Fatwa ID: 01412
Answered by Mufti Abdullah al-Ma’mun
Salaams, Basically I want to know which part consists of the beard. From where does it actually start and where does it end? I am asking this because I have hairs basically growing from the upper side of the bone that is present in the neck and making my beard looks very messy. So I wanted to know which part consists of the beard and which doesn’t. If it doesn’t I can shave that part off. Allah hafiz.
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.
The Arabic word for beard is 'lihya'. This comes from the word 'lahy' which means the two bones on which the teeth grow i.e. 'Jaw' or 'Jawbone'. (Haashiya Tahtawi ala Maraqi al-Falah 1/38) (al-Mawrid pg 917,7th edition 1995) (see Lisaan al-Arab 15/241)
The beard has been defined to be the hair that grows on the jawbone although some have also included the hair of the cheeks. This particular bone starts from the faintly protruding bone noticeable next to both ears. The hair that grows on this bone is the beard; hence, it is not permissible to cut any part of it. Anything above this protruding bone is considered as part of the head and anything below is considered part of the beard.
It is mentioned in the commentary of 'Riyadhus Saliheen':
''…and (regarding) the beard, the people of the language have said it is the facial hair and the hairs on both the cheeks […] and as for allowing the beard to grow and leaving it as it is, this is the natural instinct Allah Ta’aala has created man with […] indeed it is the symbol of masculinity rather it is the beauty of a man…'' (Sharah Riyadhus Saliheen 1/1380)
Allamah Badr al-Deen al-Ayni in his famous commentary has considered the hair of the cheeks not to be part of the beard hence he states:
''…and the beard […] is that which grows on both the cheeks and chin, as some have said. I say, that which is on the cheeks is nothing…'' (Umdah al-Qari 32/66)
Thus the scholars have given consent on cleaning the hairs on the cheek, although the majority of scholars have said it is makrooh to do so. Allamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri (RA) in his commentary states two reasons as to why cleaning the hairs on the cheeks, whether it is by shaving with a razor or plucking is makrooh:
Firstly, if one was to shave the hairs of the cheeks then this causes that part of the skin to become rough and hard. The second is that it causes the eyesight to become weak. (Faydh al-Bari 4/380)
As for the hair on the throat, this is not considered part of the beard hence there is no harm in shaving or trimming it however, one must be very careful when shaving, not to shave close to the boundaries of the beard as stated. Nevertheless, it is best to leave this hair alone as shaving it would only make that area rougher and somewhat uncomfortable.
Only Allah Knows Best
Written by Mufti Abdullah al-Ma’mun
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham.