Beards are not just for terrorists

Published: January 29, 2011

I grew a beard so people would know I am a practising Muslim.

For years I lived any young adult’s dream; there was music, parties, banter, unorthodox festivities, substance abuse and a fair degree of foul play. Then things changed radically – it was nothing short of a revolution; I grew a beard.

After extensively studying and reading about both Islam and other religions, I started to pray five times a day and even encourage friends and colleagues towards the path of salvation. I have finally chosen spirituality over (supposed) rationality and have given up on worldly desires to pursue those of an eternal life.

Why did I grow a beard?

For me it was simple: a beard would let people know that I am a “practising” Muslim. I no longer wished to be part of activities which I used to indulge in before.

As I let the beard grow, it raised some eyebrows as people around me also noticed a visible difference in my personality. Airport authorities were interested in why I did not resemble the guy in my passport picture (the picture was taken at the Pakistan High Commission in London and I looked funkier at the time). But I did not realize what a difference my new facial hair made until I returned to Pakistan for vacation.

Bearded in Pakistan

Ironically, in Pakistan the beard has become synonymous with terms like jaali mullah (deceitful priest), chor maulvi (thief priest), dehshatgard (terrorist), or ‘brainwashed fool’. Moreover, if you happened to have a beard with no moustache, people are not afraid to call you ‘Taliban’ to your face.

Bearded people particularly when they wear shalwar kameez (the national dress of Pakistan) are regarded as criminals, kidnappers or rapists. What is worrying is that everyone has a story to tell of how they have been wronged in some way by a ‘bearded mullah-type person’.

Beards badnaam hui

Sadly, some do feel that a beard and all that it represents, gives you the ‘licence to kill’ in Pakistan. It seems that far too many have taken advantage of the beard to gain the trust of innocent people merely to wrong them. What these sinning souls have done is tarnish the image of the beard which was once the symbol of a pure mo’min (believer of Islam).

So, therein lies the lesson: with great beard comes great responsibility.

syed.faiq.najeeb

Faiq Najeeb

A teaching assistant and PhD Student in Finance at the University of Nottingham in Malaysia.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Hamood

    Unfortunately, as you rightly pointed out that beard has become synonymous with terrorism. As long as people will keep getting killed by exploding bearded people, this stereotype will continue. Recommend

  • parvez

    When you write “a beard would let people know that I am a practising Muslim.”
    This begs the obvious question : Is letting the people know that you are a practising Muslim more important or the fact that you really are a practising Muslim, that is important ?
    In the end the same dilemma. Can’t you exercise responsibility without a beard ?

    On the other hand I have to admit that if it takes a beard to make you good then so be it.Recommend

  • Shahbaz

    Very true, this concept is growing very fast here in Pakistan & especially all over the world about the misconception of beard.Recommend

  • faraz

    Ya i agree, beard has lost its respect in the societyRecommend

  • nina

    It is the ignorant, brain washed group that equates having a beard with being jahal, maulvi this or that, terrorist etc etc. Because they do not understand anymore that this is the sunnah of our beloved prophet (saw), who was the best of all creation. Do people not realize that all the corrupt and criminal leaders of Pakistan since its creation were men without beards! Which president or prime minister of this nation kept a beard? (M.A. Jinnah was the only honest and patriotic beardless leader).
    To the writer, I am proud of you, do not be afraid of to follow the sunnah of the prophet (saw). Recommend

  • zzzz

    Having a purpose in life will probably have the same effect. When people say they are seeking a spiritual life (reborn christians / muslims) , they basically are craving for a purpose. The religious clerics/books make them chase the goal of an eternal heaven. Well, if it gives one peace so be it but usually it ends with them having an holier than thou attitude.Recommend

  • Majid

    Masha Allah. God Bless!Recommend

  • Spam Robot

    Dude just think what you would have done before your change if one of your friend did the same?Recommend

  • yes man

    this is a joke right? full of cliches and I am not fully convinced if you are trying your hand at humor or is this a serious attempt at bloggingRecommend

  • Mohammed Taha Wadiwala

    A beautifully written article, people with beards are considered as extremists due to the acts of some individuals. Certain muslim countries wont even allow to have a beard. But if something is done for the sake of the Allmighty, success lies in it.Recommend

  • Amadeus

    So someone without a beard cannot be taken as a practising muslim?Recommend

  • Ehtisham Rizvi

    “Ironically, in Pakistan the beard has become synonymous with terms like jaali mullah (deceitful priest), chor maulvi (thief priest), dehshatgard (terrorist), or ‘brainwashed fool’. Moreover, if you happened to have a beard with no moustache, people are not afraid to call you ‘Taliban’ to your face.

    Bearded people particularly when they wear shalwar kameez (the national dress of Pakistan) are regarded as criminals, kidnappers or rapists. What is worrying is that everyone has a story to tell of how they have been wronged in some way by a ‘bearded mullah-type person’.”

