Women whether Muslim or not have certain expectations on beauty put upon them – and one such like it is the social norm to ‘pluck’ or shape the eyebrows.
But is this Haram in Islam?
There a few contentions among scholars regarding the removal of hair from the face and/or brows. But the underlying message is that the removal of hair from the eyebrows for the purposes of beauty is haram because to do so is to change the creation of Allah (swt). The most frequently used hadith to justify or prove this conclusion is this:
Hadith of ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood: (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say: “Allah has cursed the woman who does tattoos and the one who has them done, the woman who plucks eyebrows (al-naamisah) and the one who has it done (al-mutanamisah), and the one who files her teeth for the purpose of beauty, altering the creation of Allah.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5931; Muslim, 2125)
“May Allah curse the tattooer and tattooed; the one who plucks (facial hair) and the plucked; those who split their front teeth seeking thereby adornment, changing the creation of Allah.” (Sahih Muslim)
According to this many scholars say that the An – Naamisah (the woman who removes/reduces the hair of theeyebrows), and the An – Mutanamisah (the woman who asks/has it done) is cursed by the Prophet (saw).
Cutting, Shaving or Trimming
To avoid actual plucking, some women cut, shave or trim the hairs of the eyebrows.
However, scholars say that where by plucking specifically or not it is haram due to the nature changing Allah’s creation.
“Indeed An – Nams (removing facial hair) is not specific to plucking, rather it is general to every changing of the hair which Allah has not allowed, if it is on the face”. Fataawa Ash – Sheikh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (2/830 – 831)
It is said that the only time a woman may cut or shave her brows if it is so excessively thick as to affect her vision.
“Then in (this case) there is no problem with removing that which causes harm”. Majmoo’ fataawa wa Rasaail ash – sheikh Muhammad Bin Saleh Al – ‘Uthaymeen Vol.11 p.133, Daaru-Thuraaya, 1st Edition, Riyaadh 1419/1998
Permission of Husband
Some say that if the husband wants the eyebrows shaped/plucked it is permissible because the husband had a right over the adornment of his wife. (for example Imam Ar Ramli)
BUT, it is well known that if a husband tells his wife or his family to commit a sin, the wife/family should not obey. Therefore this also applies to the plucking of the eyebrows.
“And even if her husband ordered her with it, then indeed she should not obey him for it is an act of Disobedience”. Permanent Committee of Scholars
The Uni – brow & Upper Lip
Is it permissible to remove the hair between the eyebrows?
However others take a stricter view:
There are some different interpretations to the meaning of Al - Nams (removing of facial hair). Some say that this means ALL facial hair whereas others say it is limited to the eyebrows because it is the Al – Naaminsah (the woman who removes/reduces the hair of the eyebrows) and Al – Mutanamisah (the woman who asks/has it done) that the Prophet cursed.
Some scholars say it is permissible because it is not part of the eyebrows.
“It is permissible to pluck it, because it is not part of the eyebrows”. (Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 5/197)
So by this, the upper lip is allowed too. And according to some scholars it is in fact Mustahabb (recommended) – (if a woman develops a beard or moustache).
Hair on other body parts
- Legs, hands, cheeks, or forehead.
These are which there is no mention of in the Quran or Sunnah. Whatever is not mentioned in the Quran or Sunnah is permissible. Scholars of the Standing Committee and by Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen. See Fataawa al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah, 3/879
Again with the However…
Some scholars disagree with this because of changing Allah’s creation:
[Shaytaan said] “and indeed I will order them to change the nature created by Allah” [Surah al-Nisa’ 4:119 – interpretation of the meaning]
So for each varying question about the removal of body/facial hair, there are slightly different opinions. But the clear plucking of the eyebrow to thin or shape is haram.