What is the shariah ruling about trimming the beard?
Imaam Bukhari (Radhiallaahu Anhu) reports on the authority of Naafi’ who narrates from Abdullah ibn Umar (Radhiallaahu Anhu) that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ‘Oppose the Mushrikeen (polytheists); lengthen the beard and trim the moustache.’
Naafi’ further states, ‘And ibn Umar (Radhiallaahu Anhu) during Hajj or Umrah used to hold on to his beard with his fist and cut off whatever was in excess of that.’ (Bukhari vol.2 pg.875; Kitaab-ul-Libaas)
Through this Hadith, the verdict of the growing of the beard being Waajib (obligatory) is deduced. That is because any explicit command of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) will be regarded as Waajib, if there is no apparent, clear reason/proof which states that that particular command is for Istihbaab (preference). This is an established fact in Usool-ul-Fiqh (principles of jurisprudence).
Furthermore, such has also been reported from Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (Radhiallaahu Anhu) and other Taabi’een. (Tamheed of ibn Abdul-Barr and Fathul Baari). Therefore, the meaning of our statement that you question is, ‘If any person has trimmed his beard up to less than one fist, then his beard will not be a Shar’ee beard.’
To grow a beard is the sunnah of Nabi (saw) and the sunnah of all Anbiya (as). Nabi (saw) mentioned, ‘Lenghten the beard and shorten the moustache’. Aisha (ra) narrates that Rasulullah (saw) said, 10 things are from the fitra…to trim the moustache and lengthen the beard.’ (Muslim)
There are numerous Ahadeeth with regards to the beard. A lot of emphasis has been laid upon the keeping of the beard. It is therefore a wajib/sunnah muakkadah and cannot be left out. (It is a sin to leave a sunnah muakkadah) The Wujoob is further emphasized by the fact that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) did practice on this in his entire life. Know well that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) did not trim his beard in his life (there is no Sahih Hadith which proves otherwise). However, because the narrator himself (Ibn Umar (Radhiallaahu Anhu) did trim his beard up to a fist’s length, this implies that the Wujoob of keeping a beard is up to a fist length only.
and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai