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Beard and Coronavirus

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Shaykh Salman Younas

Question: Assalam aleykum

I am a male medical resident in an urban setting. The number of patients with Covid-19 in my hospital is increasing. To take care of these patients we have to wear these masks to protect ourselves from the virus. For the mask to properly fit one cannot have a beard. My administration says I can serve in other roles if I don’t want to shave. But I feel like this is an excusable reason to shave, and they may need me soon as this crisis worsens. Would this be an acceptable fiqh excuse to be clean shaven?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

If you are unable to properly wear the mask except after trimming your beard very short or shaving and are working, or are required/needed to work, with patients, you may trim your beard very short (optimal) or shave (less optimal).

The mainstream view of the Shafi`i school, for example, does not deem shaving to be sinful, but only disliked, which would cease if there is a valid excuse. Thus, there is plenty of leeway on this issue.

You should use your own common sense judgment on this especially given the nature of your job, which involves attempting to save the lives of people. You are best aware of your own situation, the situation of your hospital, and the people around you who require assistance.

[Shaykh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Salman Younas  graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman where he spent five years studying Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir. He is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Oxford and continues his traditional studies with scholars in the United Kingdom.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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