Fatwa n° 442
Category: Medical Fatwas
The ruling concerning shaving
the beard for surgical needs
A man was afflicted with a disease and accordingly the doctor stipulated that he must shave his beard in order to operate him. So, what is the ruling concerning shaving the beard in such a case? And may Allah reward you.
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers until the Day of Resurrection:
In such issues, if there is a compelling need for a surgical operation which cannot be done unless by taking off a part of the beard or shaving it completely, and none of the other doctors could do it (without shaving the beard), then the patient -under compulsion- has to choose the lesser of the two harms and the easiest mischief, according to His saying عزّ وجلّ:
﴿ فَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ مَا ٱسۡتَطَعۡتُمۡ ﴾ [التغابن: 16].
The meaning of the verse:
﴾ So keep your duty to Allah and fear Him as much as you can ﴿[At-Taghâbun: 16].
And according to his saying صلَّى الله عليه وآله وسلَّم: “When you are commanded to observe a matter, observe it as much as you can”(1).
The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah عزَّ وجلَّ; and our last prayer is all the praises and thanks are to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and prayers of Allah are to Muhammad and his Family, Companions and Brothers until the Day of Resurrection.
Algiers on: Rabî‘ Ath-Thânî the 7th, 1427 H
Corresponding to May the 6th, 2006 G.
(1) Narrated by Al-Bukhârî (7288) and by Muslim (20517) from the hadith of Abu Hurayra رضي الله عنه.