    You say that like its a wrong thing, that reputation has been earned by bearded folk. Stereotypes do hold true if you go out of your way to dress up like one.Recommend

  • http://think-islam.blogspot.com PostMan

    Bro. Good for you I say but then… its not about the beard. Its what you ‘do’ that counts and it can be done without the beard. The beard is not a license. I agree with the stereotyping of beard, which I agree should not be the case, but you are putting too much importance to beard.

    I have finally chosen spirituality over (supposed) rationality and have given up on worldly desires to pursue those of an eternal life.’

    and you are doing this through a worldly desire of growing a beard. Good luck though. PeaceRecommend

  • Danish S.

    Hey Faiq,
    I didn’t know our ‘debate’ couple years ago would have this kind of an effect on you, lol. In anycase, I would like to reiterate Pervez’s comment and elaborate on it a little also. Why do you think having a beard would make you seem a better muslim, or in your words a “practicing” one? You also mentioned that you read about Islam and other religions, so what was about reading that made you want to grow a beard? Did you read clear guidelines, instructions of some sort or beard growing being a fard? Don’t get me wrong, you found spirituality/religiosity – more power to you. I just wanted to find out your reasoning behind it. I would like you to answer here but if you can’t then just drop a comment on my fb :)Recommend

  • sunil

    @parvez:
    Well said Parvez. Religion is not something to be worn on the sleeves.Recommend

  • Haseeb

    @parvez:
    I’d like to clarify on behalf of the writer. As he had a social circle in which substance abuse, dancing and other activities were not considered bad so by keeping a beard he wants to tell them that I am no longer interested in these activities and I am more serious about my religion now.Recommend

  • Mahvesh

    I don’t know about the rest, but that was one amusing blog. Loved the last line!Recommend

  • http://wasioabbasi.wordpress.com Wasio Ali Khan Abbasi

    @nina:
    President Rafiq Tarar had beard and good one as well.Recommend

  • Ali

    And tribune would allow literally everything, from wails to yaps, be published? Is this a private blog? This ‘masterpiece’ wouldn’t even deserve space on a piece of toilet-paper, let alone an ostensibly sane newspaper.

    Stupidity itself doesn’t have limits, but it can at least be restricted.Recommend

  • Saad Durrani

    An non-practicing ones are non-beard people. Sheesh! Tomorrow, you shave it and your lifestyle goes out the window.

    There was a better on this long time back.Recommend

  • Angelos

    great piece, problem is that Islam is hijacked by couple of thousand of people. Everyone has assumed that the version practiced by them is actual Islam. I hope more guys follow your ideology and let the world know what the real teachings of Islam are.

    @parvez
    1) Both
    2) Yes, you can but if someone grows a beard, no one should have a problem.Recommend

  • Faiq

    I would like to clarify a lot of issues which are being raised by the blog readers.

    1.) First of all the blog has not been published in its original form. The tribune web hoster for blogs has taken the liberty to alter my original writing to the methods they feel appropriate. I am taking strong exception about the editing done by them to make this blog appear humorous. For e.g. I m disgusted by this phrase here “Beards badnaam hui…” which was not written by me.

    2.) For those of you who don’t know, well you really don’t know what I was before and what I am now. I did not start keeping a beard until like 2-3 months ago. However, I was already practising since 6-7 months ago. So I never say that only by a beard ur a practising Muslim.

    3.) I had 2 reasons for growing a beard, the most major one is because there are consensus amongst scholars that beard is “fard – obligatory: in Islam. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSoLFBFI1lk Please view this video by Dr Bilal Philips and Shaik Yusuf Estes. Yusuf Estes was a Christian Missionary who converted to Islam and so was Dr Bilal Philips who was earlier christian … So guys who are very critical here, i did not grow a beard out of fashion but because scholars have suggested that this is fard. The second reason for growing ofcourse was to let my social circle know that I am serious about being a practising Muslim.

    4.) Finally, the essence of my blog was that “with great beard comes great responsibility”. That means only when ur sure that ur “amal” that is actions are pure, then grow a beard and dont let its symbol of goodness get spoilt.

    In the end Allah knows best.

    May peace and blessing be on all of you.Recommend

  • parvez

    @Haseeb:
    I am not being factitious but he could use his mouth and change his behaviour to let them know he is no longer interested in his old “bad” activities.
    The beard is like growing long hair or shaving your head bald or growing large bushy side burns or like combing your hair into an Afro or a Red Indian Mohawk style and nothing more. Its eventually comes down to the type of person you are that matters and not what hair style you sport and I feel that is what the author is trying to get at.
    To make my point I’d like to quote something Sattar Edhi Sahab ( and he has a beautiful beard ) said ” Please don’t call me maulana because my mother never taught me much about religion but she taught me a lot about humanity which has helped me a lot “Recommend

  • Tarek

    Religion is a sensitive issue … it should not be discussed .. but also then again no one has right to criticize anyone wishing to keep a beard.Recommend

  • Henna Khan

    I don’t know whether the country I live in is Pakistan or whether the country ET projects is Pakistan, even this blog. I don’t wanna comment on any other point but the person who grows beard without a mustache, we don’t call him a Taliban, we call him a Tableeghi. As for the word Taliban, we have used this word and still use it in singular as Talib and plural as Taliban, with reference to those kids who live in Madrassahs attached to the mosques in our streets. The kids who come to our houses to give us the receipt of the money that we pay them every month. Never felt afraid of them, they’re just the innocent faces……….. Recommend

  • Saleha

    Very good point Henna!Recommend

  • faraz

    Faith is not based on logic, everybody believes he is right whether he is an extremists or an atheist. The importance of beard also varies from person to person based on his own understanding of religion. Initially the author believed that its ok if you party, now he believes that beard is essential; whats the difference? Recommend

  • Arachnid

    Beards aren’t just for terrorists. They can be used for many other purposes.

