Is Plucking Eyebrows Haram

In the realm of beauty and personal grooming, eyebrows play a significant role in enhancing one’s appearance. They frame the eyes and can greatly impact one’s overall look. However, there is often a debate within the Islamic community about whether plucking eyebrows is considered haram or permissible.

This question delves into the intersection of religious beliefs and personal choices, making it a topic of interest and discussion among many Muslims.

In this article, we will explore the concept of plucking eyebrows in Islam, its various interpretations, and the factors to consider when making a decision about this common grooming practice.

So, let’s delve into the intriguing world of eyebrows and Islamic teachings to find out whether plucking them is indeed haram or not.

What is Plucking Eyebrows

Plucking eyebrows is a method of shaping the eyebrows by removing individual hairs using tweezers. This process often involves marking out the edges of the eyebrows and using tweezers to remove hairs that fall outside of the desired shape. It’s typically done to clean up the brow area and create a more defined eyebrow shape.

One important aspect of plucking eyebrows is preparing the skin. Softening the skin around the brows, such as by taking a shower, can make the hairs slide out more easily and reduce pain, as plucking dry and stiff skin can be more painful.

However, plucking can be uncomfortable and even painful, particularly when removing hairs closer to the upper eye area. Some find the process of plucking, which involves pinching and pulling hairs, to be unpleasant enough to discourage them from completing the task.

Over-plucking can be harmful and should be avoided. Plucking eyebrow hair excessively or every day can damage the skin and may even lead to scarring. This can prevent the hairs from growing back and result in thinning of the eyebrows over time.

To achieve a nice brow shape without causing damage, it’s important to use the right technique and equipment and to avoid over-tweezing.

Is Plucking Eyebrows Haram

In Islamic teachings, the act of plucking eyebrows, known as “al-namas” in Arabic, is considered haram. This prohibition is based on the belief that such an action amounts to altering the creation of Allah, which is discouraged in Islam. The term “namas” refers specifically to the plucking of eyebrows or facial hair.

Prophet Muhammad is reported to have specifically cursed those who engage in plucking eyebrows. This is understood as part of the broader Islamic principle against changing the natural creation of Allah​​​​​​.

It was narrated that ‘Abdulleh said:

“The Messenger of Allah cursed the woman who does tattoos and the one who has them done, and those who pluck their eyebrows and file their teeth for the purpose of beautification, and those who change the creation of Allah.”‘

Sunan Ibn Majah 1989

However, there is a distinction made between plucking and trimming eyebrows.

While plucking is categorically forbidden, trimming the eyebrows is allowed under certain circumstances, such as if they are excessively long. This exception seems to be widely recognized among Islamic scholars​​.

Moreover, there is an important exception to the ruling that plucking eyebrows is forbidden. Imam al-Nawawi, a prominent Islamic scholar, states that if a woman develops facial hair in areas typically associated with men, such as a beard or moustache, it is not considered haram to remove this hair. In fact, in this specific case, he views the removal of such hair as mustahabb, which means recommended or desirable within Islamic law.

Imam al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

“The namisah is the woman who removes hair from the face and the mutanammisah is the one who asks to have that done. This action is haram, unless a woman develops a beard or moustache, in which case it is not haram to remove it, rather that is mustahabb in our view.”

(Sharh al-Nawawi li Sahih Muslim, 14/106)

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it haram to pluck unibrow?

The practice of plucking the hair between two eyebrows in case of a unibrow is not haram. This ruling is based on Fatwa al-Lajnah al-Daimah, 5/197, that states that the hair between the eyebrows is not considered part of the eyebrows themselves. Therefore, removing it does not fall under the general Islamic prohibition against altering the eyebrows for beautification purposes.

2. Is cutting eyebrows haram?

Trimming stray hair that are naturally out of shape or fall outside the natural eyebrow line is generally considered permissible as it doesn’t alter the overall shape of the eyebrows.

3. What is the punishment for plucking eyebrows in islam?

Plucking the eyebrows is categorized as a major sin in Islam. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) cursed those who engage in this practice. However, specific earthly punishments are not detailed in the texts​.

4. Is plucking eyebrows harmful?

From a health perspective, plucking eyebrows can have short-term and long-term consequences. Over-tweezing can damage the hair follicles, potentially leading to permanent hair loss in the area. It can also cause inflammation of the skin, resulting in discoloration.

5. Is threading eyebrows haram?

Similar to plucking, threading the eyebrows is prohibited in Islam unless there is a specific necessity. Such necessities include cases where it becomes a deterrent for a husband’s attraction to his wife, or if the eyebrows are extremely bushy or connected in a way that is seen as defective. In these exceptional circumstances, slight modification of the eyebrows may be permissible.
Mohamed J

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