Posts Tagged ‘Fiqh for men’

Islaam is a complete way of life. Just as all other aspects of Islaam, Mua’asharaat (social dealings) also play a vital role in Islaam. Guidelines regarding a person’s outer appearance, form and clothing are contained in the teachings of Islaam. A true and complete Muslim is he who adheres to these Islaamic teachings and practices upon them. While Allaah Ta’aala is aware of our inner qualities, there is a social need for our outer condition to be correct. Therefore, the claim of having complete Islaam without one’s outer condition being proper is false.

The religion of Islaam has given special guidelines regarding the hair. In this treatise, we will discuss the beard. The following words of Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) are narrated by many Sahaba in authentic Ahaadith.

“Lengthen the beard and oppose the Mushrikeen (Idolaters) and the fire worshippers”.

The many benefits of keeping a beard have been recorded in the kitaabs. Briefly, every nation and religion has some special distinguishing mark or symbol. Similarly different departments of a government also have distinguishing signs. The police have their own uniform, traffic officers a different uniform, and so too with the army and the naval forces. These differences makes an important effect on a person. History has proven that a nation which does not adhere to its distinguishing features finally loses its entire identity and dissolves with another nation.

When Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) came to the world, Kufr and Shirk was common everywhere. The Mushrikeen (idolaters) had their own customs and rituals. Through Islaam, Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) prepared a nation who were completely different from all other nations. They followed Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in every way – from Ibaadat (worshipping) and etiquettes right down to their outward appearance, attire and dress, according to the Quraanic injunction:

“Assuredly there is an excellent example( pattern) for you in the Rasul (Messenger) of Allaah(Sallallahu alayhi wasallam)”.

[Surah Ahzaab No: 21]

Similarly Allaah Ta’aala has mentioned to the Ummat via Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam):

“Say O Muhammed, (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), if you have love for Allaah then follow me”.

[Ale Imraan No 31]

Following Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) means to tread on his path. From the above Aayat it becomes apparent that the Qur’aan has given an order to this Ummat to follow the lifestyle, ways and outward appearance of Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) which he has ordered. There are many more verses mentioned in the Qur’aan regarding this.

The religion of Islaam is a natural religion. Any person who has a natural disposition will be inclined to the laws of Islaam. It is only in Islaam that a person’s benefits lies. Keeping a beard and cutting the moustache is also from amongst these laws. It has also been the practice of the other Ambiya(A.S). Mention has been made in the Qur’aan about Haroon (Alaihis-Salaam’s) hair and beard that it was so long that Moosa (Alaihis-Salaam) could hold it.

In a Hadith ten things has been mentioned as being from “fitrat” (nature). Ulema have interpreted “fitrat’ to mean the way of the Ambiya (Alaihis-Salaam). Among these ten things, lengthening the beard and cutting the moustache has also been mentioned.

Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dahlawi (Radhiallahu-anhu) has mentioned the following benefits of keeping a beard:

The beard helps in differentiating seniors from juniors. It is a means of honour and beauty for a person. A person’s man-hood is completed by keeping a beard. It is the Sunnah of all the Ambiyaa (Alaihis-Salaam). Shaving the beard is the practice of the fire Worshippers, Hindus and most non-Muslims. Similarly, due to the fact that generally common people as well as people of low status shave their beards, a person who does not keep a beard will be included among them.

[Maariful Hadith Vol 3 page 62 from “Beard and the Sunnats of Ambiyaa, pg 129]

In shaving the beard one of the harms is that a person will be imitating the non-Muslims, and it has been narrated in a Hadith.

“The person who imitates a nation is from amongst them”.

[Abu Dawood Pg 559]

The above Hadith is an important principle of Deen from which many laws are extracted.

Another harm of shaving the beard is that a person resembles females, as women do not have beards. It is narrated in a Hadith:

“Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had cursed such men who imitate women and such women who imitate man”.

