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The Muslim Man – Appearance

Wearing the Pants Below the Ankles

Despite the stern warnings of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) concerning the wearing of the trouser below the ankle, some Muslim men totally disregard this Sunnah. In fact, many argue that this applies to a person who wears it below the ankle if pride settles in the heart.

Having said that, it is therefore undisputed by all that wearing the trousers below the ankle with pride is a major sin. And if worn without pride then too it is a major sin. (Alamgeri), except that should the trouser unintentionally drop below the ankle then there is no sin. This was the case of Hazrat Abu Baker (Radhiallahu Anhu) for which Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) excused him. It is indeed sad to note that some people of the Ummah disregard its importance and largely take it for granted.

The warnings admonished by Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) are explicit and direct. We cite a few hereunder:

Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, “That which hangs below the ankle, will be in Jahannam.” (Bukhari)

Once Hazrat Abdullah bin Umar (Radhiallahu anhu) entered the gathering of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). He says, “My trouser was hanging a little below my ankle when Rasulullah asked, ‘who is this?’ I replied, ‘Abdullah bin Umar’. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘If you are Abdullah then raise your trouser above the ankle.’ I immediately did likewise to the extent of half my shin. From that day onwards I formed a habit to wear my trouser above the ankle.” (Musnad Ahmad)

It is reported in a hadith that three people whom Allah Ta’ala will not talk to nor look at and for them will be a terrible punishment. The narrator says that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) repeated this three times. Then Hazrat Abu zar Ghaffari (Radhiallahu anhu) commented saying that these people are indeed very unfortunate, but who are they? Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that person who hangs his trouser below the ankle, that person who does good deeds and lies and that person who takes a false oath to sell his goods. (Abu Dawood)

Explaining the situation Hazrat Abdullah bin Umar (Radhiallahu anhu) says that the meaning of Rasulullah’s (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) warnings refer to anything that hangs below the ankle i.e. when wearing the lungi or long abayya kurtas.

At this point, it will suffice to say that our beloved Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has presented a certain code of conduct (which forms part of the Sunnah) and should we claim to love Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) then follow his way – the only way for our salvation in this world and the hereafter.

 Importance of the Beard in the words of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam):

  1. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said “I have no connection with one who shaves, shouts and tears his clothing, eg. in grief or afflication.” – Reported by Abu Darda (R.A.) in Muslim, Hadith no. 501
  2. The teachings of Hadhrat Ammar Bin Yaasir, Abdullah Ibn Umar, Sayyidina Umar, Abu Hurairah and Jaabir (R.A.), indicate that ALL used to keep beards that were one fist length or more. Hadhrat Jaabir (R.A.) had said: “We used to grow long beards and only during Hajj and Umrah did we trim them to the required length (i.e. fist length).”
  3. Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (R.A.) relates that: “He who imitates the kuffar (non-believers) and dies in that state, he will be raised up with them on the Day of Qiyamat (Judgement).”
  4. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) says: “Trim closely the moustache, and let the beard flow (Grow).” – Narrated Ibn Umar (R.A.) in Muslim, Hadith no. 498
  5. “Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) ordered us to trim the moustache closely and spare the beard” says Ibn Umar. – Muslim, Hadith no. 449
  6. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam)said: “Act against (contrary to) the polythesists, trim closely the moustache and grow the beard.” – Reported by Ibn Umar (R.A.) in Muslim, Hadith no. 500
  7. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said “Trim closely the moustache and grow the beard.” – Reported by Abu Hurairah (R.A.) in Muslim, Hadith no. 501
  8. Rasulullah (Ssallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Anyone who shaves has no claim to the mercy of Allah” – Reported by Ibn Abbas (R.A.) in Tibrabi
  9. Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (R.A.) used to cut that portion (which exceeds the grip of the hand) of the beard. – Tirmidhi

The Beard according to the Great Imams of Jurisprudence


Imam Muhammed (R.A.) writes in his book Kitabul Aathaar where he relates from Imam Abu Hanifa (R.A.) who relates from Hadhrat Haytham (R.A.) who relates from Ibn Umar (R.A.) that he (Ibn Umar) used to hold his beard in his hand and cut off which was longer. Imam Muhammed (R.A.) says that this is what we follow and this was the decision of Imam Abu Hanifa. Therefore, according to Hanafis, to shorten the beard less than a FIST LENGTH is HARAAM and on this is IJMA (concensus of opinion).


