26 September 2010

Plucking Eyebrows: Permissible or Not????

Question of Fatwa

Dear scholars, As-Salamu `alaykum. I know that plucking
the eyebrows is haram. However, if my eyebrows are very thick and
unwieldy, can I do light shaping to straighten them out? Jazakum Allah

Content of Reply: Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger. Dear sister in Islam, we would like to thank you for the great confidence you place in us and your apparent fear of contradicting Allah’s laws. We implore Allah Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work for His Sake. As regards your question, we’d like to state that Allah wants us to look neat and tidy, and by trying to appear neat and tidy we are not distorting Allah’s creation, rather we are only enhancing it. Therefore, if your eyebrows are unusually thick or unwieldy then you can straighten them out. Elaborating on this, we'd like to cite for you the following Fatwa issued by Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, who states: “The word used in the Hadith is nams in Arabic, which means plucking the eyebrows. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) considered plucking as distorting the creation of Allah. This was the practice resorted to by prostitutes in the time of pre-Islamic jahiliyya (ignorance) and it is still used by women of loose morals. However, scholars who have studied the issue in detail have concluded that if a person’s eyebrows are unusually thick or unwieldy, then he or she can straighten them out. This is not considered nams or plucking. Allah wants us to look neat and tidy, and by trying to appear neat and tidy we are not distorting Allah’s creation, rather we are only enhancing it.”

Dr. Muhammad Bakr Isma`il, Professor of the Exegesis of the Qur'an at Al-Azhar University, adds: “It is known that plucking eyebrows is forbidden. However, some jurists permit light shaping of eyebrows if they are thick and hairy in a way that they harm the eye or appear so wide and thus displease the husband. If it pleases the husband that they are shaped lightly, there is nothing wrong in doing this just to please the husband. As for extreme shaping or plucking, it is not permitted.”
Allah Almighty knows best.

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  1. Thank you for that, I was actually looking for a fatwa on the subject on Islamonline a while back but couldn't navigate the site properly. I had previously read about how shaping the middle part of the brow was permissible if you had a unibrow. Its good to read a fatwa on it because a lot of times I see in blogs a lot of personal opinions that aren't based on any research. Your response has been very helpful =)

  2. I am mixed origin and I have guess what...curly eyebrow hair! It literally curls into the sides of my face and eyes and forehead IF it gets too long and it looks funny and wierd. I always felt that if I just "Let them go" like some muslims assume we should I would look like big foot and pretty soon no attention would be on what I was saying rather what oddity is covering my face. Islam is about balance and beauty, not extremity or deceit. Alhamdoolilah.

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