Can you tell our readers about yourself

I’m a fundraising manager for international humanitarian charity Penny Appeal. I run marathons, climb mountains and love fundraising for great causes. I love keeping fit and am a former Kickboxing champion.

How long have you had your beard? 

I’ve never shaved my beard. It’s been growing since adolescence.

What was your motivation to grow a beard? Was it a matter of appearance? Religious belief? A combination of both? Or any other reason?

I grew up in a household where the emphasis on Sunnah was paramount. My father and elder brother had beards and I too kept the beard knowing it was an important part of my faith. I can’t really imagine myself without a beard. If I ever woke up without a beard, I’d be embarrassed to show my face. It’s my pride!

Do you recall encountering obstacles to grow your beard? 

I was quite young when my facial hair became prominent, maybe 14 or 15, so I’ve always had a healthy beard. It’s grown rather well. For the first 5 years or so, it didn’t even get a trim. It was only in the last 10 years or so after I had good length, that I had to look after it a bit more and keep it tidy.

How did your friends, relatives and coworkers react to your new look?  

I’ve always had my beard so this is how people expect to see me. It’s not a new look, it’s just normal.

Have you ever faced any negativity, discrimination or odd comments in regards to your beard? 

I’ve never had any issues with the beard. I think I have a friendly face, and I tend to smile a lot. Happy is good! Alhamdulillah!!

When I was a youth worker some of the kids used to be cheeky and when they’d get beaten on Fifa they’d call me the “Bearded Dragon”, which I still find quite hilarious to this date! Haha!

Do you have a funny or positive anecdote in relation to your beard?   

As you can see in my picture, I shave my head and keep the beard. One of my former work colleagues used to joke that I have an upside down head! It wasn’t so funny, but I’d still laugh!! Ha!

How do you care for your beard? Do you have a daily or weekly routine? Do you go to a barbershop? If so, how often? Are you loyal to one barbershop or do you try different places? 

I exercise often so sweat from the head gets in to the beard, so my beard tends to gets the shampoo every day. When I was younger I remember conditioning it every day too. I’ve tried honey in my beard before, even raw egg!! I heard it was good for conditioning. After washing in the morning I usually like to rub my face and beard with Cocca butter cream. At the moment, I’m using the beard oil by Elegance beard. It gives me a nice smooth and gloss finish. I like a shiny beard! I tend to give my beard a little trim every couple of weeks to maintain some shape and to avoid getting too wild.

How important is fashion in your life? Do you style and shop for yourself? Where do you usually buy your clothes and why? What was the last fashion item you purchased? 

I’m not overly in to fashion. But as a fundraising manager if I’m attending important meetings, networking events or charity dinners then it’s important for me to look the part, so I will make an effort and ensure (and have my beard oil on too!)

What is your advice to those who would like to grow their beards? Do you have any beard tips or tricks? 

Just let it grow!! Be a Man!!!

Have you ever encountered anyone who thinks beards are dirty and thus needs to be shaved "clean"? What would be your answer to them? 

I haven’t encountered anyone as such, but there’s no issue of dirt. You just have to keep yourself clean, the same way you would for hair on your head.

Is there anything else you would like to share with our bearded audience? 

The beard is a beautiful Sunnah!! Embrace it!

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