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The Beard & The Moustache

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Ruling on Growing a Beard and Moustache

 

We have been contacted by an enquirer who would like to know about the requirements of facial hair within the Islamic tradition, specifically is wearing a beard a requirement of the faith? Also, what is the Islamic perspective on growing a moustache?

 

Any information that you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

 

ANSWER

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

 

Growing a beard is an extremely emphasised and encouraged way (Sunnah) of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), and held by the Muslim scholars to be necessary (wajib) for a man.

 

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) repeatedly instructed the growing of a beard in many narrations, and his own habitual and continuous practice was that of growing a full beard. Thus, the obligation of keeping a beard is clear from the statements of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), the statements of the great Imams and the constant practice of the early Muslims (salaf).

 

1) Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “Trim (your) moustaches and lengthen/grow (your) beards.” (Sahih al-Bukhari & Sahih Muslim)

 

2) Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “Cut off moustaches, leave beards and do otherwise than the fire worshippers.” (Sahih Muslim, no. 260)

 

3) Sayyiduna Anas ibn Malik (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “Trim moustaches, lengthen/leave beards and do not imitate the Jews.” (Tahawi, Sharh Ma’ani al-Athar, 4/230)

 

4) Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) ordered the trimming/clipping of moustaches and the leaving of the beards.” (Sahih Muslim, no. 1/222)

 

In the above Hadiths, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) categorically commanded the keeping of the beard in many different ways, and with using different words. In the English translation of the above narrations (Hadiths), it is not possible to clearly observe the different wordings used. However, those who may look at the original Arabic text of these narrations will see that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) used different phrases and words to emphasise the keeping of the beard.

 

The great Hadith master, Imam al-Nawawi (Allah have mercy on him) states in his renowned commentary of Sahih Muslim:

 

The words: A’fu, Awfu. Arkhu, Arju and Waffiru have all been used; the meaning of all of which is to leave the beard as it is.” (Sharh Sahih Muslim, 3/151)

 

In the above narrations, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) explicitly commanded the growing of the beard. According to the scholars of the “science of juristic principles” (usul al-Fiqh), the explicit command (amr) of the Qur’an and Sunnah signifies the obligatory nature of an act (al-Amr li al-Wujub) unless otherwise proven. (See, for example: al-Nasafi, Kashf al-Asrar Sharh al-Manar, 1/37 for the Hanafi school, al-Baji, Ihkam al-Fusul fi Ahkam al-Usul, p.79 for the Maliki school, al-Shirazi, al-Luma’ for the Shafi’i school and Ibn Badran, Nuzhat al-Khatir al-Atir, 2/43 for the Hanbali school).

 

The Messenger of Allah’s (Allah bless him & give him peace) constant practice was also that of keeping a beard:

 

5) Abu Ma’mar relates that we asked Khabbab (Allah be pleased with him) whether the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) used to recite the Qur’an in the Zuhr and the Asr prayers. He replied in the affirmative. We said, “How did you come to know of this?” He replied, “From the movement of his beard.” (Sahih al-Bukhari1/971 & Sunan Abu Dawud, no. 801)

 

6) Sayyiduna Anas ibn Malik (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that when the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) performed ablution (wudhu), he would take a handful of water and put it under his jaws and pass it through his beard. He said, “This is what my Lord ordered me to do.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, no. 145, Sunan al-Bayhaqi, 1.54 and authenticated by al-Hakim)

 

7) Sayyiduna Jabir ibn Abd Allah (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace)…….had a thick beard….” (Sahih Muslim, no. 1823)

 

The four Sunni schools of Islamic law (madhhabs) also quite clearly mention the impermissibility of shaving the beard:

 

The Hanafi School

The great Hanafi jurist, Imam al-Haskafi (Allah have mercy on him) states in his Durr al-Mukhtar:

“It is unlawful for one to trim his beard….And as for shortening it when it is less than a fistful, as some North Africans and effeminate men do, this is something no one (i.e. of the Hanafi scholars) has said is permitted.”(See: Radd al-Muhtar ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar, 2/113, Kitab al-Sawm)

This position is also confirmed in other works, such as al-Bahr al-Ra’iq, Fath al-Qadir, al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya, Bada’i al-Sana’i and al-Ikhtiyar.