    For example, ZZ Top tribute bands. Cover models for Medal of Honor posters. Etc.Recommend

  • Tee

    Bearded people may find me more distance but it is not because I consider them stupid or dangerous. It’s partly because of personal observation. I have seen bearded people who don’t even talk to or sit next to females in class. So out of respect, I try to gauge what level of female companionship is a bearded and clearly religious man comfortable with first before I act my usual talkative self.

    Secondly, a reason why I might appear more distant (which may be mistaken for wariness) is because religious people are very different from me. People just tend to gravitate towards and be more themselves around people who are similar to them. For instance, out of respect for their beliefs and a dislike of confrontations, I would probably have to censure my views a lot in front of a deeply religious person.

    I do know of a lot of bearded people whom I respect greatly. I can think of three in particular off the top of my head…two were amazing instructors of mine and the third is a really cool blogger.

    I am sorry if you have experienced outright hostility. I doubt it is common.Recommend

  • Saad Durrani

    @Faiq:
    Editing is a part of this business, and at times, they do get away with it. Having said that, it would have been better that you should have given this blog entry of a one-good re-read and deleted it and re-write it.

    Instead of creating a specific point, you just made a mess.

    (Btw, you can always put the un-edited version of your personal blog)Recommend

  • Sabeen

    Bhai Jaan,

    Islam main darhee hai .. Darhee main Islam nahe hai ..! Recommend

  • Kamran

    The point here is that beards are not just for terrorists alone … so u mean to say rock stars like chop suey artists and all other metallic gothic bands with beards are also considered terrorists ??Recommend

  • Rehman

    Waste of a blog space … tell us something new !!Recommend

  • Adrian

    I know the writer personally … and I know what he is trying to tell people. He really impressed me with the change he has gone over in the past year. Faiq is regarded as the most sincere and trust worthy person in the university who is always willing to help! His bearded appearance gives assurance to all those who know him that he shall be humble towards them and kind and just !!Recommend

  • Chua

    Haha Adrian … what sweet words for Faiq … but yeah i agree with you :)Recommend

  • Aniket

    Do you get paid for writing this?Recommend

  • Salman Arshad

    @ the writer:

    It would have been great if you had emphasized the insignificance of the beard in Islam. Instead you believe it is obligatory. Whether its obligatory or not is a personal belief of anyone, but it is the attitude that gives divine importance to insignificant things like facial hair that are the cause of the name calling. Unfortunately, most bearded people are precisely that, giving significance to appearances instead of giving uncompromisable significance to inner spiritual growth.Recommend

  • Rehman

    @Faiq: be a muslim, a pious one i am happy for you, i dont keep one but my faith is very strong, just remember one thing dont go towards the jihad our illiterate maulvis blast about, never think about bombing western countries, as it hurts islamic cause, and definitely dont think tht the blasphemy law is right, it needs to be changed or completely abolished! its a draconian law not in islam and definitely hurts the cause of spreading islam Recommend

  • http://www.easyislam.com ASHIQ ALI ANSARI

    BEARD is made the sign of TERRORISM by our so-called LIBERAL & SECULAR INTELLECTULS, with the PLOTTED INTENTIONS to defame the Fundamental Muslims,
    otherwise all of the Sardar Jees possess long beards.Recommend

  • SSSheikh

    This is the worst blog post ! What exactly is this guy trying to say!!!Recommend

  • Faiq

    @ASHIQ ALI ANSARI:
    Agreed!Recommend

  • AA

    Nice brother…keep it up…I know what you are saying that happens…and it is not started after 911…our previous generation with beard also used to get such remarks….So the problem is not what bearded people did…(which is actually not true in many cases)….the problem lies in the hearts of people…who either run away from truth…or pick and choose…..or have desire to follow but can’t achieve that because of lack of courage…or under severe control of their Nafs…but no one will accept it infront of others…every one knows better what is actually in his heart….
    I personally don’t see such remarks as a problem…all people on right track in any field face such things…Look at the problems faced by the prophets…It is human nature..
    Atleast I enjoy it….as I see it as an opportunity to penetrate in the heart of others….When they pass remarks…they start the topic…and rest depends upon the ability that Allah gave me to pass on the message (by the will of Allah)….whether or not they accept it…it depends upon Allah….I cannot give Hidayah to anyone…
    So brother…always be prepared for such remarks…and try to pass on the message in single sentence…in a light mood…and move on…

    Allah knows best..
    Ya Hayyo Ya QayyumRecommend

  • zzzz

    All right, now lets hear the blog author’s current views on blasphemy law, 9/11, 26/11 and apostasy in islam?Recommend

  • Sarah

    Why does everyone assume that if one focuses on the external issues than one is automatically NOT focusing on the internal spirit of things? One can want to do both, cant one? When you want to excel at anything in this world, you try everything. When you have your dream job, you do your desk work AND you want to look the part, specially if you know that your appearance will effect your evaluation.Isnt it pretty much the same? Why shouldn’t I want to perfect all aspects of what are expected of me. especially for the most important evaluation of my life?

