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I Can’t Stand His Beard!

Questioner

N

Reply Date

Jan 03, 2018

Question

Salaam Alaikum. My husband and I have been married for 4 years. A year after our marriage, he started to grow a beard. I didn't like the way it felt and looked, but I kept trying to get used about it because he was following the Prophet (SAWS), and I didn't want him to go against what he (s.a.w.) said. Many times, I slept with him so the angels wouldn't curse me all night. Now, I'm at the point where I can't stand his beard. I hate how it feels; it's so scratchy along my skin, and it feels like I'm kissing a hedgehog. This has obviously created problems during intimacy. I've talked to him numerous times about his beard, and he doesn't like growing it, but he tells me that it's a command from the Prophet (SAWS) and he must grow it because he wants to get the reward in the Hereafter. I've read many articles online. Some scholars say that is haram to shave it, some say that it is makruh, and some say that there is no problem in shaving it. Too many views are given on the topic, so it's confusing. My husband has trimmed his beard very short (to try to please me and to follow the sunnah) to enhance our intimacy and make me attracted to him. But still, I'm not attracted to him because of his facial hair. It's so sad and depressing; I don't know what to do. I thought about divorce, but that is not a good option. Should I just stay married to him and not enjoy our intimacy and not be attracted to him? Do you think that this is a problem in our relationship and we should end it? I'm just so confused, and I don't want him to do something against the Prophet (s.a.w.) and blame me for it, but at the same time, I can't help it; all my life I've been attracted to men without facial hair. What should I do? Please help me and give me any suggestions you can. JazakAllah Kheir.

Counselor

Answer


I can't stand his beard!


In this counseling answer: “You are still in the early years of marriage. Allow some time to get closer emotionally and psychologically to your husband so that your marriage can become more meaningful, and, thus, much stronger. Marriage is about mutual sacrifices from which we learn unconditional love – the love that is built on the foundations of a deep compassion and that is strong enough to raise children on.”


As Salamu ‘Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,

When you met your husband, what was it that attracted you towards him? Was it his clean-shaven face or was it the qualities that he possessed? After a few years of marriage, what has changed about him, and has it changed for the worse? Is an attractive shaven husband who treats his wife badly more attractive or less attractive? Isn’t silly question it? But that is the risk you take if you would divorce and marry again.

When we hold onto something, an idea or alike, and it is being challenged, it sets up a pattern of inner conflict because we resist that challenge. The more we hold onto it, the more our reaction to it becomes the problem, not the challenge itself. The problem controls our perception of what is acceptable. We find ourselves unable to accept the challenge to our nafs, (ego, and personality). Because of this resistance, are you contemplating divorce!?

 Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

“Ten are the acts according to fitrah (nature): clipping the moustache, letting the beard grow, using the tooth-stick, cutting the nails, washing the finger joints, plucking the hair under the arm-pits, shaving the pubes, and cleansing one’s private parts (after easing or urinating) with water.”(Muslim)

Not all men can grow a beard, but the context is according to fitrah (nature). So, if it is natural for your husband’s facial hair to grow, then it is an act of Sunnah to let the beard grow. Your husband sacrificed his personal preference to follow this act of Sunnah and has tried to find a balance between your preferences and following the Sunnah. In spite of this, from what you have said, your confusion is not only because of the variety of sources you have turned to but because you are unhappy with the situation. You have not found an Islamic answer that is coherent with how you feel and which can help you to make your husband shave his beard.

A popular teacher in Islam, Yusuf Estes refers to “shopping for Fatwas“. Some people like to ask questions, and if the answer does not suit their personal beliefs, they just keep on asking around until they get a fatwa that makes them happy.

The etiquette of asking a question in Islam is that when one asks a question about Islam, one should ask one who knows, i.e. a knowledgeable scholar, or a sheik. In addition, one must seriously consider if they truly want an Islamic answer, an answer to Islamic jurisprudence and Shari`ah. It’s because once you get the answer, you are expected to acknowledge and practice it.

So, you are bound to come across a variety of answers because not all of those you have come across have the same level of experience and understanding. But regardless, what you are left with is a husband you love, a husband who loves you. Are you willing to allow your reaction to his beard to get the better of your marriage, or are you going to accept the challenge to your nafs? A husband and wife should be attractive to one another, and this is fully supported in Islam. However, at what point does your marital relationship grow past this to a deeper level of meaning and understanding?

You are still in the early years of marriage. Allow some time to get closer emotionally and psychologically to your husband so that your marriage can become more meaningful, and, thus, much stronger. Marriage is about mutual sacrifices from which we learn unconditional love – the love that is built on the foundations of a deep compassion and that is strong enough to raise children on.

If you note in the ahadith of Malik Muwatta, a man was advised to groom his mustache and beard, so in this you can encourage your husband, to make his beard softer somehow and, thus, less irritable to your skin. When your marriage is strong enough, it will be fully capable of seeing his beard as just another physical characteristic of who he is – a man who is willing to make personal sacrifices for the sake of Allah, in sha ‘Allah.

Salam,

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Hwaa Irfan

Late Hwaa Irfan, may her soul rest in peace, served as consultant, counselor and freelance writer. Her main focus was on traditional healing mechanisms as practiced in various communities, as opposed to Western healing mechanisms.

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