Beard – The Prophet (SAW)’s Most Ridiculed Sunnah


    Allah the Mighty has made the figure of the human being very well and pleasing, as He said,

    “We have certainly created the human being in the best of moulds.” [95:4].

    He has created humans in pairs, for external distinction in both (i.e. male and female). He made the man having a beard, with which beauty and dignity increase. Hence, it is generally observed that for each and every madhhab (doctrine), be it Muslim or non-Muslim, the chieftain is bearded. Such that, man naturally considers the beard to be a source of honor.

    Islam’s greatest position on earth is to deal with how the Muslims practice its teachings and to what extent do the disbelievers look at them. There was a time when Islam was running through every vein in a Muslim’s body and his actions were a living portrait of the glory and beauty of Islam, so the flag of Islam was proudly lifted in the sky by the winds of success. The non-believers could not question Islam, because living examples of Islamic perfection were before them. When the spirit of Islam began to fade away from the hearts of Muslims, their bodies were no longer strong enough to take all the measures and hardships necessary to practice their sound religion. The new place for Islam was not a strong firm heart, but a dark dusty corner in the human mind. People liked to treat Islam like a constitution made by man, to be amended and abridged at will. Where did people go wrong? The answer is easy and simple to find. We left the pattern of life of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW), who sacrificed his day and night, sweat and blood, conveying Allah’s message.

    People often make excuses to get their way around to not keeping a beard. To grow a beard is a practice of all the Prophets and necessary for all Muslim males. It was an action not only observed, but also commanded by the Holy Prophet (SAW) in a narration by Ibn Haban under the title ‘the ruling of the beard in Islam’:

    “From among the natural practices of Islam is the trimming of the moustache and the growing (fully) of the beard. The fire worshippers lengthen their moustaches and shave their beards.”

    Some excuses are as follows:

    a) Some people say that the Qur’an does not order us to keep a beard. But I ask these people that where is it mentioned in the Qur’an that we are only supposed to follow the Qur’an and neglect the teachings of the Prophet (SAW).

    The Qur’an states very clearly that we are to obey Allah and His Messenger (SAW). There are many acts, commandments, etc. that are not mentioned in the Qur’an. Take the number of rakats in salaah as a basic example; the number of rakats for every salaah has not been mentioned in the Qur’an, rather we have been taught the exact number of rakats for each salaah by our beloved Prophet (SAW) through his sunnah.

    b) Some people argue that to trim the beard (to an unlawful extent) or to shave is only a minor sin.

    One should always keep in mind that a sin cannot be dismissed, nor can one say that minor sins do not affect a person’s outcome in the hereafter. A sin, no matter what it is, is still a sin and only Allah can forgive sins.

    c) Some people say that Rasullullah (SAW) used to keep the beard because it was an Arabic fashion in those days. However, the concept of the Prophet Alayhi-salaam following a fashion/custom can only be comprehendable if that custom was lawful and better for the Ummah. Indeed these are mere excuses used to justify one’s actions which are contradictory to the Blessed teachings of the Holy prophet (SAW) .

    It is also interesting to note that no reports have been made in regards to a Companion of Rasullullah (SAW) or a Tabiee (followers after the companions) in regards to the shaving of the beard. It is well known that in instances of contradiction, one must turn to the Companions (ra) or the pious predecessors. The keeping of the beard is the Sunnah (exemplary way) of all the Prophets. Accordingly, there is a mention of Haroon (as)’s beard in the Noble Qur‘aan,

    “O son of my mother, do not seize me by the beard or by my head.” [20:94]

    Also, there is a mention of both Musa (as) and Adam (as)’s beard in ad-Durrul-Manthoor (1/62). And there is also an order in the Qur‘aan:

    “Those (Prophets) are the ones to whom Allah has guided, so take their guidance as an example.” [6:90]

    So if one is to open mind he will come to the conclusion that the keeping of the beard is not only a commanded practice of the Blessed Prophet, but also an obligatory practice of the Prophet which should be implemented into our lives.

    Cutting the beard is one of the altering of Allah’s creation.” And likewise shaving of the beard resembles oneself to the woman, about which there is a severe threat. It is narrated from Ibn ’Abbaas (ra) that the Prophet (SAW) has cursed the men who imitate women and the women who imitate men”, this is related in Musnad Ahmad, Aboo Daawood, Tirmidhee and Ibn Maajah. It is narrated that the Prophet (SAW) said, “Allah has cursed the women who imitate men and the men who imitate women.” al-Jaami’us-Sagheer (2/123)

    From Ibn ’Umar, who said, ‘The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, “Differ from the mushrikeen (polytheists); save the beards and trim the moustaches.” And in another narration, “Sharply trim the moustaches and leave the beards.” al-Mishkaat (no. 38).

    As for he who opposes the order of the Messenger of Allah is a very great admonishment,

    “So let those beware who oppose from his (the Prophet’s) order, lest fitnah (trial, tribulation) strike them or a painful punishment.” [24:63]

    It is proven by this hadeeth that cutting of the beards is the action of the mushrikeen, not the Muslims. And whoever imitates them is considered among them. So the person who shaves the beard is a mushrik by his appearance and image.

    Dear reader, there are a lot of hadiths and other evidences that prove the unlawfulness of cutting of the beard. But as for now, “Best brevity makes sense”. May Allah make us”those who listen to the Word then follow the fairest of it. Those are the ones whom God has guided, and those are the men of understanding.(39:18)


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