1. I'm proud of my beard.  I don't say this in an arrogant way, but what I mean is that I'm not ashamed of it.  I don't wear it because I think I've attained human perfection, but because I want to imitate those of whom I know have.  I wear it because it's the sunnah of my Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and I look up to him.  He's my role-model.  I have it because Prophet Moses 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) had it, Prophet Jesus 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) had it, and so did all other Prophets and Messengers of God.
  2. I believe that it is waajib (mandatory).  I don't say this because I'm an extremist, but because the majority of Muslim scholars and schools of thought say so.  However, that doesn't make me any better than you.  Actually, I know for a fact that many of you are better than me.
  3. I don't believe it's the most important thing in the deen.  At the same time, I don't think it's so trivial either, because the Prophet 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) wouldn't waste his time on something trivial.
  4. How Long Is Yours? As to the length of the beard, I take the middle opinion.  I don't think it should be allowed to grow indefinitely.  In fact, there are narrations from Ibn Omar and Abu Huraira raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) (two Companions who followed the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) to the letter) that they used not to grow it beyond the fist.  So yes, I'm a Hanafi when it comes to the beard :)  On the other hand, goatees, shadows (5 o'clock), and soul patches are not sunnah either.
  5. I've had a beard since I was 20,  and not shaved it once, alhamdulillah.  It wasn't always easy.  I had some relatives scorn me because of it.  Some told me I will never get a job because of my beard.  But, with the bounty of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), I have always had a great job.
  6. But the worst is when Muslims ridicule the beard.  I've heard some call it “the broom”.  I say shame on you!  Don't you realize that your Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) used to wear a beard?  It's totally your personal choice to have it or not, but you should never make fun of it.  By the same token, we should never make fun of the clean-shaven either.  Respect to all!
  7. I think it adds to a man's beauty, if treated properly.  The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) used to say that if you have hair, then take care of it (be generous to it, to be exact).  So if you decide to grow it, don't leave it unmade; and please don't look like a caveman!
You can follow the writer at www.facebook.com/AnasHlayhel

MMPoll: What Style of Beard Do You Sport?

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About The Author

Born and raised in Lebanon, Hlayhel began attending study circles at his local mosque when he was ten. He came to the United States at 17 and studied electrical engineering at the University of Houston. At its MSA, he met Sh Yasir Qadhi and worked together to raise Islamic awareness on campus. Hlayhel studied traditional sciences of Aqeedah (Islamic creed), Fiqh (Islamic law) and Nahw (Arabic grammar) under Sh Waleed Basyouni and Sh Waleed Idriss Meneese among others. After settling in Phoenix AZ, he worked tirelessly, in the capacity of a board member then a chairman, to revive the then dead AZ chapter of CAIR in order to face the growing Islamophobia in that state and to address the resulting civil right violations. Today, he's considered the second founder of a strong CAIR-AZ. In addition, Hlayhel is a part-time imam at the Islamic Center of the Northeast Valley in Phoenix, husband and father of four. His current topics of interest include positive Islam, youth coaching, and countering Islamophobia.

28 Responses

  1. ashrafh

    I have to admit, this is one of the most balanced articles on the beard that I read; it doesn’t get involved into fiqhi debates about what is the correct position, but correctly points out that just the fact that Rasulullah had a beard should make us want to have one–regardless of the fiqhi status (which is wajib according to the jamhur of the ulama). Jazakallah

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    • sallu khan

      wenever u take or write the blessed name of Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wa aalihi wa sallam say sallallahu alaihi wa aalihi wa ahli baitihi wa sallim

      sallallahu ala rasulullahi sallallahu alaihi wa aalihi wa ahli baitihi wa azwajihi wa ashabihi wa sallim

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      • Abraham

        What about PBUH? I know that the above is more accurate because it is in Arabic but I’ve always read in most articles (in English) this phrase!
        :)

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  2. AbuMisbah

    100% agree with ashrafh. Pretty balanced and great article. JazakAllah Khair Br.Anas.

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  3. sameer mohammad

    Kindly let me know where is it written that you are Hanfi,Shafi , Maliki or Hanbali. As u hv mentioned u Hanfi…. so answer from Quran anf Hadith if we can call ourselves a sectarian. ( hanfi etc).

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    • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

      Dear Sameer

      Please reread that line carefully … you might change your idea of Imam Anas being a Hanafi. :)

      As for the debate of whether it is appropriate or not, I don’t think it suits this article’s comments section so let’s not get into it here.

