- The Washington Times - Monday, August 26, 2013

The Free Syrian Army has issued a fatwa prohibiting the killing of lice that appear in the Muslim beard or else “be punished with 50 lashes by Sharia,” Ahlulbayt News, an English-language Shia Islamic television channel, reported Sunday.

The fatwa, translated by Ahlulbayt, reportedly states that “blessed lice” appear in the Muslim’s beard because of his “lack of bathing due to the water non-availability all the time on the Jihad [holy war] fronts.” This causes their beards to become moist and thick, which makes it “a natural place for lice to live in.”

“The Sharia Authority in Aleppo recommends the Mujahideen [holy fighters] brothers to dye their beards with Henna, like our prophet Muhammad PBuH, the thing that would reduce the itching caused by the lice, and to maintain this lice that would have not appeared in those blessed beards, if it was not from God’s Muslim believing creatures,” the fatwa reportedly states.

“Who disobeys this Sharia fatwa [advisory opinion] which has been confirmed right by a number of the senior scholars in Aleppo, will be punished with 50 lashes by Sharia, and other measures will be taken against him in the Shaira Court in Aleppo. … And God was behind our intent,” Ahlulbayt reported the fatwa as saying.

According to Ahlulbayt, the fatwa conflicts with Islamic teachings, “as the core teaching of Islam is based on hygiene calling for Muslims to wash 5 times a day before prayers and wash before reading Quran, ablution.”

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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