My Parents Say to Cut My Beard

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My Parents Say, 'Cut Your Beard' Should I Obey Them?

There is no obedience to the creation,
If it is disobedience to Almighty God.

This letter came to us and represents so many of our youth today, who want to follow Islam according to Quran and teachings of Muhammad, peace be upon him. However, their family or friends - even though they may be Muslims themselves - yet they oppose those who attempt to live as believers into today's world. The young Muslims today suffer between two worlds and confusion often results in big mistakes in their lives.

This young Muslim in New Jersey is just one of many examples:

Salam alaykum Sheikh Yusuf,
I want to be a good Muslim obeying Allah, the Quran and following prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, but I am have a problem with my family regarding my lahya (beard).
Both of my parents do not consider this to be obligatory to grow and refuse me to have anything more than just a very short growth of the beard, no more than say about 1/2 inch.
They give me a very hard time, even refusing to allow me in the house or speak to me. When I try to tell them, they just stare at me and refuse to accept what I say.
When I show them the rulings according to teachers and scholars, they turn away in disgust and refuse to listen.
Should I leave my beard to grow, but leave my parents?
Or cut it to please them temporarily?
What to do?
Jazakallah khair for everything, may Allah reward you, ameen.
Salam alaykum,
Your Brother in Islam, Mohammad bin Adam

The ruling for: Cutting more than a “handful” of the beard
Praise be to Allaah.

The Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) – regarding both his commands to others and his own actions – is to let the beard grow. It was proven that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded men to leave the beard alone and let it grow naturally.

Al-Bukhaari, Muslim and others narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Trim the moustache and leave the beard.” -- Narrated in Sahih Al-Bukhaari, 5443; Muslim, 600.

According to another report: ‘Be different from the mushrikeen: cut the moustache and let the beard grow.” -- Narrated in Sahih Muslim, 602.

And in the Sahih of Muslim narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Trim the moustache and let the beard grow; be different from the Magians (Zoroastrians).” -- Muslim 383

It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (5/136):

What is meant by letting the beard grow is leaving it alone and not cutting it, so that it will grow thick. This is the teaching of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) as regards his words and commands to others. With regard to his own actions, there is no report that says that he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ever removed anything from his beard.

Shortening the beard:

With regard to the hadeeth narrated by al-Tirmidhi from ‘Amr ibn Shu’ayb, from his father, from his grandfather, that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to remove something from the width and length of his beard – al-Tirmidhi said that this is a ghareeb hadeeth (strange narration due to a problem with one or more of the narrators) (al-Tirmidhi, 2912).

This isnaad of this hadeeth includes ‘Umar ibn Haroon who is matrook (rejected), as al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar said in al-Taqreeb.

So, it is known that this hadeeth is not saheeh and cannot be used as evidence to oppose the saheeh hadeeths which indicate that it is obligatory to leave the beard alone and let it grow.

With regard to what some people do, shaving the beard or trimming something from its thickness and length, this is not permissible because it goes against the teachings of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his command to let the beard grow. A command implies that a thing is obligatory unless there is an indication to suggest otherwise, and we know of no such indication in this case.

Shaykh Muhammad al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Cutting anything from the beard goes against the command of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) who said: “Leave the beard alone”, “Let the beard grow,” etc.

Whoever wants to follow the command of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and follow his teaching should not remove anything from his beard at all, because the teaching of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is that nothing should be removed from the beard.

This was also the way of the Prophets before him.

Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 11/126.

Shortening the beard after hajj by whatever is more than a handful:

Some of the scholars are of the view that it is permissible to remove anything more than a “handful” of the beard [the hair of the beard that comes beneath the hand if the beard is seized in the hand], basing that on the action of Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him). Al-Bukhaari (5892) narrated: When Ibn ‘Umar (Abdullah, the son of 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with him) did Hajj or ‘Umrah he would take hold of his beard and would trim any excess.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz said: Whoever quotes the action of Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) to show that he used to cut whatever of his beard was longer than the “handful” during Hajj cannot use this as evidence, because this is ijtihaad on the part of Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), and proof is to be found in reports (from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)), not from ijtihaad (opinions).

The scholars (may Allaah have mercy on them) clearly stated that the reports from the Sahaabah and those who came after them that are proven to be sound are what constitute evidence and proof, and they take precedence over any opinion if it goes against the Sunnah.

Fataawa wa Maqaalaat al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 8/370.

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Qaasim said in his essay Tahreem Halq al-Lahyah (Prohibition on shaving the beard), on page11:

Some scholars granted a concession allowing removal of whatever is longer than the “handful”, based on the actions of Ibn ‘Umar ('Umar's son, Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with them both). However, most of the scholars regard that as makrooh (hated action even to cut some of it beyond the handful). This is more correct, for the reasons stated above.

The author of the famous collection of "Forty Hadeeth", Imam Al-Nawawi said: The preferred view is that the beard should be left as it is and should not be shortened in any way at all.

Additionally, it says in al-Durr al-Mukhtaar: with regard to cutting it any shorter than the “handful”, none said that this is permissible.

Now what to do in your situation?
Well, if this is a condition of darurah (hardship or unusual difficulty), then the rules of ruqsa (concession of Allah) would apply, inshallah.
This is under the same category as eating pork, if you are dying of starvation and there is nothing else to eat. Then it is proper to eat only as much of the pork as necessary to stay alive, but nothing more than this.
So, the question now comes:
Just exactly how much (darurah) difficulty - am I experiencing here?

Good question. Please refer this to Allah Subhannah wa Ta'ala first. Pray to Allah to show you exactly what He wants you to do in this case. This is because there are extenuating circumstances involving others whom you could have a real serious problem with in your life and in theirs as well.
If, for instance, cutting some of it off for a time, to help them come to terms with the reality of the situation, you might find some room for this.
Possibly if continuing to grow might cause them to leave Islam (I question this one), you might consider something regarding that.
If you have no place to go and they are throwing you out, and as a result they will no longer accept anything about Islam at all, then that is another problem to take into consideration.
There is another situation you did not mention but often times we hear this from our students regarding what some teachers have been doing over the last few decades in regard to shortening and even completely removing the beard.
Some scholars today even cut off their own beards, trim them or even shave the beard off completely.
This is one of the biggest problems, when we see our own teachers violating the orders of the prophet, peace be upon him, and in some cases, telling us it is OK.
Originally, some years ago when scholars made some rules about shaving the beard, it was because of oppressive governments imposing on them this mandate, else they would be imprisoned or punished severely and not allowed to teach at all.
However, this has all changed now and there should be adjustments made amongst the scholars to come back to the orders of the prophet, peace be upon him.
I do know many people, scholars and regular people like us, who now grow their beards and do not cut or trim them.
Final note:
Although you should not cut or trim, you should wash, clean, oil (with olive oil) and as our prophet, peace be upon him, said, "Give your beard its rights". You may also brush your beard and shape it with the comb or brush in ways that make it easy to deal with, such as turning it under, or smoothing it down. Another way, is to conceal it inside of the shirt if it is very long and blowing in the wind.
Allahu 'Alim, pray for your parents and ask Allah to guide them. Never fight or argue with your parents, this is forbidden in Islam. Just treat them with the best of care and continue to respect and honor them, without disrespecting or dishonoring your Lord. Sometimes this may seen difficult, but consider it as a chance to gaim great reward with Allah for your patience and perserverance for His sake.
We ask Allah to make it easy for you and to guide them to the right way, ameen.
Jazakallah khair was salam alaykum,
Yusuf Estes
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