If you are someone who enjoys hair weaves, I’ve got bad news. When it comes to weaves, Prophet Muhammad cursed both the customer and the service-provider! According to the authoritative compiler of Islamic anecdotes Mohammed al-Bukhari, the Prophet said the Israelites were destroyed when their women began using false hair.
This embarrassing gem of philistinism, also brought to us by al-Bukhari, has the Prophet explaining to anyone who will listen that it’s better for a man to fill his body with pus than poetry. This is a strange statement for someone whose followers claim that Muhammad’s legacy, the Holy Quran, is the greatest work of poetry ever assembled. (They also claim it’s the greatest anything ever assembled, but that’s beside the point.)
Many women agree that man buns are an aberration against good taste. During Muhammad’s time, a Muslim man put his hair in a bun behind his head. One day while he was praying, he had the thing undone by a nosy passerby, who informed him that Muhammad advised against the bun. He told his coreligionist that Muhammad said the bun is where Satan liked to sit. This hadith is brought to us by the good work of ʿIsa at-Tirmidhi. Like Bukhari, he compiled these weird stories over two hundred after Muhammad was available for comment.
As a youth, I was told Satan would laugh at me and enter my mouth if I yawned without covering my mouth. This is an authentic statement of the Prophet Muhammad according to my favorite compiler of Muhammad stories! Reading this stuff, one begins to wonder if Muhammad simply went around forbidding people from doing things he found personally annoying. Think about it, in the Quran, Muhammad is “given” sexual access to virtually any woman he might want, which is what one must imagine most men in the days of tribal hegemony would have done if surround by people who believed God Almighty spoke directly to them. I therefore suspect Muhammad simply banned things he didn’t like because I too share this particular pet peeve.
According to this Muhammadian tale snatched from the sands of time by the illustrious Abu Dawud, the Prophet specifically permitted a Muslim to be naked in front of his wife and his slaves. However, when a true believer is alone, Muhammad suggests it’s best to conceal the privates, unless their presence is required.
“Allah is more deserving that you should feel shy before Him than people.”
Jacob, the famously handsome prophet, was also said to be shy about his own beauty and his genitalia. As it’s told, he refused even to look upon his own member. The implied lesson is strange. Am I to believe that amusing myself in private is viewed less favorably than if I were to barge into the shed where I keep my slaves and proudly wag my genitals at them? Religion is confusing.
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Special thanks to Andrew Hall who runs the Patheos blog Laughing in Disbelief!