Question: I’m a 14-year-old Muslim boy that reached puberty during grade 5 or 6 when I was 11 years old. Pubic hair appeared at 12, and it has increased since. I also had ejaculation when I was 12 after a health check-up. I heard that pubic hair has to be shaved every 40 days. I haven’t shaved because I find it embarrassing for my family to find out that I am shaving there as I don’t think they are aware of my puberty. I tried it when I was home alone, but I got injured, and I’m scared to try shaving again. Any suggestion? I also go for yearly check-ups with my parents, and they do a complete physical. The female doctor also checks my private parts. My mother was nearby, and I’m afraid that she might have seen the hair. After my first ejaculation, I didn’t know what it was and didn’t perform ghusl for a long time. After discovering that I was supposed to do it immediately, is all of this permissible, and were my prayers accepted?
Thank you for your question. I understand your confusion and embarrassment in dealing with puberty at such a young age. This transition is not easy, and optimally someone should have guided you at every step instead of you figuring it out on your own.
Know that your first ejaculation at the tender age of twelve means that you became morally responsible and that you must fulfill your obligations like an adult. This is regarding praying on time, fasting, paying zakat, keeping away from haram food, backbiting, and so forth. A ghusl became obligatory after the ejaculation, and anything that you prayed before the ghusl would not count. You must have taken a shower within a week or so of the ejaculation, so you were probably purified from that. Did you know about ghusl at all during that time? Did you take a sunna ghusl for the Friday Prayer? See this link:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/the-age-of-puberty-and-estimating-makeups-qada/ From this point on, make sure that you make a valid ghusl after any wet dream or ejaculation. See this link:
Shaving pubic hair
Please see these links for details. You may not leave pubic hair untrimmed beyond 40 days, and I highly recommend using a beard trimmer that cannot cut you, like this one:
Until you can get one of these, always apply soapy water to the private area and then shave with a razor; never do it on wet skin alone. Use shaving cream to make it easier.
Please see these links for all the details:
Check-ups by a female doctor
As you are pubescent, it is no longer permissible for you to have check-ups by a female doctor unless there is no male available. Please make arrangements with your parents to switch doctors, and I believe your parents will understand your situation. Also, your mother cannot see your nakedness (navel to knee) unless there is a need, so she should not be in the room during your medical check-up unless there was a need for it.
Although you think that your family does not know that you are pubescent, they probably do. Never be embarrassed by something that Allah has mandated. It is obligatory and hygienic to remove your pubic hair, and there nothing wrong with your family finding out. They should be doing it as well. Just don’t make a mess; vacuum it up or trim your hair over a toilet or garbage can. Some also shave in the shower; you can use this to catch the hair, so you don’t clog the drain:
There are also beard trimmers that catch the hair, so you have to empty it when you are done.
May Allah reward you for applying these important sunnahs and make it easier for you as time goes by. Please take a course on the basics of your fiqh so that you know personally obligatory knowledge.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, Tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.