    Moreover, if you are proud of your identity, why shouldn’t you wear it on your sleeve? If you are proud of your work place, you love to display the name tag. Why cant a muslim simply want to dress like a muslim cos he is proud of it? Bec he believes it is the best recommended lifestyle? Why does everyone assume that he just wants to ‘look’ righteous? Trust me, altering ones appearance the way Islam demands isn’t easy. Someone has to be pretty flaky to do it just to appear righteous…we give ten excuses to someone who dresses ‘liberal’, why cant we do the same for a bearded person? Or a hijabi for that matter?

    Plus I get what the author says about ‘making a statement’. We express ourselves through the way we dress and maybe a muslim wears his/her faith on his sleeve because it makes life easier. I dont want to be invited to that mehndi/dance party because the ‘inner spiritual’ part of my deen teaches me not to hurt someone’s feelings. So it makes life a little easier when people know how to deal with you through your appearance. The same way that I would want to look corporate so people know Im serious about my career, or I would want to look like the partying type so that I get invited to that next party. It serves a practical purpose. Recommend

  • Faiq

    @Sarah:
    I love your words for you have understood me perfectly … I hope the others are also able to understand the essence of it. Recommend

  • Faiq

    @zzzz:
    Thanks, Good ideas and I shall duly comply and write some useful blogs :)Recommend

  • faaady

    The animated picture of the beard looks scary. Like a sketch of a wanted criminal .. Recommend

  • http://www.flickr.com/ameerhamza Ameer Hamza

    Beard is one of the most fundamental things in Islam. It is almost iconic. And our Prophet hated people who kept mustache but had no beard. Once when the Persian king sent his safir to his darbar they were both clean shaven. Our Prophet just turned his face from them. So keeping beard is part of Islam, one might say. But unfortunately, many people here in Pakistan misuse their beards and their over-religiosity to defraud others. The mullahs, as we have seen time and again, do things which are mind boggling. For example, some of them simply refuse to condemn a suicide bomber. No wonder then this western media picks up and shouts in our own faces. It is this hypocritical behaviour of our people which have led things to such a pass.

    But a beard is the Sunnah of our Prophet and no one can deny this. If you want to keep the beard, keep it for your Prophet not to show the world that you are religious. Recommend

  • http://ahandfulofdust.wordpress.com/ Mariam

    I dont think keeping beard is an issue. I have seen many young men with beard and it looks good if kept short and tidy.Recommend

  • Neeraj, India

    Beards are ok, but the problem is there is ‘tinka’ in every beard, that is a Mullah endowed with. : )Recommend

  • ali

    @Ashiq Ali

    Well taliban have made beard a sign of extremism by blowing up barbar shops. Sikhs dont kill people for shaving beardsRecommend

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/QuranVsHadith QuranVsHadith

    The only reason a beard was kept until recent times was because the blades would often cut the skin and until antibiotics were developed about 100 years ago….shaving was quite simply a health hazzard. It has nothing to do with religion.

    Your actions should show who you are, not your facial hair. In fact I have noticed the complete opposite happening. When a man wears an unkempt long beard he is hiding behind it as a superficial sign of piety when he is in reality going to lie, cheat and steal. I would rather not take the chance. It is only grown to gain him acceptance into a certain group of people. In todays turmoil….if you dress the part of a terrorist expect to be treated like one.

    My defences go UP around a bearded man and I brace myself for the lies that will pour forth from his mouth.

    As a result I will not do business with (that means even buy things or take a taxi) from any one who sports a mullah style beard. Recommend

  • Muhammad Adnan Khan Qadri

    Bard, The Sunnah of RasoolAllah (Sallallahu Alaehi Wasallam) and the Masculine Beauty ofcourse. Good to get it here, MashaAllah !Recommend

  • faaady

    @QuranVsHadith:
    So you are advocating against keeping a beard bcuz it represents terrorists today? shows what hypocrisy is prevalent in society today!Recommend

  • Sumaiya

    people are out there to judge regardless of what you do or what you look like..
    so i wouldn’t worry if i were you :)Recommend

  • jz

    Faiq I fully respect your views and I have full regard for your decision. However, I have several points and dont know if Id be able to sum them all up in this space.

    I cannot understand why would one want to let others know that he/she is a “practising Muslim”? Your faith and how much you practice it, is a matter between you and Allah; no one else will be answerable to your deeds. Then why bother about people? If I pray, I dont broadcast it. I don’t even find it one bit likeable to “portray” myself in a certain way before the world so that they know what i am.

