“When Is Facial Hair a Sign of Faith?”
The Washington Post, October 11, 2014, p.B2
“On Tuesday (Oct. 7), the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that will decide whether a Muslim inmate can grow a beard in keeping with his religious beliefs. Does facial hair equal faithful holiness? … The ultra-Orthodox ban shaving altogether, while some modern Orthodox believe the law bans only razors — but not electric razors, which are like scissors because they have two blades. Reform Jews place no restrictions on shaving. … Christianity has an on-again, off-again relationship with the beard. … The Quran does not prescribe beards for Muslims, but the hadith (the collected sayings of the Prophet Muhammad) describes Muhammad as ordering his followers to wear beards. … Hair is part of God’s creation to Sikhs, and is therefore sacred. ‘Kesh’ — maintaining uncut hair all over their bodies is one of the five articles of faith for Sikhs, both men and women.”
Quickie Analysis: An interesting look at the religious implications of facial hair for the world’s major religions.