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Can I Remove Hair on My Cheeks?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: I have learned that it is haram to get your eyebrows plucked. It is my understanding that one is not allowed to remove any other hair from their face except for upper lip and chin hair, and hair that gives appearance of unibrow.

Recently hair on my cheeks have grown darker and significantly more visible. Is it permissible to remove this hair?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

It is definitely permitted to remove the hair on your cheeks.

Removing such hair has been explicitly allowed in the texts. `A’isha was asked about removing facial hair and replied, “Remove what is unsightly from you as much as you can.” [`Abd al-Razzaq, Musannaf] The scholars of the Hanafi, Shafi`i, Maliki, and Hanbali schools have therefore stated that it would be recommend for a women to remove such hair.

Regarding eyebrows, the Hanafi opinion is in fact not as strict as you have mentioned. Both al-Tahtawi and Ibn `Abidin, two later authorities of the school, clearly state that self-adornment is permitted for women, particularly for their husbands. The prohibition of plucking the eyebrows can be understood as relating to either: (a) when it is done for strangers and/or (b) when it is done without the permission of the husband. [Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar (5:239); al-Tahtawi, Hashiya al-Durr (4:186)] Finally, the extent to which one can trim or pluck their eyebrows returns to two major considerations in the Hanafi school: (a) that it not be excessive such that it seems unnatural and (b) that it not resemble the practice of obscene and immoral women. Determining either returns to the custom of the land one is in.

Scholars of the Shafi`i school also mention that if one’s husband permits it, a woman would be allowed to pluck hair from the eyebrows. [al-Ramli, Nihayat al-Muhtaj (2:25)]

The Maliki school, is even more lenient on the issue. According to leading Maliki scholars, the relied-upon position in the school is the permissibility for any woman – married or otherwise – to remove any hair except the hair on the head. These scholars interpret the prophetic prohibition of plucking eyebrow hair as referring only to women who are prohibited from adorning themselves, such as a wife who has lost her husband and is observing the waiting period. [al-Nafrawi, Fawakih al-Dwwani (2:411)]

Therefore, there is considerable when it comes to this issue.


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