    In my opinion, nothing matters more than my compassion, strength of character, civic sense, relationship with people I live with and around, tolerance, fairness, integrity humility and love. Everything else to me comes a good second. I can have beard and my demeanor may put the stamp of “practising Muslim” but if I am an unpleasant person who lacks compassion, love and good manners, then neither my persona nor my apparent religious dispensations will matter in the eyes of the Almighty.

    To be a good, worthy human being, one should:

    a) become an asset to the society that one lives in, not a liability;
    b) learn to respect everyone, irrespective of faith, caste, color or gender;
    c) learn to respect differences;
    d) treat every human being equally
    e) leave the part of judging another person to Allah alone

    As far as the practicing side is concerned, that one should do for Allah only and not for the world. I am telling you only to elaborate my point and give you my background on this subject that I pray regularly; that I went for Hajj last year and had the most beautiful and spiritual experience of my life; that as a matter of choice I never swear.

    The reason I am telling this is not to brag that I am a practicing Muslim or that I am superior in any respect, but just to let you know that this aspect of my personality is between me and Allah. It doesnt and shouldnt matter to others and others have no right to judge me. That was never the domain of us mortals.

    My amazing experience of the journey of a lifetime taught me to love humanity, regardless of any and every consideration; it made me much too humble; it taught me to never backbite or speak ill of others, it made me realize that I have nothing to feel superior about, It taught me that if I want to love Allah and earn His blessings, I have to go through His supreme creation: mankind! If I dont serve them, love them and respect them, I wont perhaps earn Allah’s love. However, the “have-tos” that my faith wants me to do are not required to be broadcast to anyone as they have nothing to do with it. I deliberately didnt keep beard after my hajj because I knew that if i do, people will focus only on that saying hes changed now that hes kept beard. I didnt want any attention on such a change. To me real change is the one that takes place inside a person and that makes a person better “human being”.

    I dont have any such habits and interests that I feel I should abandon or that hinder my spiritual development. I listen to music yes but I find nothing wrong with classical, semi classical, sufi, folk and qawwali that I have always enjoyed. More often than not, this kind of music brings me closer to Allah and humanity! I occasionally watch movies and find nothing wrong with the parallel issue-based cinema that I have an interest in. I enjoy quality theatre, not the slipshod type and find nothing wrong with that either. I advocate rights of women, children, minorities and all disadvantaged communities. I strongly oppose laws and regulations that can be abused in a society where justice and fairplay are nowhere to be seen.

    I dont hide the fact that I also used to judge a person on how he/she dresses up, behaves etc but I learnt that this is I should never never be doing that and now I really dont do that. I dont stereotype anymore.

    So yes while beard is to be respected, it should not be taunted and care should be exercised while criticizing the misguided people. We should focus our criticism on the act and not the individual specially in cases where we dont know him/her. Obviously this does not apply to people who are engaged in crimes against humanity, indulging in barabaric acts of killing, murdering, bombing etc. But often our hatred is reflected when we criticize ordinary people just because of beard, hijab etc that only reflects our extremism of the left side! And after all extremism is dangerous, be it right-wing or left-wing. Moderation is the key to peace.

    If any of my comments hurt or offended you or anyone else, Im sorry. My intention was not to offend.

    Cheers, jzRecommend

  • SQ

    Great job brother..i wuld hv luvd if you shared your experiances that lead you to make this decision ov having a beard..Recommend

  • Ammar

    I beg to differ.

    I don’t think you need to grow a beard to prove you’re a practising muslim – there are loads of good muslims around the world who have ‘stylish’ goatees, stubble and what not.

    @ameer – no where does it say that keeping a beard is somewhat mandatory. If it was then it would be mentioned in the Quran. If it’s not mentioned in the Quran then nothing is obligatory, optional yes. Let’s not get into discussion as it’ll be another can of worms. Recommend

  • mina

    @Amadeus:
    no it just makes it easy to avoid those things and places that one used to indulge in before. You don’t have to put yourself in the situation where u try to refuse politely and your peers keep insisting.
    It might be one of the first things people do when they commit themselves to Islam..and u might get to hear stuff like first do other more important things and then sport a beard ..but a verse in the Qur’an says
    ‘”Enter into the fold of Islam completely, and follow not the footsteps of the Shaytan.” [Qur'an Al-Baqarah:208].
    No one can pass that judgement..i mean just because u don’t have a beard doesn’t mean people can assume you are not a practicing Muslim. How good of a Muslim someone is solely for Allah to judge.
    For most people it just somehow indicates your commitment, as you are willing to give up your look (which is a very important part of your image) and be subject to all kinds of vitriolic comments (which is common in the time we are living) just for the sake of following the Sunnah. Recommend

