Praise be to Allaah.
We have quoted the evidence that it is haraam to shave the
beard in the answer to question no. 1189.
With regard to the view that the reason for it being
obligatory to let the beard grow was in order to be different from the
mushrikeen, and that this reason no longer applies and so it is not
obligatory to let the beard grow – the answer to this is as follows:
The view that the reason no
longer applies is the view of one who ignores reality, because it may be
said: who are the majority among the mushrikeen – those who shave their
beards or those who let them grow? Undoubtedly the majority are those who
shave their beards .
Moreover, being different from
the mushrikeen is not the only reason, so we cannot say that the ruling no
longer applies because the reason for it is no longer there, because there
are other reasons, such as the fact that shaving the beard is an imitation
of women, and changing the creation of Allaah, and that letting the beard
grow is one of the sunnahs of the fitrah and is the way of the Messengers.
Even if we assume that “being different from the mushrikeen”
no longer applies as a reason, the shar’i ruling remains in effect because
of the other reasons.
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have
mercy on him) was asked about what some people say about the reason for
letting the beard grow being to be different from the Magians and Christians
as it says in the hadeeth, and that this is a reason that no longer applies
nowadays, because they let their beards grow.
We may answer this in several ways:
Letting the beard grow is not
only for the sake of being different, rather it is also part of the fitrah
as is proven in Saheeh Muslim, as letting the beard grow is part of
the fitrah with which Allaah has created mankind, so that they regard as
beautiful that which is in accordance with it and regard as ugly that which
goes against it.
The Jews, Christians and
Magians nowadays do not all let their beards grow, and not even a quarter of
them do that, rather the majority of them shave their beards as is quite
If a ruling is established in
sharee’ah for a reason that no longer applies, and this ruling is in
accordance with the fitrah or is one of the symbols of Islam, then it
remains even if the reason no longer applies. Do you not see that raml
(walking at a fast pace) in tawaaf was originally intended so that the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his companions
could demonstrate physical strength in front of the mushrikeen who said:
There have come to you people who have been weakened by the fever of
Yathrib. This reason no longer applies, but the ruling remains in effect,
because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did
raml in the Farewell Pilgrimage.
To conclude: What is required of the believer, if Allaah and
His Messenger have enjoined something, is to say: We hear and obey, as
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“The only saying of the faithful believers, when they are
called to Allaah (His Words, the Qur’aan) and His Messenger
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him),
to judge between them, is that they say: ‘We hear and we obey.’ And such are
the successful (who will live forever in Paradise)”
And they should not be like those who say: We hear and
disobey, or who give false reasons and baseless excuses. This is the
situation of one who does not submit truly to the command of Allaah and His
Messenger. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allaah and
His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in
their decision. And whoever disobeys Allaah and His Messenger, he has indeed
strayed into a plain error”
“But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they
make you (O Muhammad (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) judge in
all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your
decisions, and accept (them) with full submission”
I do not know how the one who says such things will be able
to face his Lord on the Day of Resurrection. We must hear and obey and heed
the command of Allaah and His Messenger in all cases. End quote.
Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen
And he also said (may Allaah have mercy on him): Letting the
beard grow is the way of the Messengers. Allaah says of Haroon that he said
to his brother Moosa (interpretation of the meaning):
“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!’”
The last and best of the Messengers, Muhammad (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him), let his beard grow, as did the caliphs who
came after him, and his companions and the leaders and common folk of the
Muslims in all but the most recent period, when many of them have gone
against the way of their Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him) and their righteous predecessors (may Allaah be pleased with them). But
this is the way of the Prophets and Messengers and their followers, and it
is part of the fitrah with which Allaah created people, as is proven in
Saheeh Muslim. Hence the correct view is that it is haraam to shave it,
as was the view favoured by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have
mercy on him), because of the command of the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) to let it grow.
As for saying that the reason for letting it grow is to be
different from the Jews and that this no longer applies, this is not
acceptable, because the reason is not only to be different from the Jews.
Rather what is proven in al-Saheehayn is: “Be
different from the mushrikeen” and in Saheeh Muslim it also says: “Be
different from the Magians.” Moreover, being different from these people is
not the only reason, rather there is another, greater reason, namely
following the guidance of the Messengers (peace and blessings be upon them)
by keeping the beard.
And the obligation to follow the fitrah.
And not changing the creation of Allaah in ways that Allaah
has not permitted.
All of these are reasons why it is obligatory to keep the
beard and let it grow, as well as being different from the enemies of
Allaah, such as the mushrikeen, Magians and Jews.
Moreover, the claim that the reason for letting the beard
grow no longer applies is not true, because most of the enemies of Allaah
today among the Jews and others shave their beards, as is well known to
anyone who has any knowledge of other nations and their actions. Even if we
assume that most of them today let their beards grow, this does not alter
the fact that it is prescribed in Islam to let the beard grow, because the
fact that the enemies of Islam imitate something that is prescribed for the
Muslims does not mean that it is no longer prescribed. Rather we should
adhere more closely to it because they are imitating us and following us,
and they are regarding it as something good and returning to the fitrah. End
Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen
And Allaah knows best.