Ramadhaan – A Date with Dr. Zakir
Episode - 24
Ramadhaan - The Month of Self-Improvement & Islaah
Duration: 47 minutes
Yusuf Chambers: Dear brothers and sisters in Islam and Humanity, Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh, may the peace, the mercy & the blessings of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) be on all of you. Welcome to the show ‘Ramadhaan - A Date with Dr. Zakir’, I am your host, Yusuf Chambers, and today we will be discussing the topic ‘Ramadhaan – The Month of Self-Improvement & Islaah’ Part 3. Dr. Zakir, Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh.
Dr. Zakir: Wa Alaikum Assalam Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh
Yusuf Chambers: Dr. Zakir, we’ve come to the next episode regarding the topic Self-Improvement and Islaah in the month of Ramadhaan and this is such a wonderfully large topic so Dr. Zakir in the last 2 episode, of course, we covered the 70 majors sins and we were urging them in this month of Ramadhaan, the month of self improvement and Islaah to recognize these mistakes and change them.
Dr. Zakir: InshaAllah.
Yusuf Chambers: Now InshaAllah, let’s hope that I have taken some note of that and the viewers have as well. Ah… what I’d like to concentrate on now during this episode is the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) and how we can best implement these wonderful guidelines…our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) has given us in this month of self improvement and Islaah. So first of all could you explain to us what is a Sunnah, what does it mean and how many types of Sunnah are there?
Dr. Zakir: Alhumdulillah was salaatu was salaam ala rasoolillah wa ala aalihi wa ashaabihi wa ajma’een. Amma Ba’ad
A’uzu billahi minash shaytan nir-rajeem,
Bismillah hirrahman nirraheem,
Rabbish rahli Şadri Wa Yassir Li 'Amri Wa Ahlul `Uqdatan Min Lisani Yafqahu Qawli
The word Sunnah literally means the way or the custom and the Sunnah of the Prophet means the way of the Prophet or the Prophet’s traditions. The word Sunnah, it indicates and means the sayings, the deeds and the approval of the Prophet in the span of 23 years during the Prophethood, it means what the Prophet said, what the Prophet did, what the Prophet approved in the span of 23 years during the Prophethood. And the Sunnah of the Prophet can be divided into 3 types
The first is Sunnat-e-Qaullee, that means the sayings of the Prophet,
The second is Sunnat-e-Faiyle that means the actions of the Prophet and
The third is Sunnat- -Takreere which means the approval of the Prophet.
So basically these 3 types of Sunnah are there in the 3 different categories.
Yusuf Chambers: Okay, that seems very straight forward but could you perhaps ah… for the benefit of the viewers and myself… could you cite some examples of each of the different categories you have mentioned?
Dr. Zakir: The example of the first type of Sunnah, that’s Sunnat-e-Qaullee, the sayings of the Prophet, for example Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) said in
Sahih Bukhari Vol. no. 1 in the Book of Adhaan Hadith no. 631, the Prophet said,
“Pray as you see me praying.”
So this is the commandment of the Prophet, it’s a sayings of the Prophet and it is the duty of us Muslims that we should follow it.
The example of the second type of Sunnah, Sunnat-e-Faiyle i.e. the deeds of the Prophet is mentioned in …for example
Sahih Bukhari Vol. no. 1 Book of Adhaan Hadith no. 736, here it says that, the Sahaaba who narrates
“Whenever I saw the Prophet offer Salaah, he used to raise his hands up to the shoulders and then when he said the Takbeer, he again did the same action, raised the hand up to the shoulders and then he bowed down. When he came up, he said “sami Allahu liman hamidah" that Allah hears those who praise Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) and again same with the same action that he raised his hands up to the shoulders but he did not do the action, raising the hands up to the shoulders, between the 2 prostrations when he said the Takbeer.”
So this is the action of the Prophet, the Sahaba sees the action and narrates it, this becomes Sunnat-e-Faiyle
The third type of Sunnah is the Sunnat-e-Takreere i.e. the approval, of the Prophet and the example is given in
Sunan Abu Dawud Vol. no. 1 in the Book of Salaah Hadith no. 1262 where
“Once the Prophet, he prays the Fajr Salaah, he leads the Fajr Salaah in the congregation and after the salaah is over, he sees a man, after Salaah, he gets up and he offers 2 Rakaat Salaah. So the Prophet says “the Fajr Salaah is only of 2 Rakaat” indicating why did you offer 2 Rakaat again. So he said that “I did not offer the 2 Sunnat Salaah before the Fajr Farz that’s the reason I am offering it now” and the Prophet kept silent.”
Now because the Prophet was silent it gives an indication that he approved it. Because if something is wrong its the duty of the Prophet to correct it so because he kept silent, it gives an approval so this comes in the 3rd category of Sunnah of Sunnat-e-Takreere, approval of the Prophet.
