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Trimming the eyebrows

Can a woman clean her eye brows. Not reshape but clean them up?

Praise be to Allaah.

It is not permissible to remove any hair from the eyebrows, whether it is to make them thinner or to reshape them, or for what is called cleaning, which means removing excess or scattered hairs, because that comes under the heading of plucking which is haraam, and concerning which it is narrated that the one who does it is cursed.

Al-Bukhaari (4886) and Muslim (2125) narrated that ‘Abd-Allah ibn Mas’ood (RadiyAllahu ‘anhu) said: May Allaah curse the one who does tattoos and the one who has a tattoo done, the one who plucks eyebrows and the one who has her eyebrows plucked, and those who file teeth for the purpose of beautification, changing the creation of Allah. News of that reached a woman of Banu Asad who was called Umm Ya’qoob, who used to read the Qur-aan. She came to him and said: What is this that I have heard about you cursing the one who does tattoos and the one who has a tattoo done, the one who has her eyebrows plucked, and those who file teeth for the purpose of beautification, changing the creation of Allaah? ‘Abd-Allah (RadiyAllahu ‘anhu) said: Why should I not curse those whom the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) cursed, when it is in the Book of Allah? The woman said: I have read the Mus-haf from cover to cover and I did not find it. He said: If you had read it you would have found it. Allah says: “And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) gives you, take it; and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it)” [Surah 59 al-Hashr, v:7]. The woman said: I think that I would see something of that on your wife now. He said: Go and look. So she entered upon the wife of ‘Abd-Allah (RadiyAllahu ‘anhu) and did not see anything. She came to him and said: I did not see anything. He said: If that were the case, we would not live with her.

I have come across various Islamic articles & write-ups that have spoken against shaving of hair on eyebrows amongst other areas of the body. I however need clarification on this does this shaving refer to TOTAL shaving? Am I allowed to reduce the amount of hair by mere shaping ? I have very bushy eyebrows that need trimming as it makes my face look crowded.

Praise be to Allah.
We will quote for you the fataawaa issued by the scholars concerning the ruling on removing hair from the eyebrows and hair from the rest of the body.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “If removing hair from the eyebrows is done by plucking, this is namas (plucking the eyebrows) and the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) cursed the naamisah (the woman who plucks eyebrows) and the mutanammisah (the woman who has her eyebrows plucked). This is a major sin, and women are singled out in this ruling because they are the ones who usually do this, for the purpose of beautification. If a man were to do it he would also be cursed, just as a woman is cursed for doing this, Allah forbid.

If hair is removed from the eyebrows by a method other than plucking, such as by cutting or shaving, some of the scholars regard this as being the same as plucking, because it is changing the creation of Allah, so there is no difference between plucking, cutting or shaving. This is undoubtedly more on the safe side, so a person must avoid that, whether man or woman.”

(Quoted from Fataawa ‘Ulama’ al-Balad al-Haraam, p. 577)

The following question was mentioned in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (5/196):

A young woman has very thick eyebrows that makes her look bad. This girl was forced to shave part of the area between the eyebrows and to reduce the rest so that she will look acceptable to her husband.

The Committee replied:

“It is not permissible to shave the eyebrows or reduce then, because that is the namas (plucking) for which the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) cursed the one who does it and the one who asks for it to be done. What you must do is repent and pray for forgiveness for what you have done in the past, and beware of that in the future.

What is the ruling on plucking the hair between the eyebrows?

It is permissible to pluck it, because it is not part of the eyebrows.

(Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 5/197)

And Allah knows best.

Shaykh Muhammad al-Munajjid

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