Clear, smooth and healthy skin is one of the important elements in beauty. Utilizing herbal products as well as useful oils are common in skincare. Islamic narrations all clarify the importance of skincare. Imam Ali (A.S.) says:
Imam Baqer (A.S.) mentions advantages of using oils as follows:
“Using oils at night time is absorbed by the vessels, hydrating the skin and brightening the face”
Therefore, skincare and beauty is highlighted in Islam which must be protected through oils and creams. It should be noted that using creams when appearing in the society depends on religious and traditional standards.
An important factor in direct contact with skincare is washing up the skin in the shower. Imam Reza (A.S.) mentions interesting points in relation to the matter, some of which are expressed here.
First example: Soleiman Jafari says: “I fell ill so badly that I lost flesh of my body; when I had the chance to visit Imam Reza (A.S.), he said: “Would you like to have your body’s flesh back once more?” I said: “Yes.” He said: “Take a shower so that the flesh finds the way to your body; however, if you do it much you may fall ill with tuberculosis.”
Second Example: Soleiman Jafari says:
“Imam Reza (A.S.) said: “Taking a shower every other day adds flesh to the bones yet a bath everyday burns the fat around the kidneys”
Samen Al-Hojjaj (A.S.) has interesting pieces of advice on skincare. He says:
“Whenever you decided to take a shower without a resulting headache, drink 5 sips of hot water beforehand, this way the Lord sets you safe from headache. Some has said to pour 5 sips of hot water on your head; you need to know that bath has a structure similar to the body, i.e. as the body has 4 tempers, the same goes for the bathroom: firstly, it’s cold and dry; secondly, it’s cold and wet; thirdly, it’s warm and wet; fourthly, it’s warm and dry.”
Nails are one of the divine blessings and a symbol of beauty in humans. Its element of beauty for women is mentioned in some narrations. Imam Sadeq (A.S.) quotes Prophet Mohammad saying:
“He said to men to shorten their nails and to women to keep them long as they are more beautiful for you”
Religious leaders have insisted on nail care mentioning a variety of advice on shortening them. Imam Ali (A.S.) says:
“Shortening the nails prevents diseases and opens the doors of livelihood”
Therefore, shortening the nails and paying attention to its hygiene is more recommended for men. On the other hand, despite keeping the nails long is a sort of adornment for women, following hygiene and Islamic laws in society is essential.
Eyes are sensitive and delicate organs of the body which play an important role in humans’ beauty. Orders are given in Islam for safekeeping of this organ. Imam Sadeq (A.S.) advises people of wearing Sormeh day and night, each of which comes with a reason:
“Wearing Sormeh at night is useful while at day it’s beautiful for humans”
The Lord has defined a series of tasks for women in the Holy Quran:
“And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what [must ordinarily] appear thereof;”
However, the verse continues to mention “except what appears thereof.” Interpreters have mentioned narrations which express exceptions. In a quotation from Imam Sadeq (A.S.), Sormeh and ring are named as the adornments in appearance.
One of the factors paid attention to by Imams, including Imam Reza (A.S.), is wearing Sormeh. Imam Reza (A.S.) notes rules for the action saying: “anyone who has weak eyesight shall wear it at bedtime: 4 times in the right eye and 3 times in the left one; this helps growing the eyelashes while strengthening the eye.”
Nader Khadem says: “Imam Reza (A.S.) said to one who was sitting by him to wear Sormeh; then, it got clear that the man does not beautify himself at home, therefore Imam said: “Show piety and don’t leave wearing Sormeh.
Not only do clean and sparkling teeth present signs of physical health but also they affect one’s appearance. Messenger of Islam (A.S.) says:
“So much did Gabriel ordered me to brush my teeth I thought he is to make it obligatory”
On the other hand, foul smell of mouth is an obstacle to interact with people while good smell of the mouth as well as teeth hygiene provides the grounds for better communication. Islam pays a close attention to social interactions. In Islamic viewpoint, the importance of good smell of a Muslim’s mouth is so much that in spite of Islam’s various orders for presence in the mosque, the one whose mouth smells foul, such as the smell of garlic or onion, is not allowed to be present in the mosque.
