The significance of the beard

The Islamic view on beard
Excuses often made with regards to the beard
Clarification of a doubt

see also:The status of the Beard
The Turban, Kurtah and Topee (headgear)

The position that Islam has, and will have in the world has a great deal to do with how the Muslims look at it, and to what extent they practice its teachings. There was a time when Islam was running through every vein in a Muslim's body, and his actions were a living portrait of the glory and beauty of Islam, so the flag of Islam was proudly lifted in the sky by the winds of success. The non-believers could not question Islam, because living examples of Islamic perfection were before them. When the spirit of Islam began to fade away from the hearts of Muslims, there bodies were no longer strong enough to take all the measures and hardships necessary to practice their flawless religion. The new place for Islam was not a strong firm heart, but a dark dusty corner in the human mind. People liked to treat Islam like a constitution made by man, to be amended and abridged at will. Where did people go wrong? The answer is easy and simple to find. We left the pattern of life of our beloved Prophet Muhammad s.w, who sacrificed his day and night, swreat and blood, conveying Allah's message. Our respect and dignity lies in following the pattern of our beloved Prophet Muhammad s.w, this is why the noble practices of the Prophet s.w (sunnah) hold great weight. This article aims to help one remember a very significant sunnah of the Prophet s.w, the beard. To grow a beard is a practice of  all the Prophets and necessary for all Muslim males.


People often make excuses to get there way around to not keeping a beard. Some exuses are as follows:

a) Some people say that the Qur'aan does not order us to keep a beard. But I ask these people that where is it mentioned in the Qur'aan that we are only supposed to follow the Qur'aan and neglect the teachings of the Prophet s.w.

The Qur'aan states very clearly that we are to obey Allah and His Messenger s.w. There are many acts, commandments, etc. that are not mentioned in the Qur'aan. Take the number of rakats in salaah as a basic example; the number of rakats for every salaah has not been mentioned in the Qur'ann, rather we have been taught the exact number of rakats for each salaah by our beloved Prophet s.w through his sunnah.

b) Some people argue that to trim the beard (to an unlawful extent) or to shave is only a minor sin.

One should always keep in mind that no sin can be dismissed, nor can one say that minor sins do not affect a persons outcome in the hereafter. A sin, no matter what it is, is still a sin and only Allah can forgive sins.

Furthermore, to wear a beard is an obligation for the Muslim male, and to purposely ommit an obligatory act cannot be regarded as just a small, minor sin, which is harmless. A Muslim should also have so much love for the Prophet s.w that he feels proud in following the practices of the Prophet s.w.

Some people may say that Rasullullah s.w used tp keep the because it was an Arabic fashion in those days. However the concept of the Prophet Alayhi-salaam following a fashion/custom can only be comprehendable if that custom was lawful and better for the Ummah. Indeed these are mere excuses used to justify ones actions which are contradictory to the Blessed teachings of the Holy prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) .

One must recognize that for one to act contrary to Sunnah leaves scope for repentance. However the justification of ones wrong actions is an indirect if not direct opposition of  the teachings of Rasulluah s.w The keeping of the beard was an action not only observed, but also commanded by the Holy Prophet s.w In  a narration by Ibn Haban under the title The ruling of the beard in Islam:

“From among the Natural practices of Islam is the trimming of the moustache and the growing (fully) of the beard. The fire worshippers lengthen their moustaches and shave their beards.”


It is also interesting to note that no reports have been made in regards to a Companion of Rasullullah s.w or a Tabiee in regards to the shaving of the beard. It is well known that in instances of contradiction one must turn to the Companions r.a or the pious predecessors. Also any description of an early Prophet Alayhimu-salaam in a tradition portrays him as one who kept a beard. So one can justly say that the keeping of the beard is also a practice of previous Prophets Alayhimu-salaam. So if one is to  open mind he will come to the conclusion that the keeping of the beard is not only a commanded practice of the Blessed Prophet, but also an obligatory practice of the Prophet which should be implemented into our lives.


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