 

The Maliki School

Imam al-Dasuqi (Allah have mercy on him) states:

“It is unlawful (haram) for a man to shave off his beard, and the perpetrator will be disciplined.” (Hashiyat al-Dasuqi ala Sharh al-Kabir, 1/90, Kitab al-Taharah)

 

The Shafi’i school

It is stated in Sharh al-Ubab:

“The two shaykhs of the school (i.e. Nawawi & Rafi’i) state that it is Makruh (disliked) to shave the beard, but Ibn al-Rif’a objected to this stating that Imam Shafi’i (Allah have mercy on him) himself categorically mentioned in his book “al-Umm” that shaving the beard is unlawful (haram). Imam al-Azra’i said that the correct position of the school is that, to shave the beard without a valid medical reason is unlawful.” (Sharh al-Ubab & Hashiya Ibn Qasim al-Abbadi, 9/376)

 

Imam Ibn Qasim al-Abbadi also stated in his Hashiya:

“It is said that, shaving of the beard is unlawful.” (See: Hashiya Ibn Qasim al-Abbadi ala Tuhfat al-Muhtaj, 2/468, Kitab al-Salat)

 

The Hanbali School

Imam al-Bahuti (Allah have mercy on him) states:

“(From the acts of nature (fitrah) is to lengthen the beard in a way that it should not be trimmed at all. It is stated in the school that, this is as long as it does not become abnormally long in a way that it causes abhorrence. And it is unlawful (haram) to shave it off.” (Kashaf al-Qina’, 1/75).

 

This is also confirmed in the other major Hanbali works, such as: al-Insaf, 1/121 by al-Mawardi, Sharh Muntaha al-Iradat, 1/85 by al-Bahuti and al-Rawdh al-Murbi’, 27-28 also by al-Bahuti.

 

The above statements of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) and the statements of the jurist (fuqaha) go a long way in proving that to shave the beard (or trimming it to a very thin line which in effect is shaving) is unlawful (haram). A Muslim (and especially one who classes himself to be practicing) can never look with favour towards the act of shaving the beard.

 

Length of the beard

As far as the length of the beard is concerned, there is no doubt in the fact that the practice of the Mercy of both worlds, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) and his Companions (Allah be pleased with them all) was that of keeping and growing the beard to at least a fistful.

 

The Hadith quoted above from Sahih al-Bukhari, wherein Khabbab (Allah be pleased with him) said that, they (sahaba) came to know of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) reciting in his prayers due to the movement of his beard, is a clear proof of this. One can imagine the length of the Messenger of Allah’s beard if the Companions could see it moving from standing behind him in prayers.

Similarly, there are other narrations that clearly state that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) had a very thick and copious beard.

 

Imam al-Bukhari relates in his “Sahih” from Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “Do otherwise than those who ascribe partners to Allah (al-mushrikin): leave beards, and trim moustaches.” And Ibn Umar, when he went on Hajj or Umra, would grasp his beard with his hand, and removed what was in excess of it.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, 7/206)

 

Other Companions such as Abu Hurayra and Umar ibn al-Khattab (Allah be pleased with them all) are also reported to have trimmed their beards to a fistful, thus the practice of the Sahaba, who understood the Sunnah more than anyone else, is a clear proof on the permissibility of trimming the beard to a fistful.

The great Hanafi jurist, Imam Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) states:

 

“when a narrator (Ibn Umar, in this case), does something in contradiction to what he has narrated (the words “leave/grow beards”), it indicates that the original ruling (of not trimming the beard at all) has been superseded (mansukh) by a subsequent one–permitting the beard to be trimmed, in this case. But trimming it when it is already less than a handful is not permissible in the Hanafi school (Ibn Abidin: Radd al-muhtar ala al-durr al-mukhtar, 2/113)

 

Thus, as also quoted earlier, the Hanafi School is quite clear, in that it is unlawful to trim the beard shorter than a fistful, as mentioned by both Imam al-Haskafi and Imam Ibn Abidin. There is also an opinion in the school that, to trim the excess hair of a fistful is necessary (wajib), although the preferred opinion is that it is recommended (mandub) to trim it to a fistful. (See: Durr al-Mukhtar)

 

The Maliki School is also quite clear in that it is impermissible to trim the beard unless it is extremely long. However, they don’t restrict this to a fistful.

 

Imam Shaykh Ali al-Sa’idi al-Adawi (Allah have mercy on him) states:

“There is nothing wrong (in the sense that it is recommended) in trimming the beard if it is exceptionally long…..It will be impermissible to trim it if it was not long enough or was only slightly long. Some commentators (on the risala) explained the meaning of “lengthiness” (kathra) that which is considered to be abnormal, for leaving (such a lengthy beard) causes abhorrence in one’s appearance…….I would say: Some commentators have mentioned that trimming the beard when it has not grown (very) long will be unlawful similar to shaving it. But the apparent interpretation (of the text) is that the point of prohibition – as we have already demonstrated to you – is when clipping results in disfigurement (muthla), and this clear in the absence of lengthiness or when it is slightly long and one goes overboard in trimming. As for when it is (very) long and clipping it doesn’t produce disfigurement, then the apparently correct interpretation is that it is contrary to what is more appropriate (khilaf al-awla).” (Hashiya of Shaykh Ali al-Adawi on the commentary (sharh) of Imam Abu al-Hasan to the Risala of Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani, 1/409/410)

 

Imam al-Qarafi (Allah have mercy on him) states:

“From the nature (fitrah) is the lengthening of the beard unless it becomes extremely long (Jiddan), in which case, it would be recommended to trim it.” (al-Zakhira, 13/278)

 

The Shafi’i school, which is the most liberal on the beard issue, states that it is disliked (makruh) to trim the beard.

