Today I received a letter from Re’fet Bey. In connection with his question about the Prophet’s (UWBP) beard, I say this:
It is established by Hadiths that the number of hairs from the blessed beard of the Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) was small. But despite their being few – for instance, thirty, forty, fifty or sixty – the fact that there are hairs from the blessed beard in thousands of places caused me much thought at one time. It occurred to me then that what is known as his blessed beard consists not only of its hairs, but also the hair of his blessed head, which the Companions, who neglected nothing,1 preserved when he cut it. His luminous, blessed hair, which would be preserved for ever, numbered thousands and may be equal to what is now extant.
I also wondered at that time whether or not it was established with sound documentary evidence that the hair found in all mosques was the Messenger’s (UWBP) hair so that it was acceptable to visit it. Then it occurred to me that it was the cause of visits, and of benedictions being uttered for the Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace), and his being venerated and loved,2 and thus was not looked at for what it actually was. Therefore, even if the hair was not truly from the Messenger’s (UWBP) blessed beard, since it was held to be so because of its appearance, and it functioned as a means of veneration, regard, and benedictions, it did not have to be authenticated. So long as there was no definite evidence to the contrary, that was sufficient. For generally held opinions and the acceptance of the Islamic community count as a sort of proof.
If some of the pious object to such matters on grounds of fear of God, or caution, or resolution, they do so in particular cases. And if they say it is an innovation, it should be included among commendable innovations, for it is a means of benedictions for the Prophet (UWBP) being recited. Re’fet Bey said in his letter that the matter had led to an argument among the brothers. I advise my brothers that they do not argue in such a way as to cause differences and conflict; they should grow accustomed to discussing things as an exchange of ideas, without arguing.
See, Bukhari, Wudu’, 33; Muslim, Hajj, 311-26; Musnad, iii, 133, 137.
See, Muslim, Salat, 11, 70; Tirmidhi, Witr, 21; Abu Da’ud, Salat, 36, 210; Witr, 26; Nasa’i, Jum‘a, 5; Adhan, 37; Sahw, 55; Ibn Maja, Iqama al-Salat, 79; Darimi, Salat, 206; Riqaq, 58; Musnad, ii, 168, 375, 485; iii, 102, 445: iv, 8.