To Beard or Not To Beard? A Grammatically (And Socially) Incorrect Topic We Know

**This is a guest post. The writer is an engineer from NUST, a wanabee student of knowledge, an occasional blogger, a photography and digital arts enthusiast, a self proclaimed philosopher and a sports and adventure fanatic. A true jack of all, master of none :p.**
(The writer`s own words and not the editor being judgmental, ya all:P)

Most of my friends think I always had a beard, as in literally. But NO, I hereby disclose that it ain’t true. I GREW (I kid you not!) a beard when I was 18. I will not be talking about the Fiqh of it and all, but it’s quite an experience. This huge step outside the comfort zone, has a lot to teach.

Here are a few pointers from my experience. (Randomly arranged – just because I am not good at organizing texts).

I was never a “shave daily” bacha anyway – I would usually shave once a week, or on special days. I had this weird philosophy of keeping room for looking my best so that when I try to look good, at-least people notice. And the philosophy is still under practice.

I didn’t grow a beard; I just stopped shaving – quite literally. I never knew it will grow this big.

It was not like one day I decided to grow a beard and then I did! – In my case, I just couldn’t gather the courage to shave, or to cut it short. So I would postpone it to the next day, every day! Sometimes with a razor in my hand. And it kept growing (it really does keep growing if not touched – ask Dumbledore :P)

YES I had those funny thoughts of growing it after the marriage etc as well – but sorry Shaitan, that was so illogical. Illogical on so many fronts (I can do another post on that one thing!)

Being logical by nature, I knew I will grow a beard one day, be it towards my 40s. I knew that I had the “just do it” thing working, and that the Iman high was not going to stay for long, and might take a lot of time to return. And so I took a plunge, a leap of faith! Logically, in my forties I ought to have more peers and a larger permanent social circle than what I had in my teens (I hope :P) , and that would mean more peer pressure.

I was NOT forced to grow a beard; neither did anyone try to convince me of it. Not one single person.

Like all other kids of my time, I, despite respecting my religion and wanting to do good, too had this media-influenced belief that all bearded men are “extremists” (and somewhat retards – ok most if not all ). And then I met some sane, educated, thorough gentlemen with (duff-roll) BEARDS! YES BEARDS! I realized how shallow I was acting by being judgmental about it, and that how too had the same power within me, to impact others, to inspire change!
I met some weird people along the way (editor`s note: Don`t we all? sigh). People who never really cared to talk to me or hardly knew my name suddenly had sympathies for me. Like I was once supposed to travel with an uncle on a two-hour journey. And he was slowly building up the conversation and I could see it coming:


They`re Coming!

– and he finally came to the point saying, “look beta, I have a beard this long inside me *pointing to his waist*, but it is not necessary I grow it outside.

And on and on it went.
And then he said that this would make it difficult for me to get a job (he was at a good position in a multinational himself -_-). THAT just made me work harder to achieve the very best I can! I am still working on it – I just want to make sure no one else can say that to a kid in the future, at-least not to a kid who knows me. Then there was the uncle who actually guaranteed me a job, just because I grew some hair. Alhumdolillah! There are all sorts of people out there, and not everyone is out to get us bearded ones:D

And you know how we always come up awesome, witty replies AFTERWARDS (good to make a list of these :P), so this is my standard reply now: “uncle I failed to grow a beard inside, so I thought why not grow it on my face *with a nice smile*.

I understand most kids start going crazy when parents fail to understand this change. Some get rude; answer back or some just give in. I had a few days of rudeness, and it was affecting the already dry relationship negatively. But then, one day I sat down with myself and decided that I’d be a yes-man to them. I’d never say “No” to whatever they say, and be the most charming and obedient I son I can be! No friend`s party had priority over family functions, and no trips without permissions – be it those religious trips! To my friends I was clear; call me “mummy daddy” or whatever, what my parents say is a priority! (Don’t fear being labelled, embrace it if you know it`s right, Fillahi, Lillahi Remeber!) It was like an oath I made with myself, and I somehow managed to stick to it. Today, 7 years down the line, I enjoy a relationship that I believe would have never been possible otherwise.