 

Imam al-Nawawi (Allah have mercy on him) states:

“The correct opinion is that it is disliked to trim the beard unrestrictedly (mutlaqan), rather, it should be left uncut however it grows.” (al-Majmu’, 1/290)

 

Imam Ibn Hajar (Allah have mercy on him) says in his Tuhfa:

“The outward purport (dhahir) of what our imams say is that it is unconditionally disliked to trim the beard.” (Tuhfat al-Muhtaj, 9.376)

 

The Hanbali School mentions that to leave the beard is necessary, and permissible to trim it to a fistful. (See: Kashaf al-Qina’, 1/75)

 

The upshot of all of the above is that, all the four schools of Islamic law regard the trimming of the beard less than a fistful as blameworthy (unlawful, according to the three schools and disliked according to the Shafi’i school). Thus, one should not trim his beard less than a fistful.

 

Scholars and those associated to Da’wa work must take extra care with regards to this. Even if trimming the beard less than a fistful is considered to be disliked, it is unfitting for a person active in Islamic work to involve himself in such a practice, for a person is more effective with his actions than his words.

 

Some individuals try to justify the shaving of the beard using many excuses, such as, it could be an obstacle in the way of effective Da’wa, etc, but these excuses are just that. When we have the clear guidance from the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), then there is no other way for us other than that of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace)

 

If the service to Islam and Muslims is done with adherence to the laws of Shariah, then one will be rewarded. However, service to Islam and the Muslims, whilst forgoing the injunctions of Islam is neither effective nor acceptable by Allah Almighty.

 

Consider the following incident recorded by Imam Ibn Kathir in his al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, Imam al-Tabari in his Tarikh and Imam Ibn al-Athir in his al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh:

 

“When the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) wrote a letter to the King of Persia (kisra) inviting him to Islam, he (kisra) tore the latter apart and then sent two of his people to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace). When they entered onto the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), their beards were shaven and they had grown a big moustache, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) disliked to even look at them, and said; “Who commanded you to do this? They replied that their Lord (kisra) had ordered them to do so. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, “But my Lord has ordered me to shorten my moustache and lengthen my beard….” (al-Bidaya Wal-Nihaya, 4/269/270)

In the above episode, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) disliked even to look at the Messengers of Kisra, for they had grown their Moustaches and shaved off their beards. This should serve as a great deterrent for all those who do not want to hurt the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) in any way, and thus abstain from any practice that would be disliked by him.

 

Before parting with the issue, I would like to mention that, the position taken above is according to my understanding of the Islamic ruling with regards to the beard, and this is what I have learnt from the majority of my teachers. This is also the position held by the scholars of the Indian Subcontinent and elsewhere.

However, there are other major scholars, especially in the Middle East, who hold a more lenient position with regards to the trimming of the beard. And, as you have seen, that there is nothing clear and decisive in the Shafi’i school stating that the beard must be grown to a fistful unless one will be sinful, thus many great Shafi’i scholars (from Yemen, for example) do not consider growing the beard to a fistful as obligatory, rather merely somewhat disliked if not kept.

 

Therefore, it is necessary that we have full conviction in what we believe and respect the opinions of others, as long as it falls into the category of valid Ijtihad. The most one may do is offer sincere advice (nasiha) while respecting others’ right not to follow the opinion one believes to be correct. This is the path of tolerance, and mercy.

 

The ruling on Moustache

The trimming and shortening of the moustache has been emphatically mentioned in many narrations of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), as we have seen above, thus, there is no need to repeat these narrations.

 

The Hadiths from the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) mention two things:

 

1) Some state, “Shorten your moustaches.”

 

2) Others state, “Remove your moustaches.” (See: Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim).

 

Thus, all the Schools of Islamic law agree on the fact that, it is impermissible to leave the moustache in a way that it covers the upper lip, for it is against the Sunnah and unhygienic, especially when eating. It would be unlawful to grow a very long moustache, as is customary in many people.

Zayd ibn Arqam (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “Whosoever does not shorten his moustache is not one from us.” (Sunan Tirmizi, no. 2761, Sunan Nasa’i, no. 14 and Musnad Ahmad, 4/366, and Imam al-Tirmizi classed it to be authentic).

