Category: miscellaneous fatwas
The ruling regarding letting the beard grow
Some imams told me that there is no proof that letting the beard grow is obligatory, and that increasing beard growth is not counted among acts of worship that we are ordained to perform, but it is a tradition of the Arabs. So is this saying true? What is the argument of those who say so? Give us a fatwa about this issue and may Allah reward you.
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.
Know that in principle, letting grow the beard is obligatory according to the majority of the scholars of the jurisprudential Schools, and among them those of the four Schools and others. Ibn Hazm has even reported that there is Ijmâ` (a scholarly consensus) as regards this issue(1). The reference of the Ijmâ` is the Prophet’s صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم hadith: “Trim closely the moustaches and let the beards grow, oppose the Magians”(2) and his saying صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم: “Do the opposite of what the polytheists do. Have full beards and shorten the moustaches”(3) and in another narration: “Cut the moustaches short and keep the beards”(4).
These are some arguments regarding the obligation of leaving the beard grow and the prohibition from shaving it, as this goes against the order of the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم. Moreover, Allah عزَّ وجلَّ warns against disobeying the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم by saying:
﴿فَلْيَحْذَرِ الَّذِينَ يُخَالِفُونَ عَنْ أَمْرِهِ أَنْ تُصِيبَهُمْ فِتْنَةٌ أَوْ يُصِيبَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ﴾ [النور: 63].
The meaning of the verse:
﴾And let those who oppose the Messenger’s (Muhammad صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم) commandment (i.e. his Sunnah legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements, etc.) (among the sects) beware, lest some Fitnah (disbelief, trials, afflictions, earthquakes, killing, overpowered by a tyrant, etc.) befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them.﴿ [An-Nûr (The Light): 63].
Also, because shaving it is changing Allah’s creation. Allah عزَّ وجلَّ said, reporting the saying of Iblis (Satan):
﴿وَلآمُرَنَّهُمْ فَلَيُغَيِّرُنَّ خَلْقَ اللهِ﴾ [النساء: 119].
The meaning of the verse:
﴾…and indeed I will order them to change the nature created by Allâh﴿ [An-Nissâ' (The Women): 119].
That is why shaving it is considered a mutilation, Ibn Taymiyya said: “ Shaving it (i.e. the beard) is like a woman who shaves her head’s hair or more serious, as it is considered among the prohibited mutilation”. In fact, in shaving the beard, there is imitation of women. Besides, Allah عزَّ وجلَّ made men beautiful by their beards and made them different from women by them.
Furthermore, Ibn `Abbâs رضي الله عنهما narrated that: “The Prophet صلَّى اللهُ عليه وسلَّم cursed effeminate men (who assume the manners of women) and those women who assume the manners of men”(5), because shaving the beard is changing the Fitra (natural state) with which Allah تعالى has created mankind. Besides, shaving it is an imitation of the disbelievers, and the Sharia ordered us to be different from them, as in the Prophet’s صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم sayings: “Be different from the polytheists” and: “Oppose the Magians”. For this reason, the one who shaves it incurs sin, as he does not abide by the obligation of leaving it grow, as mentioned in the previous proofs. We have no doubt that growing a beard is among Sunan Al-Fitra (practices that are in accordance with the natural inclinations of man) that the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم applied regularly. Besides, there has been nothing reported indicating that a Companion shaved his beard; on the contrary, the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم ordered to let it grow. Thus, it has become an apparent feature of Muslims by which they are distinguished from polytheists and deviated people.
The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah عزَّ وجلَّ. Our last prayer is all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon our Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم, his Family, his Companions and Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.
Algiers: Rabî`Al-Awwal 10th, 1425H.
Corresponding to: April 30th, 2004.
(1) See: “Marâtib Al-Ijmâ`” by Ibn Hazm (157).
(2) Reported by Muslim, chapter of “Purification” (hadith 603), Ahmad (hadith 9020), Al-Bayhaqi (hadith 710), from the hadith of Abu Hurayra رضي الله عنه.
(3) Reported by Al-Bukhâri, chapter of “Clothes” (hadith 5892), Muslim, chapter of “ Purification” (hadith 625) and Al-Bayhaqi (hadith 709), from the hadith of Ibn `Umar رضي الله عنهما.
(4) Reported by Al-Bukhâri, chapter of “Clothes” (hadith 5893), from the hadith of Ibn `Umar رضي الله عنهما.
(5) Reported by Al-Bukhâri, chapter of “Clothes” (hadith 5885), Ibn Mâjah, chapter of “Marriage” (hadith 1979) and Ahmad (hadith 2306), from the hadith of Ibn `Abbas رضي الله عنهما.