In this 3 types of Sunnah if all the Hadiths are authentic, all the Hadith are Sahih, the Sunnah that carries the maximum weight is Sunnat-e-Qaullee i.e. the sayings of the Prophet because that is the general ruling because if the Prophet says something or if the Prophet commands something, it means he has done it intentionally and with the purpose that is the highest degree among the 3.
The next is Sunnat-e-Failyee i.e the action of the Prophet. What the Prophet did, may be a Sahaba saw it and he narrates it but there can be occasions where the Prophet does certain things out of necessity which may not be the normal norm, therefore the action of the Prophet carries less weight than the sayings of the Prophet. Saying is with consciousness and that is a general ruling and if there is a difference between the saying and the action of the Prophet, the saying of the Prophet carries more weight because may be the action was done out of some reason or out of some purpose which the person who is seeing it, he may not be aware of it and we’ll have such examples, I will give you some examples in future, InshaAllah, in this episode
And the third amongst the 3 is the Sunat-e-Takreere, approval of the Prophet that means he kept silent it is approved, it is permissible.
Yusuf Chambers: Dr. Zakir what is the importance and the authority of the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam)?
Dr. Zakir: As far as the Sunnah is concerned it is the 2nd unavoidable source of Islam. If you have to understand Islam, no. 1 source is the Qur’an and the 2nd is the Sunnah of the Prophet. To understand the full Islam you cannot understand without these 2 sources both are important, the Qur’an as well as the authentic hadith, the authentic Sunnah of the Prophet and as far as the importance of the Sunnah is concerned, Allah says in the Qur’an in
Surah Nisa ch. 4 verse no. 59
“ateeoo Allaha waateeoo alrrasool”
“Obey Allah and obey the messenger and those charged with authority amongst you but if you differ among your self refer it back to Allah and His Rasool if you believe in Allah and the last day. This is the best and the most suitable for the final determination”
Here the word used in the Qur’an is “ateeoo” which means to obey and it is used for “ateeoo Allaha wa ateeoo alrrasool” Obey Allah and obey the messenger.
So the obey word is used for Allah and the messenger but its not used for those charged with authority among you that means the undisputed obeying is only for Allah and His Rasool and further goes on and saying that if those among you, those charged with authority, if you differ among yourselves refer it back to Allah and His Rasool. So Allah and His Rasool are the final authority, it doesn’t say refer it back to those charged with authority because we know that many a times the scholars, they differ among themselves so if they differ, if any scholar differs refer it back to Allah and His Rasool and the scholar who is in line with Allah and His Rasool we have to follow him. So this is the importance of the Sunnah.
And further there are 2 separate things, it says “ateeoo Allaha waateeoo alrrasool” obey Allah and obey the messenger. So obey Allah means follow the Qur’an and obey the messenger means follow the Sunnah of the messenger i.e. the authentic Ahadith. Furthermore it says that both these two sources are different, Qur’an is different and the Sunnah, authentic Hadith are different.
And further if we analyze, the word “Wa” is used between them indicating that you have to follow both. It doesn’t say ‘Suma…, ateeoo Allaha suma ateeoo alrrasool’ that then you follow the Rasool, you have to follow both of them simultaneously then only will you understand Islam in the right perspective.
And here the word that is used here that t is obey Allah and the messenger, both are equally important when it says refer back to Allah and His Rasool that means you have to refer it back to Allah and His Rasool not only to Allah or not only to the Rasool, both are important for you to understand the true Shariah.
And the last point to be noted is that the starting of the Qur’anic verse says
“Ya ayyuhallazeena amanoo”
“O you who believe”
“ateeoo Allaha waateeoo alrrasool”
That means obeying Allah and obeying the messenger is for all the believers, it’s not only for the companions or for some of the believers; it’s for all the believers.
Further it’s mentioned in Surah Jinn Ch. no. 72 verse no. 23, it says that
“If you disobey Allah and His Rasool then your place will be in the hellfire to dwell therein forever.”
That means if you disobey Allah and His messenger, your place will be in the hellfire, you will not enter paradise.
Further it’s mentioned that if you don’t obey Allah and His messenger, your deeds will be in vain.
Allah says in Surah Muhammad ch. No. 47 verse no. 33
“Obey Allah and obey the messenger and let not your deeds go in vain.”
Further as far as the authority of the Sunnah is concerned, and the importance is concerned, obeying the messenger is obeying Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala).
Allah says in Surah Nisa ch. no. 4 verse no. 80 that
“If you obey the messenger, you obey Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) and if you turn away, We have not sent the Messenger to look after your affairs especially your evil deeds.”
And further it’s mentioned in a Hadith of
Sahih Muslim Vol. no. 3 (Book of Imaraah) Hadith no. 4518, our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) said that
“If you obey me, you obey Allah. If you disobey me, you disobey Allah.”
So obeying the messenger is same as obeying Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala).