      Best Regards
      Aly
      Comments Team Lead

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  4. Abu Muhammad

    I heard from a reliable brother that there was research done that shows that women find bearded guys more attractive.

    Anyways it is a shame when Muslims make fun of other Muslims for trying to practice what they believe is proper (ex. growing the beard a fistful length).

    It is also very sad when Muslim women make fun of other Muslim women wearing niqaab, saying that it is not necessary, etc.

    I have my own views on what is right, but the main thing is that we shouldn’t insult some-one just because we are not doing it.

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    • O H

      @Abu Muhammad: Your right akhi, my own cousins were saying horrendous stuff and calling me and my brother extremists once they saw us on skype! In fact the scholars have said hating any element of Islam or mocking any element of the deen is a nullifier of the shahaada i.e. kufr.

      By the way I hope no Muslim man keeps a beard for attracting women!

      Jazak Allaahu Khair brother Anas for the beneficial article and it is an issue people under-estimate and laugh away :(.

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      • Zaheer

        ‘Alaykum salaam akhi

        Which scholars have said that hating/mocking elements of the deen nullifies the shahaada? And what is this ruling based upon? [Genuine question based on not having seen the evidence but having heard the statement many times – nowadays on the internet one has to put disclaimers on to enquiries such as these because they are often asked sarcastically or in a challenging-‘don’t make statements you can’t back up yo’ kinda way].

        Agreed that one shouldn’t wear the beard to attract women (one should never do anything purely for people – the first aim is obeying Allah’s command and any humans who appreciate that is a just a side-benefit) – however in today’s culture, shar’i beards are generally not considered attractive. Generally, I say. If a whole lot of sisters reply to this castigating me for my ignorance I will be glad to be proven wrong:-)

        Jazak Allaahu Khair brother Anas, indeed.

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      • O H

        Refer to the small book titled “Nawaaqid-ul-Islaam” (The Nullifiers of Islaam) by Imaam Muhammad bin ‘Abdil-Wahhaab which is available online or in bookstores. These nullifiers have been agreed upon my many scholars. Below are relevant sections:

        -Whoever Ridicules, Scorns or Makes Mockery of
        Anything of the Religion of the Prophet, Its Reward or
        Its Punishment, Has Committed Kufr (Disbelief).

        Allah, the Most High, says:
        …Say: Was it Allah, and His Ayaat (proofs, signs, revelations) and His Messenger that you were mocking? Make no excuse; you have disbelieved after you had believed… [at-Tawbah 9:65, 66]

        ******

        -“Man Abghada shay’an mimmaa jaa’a bi-hi ar-Rasool
        wa law ‘amila bi-hi, kafara.”

        “Whoever Hates Anything of What the Prophet Came
        with Has Committed Kufr (Disbelief), even if he
        practices it [i.e. that thing which the Prophet has come
        with].”
        ******

        Allah, the Most High, says:
        But those who disbelieve, for them is destruction, and (Allah) will make
        their deeds vain. That is because they hate that which Allah has sent down (al-Qur’an, Sharee’ah, etc.); so He has made their deeds fruitless.
        [al-Qur’aan, Soorah Muhammad 47:8, 9]

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      • Zaheer

        Jazaakumullah,

        I was aware of some of these Quranic verses, but they didn’t spring to mind at the time. I suppose because the beard is such a ‘contentious’ issue with regards to its fard/wajib/sunna status.

        Shukran katheer for the reminder. Indeed mockery (including of other people’s religions – http://quran.com/6/108) is an evil practice which if of no benefit to anyone.

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  5. Mahmud

    Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

    Probably the best encouragement I’ve found on this issue.

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    • O H

      Use the full form Jazak Allaahu Khairan :) Small explanation here:

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  6. Riaz Khan

    Ouch! “I believe that it is waajib (mandatory). I don’t say this because I’m an extremist, but because the majority of Muslim scholars and schools of thought say so. However, that doesn’t make me any better than you. Actually, I know for a fact that many of you are better than me.”

    Definition:
    Waajib is that compulsory act which is established by a Dhannee proof, i.e. a proof that is not as doubtless as a Qat’ee proof. The person who neglects a Waajib (compulsory) act without a valid excuse is liable for punishment and although the person who rejects the Waajib act is not a Kaafir, he will certainly be regarded as a Faasiq.

