Originally Posted by dysphoricrocker
I will explain why I gave that answer.
Ulama in my place always say, if we have intention to do something that rewarded, but we cannot implement our intention because we always get uzur (barrier), and later we die before we can do our intention, we still get reward.
This is hadith that becomes their daleel.
Abu Abdillah, Abdillah bin Jabir al-Ansari RA narrated, "We were with Rasulullah Muhammad (saw) in a war (War of Tabuk), and then he said, 'In Madinah there are a number of men, you are not traveling or passing through the valley, unless they are with you . They held (at home) because of illness."
Imam Bukhari also told this hadith from sanad of Anas RA.
And there is complementary for this hadith from another riwayah
which became the main daleel for ulama to say that statement.
They get a reward as you
Now about why I said "He does not need to force himself to grow his beard".
First. Maybe method that he will use to grow his beard can harm him like cause alergic. And Muslim should avoid harm themselves.
Second. There was a case that similar like your friend case. And the answer was: If you cannot grow your beard, it's okay. (I heard it from a lecture, there's no written documentation that I can show you).
How to say to your friend?. Reference fro sister dqsunday is enough, I think. But if he still worry or afraid, bring him to an ustadz who you know.