And furthermore Allah says in the Qur’an in
Surah Najm ch. no. 53 verse no. 3 & 4 that
“The messenger does not speak out of himself, it is nothing more than an inspiration sent down to him.”
And beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) said, its mentioned in
Sahih Bukhari Vol. no. 9 (Book of Itisaam) Hadith no. 7280, the beloved Prophet said that
“There are among the believers who will enter paradise and some will refuse to enter paradise. So the Sahabas asked “Who would refuse to enter paradise?” So the Prophet said “Those who obey me, they’ll enter the paradise. Those who disobey me, they refuse to enter it.”
And finally, the Qur’an says that if you obey the messenger, Allah will love you.
Allah says in Surah Ale Imran Ch. no. 3 verse no. 31, Allah says to Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam)
“If you love Allah, follow me” i.e. follow the messenger “and Allah will love you and He will forgive your sins”
So following the messenger is loving Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala). So this is the importance of the Sunnah in Islam.
Yusuf Chambers: Following on from your answer Ahm.. Could it be said that a person who intentionally neglects the Sunnah, will that person be punished in the hereafter?
Dr. Zakir: Before I reply to your question I’d like to clarify certain points, as far ass the actions and deeds of any Muslim is concerned, they are broadly divided into 2 categories, one is Halaal and the other is Haraam.
Halaal is the permissible category; Haraam is the forbidden, prohibited category.
Furthermore the Halaal category is further divided into 4 subcategories.
The First is the Fard which is obligatory, which is compulsory.
Second is the Mustahab, the things which are encouraged in Islam.
Third is the Mubah, the things which are optional in Islam.
The fourth is the Maqrooh, the things which are discouraged in Islam or detestable.
So in all there are 5 categories no. 1 is Fard which is obligatory and compulsory
No. 2 is the Mustahab, things which are encouraged
The third is the Muba, things which are optional
Fourth is Maqrooh, the things which are discouraged or detestable in Islam
And fifth is Haraam, things which are forbidden and prohibited.
Now if a person does an act of Fard, any compulsory act, he gets a reward i.e. he gets positive points. If a person does not do a Fard thing, he gets a punishment, he gets negative points.
As far as the second category is concerned i.e. Mustahab if a person does a Mustahab act, he gets a reward, he gets the positive points but if a person who does not do a Mustahab act, he gets no punishment, he gets no negative points.
The third category, that’s Mubah, optional whether a person does the Muba, optional act, or not or does not do an optional act, he gets no positive, no negative points he gets no reward, he gets no punishment, its absolutely neutral, its optional.
The Fourth category is the Maqrooh i.e. discouraged or detestable. If a person abstains from things which are Maqrooh, he gets positive points, he gets a reward and if a person does the Maqrooh thing, he gets no punishment, he gets no negative points.
As far as the last fifth category is concerned i.e. Haraam that’s prohibited, if a person abstains from doing the Haraam thing then he gets a positive point, he gets a reward. If he does the haraam act, he gets a punishment, he gets negative points.
So these are in brief as far as the 5 categories are concerned.
Now coming to the question of Sunnah. Sunnah are of 2 types, one is the Lugvi Sunnah i.e. the literal meaning of Sunnah i.e. the sayings, the actions and the approvals of the Prophet so as far as the Lugvi i.e. the literal meaning of Sunnah is concerned, it can fall in the first 4 categories, it can either be a Sunnah which is Fard, a Sunnah which is Mustahab, a Sunnah which can be Mubah or a Sunnah which is Maqrooh.
So the Lugvi Sunnah, the literal Sunnah can fall under any 4 categories.
For example. Sunnah falling in the Fard categories, Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) prayed the Fajr Salaah, he prayed the Zuhar Salaah, he prayed all the 5 prescribed Salaah… that were the actions of the Prophet and also saying of the Prophet but it falls in the Fard category.
The example of the Mustahab Sunnah is, the Prophet, he prayed the 2 Rakaat Sunnah before the Fajar Salaah. It’s not a Fard to pray 2 Rakaah Sunnah before Fajr but it is Mustahab, it is encouraged. This is the second category.
The third category of Mubah will be Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) had long hair, it was optional, you know, so anyone who has long hair, its optional, it is permissible.
The example of the 4th category, Maqrooh, people will think that can the Prophet do something which is Maqrooh? And they may be shocked, “what is Zakir speaking? Prophet.. Sunnah of the Prophet is Maqrooh!” I’ll give you an example there is a Hadith saying that Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) he said that
“Do not drink while standing.”
So drinking and standing is Maqrooh, fine. So the right Mustahab is to sit and drink but there is a Hadith also saying that the Prophet, he stood and he drank water. May be there was a reason, there was a requirement. So standing and drinking is Maqrooh, sitting and drinking is Mustahab. Standing and drinking is discouraged, sitting and drinking is encouraged.
