The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
Minority beauty norms

Hyderabad, Oct. 8: Muslim women clerics have suggested a set of personal care guidelines to pre-empt hardliners, upholding the idea of comely appearance but forbidding the use of contact lenses, face bleach and hair styling.

According to a fatwa from a university-supported centre here, Muslim women can remove unwanted hair in the face but shaping the eyebrow is an offence under the Shariat. The guidelines also frown upon appearing in public in tight jeans, T-shirts and nightwear.

The fatwa was issued by the Darul Ifta, an organisation for women, set up the Jamia Islamia university here and the Jamiat ul Mominath, which offers courses to women aspiring to become clerics.

The Darul Ifta, which has a panel of three women clerics (muftiyas), is considered the first muftiya-run Muslim organisation in the country. Muftiya Nazeem heads the unit while Muftiya Fazia Rizwan Zareen and Muftiya Sayyeda Fatima complete the group.

Muftiya Nazeem said the fatwa was in response to a query from a woman. “Whether to follow it or not is left to the wise counsel of the people,” she added.

Not all are ready to forgo the choice. Saeeda Begum, an office-goer, said: “Our children also want to live like others and why should not they enjoy the benefits of modern a lifestyle'” She added that the use of contact lens for medical reasons and clipping hair to look presentable should not be opposed.

Farheen Sultana, who runs a beauty salon, said the fatwa would not have a big impact on her young clientele.

The Darul Ifta had decided to take the initiative in view of impediments before several women in discussing such issues with men. “We found it necessary to have an organisation as some militant and unconnected organisations were issuing fatwas about how Indian Muslims should behave themselves,” Muftiya Nazeema said.

A Hyderabad-based organisation had issued a fatwa asking Muslim women to wear burqa even when they were in movie halls.

Email This Page