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Allah, the Exalted, ordered believers to follow and obey the Sunnah of His Prophet ((pbuh) in their manners, appearance, ethics, customs and all aspects of their lives in the following verses: "So take what the Messenger assigns to you, and deny yourselves that which he withholds from you" (al-Hashr, 59/7), "Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct)" (al-Ahzab, 33/21). To follow the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah is the only way to understand Islam correctly and to practice Islam better.

The hair growing on the cheeks, chins and bottom part of the face.

God Almighty, who created man in the most beautiful form, informed people about their duty of worshipping through His prophets; He also determined their outward appearance and clothes.

Allah, the Exalted, created the hair, beard and other hairs on the bodies of people; He ordered people through His prophets to remove or shorten some of them and to grow others and warned people about it.

Allah, the Exalted, ordered believers to follow and obey the Sunnah of His Prophet ((pbuh) in their manners, appearance, ethics, customs and all aspects of their lives in the following verses: "So take what the Messenger assigns to you, and deny yourselves that which he withholds from you" (al-Hashr, 59/7), "Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct)" (al-Ahzab, 33/21). To follow the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah is the only way to understand Islam correctly and to practice Islam better.

If we act upon what Allah orders in this verse: "He who obeys the Messenger, obeys Allah" (an-Nisa, 4/80) and consider that obeying the Messenger of Allah ((pbuh) is fard, above all, the importance of sticking to his Sunnah becomes apparent.

The Messenger of Allah ((pbuh) prevented his umma (community) to resemble polytheists in terms of clothes and outward appearance; he warned Muslims with the following hadith; "Whoever imitates a group is one of them" (Abu Dawud, Libas, 4). He especially advised believers to grow a beard and he stated the importance of beard in various hadiths.

In a hadith reported by Hazrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her), he said "Ten acts are from fitra (creation): clipping the mustache, letting the beard grow, using the tooth-stick, snuffing water in the nose, cutting the nails, washing the finger joints, plucking the hair under the armpits, shaving the pubes and cleaning one's private parts with water " (Muslim, Taharah, 56; Abu Dawud Taharah, 29; Nasai, Zinah, I). In other hadiths, he said, "Shorten the mustache and lengthen the beard "; "Do not resemble polytheists; shorten the mustache and lengthen the beard"; " Clip the mustache and let the beard grow. Do not resemble fire-worshippers." (Bukhari, Libas, 64; Muslim, Taharah, 54) ,encouraging believers to let the beard grow.

As it is known, beard is something that needs to be present in men due to fitra and is the sunnah of the previous prophets. In many hadiths, it is ordered that the beard be left in its natural form and be lengthened. There is no permission to shorten it. Islamic scholars and believers have adopted that natural state and applied it for centuries.

As it is understood from those hadiths, the Messenger of Allah grew a beard as other prophets did and advised us to grow beards. There is no recording that Hazrat Prophet and his companions shaved their beards. However, Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) clipped his beard at the bottom and on the sides. (Tirmidhi, Adab, 17). Imam Malik says, "A Muslim should grow his beard in the form that the majority of Muslims grow; he should cut the extra part; it is mandoob (recommended). If that extra part is not cut, it causes an ugly appearance. There is no limit in shortening the beard. The best way is to shorten it so that it will look beautiful. "He said, based upon an application reported from Imam Baji Abdullah Ibn Umar and Abu Hurayra that the extra part out of a handful could be cut.

It is stated in Durrul-Muhtar that it is sunnah to have a handful of beard. Similarly, according to the opinion of the majority, it is sunnah to cut the extra part out of a handful.

