What do the scholars of the Dīn and muftīs of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: My cousin works as a doctor in England for the NHS who deals with COVID-19 patients, and the management there told him to shorten his beard so that it is easier to wear a mask. What is the Islamic ruling regarding this?

Questioner: Bilal from UK


بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب

The minimum length of the beard being a fistful is Wājib, and to shave or trim it less than this is impermissible and Harām [i.e. unlawful]. And my master, A’lāhadrat, the Imām of the Ahl al-Sunnah, the respected Mawlānā Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān – may Allāh have mercy upon him – states, ‘Not reducing the beard less than the stipulated length by Islamic Law is Wājib, and it is amongst the continuous Sunnahs [i.e. regular blessed practises] of the Beloved Prophet ﷺ and the Noble Prophets – upon whom be peace – and the signs of Islām; and contradicting this is prohibited & Harām, and a sign of non-Muslims.’

[Fatāwā Ridawiyyah, vol. 22, p. 571]

Hence, you should mention to him to tell them that a beard holds the rank & status of being Wājib [necessary] in my religion; and if they do not accept and say to leave the job – and there is a strong fear of not being able to find another job, or there is a fear of life to oneself or the patient, just as the circumstances and conditions of today are, that there are less doctors to deal with COVID-19 than patients, then one may be permitted to reduce the beard to such an extent that one is able to wear that particular kind of mask. Such a need will certainly make the impermissible permissible;

“الضرورات تبیح المحظورات”

“Constraints make the impermissible permissible.”

[al-Ashbāh wa al-Nazhā’ir, vol. 1, ch. 1, rule 5, p. 118]

And it is stated in ‘Ināyah,

“وَالثَّابِتُ بِالضَّرُورَةِ يَتَقَدَّرُ بِقَدْرِهَا”

“And whatever thing is established due to need, it is only permissible according to that level & amount.”

[al-‘Ināyah, vol. 1, p. 215]

واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری

Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by Haider Ali Madani

Read the original Urdu answer here: [Q-ID0820] Doctor is asked to reduce size of his beard due to COVID19, is this allowed?

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