What Is a Beard in the Hanafi School?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


My question is related to what is considered a beard according to the Hanafi school. Can a goatee be the minimum requirement in Hanafi school, or beard is what grows on the side and chin?

I know in Shafi‘i school there is a fatwa on SeekerGuidance related to what constitutes a beard in Shafi‘i school. So does growing hair on the chin meet the requirement of a beard?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

I pray you are in good faith and health. Thank you for your question.

Growing the beard is a command from the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) to the men of his Umma. More specifically, the prohibition is not to shave the beard. As such, the way of caution in one’s religion would be to keep a full beard.

Repeated Instruction

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) repeatedly instructed the growing of a beard in many narrations, and his own habitual and continuous practice was that of growing a full beard.

‘Abd Allah ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Trim (your) mustaches and lengthen/grow (your) beards.” [Bukhari; Muslim]

Hanafi Position

The Hanafi position is that it is wajib, as established by the sunna, for the beard to be a fistful. The texts that call it a sunna refer to this, as explained in other texts. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Shafi‘i School

The optimal length of the beard is to leave it uncut and not touch it at all, as mentioned by Ibn Hajar. Anything less than this optimal length is disliked. Ibn Hajar foresees the objection that this would result in making one’s appearance ugly by saying that this would only occur if one neglected caring for one’s beard by not washing or oiling it. [Haythami, Tuhfat al-Muhtaj]

The Maliki School

Imam al-Dasuqi (Allah have mercy on him) states:

“It is unlawful (haram) for a man to shave off his beard, and the perpetrator will be disciplined.” [Dasuqi, Hashiyat al-Dasuqi ala Sharh al-Kabir]

Having a Goatee

Having a goatee will not fulfill the sunna requirement. However, it will fulfill one having a beard. Habib Ahmed Mashur al-Haddad (Allah have mercy on him) believed that it is acceptable to have hair under the chin simply. “

As mentioned, the position of the Shafi‘is and Malikis is that the beard, minimally, is that which grows on the chin, even if only a little. As such, in both schools, having a goatee or a trim beard is valid, though non-optimal, and it is not sinful.

Whenever there are valid differences of opinion, such as those between the four Sunni schools of law, one accepts and respects others’ right to follow any of these positions, even if one holds another position.


To summarize, as mentioned by Shaykh Nuh Keller, “To have a beard is obligatory for the Muslim man. The wording of the above sahih hadith indicates it should be abundant, though this is conditioned by the ‘urf or common acknowledgment for it among religious, practicing Muslims. The early Muslims trimmed their beards, and there is not an unequivocal text (nass) that establishes a fixed legal limit to length and size. While the sunna is considered by many ulama to be ‘the handful,’ my own sheikhs trimmed their beards considerably closer than this, and they were ulama. It is my conviction, and the premise of my approach to Islamic law, that Allah will not punish the ordinary Muslim for something differed about between traditional ulama.

These considerations are particularly relevant to the circumstance that Islam has now spread to virtually every race on earth and that genetically, not every man can grow a beard like Ibn ‘Umar’s. In my view, the differing capacities make preferable the more general fiqh criteria of (1) having a beard, (2) ‘abundance’ according to one’s capacity, so it doesn’t look like the shaving of the non-Muslims, (3) and well-keptness that accords with the general Islamic standards of beauty (among people who are practicing Muslims) and avoidance of notoriety–rather than a certain mandatory length.”

And Allah knows best.

I would like you to go through the valuable answers and links below. You will receive guidance and direction, in sha’ Allah.


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I pray this helps with your question.
[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete the hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled in an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for several years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to children and adults onsite and online extensively in the UK and Ireland. He taught at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His interest is a love of books and gardening.