So there are times in case of necessity when the requirement is there, the Prophet did do sometimes things which are Maqrooh so this will fall under the category of Sunnah which is Maqrooh in the Lugvi sense. Not in the Fiqhi sense, I’ll come to it later on otherwise people will say that “what is Zakir saying that Sunnah means doing Maqrooh”, no it is not. Lugvi, yes it can be. Because the Prophet did it, he stood and he drank water. But normally, most of the times, almost all the times, he sat and he drank.
So there are times of necessity but since a person does Maqrooh, he will get no negative points, no punishment, the Prophet didn’t get punishment but neither will he get any reward.
So this was in brief talking about the Lugvi Sunnah i.e. the literal definition of Sunnah, it can fall under any 4 categories.
Fard, Mustahab, Mubah or Maqrooh.
Now coming to the second category of Sunnah i.e. the Fiqhi Sunnah which we normally when we talk about Sunnah, it’s taken for granted; it is the Fiqghi Sunnah and i.e. Sunnnah in Fiqh and Usool, you know, when we talk about Sunnah.
So this basically is the 2nd category of Mustahab when we say that you pray the 2 Rakaat Sunnah before Fajr, it is Sunnah of the Prophet, it is Sunnah of the Prophet to sit and drink water., when they say this Sunnah, it is talking about the Sunnah of Fiqh, it indicates the word Mustahab.
So normally in day to day life when we Muslims say it is Sunnah to do this and Sunnah to do that, most of the times, almost all when they use the word it is Sunnah of the Prophet to sit and drink, it is Sunnah of the Prophet to pray 2 Rakat Sunnah before the Fajr Salaah, it is Sunnah of the Prophet to read 2 Rakaat Tahiyatul Masjid when you enter the Mosque, all these mainly come under the category of Mustahab, so the Fiqhi Sunnah is Mustahab, things which are encouraged and in all these 5 categories of Fard, Mustahab, Mubah, Maqrooh and in Haraam there are sub categories like as we discussed last time. Sins: major sins, minor sins. So in Haraam things, there are haraam which are major, haraam which are minor. Same thing Maqrooh which are less Maqrooh some are more Maqrooh. Mubah, fine the Prophet kept long hair, its Muba, optional but someone does that optional thing for the love of the Prophet, yet he’ll get Sawab though it’s optional, no punishment, no reward but if you are doing for the love of the Prophet then for that he will get. Again for these optional things which the Prophet did that carry more weight than the optional things which the Prophet did not do.
Furthermore in Mustahab there is Sunnat-e-Muaqeda, Sunnate Gair-Muaqeda, Sunnat-e-Muaqeda means a more important Sunnah, the 2 Sunnah before the Fajr Salaah, is Sunnat-e-Muaqeda, it’s a more important Sunnah than the other Sunnah, So Sunnat-e-Muaqeda, Sunnate Gair-Muaqeda same thing in the Faraiz, in the Farz thing there are some which are more important, some which are less important for example the 5 pillars of Islam, no. 1 is Tawheed which is a Fard, offering Salaah, fasting in the month of Ramadhaan, doing Hajj if you can do, giving Zakaat all these are more important Faraiz and abstaining from major sins this itself..all we discussed in 70, major Faraiz then there will be less Faraiz. So now all these categories, there are sub categories but coming to your basic question that will we be punished, if he intentionally do not do the Sunnah of the Prophet now this Sunnah you are talking about, I assume, it is the Fiqhi Sunnah, if it’s a lugvi Sunnah I have already given the answer, the first 4 categories, Fiqhi Sunnah means it falls under the category of Mustahab which I already discussed earlier that if you do a Mustahab act i.e. a Fiqhi Sunnah, you will get reward for it, you will get blessing for it, if its Sunnat-e-Muaqeda, then more blessings as compared to Sunnate Gair-Muaqeda there also you will get blessing but if a person does not do it intentionally or unintentionally, he will not be punished for that. But that does not mean because we will not get punishment for not doing the Sunnah, we should abstain from doing it because we human beings, we make so many mistakes, we do so many faults, we are involved in so many sins, these Sunnah, when we do, we get additional points, we get rewards, this will help us in fulfilling the lacuna which is there in the other faults. What the other faults we do, it helps in covering up our faults, some of our sins so therefore a Muslim should do as much as Sunnah as possible, just because he will not get a punishment that doesn’t mean that he should not do it infact he should try and do as much as Sunnah, Lugvi Sunnah, Mustahab acts so that it will help him to cover up the other faults which the human beings do and it will help him to go to Jannah.
Yusuf Chambers: O SubhanAllah. The system that you have described is so equitable that if one makes a mistake in one area that you can make up for it in another area.
Dr. Zakir: Alhumdulillah, Allah is the Most Merciful.
Yusuf Chambers: SubhanAllah
Dr. Zakir: That’s the reason He gives us chance more and more opportunities to come on the straight path and to enter Jannah.