Abu Ayub Ansari was hosting prophet Mohammad (A.S.) once. He prepared a food including garlic and onion for the prophet; however, prophet rejected to eat. When he asked for the reason, prophet answered: “the food was denied due to its smell.”
Moamar Ibn Khalad says: “Imam Reza (A.S.) notes: “It’s unacceptable for a person not to smell well even for one day; if he can’t afford it, he shall do it every other day; if not, he shall wear perfume on the weekend.”
Imam Reza (A.S.) reminds us of health issues, like an expert physician, talking about oral health:
“Brushing empowers eyesight, growing hair and stops eye drops. The best thing to brush with Salvadora, which cleans the teeth, freshens the mouth, and strengthens the gums. When consumed moderately, it’s useful against tooth decay; however, overconsumption leads to thin, loose teeth with weak roots.”
Additionally, Momar Ibn Khallad narrates Imam Reza (A.S.), when residing in Khorasan, would stay in his morning prayers altar, would take out a porch of brushes, use all of them; then, he would chew some frankincense, after which he would recite verses of Quran.”
Appearance beautification is not limited to what’s visible, yet good smell is considered as a form of beauty as well. Presence among people comes with some etiquettes; smelling good is one of the mentioned etiquettes which is noted by the enlightening religion of Islam. It is mentioned in Prophet Mohammad’s tradition that he was spending more on perfume than edibles. Prophet Mohammad was wearing perfume and musk so much that in dark nights he would be recognized by that. Imam Sadeq (A.S.) describes Prophet Mohammad’s (A.S.) tradition of wearing perfume as follows:
“The Messenger of God (A.S.) were spending more on perfume than food”
The same is mentioned about Imam Sadeq (A.S.) whose altar in the mosque was clarified because by his smell of perfume. Imam Sadeq (A.S.) mentions two postures of prayers with good smell much better than 70 ones without that.
An interesting point which noted here is the fact that extravagance is considered to be unacceptable in Islam; however, imam Sadeq (A.S.) names the expenses to purchase perfume not an act of extravagance saying:
“What’s spent for good smell is not extravagance”
A variety of Hadiths are quoted from Samen Al-Hujjaj (A.S.), some example of which are mentioned here:
• First Example: Vasha’ quotes Imam Reza (A.S.) saying:
“Imam Sajjad (A.S.) had a box for musk filled with perfumes which he would wear whenever he was to leave home.”
• Bezenti quotes Imam Reza (A.S.) saying:
“Smelling good is a tradition of Prophets.”
• Third Example: Yasser the Servant quotes Imam Reza (A.S.) saying:
“Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H.) said: “Gabriel told me to wear perfume every other day and never leave it on Fridays””
• Fourth Example: Imam Reza (A.S.) says:
“Imam Ali (A.S.) says: “Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H.) offered me a flower himself. When I was on the verge of smelling it he said the flower was the best after Jasmine in Paradise.””
• Fifth Example: Imam Reza (A.S.) says:
“Imam Sadeq’s (A.S.) location in the mosque was known for its good smell among people.”
• Sixth Example: Mohammad Ibn Yahya Sulli says: “One day we were guests at Imam Reza’s (A.S.) house. Indian Scent was burning in his house. Imam decided to go out but he wore rosewater and musk before leaving.”
The surrounding air is filled with smells that convey a variety of messages to us and sense of olfactory, mostly, helps us in formation of others’ views about us unconsciously. Good smell has great effect in making the environment pleasant. Fragrance is a powerful factor in making an interesting illustration of an activity. Attractive odor is an element which is indirectly effective in people’s processes of evaluation. On the other hand, unsuitable smells affect values and positive sides of the environment, leaving a negative mark behind.