Beard can easily identify you as a Muslim

The Islamic Perspective Of The Beard

The most amazing person to walk this planet had a beard. Yes, the Holy Prophet (PBUH). So if he had it, there should be no doubt that it’s good for us. The beard is nothing more than a sign that the believer truly wants to follow a Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws). There are many people who have long beards but do deeds against the commands of Allah and His Messenger (saws). Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ فَإِن تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِن كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ذَٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلًا

“O you who believe[d]! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those having authority among you. Then if you disagree in anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you believe in Allah and the Day [the] Last. That (is) best and more suitable (for final) determination.” (Surah An-Nisa 4:59)

And there are many people who are amongst the best believers, but do not have beards! Allah will not decide the recipient of His Mercy and His Forgiveness from the appearance of the individual; but rather He will decide whether the person believed and did righteous deeds, as he was commanded by Allah and His Messenger (saws).

Significance of Beard in Islam

Growing the beard and trimming the mustache are both obligatory according to the Islamic Sunnah. One hadith Sahih al-Bukhari, specifically book 72 and hadith 781 stated “Allah’s Apostle said “Cut the mustaches short and leave the beard (as it is),” as narrated by Abdullah bin Umar. Allah says:

فَإِن كُنتَ فِي شَكٍّ مِّمَّا أَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ فَاسْأَلِ الَّذِينَ يَقْرَءُونَ الْكِتَابَ مِن قَبْلِكَ لَقَدْ جَاءَكَ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ فَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْمُمْتَرِينَ

“So if you are in doubt of what We have revealed to you, then ask those who (have been) reading the Book before you. Verily, has come to you the truth from your Lord, so (do) not be among the doubters.” (Surah Yunus 10:94)

The criteria of beard in Islam has to start from the cheekbones in level with the rear channels and stretches all the way from the cheeks into the lower end of the chin. The hair on the neck is not considered as beard and may be removed altogether. So in short, beards are seen as mandatory according to a majority of Sunni Muslim scholars, however, modern Islamic thinking began to accept the trimming of beards or even clean-shaven face altogether.

Let us look at the benefits of males wearing a beard:
  1. Beard covers the skin, which protects the sebaceous glands
  2. Beard  protects the face, which will cause cell damage
  3. Beard differentiates from a believer to a non-believer
  4. Beards also create a distinctive identity of yourself
  5. Beards eliminate inflammation caused by shaving
  6. Beard  protects the face from harmful chemicals
  7. Beard prevents disease of throat and gums
  8. Beard is that it saves a person from a sin
  9. Beard looks really good on you brother
  10. Beards are also natural sun protectors
  11. Beard shows responsibility
  12. Beard shows authority
  13. Beard shows patience
  14. Beard is sunnah
  15. Beard shows maturity
  16. Beard shows strength
  17. Beard reduces infection
  18. Beard shows intelligence
  19. Beard keeps you healthier
  20. Beards promote healthy facial skin
  21. Beard signifies the perfection of man
  22. Beards protect you from cold weather
  23. Beard protects your chin from dangers
  24. Beards actually make your skin younger
  25. Beards emphasize your identity as a man
  26. Beard can easily identify you as a Muslim
  27. Beard  protects to increase wrinkling and bad skin
  28. Beards prevent possible bacterial infections and allergens
  29. Beards also have the potential to reduce allergies and asthma
  30. People exert effort on a daily basis to try and remove their beard

A man should think, how can he possibly place the hair which Allah, The Exalted, has commanded him to keep and practice of the Messenger, May Allah bless him and grant him peace, down the same drainpipe as one urinates, Is this the respect we have for the practice loved by the Prophet? We are so weak in faith that we want to follow the practices of the west rather than the Prophet. Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَلَا تَوَلَّوْا عَنْهُ وَأَنتُمْ تَسْمَعُونَ

“O ye who believe! Obey Allah and His Messenger, and turn not away from him when ye hear (he speak).” (Surah Al-Anfal 8:20)

We are living in such a time where the women are wearing a shirt and pants and trimming their hair, whilst the male is disfiguring themselves with rings on their faces. If a person does not keep a beard then how can he be recognized as a male, May Allah have mercy on us.

Allah Almighty said in the Noble Quran:
  • “O ye who believe! Obey God, and obey the Apostle, and those charged with authority among you. If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to God and His Apostle, if ye do believe in God and the Last Day: That is best, and most suitable for final determination.” (Quran, 4:59)
  • “Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah an excellent exemplar for him who hopes in Allah and the Final Day, and who remembers Allah.” (Quran 33:21)
  • “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 desirability of the beard that conforms to both faith and rationality but being a work concerning jurisprudence and Sunnah it does not stress the universality, amongst the Muslim Brotherhood, of the beard as a sign of faith, as a symbol of brotherhood. Whatever clothes or customs have been retained by a nation it has become a social norm for the beard to be grown. Allah says:

وَلَأُضِلَّنَّهُمْ وَلَأُمَنِّيَنَّهُمْ وَلَآمُرَنَّهُمْ فَلَيُبَتِّكُنَّ آذَانَ الْأَنْعَامِ وَلَآمُرَنَّهُمْ فَلَيُغَيِّرُنَّ خَلْقَ اللَّهِ وَمَن يَتَّخِذِ الشَّيْطَانَ وَلِيًّا مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ فَقَدْ خَسِرَ خُسْرَانًا مُّبِينًا

“And I will surely mislead them and surely arouse desires in and surely I will order them so they will surely cut off (the) ears (of) the cattle and surely I will order them so they will surely change (the) creation (of) Allah.” And whoever takes the Shaitaan (as) a friend besides Allah, then surely he (has) lost – a loss manifest.” (Surah An-Nisa` 4:119)

It was to stress this aspect that I felt obliged to write this short preface and also as an opportunity to ask the reader to join me in asking Allah, the Most Generous, to reward the author, the translator and their teachers for sharing their knowledge for our benefit. May it, by the grace of The Merciful, be a great reward in this world and the next.

