Fatwa No : 84865
Fatwa Date : Rajab 9, 1423 / 16-9-2002
I know that it is Haram for a female to pluck her eyebrows, although there is 1 Hadith which states that she can do so for her husband.
However, I have heard that if a female suffers from poor self-esteem, low self-confidence, and hates her appearance, due to the way her unplucked eyebrows change her appearance, it may be permissible for her to pluck them. I would just like to check whether there is a Hadith to support this, or if any of the schools of thought have mentioned something on this matter.
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the World; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.
Plucking eyebrows is strictly forbidden due to the curse mentioned in the Hadith for the one who practices it or helps someone else in this act.
It is narrated in al-Sahiheen from Ibn Masoud that he said: "Allah curses those ladies who practice tattooing and those who get themselves tattooed, and those ladies who remove the hair from their faces and those who make artificial spaces between their teeth in order to look more beautiful whereby they change Allah's creation" . We do not know any Hadith that permits a woman to take from her eyebrows.
All the Muslim scholars agreed that plucking eyebrows is forbidden for unmarried women. They have disagreement concerning a married woman if her husband permits her. It is also a matter of disagreement among scholars whether the prohibition applies to shaving or plucking.
The most preponderant opinion is that shaving, plucking, etc., are all forbidden for every woman regardless of whether she is married or not. The reason for this prohibition is the changing of the creation of Allah and that includes plucking, shaving etc. Also, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) did not make any exemption for the married women.
The above saying reached a lady from Bani Asad called Um Yaqub who came (to Abdullah ) and said, "But I see your wife doing these things?' He said, 'Go and look at her'. She went and looked at her but could not see anything in support of her statement. On that he said, 'If my wife was as you thought, I would not keep her in my company" .
Imam Nawawi said that 'The majority of Muslim scholars believe that Ibn Masoud meant that if his wife had done such an act he will never keep her in his company and never live together with her; instead he would divorce her and separate from her' . Ibn Masoud did not tell her that such an act is permissible for a married woman. There is no narration from any companion that approves plucking or taking eyebrows except the narration from Ayisha (Radiya Allahu Anha) that a woman asked her, "O mother of believers! I have hair on my face, is it ok to pluck it to beautify myself for my husband? Ayisha said: 'Remove the harm from you and make up yourself for your husband as you do at the time of visiting" [ Ibn Abder Razzaq reported in al-Musannaf].
If the above narration is proved, it means only the hair that is not from eyebrows as confirmed by a group of scholars since it is permissible, even likeable, for a woman to remove a beard or mustache growing on her face.
Finally, we advise you to fear Allah and to keep away from being under the severe threat, i.e. the curse of Allah.
Allah knows best.