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Christian Apologetics toward Islam and Missions to Muslims

Justice Department Sues Over Beards

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Islam Bill of RightsWe begin a new month today and as we do I would like to share the results of the Share-a-thon we had last month. We like to keep our appeals for financial support of this ministry to a minimum by limiting them to twice a year, our spring and our fall share-a-thons. The goal of our spring share-a-thon was $28,000. This is what we need in addition to our regular giving to keep all of our stations on the air for the next six months.

I would like to thank all of you who gave. This ministry would not be possible without the faithful giving of our listeners. It is humbling to see so many of you give to keep us on the air. We know that for some of you it is a real sacrifice to do so.

I am sorry to say that we came up $11,000 short of our goal. We will make the adjustments necessary on our end to keep things up and running. Although the share-a-thon is closed, there may be some of you who can help us with this shortfall. In any case, I want you to know how much we appreciate those of you who did give.

It seems like any time the Justice Department under Eric Holder gets a chance to defend the rights of Muslims they jump on it with all of the vigor they can. On the other hand, any time they get a chance to oppose Christian views the do with the same vigor. It is no stretch to make this claim. Just look at the news and you will see this has been the case time and time again.

The news story I want to cover is from Philadelphia. The School District of Philadelphia hired a Muslim as a security officer, Siddiq Abu-Bakr, to guard one of the schools. He is a practicing Muslim and had worn his beard for the 27 years he has worked for the school district.

The school district wants to maintain a professional look in those who provide the security services. To do so the school district established a grooming policy in 2010 that requires police officers and security guards to maintain beards at a maximum quarter-inch length. He has been notified by his supervisors that if he continues to keep his beard more than the prescribed length he will face further disciplinary action.

Before we get into what Islam teaches about beards let’s look at what Christianity teaches about beards. Many preachers are wearing today as they have in the past. Some where little goatees and others wear full, neatly trimmed beards, and some where long beards. I see more beards on Christians today than any time that I can remember. I know some pastors who wear long beards like those you see on Duck Dynasty. Beards have become fashionable today.

There are some interesting things we see when we study beards in Christian history. Let’s start by looking at what the Bible has to say about it.

“Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood: neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times. Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard. Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:26-28).

They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh. They shall be holy unto their God, and not profane the name of their God: for the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and the bread of their God, they do offer: therefore they shall be holy” (Leviticus 21:5-6).

This is, of course, talking to Israel under the law. Although we have some instruction here, we do not have a mandate to wear, or not to wear, beards. We know that Jesus Christ wore a beard and that it was the custom of Jewish men to wear beards in Bible times.

It was the Greeks and the Romans that made the shaving of the face popular. The idea of shaving the face did not set well with the early Christians.

In the year 195 Clement of Alexandria calls the beard “the mark of a man” and says “it is therefore unholy to desecrate the symbol of manhood.”

In the year 200 the counsel of Carthage, which was a counsel in the early church about 200 A.D. met to discuss and try to work out many problems in the church.

· One of the problems they discussed at the counsel of Carthage was immodest dress. Now they were not discussing mini-skirts, shorts, halters, etc. They said Any man, who appears in Church with long hair and a clean shaven face, will be excluded from communion, for that man is immodestly dressed.” The reason for this was that in Greek mythology and Roman mythology, whenever you see a picture of a false god, usually he is clean shaven.

Tertullian wrote his treatise on the beard and said that the purpose of the beard was TO KEEP LUST DOWN.

During the Medieval period, 5th – 15th century, beards became symbolic. They separated East from West during the Great Schism. Look at paintings of the Eastern Orthodox Church and their leaders have beards while the Catholic Church leaders do not.

During the reformation we find the following:

  • 1535 Henry VIII levied a tax on beards.
  • 1547 Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer begins to grow a beard to signal a break with the (beardless) Catholic clergy.
  • July 6, 1535 At his beheading, Sir Thomas More reportedly set his beard away from his neck on the chopping block. “My beard has not been guilty of treason,” he said. “It would be an injustice to punish it.”
  • March 5, 1864 Punch runs a series of caricatures of the different kinds of Anglican clergy beards in the UK, noting that they’re not found among Catholics or dissenting Christians (like Baptists and Congregationalists)

I would like to point out at this time that Baptists are not Protestants. They were around as an identifiable group from the time of the apostles and were never united with the Catholic Church. The following quotes are from non-Baptists supporting this position:

Cardinal Hosius (President of the Council of Trent)

Were it not that the Baptists have been grievously tormented and cut off with the knife during the past twelve hundred years, they would swarm in number greater than all the Reformers. (Cannot Verify)

Here is a verifiable quote from the Cardinal

I read the edict of the other prince who lamented the fate of the Anabaptists who, so we read, were pronounced heretics twelve hundred years ago and deserving of capital punishment.” (The letters of Cardinal Stanislaus Hosius, Liber Epistolarum 150, titled “Alberto Bavariae Duci” in about 1563 A.D.)

