More Beard & Moustache Lore
Pursuant to the post below this one, my hirsute amigo Mr. Majd has supplied me with photographs of the traditional Persian moustache he may grow.
Those British sailors can thank their lucky stars it wasn't Mozafar o-Din Shah who captured them off the Persian coast, although, had they survived, he certainly would have provided them with a better tailor. The Persians were very fond of moustaches. In Olearius's Travels it is reported that the King of Persia ordered his steward beheaded. When the head was brought to him he said, "What a pity that a man with such fine mustachios should have to be executed."
I have told Hooman that if he grows a moustache like the one above I will wear a monocle. My wife, however, is trying to talk him out of growing a shah-handle moustache in favor of this look"
Ah, but Sharif—the great actor, bridge player, and anger management student himself—has gone for the full facial fescue.
As for what Islam says about beards, there is nothing in the Koran itself on the matter, but various hadiths or traditions regarding the words of Muhammed refer to them.
One says: "Act against (contrary) to the polytheists, trim closely the moustache and grow the beard." Of course the Greek polytheists were often bearded. Elsewhere believers are advised to trim of the beard that exceeds a handful. To wear a beard shorter than this handful is apparently the sign of a Western infidel or a hermaphrodite.
The Torah also weighs in on beards, apparently, in the dictate, "Do not round the corner of your head." The Rastafarians, who consider themselves the real nation of Zion, interpret the same verses to grow their dreadlocks and wear beards. Crazy baldheads will of course be driven out of town.
The fashion for shaving was probably initiated by Alexander the Great, who ordered his men to shave because the beard could serve as a handle for the enemy in close fighting. The shave was adopted by the great Roman general Scipio Africanus, who defeated Hannibal, and remained the fashion in Rome (although slaves were forbidden the shave, perhaps because the handle was convenient for their masters) until the emperor Hadrian grew a fine Greek philosopher's beard in the second century after Jesus, or Augustus, whoever you prefer.
I consider my fuzz philosophical and in no way divinely ordained, unless Mother Nature is so considered, but an enemy would be hard pressed to get a grip on it.