Trimming the Soul Patch on the Beard
Answered by Shaykh Mazhar Mahmood
Is one allowed to shave, trim or shape the hair directly below the bottom lip (hair also known as the ‘baby beard’)?
The soul patch, also known as a mouche or baby beard (Arabic: العنفقة alʿanfuqah) is a small patch of facial hair located just below the lower lip and above the chin.
There are numerous authentic narrations which show that Allāh’s Messenger (peace and blessings upon him) and his Companions wore a mouche. Therefore, as followers of Allāh’s Messenger (peace and blessings upon him), it befits us to try our utmost to adhere to his practices and his habits.
Wahb bin ʿAbd Allāh al-Suwā’ī (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrated, “I had the privilege of seeing the Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him) during my lifetime…He had a few white hairs in his soul patch.” (Bukhārī)
ʿAbd Allāh bin ʿOmar (may Allāh be pleased with him) whilst explaining the area of the beard stated, “Trim the mustache and let the soul patch grow.” (Musnad al Aḥmad)
ʿAbd Raḥmān bin Bazraj says, “I saw both Ḥasan and Ḥusayn (may Allāh be pleased with them). Both Ḥasan and Ḥusayn would anoint their beards with a blackish dye, however Ḥusayn would let the soul patch remain undyed.” (Majmaʾ al Zawāʾid)
Due to narrations such as these, Muslim jurists have deduced that the soul patch be included within the limits of the beard. However, if one notices certain hairs of the soul patch to be out of proportion, causing irritation, or are becoming a means of distorting one’s image in looking presentable; then maintenance of the soul patch by trimming or removing unwanted hairs is not problematic.
Allāh Almighty Knows Best
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