Hirsutism and leg waxing

Aug 14, 2021 | Women’s Fiqh


I suffer from hirsutism caused by polycystic ovaries which ñ means I have higher androgen levels in my body which manifests itself as manlike hairy ness particularly on my legs and upper thighs . I can not wax them myself as it is very painful for me and reduces me to tears,
I would not shave them for fear of becoming more hairy. Is it permissible for me to have my legs waxed by another female ? I am Married and I currently have them waxed by a female every 3 months so I only do it when it becomes really hairy that I need to remove it . I have found the hair growth has significantly reduced through waxing but it is still very dark and manlike in appearance and amount .
My husband did try to wax for me many years ago but we ended up with me getting very mad and angry at him and in pain and I wanted to lash out and hit him. When it is a stranger doing the waxing we can’t express the pain so it is controlled .
I hope you can clarify for me if I am allowed or not
This condition is very common amongst Indian women and signs are seen on the face with very black pitch black beard like hairs on the chin and upper lip.
Alhamdulillah on my face it isn’t so noticeable but it is on my legs


The ‘awra of a Muslim woman to another Muslim woman is from her navel to knee; this area includes the upper thighs.[1] Therefore, you are not permitted to uncover this area to another Muslim woman except in matters of necessity.[2] Furthermore, the ‘awra of a Muslim woman in front of a non-Muslim woman is akin to the ‘awra of a Muslim woman in front of a strange man: from her head to toe, excluding the face, hands and feet.[3]

Based on the circumstances you have described, your ordeal does not amount to the necessity legislated by Islamic law. Therefore, it is not permissible to get this upper thigh area waxed by another Muslim female; thus, a fortiori, a non-Muslim female.

This is due to several reasons, though primarily because there are various alternatives available for you, albeit possibly not as effective in your opinion or experience. Take the example of unlawful medicine in Islamic law. One is permitted to take such medicine so long as there are no lawful alternatives. If there is a lawful alternative available, there is a strong opinion that one is not permitted to take the unlawful medicine, even if the ḥalāl alternative is far less effective.[4] This is because the availability of an alternative thoroughly inhibits the scope for “necessity”. A core legal maxim in cases of necessity is: “necessity is determined by the extent thereof” (al-ḍarūrāt tuqaddaru bi-qadrihā). In your circumstances, the availability of alternatives inhibits your case for the necessity of uncovering your ‘awra to a Muslim or non-Muslim female beautician.

As for alternatives, might I offer an illustrative list of suggestions:

1) Re-attempt self-waxing or allowing your husband to re-attempt this.

Waxing longer hair is more painful in comparison to shorter hair. The standard guidelines stipulate that hair should be at least a grain-length for waxing. With your situation, a build-up of hair spanning a period of three months might be very long, and thus you are likely to experience a lot more pain. If you were to consider waxing more regularly, you might find that the pain is bearable

2) Shaving or using an epilator as a viable alternative.

While you have submitted your concerns about the hair coming back with more coarseness, again, with continuity and regularity, the process of shaving can be more efficient and just as effective. If the hair remains short, running a razor through the upper thighs at regular intervals can take a matter of minutes. And with regular and consistent shaving, you are unlikely to feel the hair come back. You could also use an epilator or hair removing cream.

There may be other alternatives on the market that you can use. With all these methods, there are pros and cons. Waxing is very effective but causes much pain. Shaving is also very effective but might allow for quicker growth. Epilators may be a middle-path. Please exhaust these alternatives and try to find a balance with what is affordable, maintainable and time-efficient.

You may find that you wish to employ a Muslim female beautician to wax your legs from the knee-down; this would permissible as it would not entail uncovering your ‘awra. Nevertheless, to reiterate, it is not permissible to use a Muslim female to wax your ‘awra, thus, a fortiori a non-Muslim female.

May Allah reward you for your efforts. I appreciate that this process may not be easy for you. Insha’Allah, with the intention of beautifying yourself to your husband, this entire process will be a means of immense reward for you in the hereafter.