Instead of just letting go my wit and putting on a mask of seriousness, I literally, and very consciously, worked on it to make it better! For example, made it a point to be funny without hurting anyone, etc. I was an introvert. That little time period, and the need I felt to be a significant part of everyone’s life saw me turn into quite an extrovert! (Quite the opposite of what usually happens I know :p). Whatever little confidence I have now, I owe to that little decision. Back then, I practically “didn’t care what people said” !

NO I did not lose any friends, NONE. And I DID NOT miss out on any fun. I mean Hello! It’s a beard not some frictional force that prevents you from riding bikes or playing games.

I know I made it sound like the world literally revolved around me for the first 2 years, but honestly it didn’t. This was more about what was going on inside my head, and I swear everything else just went on the way it was. No one thinks this much about your change, and no one remembers after a few days, so just relax – and do your thing (as long as it`s the right thing).

Today, seven years down the line, I think it was a huge learning experience for me, probably the biggest yet in my life. And at that age, it turned out to be priceless. Not that I knew it would be like that, but if you read between the lines of this long self obsessed post, you’d know (No I’m not going to single out everything again -_-). And this goes perfectly with all the learning theories, that one learns the most when pushed outside one`s comfort zones. Add a bit from my side to it – that this learning is maximized if you, and only YOU, are responsible for pushing yourself outside your comfort zones.

An end note for people who are quick to judge others on the basis of looks, here is something I learned that might help:

Someone having a beard (applies the same to sisters supporting Hijab/Naqab) does not mean he is perfect, and the most pious person on earth. In fact he can fall into some serious sins as well. What this does tell is that the person has a past – as in a past where he experienced the beauty of iman on some level. And what this also suggests is, that the person, however lost in sins he might be, is open to listen to good advice. So instead of talking at their backs, go ahead, and talk to them. They’ll welcome it In’sha’Allah.

– All good is from Allah, and all faults are my own. I felt like thanking Allah in every paragraph in this article, but I didn’t just for continuity. I can’t thank Allah swt enough for making things happen the way they happened, and making me feel the way I feel about them today, and helping me see the good in everything that happened (I can go on here, but I’ll just cut the already long article short – Alhumdollilah). This was just to let everyone know, that when you have to do it, you just do it, and good things follow. And if they don’t, well, stick with it, cuz’ when you gotta do it, you gotta do it ! and its all in your head, mess a little with the way you think and everything falls into place – It’s all beautiful, Alhumdolillah!

Editor`s Note: Don`t forget to visit the author`s Photography Page: Ansaar Moughis’ Photography . A lot of the pictures around Malonama are the author`s handiwork.

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22 Comments to "To Beard or Not To Beard? A Grammatically (And Socially) Incorrect Topic We Know"

  1. Aziz says:

    Mashallah Brother, This post makes one think about the beard mentality. Even same for me. Being a 21 year old in 21st century, in college where looks overtake studies, its difficult to survive with beard. Like kids growing beard, I started the heavy stubble thing only to be asked, “Aatankvaadi banna hai kya?” Whatever be the consequences, we young boys can set an example that let the world and my peers (shaven muslims) find themselves in situations that they are looking more handsome in beard. Thats fact, I look more handsome with facial hair. Thats the thing that separate man and woman!

  2. Zauj -e- Ozair says:

    My husband and I were both individually rejected by this big firm despite the competence because of his darhi (beard) and my naqab! (making us unable to continue with the required training for CA then.)

    4 years later Masha Allah, he qualified (Chartered Accountancy) with another midiocre firm who’d take us in.

    That refusal became the only reason we found a spouse in each other! Alhamdolilah, and now with my three papers yet to qualify, I think Allah subhana hu Wa Ta’ala is amazing! I had to forsake naqab because of all the pressures! and after resisting an year or so. I hope and intent to start it as soon as i can insha Allah 🙂

    Your post was witty and i completely enjoyed it!
    I can, and perhaps every one who wants to tread on this road can relate to it.

    But as my husband says, only this is why one gets a Sawab of 100 shaheeds! you see – one have to die for so many times no? 🙂

    May Allah Ta’ala accept us, make us all completely in love with Allah ta’ala and be able to practice deen!

  3. Irum Ghafoor says:

    Assalam u Alaikum warehmatulahi wabrakatuhu,
    Its Awsome.
    JazakALLAH khair Akhi.

