Praise be to Allah, and may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family and his companions.
Al-Nams is plucking hair. Al-Farraa’ said: “al-Namisah is the one who removes hair from the face”. In Sharh al-Sunnah (12/105)S, al-Baghawi said: “Al-Nams is plucking hair from the face” and in Jaami’ al-Usul (4/781), he said: “al-Namas is making eyebrows thin and precise for the purposes if improving them”. In his Sunan under the chapter of hair extensions, Abu Dawood said: “Al-Namisah means a woman who plucks hair from the brow until she makes it thin.” In Ghareeb al-Hadeeth (2/437), Abu Ubayd said: “she is the one who removes hair from the face”. However, Hanafite, Malikie and some Shafite jurists defined her as: “the one who plucks eyebrows”. In al-Bahr al-Raiq (6/86), it is mentioned that: “al-Namisah is a woman who reduces hair eyebrows for decoration”. In SharhFath al-Qareeb (6/426), is said that: “Al-namisah means a woman who plucks hair from the brow until she makes it thin”. In Fawakih al-Diwani (2/314), it is mentioned that: ““Al-namisah means a woman who removes some of her eyebrows”. A similar definition is found in Hashiyat al-‘Adawi (2/599). In al-Majmoo’ (3/146), it is written that: ““Al-namisah means a woman who plucks her eyebrows and makes them thin so that they become beautiful”. Shafite, Hanbalite, some of Malikite jurists and IbnHazm defined Nams as: “plucking eyebrows”. In al-Mughni al-Muhtaj (1/191), it is said: “al-Nams is plucking facial hair and eyebrows for beauty”. In Zawajir min Iqtiraf al-Kabair (1/235), al-Nams is defined as: “plucking facial hair”. In Kishaf al-Qina’ (1/81), al-Nams is defined as: “plucking facial hair”. In Qawanin al-Fiqhiyyah (page 293), al-Nams is defined as: “plucking of a woman’s facial hair”. In his exegesis (5/292), al-Qurtubi says: “Mutanamisat is a plural of mutanamisah which is a woman who pulls off her facial hair”.
However, I haven’t seen anywhere written that al-nams is removing hair from the whole body except what was mentioned by Ibn al-Arab in TafseerAhkam al-Quran (1/630) when he said: Al-Namisah is a woman who removes hair in order to improve herself, the people of Egypt removes pubic hair which is part of nams.” Some Hanafite jurists generalised the definition of al-Nams by saying that it is: “removing hair” without specifying which hair as mentioned by Ibn ‘Abideen in Hashiyah (6/373) when he said: “al-Nams is removing of hair”.
In spite of these differences, what is apparent to me is that al-Nams mean plucking eyebrows. This is the agreed part of the definition by all scholars. Any addition to this is disputed. The truth is there is no way of determining what is entered or removed from the definition. Being limited to what we are sure of is nearer to what is correct, hence the hair that is beyond eyebrows falls under the principle that everything is permissible unless there is evidence prohibiting it.
However, it is not permissible to get paid for plucking eyebrows because plucking eyebrows is forbidden, not only that but it is from part of the major sins. To this end, the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) said: “Allah cursed An-Namisah (the one who does the plucking) and Al-Mutanammisah (the one who has it done)”. [Transmitted by Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of IbnMas’ud].
Dr. Khalid al-Mosleh