 

Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) used to trim or take from his moustache, and the friend of Allah (khalil), the Prophet Ibrahim (blessings be upon him) would also do the same.” (Sunan Tirmizi, no. 2760 and Musnad Ahmad, 1/301)

However, the scholars differ as to whether it is better to shorten the moustache or remove it and shave it altogether.

 

The relied upon opinion in the Hanafi School is that, it is even better to remove one’s moustache, though the sunnah is achieved by shortening the it such that it no longer covers the upper lip.

 

Imam Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) states that the opinion of shaving off the moustache being a Sunnah, was chosen by many scholars. (Radd al-Muhtar)

 

Imam al-Tahawi said that it is a Sunnah to shave the moustache, and it is better than shortening it, affirming that this is the position of Abu Hanifa and both his main students (Allah have mercy on them). (See: Tahawi, Sharh Ma’ani al-Athaar, 4.229,

 

He also reported, with his authentic chains of transmission, that this was from the practice of great Companions, including Abd Allah ibn Umar, Abu Hurayra, Abu Sa’id al-Khudri, Abu Usayd al-Sa’idi, Rafi’ ibn Khadij, Jabir ibn Abd Allah, Anas ibn Malik, and others. (ibid.)

 

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (Allah have mercy on him) used to shave his moustache, thus the Hanbali position is also similar to that of the Hanafis. The Maliki School states that the moustache should not be completely removed, rather only shortened. The Shafi’is also hold a similar view.

 

This is what I have, and Allah knows best.

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK

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Status Of The Beard

 

All the great scholars of Islam unanimously agree on this issue that to grow a beard no less than the length of a fist is Wajib (compulsory) upon all Muslim men as it is a distinctive sign of Islam, and it is haram (forbidden) for a mature stable Muslim to shave his beard.

This verdict was reached on the grounds that there are numerous ahaadith where the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam is explicitly commanding the Muslims to grow a beard. In this respect a few ahaadith from Bukhari and Muslim are quoted below.

Ibn Umar ra.gif quotes the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam as saying, "Cut short the moustache and lengthen the beard."
(Bukhari and Muslim)

Abu Huraira ra.gif quotes the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam as saying, "Shorten the moustache and lengthen the beard."
(Muslim)

Ibn Umar ra.gif quotes the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam as saying, "Grow (lengthen) the beard."
(Muslim)

Yahya ibn Kathir says that, once a person from Ajam (external province) who had grown a moustache and shaved off the beard entered the mosque. The Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam asked him, "What motivated you to do this act?" He replied that his Lord had ordered him to do so. The Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam said, "Allah has ordered me to shorten my moustache and lengthen my beard." Besides these ahaadith, there are other ahaadith which support the necessity of growing the beard. Therefore, to shave, or trim one's beard less than the length of a fist is haram (forbidden) and anyone contradicting this ruling will be committing a major sin and regarded as a fasiq (immoral person).

The above mentioned ruling applies to all Muslims as a general rule, as for an Imaam or a Hafiz it becomes all the more important to grow a beard as he will have to lead the prayers. And the Imamat (leadership) of a person who shaves or trims his beard is makrooh-e-tahrimi (severely disliked), although the prayer behind such a person will be valid. It is stated in a hadith of Ibn Majah that (page 77), 'Let not a sinful and immoral person lead in a prayer of a true believer.'

It is also stated in Raddul Mukhtar (page 560, vol. 1), 'It is makrooh-e-tahrimi for a fasiq (immoral person) to lead the prayers. An Imaam is the best person in the community worthy of leading the people in their prayers, he should be pious and apparently free from sin and immorality.'

In a hadith of the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam it is stated, "If you wish that your prayers are accepted, than the most pious amongst should act as your Imaam, for he is a messenger between you and your Lord."

It is apparent from these ahaadith that an Imaam must grow a beard in order to lead the prayers. According to all four schools of thought (Madhabs), it is compulsory upon a Muslim man to grow a beard and refrain from shaving it, or trimming it to less than the length of a fist. Given below are fatawas (religious verdicts) issued by the four Madhabs and it's leading scholars on the issue of growing the beard.


Hanafi madhab:
To trim the beard when it is less than a fist's length, as done by some modern people and hermaphrodites is not permissible in the opinion of all the jurists. To shave the beard as done by unorthodox Jews, Hindus and others is also not permissible.
(Durre Mukhtar)


Maliki madhab:
To shave the beard is haram and to trim it in such a manner that it changes one's natural and normal facial features is also haram. It is also quoted in Kitabul Ib'daa', that without doubt the four Madhabs are agreed that the beard should be lengthened and that shaving it is haram.

