What is the shafii stance on the beard? can one keep it presentable by trimming a little ( if it does not imitate modern culture or other religions)?
Wa alaykum salam wa rahmatuLlahi wa barakatuHu,
The official position of the Shafi'i Madhhab is that shaving or trimming the beard is disliked. In Sharh al-Muhadhdhab 1/290, Imam Nawawi mentioned that this applies to any amount of trimming.
This is also the way Ibn Hajar al-Haytami goes in Tuhfah 9/376. There, Ibn Hajar mentioned the narrations related by Ibn Hibban that the Prophet (upon him be peace) would take from the length and breadth of his blessed beard. Ibn Hajar also indicated to that this narration the Prophet (upon him be peace) is demonstrating that the command to leave one's beard long is a command of recommendation. Otherwise, the narrations in which the command to leave the beards to grow long (ar: tawfir) are more authentic, being found in the Sahihayn. And according to the usul al-fiqh of the Shafiyyah, the presence of a hadith in the Sahihayn is a reason by which to make tarjih.
Rather than making tarjih of one over the other, reconciling between them is the first course of action. And between these two reports, reconciliation is possible; they are reconciled by understanding what is in the Sahihayn to be a command of recommendation.
In Sharh Sahih Muslim 3/151, Imam Nawawi related from Qadi 'Iyad that taking from the length and breadth of one's beard is good; in fact, he related from Imam Malik that he disliked beards growing very long. Accordingly, this issue is one on which the scholars differed.
After citing Qadi 'Iyad, Imam Nawawi said that the beard should be left as is, it is recommended that one not take anything from it. This is the relied-upon opinion in the School.
And Allah knows best.
Answered by Shaykh Yaqub Abdurrahman