Can a lady wear a make up when her suitor comes to see her?
Islamic Rulings On Lady Wearing Make-up to meet her Suitor
All praises and adorations be to Allah.
Islam doesn’t allow a woman to show her adornment except to those whom Allaah has mentioned in the verse (interpretation of the meaning):
“Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what they do. And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which necessarily (like both eyes for the necessity to see the way, or outer palms of hands or one eye or dress like veil, gloves, headcover, apron) appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.”
[Noor 24 verses 30-31]
The suitor is not one of these, rather he is only permitted to look for the purpose of proposing marriage, and the woman does not have the right to adorn herself for him.
Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may the mercy of Allah be on him) said: It is permissible for the suitor to see the woman to whom he is proposing marriage, but that is subject to some conditions:
i – That he needs to see her. If there is no need then the basic principle is that a man should not look at a woman who is a non-mahram to him, because Allaah says “Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things)” [Noor 24:30].
ii – He should have made up his mind that he wants to propose. If he is not sure then he should not look, but if he has made up his mind then he may look, then he should either go ahead or give up the idea.
iii – This looking should be without being alone with her, i.e. it is Important that she has one of her mahrams with her, either her father, brother or Uncle. That is because being alone with a non-mahram woman is not permissible in Islam, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No man should be alone with a woman without a mahram being with them.” And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Beware of entering upon women.” They said: O Messenger of Allaah, what about the in-law? He said: “The in-law is death.”
iv – He should think it most likely that she and her family will accept. If he does not think that is most likely, then there is no point in looking in this case, because his proposal will not be accepted, whether he looks at her or not.
Some scholars stipulated that his desire should not be provoked when looking and that his aim should be only to find out. If his desire is provoked then he must stop looking because before the marriage contract is done with a woman, it is not appropriate to enjoy looking at her, so he must refrain. In this situation the woman must come out to the suitor looking ordinary; she should not come out wearing beautiful clothes or makeup, because she is not yet his wife. Moreover, if she comes to him looking beautiful and wearing her best clothes, then he may propose because he might be deceived by her look the first time he looked at her, then he will later find out that she is not as she appeared to him at first.
Fataawa Noor ‘ala al-Darb
Ibn Uthaymeen (may the mercy of Allah be on him) indicated that this may have the opposite effect, because if he looks at her when she is wearing makeup and fine clothes, he may see her as more beautiful than she really is, and in that case when he enters upon her following the wedding and sees her as she really is, he may not like her and develop hatred in her.
In a nutshell: If a suitor comes to a woman it is permissible for her to uncover her face and hands and head and that which usually appears, according to the correct view, but without wearing any cosmetics or adornments.
Almighty Allah Is all Knowing.