Shafi madhab:
It is quoted in Al Ibaab', that Imaam ibn Ar'rifaah says that Imaam Shafe'ee, in his book, Kitabul Umm, has categorically stated that shaving the beard is haram.
Al Azraiy says that the correct position in the Shafe'ee madhab is that to shave the beard without a valid medical reason is haram. Similar verdict of prohibition has been issued by Zarakhshi, Baihaqi in his book, Shu'ab Al Iman, and by his teacher Qa'ffal Shashi in Muhasin As Shar'iyyah.


Hanbali madhab:
It is narrated in Shar'hul Muntahaa' and Shar'hul Manzoomatul Adaab, the most accepted view is that it is haram to shave the beard. Some Ulama like the author of 'Insaf', have categorically stated that it is haram. There is no report from anyone to the contrary.

Sheikhul Islam ibn Taymiyyah says, "Shaving the beard is haram."

Ibn Hazm has narrated Ijma (consensus of the Muslims) regarding the obligation of trimming the moustache and keeping the beard, he brings the following ahaadith in support of this Ijma:
"Oppose the Mushrikeen polytheists), trim the moustache and lengthen the beard."
(Muslim)

"Whosoever does not trim his moustache, he is not from amongst us."
(Ahmed Tirmidhi and Nasai)

The following are some fatawas given, issued by some prominent Muftis of the Arab world, in recent time regarding the necessity of keeping the beard.

Sheikh ibn Abdur Rahman Al Banna writes in Fathur Rabbani, "Shaving the beard is strictly haram. This is the madhab of Hanbalis and Zahiriyyah."
Sheikh Nasir Uddin Albani writes, "Due to the above references, it is wajib to lengthen the beard and to shave is haram."

Sheikh Abu Bakr Al Jazari writes, "One should leave his beard until it fills his face, because the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam has ordered, shorten your moustaches and lengthen your beards."

We can conclude from what has been said that to keep a beard is compulsory and to trim it or shave it is haram.
Keeping the beard has been the practice of the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam, as it has also been the practice of the earlier Prophets before him.
When Musa alaihis salaam returned from his journey of Mount Tur and found the Israelites engrossed in idolatry, he became furious and in severe anger he pulled the beard of his deputy (and brother) Haroon alaihis salaam who said:
"O son of my mother, seize me not by my beard nor my hair."

In the books of ahaadith, numerous hadith describe the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam as having a copious beard.
Umm Ma'bad radiyallahu anhu says that the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam had a copious beard.

At an age when moral and spiritual decline is at its peak, acting upon a single prophetic tradition could insure success in the hereafter. It is narrated in a hadith,
"One who is steadfast upon my Sunnah at the decline of my Ummah, for him there is the reward of a hundred martyrs."


One Maulana has said, "Within a body there is nothing which we can imitate the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam. Our hands, feet, chest, eyes, ears, nose etc. cannot imitate the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam. There is only one thing and that is the beard, in which we can imitate the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam. He had a full, dense beard. We should try to imitate him in this matter."

Acting upon the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam brings the pleasure of Allah and in turn great rewards in the hereafter. Similarly, opposing the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam brings the displeasure of Allah. It is stated in a hadith,
The messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihe wasallam has cursed those men who imitate women and those women who imitate men.
The beard is a distinctive sign of a man and removing it is like imitating a woman and anyone who commits this crime earns himself the displeasure of the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam and to displease the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam is to displease Allah. May Allah save us all from Allah's displeasure and wrath. Ameen.

Modern scientists and doctors have realised the benefits of keeping a beard.
One doctor writes, that by continually shaving, the veins of the sight are affected, resulting in failing eyesight. Another doctor writes that a lengthy beard stops harmful germs from reaching the throat and chest. Another goes so far as to say, "If men shaved for seven generations, the men in the eighth generation will have no beards. This means that the sperm gets weaker in every generation, until in the eighth this quality is completely destroyed."

Keeping the beard is the right of every individual. Therefore, even parents cannot order their children to shave the beard. The Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam said,
"There is no obedience to any creation when the creator is being disobeyed."
In such situations where children are forced to shave their beard by their parents, the children must oppose them, for there is no obedience to anyone when the rules of Shari'ah are asked to be violated.

A Muslim should strive hard to imitate the blessed Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam in all aspects of their life and refrain from imitating the non-Muslims.
There are numerous ahaadith in many books of hadith which describe the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam as having a full beard. Given below are some ahaadith regarding this:

Ali radiyallahu anhu narrates that the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam was neither too tall nor too short. He had long hair and beard.

Bukhari and Abu Dawood narrate from Abu Ma'mar, who says, "We asked Khabbab radiyallahu anhu, did the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam recite the Qur'an in Zuhr and Asar prayers?" He replied, "Yes." We asked him how he knew this. He said, "From the movement of his beard."

