Waxing Ban: Islam or Arab Culture?


The Darul Uloom Islamic School in Deoband in the Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh recently witnessed yet another ban in the name of its cultural disagreement. Earlier the use of CCTVs has been banned and saying that women must not pluck and shape their eyebrows as it is “un-Islamic”, the school has now gone forward and issued a fatwa against waxing and shaving, stating that waxing and shaving are now banned under the Sharia Law and are against the Islamic culture.

The Darul Ifta, which is the edict-issuing faculty of the seminary, spoke about waxing and shaving when a local man, identified as Abdul Aziz, who had put a query and asked if it was okay for men and women to shave or wax their arms and legs. The seminary said that waxing and shaving are considered to be against the Sharia law. Also, apart from armpits, moustache and lower part of the navel, shaving and waxing other parts of the body were considered to be bad. “Removing hair through waxing or shaving from other parts of the body is khilaf-e-adab (against the culture),” the Times of India has quoted the seminary. Going against the seminary’s thoughts, Deoband-based cleric Maulana Salim Ashraf Qasmi has been quoted saying “The fatwa is absolutely correct and is according to the Sharia Law. It should be noted that Darul Uloom has called the practice khilaf-e-adab and has not declared it ‘haram’ (forbidden).”

“Muslim women should stay away from beauty parlours as Islam does not permit them to have make-up attracting other male members. Like Muslim male are not allowed to shave under Islam, eyebrow trimming, hair-cutting and make-up like wearing lipstick, etc. is also banned,” Head Darul Iftaa Maulana L Sadiq Qasmi has been quoted. Darul Uloom has also said that the application of mehndi on a woman’s hands by an unknown man is not acceptable under the Sharia Law. The seminary has asked Muslim women to not wear bangles from men at stores as this practice is “wrong and a big sin”.

The seminary has been known for issuing such fatwas usually against practices followed by women. In this century where we aim to reach the stars and women have been walking hand in hand with the other genders, is this right to hold them back and put such bans and conditions on them ?  What do the children of Darul Uloom Schools learn and is this the school of thought we want our future to take forward?

About the Author:

Alisha Aggarwal (UBS, PU)



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