In order to give an overview regarding the above and familiarize women of other faiths with this way of life, research reveals an over overwhelming amount of information being available. Therefore the writer must state that the views reflected are not necessarily those of her own.
ISLAM is an holistic way of life and generally forbids partaking of anything harmful to physical, mental and spiritual well-being.
Depending on circumstances, women do face restrictions such as the need to cover the body, are generally expected to be more house-bound, have less freedom in employment opportunities and have to pray behind men, by no means a chauvinistic attitude, but due to the fact that the ritual of prayer involves bowing and prostration.
In following the Qur'an women are not encouraged to be exhibitionists, should remain pious and moral and avoid all forms of nudity. A beauty contest for Muslim women held in Indonesia was therefore quite an extraordinary event, but took on a different flavour to those held in the west.
The pageant contestants wore designer hijabs [traditional garb to cover the body] and recited from the Koran to the audience, giving views on ISLAM in the modern world. No wonder devotees of the faith took to the streets, even labelling the event as "a pageant for whores".
Muslim women immigrating to western countries often struggle to balance western freedom and Islamic culture and restrictions of their faith bring religious and societal pressure.
The cuisine of the middle east has long held fascination for westerners with exotic inclusions in recipes like figs. Dates, pomegranates, honey and sesame seeds, not forgetting a variety of tantalizing spices.
Within the faith; foodstuffs , pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and other products which are acceptable are named Halaal, those to be avoided; haram.
Alcohol, illegal drugs, gelatine, glycerine, pork, cholesterol and many others are classified as haram, in other words forbidden in ISLAM.
If all that is revealed up to this point appears highly restrictive, women do in fact have access to a wide range of cosmetics which are free of animal ingredients.
ISLAM actually states "Beauty is something that everyone possesses, knowingly or unknowingly and that beauty and religion need not be a conflict in one's daily life".
Many unusual products, unknown in the west are used, such as African black seed and mango butter soap, African shea butter, olive and green tea preparations, henna paste and pomade and khol based eye makeup. Denatured alcohol is derived from a corn source and lipsticks are manufactured from natural mineral oils, excluding parabens, alcohol and animal products.
As in ancient times, Muslims through out the world continue to use fragrant oils for a multiple of reasons, especially those having religious significance.
MATSIMELA can well identify with the sentiments of ISLAM regarding toiletries and strictly does not use ingredients that have been tested on animals