And Allah knows best.

[1]              الهداية في شرح بداية المبتدي (4/ 370) قال: “وتنظر المرأة من المرأة إلى ما يجوز للرجل أن ينظر إليه من الرجل” لوجود المجانسة، وانعدام الشهوة غالبا كما في نظر الرجل إلى الرجل، وكذا الضرورة قد تحققت إلى الانكشاف فيما بينهن. وعن أبي حنيفة رحمه الله أن نظر المرأة إلى المرأة كنظر الرجل إلى محارمه، بخلاف نظرها إلى الرجل؛ لأن الرجال يحتاجون إلى زيادة الانكشاف للاشتغال بالأعمال. والأول أصح

[2]              مجمع الأنهر في شرح ملتقى الأبحر (2/ 538) (وَيَحْرُمُ النَّظَرُ إلَى الْعَوْرَةِ إلَّا عِنْدَ الضَّرُورَةِ كَالطَّبِيبِ) أَيْ لَهُ النَّظَرُ إلَى مَوْضِعِ النَّظَرِ ضَرُورَةً فَيُرَخَّصُ لَهُ إحْيَاءً لِحُقُوقِ النَّاسِ وَدَفْعًا لِحَاجَتِهِمْ (وَالْخَاتِنُ وَالْخَافِضَةُ) بِالْخَاءِ وَالضَّادِ الْمُعْجَمَةِ هِيَ الَّتِي تَخْتِنُ النِّسَاءَ (وَالْقَابِلَةُ وَالْحَاقِنُ) الَّذِي يَعْمَلُ الْحُقْنَةَ (وَلَا يَتَجَاوَزُ) كُلُّ وَاحِدٍ مِنْهُمْ (قَدْرَ الضَّرُورَةِ) فَإِنَّهُ يَلْزَمُ أَنْ يَغُضُّوا أَبْصَارَهُمْ مِنْ غَيْرِ مَوْضِعِ الْمَرَضِ وَالْخِتَانِ وَالْحُقْنَةِ. وَفِي التَّبْيِينِ وَيَنْبَغِي لِلطَّبِيبِ أَنْ يُعَلِّمَ امْرَأَةً إذَا كَانَ الْمَرِيضُ امْرَأَةً إنْ أَمْكَنَ؛ لِأَنَّ نَظَرَ الْجِنْسِ إلَى الْجِنْسِ أَخَفُّ وَإِنْ لَمْ يُمْكِنْ يَسْتُرُ كُلَّ عُضْوٍ مِنْهَا سِوَى مَوْضِعِ الْمَرَضِ ثُمَّ يَنْظُرُ وَيَغُضُّ بَصَرَهُ عَنْ غَيْرِ ذَلِكَ الْمَوْضِعِ مَا اسْتَطَاعَ؛ لِأَنَّ مَا يَثْبُتُ لِلضَّرُورَةِ يَتَقَدَّرُ بِقَدْرِهَا.

[3]              الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (6/ 371) (وَتَنْظُرُ الْمَرْأَةُ الْمُسْلِمَةُ مِنْ الْمَرْأَةِ كَالرَّجُلِ مِنْ الرَّجُلِ) وَقِيلَ كَالرَّجُلِ لِمَحْرَمِهِ وَالْأَوَّلُ أَصَحُّ سِرَاجٌ (وَكَذَا) تَنْظُرُ الْمَرْأَةُ (مِنْ الرَّجُلِ) كَنَظَرِ الرَّجُلِ لِلرَّجُلِ (إنْ أَمِنَتْ شَهْوَتَهَا) فَلَوْ لَمْ تَأْمَنْ أَوْ خَافَتْ أَوْ شَكَّتْ حَرُمَ اسْتِحْسَانًا كَالرَّجُلِ هُوَ الصَّحِيحُ فِي الْفَصْلَيْنِ تَتَارْخَانِيَّةٌ مَعْزِيًّا لِلْمُضْمَرَاتِ (وَالذِّمِّيَّةُ كَالرَّجُلِ الْأَجْنَبِيِّ فِي الْأَصَحِّ فَلَا تَنْظُرُ إلَى بَدَنِ الْمُسْلِمَةِ) مُجْتَبًى