  • AEM

    “…with great beards come great responsibility”*

    Indeed the message of the writer is very clear. While beards have flourished a rather stereotypical view of Islam, it is the responsibility of every conscious Muslim man to first equip himself with the deep understanding of the Islamic teaching and then set out to cure the tarnished image caused by the dearth of understanding. The only reason why beards (once a symbol for a true believer) are looked upon at with so much disgust is because of the questionable actions of the people keeping them. Just keeping a beard and thinking this to be the only source of reaching God has done way too much damage to Islam. There is not one single avenue to reach God; reaching God (practising Islam) requires you to follow the entire code set forth by the Prophet (peace be upon him). What we usually attempt to do is to pick up the commandments of like (also the ones that require less effort on our part) while shunning the rest. The consequence – haphazard views, confusion and utter chaos. Recommend

  • http://hammadmateen.wordpress.com Hammad Abdul Mateen

    Islam mein Daarhi hai, Daarhi mein Islam nahi hai
    Islam mein Namaz hai, Namaz mein Islam nahi hai
    Islam mein Roza hai, Rozay mein Islam nahi hai
    Islam mein Tableegh hai, Tableegh mein Islam nahi hai
    Daarhi Sunnat hai, zaroori nahi hai
    Pehlay Seerat banao phir soorat banana

    all this and much more :)

    If Neither Beard, nor namaz, roza or preaching carry Islam, then how can Islam hold on to them? What does Islam actually comprise of? and would it exist in full strength if some of the ingredients were to be missing?

    If Daarhi is considered to be a Sunnat and not Necessary to sport, lets ask ourselves a simple question. Are we doing everything that is ‘FARZ’ as strictly as it demands?

    It’s easier said than done to comment on something we aren’t even aware of properly.

    Pray your prayers and study the religion properly under the guidance of those who are qualified to guide.

    Don’t call a plumber to fix your teeth. ‘If you know what I mean.’

    As far as Practicing and non-Practicing is concerned, you can visit

    http://hammadmateen.wordpress.com/2010/10/31/out-of-practice/Recommend

  • AEM

    @Ameer Hamza:
    While I understand what you are conveying, with due respect, please be extremely cautious with using such strong words as ‘hatred’ when referring to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He was rehamatul-il Aalameen (A source of mercy for both worlds), how could He (PBUH) [na'uzobillah] be a hater?

    Prophets teach through patience and love and thats exactly what He (PBUH) did, as also you have mentioned that He turned His face away. And thats exactly the kind of behaviour that the followers of the Prophet (PBUH) need to follow today. Please for God’s sake, don’t refer such intense words toward someone who’s message stands against them.Recommend

  • Muhammad Adnan Khan Qadri

    It seems comments are shifting track, all religions have certain specific rituals and practices. The only point is that Beard is mandatory for muslim men as guided by RasoolAllah (Sallallahu Alaehi Wasallam), if anyone of you don’t like it or has been the victim of the propaganda then please don’t try to exclude Beard from Islam because non of us has the right to do so.Recommend

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/QuranVsHadith QuranVsHadith

    @Muhammad Adnan Khan Qadri:
    what GUIDE are you talking about? the QURAN ALLAH send down.. the ONLY BOOK of RULES and REGULATIONS does not say anything about a beard!!

    so the Question is that are you a MUSLIM who belives in the COMPLETE and FULLY Detailed QURAN or not..Recommend

  • jz

    The point is never judge a person on his appearance. Whether or not he keeps beard and whether or not she covers her head is a personal prerogative and should not be questioned by anyone. One can be practicing enough without beard/hijab. This persona gives no assurance or guarantee of a person’s character. I really wonder why we are so obsessed with them and why are we always after others? why cant we just look within and try to make ourselves better. Let the rest be the way they want to be. Spare them please! Recommend

  • Muhammad Adnan Khan Qadri

    @QuranVsHadith, RasolAllah (Sallallahu Alaehi Wasallam) and all his holy companions (May Allah be pleased with them) kept Beard!Recommend

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/QuranVsHadith QuranVsHadith

    @Muhammad Adnan Khan Qadri:
    How do you know that they kept beard? your claim is based on a book written over 200 years after the death of the Prophet.
    If we follow your LOGIC then the Prophet did not drive a car on a road or carry a cell phone or use the internet either!!
    He lived circa 600 AD .. that was ANCIENT TIMES!! that meant that he had LESS fecilities available.. ( including no RAZOR BLADES or ANTIBIOTICS) which meant that if someone at that time cut themselves shaving they could DIE from that CUT!!!

    That does not mean that you force this as part of the RELIGION!!! its just a part of history and please tell me what does QURAN say about “IDOL WORSHIP” this is NO differentRecommend

  • jz

    Problems crop up when we mix religion with Arab culture also. Let us separate the two and then analyze. Recommend

  • Disco Molvi

    @author:

    *

    in Pakistan the beard has become
    synonymous with terms like jaali
    mullah (deceitful priest), chor maulvi
    (thief priest), dehshatgard
    (terrorist), or ‘brainwashed fool’

    I’ve nothing against people who keep a beard or those who don’t, nor do I use it as a yard stick to measure someone’s religiosity. Salman Rushdie has a beard, does that make him pious? Similarly Zia ul Haq was non bearded and that didn’t make him an angel too.
    You ask why beard is synonymous with everything negative, it’s due to people like
    The death chanting Muftis, The fake faith healer, The child molesting Qari Sahibs etc.

    These are the folks who’ve brought about this generalized unpleasantness and suspicion toward the beard.
    It’s because of the image presented by these people that a person as great as Abdul Sattar Edhi was made to stand aside and be interrogated by US immigration officials. http://pakistaniat.com/2008/01/29/humanitarian-abdul-sattar-edhi-possible-deportation-usa-passport/

    Some here have made a comparison with clean shaved people being terrorists and corrupt too, why label it to just the bearded lot.
    True, but they don’t use their clean shaved faces to claim being pious.
    Understand sir, that presently in this country of ours, most (not all) of the people sport a beard to hide their sins and religious shortcomings.Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/discomaulvi Aly B – DiscoMaulvi

    Dear Faiq

    I was writing a comment here, but then decided I wanted to preserve and publicize my comment so instead I wrote a little blog post.

    Beards are not just for Terrorists | Express Tribune Blog « Views of DiscoMaulvi

    http://discomaulvi.wordpress.com/2011/02/01/beards-are-not-just-for-terrorists-express-tribune-blog-views-of-discomaulvi/

    -Aly

    The DiscoMaulvi Page : http://www.facebook.com/DiscoMaulvi
    DiscoMaulvi on Twitter : http://www.twitter.com/DiscoMaulvi
    DiscoMaulvi’s Blog : http://discomaulvi.wordpress.com/Recommend

  • Abu Imran

    Dear Faiq,

    A beard is mandatory as death is true. Great post. I’ve also chilled in days past.

    Please could you expand on the fiqh of keeping a beard.

    Is a short beard 1-2 cm in length really Sunnah?

    Is the minimum length of a beard a fist full?

    Does anything less than a fistfull mean that we are ashamed of keeping the full Sunnah length?

    All above questions are void if the persons madhab is shafi.

    I used to have a big bushy beard, as I took the scholarly opinion that trimming was not allowed.

    Dude man I had such a fierce looking beard that woman would hold their children on seeing me.

    Now its trimmed short to about 2 cm.

    The hard core bearded crew from my circle see that as weak Imaan.

    What is your understanding on the Sunnah length of a beard?Recommend

  • Danish S.

    Abu Imran’s comment pretty much sums up the dilemma our entire nation is facing, the length of the beard!Recommend

  • Faiq

    I have read the Quran with tafsir (detailed explanation) and have also read most chunks of Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim Hadiths. I have extensively been reading up on the Hanafi and Hanabali Fiqh with some literature on Shaafi Fiqh as well. I am not a scholar but I can give you lot of answers if you raise questions. To avoid fitnah (disagreements) I would like to request you not to ask questions in public forum as we need a united ummah rather than spreading fitnah! The ills of our ummah today is disagreements and everyone acting as if they alone know everything. I don’t claim I know anything. I just verify facts from the Quran and Authentic Hadith with the help of scholars who have PhD Degrees in this subject.

    With regards to your question on beard, there are scholarly differences on whether shaving the beard is ‘haram’ (forbidden) or makruh ‘disliked’. There are scholarly differences on whether beard is wajib “obligatory” or mustahab “highly recommended”.

    I don’t want to give you my opinion as I am not a scholar, but here are scholars answers to help you.

    Hanabali Fiqh
    http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/1189/beard%20in%20islam

    Hanafi Fiqh
    http://qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.asp?HD=3&ID=2238&CATE=414

    Shaafi Fiqh
    http://qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.asp?HD=3&ID=1572&CATE=389

    I don’t know about the Malikis although I have read on books that even Maliki scholars term it wajib. But then again, Allah knows best!

    Finally, inshAllah this video shall perhaps add further confirmation regarding the issue of beard and its size.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYe-CXxgTRk

    The reason I am giving you scholarly links is because I am not in authority to give statements on Islam as I am not a scholar.

    And Allah knows best. inshAllah I’ll pray for you and please do remember me in your prayers too!

    Asalam Alaikum! Recommend

  • Abu Imran

    Thank You Faiq, for your detailed response. I’m including a paragraph from one of the links.

    Finally, (and this is very important), Habib Ali stated that we
    should remember that the beard in its essence is not a criterion for
    taqwa. People of other religions have been known to grow very long
    beards, but that says nothing of their position with Allah. To look
    at another Muslim and judge his closeness to Allah by the length of
    his beard (or whether he has one for that matter) would be a grave
    mistake.

    Unfortunately if one is western educated smartly dressed and bearded it is quite easy to think that the person must be very pious.

    The lesson I’ve learnt is that one shouldn’t judge another by the beard.

    I’m still the same person but a shorter beard is seen by the longer bearded brothers as a sign of weak Imaan. A beard is so obviously visible and hence its difficult not to make judgement based on the beard.

