Imam Shaving Beard

Q: Is shaving or trimming the beard Makrooh or Haraam according to Aimma-Arba’a (four Imams of the Math-habs)? What is the ruling for an Imaam who trims or shaves the beard? What are the consequences for the muqtadees (followers)? Does the trousers below the ankles for the Imaam constitute the same in terms of Imaamat?

A. In many narrations Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) has commanded the keeping of the beard. According to all Mathabs, it is Makrooh Tahreemi (close to Haraam) to trim the beard and totally Haraam to shave it. It is, therefore, a sin in all Schools of Fiqh. The required length is one fist of the individual.

For details on this subject, try to get hold of a book on this subject by Shaykhul Hadeeth Moulana Zakariyya Saheb (Rahmatullaahi Alayh). He has discussed the rulings of the four Madhabs in his treatise. This book has been translated into English.

It is also Haraam to wear the trousers below the ankles. Many Hadeeth forbid this and it is Haraam for all males, whether Muqtadi or Imam.

It is Makrooh Tahreemi to appoint such a person as Imam who shaves or trims the beard to less than the required length or habitually wears the pants below the ankles. Although it is forbidden to appoint such a person as Imam, Namaaz behind him will still be valid.

Allah Ta’aala knows best.

Moulana Yusuf Laher
Checked by: Mufti Siraj Desai