Is the hair that grows beneath the eye part of the beard?

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One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
I would like some guidence regarding the beard. It is known and said by the Prophet (peace be upon him) that the beard is compulsory therefore it is a must. I wanted to know the hairs above the beard line, for example I have hairs that grow below a thumb width below the eye, is it permissable to remove this?
I have read other questions on this, but I am stil in confusion.
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Answer:
Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly: 

The saheeh hadeeths indicate that it is obligatory to let the beard grow and it is haraam to shave it or cut it. 

The scholars of the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas were asked: What is the ruling on shaving the beard or trimming some of it? 

They replied: 

Shaving the beard is haraam, because of the clear saheeh hadeeths and reports that have been narrated concerning that, and because of the general meaning of the texts which forbid imitating the disbelievers. For example, in the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar it says that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Be different from the mushrikeen: let your beard grow and trim the moustache.” According to another report: “Trim the moustache and let the beard grow.” And there are many other similar hadeeths. 

Letting the beard grow means leaving it as it is and leaving it alone, without shaving or plucking or cutting anything from it. Ibn Hazm narrated that there was consensus that cutting the moustache and letting the beard grow is obligatory, and he quoted as evidence a number of hadeeths including the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) quoted above, as well as the hadeeth of Zayd ibn Arqam, according to which the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever does not trim anything from his moustache is not one of us.” Classed as saheeh by al-Tirmidhi. In al-Furoo‘ it says: This wording, “according to our companions” -- i.e., the Hanbalis -- implies that it is haraam. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The Qur’aan, Sunnah and scholarly consensus indicate that it is enjoined to be different from the disbelievers and it is forbidden to resemble them in general terms, because resembling them on the outside leads to resembling them in blameworthy attitudes and actions, and even in beliefs, as it generates love and friendship on the inside; by the same token, love on the inside generates resemblance of the outside. Al-Tirmidhi narrated that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “He is not one of us who resembles people other than us. Do not resemble the Jews or the Christians …” According to another version: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” this was narrated by Ahmad. And ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab rejected the testimony of one who plucked his beard.  

Imam Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr said in al-Tamheed:

It is haraam to shave the beard, and no one does that except effeminate men (mukhannathoon), i.e., those who imitate women. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) had a lot of hair in his beard, as was narrated by Muslim from Jaabir. According to one report, he had a thick beard and there is another report which is worded differently but the meaning is the same. It is not permissible to remove any of it because of the general meaning of the evidence which shows that doing so is forbidden.

End quote from Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 5/133. 

Secondly: 

The beard is the hair on the cheeks and chin. 



Ibn Manzoor said, quoting from Ibn Sayyidihi: Lahyah (beard) is a word that includes the hair that grows on the cheeks and chin. 

End quote from Lisaan al-‘Arab, 15/243. 

And it says in al-Qamoos al-Muheet: Lahyah (beard) is the hair of the cheeks and chin. End quote. 

So what grows beneath the eye is not part of the beard. 

And Allah knows best.

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

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