Islamic scholars have different opinions about which parts of hair men and women can shave. For example, some scholars believe it is haram for men to shave their beards, whereas others consider it permissible. However, scholars do share some unanimous opinions – e.g. that plucking eyebrows is haram for both men and women.
Table of Contents
- Is it haram to shave your beard?
- Is it haram to shave chest hair?
- Is it haram for a woman to shave her leg hair?
- Is it haram for a man to shave his leg hair?
- Is it haram not to shave pubic hair?
- Is it haram to shave your arms?
- Is it haram to shave your unibrow?
1- Is it Haram to Shave Your Beard?
Scholars have conflicting opinions about whether it is haram to shave your beard or not. Some consider it haram based on their interpretation of certain hadith. However, other Scholars consider shaving your beard to be halal; they reason that there is no evidence to the contrary.
We’ll explore both perspectives to give you a comprehensive overview of the different Islamic opinions.
Islam Q&A cites the following ahadith (source) as evidence that it is haram to shave your beard:
“Be different from the mushrikeen: let your beards grow and trim your moustaches.” According to another report: “Trim your moustaches and let your beards grow.”Reported by Ibn ‘Umar
Thus, scholars argue that this hadith cautions Muslims against shaving their beards. They reason that ‘let your beards grow’ means shaving them is prohibited. Moreover, they also refer to the followingShaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (source)
“The Qur’aan, Sunnah and ijmaa’ (scholarly consensus) all indicate that we must differ from the kuffaar in all aspects and not imitate them, because imitating them on the outside will make us imitate them in their bad deeds and habits, and even in beliefs, which will result in befriending them in our hearts, just as loving them in our hearts will lead to imitating them on the outside.”
So, some scholars argue that shaving your beard may fall under imitating the kuffar, and thus argue that men should not shave their beards.
Another Islamic authority shared the Shafi school of thought’s understanding about shaving your beard (source). They explained that the most sound view in the Shafi school of thought is that shaving your beard is makruh, i.e. disliked, but not haram. The source referred to many Shafi scholars that hold this belief, including Ibn Hajar al-Haytami and Shaykh al-Islam Zakariyya al-Ansari.
We also referred to Islam Helpline’s view on the matter (source).
Their perspective is that, although growing a beard is a Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW), shaving it is not haram. They believe that shaving the beard has not been explicitly forbidden in the Quran or Sunnah, and therefore, it is not forbidden to do so.
2- Is it Haram to Shave Chest Hair?
Islamic scholars explain that shaving chest hair is not explicitly forbidden in the Quran or Sunnah. So, many scholars consider it to be permissible for men, and all scholars consider shaving chest hair to be permissible for women.
However, some scholars caution men against shaving their chest hair, because it could be considered ‘imitating women’ which is forbidden in Islam (source).
Islam Q&A further explained the scholarly opinion regarding shaving hair by categorizing hair into three types (source):
- Hair which muslims are forbidden to shave
- Hair which muslims are encouraged to remove
- Hair which the Quran and Sunnah do not advise us to remove or keep; they are silent on the matter.
So, Islamic scholars agree that shaving your chest hair is not explicitly forbidden in Islam. But, again, some scholars caution men against doing so because it may be considered as imitating women. (source).
3- Is it Haram for a Woman to Shave Her Legs?
Islamic scholars unanimously believe that is it halal for a woman to shave her legs.
Scholars explain that shaving the hair on your legs is not forbidden, and therefore it is allowed for women (source). They explained that removing certain hair, e.g. plucking eyebrows, is explicitly forbidden – but shaving your legs, arms, chest, etc. is not.
4- Is it Haram for a Man to Shave His Legs?
Islamic scholars consider it halal for a man to shave his legs, but some caution you against doing so. They explain that it is disliked and that it is better not to (source).
Our hypothesis on that is that it is best for men to avoid shaving their legs as it can be seen as imitating women. However, we did not find explicit mention of this.
5- Is it Haram to Not Shave Pubic Hair?
Islamic scholars consider it dislikable to not shave your pubic hair. However, none of the sources we consulted consider it haram.
IslamWeb clarified the matter, stating (source):
“It is Sunnah to remove the hair weekly and it should be on Friday since it is the day of Muslims’ gathering. It is not likeable to delay removing the hair for more than forty days. Anas (Radiya Allahu Anhu) reported that: “A time limit has been prescribed for us for clipping the moustache, cutting the nails, plucking the hair under the armpits, shaving the pubes, that none of them should be left for more than forty nights.”(source)
In general, Muslims (both men and women) are advised to remove their pubic and armpit hair (source). It is considered Sunnah to remove hair from these regions.
6- Is it Haram to Shave Your Arms?
We could not find any sources that suggest shaving your arms is haram. We did, however, come across sources that advise men against shaving body hair if it comes across as imitating women (source).
Sheikh Assim Al Hakeem explicitly states that it is halal for women to shave their arms:
7- Is it Haram to Shave Your Unibrow?
The sources we consulted explained that shaving the hair between your eyebrows is halal – i.e. the hair that leads to the unibrow. However, plucking, shaving, or shaping your eyebrows is haram for both men and women (source).
From our research, we found that scholars have similar opinions regarding shaving unibrows and pubic hair. Regarding chest, arm, and leg hair, we found that scholars consider it permissible for women (always) and most agree that it is not forbidden for men, either. However, some scholars caution men against removing hair from these regions in case it comes across as ‘imitating women’.
Scholars have drastically different opinions about shaving your beard. Some consider it haram, while others do not. We hope you found this article helpful and may Allah (SWT) guide us and help us make the decisions!