Is abandoning the Sunnah of growing a beard equal to major sins like adultery and sodomy?
All Praise is due to Allah and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger, his family, and Companions.
It is religiously obligatory to let the beard grow, because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
"Trim moustaches and let the beard grow"
The imperative sentence indicates the obligation while inductively necessitates the prohibition of the opposite, meaning, shaving the beard. Thus, it is impermissible to shave the beard. A person who commits this act is sinful and should be put to disciplinary punishment if he knows about the ruling. Similarly, if he does not know the ruling and then comes to know about it but he overlooks it persistently, he will be blameworthy. The general ruling states that Ta`zir (discretionary punishment) is submitted to the discretion of the legal authorities according to the circumstantial and occasional evidence, places, conditions, and people.The penalty for illegal sexual relations, i.e. fornication and adultery, is legally prescribed. The adulterer and adulteress shall be stoned to death. (Part No. 5; Page No. 136) Fornicators must be flogged a hundred lashes and exiled for a year. The Qur'an and the verbal and practical Sunnah explicitly prove this penalty. Indeed, adultery is one of the major sins whereas shaving beards, while a crime, is not equal to adultery. If a person insists on doing so after having knowledge about the ruling, it will be one of the major sins. The punishment of sodomy is killing.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.