Ramadan Reflections '13, Day 21: The Frumpy Wife

In email communication with a friend of mine, and my admitting to coming across a writer's block for future topics, she recommended writing about pornography addiction among Muslims. I started to look into this and was astounded at the sheer amount of Muslim-geared information there is on this topic. I figured that it would take a while to write about this, and since it carries a lot of weight/is taboo, it wasn't something I could easily whip up and post.

While I was reading a lengthy article on the Muslim Matters website about pornography, I came across a desperate plea from a brother who was writing about experiences with his addiction. Interestingly, his wife (who wrote in about living with someone addicted to pornography) echoed the same sentiment I'm about to share. I'm not sure why the following caught me so off guard and launched me into deep reflection:

"Please, to all the wives out there, put effort into how you look when your husband is around. Don't slop around the house wearing track pants or sweatpants with no effort placed in your appearance. The home is the one place a husband can see his wife fully beautified, do not deprive him of this." [paraphrased]

Side note: judging from this brother, he wasn't using his wife's lack of effort in her appearance as the reason his addiction. In fact, he said his wife always made sure that she DID look her best. I think he was giving this advice out of desperation, since everything he had tried for 10 years to kick his addiction hadn't worked, and he didn't want even the slightest chance that another couple might go through this too. More on pornography addiction in a future entry.

I was really moved by this thought since it's so true, the home is the only place a Muslim man can see his wife in her fullest beauty. As I blogged about previously, maintaining modesty in public is critical to me, and this holds true whether or not Asif and I are on a date night, a walk, or running errands: my level of modesty doesn't change. And then I thought about what I wear at home and I gasped...I really haven't been placing effort into looking my best! When the workday, workout, errands, family visiting, etc ends, I do relax in comfortable clothing that tends to be an upscale version of sweat pants but not quite like  Lululemon since I didn't pay all that money on their sweat wicking clothing to wear it at home, nooo! No make up at home, my hair usually pulled back...OH NO! I was NOT placing effort into my home self...how could I have not thought of this sooner?! And then I remembered this verse from the Quran (the infamous one!):

And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty...and not display their beauty except to their husbands...And O ye Believers! Turn ye all together towards Allah that ye may attain Bliss (Quran 24:31)

I think that as Muslims, we're so focused on the first part of this verse that we forget to talk about the bolded part that is quite important in marriage. And I'm one of those who forgot until now!

OK, so while I did NOT dress like this at home around Asif, you get the idea!
A few days ago, I excitedly told Asif I was going to try Lush's henna-based all natural hair colour. Yes, colouring one's hair is a giant deal to me, I've rarely done it. His eyes widened at the thought of a change in my appearance and he suggested some other feedback about what I should try. I was stunned! Asif...is giving me...beauty tips?! But then again, it makes sense. He probably has this image of what I should be looking like at home, but I don't, and he's being open about it. My philosophy on beauty is to stay as natural as possible and that less make-up is more, and I guess this has carried over into the home too, and not just in public. I admired his honesty and openness as I made of mental list of his ideas. I was determined to change this around. If I wasn't paying attention to my appearance at home this early in our marriage, I didn't want to think about the ramifications down the road. Prevention, prevention, prevention!

But when I went into deeper reflection, I realized how much modesty even at home was emphasized within my family. Prior to marriage, I shared a space with my family and I would never in a million years imagine venturing away from anything but modest clothing. This is just the way I was raised and I wasn't going to shake the foundation as an adult in her 20s! And then I suppose that even after getting married, I unconsciously brought this same philosophy into our new home without realizing that WAIT...your husband is different and you should be placing attention and care into making yourself look presentable. 

(OK, OK, I know that "presentable" isn't the right term! But since we're talking about a delicate subject matter here, I'd like to maintain written modesty and some level of privacy about our marriage, so let's just go with "presentable" and I assume you know where I'm heading with this without having to S-P-E-L-L it out!)

And of course, let's not forget that husbands also should be dressing and presenting themselves in a way that is attractive to their wives. If baggy white tank tops and oversized basketball shorts aren't um, appealing when you look at your husband, then say so! The effort placed into appearance for a spouse works both ways and not just one.

So, I am now on a quest to make myself look presentable at home, while making sure that Asif is also looking his sharpest around our digs. And since this involves more shopping for me, I am not going to complain one bit!

And Allah knows best.


  1. Awesome post! Just one thing;LUSH henna doesn't colour hair unless your locks are light, but it conditions it nicely!

    1. Thanks for the heads up! I spoke with a few employees and read online reviews, and apparently, if you leave it on your hair for over 5-6 hours, then it does change the colour. My hair is a dark and flat shade of brown, not black, so we'll see!


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