Hanbali Ruling on a Man's Beard - The Thinking Muslim

Hanbali Ruling on a Man’s Beard

The beard is one of those issues about which the Muslim scholars differed. Some view it as necessary while others consider it only recommended. Unfortunately, in some places people tend to judge others choices in this regard. We must remember that as long as there is a legitimate difference of opinion on an issue among the Muslim scholars, we must never make it a focus of contention in the community.

The following is what the official position of the Hanbali school of law is on the subject of a man’s facial hair.

According to Hanbalis, it is prohibited for a man to shave his beard, and it is disliked for him to take more than a fist length from his beard. And the sunnah is for him to strongly trim his mustache, such that it is not quite totally shaved, but trimmed very short.

So in other words, the relied upon position (mu’tamad) of the school when it comes to the mustache and beard is as follows:

  • Growing more than a fist length beard = Sunnah (recommended)
  • Trimming what is more than a fist length = Mubah (permissible)
  • Trimming what is less than a fist length = Makrooh (disliked)
  • Total shaving = Haram (prohibited)
  • Short trimming of mustache = Sunnah (recommended)

The above information can be found in Hanbali texts:

  1. Dalil al-Talib
  2. Nayl al-Maarib, which is an explanatory text for Dalil al-Talib
  3. Al-Rawdh al-Murbi’

There is also a discussion on this topic here.


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2 thoughts on “Hanbali Ruling on a Man’s Beard”

  1. السلام عليكم
    I wanted to ask what is the meaning of “Makrooh” here. Is a person Fasiq (sinner) if he takes more than a fist length from his beard ( but doesn’t shave it totally )?
    Also, can a person get rid of the hair on his cheeks?
    I would be grateful if you answer my questions.

    1. WS,

      The word “makrooh” means that the person will be rewarded for avoiding it but will not incur any sin for doing it.

      Fasiq usually refers to those who either engage in major sins or persist in minor sins.

      I’ve never looked into the cheeks issue from a Hanbali perspective but I know that some scholars do not consider cheek hair as part of the beard.

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