Mufti saab, in your reply to Q4882 you have stated that the sayings and actions of the Sahaaba is proof for sharia and it is an established principle in Usool-il-Fiqh. You have also quoted Bukhari vol 2 pg 875 (Kitaab-ul-Libaas) to prove that the sharee minimum length of beard is fist-length because Ibn ?Umar (ra) cut his beard during Hajj or ?Umrah. (1) In accordance with your principle, why don’t we cut our beards down to fist-length after performing Saee in ?Umrah or Hajj (because Ibn Umar did so)? If not, then why is Ibn ?Umar’s action used to prove sharee beard length but we are prevented from copying him in ?Umrah or Hajj? Please explain the contradiction. (2) Some people (such as Africans and Arabs) CAN NOT grow the ?minimum? fist-length beard because their hair is naturally curly. How would you apply the sharee minimum then? (3) In many ?Islamic? countries (e.g. Egypt, Turkey) people are discouraged from keeping beards. Should the imams stop leading prayers? What do I do when I visit the mosque in these countries?
1. You are not prevented from following the practice of ibn Umar
(Radhiallaahu Anhu) during Hajj or Umrah and neither are you obliged to do
so. However, if one wishes to cut his beard, at any stage in his life, not
necessarily during Hajj or Umrah, then it will be permissible for him to do
so to a fist’s length.
The apparent contradiction is the result of a lack of understanding.
Everything that is a proof in the Shari’ah does not necessitate obligation
(Wujoob). There are basically 5 types of laws in the Shari’ah, i.e. a)
Fardh, b) Waajib, c) Sunnat, d) Mustahabb, e) Mubaah.
Every law will be deduced according to the level of substantiation. In the
case of the beard, it is Waajib to let it grow. The Hadith of Rasulullah
(Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) is general. If we did not have the narration
of Naafi’e that Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Umar (Radhiallaahu Anhu) did trim his
beard upto a fist’s length, it would have been Waajib to let it grow for as
long as it grows without trimming it at all. However, due to the practice of
Abdullah ibn Umar (Radhiallaahu Anhu) and Abu Hurayra (Radhiallaahu Anhu)
and others, the scholars have deduced that the Wujoob (obligation) of
growing the beard is upto a fist’s length only. Hence, if a person has to
trim his beard up to a fist’s length it would be permissible and if he does
so up to lesser (shorter) than a fist’s length, he will be going against an
act which is Waajib and such an act is not permissible, and if he chooses
not to trim it at all, this will also be permissible.
Therefore, the act of the Sahaabi here is used for ‘permissibility’ of
cutting upto a fist’s length. It is not Waajib to follow him in doing so (as
mentioned above ‘Every act in Shari’ah does not necessitate Wujoob
(obligation)). What is Waajib in this situation is to let it grow, and the
action of the Sahaabi is used only to restrict that Waajib.
As understood from the above, it is Waajib for every person to let his beard
grow, and it is not permissible for anyone to trim his beard before it
reaches one fist’s length. If one’s beard naturally does not grow very long
and not has he trimmed it, he has not violated any law in Shari’ah.
2. Such people will be excused. You may follow them in Salaat in such
and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Moulana Muhammad ibn Moulana Haroon Abbassommar
FACULTY OF SPECIALTY IN HADITH
CHECKED AND APPROVED CORRECT: Mufti Ebrahim Desai