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Keeping the Beard

Beard (Shaving)

Imaam Bukhari (Radhiallaahu Anhu) reports on the authority of Naafi’ who narrates from Abdullah ibn Umar (Radhiallaahu Anhu) that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ‘Oppose the Mushrikeen (polytheists); lengthen the beard and trim the moustache.’

Naafi’ further states, ‘And ibn Umar (Radhiallaahu Anhu) during Hajj or Umrah used to hold on to his beard with his fist and cut off whatever was in excess of that.’ (Bukhari vol.2 pg.875; Kitaab-ul-Libaas)

Through this Hadith, the verdict of the growing of the beard being Waajib (obligatory) is deduced. That is because any explicit command of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) will be regarded as Waajib, if there is no apparent, clear reason/proof which states that that particular command is for Istihbaab (preference). This is an established fact in Usool-ul-Fiqh (principles of jurisprudence).

Moreover, the Wujoob is further emphasized by the fact that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) did practice this in his entire life. Know well that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) did not trim his beard in his life (there is no Sahih Hadith which proves otherwise). However, because the narrator himself (Ibn Umar (Radhiallaahu Anhu) did trim his beard up to a fist’s length, this implies that the Wujoob of keeping a beard is up to a fist length only.

Furthermore, such has also been reported from Abu Hurayra (Radhiallaahu Anhu) and other Taabi’een. (Tamheed of ibn Abdul-Barr and Fathul Baari). Therefore, the meaning of our statement that you question is, ‘If any person has trimmed his beard up to less than one fist, then his beard will not be a Shar’ee beard.’

Lastly, for your knowledge, the sayings and actions of the Sahaaba (Radhiallaahu Anhum) is a Hujjah (proof) according to the majority of the scholars. However, the conditions for acceptance may differ. This is also an established principle in Usool-ul-Fiqh. Hence, the refutation of a Shar’ee beard by the scholar you have mentioned does not hold any weight in front of the Shar’ee proof we have mentioned and Allah Ta’ala and Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam Knows Best.

Male Head Hair

It is established from the Sunnah that the longest Nabi (Salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam) kept his hair was till his shoulders. This permissible and is in fact Sunnah. However to allow the hair to grow so long that it resembles a female’s hair is not permissible.

Dyeing Of Hair

To apply pure black dye is not permissible. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said, “There will be people who will come later (in my Ummah) and apply black dye. They will not even smell the fragrance of paradise.” (Abu Daawood). However, it is permissible for a Mujaahid (warrior) to apply black dye in order to give the impression of being young.

It is also permissible for one to dye his/hair black to beautify himself/herself for ones marriage partner if he/she is young, and the hair has turned grey due to some sickness, etc.

To dye the hair any other colour besides black e.g. Mehndi or Katm (type of grass) is permissible. This was the practice of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) and the Sahaaba (Radhiyallaahu Ánhum) and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best.

Rules Concerning Hair
  1. It is Sunnah to grow one’s hair on the entire head till the ear lobes or slightly below them. If a person wishes to shave his head, it is Sunnah to shave the entire head. It is also permissible to merely clip the hair. However, it is not permissible to clip all the hair and leave the front portion long, as is fashion today. Similarly, it is also not permissible to shave a portion and leave another portion long. From this, we deduce that it is not permissible to sport the Babri hairstyle (or to cut the hair in the shape of a cap or to shape the front part of the hair).
  2. If the hair has been lengthened considerably, it is not permissible to tie it into a tail like women.
  3. It is haram for women to shave the head or clip the hair on the head. The Hadith has cursed such women.
  4. It is Sunnah to clip the moustache to such an extent that it is clipped to the skin. There is a difference of opinion with regard to shaving the moustache. According to some, it is a bid’ah, while others have permitted it. Caution demands that one does not shave it.
  5. It is permissible to lengthen the moustache on the sides on the condition that the area above the lips is not lengthened.
  6. It is harâm to shave or clip the beard. However, it is permissible to clip it if it is longer than the length of one fist. Similarly, it is permissible to clip it on all the sides in such a way that it becomes neat and straight (provided it is beyond one fist).
  7. It is permissible to clip the hair and straighten the hairline that grows on the cheeks. Similarly, it is also permissible to straighten and cut the eyebrows a wee bit.
  8. The hair on the throat should not be shaven. However, it has been related to Abû Yûsuf rahmatullâhi ‘alayh that there is no harm in this.
  9. Shaving the hair of the lower lip is regarded as a bid’ah by the jurists. Therefore this should not be done. Similarly, they have said that it is makruh to remove the hair that is on the nape of the neck.
  10. It is not permissible to pluck out grey hairs merely for the purposes of beautification. However, it is better for the mujâhidîn to do so in order to instil fear and awe in the hearts of the enemy.
  11. The hair of the nose should not be tweezed out. Instead, it can be clipped.
  12. It is permissible to remove the hair that is on the chest and back. However, it is not good to do so.
  13. It is preferable for men to remove the hair of the pubic region from just below the navel onwards. When shaving, they should commence from below the navel. It is also permissible to use sulphurate of arsenic and other preparations (such as hair-removing creams, etc.) to remove the hair of the pubic region. As for women, the sunnah method is that they should remove the hair of the pubic region by pinching it out or tweezing it out and that they should not use a shaving machine.
  14. It is preferable to remove the hair of the armpits by tweezing them. However, it is permissible to shave them.
  15. As for the hair of the balance of the body, it is permissible to shave it or retain it.
  16. It is also a sunnah to clip the nails of the feet. However, it is mustahabb for the person who is engaged in jihad not to clip his moustache and nails.
  17. It is preferable to clip the fingernails in the following order:
  18. commence with the index finger of the right hand until you reach the little finger. Thereafter, commence with the little finger of the left hand until you reach the thumb of the left hand. Thereafter, complete by clipping the thumb of the right hand. As for the toenails, commence with the little toe of the right foot and end with the little toe of the left foot. This is the preferable method. However, it is permissible to clip in any way that may be
  19. contrary to this method.
  20. Clipped nails and hair should be buried. If they are not buried, they should at least be kept in a safe place. However, they should not be kept in any impure, dirty place as there is the fear of falling ill.
  21. It is not good to bite the fingernails as this is a cause of leprosy.
  22. It is makruh to trim the hair, clip the nails and remove pubic hair while one is in a state of impurity.
  23. It is preferable to remove the pubic hair, hair of the arm-pits, nails, to have a bath and cleanse oneself at least once a weak. It is best to do all this on a Friday before going for the Jumu’ah salât. If one cannot do this on a weekly basis, he should carry it out every fortnight. If not, at least every forty days. There is no concession beyond forty days. If forty days expire and the person does not carry out the above, he will be committing a sin.

Plucking, Trimming and Cutting of eyebrow is haram whereas other parts of the body like hands,legs, face etc are permissible.

According to the Sunnah of the Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam)every adult Muslim, as a part of keeping his/her body clean, should remove the hair on his pubic area and that, which grows under his armpits. This hair may be removed through any method that one feels comfortable with. A person should not let this hair grow for more than (around) forty days, as has been reported in a number of narratives ascribed to the Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam).

The ultimate objective of all Islamic teachings is to cleanse the human body, soul and mind. According to the Qur’an, only those people shall qualify for the everlasting bliss in the hereafter, who try to cleanse themselves during the life of this world. Your question pertains to that part of Islamic teachings that relate to the cleansing of the human body and therefore requires a cautious attitude on our part.


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