Why Muslims Remove Hair From Their Body

June 9, 2006 at 8:50 pm (Islam, Middle East)

We have read a number of book on Islamic fiqh (jurisprudence, much like Jewish halakhah) and We have yet to encounter any mention of the removal of hair from certain parts of the body. We know this is part of Islamic practice, but We have been confused as to where this command comes from, what are its rules, upon whom it is obligatory, et cetera. Today, We found it.

It is part of what Islam calls fitrah. (Fitrah according to Wikipedia; an article on fitrah by the University of Essex Islamic Society.) Fitrah refers to those things which are innate in a person but which can be confounded or forgotten by a corrupting society. This is source of the belief that everyone is born a Muslim but the child’s parents lead him/her away from Islam. Islam is part of fitrah, meaning it is innate unless the environment leads one astray.

It is said that in addition to this religious component, fitrah has five physical characteristics:
1. circumcision
2. removing the hair from the pubic region
3. plucking (or removing) the hair from the underarm region
4. trimming the moustache
5. clipping one’s nails

We have to do more research to find out whether the first characteristic is considered to be applicable for women. Points 2, 3, and 5 are applicable to men and women. Obviously, point 4 is applicable only for men.

So the removal of this hair is for purity and to obey what Muhammad commanded his people to do. It is not specifically for martyrdom purposes, although many suicide terrorists will do all to remain in a state of purity (adhering to the above, performing ritual ablution, et cetera) when setting out for their attack.

innaa naHnu-l-a’lam.



  1. David Drake said,

    4. trimming the moustache

    I dunno…..some of the women have significant hair on their upper lip….

  2. Muslihoon said,

    That is true. Well, good for them! They can follow all five points!

  3. Debbie said,

    I just read your comments at In the Bullpen (I post there with Chad), I wondered about your thoughts on this:


    I have several Muslims who post at Right Truth, but none of them felt the need to comment on that particular post. Wonder if I ran them off? I hope not, dialogue is good.

    Niceblog and I have blogrolled you for future reading.


  4. Debbie said,

    Thank you for the wonderful comments at Right Truth. In my last comment here I said I have several Muslims who ‘post’ at Right Truth. That was my mistake, I am the only one who ‘posts’ there. I have several Muslim readers who “comment” often. I always like to hear everyone’s opinion. It helps to have alternate views and people can make up their own minds.

    Thank you so much. Have a wonderful weekend.

  5. Christopher Taylor said,

    I’m curious how this grooming and personal cleanliness (I understand that there are many rules in addition to these, such as how to wipe after defecation, for example) fits in with the really grungy, unkempt Wahabbists we tend to see. Does Wahabbism reject these rules because they are too civilized and not from the desert nomadic culture?

  6. Muslihoon said,

    Good point, Christopher. (Thanks for stopping by, by the way!) You are right, there are very elaborate rules about grooming. I think Wahhabists tend to be grungy because of aspects that the laws of grooming don’t touch on. Beards are supposed to be grown, not trimmed or cut. Also bathing is not necessary regularly. Bathing (ghusl) is done mainly for purification reasons (the most significant is when a man has seminal emission regardless of the circumstances). Daily cleanliness is usually accomplished by ritual ablution, which washes the hands, arms, feet, head, face, ears, and nose.

    I would also guess your point plays a role: Wahhabists tend to be quite puritanical and don’t want to absorb what they see as imports from infidels.

  7. Christopher Taylor said,

    Friend, I read your blog every day and learn from and enjoy it every time. This is one of the best out there, and the least-known.

    As I understand it, Wahhabists are not keen on obeying the Koran as much as Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab and Ibn Taymiyya. The closest analogy I can think of is how Mormons will agree that the Old and New Testaments are scripture, they are all but supplanted by the writings of Joseph Smith (Pearl of Great Price and Book of Mormon).

  8. Debbie said,

    I am making your site a daily read also. It is very informative.

  9. Jauhara al Kafirah said,

    From the Filthkra of Jauhara’s Koran
    Kama Sutra 1:56
    Take the soap of the rope and with the loofah of the long stick lather and scrape the residue from out of the crack of the buttocks. Rinse, Lather and repeat, until the buttocks shine as the moon in the arms of Jupiter.
    Take the Razor of Venus and depillerate the pubies from under of the pits of the arms and from the awra, also known as the wee-wo or the slit. Rinse, lather and repeat the shaving of the woohoo, until the hair is in the bottom of the shower.
    Remove the hair lest the husband see and be wrothful vexed and desire to paddle thee, which thou most certainly wouldst enjoy.

  10. Natasha said,

    Fitrah doesn’t say those things must be done, it only says they are allowed. So it is not the reason Muslims remove hair from their body, it merely is a statement saying it is allowed.

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