What is the Islamic ruling on shaving the beard?

Shaving the beard

Question

What is the Islamic ruling on shaving the beard?

Answer

بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

Shaving the beard is not permissible according to the consensus of scholars. Scholars who have affirmed its prohibition include:

  1. Imam Abū Bakr al-Qaffāl al-Shāshī al-Shāfiʿī (d. 365/976) (Ḥāshiyah Tuḥfah al-Muḥtāj, 9: 376).
  2. Imam Abū ʿAbd Allah al-Ḥalīmī al-Shāfiʿī (d. 403/1012) (Ḥāshiyah Tuḥfah al-Muḥtāj, 9: 376).
  3. ʿAllāmah Abū al-ʿAbbās al-Qurṭubī al-Mālikī (d. 656/1258) (al-Mufhim, 2: 602).
  4. ʿAllāmah Abū Shāmah al-Maqdisī al-Shāfiʿī (d. 665/1267) (Fatḥ al-Bārī, 10: 351).
  5. ʿAllāmah Ibn al-Rifʿah al-Shāfiʿī (d. 710/1310) (Ḥāshiyah Tuḥfah al-Muḥtāj, 9: 376).
  6. Shaykh al-Islām Ibn Taymiyah al-Ḥanbalī (d. 728/1328) (al-Fatāwā al-Kubrā, 5: 302; Sharḥ al-ʿUmdah, 1: 223).
  7. ʿAllāmah Ibn Mufliḥ al-Ḥanbalī (d. 763/1362) (al-Furūʿ, 1: 151).
  8. ʿAllāmah Badr al-Dīn al-Zarkashī al-Shāfiʿī (d. 794/1392) (Ḥāshiyah Tuḥfah al-Muḥtāj, 9: 376).
  9. ʿAllāmah Ibn al-Humām al-Ḥanafī (d. 861/1457) (Fatḥ al-Qadīr, 2: 348).
  10. ʿAllāmah Mardāwī al-Ḥanbalī (d. 885/1480) (al-Inṣāf, 1: 121).
  11. ʿAllāmah Ibn Nujaym al-Ḥanafī (d. 969/1562) (al-Baḥr al-Rāʾiq, 2: 203).
  12. Mullā ʿAlī al-Qārī al-Ḥanafī (d. 1014/1605) (Sharḥ al-Shifāʾ, 1: 164).
  13. ʿAllāmah Bahūtī al-Ḥanbalī (d. 1051/1641) (Kashshāf al-Qināʿ, 1: 75).
  14. ʿAllāmah Shurunbulālī al-Ḥanafī (d. 1069/1659) (Ḥāshiyah ʿAlā Durar al-Ḥukkām, 1: 208).
  15. ʿAllāmah Ḥaṣkafī al-Ḥanafī (d. 1088/1677) (al-Durr al-Mukhtār, 2: 418).
  16. ʿAllāmah Shihāb al-Dīn al-Nafrāwī al-Mālikī (d. 1126/1714) (al-Fawākih al-Dawānī, 2: 306).
  17. Shāh Walī Allāh Dehlawī al-Ḥanafī (d. 1176/1762) (Ḥujjah Allah al-Bāligah, 1: 309).
  18. Imam Dasūqī al-Mālikī (d. 1230/1815) (Ḥāshiyah al-Dasūqī, 1: 90).
  19. ʿAllāmah Ṭaḥṭāwī al-Ḥanafī (d. 1231/1816) (Ḥāshiyah al-Ṭaḥṭāwī ʿAlā Marāqī al-Falāḥ, p. 481)
  20. ʿAllāmah Ibn ʿĀbidīn al-Ḥanafī (d. 1252/1836) (Radd al-Muḥtār, 2: 418).

In fact, several scholars have narrated the consensus of scholars on the prohibition of shaving the beard. ʿAllāmah Ibn Ḥazm (d. 456/1064) writes in Marātib al-Ijmāʿ (1: 157), “They are unanimous that shaving the full beard is muthlah (disfigurement), not permissible.” Imam Ibn al-Qaṭṭān al-Mālikī (d. 628/1231) also made a similar statement in al-Iqnāʿ (2: 299).

Further, ʿAllāmah Ibn al-Humām states in Fatḥ al-Qadīr (2: 348) that no scholar has permitted trimming the beard to less than one fist length. This has been affirmed by ʿAllāmah Ibn Nujaym (d. 969/1562) in al-Baḥr al-Rāiʾq (2: 302), ʿAllāmah Shurunbulālī (d. 1069/1659) in Ḥāshiyah ʿAlā Durar al-Ḥukkām (1: 208), ʿAllāmah Ḥaṣkafī (d. 1088/1677) in al-Durr al-Mukhtār (2: 418) and many other scholars.

There are many ḥadīths that affirm the obligation of lengthening the beard. For example, ʿAbd Allah ibn ʿUmar (d. 73/693) narrates that the Prophet ﷺ said, “Oppose the polytheists, lengthen the beard and trim the moustache” (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, 5892). Our teacher Shaykh al-Ḥadīth Mawlānā Muḥammad Yūnus Jownpūrī (b. 1355/1936 – ) explains that the beard is from the Shaʿāʾir (signs and hallmarks) of Islam (al-Yawāqīt al-Gāliyah, 2: 249).

Allah knows best

Yusuf Shabbir

27 Ṣafar 1428 / 16 March 2007