Question: Can I dress up for my husband outside of the house? Is it permissible to carry out surgical and/or non-surgical procedures to make myself look younger?
Thank you for your important question.
May Allah make you and all believing women beautiful in His eyes and in the eyes of their husbands.
Beautification is sunna for women, and in the house, you can do whatever you like to be as attractive and beautiful in his eyes. In public, it is forbidden to wear tight or revealing clothes, but you can use Kuhl or elegant clothes even if they are colorful.
As for surgical procedures, that would only be permissible as corrective surgery. Any non-surgical procedures would be halal as long as they do not have any short- or long-term harm.
It is of the God-consciousness [taqwa] of the wife and her husband to wear a proper hijab outside of the house, or in front of non-immediate relatives [non-mahrams].
Surgical procedures entail changing the way Allah created you, and this is forbidden unless it is done as corrective surgery.
You should also read:
Complications and management of breast enhancement using hyaluronic acid
Keeping up with Barbie
It is, unfortunately, the case that many men think that women are or can become human Barbie dolls. This neurosis is exacerbated by the sex industry and the media in general.
The reality is that women are not walking talking Barbies (and men are not usually as handsome as Ken or as heroic as any Box Office action hero). We live in the real world, with real men and women, who all have pros and cons, both physically, emotionally, and religiously.
It is utterly imperative that we all acknowledge this, and live our marital and sexual lives in a mature and realistic way. If we don’t, we will never be satisfied with ourselves, our spouses, and the blessings that Allah has granted us.
Not doing so and continually looking for what else we imagine exists out there leads to being ungrateful for the blessings that Allah has bestowed us. Allah Most High has said, ‘And were you to count the blessings of Allah, you would not be able to: Indeed, man really is a gross wrong-doer and an inveterate ingrate.’ (Qur’an, 14: 34)
And the opposite — to be content with what one has, and not keep looking at the greener “other side” — is the means to happiness and gratitude. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘Look at those who are below you and don’t look at those who are above you, for that way you are less likely to discount what Allah has blessed you with.’ (Bukhari and Muslim)
So one should look at the countless blessings one has, and look at the good points in one’s spouse. ‘Live with them in accordance with what is fair and kind: if you dislike them, it may well be that you dislike something in which God has put much good.’ (Qur’an, 4:19)
It is normal as a wife, or husband, to feel at times that one is not quite the woman or man that one’s spouse is looking for. This is unavoidable. We do not live in Paradise, and expecting our lives and relationships to be paradisiacal is not realistic.
Rather we should try our best to be that which we can be — emotionally, physically, and spiritually — and be accepting of our spouses as long as they are trying their best too.
Talking things out, and setting realistic and halal measures to better the relationship is very important. Some things can change naturally, and sometimes we can guess what we need to change, but nothing beats having a proper one to one conversation.
Tell your husband that you really want to look nicer for him, so that he doesn’t feel that you are turning down his wishes, but at the same time don’t do any surgical procedures (since by default they are forbidden), and don’t do any non-surgical procedures that may affect your health or that of the baby.
Try and act like you are more interested in him physically (even if you are not), and make him feel that you appreciate him being around. He may well just be saying these things because he can’t express his dissatisfaction with other aspects of your life. Try to get to the core of the problem.
Talk to him in a kind and receptive way, while being very frank about the reality of your body, your pregnancy, and your staunch adherence to what is halal. Make it clear that you are on his side, but that you are not willing to do something forbidden or unrealistic to keep him happy.
Be ready for some level of immaturity: if he is as you explained, he may not take any of what say seriously, and still want you to be aesthetically perfect despite the fact that you are human, and on top of that, pregnant. You just have to make sure that you have expressed yourself clearly, and wait for him to absorb the ideas.
Unfortunately, you also have to be ready to have your emotions hurt now and then. There isn’t really any way out of it. Even the wives of the best of creation, the Prophet (upon whom be blessings and peace) sometimes felt that other women were more attractive in his eyes: he did have multiple wives after all.
The pain of jealousy is not always avoidable. But there is a difference between consistent and intentional affronts to your looks and the very occasional sense of not being the apple of his eye. The first has to be weeded out through frank conversations and/or counseling. The second is just part of life. And remember that men get jealous too.
It is narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘Indeed, Allah has prescribed that women should bear the weight of jealousy and that men should bear the weight of jihad. Whosoever of them [women] is patient, believing in Allah, and seeking reward from Him, will have the reward of a martyr. (Bazzar and Tabarani)
Try your best, be as affable and hopeful as possible, and don’t get too sad. Marriages can change 180 degrees.
There is also a good book to read which is Yasmin Mogahed’s Reclaim your Heart. You cannot, and should not, detach your heart from your husband, but he also shouldn’t be the Kaaba of your existence.
[Ustadh] Farid Dingle
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language