Importance of the Beard in Islam in the words of Rasulullah (SAW):

  1. Rasulullah (SAW) said, “I have no connection with one who shaves, shouts and tears his clothing eg. in grief or affection.” – Reported by Abu Darda (R.A.) in Muslim, Hadith no. 501
  2. The teachings of Hadhrat Ammar Bin Yaasir, Abdullah Ibn Umar, Sayyidina Umar, Abu Hurairah and Jaabir (R.A.), indicate that ALL used to keep beards that were one fist length or more. Hadhrat Jaabir (R.A.) had said: “We used to grow long beards and only during Hajj and Umrah did we trim them to the required length (i.e. fist length).”
  3. Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (R.A.) relates that: “He who imitates the kuffar (non-believers) and dies in that state, he will be raised up with them on the Day of Qiyamat (Judgement).”
  4. Rasulullah (SAW) says: “Trim closely the mustache, and let the beard flow (Grow).” – Narrated Ibn Umar (R.A.) in Muslim, Hadith no. 498.
  5. “Rasulullah (SAW) ordered us to trim the mustache closely and spare the beard,” says Ibn Umar. – Muslim, Hadith no. 449
  6. Rasulullah (SAW)said: “Act against contrary to the polytheists, trim closely the mustache and grow the beard.” – Reported by Ibn Umar in Muslim, Hadith no. 500
  7. Rasulullah (SAW) said, “Trim closely the mustache and grow the beard.” – Reported by Abu Hurairah (R.A.) in Muslim, Hadith no. 501
  8. Rasulullah (SAW) said: “Anyone who shaves has no claim to the mercy of Allah” – Reported by Ibn Abbas (R.A.) in Tibrabi

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. Allah says:

إِنَّمَا كَانَ قَوْلَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذَا دُعُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَهُمْ أَن يَقُولُوا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

“The only saying of the faithful believers, when they are called to Allaah (His Words, the Qur’an) and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), to judge between them, is that they say: ‘We hear and we obey.’ And such are the successful (who will live forever in Paradise).” (Surah Al-Noor 24:51)

When the spirit of Islam began to fade away from the hearts of Muslims, their 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? Allah says:

وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا مُّبِينًا

“It is not for a believer, man or woman when Allaah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allaah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed into a plain error.” (Surah Al-Ahzaab 33:36)

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, sweat and blood, conveying Allah’s message. Our respect and dignity lie 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.

Scientific benefits for having a Beard

  1. A beard protects the face from harmful chemicals, and pollution in the air, which will cause cell damage, and increase wrinkling and bad skin. So keeping a beard protects your skin from the elements, reduces wrinkles, aging, and bad skin.
  2. The beard covers the skin, which protects the sebaceous glands from being infected by acne vulgaris bacteria, thus preventing acne/spots/pimples!
  3. Keeping your face warmer and protects your chin from dangers.
  4. It prevents disease of throat and gums.
  5. Most of the respiratory problems are prevented by keeping a beard.
  6. It is the identity of a man with respect to women.
  7. Research says the longer and thicker the beard the wiser the person is supposed to be.
  8. What is the total time spent on shaving by a man in his whole lifetime? Dr. Herbert Mescon from Boston University did research to give an answer to this question. Dr. Mescon calculated that if a teenager begins shaving at the age of 15, then in his 55 or so years of shaving, he is likely to spend about 3350 hours (which are equivalent to about 139 full days) at this task in his lifetime. That is an incredible amount of time which literally goes down the drain. You can add to it thousands of dollars one spends during his lifetime on products for shaving (razors, shaving gels, after-shave lotions, etc).
Is growing beards mandatory in Islam?

Allah Almighty ordered Muslims to obey the Prophet, Muhammad. – Prophet Muhammad had a beard. – Prophet Muhammad ordered Muslims to grow beards.  But why? – Why did Prophet Muhammad want us to be different from the Jews,    Christians, and Pagans? – Conclusion.

Nowhere in the Noble Quran do we see Allah Almighty ordering Muslims to grow beards.  We do see, however, some commands from Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him ordering us to grow beards. Since growing beards is not addressed in the Noble Quran.

Allah Almighty ordered Muslims to obey Prophet Muhammad:

In Islam, we follow the laws of the Noble Quran, and the Sayings of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him.  If a situation or case is not addressed in either the Noble Quran or the Sayings of our beloved Prophet, then we follow the local verdicts of our Religious Authorities, where they would decide based upon the cultural and social situation and causes. Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ فَإِن تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِن كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ذَٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلًا

“O ye who believe! Obey God, and obey the Apostle, and those charged with authority among you. If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to God and His Apostle, if ye do believe in God and the Last Day: That is best, and most suitable for final determination.”  (Surah An-Nisa`, 4:59)

Today, growing beards is not as common, and in many instances, it could cause trouble to the Muslims who live in the West. If growing beards was mandatory in the Noble Quran, then we would have nothing to argue about.  But since it was mentioned in the Sayings of our beloved Prophet peace be upon him, then it is important to know whether this law should apply to all times and all places. Allah says:

فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّىٰ يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُوا فِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَرَجًا مِّمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا

“But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission.” (Surah Al-Nisa’ 4:65)

Some of our Prophet’s Sayings and laws were made only to solve situations that occurred 1400 years ago.  These few Sayings don’t necessarily have to be applied today. Only the Noble Quran’s laws are all 100% applicable for all times and all places.   Prophet Muhammad’s Sayings, yet most of them should be applied for all times and all places, but few of them shouldn’t. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.