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Customs and Culture >
Why do Muslim men wear beards?

Many Muslim men wear beards in honor of the Prophet Muhammad, who had a beard. Some believe that the beard should be left untrimmed in the style of Muhammad, but many do not accept this assertion; thus differing styles of beards abound, ranging from full beards covering the entire jaw and cheeks to neatly trimmed goatees covering only the chin area. Only in Afghanistan under the Taliban regime were men absolutely required to wear full, untrimmed beards.

Many other Muslim men do not wear beards and do not believe it is a religious requirement. Some who live in Muslim countries that repress any form of Islamic activism or fundamentalism do not wear them because they are more likely to be subject to suspicion and arrest if they do. Some in the West, particularly post-September 11, avoid wearing a beard because bearded Muslim men tend to be associated with extremism.

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