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Can a Man Shave His Armpits? What About Other Areas of His Body?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

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Question: Assalam alaikum,

Can a man shave his armpits? What about other areas of his body?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

1. Removing the hair from one’s chest or back is against proper manners for men. [ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya]

2. The scholars note that removing the pubic hair is a sign of the Muslims. [al-Kasani, Bada’I al-Sanai’] The mother of believers Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) related that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said that removing the pubic hair is from one’s natural disposition. [Muslim]

The area that is intended is what is above the male or female front private part (and what surrounds it) up to the navel. [ibn Nujaym, al-Bahr al-Raiq; Tahtawi, Hashiyyat al-Tahtawi]

Any means used to remove the hair is permissible, such as shaving, waxing, or plucking, on the condition that it achieves the overall purpose of cleanliness. [Tahtawi, Hashiyyat al-Tahtawi; ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

The ruling for how often one should remove the hair is as follows:

a. recommended: every week, preferably on Fridays

b. permissible: every 15 days

c. prohibitively disliked (sinful): to leave beyond 40 days

[al-Nahlawi, al-Hadhr wa al-Ibaha]

The hair within the pubic area and armpits should be removed. It is disliked to leave this till the hair becomes long.

It is recommended that this be done weekly, ideally on Friday (before the Friday prayer). It is not disliked if this done at least once every 15 days. It is blameworthy if not done within 15 days, and sinful beyond 40 days.
[Tahtawi, Hashiyat al-Tahtawi `ala al-Maraqi al-Falah]

The wisdom behind this law of the Shari`a is apparently cleanliness. However as with all other laws of the Shari`a this is merely according to our understanding. There may be many other wisdoms that we are unaware of. The law has to be carried out – even if the wisdom is not understood.

Please see: Removing Chest & Pubic Hair

And Allah alone gives success.


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