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['Aalim Network QR] Beard


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|       In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the All-Merciful       |\
|  Greeting of Allah be upon Muhammad and the pure members of his House |\
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Assalamu 'Alaykum

The following question was kindly answered by Mulla Bashir Rahim.

Salaams & Duas
Ummulbanin Merali - Moderator - 'Aalim Network

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QUESTION:

The jews and christians believe that God created the heavens and earth in
six days and on the seventh He rested.

The Qur'an refutes this belief and says that He does not get tired nor does
He have need for rest or sleep.
The word Sabbath sounds very similar to the Arabic word Sabt which means
rest, sleep. The jews and some christians observe the Sabbath to emulate the 
example of God on the seventh day.

But Islam is against that belief of the seventh day rest so why did Allah 
punish certain people for violating the Sabbath as mentioned in the Qur'an?

There is a verse I vaguely remember that I believe Ya'qoob made a promise 
of some sort to God about abstaining from certain things.  Anyone recall 
the verse and remember if it pertains to the Sabbath?

Anyway this issue opens many doors of inquiry:

We know that if one does something without knowing that it is forbidden
then Allah won't punish him/her - 
If Allah never required observation of Sabbath but the people somehow
evolved to believe so and then Allah punishes them for violating it:
Does that mean that if someone believes that something is forbidden though
it is not, but does that deed anyway, Allah may  punish for doing that deed?

For example the shaving of the beard.  Apparently most Maraaji' say that
doing so should be avoided under obligatory percaution, but so many of us do it 
anyway.  Lately it has been observed that some Maraaji' rule that it is not 
obligatory but highly recommended.

Now if it turns out on the day of Judgement that shaving the beard was in
fact NOT forbidden but Mr. xyz believed that it Was forbidden and did it
anyway, would he or could he be punished for that?
It appears to me that the case is in fact so because the intention of
disobedience was present.


ANSWER:

Please forgive me for the delay in responding to the above question.

You have referred to several statements in the Holy Qur'an like the six day
concept, sabbath etc. which I am tempted to deal with at great length, but as 
your question relates to beard I will confine myself to that for the time being.

The mujtahid whose taqlid we may doing is the final authority on the matters he 
has given rulings upon. Where he has stated that something is ihtiyatan wajib 
(mandatory as a matter of precaution) then we are permitted to follow another 
mujtahid who may have given a different ruling. Fiqh is a matter which requires 
a certain measure of discipline. Where we have any doubt we can always refer the 
matter to our mujtahid. Both Ayatullah Khui and Ayatullah Seestani state the 
keeping of a beard is wajib. They have even provided for exceptional 
circumstances when one may shave his beard. Surely this should be enough for the 
muqallids of these two great fuqaha.

As to ignorance of the law, in some cases it may be an excuse. However, not in 
all cases where it is not difficult to find out what the law is. To seek
knowledge of one's duties and the basic laws of fiqh is wajib.

I can not go into the question of whom Allah will or will not punish for
infringements of His laws. He Himself says that we must not despair of His
Mercy. If one has sinned against Allah then one should turn to Him in repentance 
and ensure that he does not commit the same sin repeatedly.

Please do not hesitate to pose to the Alim Network any supplementary question 
you may have.

With salaams and du'aas from a humble servant of Ahlul Bayt and their
followers, and with a request to be remembered by you in your prayers.



Bashir Rahim




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