Are men allowed to remove chest and back hair to please their wives?
In the Fatawa Hindiyya and Radd al-Muhtar, the authors have quoted from the Qinya that it is against good etiquette for a man to remove his chest and back hair. There is no further comment to indicate that this practice is sinful or disliked.
It should be noted that the Qinya is not deemed an absolutely reliable juristic text and scholars have suggested corroborating what is mentioned in the Qinya with other sources. For this reason, although the abovementioned authors have quoted from the Qinya, since this issue has not been discussed in other prominent books of fiqh, we will not extrapolate from this that shaving the chest or back hair is disliked. Furthermore, societal contexts also have bearings on juristic rulings. It may be that in some societies, shaving the chest and back hair is deemed effeminate and hence it was considered a bad practice.
Although there were no direct findings of this issue elsewhere, however, under the discussion of the removal of hair in hajj, some books of fiqh have commented on removing chest and back hair and said that despite their being no purpose for removing hair from these areas, to do so in the state of pilgrim sanctity will result in a penalty. This shows that the common understanding was that there is generally no reason or purpose to remove hair from the chest or back. Nevertheless, where there is a reason (e.g., pleasing one’s spouse), there is no text to prohibit this.
To conclude, it is permitted for a man to remove his chest or back hair. However, this is not an encouraged nor a commendable act.
Usul al-Ifta’, Mufti Taqi Uthmani, p.208
الفتاوى الهندية (5/ 358) وفي حلق شعر الصدر والظهر ترك الأدب كذا في القنية
الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (6/ 407) وَفِي حَلْقِ شَعْرِ الصَّدْرِ وَالظَّهْرِ تَرْكُ الْأَدَبِ كَذَا فِي الْقُنْيَةِ اهـ ط
الدرر المباحة للنحلاوي (ص: 49) وفي حلق شعر الصدر، والظهر تركُ الأدب.
الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (2/ 549) قَالَ شَارِحُهُ: يُشِيرُ بِقَوْلِهِ وَقِيلَ صَدَقَةٌ إلَى مَا فِي الْمَبْسُوطِ مَتَى حَلَقَ عُضْوًا مَقْصُودًا بِالْحَلْقِ فَعَلَيْهِ دَمٌ، وَإِنْ حَلَقَ مَا لَيْسَ بِمَقْصُودٍ فَصَدَقَةٌ. ثُمَّ قَالَ: وَمِمَّا لَيْسَ بِمَقْصُودٍ حَلْقُ شَعْرِ الصَّدْرِ وَالسَّاقِ، وَمِمَّا هُوَ مَقْصُودٌ حَلْقُ الرَّأْسِ وَالْإِبِطَيْنِ، وَمِثْلُهُ فِي الْبَدَائِعِ والتمرتاشي. وَفِي النُّخْبَةِ: وَمَا فِي الْمَبْسُوطِ هُوَ الْأَصَحُّ. قَالَ ابْنُ الْهُمَامِ إنَّهُ الْحَقُّ. اهـ.
Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel