Shaving the beard and threading the...

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

Shaving the beard and threading the face


A barber is asking for the ruling of shaving the beard and threading the face. Most of his customers shave their beards and insist on having him thread their faces. The inquirer has no other work and supports his family and siblings.


Shaving the beard is one of the issues over which there is a scholarly debate. While the majority of scholars maintain that shaving the beard unlawful, the Shafi'is maintain that it is disliked. They base their opinion — that it is recommended to keep the beard and refrain from shaving it — on their understanding of the command pertaining to customs; food and drink; clothing; sitting; and appearance; and used the examples of the command to dye one's hair and pray in one's footwear and the like to substantiate their opinion.

The same applies to threading the face; scholars differ on whether removing hair other than that of the eyebrows is considered nams [En. Plucking facial hair and eyebrows] which is prohibited in the Shari'ah. This is because the opinion of some scholars from the different schools of jurisprudence and the established opinion of the Malikis is that plucking facial hair other than the eyebrows is permissible and entails no prohibition — unlike the majority of scholars who maintain that it falls under nams which one is warned against in the noble hadith. We favor the opinion of the majority of scholars and are inclined to follow it.

The Islamic legal maxim states:
- Objection is reserved for omitting what is agreed on by scholars to be a requirement, and performing something that is agreed to be unlawful.
- Objection is not for issues where there is a difference of opinion.
- It is preferable to remove oneself from controversial issues.
- Whoever is afflicted with something controversial may follow the opinion of the scholar who permits it".

Based on this and in reference to the question, there is no harm if you shave the beards or thread the faces of those customers who ask you to do so as long as you follow the opinion of the scholars who permit it, especially since you have no other work. Therefore the money you earn from your work is, by the will of Allah, lawful though we advise you to refrain from shaving beards and threading faces as much as possible.

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