By Mubarakah Ibrahim
I am a professional, independent, Muslim woman. I give lectures internationally about self-esteem, and self-empowerment for women. I am known for educating Muslim and non-Muslim women alike on the importance of fitness and weight management for health. But for the duration of this “rant”, I mean “article”. I want you to put all that to the side. This one is purely about the aesthetics of being fit.
When I mentioned I bought skinny jeans on my Facebook Fit Muslimah Fan page, I got a flood of comments indicating I was encouraging the haram and how Muslim women should not be wearing skinny jeans because they are too tight, etc. 15 comments were posted in the first 20 minutes. The sad part is not just the fact that Muslims were being so judgmental and assuming the worse immediately (that’s an article for another day). The sadder part is that none of these women who made these comments even thought of the husbands. (Thank you to the 3 women who actually thought of the men)
Okay lets be real for a minute. I don’t care how many times a day a Muslim man goes to the Masjid and prays HE IS STILL A MAN. We cover as Muslim women because we know that the women’s body is alluring to men. We cover because modesty of our bodies is a way of decreasing “fitnah” between men and women in society. We cover, not just in front of non-Muslim men but we also cover in from of Muslim men. So there is no doubt that Muslim men are treated as a “regular men” with desires.
We are blessed to have men who fear Allah and restrain themselves, their gazes and their sexual desires until they get married. And to be honest, I am often irritated with Muslim women who take these God fearing men for granted. Too often we ignore their humanness to excuse our own laziness. We lay crutch on their fear of Allah and desire of the life of the hereafter, instead of trying to help make their life in this world pleasurable with beautiful women.
“The UK Telegraph reported that scientists have found that the attribute that attracts men the most strongly to a woman is her hip-to-waist ratio—meaning they like women with waists that go in, and hips that go out (think: Christina Hendricks and Marilyn Monroe). The researchers who conducted this particular study said the ratio that really gets a guy worked up is a waist that measures about 70 percent of the woman’s hips. In addition, the scientists noted that women with this specific hip-to-waist ratio drew men in, regardless of her breast size. Jessica Alba, Marilyn Monroe and Victoria’s Secret model Alessandra Ambrosio were deemed to have the “perfect” body by the men participating in this particular project.”
Yeah, yeah,yeah, our husbands should love us for our inner beauty. But when he makes love to you he’s not loving your inner beauty, he’s making love to your body and that my dear is all about the pleasures of the flesh. And I don’t mean the extra amount hanging on your belly.
Now I don’t claim to be an expert on men, but I do know this. If you have a husband (or want a husband) who is from a western country, ever spent time in a western country, or even a watching American TV and movies then he’s been exposed to the western idea of beauty. That is a woman who is hourglass shape with smooth, toned body. That doesn’t mean she has to be a size zero. That means no matter what size she is she needs to maintain a healthy weight and keep her body fit. Even men who like “big girls” don’t want “sloppy fat”.
If you live in a western country and your husband ever leaves the house for any reason then he sees, half dressed non-Muslim women every single day, who are attractive and seductive. Then he comes home to a beautiful Muslim wife . . . in a sweat suit claiming she has to be comfortable to vacuum the floor and change a diaper. And like a God loving man he probably doesn’t say anything because we have somehow perpetuated this myth that a Muslim man is somehow less holy if he wants to see his wife in something sexy. Even worse, we have perpetuated an even bigger myth that wanting to be sexy is somehow haram, or imitating the non-Muslim. “HOGWASH, HOGWASH, HOGWASH”
Being sexy is an essential part to being a woman. There is nothing haram about embracing your femininity, feeling desired, and wanting to be wanted. These things are not contradictory to be a Muslim woman, they are in fact the very foundation of our principles of modesty. We teach our girls to cover because “Allah said so” when in fact the commandment to cover is not without reason or foundation. Once a Muslim woman understands and embraces the beauty, sexual power and strength of her femininity then she better understands why covering her physical beauty is that much more important. She knows that withholding the power of her sensuality, allows the power of her mind and her personality to shine that much brighter. You cannot know the full essence of being a Muslim woman until you get to know all the powers we hold.
I heard Sheik Muhammad Said Adly say in a lecture, “The Muslim woman in public should be the most pious woman in the world but in private with her husband she should be worse than the non-Muslim women”. I for one believe he hit it right on the head. In the privacy of our home we should be the epitome of our husbands’ desires, satisfying his spiritual, emotional AND physical needs. We need to get off our butts and make the effort to lose weight and get in shape to make his life easier and more pleasurable.
We quote all these Hadiths about pleasing our husbands when they suit us. But when we don’t want to pass by the Hogendaz aisle then we have selective memory. We want to please our husbands until it means we have sacrifice our time, energy or effort on anything that we don’t want to do, like exercise or diet. I for one feel sorry for the man who has to come home everyday to find his wife in a sweat suit, Abaya or her “comfortable” clothes. I feel even sorrier for the woman he’s coming home to, because she has not gotten over herself to think about her husband.
The bottom line is this. All Muslim women need to get in shape for their husbands or future husbands. Muslim women should embrace their sexuality and learn the art of seduction. Because it is with these two things that we will help our husbands lower their gaze and guard their modesty even more. Yes every Muslim woman should have a pair of “skinny” jeans because they are a reminder how fit or fat you are. And every Muslim wife should treat her husband to watching her fold clothes, vacuum the floor and washing dishes in her skinny jeans. — And if it’s a girl, name her Mubarakah
May Allah forgive me if I said anything wrong and guide us all to the suratal mustakeen – Ameen
This article may be reprinted and posted in its entirety unedited with author’s information.
About the Author: Mubarakah Ibrahim is the owner and head trainer of BALANCE fitness Studio for women in New Haven, CT http://www.balancect.com/ where she offers fitness education, personal training and group fitness classes for women. She is the author of 2 weight loss books, “Fat Loss 10: The 10 Commandments of Fat Loss” and “30 Minute Fat Burn for Busy Women” and has helped thousands of women shed fat and reshape their body using her 30 minute fat burn philosophy.
In her fitness career she has gained a reputation as a leader in innovative fitness for women. Mubarakah is a certified personal trainer and the owner of BALANCE fitness Studio for women in the city of New Haven, CT. She offers personal training and fitness education. In addition, she lectures, promotes and conducts workshops on alternative health, fitness and healthy living throughout the United States. In her fitness career she has gained a reputation as a leader in innovative fitness for women. Her notoriety includes multiple appearances on ABC affiliate WTNH News Channel 8, CBS radio Affiliate WELI Morning Show and has recently contributed to Prevention Magazine on an article for fitness for women over 40. In addition she has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show “Thirty-something in America” and is a referring expert for Prevention Magazine on fitness for women over 40.