by: Syed Hasan Akhtar, M.D
A beard is considered a feature of beauty and a symbol of manliness. Men should be conscious of, and cultivate, their masculinity, and women should be conscious of, and cultivate, their femininity; no sex should imitate the other, because it means an inferiority complex with respect to the other. For this reason, it is forbidden to shave the beard, but it is not necessary that the beard should be very long.
It is permitted for a man to keep the beard trimmed but not such that people would say he shaved, or he had just neglected to shave : a medium beard is recommended. a moustache should not be allowed to grow too long, it should be clipped so that it does not cover the lips. This may be part of Islam`s concern for hygiene and neatness.
A beard distinguishes Muslim men from others. The Prophet commanded Muslims to keep themselves distinct from, and not imitate, other communities.
Fatwa 2920 :
It is unlawful on the basis of obligatory precaution to shave one?`?s beard, and it is also unlawful to get wages for shaving the beard of another person. However, if a person who does not shave his beard is made a target of ridicule and has to suffer humiliation which is intolerable in the eyes of the wise persons, it is permissible for him to shave his beard.
Article of Islamic Acts (Khui)
The Fatwa of our present Mujtahid, Ayatullah al Uzama Syed Ali al-Husaini Seestani, is similar on this issue.
[The rest of the lesson to be utilised for discussion with the youth as to the pressures that cause them to disobey the command of keeping the beard]
GIRLS – IMPORTANCE OF HIJAB
The importance of Hijab will be briefly discussed in the light of the verses of the Holy Qur`an on the subject. Allah says:
“Say unto the believer men to cast down their gaze and guard their private parts; that is purer for them. Verily Allah is Well-Aware of what you do.
And say unto the believing women that they cast down their gaze and guard their private parts; and not to display their adornment (Zeenat) except what becomes apparent of it; and to draw their headcovers (Khumur) over their neck slits (Juyoob); and not to display their “Zeenat” except to their husbands… (an Noor, 24:31,32 part)
The verse first informs men of their duty in Hijab and then the women. Some important words in the second verse are:
Zeenat: This is something we use to beautify ourselves like clothes, ornaments, jewellery, etc.
Khumur: These are head covers or scarves.
Juyoob: The neck slit was usually low in Arab dress and the women did not cover their necks. So in this verse they were ordered to cover their exposed necks with the head covers.
In another verse Allah says:
O Prophet! Say unto your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers that they let down upon themselves a robe (Jilbab); so that they may be distinguished, so that they will not be troubled; Allah is Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful. (al Ahzab, 33:59)
Here the word Jilbab refers to a covering that is bigger than a headcover and shorter than a shawl and is designed to cover the head and shoulders.
According to the command of Allah, the coverings for women that form their Hijab is Wajib, and disobedience of this command earns Allah`s anger.
The entire body of the woman except hands and face should be covered. The overall appearance of the dress is that it must be loose so it does not reveal the form of the woman, and it should not be attractive in a way that it draws the eyes of the people to the wearer.