[4]              الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (1/ 210) مَطْلَبٌ فِي التَّدَاوِي بِالْمُحَرَّمِ (قَوْلُهُ اُخْتُلِفَ فِي التَّدَاوِي بِالْمُحَرَّمِ) فَفِي النِّهَايَةِ عَنْ الذَّخِيرَةِ يَجُوزُ إنْ عَلِمَ فِيهِ شِفَاءً وَلَمْ يَعْلَمْ دَوَاءً آخَرَ

الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (5/ 228) مَطْلَبٌ فِي التَّدَاوِي بِالْمُحَرَّمِ (قَوْلُهُ وَرَدَّهُ فِي الْبَدَائِعِ إلَخْ) قَدَّمْنَا فِي الْبَيْعِ الْفَاسِدِ عِنْدَ قَوْلِهِ وَلَبَنُ امْرَأَةٍ أَنَّ صَاحِبَ الْخَانِيَّةِ وَالنِّهَايَةِ اخْتَارَا جَوَازَهُ إنْ عَلِمَ أَنَّ فِيهِ شِفَاءً وَلَمْ يَجِدْ دَوَاءً غَيْرَهُ قَالَ فِي النِّهَايَةِ: وَفِي التَّهْذِيبِ يَجُوزُ لِلْعَلِيلِ شُرْبُ الْبَوْلِ وَالدَّمِ وَالْمَيْتَةِ لِلتَّدَاوِي إذَا أَخْبَرَهُ طَبِيبٌ مُسْلِمٌ أَنَّ فِيهِ شِفَاءَهُ وَلَمْ يَجِدْ مِنْ الْمُبَاحِ مَا يَقُومُ مَقَامَهُ، وَإِنْ قَالَ الطَّبِيبُ يَتَعَجَّلُ شِفَاؤُك بِهِ فِيهِ وَجْهَانِ، وَهَلْ يَجُوزُ شُرْبُ الْعَلِيلِ مِنْ الْخَمْرِ لِلتَّدَاوِي فِيهِ وَجْهَانِ، وَكَذَا ذَكَرَهُ الْإِمَامُ التُّمُرْتَاشِيُّ وَكَذَا فِي الذَّخِيرَةِ وَمَا قِيلَ إنَّ الِاسْتِشْفَاءَ بِالْحَرَامِ حَرَامٌ غَيْرُ مُجْرًى عَلَى إطْلَاقِهِ وَأَنَّ الِاسْتِشْفَاءَ بِالْحَرَامِ إنَّمَا لَا يَجُوزُ إذَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ أَنَّ فِيهِ شِفَاءً أَمَّا إنْ عُلِمَ وَلَيْسَ لَهُ دَوَاءٌ غَيْرَهُ يَجُوزُ وَمَعْنَى قَوْلِ ابْنِ مَسْعُودٍ – رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ – لَمْ يُجْعَلْ شِفَاؤُكُمْ فِيمَا حُرِّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ يَحْتَمِلُ أَنْ يَكُونَ قَالَ ذَلِكَ فِي دَاءٍ عَرَفَ لَهُ دَوَاءً غَيْرَ الْمُحَرَّمِ لِأَنَّهُ حِينَئِذٍ يَسْتَغْنِي بِالْحَلَالِ عَنْ الْحَرَامِ وَيَجُوزُ أَنْ يُقَالَ تَنْكَشِفُ الْحُرْمَةُ عِنْدَ الْحَاجَةِ فَلَا يَكُونُ الشِّفَاءُ بِالْحَرَامِ وَإِنَّمَا يَكُونُ بِالْحَلَالِ اهـ نُورُ الْعَيْنِ مِنْ آخِرِ الْفَصْلِ التَّاسِعِ وَالْأَرْبَعِينَ

Answered by:
Maulana Ikramul Hoque Miah

Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel