Q: All praise be to Allah Alone, and peace and blessings be upon the Last of the Prophets.Some people presented to the Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta' a book titled "Al-Insaf fima Ja'a fil-Akhdh min Al-Lihyah wa-Taghyir Al-Shayb bil-Sawad min-al-Khilaf" by
Dabyan ibn Muhammad Al-Dabyan.
The writer concluded that it is permissible to remove what exceeds the length of a fist of one's beard and that it is Makruh (disliked), but not Haram (prohibited), to dye grey hair black.
(Part No. 4; Page No. 54
After careful study and examination, the Committee gave the following answer: The writer's conclusion about these two issues is an apparent mistake. It is established in Shari`ah (Islamic law) that
letting the beard grow is obligatory according to Fitrah (natural disposition), Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet), and the command of the Prophet (peace be upon him). In principle, a command denotes obligation; here we have a command to do the opposite of the Mushriks (those who associate others with Allah in His Divinity or worship), like
the Magi and others. Moreover, prohibition originally denotes forbiddance; Muslims are prohibited from shaving, cutting, or plucking their beards, because this is against the mentioned evidence. The evidence of this is as follows:Regarding evidence related to Fitrah, it was authentically reported from
`Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
There are ten practices that are characteristic of Fitrah: trimming the moustache, letting the beard grow, using Siwak (tooth-cleansing stick)...
Muslim, Ahl-ul-Sunan and others)Regarding evidence related to Sunnah, it was authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him)
had a thick beard.
According to another wording, he was
Also, the recitation of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in his Sirri Salah (Prayer with subvocal recitation) was perceived by those standing behind him because of the movement of the hair of his beard, as related in the Sahih (authentic) Book of Hadith of
Al-Bukhari and others from
Abu Ma`mar (may Allah be pleased with him).Regarding the commands of the Prophet (peace be upon him), there are many authentic reports that contain explicit commands concerning this matter using the words:
Let the beards grow
and other words such as: "leave", "keep" and "lengthen." Such words indicate that the beard should not be shaved, cut, or plucked. (Part No. 4; Page No. 55) The Ijma` (consensus of scholars) on the command of letting the beard grow was reported by
Ibn Hazm (may Allah be merciful to him) and was quoted from him by
Ibn Muflih (may Allah be merciful to him) in "Al-Furu`", vol. 1, p. 131.Therefore, every Muslim should let his beard grow to preserve his Fitrah (natural disposition), follow the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him), and obey his command. The basic rule states that any command is an obligation until there is evidence that changes its ruling, and we know of nothing that changes it.It is not permissible for Muslims to shave, cut, or pluck their beards. In fact, they are forbidden to do this, for it is against the stated proofs. Moreover, the Prophet (peace be upon him) has forbidden Muslims to imitate Mushriks, including
the Magi and others. The basic rule states that any prohibition indicates forbiddance until there is evidence that changes its ruling, and we do not know of any reliable evidence to this effect.Accordingly, the opinion that permits removing what exceeds a fist length from one's beard is against the obvious proofs from the Sunnah. Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says:
And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) gives you, take it; and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it).
Allah (Glorified be He) also says:
Indeed in the Messenger of Allâh (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) you have a good example to follow.
He (Glorified be He) also says: (Part No. 4; Page No. 56)
It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allâh and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision.
A Muslim should obey Allah (Exalted be He) and His Messenger (peace be upon him) and abstain from anything against the Shari`ah-based evidence. It is an obligation to follow the infallible Prophet (peace be upon him). Also, the writer's opinion that it is merely Makruh
to use black dye is totally wrong, because there are many authentic and explicit evidence from the Sunnah concerning the prohibition of such an act. Prohibition originally denotes forbiddance unless there is reliable evidence that changes this ruling, and we do not know of any reliable evidence to that effect.Consequently, the Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta' decided to issue this Fatwa in order to clarify the Sunnah, support it, and warn against being deceived by such deviant opinions that are contradictory to the Sunnah like those of the writer of the mentioned book. We advise him to return to the truth and adhere to it and stop spreading such an opinion, which is opposite to the verbal and practical Sunnah and to what has been common to all Muslims among the first generation of Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet) until this age. Also, spreading such opinions, which are against Shari`ah-based evidence, leads to weakening Iman (Faith) and encouraging people to act against the Sunnah.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.