Scholars have different opinions about growing, shortening and shaving the beard. According to some scholars, it is fard to grow a beard and it is haram to shave it; according to some, it is sunnah to grow a beard and it is makrooh (abominable) to shave it; others say it is mustahab (preferred) to grow. As for their evidence, the first opinion that says it is fard to grow a beard and it is haram to shave it belong to the majority of the scholars. Their evidence is mainly as follows:

a) Hazrat Prophet ((pbuh) ordered us to grow beards in a hadith. Orders are obligatory unless it is stated that they are mandoob  or mubah (optional) . The order “Grow beards” necessitates it to be fard.

b) Likewise, Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) ordered us not to resemble polytheists or fire-worshippers. Saving the beard means resembling them. And it is haram.

c) Shaving the beard means changing what Allah created, which is mentioned in the 119th verse of Chapter an-Nisa. That act, which is carried out by obeying the devil, is forbidden.

d) Beard is a quality that discriminates men from women. Men who shave their beards resemble women. Our religion forbids men from resembling women.

However, some scholars who say that it is haram to shave the beard mean shaving the beard after deciding to grow a beard. Otherwise, it is not haram to shave the beard without deciding to grow a beard.

Those who have the opinion that to grow a beard is sunnah and to shave it is makrooh are people like Imam Nawawi, a Shafii scholar, Razi, Ghazzali, Sheikh Zakariyya al-Ansari, Ibn Hajar, Ramli, Hatib, Shirbini. Those who have that opinion say the following.

a) The order in the hadith does not make growing a beard fard because our Prophet (pbuh) also ordered to dye the hair so as not to resemble Jews and Christians but some companions did not dye their hair. That incidence shows that the orders like that do not show obligation.

b) It is haram to resemble polytheists in the issues relating to religion and belief. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) put on sabots like the priests did. If it were definitely haram to resemble them in issues like that, Hazrat Prophet would have never done it.

c) If the issue is dealt with only in terms of resembling polytheists even if in the customs and traditions, contrarily, it will be concluded that growing a beard is haram because many priests and non-Muslims grow beard today.

d) The ten items that are listed as the sunnahs of prophets are regarded as sunnah or mustahab by most of the scholars. Since beard is one of them, it should be evaluated like that. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) advised his umma the best customs.

Those who say it is mustahab and customary sunnah to grow a beard and optional to shave it say the following: Growing a beard, eating, drinking, sitting, wearing clothes are the natural customs of the Prophet that he does because he is a human being.  Therefore, growing a beard is not a sunnah related to worshipping but a sunnah that is done customarily. It is also called sunnah zawaid (customary sunnah). Some scholars of our time like Mahmud Shaltut and Muhammad Abu Zahra are of that opinion. Accordingly, it is virtuous to grow a beard but shaving the beard is permissible. If a person does not grow a beard or if he shaves his beard, no judgment against him is given. It will be appropriate to act in accordance with the environment one lives in.

As for the mustache, which is almost a part of the beard, there are some narrations from Hazrat Prophet about clipping the mustache so as to show the edge of the upper lip or cutting it all. According to the opinion that is the judgment is based on, it is sunnah to clip the mustache or to cut it all: The believer is free to do either way.

However, it is not regarded permissible to clip the sides of the mustache and leave a small amount in the middle. It is stated in the sharh (explanation) of Shir’a that Hazrat Umar lengthened both ends of his mustache and that there is no drawback to it.

(For the judgments, opinions and ijtihads about the beard and mustache, see Ibn Abidin, II, 113, V, 261; al-Mahhal, I,183-189; Shawkani, Naylul-Awtar, I, 137-138; al-Madhahibul-Arbaa, II, 44-46; Sharhu'n-Nawawi (Marginal notes of Irshadushshari), II, 261-265; Ianatu't-Talibin, II, 340; Fathu'r-Rabbani, XVII, 313-314; Mahmut Shaltut, al-Fatawa, 227-229; ?slâmda Helal ve Haram, Yusuf al-Qardawi, (Trns. Mustafa Varl?), 107-109; Muhammad Abu Zahra, ?slâm Hukuku Metedolojisi (Trns. Abdülkadir ?ener), 51-52; Zakariyya Kandahlavi, Wujubu i'fail-Iihya).

Ahmet ARPA



29-10-2009 12:00:00

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