Muslim narrates from Jabir ibn Samura radiyallahu anhu, who says, "The front part of the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam's hair and beard had become grey. When he used to apply oil, it was not apparent but when the hair was unkempt it use to become apparent. The Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam had a dense beard."

At'a ibn Yasir radiyallahu anhu says, "The Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam was in the mosque, when a man entered who's hair and beard were unkempt. The Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam indicated towards him with his hand as though he was ordering him to adjust his hair and beard. The Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam said, 'Is this not better than coming with unkempt hair like shaitan.'"

Aisha radiyallahu anha relates that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihe wasallam said, "Ten things are of nature in which shortening the moustache and growing a full beard are mentioned."

Amongst the fitraat (Deen) of Islam is the cutting of the moustache and the lengthening of the beard, for surely the Majoos (Fire worshippers) lengthen their moustaches and cut their beards. In these two hadith, it has been mentioned that the beard is the natural beauty of a man. To shave it is a unnatural act. Also, shaving the beard is imitating the Kuffar, which is forbidden in Islam.

Ibn Al Jawzy narrates in Al Wafa Bi Ahwal Al Mustafa from Ali ibn Abi Talib that the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam had a full beard.

Tirmidhi narrates in his Shamaail from Abu Hala, who used to describe the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam. He says that the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam had a copious beard.

Muslim narrates from Ibn Umar that the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam said, "Oppose the Mushrikeen (polytheists), shorten the moustache and lengthen the beard."

In another hadith, the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam warns the Muslims not to imitate the Kuffar. It is stated in the hadith:
The Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam said, "One who imitates another nation, he is from amongst them."

This is a severe warning to those Muslims who wish to imitate the non Muslims in their dress and appearance.

Anas radiyallahu anhu narrates that the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam, most of the time used to oil his hair and comb his beard.

The Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam used to take care of his beard and hair. In one of the hadith that has been previously mentioned, the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam told a man to comb his hair and beard. He also given the similarity of a man who has unkempt hair and beard with the devil.

To conclude, the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam has emphatically commanded the Muslims to grow a beard. He also gave a severe warning to those who oppose this command, especially those people who openly oppose it. In a hadith it is mentioned:
"All the sinners of my Ummah are forgiven except those who commit sins openly."


This is a warning to those people who openly shave their beards and have no shame in doing this act. May Allah give us all the ability to act upon the commands of the Shari'ah. Ameen.

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The Wrongs Of Shaving The Beard

Shaving the beard results in a series of Islamic violations, among which are the following:

1. Disobedience to Allah

Shaving the beard is an act of disobedience to Allah, as is expressed in the words of His Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam: Abu Hurayrah RA, reported that the ruler of Yemen, appointed by the Persian emperor Kisra, sent two envoys to the Messenger . When they came into the Prophets presence, he noticed that they had shaved their beards and let their moustaches grow big. Hating their ugly appearance, The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam  turned his face away and said, "Woe be to you, who told you to do so?" They replied:"Our lord (Kisra) did!" The Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam  responded "But my Lord, exalted and glorified be He, has commanded me to spare my beard and trim my moustache." [Recorded by Ibn Jarir at-Tabari, Ibn Sa'd, and Ibn Bishran. Verified to be hasan (good) by al-Albani (Fiqh us-Sirah by al-Ghazali p. 359)]

2. Disobedience to the Messenger (salallahu alayhi wa sallam)

Shaving the beard is an act of disobedience to the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam who commanded the men to spare their beards in many hadiths. Ibn Umar RA, reported that Allah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam said: "Closely trim the moustache, and spare the beard." [Al-Bukhari, Muslim and others].

Obeying the Messenger (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) is equivalent to obeying Allah: "He who obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah; and as for those who turn away: We have not sent you as a guardian over them." [An-Nisa 4:80]


3. Deviation from the Guidance of the Messenger (salallahu alayhi wa sallam)

There is no doubt that Allah's Messenger saw.gif is the best example of a man, both in his appearance and actions.

Allah says: "There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern - for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day, and who remembers Allah often." [An-Nisa' 4:80]

And Jabir RA reported that Allah's Messenger saw.gif said: "Verily, the best guidance is Muhammad's guidance." [Recorded by Muslim]

Jabir Bin Samurah RA reported that Allah's Messenger saw.gif"had a large beard." [Recorded by Muslim].

Shaving the beard clearly exhibits a deviation from his appearance and guidance.


