Slate Explainer: Muslim Beards 101

Some local Muslims helped contribute to this Explainer article on Slate including Imam Johari Abdul Malik and Taha Jabir al-Alwani.

Slate: Muslim Beards 101

It has always struck me as a little odd, how quickly some brothers will make excuses for shaving or not growing their beards but don’t let them see a sister without hijab that may also have similar excuses to the ones the brothers are fond of using for themselves.

I’m guilty of this as well, because when my family points to a Muslim woman that does  not wear hijab by saying, “See she’s Muslim and doesn’t have to cover, so why do you?” there is a thought that sometimes comes into my head that wonders about her level of practice.


  1. I started growing a beard (a goatee) several years ago at the request of my wife. I’d like to grow my beard out longer, but I find that I have to trim it at least once every two weeks or so. The hair grows so thickly that the skin underneath becomes very red and irritated (I think the skin is not getting enough oxygen to keep it healthy). Sad, but true.

  2. May Allah make it easy for you JD. I know some sisters that also encounter health issues by wearing hijab or niqab. We should always assume the best about each other.

  3. As-Salamu Alaykum,

    I certainly understand the difficulties with growing a beard what with work pressures. To be honest the biggest pressure i feel is from my wife, because she does not like it. Apparently it scratches her face and i can understand how that might not be nice. So i got my self a beard trimmer and keep it down to a size 3 as a compromise. Insha’Allah this will still be accepted. As for women and the hijab, as far as i was aware it is her choice not mine and as such i have no say in the matter.
    So if i have take that stance, i should also be aware that it is not my job as a Muslim to make people feel bad and as your site says, if you don’t have something good to say then don’t say anything.



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