Is it Haram to shave your beard completely (clean shave)?

ⓘ Supported by Al Medina 313.



Islamic Text

Yes, it is Haram to shave your beard completely (clean shave).

عِمْرَانَ بْنَ حُصَيْنٍ فَسَأَلْتُهُ فَقَالَ: كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَحُثُّنَا عَلَى الصَّدَقَةِ وَيَنْهَانَا عَنِ المُثْلَةِ

Imran bin Husayn (May Allah Most High be pleased with him) said, ‘The Prophet ﷺ used to encourage us to give charity and prohibit us from mutilation.’ (Abu Dawood 2667).

The Hanafi scholars deemed shaving clean to be a form of mutilation or disfigurement (Muthlah), which is expressly prohibited, as seen in the Hadith above. Therefore, they considered the act of shaving clean, or completely shaving all of the facial hair to be prohibited.

وَلِأَنَّ حَلْقَ اللِّحْيَةِ مِنْ بَابِ الْمُثْلَةِ. (بدائع الصنائع)

This is because shaving the beard is from al-Muthlah (disfigurement or mutilation). (Imam al-Kaasaani, Badai al-Sanai).

حَلْقَ رَأْسِهَا مُثْلَةٌ كَحَلْقِ اللِّحْيَةِ فِي حَقِّ الرَّجُلِ. (تبيين الحقائق شرح كنز الدقائق)

Her shaving her head is disfigurement (Muthlah). Just like a man shaving his beard. (Imam al-Zayla’i, Tabyeen al-Haqaaiq).

وَإِنَّمَا لَا تَحْلِقُ لِكَوْنِهِ مُثْلَةً كَحَلْقِ اللِّحْيَةِ. (البحر الرائق شرح كنز الدقائق)

She is not permitted to shave her head because it is disfigurement (Muthlah). Just like (a man) shaving the beard. (Imam Ibn al-Nujaym, al-Bahr al-Raiq).

As seen in the Nusoos (texts) above, women shaving their hair and men shaving their beards is considered to be Muthlah (disfigurement or mutilation). Muthlah is Haram in Islam. This point was explicitly mentioned by Imam al-Ayni, in his commentary of al-Hidaayah.

م: (ولأن حلق الشعر في حقها مثلة، كحلق اللحية في حق الرجال) ش: المثلة حرام فلا تجوز. (البناية شرح الهداية)

Al-Hidaayah: Her shaving the hair (of her head) is disfigurement (Muthlah). Just like a man shaving his beard.

Al-Binayah: Muthlah (disfigurement) is Haram, so it is not permitted. (Imam al-Marghinani and al-Ayni).

Therefore, shaving clean is prohibited according to the Hanafi Madhab. This does not mean trimming the beard is prohibited. Rather that is permitted or even recommended, depending on the circumstances. See the links below for further clarification.

And Allah Most High Knows Best.

-Answered by Shaykh Noorud-deen Rashid (16.05.2022)

See also:
How strong is the Hadith on mutilation?
Is a long (fist length) beard Fard or Sunnah?
Leading Prayer with a short beard
Cutting beyond the beard if it is longer than a fist length

See also video: