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Is keeping a beard obligatory?

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)


One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Salam Mr.Burhan Sahib !!!

Dear sir I want to ask you something about beared !!!!

One of my friend told me keeping beared is Fardh ( compulsory ) !!!!

I want to ask you is it Sunnah Or Wajib  Or  Fardh ???? and explain me what is difference in between Sunnah / Wajib / Fardh !!!!
because so far I heard keeping beared is not Fardh its Sunna one can keep by his own wish it is not compulsory since there are some Aalim in Arab countries they don't have beared at all ...

Please Sir explaine me ,,,,There are some spelling mistakes are there sorry for that !!!

Thank You very much for your co-operation !

Your brother in Islam


(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)




Is keeping a beard obligatory?

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Keeping a beard cannot be considered an obligatory command of the Prophet (saws), but rather it was his Sunnah, and the Sunnah of all the Prophets before him.


Growing a beard was considered normal and natural for a man at the time of the Messenger of Allah (saws), whether he was a believer or not. Even the enemies of Islam like Abu Jahl and Abu Lahb had beards! And because every man naturally grew a beard, it was not necessary for the Prophet (saws) to give an explicit command exhorting the believers to grow a beard.


The only specific saying of the Prophet (saws) regarding the keeping of beards arose when he saw that the pagans used to grow both their beards and their mustaches long; thus he (saws) said to the believers:


Ibn 'Umar related that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said: "Differ from the polytheists: let your beards (grow), and shave your moustache."

Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.


It was only a couple of centuries ago, when the western culture and ideology became dominant over the world and muslim lands, that it became a fashion to be clean shaven. And as with any dominant culture, people are always ready to adopt its actions, whether they are of virtue, or of vice! But Islam has its own culture, and growing a beard is part of the Islamic culture.


The question is why should a believer, who professes to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and who professes to follow the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws), want to grow a beard?

The answer is simple. Today, you might have seen many youngsters copy the fashion of sport-stars, Hollywood-stars or anybody else whom they love. If you notice today, many hot Hollywood stars and sport stars are sporting a "goatie" beard! And true to fashion, you see a lot of people around today who keep "goatie" beards!!! As Muslims, our role model should always be the Prophet (saws). We love to copy everything he did ... he had a beard, and if indeed, we want to follow the Messenger of Allah (saws), we should strive to grow a beard.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzab verse 21: There is indeed the best model for you in the Messenger of Allah, for every such person looks forward to Allah and the Last Day, and remember Allah much.


In another narration, the Prophet of Allah said in narrating a prophecy of times to come:


Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 9.651 Narrated by Abu Said Al Khudri

The Prophet (saws) said: There will emerge from the East some people who will recite the Quran, but it will not exceed their throats, and who will go out of the deen of Islam as an arrow passes through the game. They will never come back to it unless the arrow comes back to the middle of the bow by itself (i.e. impossible!). The companions asked, "What will their signs be?". The Prophet (saws) said: "Their sign will be the habit of shaving off of their beards".


Thus the keeping of beards is a Sunnah of the Prophet (saws) and every muslim must strive to keep a beard, if his model is indeed the Prophet of Allah (saws). He will get his due reward from Allah, Insha Allah, if he keeps the beard to follow the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws).


But if a believer does not want to sport a beard for whatever reason, the other believers should not make an issue out of it. What is important in Islam and in the sight of Allah, is that one truly believes and does good righteous deeds. And when that happens, it is expected that the beard will follow soon after!


The beard is nothing more than a sign that the believer truly wants to follow a Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws). There are many people who have long beards, but do deeds against the commands of Allah and His Messenger (saws). And there are many people who are amongst the best believers, but do not have beards! Allah will not decide the recipient of His Mercy and His Forgiveness from the appearance of the individual; but rather He will decide whether the person believed and did righteous deeds, as he was commanded by Allah and His Messenger (saws).


Now, to the specific question:


Q-1: Is it obligatory to keep a beard?

No. It is not obligatory; but rather it is the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws), thus voluntary. The most that can be said about a believer who chooses not to sport a beard is that he missed a great opportunity to earn huge rewards from Allah Subhanah for following the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah.


Q-2: I want to ask you is it Sunnah Or Wajib  Or  Fardh ???? and explain me what is difference in between Sunnah / Wajib / Fardh !!!!

Ref: Sunnah

Sunnah is any act which was done or approved by the Messenger of Allah (saws), even if it was done only once in his lifetime. If one follows the Sunnah, he will earn a huge reward from Allah Subhanah; and if one, for any reason, does not follow it, there is no sin.


Ref: Wajib

Wajib is the term given to a Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws) which was regularly performed by the Messenger of Allah (saws), or which was stressed by the Messenger of Allah (saws), but not explicitly commanded as obligatory or fard.


If one follows a wajib act of the Messenger of Allah (saws), he will get a superior reward from Allah Subhanah; but if one for any reason does not follow it, there is no sin.


Examples of the Wajib acts would be:

the two rakahs of Sunnah prayer before the obligatory Fajr prayers.

the praying of the witr prayers as the last prayers of the night.

the eating with the right hand


Ref: Fard

A fard or obligatory act is one which has been specifically stressed by Allah and His Messenger (saws) as being an obligatory duty on the believers, or a duty or act if which not done would constitute a sin in the sight of Allah Subhanah.


If one follows the fard act, there will be a great and unending reward from Allah Subhanah; but if one does not follow the fard act without a valid reason, it will be a huge sin in the sight of Allah Subhanah.


Examples of Fard acts would be:

The five obligatory prayers

The fasting of Ramadan

The payment of Zakaah

The obedience to parents


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your Brother in Islam,





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