By: Salma Khalifa
In a world where beauty products are constantly bombarded through advertising and social media, sometimes it’s best to tone down the noise, put down our wallets, and simply try practicing safer and naturally benefiting beauty treatments.
In Islam, it is taught to appreciate beauty and take care of oneself. Which is why we can look at some of the most natural ways one can beautify themselves by using tips from the Sunnah and past times that are both quick and easy.
1) Miswak (siwāk)
Using a miswak is a Sunnah in Islam as it acts as a natural herbal toothbrush. This is commonly in the form of a small light brown stick, which is directly rubbed on the teeth. By biting and chewing on one end, it separates the fibers and forms a brush like texture, which allows the chemical properties of the wood to be released and taken in.
According to the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) by Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawzijja, when used in moderation, it helps cleanse the teeth, prevent cavities, freshens the breath, along with many other benefits proven by modern scientists, such as killing germs and bacteria. Some studies say it is better for some miswaks to be washed before and after use, and for the brush ends to be cut occasionally.
Kohl is a type of eyeliner that is in the form of a fine dark powder, which is applied usually in the inner surface of the eyelids. Wearing it is an unnoticed Sunnah for both men and women and used as a common adornment. It surprisingly has medical benefits proved by modern science as well.
As the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) is reported to have said “Apply antimony (kohl), for it helps brighten the eye sight and enhances the growth of eye lashes”.
Kohl is typically sold inside a small pit and is applied with a stick with rounded edges. To apply it traditionally, one must moisten the stick with water, olive oil or rosewater before dipping it into the kohl pot. When dipped, shake off the excess powder and begin applying it on a lightly closed eyelid. Make sure to re-apply the powder before applying it to the other eye in order to ensure both eyes have equal amount applied. When the process is complete, the roots of the eyelids near the eyelash area should appear much darker with no noticeable white spaces.
Nowadays, instead of a stick, some people apply it with a simple eye brush. It is also strongly advised that if one wears contact lenses and wishes to apply kohl, then they should apply kohl before applying their lenses.
Henna is a form of body decoration that is in the form of a type of paste. It is made from the leaves of a henna plant, which are dried and crushed into a fine powder, then made into a paste like substance. It is then applied using an applicator bottle or a Mylar cone that looks similar to a small pastry bag, and is used to decorate the skin in absolutely any type of design. The paste stains the top layer of the skin in a brown or orange color, and fades away gradually up to 1 to 3 weeks.
People have used henna for over 5000 years and still use it today to not only naturally decorate their skin, but to dye their hair and fingernails as well. Henna allows for supple skin, strengthens nails, and deep conditions hair. It is a form of beautification that has been popular for decades.
4) Wudhu (Ablution)
One of the most simplest and unnoticed forms of benefiting oneself is act of performing ablution. It is basically washing specific body parts using water before prayer. In the Sunnah, it is advised to not only perform ablution for prayer but also before going to sleep, reciting the Quran and regularly whenever we can.
The benefits of ablution are scientifically proven as well. It contributes greatly towards keeping the health of the individual intact. A few of the benefits are:
- Deeply cleanses skin and keeps it radiant.
In the Islamic point of view, a face that is frequently cleansed by wudhu is considered to radiate noor or light that results in an all-natural glow.
- Helps prevent harmful microbes and diseases in noses.
Allowing water into nostrils during ablution avert the germs and dust trapped inside from entering the body. The washing of the nose during wudhu is confirmed after microscopic investigation, allow people to have significantly less exposure to harmful microbes than the people who do not perform it.
- Helps prevent systematic diseases
Rinsing the mouth in ablution regularly removes food particles and bacteria from the mouth and helps prevent bad breath. This helps massively in preventing the oral health of an individual. According to recent studies, there is a direct link between lack of oral hygiene and systematic diseases, which is why the rinsing of the mouth in ablution regularly acts as a barrier against these diseases.
5) Oiling Hair
This natural oil used can be for example, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, and Pomegranate Seed Oil.
The act of oiling hair is something the Prophet (PBUH) used to carry out in order to keep his hair healthier. It was narrated in a Hadith:
“I heard Jabir bin Samurah being asked about the gray hairs of the Prophet [SAW]. He said: ‘If he put oil on his head they could not be seen, but if he did not put oil on his head, they could be seen.'”
– (An-Nasa’i, Hadith 75)
Oiling hair regularly has also been scientifically proven help prevent hair loss and graying, provides luscious hair by strengthening hair protein, as well as rejuvenates and relaxes the mind by soothing the brain nerves and capillaries. For best results, warm the oil before applying and keep it on for several hours (the longer, the better).
6) Smile More!
As cliché and generic as it sounds, smiling is truly the quickest and easiest way to beautify ourselves as there is no denying its fruitful benefits. According to several studies, smiling gives numerous benefits to our brains, bodies and to people around us as well. Even in Islam, smiling at others is very much encouraged and is yet another simple and unnoticed Sunnah, as there truly is nothing more beautiful and comforting than a face that beams friendliness and positivity.