Yusuf Chambers: SubhanAllah. Dr. Zakir is keeping a beard Fard or Sunnah and what is the ruling for a person who shaves his beard?
Dr. Zakir: As far as keeping a beard whether it’s a Fard or Sunnah and I understand that whenever you use the word Sunnah in future it will be the Fiqhi Sunnah or the word Mustahab. Therefore I prefer using the word Mustahab for Sunnah so that there is no 2 difference of understanding. So as far as keeping a beard whether it is a Fard or a Mustahab or Sunnah, most of the scholars, majority almost all, they say that keeping a beard is Fard for all the Muslim men. There is no verse in the Qur’an which says that keeping a beard is Fard or not except there’s one verse which speaks about the beard in
Surah Taa Haa ch. No. 20 verse no. 94 where
Aaron (peace be upon him), Haroon (Alaihe Salaam), he tells to his brother Musa (Alaihe Salaam) that
“O son of my mother, do not hold me by my beard or by the hair on my head.”
Indicating that Haroon (Alaihe Salaam), he had a beard. And when we read the Seerah of the Prophet, Qasasul Ambiya and all, we come to know that all the Prophets of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala), had a beard, Alhumdulillah.
And all the righteous people and all the friends of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala), righteous people, the Sahabas we realize that they had the beard.
The ruling as far as it is Fard is based on the Hadith of Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) of
Sahih Bukhari Vol. no. 7 in the Book of Dress Hadith no. 5892
“Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), he says that the Prophet said “Do the opposite of what the Mushrikeens do”, what the pagans do, “keep the beard and trim your mustaches short.”
Now based on these Hadith and several Sahih Hadith, it’s mentioned in Sahih Muslim and other Hadith, the scholars said that because it’s a commandment of Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam), Call, commandment therefore it becomes Fard on every Muslim to keep a beard.
Most of the scholars, Alhumdulillah, all the scholars including the 4 A’imma, the 4 A’immaas, Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik, Imam Shafai, Imam Ahmad Ibn Hambal (may Allah have mercy on them all) all of them said that keeping a beard is Fard. So according to all 4 schools of thought , keeping a beard is Fard even according to the scholars, the Shuyookhs of Salafus-Saliheen, the Salafi scholars, all of them say that keeping a beard is Fard. There is no difference of opinion and according to Shaikh Ibn Taimiyah, he says that according to the Qur’an and according to the Sunnah and the Ijmah of the scholars, keeping a beard is Fard and anyone who shaves off the beard, it is haraam, it is prohibited. And even the scholars of the 4 schools of thought Hanafi, Shafi, Malki, Humbali, all of them say that shaving the beard is haraam, all the scholars.
There are a few scholars, very hardly any amongst the old scholars who have said that keeping a beard is Mustahab and shaving is Maqrooh, keeping the beard becomes Mustahab, shaving becomes Maqrooh, very few amongst the old scholars but recently among the new scholars you have little bit more numbers who say that its not Fard, it is Mustahab like Shaikh Abu Zohra, Shaikh Jadu al Haqq who is the ex vice chancellor of Al Azhar University, Shaikh Yusuf Al Qardawi, few that have come recently and specially if you go to North America, if you see the Fatawas of the North American Fiqh Council, the Ulemas of this Fiqh council many of them have said that keeping a beard is not Fard, it is Mustahab, you will get reward but its not Fard and if you shave it, its not Haraam, its Maqrooh but as a whole, the scholars of the past, almost all there is a consensus that keeping a beard is Fard and shaving it off is Haraam.
Yusuf Chambers: Okay, Dr. Zakir but what about the required length of the beard because there are many people with different lengths and its rather confusing when you look outside and you think “Oh what should I be doing?” What did the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) do?
Dr. Zakir: As far as the length of the beard is concerned, the scholars are divided there are different opinions and as for what is the length of the beard, there are 2 opinions, one group of scholars say that because the Hadith of
Sahih Bukhari Vol. no. 7 in the Book of Dress Hadith no. 5892 says, the Prophet said,
“Do the opposite of what the pagans do! Keep the beard and trim your moustaches.”
So because the commandment is keep the beard that means they say that it should be kept, that’s it. And there is a second Hadith of
Sahih Bukhari Vol. no. 7 in the Book of Dress Hadith no. 5893 says that
“Cut your moustaches short and grow the beard.”
So the first group of scholars say that grow your beard means keep on growing, you should not touch it. Keep the beard means let it be therefore you should not at all neither trim the beard, nothing at all, you should let it grow as much as possible. This is their view.
But if you read, there is not a single Sahih Hadith which speaks about the length of the beard of the Prophet, not a single Sahih Hadith, there is not a single Sahih Hadith but according to Shaikh Uthaymeen, he says that we understand that the Hadith says that keep the beard or grow the beard, it means you should leave it, you should not touch it, and let the length be as much as possible and if someone shaves it, it is Haraam and if someone trims it, to the size of the fist that is the other view then it is Maqrooh. So there is one group of scholars say that let it grow as much as possible.
