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Can the beard be shaved or cut to make it presentable and neat?

To a question on this site about the beard and whether it can be shaved or cut for neatness purposes, the end of your reply was:
“Moreover, Islam wants its followers to remain clean and to create an impression on the minds of others that helps in attracting them towards Islam rather than drawing them away from it. Whoever keeps a beard should, therefore, keep these requirements in mind. ”
Does that mean that if the beard does look shabby and people are drawn away from you, you should trim it so that it looks neat? I am asking this because I think that your response to the above mentioned question did not clearly say whether one should trim it or not.


Most certainly, it means that. In fact, there are two conditions which an acceptable beard should satisfy.
Firstly, it should look like a beard and should not just be an overgrown hair that give an impression of the result of inability on the part of the individual to shave out of laziness.
Secondly, the beard should also look neat. This second condition is subjective as far as the decision on whether it looks neat or not is concerned. It should be left to the judgement of the individual to decide how he thinks it suits him more. I have found no convincing argument to support the generally mentioned claim that an Islamically acceptable beard should at least be long enough to be gripped properly with one hand.