[Bukhari Pg 874 Vol 2]

May Allaah save us from the curse of Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

Allaah Ta’aala has kept this as a natural difference between man and woman. The person who opposes this is in actual fact opposing the decision of the Sovereign of all sovereigns, and he is changing the natural creation of Allaah Ta’aala. Allaah Ta’aala mentions:

“(And follow) the nature of Allaah according to which he has constituted mankind, and do not alter the creation of Allaah”.

[Surah Rum No 30]

It is sufficient for a Muslim that one sacrifices oneself in only following the way of Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The beard of Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is described as follows in Shamaail Tirmidhi:

“The beard of Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) covered his chest from right to left”.

[Shamaail Tirmidhi Pg 28]

It is narrated in Muslim Sharif that the hair of the beard of Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was dense.

[Muslim Vol 2 pg 259]

In Shamaail Tirmidhi it is stated that Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had a thick beard (pg 2). The person who has a glimpse of love in his heart, will desire to follow Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam).He will gain satisfaction by the mere thought that he will be resembling Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam).


It is stated in Fatawa Darul Deoband (Fatawa No. 967) that a Muslim who shaves his beard or trims it less than a fist length is a Faasiq (Transgressor). To read Salaat behind such a person is Makrooh.

[Karachi Print Vol 3 pg 240]

At another place it is stated:

The person whose beard is shaven is a Faasiq, and just as his Imaamat for Fardh Namaaz is Makrooh-Tahrimi so is his Imaamat for the Taraweeh Salaat.

[Fatawa No. 935 Vol 3, pg 226]

Mufti Rasheed Ahmed Ludhyanwi writes in Ahsaanul Fatawa. ” A person who trims or shaves his beard and adopts a western hairstyle is a Faasiq. Thus his Azaan and Iqaamat is Makrooh-Tahrimi. It is Mustahab (desirable) to repeat the Azaan, not the Iqaamat.”

[Vol 2 pg 286]

It is stated in Durre Mukhtar:

To trim the beard less than a fist length (as some people of the west and some men who imitate women do) has not been regarded as permissible by any Scholar. To shave the entire beard is an act of the Jews of India and the non-Arabs and the fire worshippers.

[Durre Mukhtaar with Shami Vol 2 pg 123 Rasheedia Print]

The above text indicates that to shave the beard and trim it less than a fist length is not permissible. The Ulema of all four Schools of Fiqh (Hanafi-Maliki-Shafi-Hambali – have consensus on this Masala (ruling).

[Refer to Al-Minhal-ul-Gharbul Morud – commentary of Abu Dawood Vol 1 pg 186, Ibn Hazam Zaahiri regards keeping of the beard as Fardh (Almahali Vol 2 pg 220]

The verdict of the four Imaams of fiqh has been quoted in Moulana Mohammed Zakariya (RA)’s book entitled “Dhari ka Wujoob” and Mufti Saeed Ahmed Palanpuri’s book entitled “Dhari our Ambiyaa ki Sunnat” as well as Mufti Mohammed Shafi (RA)’s book entitled “Jawahir-ul-fiqh”. The above books can be referred to.


All Ulema regard keeping of the beard at least one fist length, as being Waajib or Fardh and trimming it less than this as Haraam on the basis that it is the nature and disposition blessed upon man by Allaah Ta’aala. Similarly it was the pattern and practice of all the Ambiyaa (Alaihis-Salaam).Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has always emphatically commanded the keeping of the beard. Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and his blessed Companions also practised upon it. Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) abhorred such Kaafirs who shaved their beards. He disliked even looking at them.


1. Ibn Umar (Radhiallahu-anhu) narrates that Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has said:

“Oppose the Mushrikeen (idolaters) and lengthen the beard and shorten the moustache”.

[Bukhari Vol 2 pg 875]

2. Abu Hurairah (Radhiallahu-anhu) narrates that Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has said:

“Trim the moustache and lengthen the beard (let the beard hang).Oppose the fire worshippers”.

[Muslim Vol 1 pg 129 Pakistani Edition]

3. Ayesha (Radhiallahu-anha) narrates that Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has said:

“Ten things are fitrat (natural).To cut the moustache and lengthen the beard (are from amongst these ten things).

