Q: I am a Muslim seeking to know the truth about shaving the beard and moustache. I have asked a number of Muslim scholars who live here in
Mombasa but I was not fully convinced with what they said. I once asked Shaykh
Nasir Al-Khamis but he refused to declare shaving the beard Haram (prohibited) and said: "Nowadays,
the Jews and
Christians let their beards grow and shave their moustaches. It is our duty as Muslims to disagree with them - to follow the Prophetic Hadith - by shaving our beards and letting our moustaches grow". I rejected this opinion because it implied that the words of the Prophet (peace be upon him) were only suitable during a specific period of time. Later, (Part No. 5; Page No. 148) I went to Shaykh
Ibrahim Khalil who used to work as the principal of Falah Schools in
Mombasa, and he told me directly that
shaving the beard and letting the moustache grow is Haram. Kindly give us your detailed Fatwa regarding this matter - both in Arabic and English - and signed in your name to present to people as proof. Most of the Muslims and scholars here in
Mombasa and all over
Kenya shave their beards and it is very hard for me to prove them wrong alone, if they are.
A: All Praise be to Allah Alone and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger, his family, and Companions. Firstly: It is related that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
Trim closely the moustaches and let the beards grow; (and thus) be different from
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,
Act differently from the Mushriks (those who associate others with Allah in worship). Let the beards grow and trim the moustaches.
The sound opinion is that the command generally denotes an obligation, especially in the presence of supporting proofs like these two Hadiths. Anyone who shaves their beard has erred, contradicted the Fitrah (natural disposition), and committed a sin, according to the consensus of Muslim scholars. May Allah grant us success.
Letting the beard grow is an act pertaining to the Fitrah, as mentioned above. Moreover, it is one of the teachings of the previous prophets' laws as well as that of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) whose Shari`ah (Islamic law) is general to all people and is binding until the Day of Resurrection. Allah (Exalted be He) narrates in the Qur'an an incident involving Prophet
Musa (Moses) and his brother
Harun (Aaron) (peace be upon them) with
the Children of Israel who worshipped the calf, saying,
And Hârûn (Aaron) indeed had said to them beforehand: "O my people! You are being tried in this, and verily, your Lord is (Allâh) the Most Gracious, so follow me and obey my order."
They said: "We will not stop worshipping it (i.e. the calf), until Mûsâ (Moses) returns to us."
[Mûsâ (Moses)] said: "O Hârûn (Aaron)! What prevented you when you saw them going astray;
"That you followed me not (according to my advice to you)? Have you then disobeyed my order?"
He [Hârûn (Aaron)] said: "O son of my mother! Seize (me) not by my beard, nor by my head! Verily, I feared lest you should say: ‘You have caused a division among the Children of Israel, and you have not respected my word!’ "
(Part No. 5; Page No. 149) This denotes that letting the beard grow was part of the teachings of
Harun (peace be upon them both). In addition, Prophet `Isa (peace be upon him) confirmed the teachings of the Torah that was revealed before him. Thus, letting the beard grow was also included in `Isa's teachings. These were all messengers sent to
the Children of Israel
(the Jews and
the Jews and
Christians neglected the practice of letting their beards grow, they were wrong. They were similarly wrong when they abandoned Tawhid (belief in the Oneness of Allah/ monotheism), deviated from the teachings of their prophets, and broke their covenant entailing to believe in our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Anyone among
the Jews and
Christians who obeys the command of all previous Divine laws by letting their beard grow, Muslims cannot act differently from them, as they have adhered to the Truth. Likewise, if they attest Tawhid and believe in our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), Muslims cannot disagree with that. Rather, they should support, encourage, and help them in piety and righteousness.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.