Muslim scholars recently issued a joint fatwa (religious opinion) stating that growing a beard is obligatory upon all Muslims so that they do not resemble the non-Muslims, as instructed by the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). But does this mark of distinction still apply in this day and age, where growing a beard has become part of men’s fashion regardless of religious affiliation?
- Neither Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) nor God wish for us to be complete idiots who blindly believe in anything they are told. You are responsible for your own grave and God has granted you some level of intellect which he expects you to use. Shoulder the responsibility of your own religiosity and use your common sense when you do. There is nothing illogical in Islam, there is a reason behind everything.
- Many of the Customs of the Prophet related directly to the particular time it was practised. At the time of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), the Arab Jews used to grow their moustaches and shave off their beards. So Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) advised the Muslims to do the opposite: grow their beards and shave their moustaches as a mark of distinction. However, this identifier became invalid when the hypocrites infiltrated the ranks of the Muslims. Even if you were to grow a beard, it would no longer serve the purpose it was intended for. In modern times, people grow beards who don’t even follow a religion.
- Many Customs are no longer applicable. For example, Tayammum is the act of dry ablution with sand. This was allowed because travellers in Arabia would go on long journeys where they would not have water for miles. However, it is not permissible when you are sitting in your home on a cold day and decide to do Tayammum with sand because you don’t want to get wet.
‘Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) has the best of characters.’ - Koran 68:4
‘Verily! Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) is an excellent example for you…’ - Koran 33:21
- To have a good character is a timeless Custom. This is a Custom of the Prophet that you can follow in today’s day and age. You have to form your character in accordance to the example of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), but you don’t know how. Before you focus on the Customs through which the world might recognise you as a Muslim, turn your attention towards the Customs which make you a follower of the Prophet in the eyes of God: enlighten your heart. God says that he neither looks at your bodies nor deeds, but rather shining hearts and the intentions therein.
‘My eyes sleep but my heart does not sleep.’ - Prophetic Tradition
- What Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) meant was that his heart is always engaged in the invocation of God’s name.
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