The wis­dom be­hind the pre­scrip­tion to re­move pu­bic hair and armpit hair

The Miracle - - Faith - Com­men­tary: on above Riyad us Sal­i­heen Ha­dith # 1203

“Fi­trah “lit­er­ally means be­gin­ning, in­no­va­tion, in­ven­tion or mak­ing some­thing al­to­gether new, but here it means in­stinct or such na­ture or dis­po­si­tion which is in­born. Some peo­ple have de­fined it as that old way which was liked by all the Prophets and on which all the Di vine laws had full agree­ment. That is to say, they are nat­u­ral to man. In any case, one should adopt all these five good qual­i­ties in such a way as if they are a part of his na­ture. More­over, they are also highly im­por­tant from the point of view of clean­li­ness and pu­rifi­ca­tion


W hat is the rea­son for shav­ing pu­bic hair and armpit hair? What did they use to shave it with at the time of the Prophet (bless­ings and peace of Al­lah be upon him)? Is it suf­fi­cient just to cut it or must it be shaved?


Praise be to Al­lah


The Sun­nah in­di­cates that it is pre­scribed to re­move pu­bic hair and armpit hair. AlBukhaari (5889) and Mus­lim (257) nar­rated from Abu Hu­rayrah (may Al­lah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (bless­ings and peace of Al­lah be upon him) said: “The fi­trah is five things – or five things are part of the fi­trah – cir­cum­ci­sion, shav­ing the pubes, cutting the nails, pluck­ing the armpit hairs, and trim­ming the mous­tache.” The wis­dom be­hind the pre­scrip­tion of re­mov­ing the hair from these two places – and Al­lah knows best – is that re­mov­ing it helps one to at­tain a per­fect level of clean­li­ness and pre­vents what could em­anate from them of bad smells if the hair was left with­out re­mov­ing it. And there are other rea­sons and wis­dom be­hind it. Al-Haafiz Ibn Ha­jar (may Al­lah have mercy on him) said: These char­ac­ter­is­tics of the fi­trah may serve some re­li­gious or worldly in­ter­ests, that one may no­tice by re­flect­ing upon the is­sue, such as: im­prov­ing one’s phys­i­cal well-be­ing; cleans­ing the body thor­oughly; tak­ing pre­cau­tions to en­sure pu­rity when do­ing ghusl or wu­doo’; do­ing a favour to one’s friends and com­pan­ions by avoid­ing un­pleas­ant smells that may of­fend them; dif­fer­ing from the prac­tices of the dis­be­liev­ers such as the Ma­gians, Jews, Chris­tians and idol-wor­ship­pers; obey­ing the com­mand of the Law­giver; pre­serv­ing that which is men­tioned to in the verse in which Al­lah, may He be ex­alted, said (in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the mean­ing), “and [Al­lah] has given you shape and made your shapes good (look­ing)” [Ghaafir 40:64], be­cause by do­ing so one is pre­serv­ing that beau­ti­ful im­age – it is as if the verse im­plies: I have given you beau­ti­ful shapes, so do not dis­tort them with any­thing that may make them ugly, and take care of them so that they will con­tinue to be beau­ti­ful, for tak­ing care of fh them is a kd kind of f ad­her­ing dh to dig­nity and main­tain­ing har­mony with oth­ers, be­cause if a per­son ap­pears hand­some or beau­ti­ful, that makes oth­ers feel at ease with him, so peo­ple will lis­ten to what he says and ap­pre­ci­ate what he says, and vice versa.

End quote from Fath al-Baari. Se­condly:

What was well known at the time of the Prophet (bless­ings and peace of Al­lah be upon him) was that they would use a ra­zor to shave their hair. Al-Bukhaari (5079) and Mus­lim (715) nar­rated that Jaabir ibn ‘Ab­dul­lah (may Al­lah be pleased with him) said: We were with the Mes­sen­ger of Al­lah (bless­ings and peace of Al­lah be upon him) on cam­paign, and when we ap­proached Mad­i­nah, we wanted to en­ter the city straight away, but the Prophet (bless­ings and peace of Al­lah be upon him) said: “De­lay it un­til we en­ter at night, so that the one who is di­shev­elled may tidy her­self up and the one whose hus­band is ab­sent may shave her pu­bic hair.” Al-Haafiz Ibn Ha­jar (may Al­lah have mercy on him) said in Fath al-Baari: This refers to the woman whose hus­band is ab­sent. What is meant is so that she may re­move her pu­bic hair, and the word used in this ha­dith refers to shav­ing, be­cause that is the usual method of re­mov­ing hair, but that does not mean that it is not al­lowed to use some­thing other than a ra­zor. End quote. Al-Bukhaari (3989) nar­rated the story of Khubayb ibn ‘Adiyy (may Al­lah be pleased with him), in which it says:… when they [the dis­be­liev­ers who had cap­tured him] de­cided to kill him, he asked to bor­row a ra­zor from one of the daugh­ters of al-Haarith so that he could shave his pu­bic hair, and she lent it to him… It says in Mus­nad al-Imam Ah­mad (26705), in the ha­dith of Ma‘mar ibn ‘Ab­dul­lah (may Al­lah A be pleased with him): … When the Mes­sen­ger of Al­lah (bless­ings and peace of Al­lah be upon him) had slaugh­tered his sac­ri­fice in Mina, he in­structed me to shave his head. So I picked up the ra­zor and stood by his head. The Mes­sen­ger of Al­lah (bless­ings and peace of Al­lah be upon him) looked me in the eye and said to me: “O Ma‘mar, the Mes­sen­ger of Al­lah (bless­ings and peace of Al­lah be upon him) has let you take hold of his ear­lobe when you have a ra­zor in your hand…”


The Sun­nah with re­gard to the re­moval of pu­bic hair is to shave it. In the case of armpit hair, the Sun­nah is to pluck it, but if a per­son sim­ply trims it, there is noth­ing wrong with that, but it is not what is best. Ibn Qu­daamah (may Al­lah be pleased with him) said: Shav­ing the pu­bic hair is mus­ta­habb and is part of the fi­trah, and it is very in­ap­pro­pri­ate to leave it, so it is rec­om­mended to re­move it, and what­ever means one uses, there is noth­ing wrong with it, be­cause the point is to re­move it. It was said to Abu ‘Ab­dul­lah (i.e., Imam Ah­mad): Is it ac­cept­able for a man to cut his pu­bic hair with scis­sors, even if he does not cut all of it? He said: I hope it is ac­cept­able, in sha Al­lah. End quote from al-Mughni (1/65). An-Nawawi (may Al­lah have mercy on­him) said: Shav­ing the pu­bic hair is called is­ti­h­daad in Ara­bic be­cause iron (hadeed) is used, i.e., the ra­zor. That is Sun­nah, and the pur­pose be­hind it is to cleanse the area. The best is to shave it, but it is per­mis­si­ble to cut the hair, pluck it or re­move it with a de­pila­tory paste…. With re­gard to pluck­ing the armpit hair, that is Sun­nah ac­cord­ing to con­sen­sus. The best is to pluck it for the one who can stand it, but it may also be done by shav­ing or us­ing a de­pila­tory paste. It was nar­rated that Yoonus ibn ‘Abd al-A‘laa said: I en­tered upon ash-Shaafa‘i (may Al­lah have mercy on him), and the bar­ber was with him, shav­ing his armpits. Ash-Shaafa‘i said: I know that the Sun­nah is to pluck it, but I can­not stand the pain. End quote from Sharh Mus­lim by an-Nawawi (3/149) And Al­lah knows best. Source: https://is­

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