Fatwa ID: 01503
Answered by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
The length of the beard
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.
The Prophet of Allah commanded men to leave the beard alone and to let it grow naturally.
The Prophet of Allah said, ‘Trim the moustache and leave the beard.’ (Sahih Bukhari p.875 v.2)
Saaiduna Ibn Umar narrates that the Prophet of Allah said ‘Oppose the mushrikeen, leave the beards and trim the moustaches’. When Saaiduna Ibn Umar went for Hajj or Umrah, he would grasp his beard by his hand and remove what was in excess of it. (Sahih Bukhari p. 875 v.2)
Saaiduna Abu Hurairah narrates that the Prophet of Allah said, ‘Cut off moustaches, leave beards and oppose the mushrikeen.’ (Sahih Muslim)
In the Hanafi Madhab it is considered impermissible to trim or shorten the beard less than a fistful. (Raddul Muhtar p. 583 v.9) Moreover, the practice of the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam was to have a beard equivalent to a fistful.
Abu Mamar relates we asked Saaiduna Khabbah whether the Prophet of Allah used to recite the Quran in the Zuhr and Asr prayers. He replied yes. We said, ‘How did you come to know this? He replied, ‘From the movement of his beard.’ (Sahih Bukhari p.105 v.1)
With regards to your question the texts where the word “sunnah” is used to show that it is only a sunnah to have a fistful of beard means that the ruling is established through sunnah i.e. hadith. The technical meaning of sunnah is not meant here.
Only Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham