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Friday, June 08, 2007

Qur'aan - the Self-sufficient Source for Islam

In the Name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful

I had earlier sent you an article on the subject matter, in which the question regarding the number of rakaat in a salaat was discussed. You may click here to access the article online.

Besides the number of rakaat, there are other issues raised which the Qur'aan seemingly doesn't touch upon. One of those issues is:

The Question About Sporting a Beard

The Qur'aan has indeed not said anything about it, except for referring to Prophet Haroon's beard by which his brother Prophet Moses had held him in anger [Verse 33.21]. The ahaadeeth do tell us that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did recommend that Muslims grow their beards and trim their moustaches.

And the Qur'aan tells us in Verse 33.21 that "in the Messenger of Allah, there certainly is for you a good example - for the one who yearns for Allah and the Hereafter, and remembers Allah much."

It is of utmost importance that we understand this Verse correctly. Otherwise, we are likely to go astray. As the Qur'aan says in Verse 2.26, Allah guides many by the examples He gives, and misleads many others, thereby, who swerve from Allah's commandments.

The Messenger was indeed a good example in that he himself implemented every Qur'aanic commandment. He was a walking Qur'aan, as one tradition informs us. It was in this sense that he was a good example. The 103rd Chapter of the Qur'aan tells us that for any human being to get salvation, he/she should believe, do good deeds, admonish with the Truth and admonish with patience.

Our beloved Prophet did all those 4 things required for salvation, in an exemplary manner. His Faith was unshakable, he had been doing good deeds even before he became a Prophet and continued doing good deeds till the last day of his life, he admonished the Truth of Islam despite opposition even from his near and dear ones, and he stuck to the Truth in patience for 13 long years of oppression from his own people. And that is the model of a man seeking salvation! We are asked by Allah Ta'ala to emulate that model!!

And what do we do? Our Faith is shaky. We are beset with doubts at the very first test Allah puts us to. Our deeds are focused on the self. We care a damn if we have to resort to falsehood, if that falsehood brings benefits to our own selves or to our near and dear ones. And we have little patience in times of adversity.

Instead of bringing attention to these vital aspects, some of our self-proclaimed leaders in matters of Religion, insist that to follow the above quoted Verse 33.21, the Muslims should do exactly as the Prophet did in every little detail of his personal life - how he ate using only 3 of his fingers, squatting on the floor etc. etc. And, among those innumerable minor details of the Prophet's personal life, is the detail about the beard.

If sporting a beard were an absolute necessity for being a Muslim, as some of the leaders proclaim, this requirement would surely have appeared in the Qur'aan. For, the divine Book has neglected nothing, and it contains details of everything. Those who insist that the beard is a must in Islam, betray their lack of belief in this Qur'aanic solemn declaration. In other words, they betray their lack of belief in the Qur'aan! This disbelief has led them astray as regards Verse 33.21. They fail to understand that the Prophet is a model for us in so far as his high moral character is concerned. They fail to understand that Allah Ta'ala has granted mankind sufficient freedom of action, provided they remain within the bounds described in the Qur'aan. They are not saddled with restrictions other than those mentioned in the Qur'aan.

I myself have a beard, and I trim my moustaches. But I cannot tell my brother Muslims that they ought to follow suit, since the All-knowing and Kind Lord has given everyone the freedom of choice, in this regard, and in many other things.


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