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Is keeping beard a must for a Muslim? Has the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon Him) ordered Muslim to keep beard? Has the size of beard been fixed for a Muslim? Is it a sin not to keep beard? Is it also important for Imam to grow beard?

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:

Is keeping beard a must for a Muslim? Has the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon Him) ordered Muslim to keep beard? Has the size of beard been fixed for a Muslim? Is it a sin not to keep beard? Is it also important for Imam to grow beard?

Dear brother I am asking these questions because I have heard conflicting views from the religious scholars? I hope I will get the reply at your earliest copnvenience. 

 

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Answer:

keeping beard

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.

 

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 trim 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 remembers 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 answer your specific questions:

 

Q-1: Is keeping beard a must for a Muslim?

Keeping a beard is not one of the obligatory commands of Islam like prayers, fasting, etc.; but it is indeed a practiced and encouraged Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws). Thus in Fiqh or Jurisprudence terms keeping a beard would not be a fard, but rather what is known as wajib or mustahab.

 

Q-2: Has the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon Him) ordered Muslim to keep beard?

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

Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

 

Indeed the Messenger of Allah (saws) commanded and encouraged the believers to let their beards grow.

 

Q-3: Has the size of beard been fixed for a Muslim?

Every human being has been bestowed with a natural hair growth; some might have heavy and long growth, while others might have a thin growth. There is no specific size, length, or shape specified in the Sunnah regarding the beardthe simple and direct command of the Messenger of Allah (saws) to believing males was: let your beards grow.

 

Some scholars take the command literally and declare that the beard be allowed to grow naturally as long as it grows; while others are of the opinion that it should be at least one fistful in length, while others say that any size is acceptable.

 

Thus in our humble opinion, if one lets ones beard grow to its full natural length it would be closest to the Sunnah and Command of the Messenger of Allah (saws), and if one grows a fistful or less than that, provided his intention is to sport a beard because it is the Sunnah of the Noble Prophet (saws), he will have his due reward for his obedience.

 

Q-4: Is it a sin not to keep beard?

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 1.1 Narrated byUmar bin Al Khattab

I heard Allah's Messenger (saws) saying, "The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended.

 

Reward or punishment for every deed in Islam depend upon the intention behind that deed. Thus if the believer adorns his face with a beard only because it is the Sunnah and Command of the Messenger of Allah (saws), he will have his due reward for his obedience. And if a person does not adorn himself with a beard because he is ashamed of it, or because he would be recognized as a muslim, or because he wants to distance himself from the Muslim Ummah, or hates it only because it is a Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws), etc.; then indeed he would incur a sin upon himself.

 

But if one sincerely loves Allah and His Messenger (saws) with his heart and soul, and is foremost in obeying every command of Allah and His Messenger (saws), and has absolutely no hatred or malice against the commands of Allah and His Messenger (saws), but for some genuine reason does not sport a beard, then such a person would not be committing a sin.

 

Q-5: Is it also important for Imam to grow beard?

Islam a religion of absolute equality, and every law that applies to the common man also applies to the Imam or leader!

 

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

 

 

Your brother and well wisher in Islam,

 

Burhan

 


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