Me and my Beard
Friend 1: “Hey Ahmad, why don’t you shave your beard? Are you really letting that grow? Or you just don’t know how to shave…” =)
Professor 1: “You are a Muslim and you have a beard. So, you have been to Mecca, right?”
Friend 2: “I like your beard… But man, it makes you look older!”
Maybe there are a lot more conversations I had with friends (especially non-Muslims) who would never fail to notice my now-two-inch-long, sparsely growing beard hanging on my chin. And whether they ask me why, or I would notice them getting curious about it, I only have one answer for them:
“It’s simple my friend. This is SUNNAH!” (Usually followed by a beaming smile here)
But what is Sunnah, you ask?
No, it’s not the Arabic for “fashion”. Nor is it something done to please other people. SUNNAH is simply “following the examples of our beloved prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him)”. A Sunnah comes in various forms: it can be an attitude in dealing with people, it can be a set of words uttered in some occasions, it can be the way of wearing your clothes, and most importantly Sunnahs are act of worships done voluntarily by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
All Sunnahs are from the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and all sunnahs done by a Muslim, even done voluntarily, is a accompanied by great wisdom both in this world and the next, and of course rewards from the great Rewarder, Allah, the Most Gracious and Merciful. We show our love to our prophet Muhammad (PBUH) by following his examples. This is a manifestation that we believe in all his truthful words and actions.
It is also a form of identification that this brother is a Muslim. If the Muslim women have the Hijab, we Muslim men have the beard. (Although this cannot be applied to the general public, coz there are also non-Muslims growing their beard =D ).
So why do Muslims grow their beard? Because Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had let his beard grow without shaving it (at least keeping it not too long and not too short). Growing a beard is a form of following the Prophet. And this is a simple way of saying: “I love my prophet, and I will follow his examples. And I attest and bear witness that he is the last prophet and the messenger and servant of Allah.” For Muslims, this is the second shahada commonly heard in arabic as “Ashahadu anna Muhammadur Rasulullah” which is a part of a Muslim’s life until his last breath.
So now we now why Muslims grow their beard. It is not a fashion statement. It is actually a simple way of following and living the teachings of their deen (religion). For Islam is not just a religion, but a way of life.
And so, my friends… The next time you see me and my beard… It’s not that I do not know how to shave… It is also not an “identification” only for those who have been to Makkah (Mecca)… Yes, I may look older or look weird to you with my beard… But I love them, and I am happy of having them hanging in my chin (haha)… I will never cut them… And I will let them grow (as a prominent Muslim scholar say) with their natural flow… Because I am a Muslim. And I follow no God but Allah, and I follow His last Prophet, Muhammad Rasulullah (PBUH).
Salam kasilasa :D