Shaving the deceased’s armpit and pubic hair
Fatwa No: 32959

Question

Is it obligatory to shave the armpit and pubic hair of the deceased whilst washing him or is it sufficient to make ablution and wash him? May Allaah Reward you.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

 

Scholars differed concerning the ruling of shaving the armpit and the pubic hair of the deceased. The Shaafi‘is have two opinions;

An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “There are two opinions in terms of clipping the nails of the deceased, trimming his moustache and shaving his pubic hair:

The first one: it is permissible to clean him as these things are considered dirt. The second one: it is disliked -as said by Al-Muzani- for it is an operation of cutting parts of the deceased  so it resembles thecircumcision. After that An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him mentioned that the chosen opinion is to leave it, and he quoted Ash-Shaafi‘i: "Some of my disciples choose to shave the hair and trim the nails of the deceased while others do not.” Then Ash-Shaafi‘i said: “I prefer to leave it …so the most correct opinion is leaving these hairs and nails so as not to violate the sanctity of the deceased’s body parts. There are no authentic narrations that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, or his Companions did it. Therefore, it is disliked.

The Hanafis and the Maalikis said that it is disliked. Imaam Maalik said: “I dislike following the funeral with a brazier or trimming the nails or shaving the pubic hair of the deceased. He is to be buried in his current state. I find it an act of innovation on part of those who do that.

The Hanafi scholar Al-Kamaal ibn Al-Humaam said: “It is not recommended to comb the deceased’s hair or beard or to trim his nails or hair.

The preponderant opinion is that it is disliked. This is the opinion of the vast majority of scholars as An-Nawawi stated in his book Al-Majmoo’ and as quoted from them by Al-‘Abdari.

Allaah Knows best.

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