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Section IV: Depilating the Armpits and Shaving Pubic Hair (Istihdad)

Firstly: Depilating the Armpits
1. The ruling of depilating the armpits
It is sunnah to depilate the armpits, [118] Ibt is armpit in Arabic, and can be either masculine or feminine linguistically, though masculinising it is more eloquent. and this is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
2. How to depilate the armpits
It is sunnah to depilate the armpits by plucking, and if it is done through shaving or tanawwur [119] Tanawwur is removing hair using a nurah, which is limestone. It then became used for limestone mixed in with other material, like arsenic and others. then it is permissible and has fulfilled the original purpose of the sunnah. Plucking is nonetheless preferred, and this is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
Secondly: Shaving Pubic Hair
1. Defining Istihdad
Istihdad: is shaving pubic hair, [120] In any way, with no specific process. and it has been referred to as such due to the use of the hadidah in it, which is the blade.
What is meant by the pubic hair: is the hair which grows above and around a man’s penis, as well that hair which grows above and around the woman's private part.
2. The ruling of shaving pubic hair
Shaving pubic hair is sunnah, and this is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
3. How to shave pubic hair
Shaving is preferred, though removal through any means is also permissible, like trimming and plucking and tanawwur. Men and women take the same ruling in this regard. [121] Shaving being better is a matter of agreement between jurists, but they differed over what is better for women, shaving or plucking. Malikis and Hanbalis held the view that shaving for the woman is preferred, and Malikis disliked plucking as they viewed it as part of the prohibited Nams. Hanafis and Shafi`is held the view that plucking is better for the woman, though Shafi`is specified this for the young woman as opposed to the old. This is the position of the Hanbalis, and the choice of al-Nawawi, Ibn Daqiq al-`Id, and Ibn Baz.
4. The one who is permitted to shave
Each person must shave their own pubic hair, and not let anyone see their `awrah other than those for whom it is permissible, such as a man's wife or his female slave. Al-Nawawi quotes consensus over the impermissibility of a man seeing another man's `awrah, and for a woman to see another woman’s. Ibn Hajar quotes this consensus from him and does not comment on its qualification. Al-Nawawi and Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali quote consensus over the necessity to cover one's `awrah from the sight of others.
5. The ruling of leaving off shaving pubic hair, depilating the armpits, trimming the moustache, and cutting the nails for more than forty days
Scholars have differed over the ruling of leaving off shaving pubic hair, depilating the armpits, trimming the moustache, and cutting the nails for more than forty days according to two views:
The first: is that it is makruh to leave off shaving pubic hair, depilating the armpits, trimming the moustache, and cutting the nails for more than forty days. [122] The criterion for when it is mustahabb to shave is the length of hair: if it gets long, it should be shaved. Likewise for the moustache, armpit hair, and the nails. This is the position of Shafi`is and Hanbalis.
The second: is that it is haram to leave off shaving pubic hair, depilating the armpits, trimming the moustache, and cutting the nails for more than forty days. This is the position of the Hanafis, and the choice of al-Shawkani and Ibn Baz.


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