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      • Zaheer

        There is quite a significant amount of evidence supporting this view: see http://sunnah.com/muslim/2/69 for instance.

        See also this search query on the same database: http://sunnah.com/search/trim-the-moustache

        The scholars have used these, and other hadith, to classify the growing of the beard as compulsory (in most cases).

        See http://www.shafiifiqh.com/on-keeping-the-beard/ as an example of a certain view of the Shafi’i madhab which deems shaving/removal of the beard as ‘just short’ of sinful. When considered with the ‘ijma of the ahlus-sunnah, this is a minority opinion. This, however, does not automatically make it incorrect or impermissible to take.

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      • O H

        The four schools of thought have all deemed the beard to be obligatory. Some of the evidences are:

        Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Be different from the mushrikeen: let your beards grow and trim your moustaches.” According to another report: “Trim your moustaches and let your beards grow.”
        There are other hadeeth which convey the same meaning, which is to leave the beard as it is and let it grow long, without shaving, plucking or cutting any part of it. Ibn Hazm reported that there was scholarly consensus that it is an obligation (fard) to trim the moustache and let the beard grow. [Check this source for more info: http://islamqa.info/en/1189

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  7. Fawaz

    First thing first, beard or niqab are absolutely the choice of the individual and should be respected always. But as far as the Prophet’s beard was concerned, it was probably in line with the norms of his time and place, which means most men of that time would have worn their beards similarly, whether muslim or not. For this and other reasons, the wearing of beards as a form of devotion makes me slightly uncomfortable personally, as this seems akin to wearing a t-shirt of one’s favourite musician; it implies that the religion is more about the messenger than the message, which cannot be right? Also, judgement goes both ways, and often bearded ones make assumptions about or belittle the clean-shaven.

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    • O H

      First:

      The beard is NOT absolutely the choice of the individual. If a Muslim fails to obey a certain commandment/obligation (e.g.the beard) then he is sinful in that regard. Obedience to the Prophet’s commands, as mentioned in the 2nd section of my answer, is mandatory. If one fails to comply they should be remorseful and ask Allaah for strength and assistance so they may overcome their weakness in submitting to the commands instead of justifying boldly their error.

      “It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter, that they should [thereafter] have any choice about their affair. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly strayed into clear error.” (Qur’an Chapter 33 Verse 36).

      Secondly:

      Obey the Messenger. It is part of our shahaada we profess as Muslims! It is is no way contradictory to the message nor does it contradict the obedience/worship of Allaah as you have implied in your assertion.Some Qur’an verses below

      “And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad, saaws, gives you, take it and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain from it.” (Qur’an 59 Verse 7)

      Say (O Muhammad to mankind): “If you (really) love Allah then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Qur’an and the Sunnah), Allah will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Qur’an Chapter 3 Verse 31)

      “Whoever obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah (Qur’an Chapter 4 Verse 80)

      “Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad SAW) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much”.(Qur’an Chapter 33 Verse 21)

      Thirdly:

      Regarding wearing the beard making you slightly uncomfortable let me remind you of some other Qur’an verses which address this.

      “But no, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you, [O Muhammad], judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in [full, willing] submission.”(Qur’an Chapter 4 Verse 65)

      Hating any part of the Islamic Shari’ah, whether it be the commandments stipulated in the Qur’an and Sunnah, or any other element of Islam is Kufr/disbelief as mentioned by the scholars and their proof is.

      “But those who disbelieve (in the Oneness of Allah Islamic Monotheism), for them is destruction, and (Allah) will make their deeds vain.That is because they hate that which Allah has sent down (this Quran and Islamic laws, etc.), so He has made their deeds fruitless.” (Qur’an Chapter 47 Verse 9

      By the way I am not saying you have commited Kufr but your negative stance towards the beard requires this word of caution lest you fall into this error.

      Just advising you as a brother in Islam with no negativity intended but benefit which helps us all. May Allaah guide us all to the straight path, Ameen. Please study the Seerah-biography of the Prophet (peace be upon him) which is a great source if inspiration for all Muslims and by the Grace of Allaah many people have entered Islam after studying the biography of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

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  8. Fawaz

    First of all, beards or niqab are entirely an individual choice and as such must be respected. As far as the Prophet’s beard is concerned, however, it seems very likely that it was in line with the norms of his time and place; which is to say that probably most or all adult men of the time wore their beards in a similar way, whether they were muslims or not. For this and other reasons, wearing a beard as a devotional display seems to me to be akin to wearing a t-shirt of a popular musician; an outward show that says nothing about what’s in a man’s mind or heart. And judgement goes both ways: bearded ones frequently belittle or assume things about the clean-shaven.

