What Islam says About the Beard
[excerpts from The Shari Length of the Beard by Mufti Afzal Elias]
This pamphlet is to emphasize the importance and the length of the beard. Many Muslims have queried regarding this point. I have also found that people prefer keeping a beard in imitation of what’s in vogue rather than that prescribed by Nabi (Sallallâhu Alayhi Wasallam). A compilation of this nature has become important because the impact of the western way of life seems to be luring unwary Muslims into such a craze that the importance of the beard itself is being doubted and scoffed at.
To those who feel the issue is trivial to worry about, may ALLAH guide him. But to those who genuinely wish to learn and practice what is right, here are sufficient proofs from the Holy Qur’ân, Ahadîth, and learned scholars.
Concerning Adherence to the Sunnah in the Holy Qur’ân:
- “O ye who believe! Obey Allâh, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you.” [Holy Qur’ân 4:59]
- “O ye who believe! Obey Allâh and His Messenger, and turn not away from him when ye hear (him speak).” [Holy Qur’ân 8:20]
- “O ye who believe! give your response to Allâh and His Messenger, when He calleth you to that which will give you life; and know that Allâh cometh in between a man and his heart, and that it is He to Whom ye shall (all) be gathered.” [Holy Qur’ân 8:24]
- “Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allâh an excellent exempler for him who hopes in Allâh and the Final Day, and who remembers Allâh.” [Holy Qur’ân 33:21]
- “What Allâh has bestowed on His Messenger (and taken away) from the people of the townships,- belongs to Allâh,- to His Messenger and to kindred and orphans, the needy and the wayfarer; in order that it may not (merely) make a circuit between the wealthy among you. So take what the Messenger gives you, and refrain from what he prohibits you. And fear Allâh: for Allâh is strict in Punishment.” [Holy Qur’ân 59:7]
Importance of the Beard in the Words of Rasulullah :
- Rasulullah (SallAllâhu Alayhi Wasallam) said “I have no connection iwth one who shaves, shouts and tears his clothing eg. in grief or affication.” – Reported by Abu Darda (R.A.) in Muslim, Hadith no. 501
- The teachings of Hadhrat Ammar Bin Yaasir, Abdullah Ibn Umar, Sayyidina Umar, Abu Hurairah and Jaabir (R.A.), indicate that ALL used to keep beards that were one fist length or more. Hadhrat Jaabir (R.A.) had said: “We used to grow long beards and only during Hajj and Umrah did we trim them to the required length (i.e. fist length).”
- Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (R.A.) relates that: “He who imitates the kuffar (non-believers) and dies in that state, he will be raised up with them on the Day of Qiyâmat (Judgement).”
- Rasulullah (SallAllâhu Alayhi Wasallam) says: “Trim closely the moustache, and let the beard flow (Grow).” – Narrated Ibn Umar (R.A.) in Muslim, Hadith no. 498
- “Rasulullah (SallAllâhu Alayhi Wasallam) ordered us to trim the moustache closely and spare the beard” says Ibn Umar. – Muslim, Hadith no. 449
- Rasulullah (SallAllâhu Alayhi Wasallam)said: “Act against contrary to the polythesists, trim closely the moustache and grow the beard.” – Reported by Ibn Umar (R.A.) in Muslim, Hadith no. 500
- Rasulullah (SallAllâhu Alayhi Wasallam) said “Trim closely the moustache and grow the beard.” – Reported by Abu Hurairah (R.A.) in Muslim, Hadith no. 501
- Rasulullah (SallAllâhu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Anyone who shaves has no claim to the mercy of Allâh” – Reported by Ibn Abbas (R.A.) in Tibrabi
- Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (R.A.) used to cut that portion (which exceeds the grip of the hand) of the beard.- Tirmidhi
The Beard according to the Great Imâms of Jurisprudence
Imam Muhammed (R.A.) writes in his book “Kitabul Aathaar” where he relates from Imam Abu Hanifa (R.A.) who relates from Hadhrat Haytham (R.A.) who relates from Ibn Umar (R.A.) that he (Ibn Umar) used to hold his beard in his hand and cut off which was longer. Imam Muhammed (R.A.) says that this is what we follow and this was the decision of Imam Abu Hanifa. Therefore, according to Hanafis, to shorten the beard less than a FIST LENGTH is HARAAM and on this is IJMA’ (concensus of opinion).
Imam Ash-Shafi’ (R.A.) in his Kitabul Umm states, “To shave the beard is HARAAM.” (Shari Minhaj dar Shara Fasl Aqeeqa).
