Ruling on shaving the beard

Q: I have been religiously committed for three or four years and all praise is due to Allah for this blessing. Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) has guided me and I have let my beard grow with two of my brothers. Some of my family members have followed in our footsteps regarding this supererogatory Sunnah. At home, we have been able to create an Islamic atmosphere and all the sisters in the house (Part No. 5; Page No. 151) have been convinced that they should put on the legal Islamic dress after they used to display their charms. Whenever we know of a ruling in the Qur’an or the Sunnah, we try to adhere to it as much as possible. I, along with my brothers, have joined some Muslim youth and enjoyed our religious gatherings. I have a deep love for the Masjid (mosque), which has also been my main concern. Suddenly, this year, my brother and cousin were arrested and accused of stirring up sectarian hatred in Egypt. Since then, the attitude of our family members and neighbors towards us has changed. People think that anyone who has a beard wants to kill people and shed their blood, but we, as Muslims, have no desire whatsoever to kill people whom our Lord has forbidden us to kill. My parents and family have started urging me to shave my beard but I have refused. My father traveled to Saudi Arabia and I am insisting on not shaving my beard because I know that shaving it is Haram (prohibited). The four Fuqaha’ (Muslim jurists) unanimously agree that it is Haram or Makruh (disliked) to shave the beard. My family members have reluctantly consented to my desire but they fear that I might be arrested like my brother and cousin. I am totally convinced that nothing shall ever happen to me except what Allah has ordained for me and that shaving my beard will not change what Allah (Exalted be He) has predestined. My mother says that my father is angry with me though I do not feel his anger whenever he talks to me. I am afraid to do anything that goes against what the Messenger (peace be upon him) said and at the same time I am afraid to commit a sin by disobeying my parents (Part No. 5; Page No. 152) and insisting on keeping my beard. What shall I do?


A: All praise be to Allah Alone, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger, and his family and Companions! Firstly, may Allah reward you the best for following the tradition of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and for calling your family to do likewise as an act of enjoining good and forbidding evil. May Allah reward your family for answering your call and for cooperating with you in righteousness and piety! May Allah keep us all firm in His religion and help us avoid the apparent and hidden trials! Secondly, shaving the beard is Haram, and letting it grow is obligatory, as you know. Obedience to the Creator takes precedence over obedience to any created being, even the closest of relatives. There can be no obedience to any created being if it involves disobedience to the Creator, and obedience to any other created being should only be with regard to what is good. What you describe of your parents being angry and upset because you are letting your beard grow is only because of their love for you and fear that what has happened to others may befall you as well. Nevertheless, what happened to others was, in most cases, because of provocation on their part, not just because they let their beards grow; it also happens to clean-shaven persons. You must be steadfast in your adherence to the truth, and continue to let your beard grow in obedience to Allah and in order to earn His pleasure, even if His creatures will be angry. You must also avoid any sources of trouble, and put your trust in Allah, hoping that He will provide a way out of your distress. Allah (Exalted be He) says (what means): And whosoever fears Allâh and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allâh, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allâh will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allâh has set a measure for all things. (Part No. 5; Page No. 153) Allah also says: ...and whosoever fears Allâh and keeps his duty to Him, He will make his matter easy for him. That is the Command of Allâh, which He has sent down to you; and whosoever fears Allâh and keeps his duty to Him, He will expiate from him his sins, and will enlarge his reward. We advise you to be dutiful to your parents and to apologize to them kindly and politely for denying their request.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

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