Fatwa: # 18364
Category: Misc. Fiqh
Country: South Africa
Date: 8th November 2009


(1) Is it obligatory to keep the beard n what is its length? (2) I heard that a person must grow his beard up to one fist. is it so?.....


I want to know the following Masaail;
(1) Is it obligatory to keep the beard n what is its length?

(2) I heard that a person must grow his beard up to one fist. is it so?
(3) I heard that it is haraam to trim it unless it is more than a fist. is it so?

(4) what is the rule of praying swalaah behind the Imaam who trim his beard and does no let it grow up to a fist after knowing that a fist is waajib to keep.is it permissible to pray behind him while their are others having beard according to the sunnah and they can lead the swalaah ( i mean they can read Quraan properly n they know the masaail of swalah etc)?

(5) Is it permissible to keep such a person as Imaam?

Bayyinou mudallalan wa mufasswlan bit tahqeeq wal yaqeen toujarou. please forward me all details with proof Allah will reward you Mufty saahab in both worlds?


In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh


1.)    It is not permissible for one to trim the hair along the jawbone unless it exceeds a fistful. Ulama have mentioned that it is wajib (obligatory) to grow the beard at least at fists’ length. The Ulama have deduced this from the following Hadith of the Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wasallam) mentioned in Bukhari:

   عن ابن عمر: عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال خالفوا المشركين وفروا اللحى وأحفوا الشوارب.

(صحيح البخاري، 7/ 73، الفكر)

The Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wasallam) has mentioned: “Oppose the Polytheists; lengthen the beards and trim the mustaches.”(Bukhari)


Imam Naafi’ (Rahmatullah Alayh) goes on to mention after this Hadith:


وكان ابن عمر إذا حج أو اعتمر قبض على لحيته فما فضل أخذه.(صحيح البخاري، 7/ 73، الفكر)

  "And Ibn Umar (RadhAllahu Anhu) during Hajj or Umrah would take hold of his beard with his fist and cut off what was in excess of that.”(Bukhari)


In the above mentioned Hadith the Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wasallam) is commanding to grow the beard. Also, there is no indication that this command was intended as a mustahab (preferred) act. Therefore, according to the principles of jurisprudence a command given by the Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wasallam), for which there is no indication of it being mustahab (preferred), will be regarded as being wajib (obligatory).


Furthermore, the Hadith makes no mention of how long the beard must be. However, Ibn Umar (RadhAllahu Anhu), the narrator of the Hadith, is mentioned to have trimmed the beard up to a fists length. The Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wasallam) or any of his companions have not been reported to have ever shortened the beard less than a fists’ length. Rather, a few of the Sahabah have been reported to have trimmed up to a fists’ length and no more. Thus, the Ulama have concluded that that it is wajib (obligatory) for a Muslim male to keep his beard a fists’ length and no shorter.                




2.)     A person that trims his beard to less than a fistful should not be made the Imam. However, if one does pray behind a person that trims his beard there is no need to repeat the salah for that reason.


(Fatawa Mahmoodiya, 6/ 121-127, Farooqiyah)

(Fatawa Mahmoodiya, 19, 392-402, Farooqiyah)

ولذا يحرم على الرجل قطع لحيته
(رد المحتار، 6/ 407، سعيد)

ولا بأس إذا طالت لحيته أن يأخذ من أطرافها ولا بأس أن يقبض على لحيته فإن زاد على قبضته منها شيء جزه وإن كان ما زاد طويلة تركه كذا في الملتقط والقص سنة فيها وهو أن يقبض الرجل لحيته فإن زاد منها على قبضته قطعه كذا ذكر محمد رحمه الله تعالى في كتاب الآثار عن أبي حنيفة رحمه الله تعالى قال وبه نأخذ كذا في محيط السرخسي ولا يحلق شعر حلقه وعن أبي يوسف رحمه الله تعالى لا بأس بذلك ولا بأس بأخذ الحاجبين وشعر وجهه ما لم يتشبه بالمخنث
(الفتاوي الهندية، 5/ 438، العلمية)


And Allah knows best

Wassalaamu `alaykum

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa

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