The other group of scholars, what they say that the length of the beard should be one fist as I mentioned earlier that there is no Sahih Hadith which speaks about the length of the beard of the Prophet, there is a Hadith which is a Da’if Hadith or a Mauwdhu Hadith which says that
“The beard of the Prophet, it touched the chest”
But that’s a Da’if or a Mawdhu Hadith according to Shaikh Nassiruddin Al Albani.
There is a Hadith mentioned in
Sahih Muslim Vol. no. 4 (Book of Fadhaa’il) Hadith no. 5789 where Jaabir Bin Samoora, he says (may Allah be pleased with him) that the
“Prophet had a thick beard.”
There are many Sahih Hadith which says that the Prophet had thick beard but doesn’t mention the length. But this group of scholars, they say that since the length of the beard is not mentioned what we have to do, we have to look at how the Sahabas kept the beard. The length is not mentioned, we have to look at the Sahaba because the Prophet said if you don’t find in my example then look at the people around me in this generation, that’s the companions, the Sahabas and when we look at the Sahabas we find several authentic Ahadith, more than 10 Sahih Hadith which say that the Sahaba, they kept their beard at the length of one fist and whatever is below the one fist, they trimmed the beard including Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him), Abu Hurraira (may Allah be pleased with him) all these Sahabas which were very close to the Prophet, they trimmed their beard. Even those Sahaba who narrated the same Hadith, Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) Hadith of
Sahih Bukhari Vol. no. 7 Book of Dress Hadith no. 5892
“Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) who narrated the Hadith that the Prophet said that do opposite of what the pagans do, keep the beard and trim your moustaches”
Immediately after that the Hadith continues and says that whenever Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), he used to go for Umrah and Hajj, after Umrah and Hajj he used to catch the beard with his fist and whatever was below the fist, he used to cut it.
So imagine those Sahabas who narrated the Hadith and all these Sahabas Ibn Umar, Ibn Abbas, Abu Hurraira (may Allah be pleased with them all) they were staunch followers of the Sunnah of the Prophet and they narrated the Hadith. When they narrate the Hadith of trimming the moustache and keeping the beard, growing the beard, they understood the way the Prophet wanted. So why did they trim the beard if the view of the first group of scholars that’s right that keep on growing, growing means how to grow, the way the Prophet grew and if there is no Hadith indicating his sayings or actions then you look at the ways the Sahabas did. That’s the way how you analyze the Hadith. That’s the reason Shaikh Nassiruddin Al Albani he says that the right size of the beard should be the size of a fist and, he says. for example when wee analyze the Hadith, if its present is the sayings that is the best of the Prophet, if its not, you look in the actions, if not in the actions its in the approval, if in the approval its not there, then you look in the lifestyle of the Sahaba, what did they say? What did they do? So we agree that what the Sahabas did was they followed the Prophet and you don’t find a single Hadith neither of the Prophet or neither of any of the Sahabas which say that they did not trim their beard.
There are more than 10 Ahadith which says that the Sahabas, they trimmed their beard below their fist. If there was even a single Hadith which says that this Sahaba did not trim the beard at all then it can be possible that both are right because there is not a single Hadith one the other side saying that that the Sahaba never trimmed the beard but there are no less than 10 Sahih Hadith which say that the Sahabas below their fist, they trimmed their beard.
According to Shaikh Nassiruddin Al Albani, it is Fard to trim the beard below the fist, it is Fard and anyone who keeps a beard more than the fist length, it is Maqrooh according to him, Maqrooh, Detestable.
So this is a strong Fatwa by Shaikh Nassiruddin Al Albani, he’s very staunch and I personally agree with his view because there is evidence in the lifestyle of the Sahabas and he further says in his book and he writes that why should the length be one fist. He said besides the Sahabas many examples we find that who kept one fist and cut below one fist, their beard, he gives the example of many Salafus-Saliheen who had the beard the size of a fist and they trimmed the beard below the fist like for example An Nakhi, we have examples of Imam Malik, Imam Ahmad Ibn Hambal, all these great Salaf-e-Saliheen they trimmed their beard below the fist. They held it like that and they trimmed it below the fist.
So this is the view of second group of scholars and I agree more with the group of scholars including Shaikh Nassiruddin Albani that the right size is the size of the fist and the rest Allahu Alam.
Yusuf Chambers: JazakAllah khair for the answer. Dr. Zakir, is it a Sunnah to wear the head covering, wear the cap …ahm… because we do see a number of people particularly those people who have returned from Gulf countries and such like Hajj etc. that they deliberately remove their cap whilst they are praying. Is there any basis for this at all?
