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Regarding the shaving of sparse beard

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Fatwa.ca

Question:

Is it permissible for a Muslim to shave his facial hair if he cannot really grow a beard? I have been trying to grow one but even I can count the amount of hair growing on my chain. I am not particularly hairy and that may be due to my ethnicity. Also, if it is not permissible to shave it, would it be okay to use products that would help grow the beard?

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ʿalaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

May Allah ta`āla reward you for your concern for this Sunnah of our beloved Prophet ﷺ. Indeed, no scholar or pious from his ummah abandoned it, and it is an identifying trait for a Muslim man. In an authenticated hadith reported by Imam al-Bukhārī, Imam Muslim, and many others (may Allah have mercy on them all), the Prophet ﷺ commanded, “Trim the moustache and leave the beard.”[1]

Imam al-Nawawī in his explanation to the Ṣaḥīḥ of Imam Muslim commented that five different words have been conveyed from the Prophet ﷺ regarding the beard all conveying the meaning to leave it to grow.[2]

Imam Abū Ḥanīfah said, “Leave it until it is thick and plenty. Shortening it (to a fist length) is from the Sunnah.”[3]

We understand from this, hair in any form, even those that are naturally short or small in number, should be left alone.

The Prophet ﷺ did not command to grow a thick and full beard but simply stated to leave it alone to grow. Being able to grow a beard is from Allah ta`āla. If one is unable to grow one fully, then this, too, is from Allah and should not worry the person. He is free from sin, and Allah will reward him for having the intent.

He is not obligated to use any medicines or chemicals to encourage growth. Although, if he was completely without hair and wishes to use a blade to encourage growth, he may do so. Once he sees growth as in your case, he should not. Likewise, it is permissible to use medication to encourage growth if he desires.[4]

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Faisal bin Abdul Hameed al-Mahmudi (S1)

www.fatwa.ca

[1] صحيح البخاري، كتاب اللباس، باب إِعْفَاءِ اللِّحَى عَفَوْا كَثُرُوا وَكَثُرَتْ أَمْوَالُهُمْ، ح 5893

 عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ رضى الله عنهما ـ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ انْهَكُوا الشَّوَارِبَ، وَأَعْفُوا اللِّحَى ‏”‏‏.‏

[2] المنهاج شرح صحيح مسلم بن الحجاج، أبو زكريا محيي الدين يحيى بن شرف النووي، دار إحياء التراث العربي، 3:151

فحصل خمس روايات أعفوا وأوفوا وأرخوا وأرجوا ووفروا ومعناها كلها تركها على حالها

[3] الاختيار لتعليل المختار، عبد الله بن محمود بن مودود الموصلي البلدحي، كتاب الكراهة، فصل في آداب للمؤمن ينبغي أن يحافظ عليه، 4:167

قال – عليه الصلاة والسلام -: «أحفوا الشارب وأعفوا اللحى» ؛ والإحفاء الاستئصال، وإعفاء اللحى، قال محمد عن أبي حنيفة: تركها حتى تكث وتكثر والتقصير فيها سنة، وهو أن يقبض الرجل لحيته فما زاد على قبضته قطعه لأن اللحية زينة وكثرتها من كمال الزينة وطولها الفاحش خلاف السنة.

البحر الرائق شرح كنز الدقائق، ابن نجيم المصري، دار الكتاب الإسلامي، ص 3:12

وإعفاء اللحية تركها حتى تكث وتكثر، والسنة قدر القبضة فما زاد قطعه.

رد المحتار على الدر المختار، ابن عابدين، دار الفكر، 6:407

ولذا يحرم على الرجل قطع لحيته

[4] فتاوى محمودية، كتاب الحظر والإباحة، باب خصال الفطرة، 19:418

أحسن الفتاوى، كتاب الحظر والإباحة، 8:77

فتاوى رحيمية، كتاب الحظر والإباحة، 10:116-117

This answer was collected from Fatwa.ca, which is a fatwa portal operated by Mufti Faisal al Mahmudi from Canada. 

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