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I see the question discussed in this site which reveals the reason of growing beard and also the question discussed about importance of beard in islam.

I need to clarify some doubts about cutting of beard.

  • Is it permissible to cut the beard lesser than the fist length?
  • Someone says that leaving a small part is makrooh and shaving off the beard is haraam, is it so?
  • I also heard that cutting the beard which is more than the size of a fist length is mushtahab, is it correct?
  • what is the actual shape and length of beard that was allowed in Islam?
  • Did the prophet(PBUH) or his companions cut their beard? yes means how much?
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2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The following essay by Mufti Afzal Elias (found here) answers the questions:

The Beard according to the Great Imams of Jurisprudence


Imam Muhammed (R.A.) writes in his book "Kitabul Aathaar" where he relates from Imam Abu Hanifa (R.A.) who relates from Hadhrat Haytham (R.A.) who relates from Ibn Umar (R.A.) that he (Ibn Umar) used to hold his beard in his hand and cut off which was longer. Imam Muhammed (R.A.) says that this is what we follow and this was the decision of Imam Abu Hanifa. Therefore, according to Hanafies, to shorten the beard less than a FIST LENGTH is HARAAM and on this is IJMA (concensus of opinion).


Imam Shafi (R.A.) in his Kitabul Umm states, "To shave the beard is HARAAM." (Shari Minhaj dar Shara Fasl Aqueeqa).


Shekh Ahmad Nafarawi Maliki in the commentary of Imam Abu Zayed's booklet states, "to shave the beard is without doubt haraam according to all Imams." It is also mention in "Tamheed" which is a commentary of "Muatta" (Sunnan Imam Malik (R.A.)) that to shave the beard is HARAAM and among males the only ones to resort to this practice (of shaving) are the HERMAPHRODITES (persons who possess both male and female features and characteristics).


The Hanbalies in the famous Al-Khanie'a Hanbali Fatawa Kitab state that "to grow the beard is essential and to shave it is HARAAM." Also in the Hanbali Mathab books "Sharahul Muntahaa" and "Sharr Manzoomatul Aadaab", it is stated "The most accepted view is that it is HARAAM (prohibited to shave the beard)."

Also note, according to scholars of Islam: "To shave off the beard is unlawful (haraam) and one who shaves his beard is legally speaking an unrighteous fellow (FASIQ); hence, it is NOT PERMISSIBLE to appoint such a man as an Imam. To say Taraweeh behind such an Imam is MAKRUH-E-TAHRIMI (near prohibition)" (Shami Vol.1, p.523)

The Durre-Mukhtar states: "No one has called it permissible to trim it (the beard) less than FIST-LENGTH as is being done by some westernized Muslims and hermaphrodites." (Vol. 2, p. 155). Also, "It is forbidden (haraam) for a man to cut off another's beard." (Vol. 5, p. 359).


Most of Shia scholars do not permit shaving the beard. There are several Hadith from prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Shia Imams provided in Shia books, including: Imam Sadiq (A.S): We shorten the mustaches and retain the beard and it's according to nature (Bihar-Al-Anwar, Vol. 76, P. 122)

انا نحن نجز الشوارب و نعفی اللحی و علی الفطرة

The above-mentioned essay thus concludes,

Thus, a Muslim who shaves or shortens his beard is like a hermaphrodite, his Imamate near prohibition, his evidence is not valid, he will not have the right to vote or being voted for. Shaving and shortening the beard is the action of non-believers. Imam Ghazzali (RA) says: "Know that the key to total bliss (Saadah) lies in following the Sunnah and in emulating the life of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) in ALL that issues from him, and in ALL his doings even if it concerns the manner of his eating, rising, sleeping, and speaking. I do say thisin relation to rituals in worship ONLY because ther is no way neglecting the Sunnah reported of him in such matters - but what I say INCLUDES EVERY ASPECT of his daily life." (Kitab al Arbain Addin, Cairo 1344, p. 89). Furthermore, in the Holy Qur'an, Allah told Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) to say:

"Say: "If ye do love Allah, Follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins: For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (Quran 3:31)

The daily recitation of a band of angels of Allah is "Holy is the Being who adorned men with beards and women with braids" (Takmela e Bahr al Raiq, Vol. 3, p. 331)

Lastly, Allah Ta'ala says in the Holy Qur'an: "And when the true believers are called to Allah and His Rasul (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) [to accept and practice the law and commands of Allah and His Rasul (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)] that he may pass judgement upon them, their ONLY reply is 'We hear and obey.' Such men shall surely prosper." (24:51)

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Removed some content that didn't add anything to the answer and was instead a series of exhortations. –  Ansari Nov 21 '12 at 21:45
+1 for the broaden answer over different schools –  Ali Nov 22 '12 at 0:38
Didn't answer the question entirely though.. –  Power-Inside Dec 22 '12 at 18:08
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According to a Qur'an-only perspective, there is no mention of the beard or length of it. You can wear it however you see fit or shave it completely, regularly like I do.

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@banging Answers are expected to directly answer the question asked; proving or disproving the validity of hadiths in general is wholly irrelevant here. See also this meta post: Why Sectarianism Is Ruining Your Site –  goldPseudo Apr 17 '13 at 23:59
@banging, welcome to islam.SE, see sura taha, ayat 94(20:94), [Haaroon] said, "O son of my mother, do not seize [me] by my beard or by my head..... " If moosa could pull Haroon's beard, then it should be of his fist length. All prophets had some common habits, one of that is growing beard. –  Muslim Apr 18 '13 at 5:23
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