Is it permissible for women to shave the facial hair on their faces?

The Details of the Question
What is the ruling of Muslim women with facial hair? Some say it is forbidden to shave it. Others say only a married sister is allowed to shave her face if her husbands dislikes it. As for a single Muslimah, how is she to find a suitable marriage partner if she has ugly, unsightly facial hair?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

There is nothing wrong with removing the hairs on the face for a woman because they are not naturel. So It is not forbidden to shave them. For more detailed information, please read the article.

Acting upon that hadith, fiqh scholars state that a woman with hairs on her face like a mustache and beard can remove them; however, they also state that thinning eyebrows and changing their natural forms, cutting the eyelashes and using false eyelashes are not permissible because teeth, eyebrows and eyelashes are organs. There is no drawback to removing the hairs on the face for a woman because they are not original; they are things that appear later. Similarly, there is no drawback to removing the hairs on the legs for a woman because they are not organs like eyebrows. 

When we look at the fiqh books, we see the following judgments:

– The hairs on the face that make  a woman ugly can be removed. If things like beard and mustache that are normally seen in men appear in women, it is permissible to remove them. 

“Ibn Abidin says beard and mustache are not natural in women therefore it is mustahab (recomended) to remove them! 

The best way to remove those hairs is not shaving but using natural depilatories like wax or powder.” ( Kadın İlmihali, Mürşide Uysal, p. 370) 

It is understood that it is recommended for a woman to make herself attractive for her husband. One of the wisdom of it is protecting her husband from the attraction of other women. 

As for the hairs between the eyebrows and around them: 

“There is a normal form of the eyebrow of a woman. The hairs that are not normal, that seem ugly and make a woman ugly and therefore disturbing her can be removed. It is not permissible to thin the normal eyebrows and to change the places of the eyebrows in order to be up to date.” (Prof. Dr. Hayreddin Karaman) 

The judgment about plucking the hairs on the face, thinning the eyebrows and lengthening the eyelashes of women has kept Islamic scholars busy a lot. Regarding this hadith of Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) “A woman who plucks or has the hairs on her face plucked is cursed by Allah” (Bukhari, 'Libas', 84; Muslim, 'Libas', 120), Islamic scholars have discussed what acts that expression included." 

According to most of the scholars, it is permissible for a woman to remove the hairs that are not natural for a woman (like beard, mustache), to wear make up and to remove the scattered hairs around her eyebrows (between the eyebrows and around them) in order to seem beautiful for her husband with the permission of him; the prohibition in the hadith is to remove her hairs on the face and to pluck her eyebrows when she goes out and for non-mahram men. 

Consequently, it is better to understand the plucking that is prohibited in the hadith not as the hairs that appear later as a result of an illness and that make the face ugly (like beard and mustache) but as thinning the eyebrows or plucking the hairs of eyebrows to move them upwards in order to seem beautiful for others. 

Man needs to show respect to the body that his Lord entrusted him to the extent that he believes in Allah and needs to thank Him for His bounties. Therefore, when a Muslim woman maintains the beauty that Allah gave to her face, it shows her respect to Allah; and when she adds more beauty to it by reflecting the spiritual luminescence of the peace of her, it shows her love towards allah, the Exalted, the owner of that face. (Dr. Jale Şimşek)


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