January 11, 2010
Dying to go straight -- with henna dye!
Yemeni's top cleric Sheik Abdul-Majid al-Zindani -- a man also said to be Osama bin Laden's spiritual advisor -- is not happy with the United States, which he thinks is planning a "foreign occupation" of Yemen:
SAN'A, Yemen - Yemen's most influential Islamic cleric, considered an al-Qaida-linked terrorist by the United States, warned Monday that the U.S.-backed fight against the terror group could lead to "foreign occupation" of the country.I had a bit of trouble reading the text because I became so distracted by the goofy-looking picture of al-Zindani.
What in the world is up with that? I wondered whether some prankster at Yahoo had playing PhotoShop games with his beard, because he's clearly too old to be naturally red-bearded at that age. But as I read on, I learned that the beard was dyed, and dying of beards is in the style of Islamic hardliners.
Al-Zindani laughed Monday as he dismissed the U.S. terror accusations against him at a news conference at his home in San'a.Sheesh.
This may explain why Osama bin Laden dyed his beard back in 2007.
Incidentallly, there does appear to be some religious justification for the dying. According to at least one interpretation of Islamic law, the idea is for Muslims to distinguish themselves from Jews and Christians (who apparently aren't supposed to use dye):
Al-Bukhari, on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, quoted the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying, 'The Jews and Christians do not dye their hair, so be different from them.'I won't quote the whole thing, but I did find the red henna dye specifically mentioned -- for those who want to be on the straight path:
Some scholars do not consider the use of black dye as permissible except during time of war, with possibility of making the enemy thrown off balance by seeing all Muslim soldiers in their blossoming youth.Well, you learn something every day.
I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.
posted by Eric on 01.11.10 at 06:24 PM
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