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  9. Abu Milk Sheikh (@AbuMilkSheikh)

    8. The instant love for the sake of Allah and brotherly connection that happens when two bearded brothers, who are complete strangers, cross paths. “Go ‘head mah brotha! I feel you!”

    9. In a jama’ah of strangers the one with the longest beard is automatically the Imam for salah.

    10. The fact that disbelievers are intimidated by, fear or respect it.

    11. It is claimed that Umm al-Mumineen A’isha once may have made an oath by Allah saying “By the One who beautified man through the beard”

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  10. Arbab Shazan

    The following is likely the full hadith!

    Abu ‘Umamah reports: The Prophet (sws) once came to some old men of the tribe of Ansar. These men had extremely white beards. Seeing them, the Prophet remarked:
    ‘O People of Ansar dye your beards in red or golden colors and do not follow these People of the Book’.
    They declared:
    ‘O Prophet these People of the Book do not wear shalwars and loin cloths’.
    At this, the Prophet said:
    ‘Wear shalwars and loin cloths and do not follow these People of the Book’.
    They declared:
    ‘O Prophet these People of the Book neither wear shoes nor socks [while praying] ((Abu Da‘ud, Kitabu’l-Salah).
    At this, the Prophet said:
    ‘Wear shoes and socks and do not follow these People of the Book’. They said:
    ‘O Prophet these People of the Book lengthen their moustaches and shave their beards’.
    At this, the Prophet said:
    ‘Clip your moustaches and lengthen your beards and do not follow these People of the Book’. (Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hambal, vol. 5 p. 264)

    It is evident from the words of this Hadith that some Muslims of the Ansar were following the People of the Book in some of their practices thinking that they were obligatory. Besides other things, they thought that it was necessary to lengthen the moustache and shave off the beard. The Prophet (sws) told them that this was no religious directive. On the contrary, this was a religious innovation; so if they wanted, they could lengthen their beards and clip their moustache instead. Similarly, refraining from dyeing one’s hair was no religious requirement. If they wanted they could dye their hair as well. In other words, this Hadith is not asking men to grow beards; it is merely saying that keeping beards and clipping moustaches is not a condemned religious practice as certain people are contending. It is perfectly allowed in Islam. So, just as dyeing hair, wearing socks and shoes while praying have not become necessary directives as per this Hadith, keeping a beard as an obligatory directive cannot be deduced from it as well.

    The above commentary is not mine but taken from a site. It looks reasonable and rational. It looks to me the most natural position is to allow a person the freedom of choice. The above commentary is in tune with that freedom.

    والله أعلمُ بالـصـواب
    and Allah knows the right”

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  11. Wael Abdelgawad

    You didn’t mention that it keeps your face warm in winter, gives you a strong, masculine appearance, prevents skin problems that come from shaving, and gives you something pleasant to stroke when you’re trying to look thoughtful. :-)

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  12. Balooh

    The most important thing is to have good character and conduct. Also taking care of prayers, it will be the first thing asked on the day of Qiyamah. May Allah swt give all our muslim brothers tawfeeq to wear a beard. Its a huge sunnah and personally I think majority of men look more attractive with it, its a sign of masculinity and maturity :-)

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    • David Ray

      HI, I recently had a look into Islam to see what all the fuss was about. Down here in Australia you have a reputation for fanatical behaviour at the silliest of reasons and many other more serious allegations, which I wont mention now, as I am writing to learn with mutual respect. I have read that the Koran states over 30 times to fight the unbeliever in your life time and states 500 times how the unbeliever with suffer after there life time. Quran 8:55 “SURELY THE VILEST OF ANIMALS IN ALLAH’S SIGHT ARE THOSE WHO DISBELIEVE”. I’m not a disbeliever as I didn’t know there were 1.3 billion people who consider my friends and family vile, till the Sydney pack rapes occurred, 15 yrs before 9/11, and i first learned what a Muslim was, but you would consider me a nonbeliever, so i’m wondering weather there’s anything nice about my mother in the Koran. Thanks for any help.

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