A study commissioned by the King of the Netherlands on the history of the Reformed Church of the Netherlands concluded ….

The Baptists may be considered the only Christian community which has stood since the days of the Apostles; and as a Christian society which has preserved pure the doctrines of the Gospel through all ages.”

I could give you many more but these should suffice.

Now let’s look at what Islam teaches about beards. First we need to understand that there is no command in the Qur’an to wear a beard. All of the instruction concerning beards comes from the Hadiths. Even there, they are not commanded to wear a beard, but if they do there are two requirements. First, they are to trim their mustaches short and let their beard grow.

The second instruction they are given is that they are to do the opposite of what the Jews and Christians do. At the time he was talking about the fact that Jews and Christians did not die the gray in their beards, so Muslims who chose to wear beards must die the gray in their beards.

Muhammad on Beards

Narrated Nafi’: “Ibn Umar said, The Prophet said, Do the opposite of what the pagans do. Keep the beards and cut the moustaches short.’ Whenever Ibn ‘Umar performed the Hajj or ‘Umra, he used to hold his beard with his hand and cut whatever moustaches. Ibn Umar used to cut his moustache so short that the whiteness of his skin (above the upper lip) was visible, and he used to cut (the hair) between his moustaches and his beard. (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Dress, Volume 7, Book 72, Number 780)”

Narrated Abu Huraira: “Allah’s Apostle said, ‘The Jews and the Christians do not dye (their grey hair), so you shall do the opposite of what they do (i.e. dye your grey hair and beards).’ (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Virtues and Merits of the Prophet (pbuh) and his Companions, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 668)”

Narrated Muhammad bin Sirin: “I asked Anas, ‘Did the Prophet dye his hair?’ Anas replied, ‘The Prophet did not have except a few grey hairs.’ (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Dress, Volume 7, Book 72, Number 782)”

Narrated Ibn ‘Umar: “Allah’s Apostle said, ‘Cut the moustaches short and leave the beard (as it is).’ (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Dress, Volume 7, Book 72, Number 781)”

From this we see that the man who is suing over the religious requirement to wear a beard has no such command in the Islamic scriptures. While some may argue that since Muhammad wore a beard, all Muslim men are required to wear beards, there is no such command found in any of the Islamic scriptures.

As we look at what Muhammad said on the subject we see that there was no command to wear, or not to wear, a beard. The issue was do the opposite of whatever the Jews and Christians do.

I have not been able to find a picture of this Muslim school guard, but I have a question since most of the Muslims I see with beards do not die the gray in their beards and do not trim their mustaches short. The question is, is he really in compliance with what the Islamic scriptures say about wearing beards?

The question I really want to answer is, is the Justice Department right in suing the Philadelphia School District on this issue? Although I don’t like the answer and you may not like it either, I believe that the Justice Department is right and will prevail.

Whether it is your religion, my religion, or someone else’s religion, if the law protects the rights of an individual to practice his religion, then the Justice Department must protect that right.

Here is the real issue for me. This is just another form of the cultural jihad. Islam is going to push all of the boundaries as far as they can.

Another major problem is that the history of the Justice Department under the Obama administration shows that they will go to any length to protect the religious rights of Muslims no matter how insignificant. They will not do the same for Christians. As a matter of fact it seems that they will go to any length to trample the religious rights of Christians.

Two examples should suffice. The first is that a Christian business owner does not have the right to refuse their services to homosexuals. I am not taking about a grocery store, I am talking about someone who offers services like catering.

The second example is the case that is before the Supreme Court at this time. Hobby Lobby and another company have religious convictions against abortion and don’t want to pay for medications that cause abortions. They are willing to pay for those contraceptive medications and devices that prevent pregnancy, but do not abort the baby. Look at the efforts the Justice Department has put forth to force them to do this in spite of the religious convictions if these companies.

What would they be doing of it was a Muslim owned company?

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Updated: April 1, 2014 — 10:29 AM
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