Significance of the Beard

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The beard is the Sunnah of the Ambiya (Alaihimus Salaam), the recognition of a Muslim and the beauty to the face of a man. Hereunder is proof from the Holy Qur’an and Ahadith about the importance of following this beautiful Sunnah of our Beloved Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).

To shave off the beard is the way of the kuffaar, mushrikeen and majoosis (fire-worshippers). It is for this reason that Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) commanded us in numerous Ahadith to act against this by lengthening our beards and trimming our mustaches. Hazrat Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Umar (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) narrates that Rasoolullah said, “Oppose the mushrikeen (polytheists); lengthen the beards and trim the moustaches.” [Bukhari Shareef] Imam Nafi’ (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) further states, “Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Umar (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), during Hajj or Umrah used to hold on to his beard with his fist and cut off whatever was in excess of that.” [Bukhari Shareef] This Hadith in which we are commanded to lengthen the beards has also been narrated by Sayyiduna Abu Huraira (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) and he also trimmed his beard to one fist length. [Sahih Muslim]

The verdict of growing the beard as being Wajib is deduced from the above mentioned Hadith, which is one of many Ahadith with a similar command. This is because any explicit command of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is regarded as Wajib, if there is no apparent or clear proof which states that that particular command is for a certain preference. This is an established fact in the principles of Fiqh. Therefore it becomes Wajib upon us to follow the command of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) in lengthening our beards. Allah Ta’ala has mentioned in the Holy Qur’an, “Therefore let those who do against the command of the Messenger fear, lest some trial befall them or a painful torment overtake them.” [Surah Noor, Verse 63] This verse clearly tells us the result of not following the command of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).

Furthermore, the Imams of all four Mazhabs i.e. Imam-e-Azam Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Shafi’ee, Imam Malik and Imam Ahmad bin Hambal (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anhum) are in consensus that it is Haraam to shave the beard. Therefore no one can say that he belongs to a different Mazhab and is allowed to shave his beard.

A’la Hazrat Imam Ahle Sunnat Imam Ahmad Raza Khan (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) states that to shave off completely or trim the beard very short once is a minor sin and to habitually do so is a major sin. This continuous act will make one a Faasiq-e-Mu’lin (Open Transgressor) and the court of Shariah will reject such a person as a valid witness. To perform Salaah with Jama’at behind such a person is forbidden and if Salaah is performed, it will be incumbent to repeat that Salaah. [Malfooz Shareef]

We therefore learn from the above that it is Wajib for a Muslim male to grow a beard. It is also Wajib to let the beard grow to a fist length and it is prohibited to shave the beard or to trim it less than a fist length. It is however permissible to trim the beard if it is beyond a fist length as reported by Hazrat Abu Hurairah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) and other Tabi’een. [Fathul Baari] Nobody has permitted the trimming of the beard to lesser than a fist length. [Durre Mukhtar, Fathul Qadeer]

Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khan Qadri Naeemi (Rahmatullah Alaih) explains some of the benefits of lengthening the beard:

  • The beard is the beauty and the Noor of a man’s face.
  • A beard hinders a person from committing sins.
  • A beard increases the virility of a man. [Islami Zindagi]

But most importantly growing a beard is following the command as well as the beautiful Sunnah of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Do we even need any more motivation than this?

Some individuals acknowledge that it is Wajib to keep a beard, but argue that there is no mention of any specific length in the Hadith. Therefore if one has a bit of hair on his face, irrespective of the length, it would fulfil the command of growing a beard. This is due to a lack of understanding of the Hadith. Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has commanded us to lengthen the beard and not just to keep a beard. The difference between the two is quite clear. If one just keeps a shortened beard he will not be fulfilling the command of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Therefore, to intentionally keep a short or stubble beard is not sufficient; lengthening the beard is Wajib.

Let us look at what Allah Ta’ala says in the Holy Qur’an with regard to following the commands of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam):

  1. “O believers! Obey Allah and His Messenger, and turn not away from him after hearing him.” [Surah 8, Verse 20]
  2. “Undoubtedly, you have the best in the following of the Messenger, for him who hopes for Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.” [Surah 33, Verse 21]
  3. “And whatsoever the Messenger gives you take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain from that. And fear Allah; undoubtedly the torment of Allah is severe. [Surah 59, Verse 7]
  4. “O Beloved! Say you, “O people! If you love Allah, then follow me; Allah will love you and will forgive your sins and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”” [Surah 3, Verse 31]
  5. “Whoso obeys the messenger, has indeed obeyed Allah, and whoso turns away his face, then We have not sent you to save them.” [Surah 4, Verse 80]

Allah Ta’ala clearly tells us in the Holy Qur’an to obey Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and to take what he gives us. He has given us his beautiful Sunnah but we choose to ignore it and follow the appearance of the kuffaar. Allah Ta’ala says that if we love Almighty Allah then we must follow Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Can we then claim to love Allah Ta’ala when we cannot even follow such a simple command of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) to grow a beard on our faces? Do we not fear the torment of Allah Ta’ala? Why is it so difficult to at least make our faces resemble in some way to the blessed face of our beloved Aaqa (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)?

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq to adorn our faces with beautiful beards as our Master Muhammad Mustafa (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has commanded us to do, Ameen.