sistersI 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.

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. One of the reasons we cover as Muslim women is 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 front 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. 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 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”

jilbabwalk Being sexy is an essential part of 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.

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 aHaadeeth about pleasing our husbands when they suit us. But when we want to pass by the Hogendaz aisle then we have selective memory. We want to please our husbands until it means we don't have to 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. Because it is with this 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 Straight Path – Aameen.