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Is it okay to trim the beard less than fist’s length?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Assalam o laikum! I know the fist length beard is waajib, and I am keeping one, in sha Allah, however I have some queries related to it. I have heard different deobandi scholars give different fatwas with regards to trimming the beard (NOT shaving it) less than a fist length. 1) One view is that to trim the beard less than a fist length is Makrooh e Tahrimi. And if one constantly trims his beard shorter than a fist, it is Gunah Kabeera (major sin). 2) The other view is that if a person intentionally trims his beard even a few millimetres less than a fist length even once, it is Haraam and a Gunah Kabeera (major sin). Which view do you agree with?


The correct stance of the deobandi scholars with regards to the beard is that it is waajib to keep it to the length of one fist. Intentionally omitting a waajib amounts to a major sin thus it would be incorrect to consider it a minor sin or makrooh e tahrimi. It should also be understood for those who consider it a minor sin that ”to persist in committing a minor sin transforms it into a major sin.”

(Mukhtasar Kitab al-I’tisaam vol 1/74)

All the expressions used in the hadiths of Rasulullah  relating to the beard

(أعفوا . أوفروا . وفرا أرخوا . أوفوا .) indicate ‘ thorough elongation’ of the beard.

Rasulullah  said:

“Oppose the fire worshippers, clip your moustaches and lengthen the beard”

(Narrated by ibn Umar in Sahih al-Bukhari no: 5442)

 “Clip the moustaches closely and lengthen the beard well”

(Narrated by ibn Umar in Sahih Muslim no: 382 Sunan al-Nasa’ee no: 5131 Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah no: 26003)

 “Cut your moustaches and allow your beards to droop and oppose the fire worshippers”

(Narrated by Abu Hurayrah in Sahih Muslim no: 383)

From all these narrations we understand the order of clipping the moustache and properly lengthening the beard as well as opposing the fire worshippers. For a Muslim it is sufficient to receive the instruction of his beloved Rasulullah  and immediately begin acting upon it. When our beloved Rasulullah  has insisted upon us to properly lengthen our beards and he himself acted upon this, then how can any Muslim adopt a way contrary to it? Allah Ta’ala has commanded obeying the way of Rasulullah . (Refer to Sura al-Nisa 04 verse 59)

Mufti Ashiq Ilahi Bulandshahri who was amongst the students of Shaykh Zakariya Kandehlwi states:

“The practise of keeping the beard is both an act of obedience to Rasulullah  as well as an emulation of his noble practice. It is also a demonstration of love for him. Since Rasulullah  has instructed that we keep the beard, doing so constitutes fulfilment of a waajib order in Islam. Moreover, the beard is also the insignia of a Muslim as well as an expression of love for AllahTa’ala.”

(The Beard-A Hallmark of Imaan, pg. 8-9)

Thus we can conclude that, it is unlawful (i.e Haram) to trim the beard if it hasn’t reached the length of one fist. It is permissible to trim it back down to one fist if it exceeds this length.

(Refer to the texts of Radd al-Muhtar 7/475, Fath al-Qadeer 4/370, Bahr al-Ra’iq 6/226, Tabyeen al-Haqaa’iq 4/126)

Only Allah Knows Best

Written by Mufti Abdullah al-Ma’mun

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham.

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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