    Asalaam AlaikumRecommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/discomaulvi Aly B – DiscoMaulvi

    Disclaimer: “Disco Molvi” is not me.Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/discomaulvi Aly B – DiscoMaulvi

    @Abu Imran:

    There is a difference of opinion of length of beard and all give their evidence. Since Faiq is not a scholar he wouldn’t be able to answer your question. However, if you are keeping a beard that is visibly a beard (a goatee or a stubble-like look is not a beard) then that is a good step.

    Even if the length is long, it doesnt mean you should look uncultured and disheveled. The Prophet (SAW) used to groom his hair so it is not like Islam encourages one to look wild.

    Rest I would encourage you sit and discuss the matter with a scholar whom you trust and follow.

    Regards
    -Aly

    The DiscoMaulvi Page : http://www.facebook.com/DiscoMaulvi
    DiscoMaulvi on Twitter : http://www.twitter.com/DiscoMaulvi
    DiscoMaulvi’s Blog : http://discomaulvi.wordpress.com/Recommend

  • AAJ

    Atleast the discrimination is lesser than being a Hijabi. May Allah give u lots of istiqamat on being a true practicing momin. Aameen. Recommend

  • AAJ

    On Keeping Beard “Yeh tu sunnat he tou hai like loving and following our Beloved Prophet (SAW) is optional?”Recommend

  • Absar

    Faiq, my brother, Power to You!

    And May Allah continue to guide you towards increased knowledge, understanding and action upon your new chosen way of life.

    Imitation is the highest form of flattery… and whether or not people care to admit it each of us imitates those for whom we have the most love/respect…. whether its in the way we talk, or the way we dress, or the opinions we hold.

    So some of us imitate movie stars, others sports figures, others leaders of nations, etc. Of course, very few will actually admit they’re trying to imitate someone… but everyone knows it.

    But you my brother have chosen to imitate the one Allah commanded each of us to imitate when He said: “And there is for you in the Messenger of Allah (SAW) a beautiful example to follow”. Or when He said: “If you truly love Allah then follow me (in every aspect), Allah will love you and forgive you your sins”.

    And the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “None of you truly believes until I become more beloved to him than his parents and his children and all of mankind”.

    So by imitating the Rasool, you are testifying your love for him… and if you stay on this difficult path and ignore the taunts and insults by the masses (mostly Muslims unfortunately) … Allah will love you!

    What else could you ask for? Recommend

  • http://www.gettechsolutions.com Reza

    Why do we need to associate a beard with Islam? Unfortunately, it becomes the case, when the beard starts to speaks for itself that it’s in the cause of showing off your religion – giving the person the feeling of authority, wisdom, social & moral rights superior to others – forgetting and ignoring the basic fundamentals.

    A regular beard or a stubble can simply be kept as a preference and should be respected as just that.Recommend

  • Wajih

    Good work Faiq bro don’t worry this was expected as the Prophet (pbuh) said “Islam came as something strange in the end it will become something strange, so give glad tidings to the strangers”. Me and my brothers are with you bro…good work keep up the effort and always turn towards Salah. Insha’Allah the success is with the ones who are obedient to Allah and His Messenger. Allahu Musta’an.Recommend

  • Kamran

    Different sections of the society tend to view the beard differently. Generally those from the lower rungs of the economic ladder continue to be respectful of bearded folks. They use terms like “Sufi Sahib”, “Maulana sahib” or “Maulvi Sahib” as polite expressions of their reverence. The type of people you are referring to tend to come from more affluent backgrounds. They see beards as symbols of backwardness and are not shy to express themselves in the safety of their drawing rooms (or on comment boards like this one). Recommend

  • samar niaz

    you are definitely living among some stupid people mate!!! if these people (most of the writters on this blog and those who are commenting on them) is your social circle, only than you can feel what you feeling right now….

    these liberal…huh huh….i cant hate them more…Recommend

  • Samir

    Islam mei daari hai, daari mei Islam nahi.
    You don’t need a uniform or facial hair to represent yourself as a Muslim.
    If thats the way you think, then its is just for show.Recommend

  • Marz_e_Lailaaj

    @Neeraj, India:
    Very true my friend…the author ironically adheres with dogmatic symbolism he writes against…Recommend

  • Macai

    I’m impressed. It’s very rarely you see such open-mindedness regarding practicing Islam on Pakistani newspapers.Recommend

  • Fahad mazhar

    mashallah, congratz bro Recommend

  • redsnapper

    You say, “a beard would let people know that I am a “practising” Muslim. I no longer wished to be part of activities which I used to indulge in before.”

    Why do you have to let people know you’re a practicing Muslim? If it is to stop being part of “activities”, a simple NO would be enough. This shows you don’t have the courage to say NO and want your old associates to move back automatically after seeing your beard.

    The other thing with neo-converts like you is that instead of having a life based on faith and belief, you guys like to do things which only outwardly show you as the pious ones. Beards, tableegh etc. Pretty insecure wouldn’t you agree?

    Rather than build self-confidence you hide behind a label. And then blame others for doubting you. Slick.Recommend

  • BP

    Faiq sahib, you seem educated enough to know there is no h in mulla. Why then do you give in to propagating an error.Recommend