  4. Omer Shahid says:

    it’s very nicely written masha Allah! You made me “FEEL” the post!!

  5. I have nothing against the beard, but as you are so logical, if you take a sample of 5000 bearded people in your city, What percentage do you think would actually know why they have grown it, or what is its purpose or what does it signify?

    You have arrived at a conclusion with logic, and may Allah give you strength to keep pursuing the right path, but the fact is that in this society (as you rightly pointed out in your article) most of the bearded people are somewhat jerks. They arrive at this decision without proper knowledge and logic, which also signifies their lack of awareness towards religion. You would also agree with the fact that in our culture, MOST of the people who have beard on their faces present themselves as the most pious and knowledgeable ones (impressions don’t develop overnight or due to nothing)

    On the other hand, I seriously hope that young people like you would change these stereotypes and spread love rather than hate/extremism.

    Maulana Maudoodi summed it up when he said: “… Islam mein Darhi hai, Darhi mein Islam nahe…”

    • Fareed Ahmad says:

      Mashallah! .. – you rightly said brother, Maulana Maudoodi summed it up when he said: “… Islam mein Darhi hai, Darhi mein Islam nahe…”

      that`s what we are saying .. Islam mein darhi hai .. – Beard is a part of Islam, where we follow teachings of love, peace, harmony, we should also follow the teaching of keeping beard. ..

  6. Hajrah says:

    Very nice. Jzk khayr.

  7. sarah says:

    Very well written! I made my father read it and he gives his kind regards to the ‘boht qabil’ writer!

  8. Umair Liaquat Qureshi says:

    MashAllah very nice piece of writing. I can recall that very moment when you unfolded this all in front of me while we had a drive back somewhere. Allah Tallah grant you peace and patience and bless me too. Live on mate.

  9. Fareed Ahmad says:

    Ansaar 😛 . 😀 . hugs!

  10. Ozair says:

    AoA Ansaar,
    A very well thought out article.You have impressive writing skills, i never knew that. Sometimes it seemed that u wer not very clear about ur life and objectives. But with this article you have totally made your point. 🙂 Good Work !
    I think you should keep writing, looking forward to more articles 🙂
    Ozair Bee2 🙂

  11. Ahmed says:

    Will agree with all the comments above… really motivating. Go for TED events

  12. A very refreshing and candid article. May Allah reward you for writing this. Ameen.

    The uncles mentioned are no different than the aunties who “sincerely” advise young girls who start hijab, about how they will lose out on “good” marriage proposals. I was told, “کوئ مولوی ہی ملے گا!” (“You will only get a bearded husband”) to which I would smile and reply, “مجھے مولوی ہی چاہئے” (“I myself want a bearded husband”), causing their eyes to widen even more as they got even more scandalized!

    May Allah guide us all, older and younger Muslims, to the Right Path – and keep us steadfast upon it. Ameen.

    • Neha Mobin says:

      AsSalamu Alaikum wr wb!

      ^That is sooo true sadaf aunty!! 😀

      Awesome article indeed!! \m/
      May Allah bless the author. Ameen

  13. Assalam O Alaikum Warahmatullah,
    Ansaar this would fit perfectly well

  14. Khurram Ali says:

    i think every young beard grower faces da same situations in our society… anyways.. its a great post…

  15. Khurram Ali says:

    its so true :d bilkul aise he batein hti hain whn u strt grwng beard… Ive xpriencd dt 😀

    n one of da grt thot inspird me is… K burhapey me tou sb he rkh lete hain… Allah aur us k rasool se muhabbt ka maza tou tb he hai when u sacrifice these jawani k din 😀

  16. Sara says:

    This was beautifully written MashaAllah. It certainly serves as an eman rush to anyone struggling with practicing any aspect of deen, mainly hijaab/growing beard as it does take stepping out of the comfort zone which may not be easy for everyone. InshaAllah this post helps out the Ummah who are in the same boat.. Ameen

    JazakAllah khair for sharing your experience !

  17. Rowaid says:

    It’s a really nice read.
    Understand it quite well as I’ve also faced similar kind of situations many times.
    Love the reply “uncle I failed to grow a beard inside, so I thought why not grow it on my face” 🙂

    “They say the religion is in the heart & not in hijab or beard.
    My dear when religion is in heart the beard & hijab comes automatically” !!!

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