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I know that the Sunnah is to shorten one's mustache. But I want to clarify if it is better to shorten it to an extent that it no longer covers the top of the upper lip, or to remove it completely. Should one trim it or shave it completely?

The generic answer is that both are accepted by scholars (I need to know which one is better)

  • Can you clarify what you're asking? Shaving it off completely isn't shortening, it's, well, shaving. – ashes999 Nov 6 '12 at 18:00
  • My question is "is it better to shave or trim the moustache?" – Azik Abdullah Nov 7 '12 at 4:47
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There are two views about this. The Hanafiyah and the Hanbaliyah view it as sunnah to shave it off. The MAlikiyah and the Shafi'iyah view it that it is sunnah to trim the moustache not shave it, and shaving it is makrooh.

The Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas was asked: In a number of ahaadeeth it says “trim the moustache”. Is shaving different from trimming? Some people trim the first part of the moustache that is closest to the upper lip, and they leave the hair of the moustache, so they trim nearly half of the moustache and leave the rest. Is this what is meant? Or does trimming the moustache mean shaving off all of it? Please advise me of the manner in which the moustache should be trimmed.

They replied:

The saheeh ahaadeeth from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) indicate that it is prescribed to trim the moustache. For example, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Trim the moustache and let the beard grow; be different from the mushrikeen.” (Agreed upon). And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Trim the moustache and let the beard grow; be different from the Magians,” and in some versions it says: “Trim the moustache.” Trimming means cutting it very short. The one who cuts his moustache very short so that the upper lip is visible or trims it is not to blame, because the ahaadeeth mention two things, but it is not permissible to leave the edges of the moustache, rather the whole moustache should be trimmed or cut, in accordance with the Sunnah

Source: http://islamqa.info/en/ref/103623

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