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Marks of ‘Piety’ or ‘Beastliness’?

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Images of pious Muslims coming out of the Middle East have introduced Western readers to a phenomenon unique to Muslims: a dark scar in the middle of their forehead. For devout Muslims, these scars are a sign of piety, indicating strict adherence to their required five-times-a-day prayers. Below are just a few of the Islamic religious leaders who seem to have indelible marks on their foreheads.

Devout Muslims with Islamic piety marks: Ayman al-Zawahiri, Sheikh Khaled Abdallah, Nageh Ibrahim, Yusuf al-Qaradawi

Such scars are known in the medical world as Clavus, or commonly called "prayer callus". They are caused by repeated bowing of the head onto a prayer carpet, most likely a dirty prayer carpet judging by the extent of the scarring. Maceration and secondary fungal or bacterial infection are a common overlying feature in the soft clavi, or calluses.

The question is: Are these scars, in true sense, a “mark piety”, which means devotion to God, or a “mark of beastliness”? Let us evaluate in light of actions and preachings of these notable pious figures of today’s Islam.

Ayman al-Zawahiri: He was the spiritual adviser to Osama bin Laden, and succeeded him as the leader of Al Qaeda. Al-Zawahiri is the most wanted criminal in the United States for his involvement in the September 11, 2001 Islamic terrorist attacks in New York and Washington D.C., which resulted in death of nearly 3,000 innocent people. The US government has $25-million bounty for information leading to his capture.

He joined the Muslim Brotherhood at the age of 14, and, although trained as a medical doctor, has made a career in terrorism. Al-Zawahiri was imprisoned in Egypt for dealing in weapons, and he was jailed in Russia for promoting jihad in Chechnya. Before plotting the attack on the U.S., he was paid $2 million by the Iranian government to plot the overthrow of the Egyptian government in 1990. Al-Zawahiri had this to say about Osama bin Laden: “I have lived with him up close and have seen nothing but good from him.” Here is what he said to the people of the U.S. and Great Britain: “Make sure, you peoples of Crusaders alliance, to have catastrophes hit you. These will be brought to you by the policies conducted by Bush and Blair and their followers. You, people of the Crusaders alliance, we have warned you, but it seemed you want us to drink your death, so taste what you have already given to us. …it is the same reciprocated treatment. Are the people in your countries not women and children?

Sheikh Khaled Abdallah – the hardline Egyptian ‘tele-Islamist’ on the Islamist satellite television channel al-Nas who brought the anti-Islam film trailer, “The Innocence of Muslims,” to the attention of Muslims, resulting in over 75 deaths, including four American deaths at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. According to the New York Times, al-Nas “traffics in demagoguery and hatemongering. Abdallah is its star. In previous broadcasts, he has called the revolutionaries of the Arab Spring ‘worthless kids’ and condemned newspapers that don’t support his views.” Apparently, Abdallah’s main targets are the Egyptian Christian Copts who comprise one-tenth of the population. The TV channel name, al-Nas (Man), comes from the final Surah of the Quran, which says, “I seek refuge in the Lord …from the evil of the whisperings of the slinking (Shaitan) who whispers into the hearts of men.

Salafists in Egypt attempted to use the September 11, 2012, rioting over the “Innocence of Muslims” film as a pretext for demanding the release of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman (aka the blind sheikh), who is serving a life-term for his involvement in the first World Trade Center bombing in February, 1993, which killed six and injured over 1,000 people.

Nageh Ibrahim – A senior member and chief ideologue of al-Gamaa al-Islamiya, the Egyptian Sunni Islamist movement which is considered a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union. This group has been dedicated to the overthrow of the Egyptian government and replacing it with an Islamic state. Ibrahim was imprisoned for 24 years for his involvement in the assassination of President Anwar Sadat in 1981. Following new Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s recent decree to make his decisions irrevocable by the judiciary, Ibrahim warned that he expects to see, beginning in December, targeted assassinations of prominent liberal politicians and intellectuals who dare to oppose Morsi’s latest edicts. Spokespersons for al-Gamaa al-Islamiya denounced Ibrahim’s statement, but tensions are increasing in Egypt over Morsi’s apparent ‘power grab’.

Yusuf al-Qaradawi – Recognized as the unofficial spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, al-Qaradawi is sometimes heralded as the Ayatollah Khomeini of Egypt. He has been exiled from Egypt since the 1960’s for his involvement with the Muslim Brotherhood. He is media-savvy, and actually worked on the establishment of the Al Jazeera satellite television network, where he still gives a weekly broadcast world-wide to 60 million viewers. Since the overthrow of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, al-Qaradawi has interjected himself into the Arab Spring revolution, even taking the podium in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. On November 16, he was invited to lead the Friday Prayers at Al Azhar University, considered the world’s greatest center of Islamic learning. Al-Qaradawi has written extensively, including the best-selling book, “The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam.” In his writings, he has supported suicide bombings, wife beating, punishment for female rape victims, and the murder of Jews. He recently stated, “I ask God to kill the Jewish Zionists, every last one of them.

It is difficult to discern any spiritual piety or devotion to God in these famous Muslim men, bearing large so-called “piety marks” on their foreheads. They rejoice in the death of innocent human beings. They plot violence instead of peace. They model themselves after Muhammad, who bragged that he was made victorious through terror (Bukhari, Vol. 4, No. 220). If these scars signify anything, they can only be signs of “evil”, “beastliness”, not otherwise.

