Q&A (Fatwa)

#1147: On Barbing The Hairs Of An Infant Female

“What is the position in the Shar’iah of Shaving the hairs of the Infant new born girl as a part of the Rites of the New born?”



It is important to realise, O beloved one, that the Fuqahaa differed on this matter.

The position attributed to the Hanbalis is that it is not permissible to shave the hair of the newborn girl. This is because they use the Hadith that forbade the Shaving of the hair of women to restrict the Hadith of Shaving the hairs of the newborn. What that means is they hold that since the Rasul salallahu alayhi wasallam forbade that women should shave their heads, as was recorded by Abu Isa At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa’i from ‘Ali radiyallahu anhu, then the Ruling of Shaving the hairs of the newborn is restricted to boys only. This was mentioned by Ibn Qudaamah in Al-Mughni.

Whereas the position held by the Maliki and Shaafi’i schools is the Shaving of the hairs of the girl new born just as that of the boy new born is shaved. And their reference to this effect is the Narration that was recorded by Maalik and Abubakr Al-Bayhaqi from Muhammad bn Ali bn Al-Husayn that Faatimah radiyallahu ‘anha shaved the hairs of Hasan, Husayn, Zainab and Umm Kulthum and gave Sadaqah in their steads. But the Hadith is Mursal as the Ulamaa of Hadith have confirmed. What that means is that in terms of evidences, the position favoured by the Hanbalis is stronger.

But the Maalikis strengthened their position by mentioning 2 other things:
1. That the command to shave the hairs of the new born was commanded by the Rasul salallahu alayhi wasallam as a way of removing harm from the Child. Their reference is to the Wording of the Hadith that was recorded by Imam Al-Bukhari in which the Rasul salallahu alayhi wasallam said:

مع الغلام عقيقته فأهريقوا عنه دما وأميطوا عنه الأذى

_”With the new boy is his ‘Aqiqah, so slaughter on his behalf and ward away every hard and dirt from him”_

And in the Riwaayah of At-Tabaraani from Ibn ‘Abbas he said:

ويماط عنه الأذى ويحلق رأسه

_”harm and dirt are warded away from him and his hair is shaved”_

They held that the Shaving of the hair was a part of the harms and dirt that come with the child. If then the purpose of Shaving the hair is the taking away of harm and dirts, then this is also applicable to the female born.
2. That the female child must not shave her hair again throughout life due to the Hadith forbidding that. It therefore means that if the premature hair she carries at birth is not shaved, she would live with that all her years.

They hold that there are many benefits from Shaving the first hair. So why restrict that benefit to the boy alone?

In summary, those of the Fuqahaa that held that the girl newborn is to be shaved looked at the reason for Shaving based on their deduction and generalized it by so doing. While those that held its impermissibility looked for the evidences that female newborn are to be shaved and then ruled on impermissibility due to the weakness in the evidence to that effect.

This means that the position of the Hanbalis is stronger in terms of the evidences that it is limited to the male child. But there is nothing wrong if a person chooses the position of the majority as clearly the position held by the Malikis and the Shaafi’is is also the choice of some Hanbalis as mentioned by An-Nawawi in the Majmuu’u.

And Allah knows best.

We answered the same question in the link below, you may refer to it. https://t.me/INQAArchive/873

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