Shekh Ahmad Nafarawi Maliki in the commentary of Imam Abu Zayed’s booklet states, “to shave the beard is without doubt haraam according to all Imams.” It is also mention in “Tamheed” which is a commentary of “al-Muwatta” (Sunnan Imam Malik (R.A.)) that to shave the beard is HARAAM and among males the only ones to resort to this practice (of shaving) are the HERMAPHRODITES (persons who possess both male and female features and characteristics).
The Hanbalis in the famous Al-Khanie’a Hanbali Fatawa Kitab state that “to grow the beard is essential and to shave it is HARAAM.” Also in the Hanbali Mathab books “Sharahul Muntahaa” and “Sharr Manzoomatul Âdâb“, it is stated “The most accepted view is that it is HARAAM (prohibited) to shave the beard.”
Also note, according to scholars of Islam: “To shave off the beard is haraam (unlawful) and one who shaves his beard is, legally speaking, FASIQ (sinner); hence, it is NOT PERMISSIBLE to appoint such a man as an Imam. To say Taraweeh behind such an Imam is MAKRUH-E-TAHRIMI (near prohibition)” (Shami Vol.1, p.523)
The Durre-Mukhtar states: “No one has called it permissible to trim it (the beard) less than FIST-LENGTH as is being done by some westernized Muslims and hermaphrodites.” (Vol. 2, p. 155). Also, “It is forbidden (haraam) for a man to cut off another’s beard.” (Vol. 5, p. 359).
Thus, a Muslim who shaves or shortens his beard is like a hermaphrodite, his Imamate near prohibition, his evidence is not valid, he will not have the right to vote or being voted for. Shaving and shortening the beard is the action of non-believers. Imam Ghazzali (RA) says: “Know that the key to total bliss (Saadah) lies in following the Sunnah and in emulating the life of Rasulullah (SallAllâhu Alayhi Wasallam) in ALL that issues from him, and in ALL his doings even if it concerns the manner of his eating, rising, sleeping, and speaking. I do say this in relation to rituals in worship ONLY because there is no way neglecting the Sunnah reported of him in such matters – but what I say INCLUDES EVERY ASPECT of his daily life.” (Kitab al Arbain Addin, Cairo 1344, p. 89). Furthermore, in the Holy Qur’ân, Allâh told Rasulullah (SallAllâhu Alayhi Wasallam) to say:
“Say: “If ye do love Allâh, Follow me: Allâh will love you and forgive you your sins: For Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Holy Qur’ân 3:31]
The daily recitation of a band of angels of Allâh is “Holy is the Being who adorned men with beards and women with braids” (Takmela e Bahr al Raiq, Vol. 3, p. 331)
Lastly, Allâh Ta’ala says in the Holy Qur’ân:
“And when the true believers are called to Allâh and His Rasul (SallAllâhu Alayhi Wasallam) [to accept and practice the law and commands of Allâh and His Rasul (SallAllâhu Alayhi Wasallam)] that he may pass judgement upon them, their ONLY reply is ‘We hear and obey.’ Such men shall surely prosper.” [24:51]
THE CALL IS TO GROW A FIST LENGTH BEARD, LET US HEAR AND OBEY TO PROSPER.
The Blessed Beard… Grow it, what’s so hard to understand?
(Commentary) Muslims are overcome with western influence in their lives and it’s easy to forget, nay, neglect the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). Little do these Muslims realize the magnitude of their actions in imitating Kufaar (see Hadith section). Hopefully the information presented herein will enlighten those. And then there are others who claim that the matters concerning beards is a “little” issue not worthy of mention nor practice. To them I say get off the denial bandwagon, you’re a Muslim! Follow the Prophet (Peace be upon him) in all aspects of life, for he was the best of examples. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve mistaken a Muslim brother (outside of the Masjid) for a kaafir on account of his clean-shaven, well oiled, face. How can I say “Assalaamu Alaikum Brother!” when I do not know if he is a Muslim. Yet that very brother then wonders why he was ignored! From one brother to another, I say: “Grow a beard, then, since it also promotes Brotherhood in the real world. Stand with your Brothers, be one. We know you are handsome without it (a beard), but who cares? What matters is how Allâh (S.W.T.) sees you. And when you do grow a beard, don’t mock the Sunnah, please grow it correctly, i.e. FIST LENGTH. That is the prescribed length and no shorter (see Hadeeth section)…” Peace. Original document copied from http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/2193/beard.html