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My question is why is plucking the eyebrow or making your teeth shorter haram in Islam. I have heard that it is because you are try to beautify yourself and thus not happy with the way Allah has created you. However, make-up is not haram and it is allowed even though that too is done for the same purpose of beautifying yourself. Another person told me that makeup is adding while plucking is taking away from oneself. Again, we are allowed to take away other hairs from the face and even the hairs in between the eyebrow but not allowed to shape the actual eyebrow? Also in regards to adding, we are not allowed to wear hair extensions.

Also although having a beard a strongly recommended Sunnah, men still do not get cursed for shaving their beard. This too is changing the way you look by taking away what Allah has given you. It is too done for beauty purposes.

Why is make-up is permissible but shaping the eyebrow or filing the teeth impermissible?

  • I guess that those scholars who prohibit one or allow the other consider it from the point that plucking eyebrows and shortening teeth is a more permanent change of of the body Allah has been giving us. While make-up is something very temporary and it's only put on the body it doesn't change it at all. But a consequent ruling IMO would be rejecting both. – Medi1Saif Apr 28 '16 at 10:36
  • @Medi1Saif I agree but the eyebrows will too grow back, so it is not permanent. Also it is allowed to pluck the hairs on the other parts of the face. Adding hair extensions can also be as temporary as make up. – Zohal Apr 29 '16 at 10:31
  • I know so maybe I should have changed my comment to a change of the body (changing -forms,looks ... of some parts of the body as given from Allah) instead of a change at or on the body. – Medi1Saif Apr 29 '16 at 11:08
  • Maybe relevant or helpful islam.stackexchange.com/questions/2289/… – Medi1Saif May 3 '16 at 6:27
  • @Medi1Saif The beard is also part of the face however men are not cursed for shaving their beard but women are cursed for shaping their eyebrows. – Zohal May 5 '16 at 13:45
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A relevant hadith is:

Narrated 'Abdullah: that the Prophet cursed the women who practice tattooing and those who seek to be tattooed, the women who remove hair from their faces seeking beautification by changing the creation of Allah.
Jami` at-Tirmidhi [grade: sahih]

There's other comparable ahadith: Sahih al-Bukhari 5931, 5943, and 5948, Sahih Muslim 2125 a, Sunan Ibn Majah, Sunan Abi Dawud 4169, and Riyad as-Salihin.

Generally, these ahadith express that it's forbidden because it's changing the creation of Allah for the purpose of beautification.

There's forms of modifying one's body which are encouraged, e.g.:

Abu Huraira reported: Five are the acts of fitra: circumcision, removing the pubes, clipping the moustache, cutting the nails, plucking the hair under the armpits.
Sahih Muslim 257b

Narrated `Aisha: I applied perfume to the Prophet with my own hands when he wanted to assume the state of Ihram ...
Sahih al-Bukhari 5922

And in Islam, beauty is not ordinarily a bad thing:

... Allah is Beautiful, He loves beauty ...
Riyad as-Salihin (see also SunnahOnline.com)

So why plucking eyebrows is singled out is not clear. Islam Q&A summarizes it as follows:

It should be understood that with regard to changing the creation of Allah, some of it is permissible and allowed, such as circumcision, shaving the pubic hair, plucking the armpit hair, and removing defects and deformities.
Islam Q&A

[They quote Satan in Qur'an 4:119 (I will command them so they will change the creation of Allah) to emphasise the importance of not changing the creation of Allah.]

There's a lengthy discussion on this topic in a daruliftaa.com fatwa. There are diverse scholarly viewpoints as when this prohibition applies:

  1. For Hanafi fiqh, Tahtawi is quoted as saying

    when it is done without the permission of the husband

    (likewise for Shafi'i), and Ibn Abidin is quoted as saying when

    it is done for the sake of beautifying herself for strangers

    or

    when it is done without a need.

  2. For Maliki fiqh, the fatwa quotes the book Hashiyat al-Adawi which says

    for a woman who is forbidden from adorning herself such as a woman whose husband has passed away.

  3. For Shafi'i fiqh, the fatwa also quotes Khatib al-Shirbini saying

    for the prohibition is deception – such as an unmarried lady deceiving a prospective husband.

And the fatwa writes "the most reliable position in the Hanbali School is that there is no exception", but there were Hanbali scholars who thought there were exceptions.

The daruliftaa.com fatwa generally concluded:

Shari’ah allows bringing back to normality areas of the body that are deformed, damaged or considered abnormal by ‘sound’ people (and not what the fashion industry dictates) – especially when it results in hardship and psychological pain, and more so, when it may affect one’s aspirations to marry.

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