Dr. Zakir: As far as the first part of the question is concerned that is it a Sunnah, is it Mustahab to cover one’s head. There are various Hadith which say that Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam), his head was always covered whether with a cap, with a turban, whether with a helmet and even the head of the Sahabas were covered. It’s mentioned in
Sahih Muslim Vol. no. 2 in the Book of Hajj Hadith no. 3148, it says that
“When Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) addressed the people on the day of the victory of Makkah, he was wearing a black turban.”
So there are many Hadith saying that Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) covered the head.
Further according to a Hadith which is narrated by Ibn Umar, it says that
“Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) wore a white cap,”
its narrated by Ibn Umar and according to Tabrani, he has rated this as Hassan Hadith, its one of the categories of Sahih, Hassan.
And according to Imam Suyooti, it says it is a highly authentic Hadith, he says in his book:
Siraj Al Muneer Vol. no. 4 Page no. 112 where he says that
“This is a highly authentic Hadith where Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) was wearing a white cap”
The Arabic word is Kufi or a cap. In India we say Topi, it is authentic and there are other Hadith saying that the Sahabas also covered their head.
A similar Hadith is mentioned in
Sahih Bukhari Vol no. 7 in the Book of Dress Hadith no. 5802 says that
“Anas Bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him), he covered his head, he wore a cap.”
So based on all these Hadith almost all, it’s a unanimous agreement among the scholars, Ijma of the scholars that covering the head is Mustahab, it is the Sunnah of the Prophet. It is Mustahab, it is encouraged. All, all the 4 schools of thought the Hanafi, the Shafi, the Malki, the Hambali, all 4 schools of thought and all the 4 A’imaas, they agree that covering the head is Mustahab.
And when you pray, while praying also, it’s Mustahab to cover the head, its Mustahab. And if you pray bareheaded, it’s Maqrooh.
The reason that why people when they come back from the Gulf countries or when the come from Hajj they normally even in India previously a few years back may be 10-15 years back people who prayed in the Mosque, 99% or 99.9% whenever any man prayed in the Mosque, he had his head covered may be 20 years back. But now we find that 25%, ¼ or 1/3rd of the people, they pray their Salaah bareheaded. The reason is that previously it was known that it was Mustahab to cover the head so even when they didn’t cover the head normally at least while offering Salaah, they used to cover their head, Alhumdulillah. Even though they didn’t cover their head normally always they covered their head at least while offering Salaah, it was a good sign. Now when people go to Gulf countries, they realize and they come to know that covering their head is not Fard for the Salaah to be accepted and there are many people because they come from different parts of the world to the gulf countries and they have different ways of practicing Islam.
There is a Hadith in which one of the Sahabas, to show to the people that its not Fard, he just put one peace of cloth from the shoulder down below the knee and he prayed Salaah and its accepted. So if you ask that is it Fard to wear a cap or cover the head while offering Salaah, its not a Fard but it is Mustahab so this is what they fail to realize that it is Mustahab so why should he not do it? When they come back from the Gulf countries and they come to know it is not a Fard, they try and show the people that we have knowledge and they purposely don’t cover their head and now we find in the Mosque about 25%, 1/3rd of them, don’t cover their head which I feel is going away from the Sunnah of the Prophet. These people they fail to realize that if they ask the scholars of these Gulf countries, top scholars, all of them, they cover their head, all of them they cover the head.
So just because it’s lack of knowledge, it is dangerous. Just because fine Salaah would be accepted but it is Mustahab and according to Shaikh Nassiruddin Al Albani, he says that covering the head is Mustahab and praying bareheaded is Maqrooh and he says that that the Hadith of Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates about Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) that
“He kept his cap as a Sutra in front of him while offering Salaah”
It’s a Dhaif Hadith. It’s not authentic.
And some of the scholars especially from Egypt, they have given the Fatwa that you know because in Ihram, when you are performing Hajj or doing Umrah you don’t cover your head and the Salaah is accepted therefore covering the head is not a criteria for offering Salaah.
If you read the Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam)
Never did the Prophet left his head uncovered while praying except in Ihram except while performing Hajj or Umrah where the Prophet didn’t cover his head all other times he had his head covered.
The reason that during Umrah while in Ihram the head wasn’t covered is because it is haraam to cover the head.
Many things which are Mustahab are haraam during the state of Ihram. If you say that because in Hajj we don’t cover the head, that’s why it’s a rule that you should not cover the head in Salaah is totally wrong.
There are many things which are Mustahab for example like cutting the nails is Mustahab in normally day to day life but in Ihram it is Haraam. Similarly covering the head is Mustahab in Ihram only its haraam. So giving this logic is totally wrong, in Ihram you don’t have to cover the head because it is not allowed, it is violating the rules of Ihram otherwise you should cover the head and if the people are at least covering while offering Salaah, they should continue doing it, they will get Sawab and that’s what all the 4 A’imas said even Shaikh Nassiruddin Albani, Ibn Taimiya, Shaikh Bin Baaz and all the scholars and Imam Malik said that
“From the time of Islam till today always the scholars and the Sahabas and Salafus-Saliheen, they covered their head and they wore a turban”
You know, whether they wore a turban or a Kufi etc. so I encourage that the Muslims should cover their head, its one of the recommended acts of the Prophet.
