Islamic marriage advice and family advice

How to advise others about the importance of beards?

sunnah beard

I'm from America and at the mosques in my community (two), many brothers are clean shaven, but some have small beards and even a few have long flowing ones. I want to know how I can present to them the importance of growing it and the negative results of shaving when it is seen as something insignificant. The imam at least have small cut beards but how can I explain to them they need to grow it when the imams either don't know or don't tell them to. I know people all have their faults and I am not here to blame them or change them, but I know I have to encourage the good and forbid the evil. Any advice?


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7 Responses »

  1. Isn't this one of the cases where there is a difference of opinion?

    I suspect that there are far worse faults than not having an enormous beard.

    There is far too much emphasis on outward conformity,
    and far too little emphasis on the Purification of the Heart.

    • The difference of opinon is considering wether it is permisible to cut what is more than a handfull. Yes it is not important to have a big beard or not to have one at all if not possible. What is important is letting what ever grows alone, or what reaches a handfull as ordered by our prophet pbuh.

  2. I don't have much knowledge about the beard, but when I was younger, I remember hearing from relatives that it was Sunnah and so I would joke with my dad and say 'Dad, why don't you get a beard like the Sahabah?'

    Anyway, here are some Hadith I found. Maybe they can help. But remember- gentleness is key. At least from my experience, people are more receptive of goodness when it's brought to them in a manner of goodness.

    Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) says: "Trim closely the moustache, and let the beard flow (Grow)."
    - Narrated Ibn Umar (R.A.) in Muslim, Hadith no. 498

    Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)said: "Act contrary to the polytheists, trim closely the moustache and grow the beard."
    - Reported by Ibn Umar (R.A.) in Muslim, Hadith no. 500

    I pray to Allah that my short advice helps a bit. Ameen.

    Assalamu alaikum

  3. Dear Brother

    I do not have a beard but i can suggest what beardless Muslims feel about the bearded ones.

    Some bearded people are really felt like clean, pious and non interfering people that one loves to be together in heaven but some of them are too much angry, harsh and interfering that should be avoided even in heaven. It is your choice to join the later or former.

    By the way in the Hadiths there is much more emphasis on trimming moustache than growing beard as keeping a moustache is a sign of pride and arrogance.

  4. feelix: Some bearded people are really felt like clean, pious and non interfering people that one loves to be together in heaven but some of them are too much angry, harsh and interfering that should be avoided even in heaven.

    Do you mean a bearded man can be bad like any one else, but will go to heaven any how?

    • No, What i mean is that one does not like the company of a rude person interfering unneccessarily in the personal lives of others in this life nor in the next.

  5. As for the Islamic verdict on the beard, this has produced three Islamic opinions:

    1) Growing the beard is an obligation and shaving it is forbidden. This opinion is championed by Ibn Hazm and Ibn Taimiya among others.
    2) Growing the beard in mandub (desirable) and shaving it is makruh (undesirable). This opinion is championed by Ibn Hanbal, Ibn Qudamah, Imam Shirazi, Imam Shawkhani, Imam Nawawi and Qadi (judge) Iyad among others.
    3) Growing and shaving the beard is mubah (permitted), which is the opinion of Qadi Abu Bakr Ibn al-Arbi and Imam Qurtabi.

    Question: What is the correct position of the beard in the maliki madhab. Are we allowed to trim, have a goatee or shave the hair on the cheeks?

    Answer from Shaykh Abdullah bin Hamid Ali:

    Abdullah ibn Abi Zaid says in his Risalah,

    “And the Prophet (pbuh) ordered that the beard be left
    alone and allowed to grow abundantly and that it not be trimmed. Malik said: “And there is no objection in trimming from its length when it becomes very long.” And what Malik said, more than one of the Companions and the Successors also said.”

    [Hashiyat al-‘Adawi: 2/445]

    According to Shaykh Al-‘Adawi the order given by the Prophet (pbuh) to let the beard grow long is indicative of encouragement, not obligation. But he does say that if shortening the beard leads to
    disfigurement (muthlah) – like making a man take on the appearance of a woman – the order is taken to imply obligation in which case it would be haram to shorten or shave it.

    However, if shortening it doesn’t lead to disfigurement, there is no sin in shortening or trimming the beard.

    He states that Ibn Naji considers it recommended to trim hair from the width of the beard also when it grows too long.

    ‘Adawi also states that some of the commentators on the Risalah state that the beard being ‘too long’ is determined according to custom in that if one’s beard is longer than the average (Muslim)man, then it is considered too long. In such a case, it is recommended to trim what exceeds the norm, since it mars one’s
    appearance and one may be accused of seeking to be noticed (shuhrah) as stated by Abu al-Hasan (another commentator).

    But the general rule is that one should not touch the beard and let it grow long.

    As for when someone has only a short beard, ‘Adawi relates that some commentators rule that trimming such a beard is haram (forbidden) just like shaving. . Then ‘Adawi states that the apparent context of this opinion is premised on whether or not trimming or shaving it produces disfigurement muthlah – like if doing so makes a man look like a woman. So if disfigurement occurs, it would be haram. But if it doesn’t, then there will be no objection.

    But in the case of the long beard, it is always recommended to trim it when it exceeds the customary norm of men and mars a person’s appearance.

    As for the goatee, the hair of this area should not be touched at all. But remember to apply this ruling based on all that has been mentioned.

    Shaykh Amjad Rasheed clarifying the position of Shafi'i Madhab (school of law) on Beard writes:

    "The majority of Shafi'i scholars have come to the conclusion that it is unlawful to completely shave the beard. This position has been transmitted from the imam of our school, Imam Shafi`i and a number of Shafi`i scholars—both early and late—have adopted it as their preferred position.

    However, the two great verifying scholars of the Shafi`i school, Imam Abul Qasim al-Rafi`i and Imam Abu Zakariyya al-Nawawi—in accordance with the position of Imam Ghazali—have ruled that to keep a full beard is merely recommended [mandub], not obligatory [wajib], and that it is neither unlawful [haram] to shave it nor to shorten it, even when this is done without an excuse. It is, however, disliked to shorten or shave the beard because it contravenes the prophetic command to grow a full beard."

    Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi writes:

    "It seems to me that the closest of these three views is the one that deems shaving beard as Makruh. As the stated reason for growing the beard is to be different from the non-believers, it is similar to the matter of dyeing gray hair in order to be distinct from the Jews and Christians; it is known that some of the Companions of the Prophet did not dye their gray hair, signifying that it was commendable rather than obligatory. Similarly, growing the beard may be regarded as commendable but not obligatory, and, accordingly, shaving it would be classified as Makruh rather than Haram. It is true that none of the Companions was known to have shaved his beard. Perhaps there was no need to shave, and perhaps growing the beard was a custom among them."

    Sheikh Ahmad Kutty

    Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, who states: "no Muslim should take the issue of the beard lightly. At the same time, we must also state categorically that one should not conclude from what has been said earlier that growing a beard in Islam has the same religious significance as that of the other prescribed rituals. This is definitely not the case. Thus it is important for us to recognize that we are not allowed to ostracize men who do not have beards nor are we to question their basic faith.

    Imam Senad Agic

    Shaykh Senad is the head Imam of The Islamic Association of Bosniaks in North America. Responding to a question on changing madhab, he writes: "If you are switching from Hanafi to Maliki, then you will be allowed to eat dog meat and seafood, have a goatee which is trimmed, wear shorts that do not cover the knees, miss Witr and Sunnah Mu’akkadah"

    Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

    "The beard of the male Muslim is one of the outward symbols of Islam and as al-Badr al-`Ayni pointed out it is important that it not be made to look unkempt and disheveled. The Prophet said: "Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty." The proof for the etiquette of trimming the beard is in the explicit and known practice of the Companions including, but not restricted to Ibn `Umar,The Tabi`i `Ata' ibn Abi Rabah said: "There is no harm in trimming a little from the length and sides of his beard, if it grows large and long" and al-Nakh`i, another Tabi`i, related that the Companions used to trim their beards on the sides. It is preposterous and reprehensible to suggest that such a trimming is against the Sunna as both they and the authorities among the Tabi`in who reported from them were certainly more knowledgeable of the Sunna than us. As the scholars said: "The Sahaba were all legally upright (`udul) by consensus (ijma`) of Muslim scholars, and it is inconceivable that they would institutionalize and set a precedent that was in direct defiance of a religious obligation."

    The question is sometimes asked: "In what circumstances is it allowable for a male muslim to shave his beard off or not to grow one at all? Is military service a valid excuse?" To which we say: al-darurat tubihu al-mahzurat -- Necessities make prohibited things permitted. The question is to define necessity in this case. Protection of one's life, safety, livelihood, and religion all qualify as such, and in some countries military service is unavoidable except at unbearably high personal cost. Indeed in some countries the beard was made either illegal by law under threat of major punishment, such as in Republican Turkey, or a cause for harrassment and persecution by the authorities as in other secular-oriented states. And Allah knows best."

    Shehzad Saleem

    When a question was asked if it is compulsory in Islam for men to keep beards, the renowned scholar of Modern Islam, Shehzad Saleem who is also the Director of Al-Mawrid, Institute of Islamic Sciences says, "Keeping a beard is a desirable act for men. The Prophets of Allah kept beards and expressed their liking for it since this is from among the norms of human nature. It is an expression of manliness and as such a sign, which distinguishes men from women. However, the Prophet (s) did not regard keeping beards as part of the Islamic Shari‘ah. Also, it is not compulsory for men to keep a beard and if a person shaves his beard he may be deprived of some reward, but he is unlikely to be punished on this. This view also conforms to the Shafite jurists (See Dr Wahbah al-Zahili, Fiqhu’l-Islami wa Adillatuhu, vol. 1, p. 308.) and to many scholars of Hadith including Qadi ‘Ayad "( See Nawawi, Sharah Sahih Muslim, 2nd ed., vol. 3, [Beirut: Daru’l-Ahya al-Turath al-‘Arabi, 1972], p. 151) who regard shaving the beard as makruh (undesirable). (While defining makruh Abu Zuhrah says: The jurists say that the perpetrator of makruh is not to be condemned while a person who desists from it is praiseworthy. (Abu Zuhrah, Usulu’l-Fiqh, 1st ed., [Cairo: Daru’l-Fikr al-‘Arabi, 1958], p. 41).

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