Dear Respected Mufti Sahab,
I am a doctor working amidst the Coronavirus covid 19 crisis that is amongst us during these days. The CDC recommends wearing N95 masks for doing certain procedures as a doctor. N95 masks requires one to be fit-tested to ensure there is no air leak between the mask and the skin. It requires that the maks fits the skin directly without any hair in between. To meet those requirements, as per CDC requirements, men need to shave their beard at the point of contact of the masks to ensure a proper-fit. Is it permissible to shave the beard in these circumstances. Please also note that there are full face masks that cover the entire face as an alternate that dont require one to shave, called the PAPR. However, these require a machine and are very expensive. Most hospitals may not have these available and given the current pandemic, there is largely a shortage of all kinds of masks.
Please also note the fatwa issued by AMJA https://www.amjaonline.org/fatwa/en/87733/shaving-the-beards-to-properly-fit-the-n95-mask-for-protection-against-covid-19. Please advice. Jazak Allah Khair
الجواب وباللہ التوفیق
Growing beard is “wajib” and is essential to keep and maintain it. It is not permissible to shave the beard due to CDC requirements. You may either purchase the full face mask PAPR and the associated machine if possible , or add a piece of cloth on both sides of the mask to have a fuller face coverage. Hopefully, this arrangement will help satisfy the CDC requirements.
واللہ اعلم بالصواب