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Differing from the mushrikeen with regard to the beard

Question: 1169

I know that we are supposed to let
our beards grow in order to be different from the mushrikeen, but nowadays they let their
beards grow too. What is your opinion?

Praise be to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah and his family.

It is waajib (obligatory) to let the beard grow, and shaving it is
haraam (forbidden). Imaam Ahmad, al-Bukhaari, Muslim and others narrated from Ibn
‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) that the Prophet
and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Be different from the mushrikeen: let
your beards grow and trim your moutsaches.” Ahmad and Muslim reported from Abu
Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet
(peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) said: “Cut your moustaches and let your beards grow: be different
from the Magians.” Persisting in shaving one’s beard is a major sin (kabeerah);
the one who does this should be advised against it, and his action should be denounced,
especially if he is in a position of religious leadership.

The idea of being different from the Magians and other mushrikeen does
not mean being different from them in every single thing, particularly if they happen to
be doing something righteous or good in accordance with the fitrah (natural inclinations
of man). What is meant is that we should be different from them in matters where they have
gone astray and deviated from the truth and the dictates of the fitrah, and gone against
the way of the Prophets and Messengers by shaving their beards. We should differ from them
in this case by letting our beards grow and cutting our moustaches, following the guidance
of the Prophets and Messengers, and in accordance with the fitrah. It is proven that the
Messenger of Allaah
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Ten
things are part of the fitrah: cutting the moustache, letting the beard grow, cleaning the
teeth with a siwaak, rinsing the nose with water, cutting one’s nails, washing
between the finger-joints, plucking the armpit hairs, shaving the pubic hair and cleaning
one’s private parts with water

.” (Reported by Ahmad, Muslim and the four
authors of Sunan, from the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased
with her). Even if the kaafiroon start letting their beards grow, this does
not mean that the Muslims are allowed to shave theirs, because as we have stated above,
the idea is not to be different from them in everything, only in the things in which they
have deviated from the truth and from the fitrah.


Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

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