[Muslim Vol 1 pg 129]

4. Ibn Abbas (RA) reports from Hadhrat Ayesha (Radhiallahu-anha) narrates that Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has cursed such men who imitate women and such women who imitate men. In one narration it stated that such people should be thrown out of their houses.

[Bukhari Vol 2 pg 874]

From the above narrations the Mujtahideen and Fuqaha have decreed that it is waajib to keep a beard, because there is a common order mentioned in the Hadith proving wujoob (compulsory) and when there is no reason to take any other meaning. In these Ahaadith there is no other reason, hence it proves wujoob.

Imaan Nawawi writes in the commentary of Sahih Muslim that the word “Ifaa” (as mentioned in the Hadith) means to lengthen. The word “afoo” means the same. It was the habit of the Persians to shave their beards. The shariat has forbidden it. [commentary of Sahib Muslim Vole 1 Pg 129]. Thereafter Imaan Nawawi (RA) writes five words have been mentioned in the various narrations. The explanation of all these words are that the beard should be kept in its original form. [Vol 1 pg 129).

Hafiz ibn Hajar(RA) has also written in the commentary of Sahih Bukhari that the fire worshippers used to shave the beards and some of them used to trim it. The Ahaadith has ordered that these ways should be opposed. [Fathul Baari Vol 10 pg 288]

All the Sahaba, Tabieen and pious believers have acted upon this order of Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Acting contrary to this order has not been recorded. Instead, stern warnings and admonitions have been narrated for not keeping a beard.Therefore this command is wajib (compulsory).

Hadith No. 4 on P 6 indicates that by shaving the beard, amounts to imitating women, and therefore cursed by Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and being distanced from the mercy of Allaah. The sin on which a stern warning is given is regarded as a Major Sin. Thus to shave the beard is also a major sin, and the person who commits a major sin is faasiq (i.e. being outside the bounds of Allaah’s orders and obedience). The Imaamat and Azaan of a Faasiq is Makrooh, similarly a faasiq’s testification and evidence is rejected. Therefore the Muftis have passed the ruling of wujoob for keeping a beard. (May Allaah save all the Muslims from this curse).


Hafiz Ibn Katheer(RA) has quoted an incident in his book, Al Bidayah wa Nihaya, that Bazaan, a minister of the king of Persia (Kisra) sent two men to capture Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) (May Allaah forbid). When two men came, Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) disliked to even look at them as their beards were shaven and their moustaches long.Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) asked them: “Who ordered you to do this (i.e. shave your beards and keep your moustaches long)”. They replied: “Our Rabb , Kisra (King of Persia)”.Upon this Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) replied: “But My Rabb ordered me to lengthen my beard and cut my moustache”.

[Al Bidayah wa Nihaya Vol 1 pg 270]

This incident has been quoted in many books.


1. Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) objected to their actions although they were Kaafirs, and even disliked looking at them. Hence, one can imagine how unpleased and unhappy Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) will be if an Ummati of his who claims to have love for him, shaves the beard. One of the three questions that will be asked in the grave “What have you to say regarding this person”. According to some Ulema the blessed face of Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) will be presented when this question will be asked. How will a person who shaves his beard face Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). What a great deprivation will it be if Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has to turn his face away because of his unhappiness and dislike. Similarly on the plains of reckoning also a person will come in front of Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam)for intersession. What answer will a person have to offer if Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has to ask that you neglected my way and chose the ways of my enemies, the Kuffaar and the Mushrikeen?”

May Allaah Ta’aala grant us the ability to repent sincerely and conform to the Sunnat of Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

2. Many sins are such that a person only remains a sinner while he is involved in that particular sin e.g. adultery – homosexuality -drinking – lying – stealing etc. When he stops doing so, then the sin also comes to an end. Trimming or shaving of the beard on the other hand is such a sin that until a person does not repent and start keeping a Shari Beard, he will remain a perpetual sinner. He will be regarded as a sinner even whilst sleeping or eating and even whilst performing Ibaadat. This increases the seriousness of this sin. At the time of Ibaadat, just as Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) abhorred it, similarly if Allaah Ta’aala does not focus the level of acceptance on the person, then his Ibaadat will not reach the level of acceptance. Then ponder and think what will be that person’s condition in the Aakhiraat ( Hereafter)!