Imam Shafi (R.A.) in his Kitabul Umm states, “To shave the beard is HARAAM.” (Shari Minhaj dar Shara Fasl Aqueeqa).


Shekh Ahmad Nafarawi Maliki in the commentary of Imam Abu Zayed’s booklet states, “to shave the beard is without doubt haraam according to all Imams.” It is also mentioned in Tamheed which is a commentary of Muatta (Sunnan Imam Malik (R.A.)) that to shave the beard is HARAAM and among males the only ones to resort to this practice (of shaving) are the HERMAPHRODITES (persons who possess both male and female features and characteristics).


The Hanbalis in the famous Al-Khanie’a Hanbali Fatawa Kitab state that “to grow the beard is essential and to shave it is HARAAM.”

Also in the Hanbali Mathab books Sharahul Muntahaa and Sharr Manzoomatul Aadaab, it is stated “The most accepted view is that it is HARAAM (prohibited to shave the beard).” Also note, according to scholars of Islam: “To shave off the beard is unlawful (haraam) and one who shaves his beard is legally speaking an unrighteous fellow (FASIQ); hence, it is NOT PERMISSIBLE to appoint such a man as an Imam. To say Taraweeh behind such an Imam is MAKRUH-E-TAHRIMI (near prohibition)” (Shami Vol.1, p.523)

The Durre-Mukhtar states: “No one has called it permissible to trim it (the beard) less than FIST-LENGTH as is being done by some westernized Muslims and hermaphrodites.” (Vol. 2, p. 155). Also, “It is forbidden (haraam) for a man to cut off another’s beard.” (Vol. 5, p. 359).


Thus, a Muslim who shaves or shortens his beard is like a hermaphrodite, his Imamate near prohibition, his evidence is not valid, he will not have the right to vote or being voted for. Shaving and shortening the beard is the action of non-believers. Imam Ghazzali (RA) says: “Know that the key to total bliss (Saadah) lies in following the Sunnah and in emulating the life of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) in ALL that issues from him, and in ALL his doings even if it concerns the manner of his eating, rising, sleeping, and speaking. I do say this in relation to rituals in worship ONLY because ther is no way neglecting the Sunnah reported of him in such matters – but what I say INCLUDES EVERY ASPECT of his daily life.” (Kitab al Arbain Addin, Cairo 1344, p. 89).

Furthermore, in the Holy Qur’an, Allah told Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) to say:

“Say: “If ye do love Allah, Follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins: For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Quran 3:31)

The daily recitation of a band of angels of Allah is:

“Holy is the Being who adorned men with beards and women with braids” (Takmela e Bahr al Raiq, Vol. 3, p. 331)

Circumcision in Islam
 According to the Hanafi school it is Sunnah for circumcision to be performed for a new born as well as a person who accepts Islam. According to the other schools it is wajib. (Radd al-Muhtar v.7 p.342 Dar al-Fikr 1995)

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “The practices related to Fitrah (natural human ways) are five: Circumcision, shaving the pubic hair, trimming the moustache, pairing the nails and removing the hair of the armpits.” – Sahih al-Bukhari

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Circumcision is Sunnah for men and an honour for women” – Musnad Ahmad, Al-Bayhaqi

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) also said: “Whoever accepts Islam should have his circumcision perfomed.” – Talkhis al-Habir

In one hadith in Musnad Ahmad the words “get rid of the hair of disbelief and perform circumcision” have been recorded.

The practice of circumcision is one of the salient features (sha`a’ir) of the religion of Islam. It is from amongst those things that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) encouraged his ummah to follow the way (millah) of Hadrat Ibrahim (alayhis salam) in. Hadrat Ibrahim (alayhis salam) was the first person to be circumcised at the age of 80. (Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)

Besides the above, circumcision also carries numerous physical benefits. It also prevents many illnesses.

Furthermore circumcision is an important aspect of taharah (cleanliness),which is so strongly emphasised in Islam, for when the foreskin is not removed, urine and other secretions can collect under the folded skin. This area can become the site of very painful infections from bacterial growth and the minor operation of circumcision greatly simplifies basic hygiene for men and boys. “Indeed God loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure” – Qur’an Surah al-Baqarah

Hence it is a greatly meritorious sunnah as well as physically beneficial to perform this act. However it is not a pre-requisite for conversion to Islam.

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai,

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