Is It Permissible To Take Off the Split Ends of the Beard, Before It Has Reached Fist Length

CategoriesMiscellaneous [675]

Fatwa ID: 04757

Answered by: Imam Abdul-Malik Sheikh




Is it permissible to take off the split ends of the beard, before it has reached fist length, with the intention of growing it to at least fist length?



In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful




The beard is from the natural characteristic (Fitra) of men. Our mother Aisha reports that:


“The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Ten acts are part of natural instinct: trimming the moustache, letting the beard grow, using the tooth stick, sniffing water into the nose, clipping the nails, washing the knuckles, removing hair from the underarms, shaving the pubic hair, and cleaning the private parts with water.”Mus’ab(the sub-narrator) said, “I forgot the tenth, except that it might be rinsing the mouth.” (1)


Therefore, the growth of beard is extremely emphasised and considered wajib by our scholars. This is based on numerous narration such as the following hadith narrated by Abdullah Ibn Umar:


“Differ from those who ascribe partners to Allah (Al-Mushrikin): leave beards to grow, and trim moustaches.” (2)


Imam Al-Haskafi explains in his Durr Al-Mukhtar that the Sunnah length of the beard is one fist long (Qabdah). As for shortening it less than that as some of the North African (Maghariba) and effeminate men do then this is something that no one (of our Hanafi scholars) has permitted. (3)


The early books do not contain in them detailed discussion on the beard. The great Hanafi hadith scholar and Jurist, Imam Badr al-Din al-‘Ayni explained the hadith about leaving the beard (I’fa Al-Lihya) by saying:


“The amount and definition of the beard that is unlawful to leave uncut have been differed upon by the early Muslims”


He then cites examples from the companions such as Abu Huraira and Ibn Umar trimming from the beard that which exceeds a fist length. He also states that some others have not specified any limit and then says:


“The meaning, in my opinion, is “as long as it does not exceed what is customary among people (Urf an-Nas) .” ‘Ata’ has said, “There is no harm in trimming a little from the length and sides of his beard, if it grows large and long, in order to avoid notoriety, or if one risks being made fun of”(4)


Imam Badr Al-Din Al-Ayni also mentions in his commentary of Al-Hidayah:


“It is mentioned in Al-Muhit that there is a difference of opinion with regards to leaving the beard (I’fa). Some of them said: “he should leave it until it becomes plentiful and thick, and trimming it is sunnah so he cuts whatever is more than a fists length (Qabda). There is no harm in plucking grey hairs and cutting the edges of the beard if it becomes long” (5)


From this, we can conclude that it is permissible for you to take from the split ends of the beard when it is more than a fist length. However, if it is less than a fist, it will be best to refrain from trimming it and try using other alternatives such as oiling and combing to smoothen the growth of the hair.  



Only Allah knows best

Written by Imam Abdul-Malik Sheikh

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham





  • Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Taharah, Bab Khisal al-Fitrah
  • Sahih Al-Bukhari, Kitab Al-Libas, Bab Taqlim Al-Azafir
  • Radd Al-Muhtar ala Durr al-Mukhtar, Vol 3 p457, Dar Al-Ma’rifah, Beirut
  • ‘Umdat al-Qari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari, vol 21 p. 47, Dar Ihya’ Al-Turath Al-‘Arabi, Beirut



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