Mirza Qateel was a Persian poet of the past who rendered many poems on Marifat (Recognition of Allaah) and wisdom (Hikmat). An Iranian, after reading Qateel’s poems, became his ardent follower and finally came to meet him, expecting him to be a very pious person. When the Iranian person came, he saw the poet shaving his beard. Surprised, he asked “You are shaving your beard?” Qateel replied: “Yes I am shaving my beard but I an not hurting anyone’s heart”. Upon this the person immediately said: “Why not, you are hurting Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam’s) heart”. Hearing this the poet fell unconscious. After regaining consciousness he recited a Persian couplet which means:

“Thanks to you, for opening my eyes and making me understand”.


The Ulema have a difference of opinion as to what is the actual length by which a person will fulfil the wujoob (compulsion) of the beard.

1. A group of Ulema are of the opinion that there is no particular length of the beard. A person should let it grow on its natural course, without interfering. They prove their view by stating that many different words have appeared in the Ahaadith which all indicate that the beard should be left to grow in its natural way, and no Hadith proves that Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) trimmed or shaved it. Imaam Nawawi(RA) states that the apparent words of the Ahaadith (i.e. it should be left to grow) and a group of Ulema hold this view, including the Ulema of the Shafi school of thought.

[Commentary of Nawawi with Sahih Muslim Vol 1 pg 129]

2. A second group of Ulema state that the Ahaadith do not imply that the beard should be left to grow on its natural course no matter how long it becomes. However, the Ahaadith imply that the beard should be so long that a person differs from the fire worshippers, who cut or trim their beards. Hence, this group of Ulema maintain that the beard can be trimmed once its length reached a fists length. The Ulema of the Hanafi school of thought also hold this view. The proof of their view is that it is reported that the narrators of the Ahaadith, Hadhrat Ibn Umar(RA) and Abu Hurairah (RA) as well as Umar (Radhiallahu-anhu) used to trim that part which exceeded a fist length.The meaning of the Ahaadith is best understood by its narrators. A person can understand the context of the Hadith by the narrator’s actions.

Imaam Bukhari (RA) also gives preference to this view. After mentioning the Hadith of Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in which it is stated that the beard should be kept in its normal form and the moustache should be cut thoroughly, Imaam Bukhari (RA) thereafter mentions the action of Ibn Umar(Radhiallahu-anhu) that when he used to proceed for Haj or Umrah he used to hold his beard with his fist and trim the excess hair (below it). [Bukhari Vol 2 pg 875]

Hafiz ibn Hajar(RA) states that it is quite apparent that Ibn Umar (Radhiallahu-anhu) did not link the action of trimming the beard with Haj or Umrah. However, he took the Hadith to mean that the beard should be lengthened but not to that extent which spoils the appearance of a person,(looks untidy). Thereafter Hafiz Ibn Hajar(RA) quoted the text of Tabri in which the actions of Ibn Umar, Abu Hurairah and Umar (Radhiallahu-anhuma) are mentioned. Their actions were general, it was not linked to Haj of Umrah.

[Fathul Baari Vol 10 pg 350]

Some Ulema maintain that the beard should be left according to its normal growth. However, at that time, Ulema say Jaabir (Radhiallahu-anhu) says that we used to leave our long beards as they were except at the time of Haj or Umrah. This narration appears in Abu Dawood with a reliable sanad (chain). The above Hadith indicates that they used trim their beard at the time of Haj or Umrah only.

[Fathul Baari Vol 10 pg 350]

Tabri has chosen Ataa’s (Radhiallahu-anhu) view. It has been narrated from Hasan Basri and Atta (Radhiallahu-anhu) that a person may trim only a little from the length and width of the beard. Tabri has proven this view of his from a narration in Tirmidhi Sharif in which it is stated the Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) used to trim a little from the length and breadth of his beard [Vol 2 pg 105]. However this is a very weak narration. It cannot be used as proof. Therefore, it is rather appropriate to prove it from the actions of the Sahabah (Radhiallahu-anhum), and the narration of Tirmidhi can only be taken as a added support to this view, not as a proof. The condition of the beard being one fist is mentioned in these narrations which describe the action of the Sahabah (Radhiallahu-anhum).