4. Deviation from the Way of Believers

One must strive to follow the ways of the believers and identify with them. This is an obligation expressed by Allah: "Whoever opposes the Messenger, after guidance has become clear to him, and follows other than the way of the 'Believers', We will give him what he has chosen and let him into Hell: What an evil destination!" [an-Nisa 4:115]

Note: The description 'Believers' in the ayah applies first and foremost to the Sahabah [the Prophet's saw.gif noble companions - Radiallahu Ta'ala Anhum Ajmaeen]

All of the prophets (alaihimus-salatu-as-salaam), the Sahabah (the Prophet's saw.gif companions RA), the great 'ulama', and the righteous Salaf (early Muslims) of this Ummah (Nation) grew their beards. There is no report of a single one of them selectively shaving his beard.

For example, Allah tells us that Harun (as) addressed his brother Musa (as) as follows: He said, "O son of my mother! Do not hold me by my beard or head." [Ta-Ha 20:94]

Furthermore, there are authentic reports indicating that the Rightly Guided Successors, as well as other sahabah and tabi'un had large beards.

Abu Bakr RA had a thick beard [Qut ul-Qulub 4:9], Umar RA  had a big beard [Al-Isabah 2:511], Uthman RA had a large beard [Al-Isabah 2:455], and Ali's RA beard was so wide as to span the distance between his shoulders [At-Tabaqat (3:25) by Ibn Sa'd],

Therefore, shaving the beard exhibits a clear deviation from the way of the believers.


5. Imitation of the Kufaar (Disbelievers)

The Muslims have been commanded to be different and distinct from the Kufaar (disbelievers).

In Surat ul-Fatihah, we are commanded to ask Allah to guide us away from the ways of the disbelievers: "Guide us to the Straight Path - The path of those upon whom You have bestowed Your favor, not of those who have earned Your anger, nor of those who are astray." [Al-Fatihah 1:6~7]

Also, Allah prohibits His Messenger saw.gif from following the desires of the ignorant. And indeed, anyone who is not on the True Guidance is ignorant. Allah says: "Do not follow the whims of those who have no knowledge (of Islam)." [Al-Jathiyah 45:18]

The Prophet saw.gif has indicated that a person who imitates a certain people will be counted (in Islam) as being one of them. Ibn Umar RA reported that Allah's Messenger saw.gif said: "I have been sent, close to the Last Hour, with the sword (to fight for the truth) - until Allah is worshipped alone without partners. My sustenance has been allotted under the shade of my spear. Humility and defeat have been allocated to whoever strays from my command. And whoever imitates a people is one of them." [Recorded by Abu Dawud and others. Verifies to be authentic by al-Albani (Irwa ulghalil no. 1269)]

How terrible it would be for a person whom Allah has favored with Islam to find himself resurrected on the Day of Judgment among non-Muslims - simply because he liked to imitate them.

In several hadiths, Allah's Messenger saw.gif has linked sparing the beard to being different from the followers of other religions.

Abu Hurayrah RA reported that the Prophet saw.gif said: "Cut the moustaches and grow your beards. Be different from the 'Magians'." [Recorded by Muslim and Others] Note: 'Magians' - Followers of an ancient Persian religion.

Abu Umamah RA reported that Allah's Messenger saw.gif said: "Cut your moustaches and leave your beards alone. Be different from the people of the scripture." [Recorded by Muslim]

Ibn Umar RA reported that Allah's Messenger saw.gif said: "Be different from the 'mushrikin'; trim your moustaches and save your beards." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Note: 'mushrikeen' - Those who join others with Allah in worship. Therefore, shaving the beard is an act of imitation of the disbelievers, and should be extremely abhorred. It conflicts with many fundamentals of Islam, and yet many Muslim men do it in compliance with the practices of the disbelievers! Verily, Allah's Messenger saw.gif foretold the truth, as was reported by Abu Said al-Khudri RA, when he saw.gif, said: "You will follow the example of those who preceded you, hand-span for hand-span, and arm-length for arm-length. Even if they entered into a lizard's hole, you would surely enter it!" He saw.gif was asked, "Do you mean the Jews and Christians?" He saw.gif replied, "Who else are the (previous) people?" [Recorded by al-Bukhari, Muslim and others].


6. Changing Allah's Creation Without Permission

Except for cases that are expressly indicated in Islam, it is prohibited to change the way that Allah has created things. Changing Allah's creation without permission involves obeying Satan who, as Allah tells us, had said: "They actually call upon none but rebellious Satan, whom Allah has cursed. And he had said (to Allah), "I will surely take from among Your servants a specific portion. I will mislead them, give them false promises, command them so they will slit the ears of cattle, and command them so they will change the creation of Allah." Certainly, whoever takes Satan as an ally instead of Allah is in tremendous loss." [an-Nisa 4:117~119]

Allah has honored the human beings and fashioned them in the best form: "Verily, We have created the human being in the best of stature." [At-Tin 95:4]

Changing this without permission is indeed an act of great atrocity and deviation that deserves punishment. The Messenger saw.gif declared that the women who change what Allah has created (such as removing their facial hair, wearing wigs, filing their teeth, or tattooing their bodies) seeking by that to improve their appearance, are accursed by Allah.

Ibn Mas'ud RA reported that Allah's Messenger saw.gif said: "Allah curses those (women) who tattoo (for others) and those who get tattoos, those who pluck the facial hair (for others) and those who have their facial hair plucked, those who connect their hair with other (fake) hair, and those who file their teeth for beauty - they all change Allah's creation." [al-Bukhari and Muslim]

This hadith mentions women in particular because they normally seek to beautify themselves more than men. But the warning applies to both genders, because the condition for the curse is declared: changing Allah's creation. Thus the curse applies to anyone who satisfies such condition. Shaving the beard falls under this warning, as it is much worse than 'nams' (removal of facial hair) practiced by some women.

At-Tahanawi said: "It is established that changing Allah's creation is a cause for the curse, and that whatever Allah's Messenger saw.gif prohibits is prohibited by Allah." [bayan ul- Quran]

Waliyy Ullah ad-Dahlawi said: "Cutting it is the way of the Magians, and involves changing Allah's creation." [bayan ul-Quran]


7. Imitation of Women

The beard presents a major distinction between men and women. Shaving it removes this distinction, and is thus a means of imitating women. Any act that involves imitation of the opposite gender makes a person liable for the curse of Allah and His Messenger saw.gif.

Ibn Abbas RA reported: "Allah's Messenger saw.gif has cursed the men who imitate the women; and the women who imitate the men." [Recorded by al-Bukhari and others].

Al-Kandahlawi said: "No one can have doubt that complete imitation of women arises from shaving the beard. This imitation is stronger than that of imitating their clothing and other matters, because the beard is the foremost and greatest distinction between men and women. This is possible to observe by all people, and is not denied except by one who wants to deceive himself, follow his whims, and be effeminate after Allah has favored him with the good appearance of a man." [Wujub i'fa il-Lihyah 31-32]


8. Contradicting the Pure Fitrah

The Messenger saw.gif indicated that a child is born with a pure nature, which may subsequently be blurred by self-indulgence or unfavorable environmental influence.

Abu Hurayrah RA and al-Aswad Bin Sari RA reported that Allah's Messenger saw.gif said: "Every child is born with the pure fitrah (nature) - until he becomes able to express himself. It is his parents who then turn him into a Jew, a Christian, a Magian, or a pagan." [al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Furthermore, Allah's Messenger saw.gif mentioned ten qualities as indicative of a good, clean nature. Two of these qualities are to trim the moustaches and to grow the beard.

A'ishah RA reported that Allah's Messenger saw.gif said: "There are ten qualities of fitrah: trimming the mustaches, sparing the beard, siwak (brushing the teeth), inhaling water (to clean the nose) [and rinsing the mouth], cutting the nails, washing the finger knuckles, plucking the armpit hair, shaving the pubic hair, washing the private parts with water, [and circumcision]." [Muslim, Abu Dawud, Ahmad, Ibn Abi Shaybah, and others. The part between square brackets is not in Muslim (Sahah ul-Jami `no. 2222)]

This fitrah never changes with time: Allah says: "The pure nature according to which Allah has created the people. There is no change in Allah's creation." [ar-Rum 30:30]

In the footsteps of the disbelievers, many Muslims fitrah is now very deformed. They find a clean-shaven man more handsome and masculine than one with a beard - exactly the opposite to what the Messenger saw.gif declared in in the above hadith!


9. Ridiculing the Deen

With the deformed fitrah that many contemporary Muslims have, they approve of the ways of the disbelievers and disapprove of the guidance of Allah's Messenger saw.gif! They adorn themselves with closely shaved beards, and are ashamed of attending important functions or meetings with even a slight beard. They admire the shiny look of a clean shaved man, and congratulate one who just had a nice shave! They command their relatives, children, and subordinates to shave their beards, declaring that the beard is a sign of being messy, backward, and lazy! They ridicule the beard and anyone who grows it! By doing this, they redicule an established part of the religion of Islam, which is a major sin. If they do not know that, they are most ignorant about their din, and if they do it knowingly, they could fall into a definite act of kufr (disbelief) - in Allah we seek refuge.

[The Beard Between the Salaf & Khalaf]

 

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The Harm of Shaving the Beard

 

 

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Hazrat Shaikh (Rahmatullahi Alaihi) mentioned: 

Today, people do not regard the shaving of the beard as a sin. Once, two kaafir messengers, with shaven beards, came to Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) turned his blessed face away (from them). Oh my beloved friends! After death when one appears before Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), then if at that time Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) had to turn his blessed face away from one, what will one do?!! (Malfoozaat of Hazrat Shaikh pg. 160)

Ihyaauddeen

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