the beard to marital bliss

 Abdelwahab tells us how husbands should behave and look:

“The beard is a male prerogative. It must be the object of scrupulous and continuous attention. Indeed five things are defined as ‘natural’ (mianl fitra): circumcision, mourning, shaving of the armpits, cutting of the fingernails and wearing a beard. Another hadith adds shaving of the pubic hair and the trimming of the moustache. It may also be dyed, henna being particularly recommended. One may ask one’s wife or concubine to assist in this matter.

Yet another hadith ‘makes a link between the fullness of the beard and the breadth of the intelligence.’ There is, therefore, a definite connection between the beard and intelligence!

At a more general level, one recognized, in traditional Arab society, the social rank of a man by the length, shape and colour of his beard. ‘Thus a bourgeois sported a fine beard dyed either blue, yellow, green or red. A workman or a slave could be recognized by a small beard cut short. Notables and men practising the liberal professions, doctors, teachers, imams, wore very long beards, white as snow, while those of soldiers were divided into two tufts of the finest black.”

The female point of view must not be ignored, for it is crucial on this subject, as Shahrazad makes quite clear in The Thousand and One Nights. To a woman who expresses a preference for youths without prickly moustaches and beards, she replies caustically:
My sister, you are a fool…! A beard and moustaches are to a man what long hair is to a woman…. And yet you tell me to choose a beardless boy for a lover? Do you think that I would ever stretch myself out for love below a youth who, hardly mounted, thinks of dismounting; who, hardly stretched, thinks of relaxing; who, hardly knotted, thinks of unknotting; who, hardly arrived, thinks of going away; who, hardly stiffened, thinks of melting; who, hardly risen, thinks of falling, who, hardly laced, thinks of unlacing…. Undeceive yourself, sister! I will never leave a man who enlaces as soon as he sniffs, who stays when he is in, who fills himself when he is empty, who begins again when he has finished, whose moving is excellence, whose jerking is a gift, and, when he pushes, pierces!’
Between husband and wife sight is permitted of the whole of the body except for the partners’ sexual organs, which one is advised not to see for ‘the sight of them makes one blind’

Published in: on October 13, 2008 at 7:36 am  Comments (18)  

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18 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Oh Nursey, I can’t stop laughing!

    This is one heck of a priceless post. Especially the going blind part. I thought they said that only happens when you play with yourself. Sex can be so detrimental to one’s health.

  2. Have I ever mentioned my goatee ………. ?

  3. I can’t say I’ve ever realy understood the desire of most men in our culture to look like young boys. Over the years my beard has changed lengths and changed shapes, but in 18 years together my wife has never seen my chin. She prefers it that way. Although maybe she has a mortal fear of chins and I’ve just never asked…

  4. Now I feel body bald! Can’t see a thing either.

  5. I couldn’t grow a beard or moustache if I wanted to. My facial hair grows so slowly that I only need to shave every other day. Perhaps I have a hormone imbalance. I have a seemingly endless list of deficiencies.

  6. jesssssssssus christ! tell me that photo of the wolf man is a fake please.

  7. “who, hardly stiffened, thinks of melting”

    That’s nicely put. I never thought of it that way. Clever old Shahrazad.

    PS Why is the Indian dude blue? Is he, like, Lord Krishna, or is he holding his breath in some clever kama sutra way to keep his dick hard?

  8. that’s it. i’m growing a beard. check back with me in… oh… 3 months? should be beyond ‘scruffy’ by then…

  9. @gully. Are you saying you don’t turn blue when intercoursing with an Indian maiden?

  10. I am not especially hairy except for an immense thicket like a burnt gorse bush on my right shoulder blade. I think it must be the mark of the werewolf.

  11. Now I shall have to go and read the Thousand and One Nights. I don’t suppose it is the same version that they made into a Disney movie, is it?

  12. Gawd I used to work with a guy who was as hairy as the guy in your picture… thankfully I was spared the sight of his body…. but the lads who played sport with him described it as he was like a gorilla (shudder……)

  13. Well, I might not be able to grow a beard but I can definitely try to grow some stubble and look like Hugh Laurie on House M.D. Does that count?

    it certainly does

  14. @renal — stubble ROCKS…

    regarding the fur bag pic above — YEEEEEE GAAAAAAWD! look up “deal breaker” in the dictionary. i think that’s where the good nurse found that pic…

  15. Yeeeessss… BEARD. I have a goatee (well a beard but at any given time I’m likely to shave it off only living the goatee), two reasons, I have no chin and it makes my head look taller, and secondly being clean shaven is just an arse load of effort.

  16. I’m not sure what “enlaces as soon as he sniffs” means…but it sounds good.

  17. maybe he UNlaces?

  18. That was quite interesting.

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