Imaam Nawawi(RA) gives preference to the first view (i.e. the beard should be left as is) as mentioned in authentic narrations. Therefore, the preferred view according to Imaam Nawawi(RA) probably refers to the times other than Haj in his view, because Imaam Shafi(RA) has clearly stated that it is Mustahab to trim the beard at the time of Haj and Umrah.

[Fathul Baari Vol 10 pg 350]

From the above discussion it is quite clear and apparent that no Scholar holds the view that it is permissible to shorten the beard less than a fists length.


It is stated in a few books that it is Masnoon (Sunnat) to keep the beard a fist length. [Durre Mukhtar Vol 2 pg 123 Rashidia print]. This statement does not apply that it is only Sunnat to keep a beard and not waajib. or that there is no sin in doing so. This is a grave misconception, because immediately thereafter it is mentioned that to shorten it less than a fist length is not permissible. It is the custom of a few westerners and a custom of those men who imitate women. Therefore, the correct intrepation of the above text is that it is Sunnat to trim the beard after it has reached a fist length. In other words the wujoob (compulsion) of keeping the beard will be fulfilled by keeping it a fist length. The Sunnat method of fulfilling this waajib act is that the beard should only be a fist length. The excess should be trimmed. This is the correct interpretation of the above text which is not contrary to the wujoob of lengthening the beard.

However, whosoever maintains that it is Sunnat to trim the beard after a fists length should present proof as there is no Marfoo Hadeeth (i.e. a Hadith which has the words or actions of Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam)) to that effect. Proof cannot be taken from Hadith of Tirmidhi, as one of the Raawis (narrators), Umar bin Haroon is a very weak narrator and no mentions of a fist length is made in that Hadith. Therefore, Imaam Shafi(RA) has only regarded trimming the beard after a fist length as Sunnah at the time of Haj or Umrah. Similarly the narration that Imaam Bukhari(RA) quotes stated that Ibn Umar(RA) used to only trim excess of a fist’s length at the time of Haj or Umrah. Ibn Umar(RA) used to perform Haj in one year and Umrah in the next. [Bukhari pg 648]. This indicates that he only trimmed it once a year and it is quite apparent that the beard used to grow more than a fist’s length thereafter. It is said that Ibn Umar (Radhiallahu-anhu) used to trim his beard at other times besides Haj and Umrah as Hafiz Ibn Hajar(RA) maintains due to the narration of Tabri. On the contrary, as his act contradicts the apparent Hadith this will be regarded as exception and the only leverage and permission will be proven from his action. Therefore, it will be appropriate to say that the excess after a fist length may be trimmed. According to Shah Muhammed Ishaq Muhaddith Dehlawi(RA) it is preferable not to trim even the excess of a fist length. [Tirmidhi- footnotes Vol 2 pg 105]

Some Scholars have also written that it is waajib to trim the excess of a fist length. This view is also incorrect. When trimming of the beard is not regarded and proven as Sunnah, how can it be regarded as waajib? Therefore by the word “Waajib” those scholars imply ” Thabit” i.e. it is proven. Other scholars have mentioned the word “Afzal” i.e. it is preferred in place of the word “Wujoob” -it is waajib.

[Durre Makhtar and Shami Vol 2 pg 123]

Similarly it is incorrect to state that there is no specific length of the beard. The beard is that which you take to be the beard. Maududi has mentioned the above in his book Rasaail-wa-Masaail. The Shariat has ordered that the beard should be left as is so that it may grow. If the action of Ibn Umar (Radhiallahu-anhu) and other Sahabah(RA) were not present, then to trim the excess of a fist’s length would also have been impermissible.


‘The Laws of the Beard and the Hair in the Light of the Ahadith‘ By Shaykul Hadith Moulana Fazlur Rahman, Darul Uloom Azaadvile