: Respected Shaykh, what is the ruling of trimming the beard less than a fistful in length, as there are some who trim less than that? Is there any evidence or athar
(statement of a companion) for that? May Allah reward you.
: What is recorded concerning Ibn `Umar (raḍiyallāhu `anhumā), is that when he would perform Ḥajj he would take a fistful length of his beard, then trim what would exceed from it and what would scatter from the sides. This cannot be disapproved of as it is the view of the majority of scholars, may Allah have mercy upon them; that one can take a fistful length and trim what exceeds from it. They said that Ibn `Umar is the narrator of the ḥadīth concerning leaving the beard and allowing it to grow, and it is inconceivable that he would act contrary to that. He would do that when he would perform Ḥajj, and the narration from him is through the “golden chain” (Mālik through Nāfi‘ through Ibn `Umar). Moreover, when he would perform Ḥajj he would only settle in the same place where the Prophet (ṣallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) had settled. This led some scholars to conclude that this narration is more likely to be marfū‘ (traced directly) to the Prophet (ṣallallāhu `alayhi wasallam), because Ibn `Umar is the one who narrated the ḥadīth concerning allowing the beard to grow and yet he is the one who carried out trimming what exceeds a fistful in length.
So what exceeds a fistful in length can be trimmed, and the one who does so cannot be criticized. The same can be said for what is scattered; that which is untidy and scattered from the edges of the beard, it can be trimmed.
As for wearing down the beard and trimming it less than a fistful in length, then no, because the basic ruling disallows it: he (ṣallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said, “let the beards grow,”
and, “allow the beards to grow.”
This proves that the basic ruling is to leave the beard, and since the restriction was made for a fistful in length, it proves that what is less than a fistful in length is not to be trimmed. Based on that, it should be restricted to this extent and shortening the beard less than a fistful in length is contrary to the basic ruling. Therefore, it should be left and only what exceeds a fistful in length should be trimmed.
— Shaykh Muḥammad bin Muḥammad al-Mukhtār al-Shinqīṭī
Teacher in al-Masjid al-Nabawī and member of the Council of Senior Scholars
Buraydah, Saudi Arabia
1st of Muḥarram 1434