Yusuf Chambers: So can you give us any logical reasons why we should cover the head and grow the beard?
Dr. Zakir: As far as covering the head is concerned… growing the beard as I said growing the beard is commandment of the Prophet so we have to do it. Covering the head is Sunnah of the Prophet, you do it, that’s the main reason but if people want logical reason why they should do it there is a saying that “if the label shows its intent, wear it.” and I have given a talk on this complete topic with the question and answer session for more than 3 hours which I don’t intend doing now. I’ll just say it in a nutshell.
The saying that “If the label shows your intent, wear it! Like if you go to a conference, you know, everyone wears the label, they wear the name Dr. so and so, it’s an informal introduction. If you go to a conference where there are specialists of doctors then it may say that you are a cardiologist or a neurologist or a nephrologists, you know, so its gives an informal introduction. So similarly wearing a cap or covering the head and sporting a beard, it is an informal introduction that you are a Muslim.
Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah An’aam ch. no. 6 verse no. 54
“Wa-itha jaaka allazeena yu’minoona bi-ayatina faqul salamun alaykum”
“When you meet those people who believe in our signs then say ‘Assalamu Alaikum’,” Peace be on you.
So how will I recognize when I walk on the streets especially in India and other counters when I go to western countries that he is a Muslim? So this is a good sign of being a Muslim you know we don’t require another label. The label which the Prophet has given us is the best that covering the head and sporting a beard and it does wonders.
I’ll give you an example that once in Bombay there was a young lad who was selling fruits, his name was Sultan. An elderly Muslim who is a very pious Muslim, he used to offer 5 times Salaah, he used to give Zakaat, he used to fast in the month of Ramadhaan, he had gone for Hajj, he comes to buy fruits from this hawker and he tells to this young boy “Sultan, why didn’t you wish me Salaam?” So he said “Uncle, I thought you were a Hindu.”
Imagine, Muslim calling this elderly man, a Mushrik. It’s the biggest abuse you can give to this person, this person was a very pious person but didn’t have a beard, didn’t cover his head. Who is to blame? Is the elderly gentleman to blame or the young lad for calling him a Mushrik? Who is to blame? But natural the elderly gentleman. He could not recognize him. Therefore if the label shows your intent, you should wear it.
And you can give several such examples for example it has various benefits, if you are traveling in a bus or traveling in a train and if there is a Muslim sister who is doing Hijaab there are times in a non-Muslim country where somebody may tease her but if there are 10 Muslims who don’t know each other, each of them wearing a cap, a Kufi or sporting a beard and they are sitting in the bus, the non-Muslim will think 10 times before teasing the Muslim girl “Oh! If I tease Muslim girl, these 10 Muslims will pounce on me.” Even those 10 Muslims may be very feeble, may be old but yet he gets scared. That’s the reason it is good that you should wear the label because it shows your intent.
For example if there is a doctor, he is proud to put the name doctor before his name because he is proud to be a doctor, in his car there is a sign of a cross, a red cross indicating that he is a doctor. In emergency if you have any problem on the street, you stop the car.
Similarly if any human being has a problem and wants help and if he sees a Muslim who has a label, a cap and a beard he will ask him for help, he will guide him to the truth.
And I remember my grand parents telling that in Bombay when any people wanted to hire a cab even the non-Muslims, they preferred hiring a cab whose taxi driver was sporting a beard and keeping a cap because they knew he would be honest. They preferred going to a shop whose shopkeeper was keeping a beard and wearing a cap. Unfortunately now a days the whole label has changed, we find Muslims wearing cap just to boss around, you know, and unfortunately the media, they portray anyone who has a beard and wears a cap, he is a terrorist.
And I have given this reply in my talk, so keeping a beard and wearing a cap or covering the head is a very recommended Sunnah and keeping a beard is Fard, so Muslims should stick to it and should be proud to identify themselves as Muslims.
Yusuf Chambers: Well, JazakAllah Khair, Dr. Zakir. We’ve come to the end of yet another show. And I think we have covered lots and lots of different aspects of the Sunnah which we’ve defined it, what is the Sunnah and why the Muslims should be doing certain Sunnahs during this blessed month of Ramadhaan.
Dear brothers and sisters I hope, InshaAllah, that you derived a lot of benefit from this show today and we’ve been talking of course about Ramadhaan as being the month of self improvement and Islaah particularly talking about the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam), we’ve defined it and we’ve given you certain examples, so go ahead and implement this in your life, InshaAllah.
So my dear brothers and sisters in Islam and humanity please do join us at the same time tomorrow when we will be discussing the topic ‘Ramadhaan – The Month of Self-Improvement and Islaah’ Part 4.
Until then Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh.