Message No : 108Sr.No : 36/722
Question By : Muhammad Fazli Sameer

Assalamu 'Alaikum!

JazakAllah Khairan for your e-mail.

Recently I had a very heated discussion with an Arab (UAE) Muslim doctor living and working in the USA with regard to trimming the moustache and leaving the beard. He claimed that this is only OPTIONAL and NOT WAJIB. Can you please give me the Daleel fo the related Hadeeth and the Shariah/Fiqh ruling on this?
All the Imams and Sheikhs in Saudi Arabia are of the opinion that it is compulsory as it is a command from the Messenger (sal) and NOT just something he did for himself based on the prevailing culture of the Arabs at that time.

Muhammad Fazli Sameer
Al faisaliah Group
P O Box 16460
Riyadh 11464
Saudi Arabia


Reply By : Md. Obaidullah Qasmi
Designation : Mufti, ODI, MMERC, Mumbai  

Dear brother in Islam

To keep beard one fist long, and to clip the moustache is Wajib according to all the four Imamas (obligatory) and not optional in the light of several Ahadith, practices of all the companions of the Prophet and the whole Ummah. Keeping beard has been described as a Shi'aar (identity) of Islam.
Below are some Ahaadith and sayings of the Companions in regard to Beard:
(i) Hadhrat Ibn Umar narrates that the Prophet (SWS) said, ''Oppose polytheists- lengthen the beards and clip the moustaches.
(Bukhari & Muslim)
(ii) Hadhrat Amr bin Sho-aib narrates that the Prophet (SWS) used to take off something from his beard from its length and bredth.
(iii) The prophet (SWS) had thick and profuse beard, which had filled his chest. (Shama'ile Tirmizi)
(iv) Hadhrat Abdullah bin Umar is regarded as the greatest follower of the Prophet (SWS). Imam Bukhari declaring his practice as the criterion in this case says, ''When going to Haj (Pilgrimage) or Umrah he used to hold his beard with fist and cut the hair that was beyond the fist. (Bukhari)
(v) Umar bin Khat-tab and Umar bin Abdul-Aziz did not take evidence of those who shaved or shortened their beards.
(vi) Hazrat Ka'ab said: in latter days, there will come people who will trim their beards like the tails of pigeons
(Al-Hadis an English version of Mishkatul Masabeeh v.1 p.606)

These Ahadeeth and Companians' practices show that having beard one fist long, and clipping the moustache (at least to such an extent that it may not mix with water when drinking) is obligatory and not optional. Had the keeping of beard been based on culture, optional and not obligatory, the Prophet would not have commanded to lengthen it in several Ahadith, and the Companions and their successors would not have practiced it for their whole life, neither they would have rejected the evidences of beard-shortened and shave- cleaned people.
Thanking You

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