Is Plucking Eyebrows Haram (Threading Trimming, Shaping, Shaving)

Is Plucking Eyebrows Haram

(Threading eyebrows) Plucking eyebrows is a common practice among many women and some men who want to enhance their appearance and follow the latest fashion trends.

However, sources says that, for Muslims, this practice is not allowed and is haram a major sin.

In recent years, there has been some confusion among Muslims regarding whether plucking the eyebrows is halal or haram in Islam.

This issue has been debated extensively, with evidence being cited from the Quran, hadiths, and opinions of Islamic scholars both for and against it.

The differing viewpoints have left many Muslims unsure about the Islamic ruling on plucking eyebrows.

Is Plucking Eyebrows Haram?

Yes Plucking Eyebrows is Haram
Yes Plucking Eyebrows is Haram

Answer: Yes, plucking eyebrows is haram in Islam. The majority of the scholars and the four schools of thought (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, and Hanbali) agree that plucking eyebrows is haram and prohibited, based on the Quranic verse and the prophetic hadiths.

Quran and Sunnah on Plucking Eyebrows

Quran and Sunnah on Plucking Eyebrows
Quran and Sunnah on Plucking Eyebrows

The Quran and the Sunnah are the primary sources of Islamic law and guidance, and they provide clear and decisive proofs that plucking eyebrows is haram and forbidden. Allah says in the Quran:

وَلَا تُبَدِّلُوا خَلْقَ اللَّهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ

And do not change the creation of Allah. That is better for you, if you are believers. [Quran 4:119]

This verse indicates that changing the natural form and shape of the body that Allah has created is a form of disobedience and disbelief, and it is one of the ways of following the footsteps of Satan, who promised to mislead and corrupt the human beings. Plucking eyebrows is a type of changing the creation of Allah, as it alters the original and normal growth of the hair on the face.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also explicitly cursed and condemned the women who pluck their eyebrows and those who do it for them. He said:

لَعَنَ اللَّهُ الْوَاشِمَاتِ وَالْمُسْتَوْشِمَاتِ وَالنَّامِصَاتِ وَالْمُتَنَمِّصَاتِ وَالْمُتَفَلِّجَاتِ لِلْحُسْنِ الْمُغَيِّرَاتِ خَلْقَ اللَّهِ

May Allah curse the women who do tattoos and those who have them done, the women who pluck eyebrows and those who have them plucked, and the women who file their teeth for the purpose of beautification, altering the creation of Allah. [Bukhari 5931 and Muslim 2125]

This hadith shows that plucking eyebrows is a serious sin that incurs the wrath and curse of Allah, and it is a form of mutilation and distortion of the body. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also warned against imitating the disbelievers and the immoral people in their customs and practices. He said:

مَنْ تَشَبَّهَ بِقَوْمٍ فَهُوَ مِنْهُمْ

Whoever imitates a people is one of them. [Abu Dawud 4031]

This hadith implies that plucking eyebrows is a sign of following the non-Muslims and the sinners in their ways of beautification and adornment, and it is a loss of the Islamic identity and character.

Opinions of Islamic Scholars

Opinions of Islamic Scholars
Opinions of Islamic Scholars

Historically, all four Sunni schools have prohibited plucking/shaping the eyebrows to some degree, considering it an impermissible changing of Allah’s creation:

  • Hanafi: Allow trimming unruly ends but not shaping eyebrows.
  • Maliki & Shafi’i: Prohibit plucking and consider it strictly haram.
  • Hanbali: Prohibit plucking/shaping but consider it makruh (disliked).

Some contemporary scholars have permitted plucking to an extent, usually with conditions:

  • Mustafa Zarqa – Permits plucking stray hairs but not full shaping. Considers hadiths as referring to specific harmful practice, not any plucking.
  • Yusuf al-Qaradawi – Permits plucking excess hair that people are adversely affected by, considering it part of Prophetic guidance to maintain cleanliness and appearance.
  • Muhammad Al-Mukhtar Al-Shinqeeti – Permits it conditionally if done in limited amount, not changing the shape Allah created.

Classical scholarly opinion remains conservative, while some modern scholars have demonstrated flexibility on the matter. There is still no ijma’ or consensus.

Important Questions / Answers

Is there a halal way to do your eyebrows?

Yes, there are some halal ways to groom the eyebrows that avoid strictly prohibited actions like plucking:

  • Using scissors to trim long eyebrow hairs
  • Neatening the eyebrows by combing them into shape with an old toothbrush and water
  • Using halal brow gels or pomades to temporarily style the eyebrows
  • Removing any stray hairs growing outside the natural eyebrow line if done minimally

The key is avoiding plucking hairs regularly to maintain a drastically reshaped eyebrow. Focus on cleanliness and neatness, not an artificial shape.

Is it okay to pluck eyebrows?

No, plucking the eyebrows to reshape them or maintain thin eyebrows is generally prohibited in Islam. Scholars past and present agree that plucking to change the natural shape of the eyebrows is not allowed. Occasionally removing stray hairs may be acceptable if not done repeatedly.

