What do the scholars of mighty Sharī’ah say concerning the wājib (necessary) length that the beard must be grown up to? Also I suffer from a condition called Alopecia Areata because of which there are hairless patches on my face. I also suffer from Psoriasis which results in the flaking of my skin and my workplace has said that I should shave my beard. Now in this state what should I do?

Questioner: Mahboob from UK


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

It is wājib (necessary) to grow the beard to the length of one fist (i.e. four fingers) starting from below the chin. To shorten it from this length is impermissible because it is wājib to refrain from shortening the beard from its established amount from the Sharī’ah and the beard is a continuous sunnah of the Leader of creation, the Prophet Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him, and all the other Prophets, may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon them. The beard is also from the outward signs of the people of Islām and opposing it is forbidden, harām and the outward sign of the disbelievers.

The Noble Messenger of Allāh ﷺ states that,

عَن ابن عمر عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ:”خَالِفُوا الْمُشْرِكِينَ، وَفِّرُوا اللِّحَى وَأَحْفُوا الشَّوَارِبَ

Sayyidunā ‘Abdullāh ibn ‘Umar, may Allāh be pleased with them both, narrates from the Messenger of Allāh, may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him, that he ﷺ said, ‘Oppose the polytheists, make the beards copious and trim the moustaches.’”

[Sahīh al-Bukhārī, Hadīth no. 5892/Sahīh Muslim, vol. 1, pg. 129]

The Noble Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him, also stated:

عشر من الفطرة قص الشارب واعفاء اللحیة الحدیث

“Ten [matters] are from fitrah (natural disposition) cutting the mustache and making the beard copious…[to the end of the Hadīth].”

[Sahīh Muslim, vol. 1, pg. 129]

Shaykh al-Muhaddith ‘Abd al-Haqq al-Dehlawī states in his commentary that it is harām to shave the beard, it is the way of the europeans, the hindūs and the jāwālaqiyān who are also known as qalandars [pseudo Sūfīs]. To leave the beard to grow in size to a fist length is wājib. That which is said regarding the beard that it is Sunnah, then the meaning of this is that keeping a beard is an established action in the Dīn or that it is established from the Prophetic Sunnah just as the Eid prayer [whose ruling is wājib] is termed as Sunnah also.

[Ashi’at al-Lam’āt, vol. 1, pg. 212]

A’lā Hazrat Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān, may Allāh shower mercy upon him, says concerning the size of the beard that it is wājib to grow the beard hair to a fist length i.e. four fingers and to trim it less than this is impermissible. He states further that it is evident that this length is understood from beneath the chin i.e. that the hair that is grown should be of this length. That which some audacious ignoramuses do by placing their fingers from below their lips and measuring four fingers such that only one finger remains below the chin is sheer ignorance and audacity before the pure Sharī’ah. This amount [four fingers from below the chin] is agreed upon by the ‘ulamā of the Sunnah.

[al-Fatāwā al-Ridawiyyah, vol. 22, pg. 581]

Cutting the beard because of the skin conditions mentioned in the question is impermissible because the beard is not the cause of these conditions. If an extreme necessity (darūrah) was established in cutting the beard for the purpose of treatment then it will be permissible to cut the beard when there is no other possible way.

It is mentioned in al-Ashbāh wa al-Nazā’ir that,

الضرورات تبيح المحظورات

 “Extreme necessities permit forbidden matters.”

[al-Ashbāh wa al-Nazā’ir, pg. 107]

As for the cutting of the beard due to the saying of the people at the workplace, then this is also impermissible and harām. In fact, obedience to them in every harām action is harām. Just as the Noble Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him, stated,

لاطاعة لمخلوق في معصية الله

“There is no obedience to creation in disobedience to Allāh Almighty.”

[al-Mu’jam al-Saghīr, Hadīth no. 367]

In the Blessed Hadīth reported in al-Tirmidhī from Sayyidunā ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar, may Allāh be pleased with both of them, it is narrated that,

قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: السَّمْعُ وَالطَّاعَةُ عَلَى الْمَرْءِ الْمُسْلِمِ فِيمَا أَحَبَّ وَكَرِهَ، مَا لَمْ يُؤْمَرْ بِمَعْصِيَةٍ، فَإِنْ أُمِرَ بِمَعْصِيَةٍ، فَلَا سَمْعَ عَلَيْهِ وَلَا طَاعَةَ

“The Messenger of Allāh, may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him, said, ‘It is upon a Muslim to hear and obey that which he likes and dislikes as long as he is not ordered with disobedience. So if he is ordered with disobedience, then there is no hearing and no obeying.’”

[Sunan al-Tirmidhī, Hadīth no. 1707]

If these people force you to cut off the beard, then one should leave this employment and take up another means of earning. Allāh will grant blessing in that because it is Allāh alone who is the Granter of better provision.

It is mentioned in the Holy Qur’ān,

{وَ اللہُ خَیۡرُ الرّٰزِقِیۡنَ}

{And the sustenance of Allāh is the best.}

[Sūrah al-Jumu’ah, v. 11]

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 Mawlana Ibrar Shafi

Read the original Urdu answer here – [Q-ID0217] What is the ruling regarding the beard and its length? My workplace says I must shave it.

Also see:

[Q-ID0562] Can we keep a long beard, does a beard start below the chin or lip and can we tidy up our beard?

[Q-ID0369] What are the pre-conditions to lead the prayer as Imam?

[Q-ID0208] Imam not arrived, we all have small beards – who should lead the prayer?

[Q-ID0032] Who should lead prayer, the knowledgeable person or the one with the beard?

Share this with your family & friends: