Defining the extent of the pubic hair (al-‘aanah)

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One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
As Muslims we are required to shave pubic hair.
For a man, is this all the hair between his navel and his knees ? (i.e. all hair on the lower abdomen and thighs)
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Praise be to Allaah.

Al-Haafiz said in al-Fath (10/343):

Al-Nawawi said: what is meant by al-‘aanah is the hair which is above and around the man’s penis, and the hair around the woman’s vagina. It was reported from Abu’l-‘Abbaas ibn Surayj that it is the hair that grows around the back passage. From all of this, we may understand that it is mustahabb to shave all the hair from the front and back and all around them. Shaving is mentioned because this is the most common method, but it is also permissible to remove hair by waxing, plucking, etc.

Abu Shaamah said: al-‘aanah is the hair that grows on the rakab, which is what is underneath the bulge of the abdomen and above the private parts. Or it was said that it is the exterior of the private parts; or the private part itself, whether of a man or a woman. It is mustahabb to remove the hair from the front and back, indeed it is more important to remove the hair from the back, lest any faeces get stuck to it and cannot be removed by cleaning it with water or with stones, tissues, etc. Depilatory agents (waxing, sugaring, etc.) may be used instead of shaving, or the hair may be plucked or cut. Ahmad was asked about removing the pubic hair with scissors. He said, “I hope this will be good enough.” He was asked, “What about plucking?” He said, “Could anyone do that?” Ibn Daqeeq al-‘Eed said: the scholars of the Arabic language said: “al-‘aanah is the hair that grows around the private part, or it was said that it is where the hair grows. This is what was meant in the report. Abu Bakr ibn al-‘Arabi said: The pubic hair is the body hair which it is most important to remove, because it grows thick and dirt gets trapped in it. Ibn Daqeeq al-‘Eed said: it is as if those who said it is mustahabb to shave the hair around the back passage mentioned this by way of analogy.

And Allaah knows best.

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah's Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

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