04 Jun What is the verdict on eyebrow threading?
What is the verdict on eyebrow threading?
what’s the verdict on eyebrow threading or anything of that nature?
I’m so sorry it took me so long to answer this message, I missed it, and just discovered it today.
Note to those who have asked me anon question: many times, I don’t get your questions (people have complained) or I might have missed it. I am trying to get much better about this in the future, insha Allah.
From the get-go I’m going to say this: there’s nothing in The Qur’an about eyebrows. Honestly, nothing. So, this becomes a Hadith throw-down.
Now, there is a strong Hadith, narrated by Abu Daoud, in which The Prophet cursed women who pluck their eyebrows and those who do the plucking (that’s an awk sentence).
That should put that to rest, so everyone who has touched their eyebrows is going to Hell. Right?
Er. Hold up. While various internet Muftis will cite this Hadith, they forget the context of what The Prophet was saying. This is critical. The reason why Muhammad was not so excited with these women, was because at the time, women who did this (plucking) were usually prostitutes.
So, the issue is clearly not about the plucking, the issue is that during The Prophet’s time, this act represented something VERY different to what it means to us today.
Plus, there is the Al-Tabari report of the wife of Abu Ishaq, who loved to beautify herself, going to Aisha, and she asked “What if a woman removes the hair from her forehead to please her husband?” Aisha replied, “Remove what is harmful from yourselves whenever possible.”
So, instead of taking this to mean (like other scholars) that it’s okay to do things to your eyebrows for your husband, I think we should look at this as, its fine, as long as you’re not looking to become a prostitute, etc.
I think a firm limit would be to tattoo eyebrows on (which I’ve heard is done) and to tattoo your eyelids, in lieu of mascara (or is it eye-liner?) These are forbidden because they are tattoos, and because there’s no way for your body to return to its original, which is central towards determining whether something is permissible or not.
As far as the arguments that say that shaping your eyebrows changes your appearance, and thus is on par with tattoos, this is dubious at best. As you girls know, your eyebrow hair is going to grow back, and, even so, there are various suggestions within the Islamic discourse, to remove body hair as is hygienic. So, it’s clearly not about “changing your natural appearance,” because we do that constantly, the question is about the limits of this practice.
We cut our hair on our heads, men cut their beards, shape them, even the most Sunnah of Sunnah beards, ultimately are shaped somewhat. Again, the critical point here is that Muhammad’s condemnation was not about the practice itself, but because of what it meant at the time.
I think this question is a perfect example of why we need more female scholars. There are absoluteballers, like Souad Saleh (Dean at Al-Azhar) or, one of my favorite Shariah scholars, Intisar Rabb. Why women go to some dude scholar to ask them about menstruation or nail polish is beyond me, they’re not going to understand it, because they’ve never had to deal with it personally.
Most male scholars have no idea how to handle these sorts of questions, and the only reason I have a chance is that I have lots of sisters, cousins, and nieces, so, as a green card holder in the United States of Estrogen, I’ve picked up a thing or two. Plus, in college, I started a Men’s Style Magazine, so, I really look at clothing and fashion in a very different way to the scholars of today.
Whenever you look at an Islamic injunction that is about your physical appearance, please think about what the purpose behind the injunction is and what the context regarding that is. If you don’t do that, you will actually be missing out on the bigger concept and be worse off as a result. If you take a look at my answer to the question of shortened pants, you will see what I mean.
In sum, I think that it would be permissible to shape your eyebrows, because I do not think that people associate eyebrow shaping with prostitution anymore. Furthermore, when you look at the fact that we groom ourselves in many different areas, and that the issue of limits on our grooming is the ability for the body to return to its original state, I think the evidence is pretty strong to allow this.
Insha Allah, I hope I answered your question, and that if you or anyone else has any questions about this, or another topic, that you please do not hesitate to ask me.