In the intricate tapestry of Islamic teachings, discussions about modesty and personal hygiene unravel a multitude of intriguing matters. Amongst these, lies a topic oft surrounded by secrecy and curiosity – the art of removing hair from our private parts. Delicate and fascinating, this article aims to delve into the depths of Islamic traditions, unlocking the principles and guidelines that govern this intimate aspect of personal grooming. By unpacking the various perspectives surrounding this matter, we hope to foster a better understanding of the practices and beliefs that intertwine faith and personal care within the Islamic framework. Join us on this extraordinary journey, as we navigate the path to enlightenment and explore the nuances of hair removal from our sacred private parts in Islam.
Is shaving public hair sunnah?
The Sunnah indicates that it is prescribed to remove pubic hair and armpit hair. Al-Bukhari (5889) and Muslim (257) narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The fitrah is five things – or five things are part of the fitrah – circumcision, shaving the pubes, cutting the nails, plucking the armpit hairs, and trimming the moustache.”
Why do Muslims shave public hair?
The wisdom behind the prescription of removing the hair from these two places – and Allah knows best – is that removing it helps one to attain a perfect level of cleanliness and prevents what could emanate from them of bad smells if the hair was left without removing it. And there are other reasons and wisdoms behind it.
Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
“These characteristics of the fitrah may serve some religious or worldly interests, that one may notice by reflecting upon the issue, such as:
- improving one’s physical well-being;
- cleansing the body thoroughly;
- taking precautions to ensure purity when doing ghusl or wudu’;
- doing a favour to one’s friends and companions by avoiding unpleasant smells that may offend them;
- differing from the practices of the disbelievers such as the Magians, Jews, Christians and idol-worshippers;
- obeying the command of the Lawgiver;
- preserving that which is mentioned to in the verse in which Allah, may He be exalted, said (interpretation of the meaning), “and [Allah] has given you shape and made your shapes good (looking)” [Ghafir 40:64], because by doing so one is preserving that beautiful image – it is as if the verse implies: I have given you beautiful shapes, so do not distort them with anything that may make them ugly, and take care of them so that they will continue to be beautiful, for taking care of them is a kind of adhering to dignity and maintaining harmony with others, because if a person appears handsome or beautiful, that makes others feel at ease with him, so people will listen to what he says and appreciate what he says, and vice versa.” (Fath al-Bari)
How did the Companions remove public hair?
What was well known at the time of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was that they would use a razor to shave their hair .
Al-Bukhari (5079) and Muslim (715) narrated that Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: We were with the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) on campaign, and when we approached Madinah, we wanted to enter the city straight away, but the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Delay it until we enter at night, so that the one who is dishevelled may tidy herself up and the one whose husband is absent may shave her pubic hair.”
Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Fath al-Bari: This refers to the woman whose husband is absent. What is meant is so that she may remove her pubic hair, and the word used in this hadith refers to shaving, because that is the usual method of removing hair, but that does not mean that it is not allowed to use something other than a razor. End quote.
Al-Bukhari (3989) narrated the story of Khubayb ibn ‘Adiyy (may Allah be pleased with him), in which it says:… when they [the disbelievers who had captured him] decided to kill him, he asked to borrow a razor from one of the daughters of al-Harith so that he could shave his pubic hair, and she lent it to him…
It says in Musnad al-Imam Ahmad (26705), in the hadith of Ma‘mar ibn ‘Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him): … When the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) had slaughtered his sacrifice in Mina, he instructed me to shave his head. So I picked up the razor and stood by his head. The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) looked me in the eye and said to me: “O Ma‘mar, the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) has let you take hold of his earlobe when you have a razor in your hand…”
1. Unveiling the Nuances: Unlocking the Discussion on Removing Hair from Private Parts in Islam
In the realm of Islamic teachings, discussions around personal hygiene and bodily grooming hold significant importance. One such topic that often sparks curiosity and inquiries is the removal of hair from private parts. Delving into the depths of Islamic scriptures and hadiths, we encounter a rich tapestry of guidelines and recommendations, showcasing the holistic approach of Islam towards maintaining cleanliness and purity. Unveiling these nuances brings forth a deeper understanding of the reasons behind certain practices, shedding light on how Muslims navigate the realm of hair removal and hygiene.
Firstly, it is crucial to emphasize that while Islam encourages cleanliness, the removal of hair from private parts is not considered obligatory. Rather, it falls under the realm of personal preference and individual discretion. However, there are merits to practicing hair removal as per the teachings of Islam. It is believed to facilitate ritual purification (wudu) and increase the overall level of cleanliness, allowing individuals to maintain a state of physical and spiritual purity. Moreover, removing pubic hair can also minimize the risk of certain infections, enhance personal hygiene, and contribute to an overall sense of comfort and wellbeing.
- Maintaining cleanliness: Islamic teachings emphasize the importance of cleanliness,
2. Shattering Stereotypes: Delving into the Islamic Perspective on Hair Removal from Intimate Areas
This study examined pubic hair removal practices and associated complications in Saudi women. It adds to the limited data available on pubic hair removal, despite its widespread practice. While there are some research reports in the literature, the majority of these focus on Caucasian, college-aged women from the U.S . The religious etiquettes of Islam specify that removal of pubic hair should be initiated at menarche, and done at least once every 40 days [13, 20]. Accordingly, we found that all respondents removed their pubic hair. Relative to non-Muslim samples, however, we found that pubic hair removal began at an earlier age in this Saudi population (average age 13.5). For example, among 1677 women in the Texas Gulf Coast region, Demaria and Berenson found that the age of initiation for pubic hair removal was 18.35 ± 4.34 years (Mean ± SD) for Hispanic women, 17.52 ± 3.68 years for Black, and 16.40 ± 3.87 years for White women .