Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawky Allam responded to the question of a student at Helwan University during an open discussion with students on Wednesday regarding growing a beard in Islam, saying that growing or cutting a Muslim’s beard is just a matter of appearance, Youm7 reported.
“Religion is not a matter of appearance but has to do with the heart. Beard is an appearance and is not an evidence of virtue, which is only in the heart,” Allam added.
“Prophet Muhammad said: ‘Both legal and illegal things are evident, but in between them there are doubtful things…There is a piece of flesh in the body – if it becomes reformed the whole body becomes good, but if it becomes spoiled the whole body becomes spoiled – and that is the heart’,” Allam said.
Allam mentioned during the discussion that Muslim scholars disagree on whether growing a beard is a virtue. Many of them say it’s a tradition that has nothing to do with Islamic Sharia law, and others say that growing one is obligatory.
The Grand Mufti criticized judging people on whether they grow a beard or not, adding that outward appearance is not a criterion against which to judge people.
“Faith is the foundation, because you will not meet God [on the Day of Judgement] with a short dress, a beard or an outward appearance, but you will rather meet [Him with what you have in] your heart,” he said.