Is it haram for men to touch their eyebrows?

No, it is not haram for men to touch their eyebrows. Grooming the eyebrows by combing, trimming long hairs, or putting brow gel to keep them neat should be fine for men in Islam. Care should just be taken not to overly pluck or shape them. The prohibition is mainly on plucking eyebrows, not general grooming.

Can men pluck eyebrows?

No, Most scholars prohibit male from plucking eyebrows to reshape them or make them thinner. Removing stray hairs outside the main eyebrows very occasionally may be acceptable if done with restraint and not made into a regular practice. But regularly plucking eyebrow hairs to maintain a styled shape is not considered permissible for men in Islam.

What is the hadith about plucking eyebrows in Islam?

The most relevant hadith is narrated by Aisha (RA) where the Prophet (SAW) cursed the women who pluck their eyebrows seeking beautification by changing Allah’s creation. It is in Bukhari (5931) and other collections. Scholars differ on whether this prohibition is specific or general.

What is the punishment for plucking eyebrows in Islam?

There is no prescribed worldly punishment mentioned for plucking eyebrows in the Quran or Sunnah. It is considered a sinful act, but the punishment for it would be in the Hereafter if not repented from. Some scholars may consider it permissible to advise against it or censure it verbally.

Is plucking eyebrows haram in Shia Islam?

Yes, the majority opinion in Shia Islam is also that plucking the eyebrows to reshape them is prohibited. Their hadiths and jurists prohibit altering the natural form of the brows. However, some Shia scholars like Ayatollah Sistani consider removing stray hairs to be permissible if not done for beautification.

Is plucking eyebrows haram in Hanafi Islam?

The Hanafi school considers plucking and trimming the eyebrows to reshape them as haram. However, scholars like Ibn Abidin allow cutting extra long eyebrow hairs to make them neat. But they prohibit plucking to achieve any desired shape of the eyebrows.

Is plucking around the eyebrows haram?

Yes, plucking hairs around and close to the eyebrows to enlarge or reshape them is prohibited in Islam according to the majority of scholars. The cursed practice in the hadith refers to changing the natural brow shape, so hairs around the brows should also not be plucked.

Is plucking hair between the eyebrows haram?

Scholars differ on this issue. Some consider removing any facial hair including between eyebrows as permissible for women to look neat. Others prohibit plucking between the brows as changing Allah’s creation. Caution should be exercised, and plucking should be avoided unless clear permission from a scholar is sought.

Is tweezing eyebrows haram in Islam?

Yes, regularly tweezing or plucking hairs to maintain shapely eyebrows would be considered haram according to classical and contemporary Islamic scholarship. The prohibition is on changing the natural eyebrow shape by removing hairs, so the method of plucking does not make it permissible.

The key principles are avoiding reshaping the eyebrows by plucking any hairs regularly. Minimal grooming like cutting stray hairs should be done with caution. When in doubt, it is best to avoid plucking altogether rather than risk sin.

The Verdict on Plucking Eyebrows

Based on the Quran, the Sunnah, and the opinions of the scholars, the verdict and advice on plucking eyebrows are as follows:

  • Plucking eyebrows is haram and forbidden, and it is a major sin that incurs the curse and anger of Allah, and it is a form of changing the creation of Allah and following the footsteps of Satan.
  • Plucking eyebrows is not a minor or trivial issue that can be overlooked or ignored, but it is a serious matter that affects the faith and worship of the Muslim, and it is a sign of ingratitude and dissatisfaction with the blessings of Allah.
  • Plucking eyebrows is not a personal choice or preference that can be left to the individual, but it is a religious obligation and duty that must be obeyed and followed by the Muslim, and it is a part of the Islamic identity and character.
  • Plucking eyebrows should be avoided and abstained from, unless there is a valid reason or necessity that allows it, such as a disease, a deformity, or a harm, and even then, it should be done within the limit of necessity and not exceed it.
  • Plucking eyebrows should not be influenced or pressured by the media, culture, or fashion, or by the opinions or judgments of others, but it should be based on the guidance and teachings of Allah and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and on the sincerity and piety of the heart.
  • Plucking eyebrows should be replaced and substituted by other lawful and permissible ways of beautification and adornment, such as using cosmetics, jewelry, clothing, or perfume, as long as they do not contradict the Islamic principles and morals.
  • Plucking eyebrows should be repented from and sought forgiveness for, if it has been done in the past, and it should be stopped and abandoned, if it is still being done, and it should be warned and advised against, if it is seen or known by others.

We ask Allah to guide us to the truth and to help us follow it, and to protect us from the falsehood and to help us avoid it, and to make us among those who are grateful and content with His blessings, and who are obedient and faithful to His commands, and who are beautiful and attractive in His sight. Ameen.

Author

  • Rabeeh Azarmehr

    PhD Student and Graduate Research Assistant My research interests are mainly focused on childhood adversity and the underlying psychosocial mechanisms that can affect youth’s mental health and adjustment.

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