Religious discrimination by a 7 month old

Raihana’s been breaking my heart.  Chewing it up, spitting it up, and then stomping on it. 

How, you ask?  She tugs Shabana over to her by the hair, throws her little arms around her head, and devours Shabana with kisses.  She clamps her mouth over Shabana’s lower lip like a lamprey and cackles with glee.

Needless to say, I get a bit jealous at the sight of these rapturous embraces.  Yet when I approach seeking the merest peck from my laughing seven month old, she instinctively averts her face to escape my beard, which is quite modest. 

In other words, I’m being punished for observing the Sunnah!   Egad, my daughter appears to be a Westoxified modernist…

So, what’s the consensus?  Does this constitute darura (necessity) from a Shariah standpoint that releases me from the traditional obligation to wear a beard? 

And is this a common problem among bearded dads?

  • Koonj

    Try day and night 24/7 loving service beyond the absolutely necessary.
    Any amount of facial hair should no longer be a deterrent.
    Hell, I know. :)

  • Zack

    Even then it can be a problem, Shabana, though less so. I don’t have a beard but whenever I haven’t shaved for a few days, the kid refuses to have any contact with my unshaven face.

  • harry

    LOL … from my own experience, my kids doesn’t have problem with my beard. It’s my moustache they can’t stand :)
    As long as I kept the moustache bald, they’re gonna give their love to me.
    The beard is a problem to myself, as the younger ones love to make me panic by making it a hostage : “give me a candy or else…”, hands on my beard, and ready to pull it. And they DID pull it. Yow !!

  • Charles

    I once read a study in psychology about babies and their preferences for looking at faces. Those with beards were not among the preferred. Caveat: That was many years ago, and I would want to re-read it to confirm it.

  • Abu Sinan

    How long is the beard? You know when it is shorter it is a bit sharp.
    Mine, in the area where it grows, is a bit longer, so it has passed the sharp stage and is now in soft fluffy stage.
    Sayf likes to get a fistfull of it and pull, and or play with it.

  • Abu Muhammad

    My condition is almost same as Br Abu Sinan’s. My advice to you Svend: Grow it more and oil it up daily so that it gets fluffy and desirable to a one year old’s clinch. My twins (Ahmed and Muhammad) are in love with my beard. I had a hard time last year back when they were infants and it used to be their favorite toy in the bed :)

  • Koonj

    ok, Abu Muhammad, that sounds like you’re turning my liberal gora into a maulvi saheb. :)

  • Abu Muhammad

    lol. I was telling my wife that you would think like that. Give him a bottle of Sarson ka Tel.

  • Abu Muhammad

    Yeah, I never said mustard oil; it takes that thing away :)

  • Svend

    Thanks for the insights and tips.
    I was wondering about the length angle. Makes sense that a longer beard would be softer.
    Must admit that I don’t like the look of a long beard on me at the moment. Maybe later. For now, a neatly trimmed beard looks better, I think.
    A more conservative Muslim might retort, “Your problem isn’t that you’re ‘observing the Sunnah’–it’s that you’re NOT observing the Sunnah [by having a short beard].”
    I’ve read that beards provide men a small advantage with newborns: They make the face recognizable earlier, since I guess babies at that point respond best to broad bands of color and strong contrasts.

  • ABD

    as-salam alaykum,
    i forgot how entertaining akram bhai’s blog can be–i’ve been missing out!
    funny thing–my cousin’s kids actually used to get scared when they saw a *clean-shaven* face. daddy and all of daddy’s friends had beards, and they didn’t know what to make of beardless men. puts things in perspective…

  • Svend

    Thanks, ABD, and welcome back, but you were probably right to keep away, as I know my blog’s quite dry most of the time. When the emotional/esthetic juices are flowing, I’m generally far from a PC.
    I lack Shabana’s gift of always being entertaining and articulate, not to mention perfectly spelling and punctuating stuff. Thank Dog for spell check.

  • Baraka

    Basil has a non-deterring beard – kids crawl all over him & have to be torn away in order to let him breathe.
    I think softness without length is a possibility – try olive or some other non-smelly kind regulalry to soften it up.
    And waiting on Raihana hand & foot will eventually pay off too :)