This is a brilliant super awesome thread - later inshaAllah I will add my own accounts to it.
One small anecdote:
When we were in khurooj in Saharanpur, India, we fortunately happened to visit Maulana Talha Kandhlevi [db] son of Shaikh ul Hadith [rh] - we visited him about 6 times in 7 days, his zikr majlis and also at other times, when people used to visit him (visitors) - the first thing he used to notice was the beard and sunnah clothing, believe it or not, I saw him slap people (grown up's) who cut or trimmed (less than fistful) their beards, or wore trousers below the ankles, he said that all these acts (trimming, cutting, wearing below ankles) were acts of sins and if you perform your salah / worship, then you are doing so with sin..
"Gunah ke saath namaz, Gunah ke saath roza, Gunah ke saath saari ibaadat"
One guy came in who had his kurta above his knees and trimmed his beard and grown mustache, Maulana slapped him repeatedly and picked on his mustache such that blood started oozing (though not a lot) - I thanked Allah swt that I had a beard that day.
Now this man has been visiting since 5 years or so...and yet hadn't changed, Maulana was more like "How dare he comes in front of me in such an (non Sunnah, western attire)?!!", so don't come up with your fatwas, because Maulana is highly respected and is more like a father / guardian of the Muslim community over there.
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YOUR SIGNATURE BREACHES SIGNATURE RULES - PLEASE UPDATE
Decoding facial hair in the Arab world
2 February 2013
During the Mubarak-era, beards were a no-no in Egypt - but now they're back in fashion with a vengeance. In the Arab and Muslim world, facial hair signifies a lot more than personal style, writes Cairo-based journalist Ashraf Khalil.
A couple of years ago, I was with my parents in a mosque near Chicago. They introduced me to an old family friend - a lady who'd known me since I was a kid but hadn't seen me for years. She embraced my mother and shook hands with my father, but when she turned to me she stood about a foot away from me, didn't offer to shake my hand and instead sort of awkwardly waved.
My father asked her why she had been so distant and she said it was because of my beard. She assumed that my facial hair was symbolic of a deep Islamic religiousness and was afraid that if she offered her hand to shake, I wouldn't take it. My father, who knows exactly how non-religious I am, still LOVES to tell this story.[/quote]
[quote]The beard is also a symbol of manhood and honour. I'll never forget an example of this from a session of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. It was back in March 2003. The US and British-led "coalition of the willing" was about to invade Iraq and tensions were running high. At one point an Iraqi and Kuwaiti diplomat got into a public shouting match and the Iraqi yelled, "A curse on your moustache!" This remains my favourite insult of all time.
I spent my first 40 days with an Arab Jamaat. They didn't know English and I didn't know Arabic. One of the brothers was a grave-digger from UAE and he was an old man and he said that he has been digging graves for 20-30 years and everyone whom he buried with a Beard always had a smile on their face and their face turned towards Qiblah.
Those without Beard had their face turned away and he described some experiences where the grave had been open and he was able to observe this.
This realisation made him come to Sunnah and then go in Jamaat.
the first thing he used to notice was the beard and sunnah clothing, believe it or not, I saw him slap people (grown up's) who cut or trimmed (less than fistful) their beards, or wore trousers above the ankles, he said that all these acts (trimming, cutting, wearing above ankles)
I believe you mean "below" the ankles. Can't believe I missed it.
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.
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