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I want to know that will i be commiting a sin if i shorten my 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:


Dear burhan,

In thank you for replying to my question, but i want to know that will i be commiting a sin if i shorten my beard coz some say that as per imams shortening below one fist is haraam,is it true, can i trim my beard below one fist, my beard is curly & it looks odd i had no problem if it was evenly grown


Pls help me in this issue


Quda haafiz


(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)




Length of 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 none 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 long 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 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 remember 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 an encouraged and preferred 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 or the size of one’s beard; but rather He will decide whether the person believed and did righteous deeds as he was commanded by Allah and His Messenger (saws).


Because each individual has been blessed by nature to have different levels of facial hair-growth, to the best of our knowledge there is no specific injunction in Shariah Law regarding the exact length of beard a believer is obliged to adorn. There are reports from some companions of the Noble Prophet (saws) who said that they would hold the beard in the fist of their hands and whatever exceeded that, they would trim that, while other reports say that the beards of some other companions would be long unto their chests. And Allah Alone Knows best.


What is certain and recorded in the authentic and established narrations regarding the beard is this narration from Hadrat Abdullah ibn Umar (r.a.):

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.


Your Question: can i trim my beard below one fist, my beard is curly & it looks odd i had no problem if it was evenly grown .

Abu Hurairah reported the Prophet (saws) as saying, "Whoever has hair should honor it."

Related by Abu Dawud.

Said Ata ibn Yasar, "A man came to the Prophet (saws) with unkempt hair and an untidy beard. The Prophet (saws) pointed to him, as if ordering him to straighten his hair and beard. He did so and returned. Thereupon the Prophet (saws) observed, 'Is that not better than one of you coming with his hair unkempt, as if he were a devil?"' Related by Malik.


There is absolutely no harm if one wishes to keep one’s beard trim and tidy, so that the growth does not look odd, untidy, or unkempt.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s 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,




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