcasing the beauty of a woman is only permissible in front of her husband.

Ay Allah SWT grant us all a clear understanding in religion. Ameen.

Wallahu a’lam.



[1] Surah al-Nur: 31

[2] See Fi Zilal al-Quran, 4/2512.

[3] See al-Fiqh al-Manhaji, 3/89-90.

[4] Surah al-Baqarah: 29

[5] See Fath al-Qadir, 4/61.

[6] Surah al-Ahzab: 33

[7]  See Tafsir al-Maraghi, 22/6.

[8] See Fath al-Qadir, 4/320.

[9] See al-Mausu‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah al-Kuwaitiyyah, 10/62.

[10] Surah al-Nur: 31

[11] See Tafsir al-Sa‘di, pg. 566.

[12] Narrated by Muslim (91)