The Shari Length of Beard
The purpose of this article is to emphasize the importance of the length of the beard. Many Muslims have queried regarding this point. It has been found that people prefer keeping a beard in imitation of what’s in vogue rather than that prescribed by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). A compilation of this nature has become important because the impact of the Western way of life seems to be luring unwary Muslims into such a craze that the importance of the beard itself is being doubted and scoffed at. Since many articles have been printed regarding the importance of the beard itself, this deals with the importance of the LENGTH of the beard. To those who feel the issue is trivial to worry about, may Allah guide them. But to those who genuinely wish to learn and practice what is right here is sufficient proof from the Qur’ăn, Ahădith and the learned scholars.
CONCERNING ADHERENCE TO THE SUNNAH, ALLAH TA’ĂLA SAYS:
“O you who believe, obey Allah and the Rasul and those in authority from among you.” (4:59);
“O you who believe, obey Allah and His Rasul and turn not away when you hear (him speak).” (8:20);
“Whoever obeys the Rasul, he indeed obeys Allah.” (4:30);
“And whatever the Rasul gives you, accept it and whatever he forbids you, abstain from it.” (59:7);
“Certainly you have in the Rasul of Allah a beautiful pattern.” (33:3).
IMPORTANCE OF THE BEARD IN RASULULLAH (SALLALLAHU ALAIHI WASALLAM’S WORDS:
“Trim closely the moustache, and let the beard flow.” (Ibn Umar (R.A.) in Muslim, Hadith no. 489).
“Act against (contrary) to the polytheists, trim closely the moustache and grow the beard.” (Ibn Umar (R.A.) in Muslim, Hadith no. 500).
“Trim closely the moustache and grow the beard.” (Abu Hurairah (R.A.) in Muslim Hadith no. 501).
“I have no connection with one who shaves, shouts and tears his clothing e.g. in grief.” (Abu Darda (R.A.) in Bukhări and Muslim).
Anyone who shaves has no claim to the Mercy of Allah.” (Ibn Abbas (R.A.) in Tibrăni).
Abdullah Ibn Umar (R.A.) used to cut that portion of the beard which exceeds the grip of the hand. (Tirmizi).
Jabir (R.A.) has said, “We used to grow long beards and only during Hajj and Umrah did we trim them to the required length.”
“Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) ordered us to trim the moustache closely and spare the beard.” (Ibn Umar in Muslim, Hadith no. 449).
It is reported in Tibrăni Vol. 3 Pg. 90/91, that Kaiser, the King of Persia, after having read the letter sent by the Rasul of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) inviting him to accept the faith of Islăm, ordered his sub-ordinate Bayon (Badhum), the governor of Yemen, to send two persons to bring the Rasul of Islăm before him. Bayon accordingly sent two messengers who according to the fashion of those days, were clean shaven but with long moustaches. When they appeared before Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), he very much disliked the unnatural appearances of those persons and said; “Woe to you, Woe to you. Who ordered you to adopt such appearances?” They said; “Our lord Kaiser.” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) told them; “My Rabb commanded me to lengthen my beard and clip my moustache.”
THE BEARD ACCORDING TO THE GREAT IMĂMS OF JURISPRUDENCE
HANAFIES: According to the Hanafies, ‘To shorten the beard less than a fist length is Harăm and on this is Ijma (consensus of opinion)’. Imăm Muhammad (R.A.) in his book ‘Kităbul Ăthăr’ relates from Imăm Abu Hanifah (R) who relates from Haitham (R.A.) who relates from Ibn Umar (R.A.) that he (Ibn Umar) used to hold his beard in his hand and cut off which was longer. Imăm Muhammad (R) says that this is what then followed and this was the decision of Imăm Abu Hanifah (R).
SHAFIES: Imăm Shăfi (R) in his Kităbul Umm states, “To shave the beard is Harăm”.
MALIKIES: Shaykh Ahmad Nafarawi Măliki in the commentary of Imăm Abu Zayd’s booklet states, “To shave the beard is without doubt Harăm according to all the Imăms.” It is also mentioned in ‘Tamheed’ which is a commentary of ‘Muatta’ (Sunnan Imăm Mălik (R.A.)) that to shave the beard is Harăm, and among males the only ones to resort to this practice are the Hermaphrodites.
HAMBALIES: The Hambalies, in their famous Al-Kanie’sHambli Fatăwa Kităb state that, “To grow the beard is essential and to shave it is Harăm.” In the Hambali books ’Sharhul Muntahă’ and Shar Manzoomatul Ădăb’ it is stated, “The most accepted view is that it is Harăm (prohibited to shave the beard).”
THE BEARD ACCORDING TO THE SCHOLARS OF ISLĂM
Durrul Mukhtăr states, “The length of the bead is one fist.”
Commentator of Mishkăt, Shaykh Muhaddith Abdul Haq Dehlawi (R) says, “To keep the beard one fist length is Wăjib (compulsory).” (Ashiatul Lam’ăt Vol. 1 Pg. 288).
Ibn Jazm Zahari writes, “To clip the moustache and to let the beard flow (grow) is Fardh (obligatory).” (Al Mahly Vol. 2 Pg. 320).
“To shave off the beard is unlawful and one who shaves is legally speaking a Făsiq (unrighteous person), hence, it is not permissible to appoint such a man as an Imăm and to perform Tarăweeh behind such an Imăm is Makruh Tahrimi (near prohibition).” (Shămi Vol. 1 Pg. 523).
Durrul Mukhtăr states, “No one has called it permissible to trim the beard less than a fist length as is being done by some westernised Muslims and hermaphrodites.” (Vol. 2 Pg. 155).
“To shave off the beard and to trim it more than the legal length is impermissible and forbidden. One who does so is a Făsiq and his evidence is rejected, his Imămat is Makruh Tahrimi.” (Fatăwa Rahimiyah Vol. 2 Pg. 195).
“The beard in its time (i.e. when it begins to grow) is the cause of handsomeness and adornment, which is completely lost on shaving it.” (Hidăyah Vol. 4 Pg. 571).
Shaykh Husain Ahmad Madani (R) in his book, ’The Philosophy of the Beard’ writes, “Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has commanded the Sahăbah and the Ummah to lengthen their beards and make this a symbol and uniform of a believer. It is therefore not permissible to shave, shorten or to keep a small beard.”
Shaykh Thană’ullaha of PăniPat says, “To clip the beard less than a fist length is Harăm.” (Mala Buda Minhu, Pg. 130).
Thus a Muslim who shaves or shortens his beard is like a hermaphrodite, his Imămat is near prohibition, his evidence is not valid, he will not have the right to vote or of being voted for. Shaving and shortening the beard is the action of the non-believers. Imăm Ghazzali (R.A.) says, “Know that the key to total bliss lies in following the Sunnah and in emulating the life of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) in all that issues from him, and in all his doings even if it concerns the manner of his eating, rising, sleeping, and speaking. I do not say this in relation to rituals in worship only because there is no way of neglecting the Sunnah reported of him in such matters – but what I say includes every aspect of his daily life.” (Kităb al Arbain Addeen, Pg. 89).
Allah Ta’ăla told Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) to say;
“Say, if you love Allah, follow me, Allah will love you.” (3-31).