Comments (16)Add Comment
Not all muslims consider this a mark of piety
written by infidel and More Proud , November 30, 2012
Shia put a peice of paper when bowing the head to groud for they consider the ground/carpet to be unclean.
Christian quotes about Praying
written by Gnostic , November 30, 2012
While many philosophers are questioning any merit of prayings, there are at least two christian quotes against the bigotry and hypocracy. In Matthews Sermon of the Mount as well as in the apokryphal and maybe gnostic Gospel of Thomas.

Look, how faithful I am! This is really bragging and disgusting and many people thought so already in ancient times. The islamic world did never achieved to overcome this, no it only looks behind to become even more bigot.
A mark of shame
written by Worldpeace , November 30, 2012
This is only but a mark of shame not piety. Muslims want outdo themselves in their senseless practice and their illogical desire for the rather fictitious paradise.
Louis Palme
written by malem , November 30, 2012
Luois, your article would be nice, if it were correct. The mark is called zebiba, and frankly the majority of Muslims do not think this is a sign of devotion or piety. In fact a slight callus rarely might form which would be hardly noticeable. What you have in many of the folks who have a pronounced bump or brusing is they place a small pebble on the rug to feel the slight pain as they pray. Not entirely new in Islam is this type of self induced pain, like Azadari when the Shia whip themselves. Even in Christianity self flagellation in the remembrance of the hanging of Eisa is known as well. However as I said this is not a sign in the majority of Islam that it is respected. In fact you would see today in Egypt some young muslims who are on the line of hard line islam, having these bumps. I have treated them for infection as they place lemon or other juice into the wounds to try and get them to callus over quickly which never works out for the best. Please note it is noteworthy to look at the four gentlemen who the author of the article chose to show. None of these people are a good representation of what Islam is about. Lousi knows this well but is try thru an underhanded approach make his article more compelling to readers.
Nature of Islam
written by Infidel and More Proud , November 30, 2012
Folling ISlam is like driving a car by looking at rear view mirror which is set back in time by 1400 years.
No chance, hope or scope of innovation. Lets kill all women once again before they die naturally by subjecting them to FGM..
Mohallah falsly said that he saved them from being buried alive but gave the new form of death.
Men like Malman marry multiple women leaving no choice for some other Muslims to marry goats.
Infidel and DUmb
written by malem , November 30, 2012
You never fail to show your low intelligence level and immaturity! Great job and stay classy
Class bet it will go over your musli head Mal-man
written by Infidel and More Proud , November 30, 2012

There are between 105 and 101 males for 100 females.

If everybody strarts followin Moallah then for every 25 males 75 will either toss or marry goats. Allah goofed on this or maybe more Musli boys are eunechs and not fit for task. Yes some do get damaged useless during circumcision. Allah is so merciful no machine-parts in place of what was originally asigned.
Funny article
written by Kaser , December 01, 2012
Most Muslims, I am sure, don't pray 5 times a day and do not find a big scab in the middle of the forehead appealing.
I fully agree with Malem on this issue, these 4 are Islamist fanatics and it's probably a source of pride for them to have this.
It shows how pious they are.

Actually, how ignorant they are.

All religious persons left their intelligence and reason "checked at the door" regarding spirituality versus reason.
These men are proud in their blind faith in Allah and Islam. Proud of the barbaric, retarded, misogynistic Islamic ideology they claim as so superior to other retarded ideologies, and more importantly, superior to science with has proven them false time after time after time...

It's like looking at tarot card readers. Or "Astrologists". Convinced "believeers" are no different - they are as delusional.
It's in Quran
written by Montegue , December 01, 2012
Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah ; and those with him are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and prostrating in prayer, seeking bounty from Allah and His pleasure. Their mark is on their faces from the trace of prostration. --Quran 48:29
If i was a Muslim
written by dead or alive , December 01, 2012
I would steer clear of those people in the pictures above.If one of those men looked at me and said to me`Go kill so and so and bring me their head`I would have to prove that i am a good Muslim and do it.Or they would have me tortured to death for being a bad Muslim.
written by torture , December 01, 2012
Those four men are highly educated muslim scholars and leaders.

Flagellation used in relationship to Christianity and Jesus was known as Scourging in a ceremony called Mortification of the flesh . It was started by a group of Roman Catholics, known as the Flagellants,In the 13th century.Flagellants were condemned by the Roman Catholic Church as a cult in the 14th century and the sect was excommunicated.

Flagellants during times of strife,such as the Black Plague believed they were paying for mankind's sins that offended God enough to unleash the plague .

Flagellation originated in the Near East and spread throughout the ancient world. In Sparta, young men were flogged as a test of their masculinity.

Self-flagellation remains common in muslim countries ,the Philippines and Latin America.Flagellation,caning, flogging and whipping are still common punishments in Islamic countries , Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe .

Mohammad liked Carding as a punishment or test of faithfulness of warriors .It is mentioned in the quran.
The iron carding combs typically used for torture were sturdy instruments with one or two rows of teeth, each a few inches in length and designed to prepare wool , these instruments resembled miniature garden rakes rather than the modern, short-toothed carders.The carding combs were pressed into the skin and drug downwards,shredding skin and muscle to the bone.
Khabbab ibn al-Aratt, a companion of Muhammad and one of the first ten persons to convert to Islam, taught that a man should remain faithful to Islam even if his flesh should be torn away from his bones with an iron comb.
Carding was used by muslims as means of torture during the persecution of Jews and Coptic Christians.

Scaphism was a Persian method of torturous death adopted by ancient Romans and muslims .
Men were sewn up in raw hides,or boats, with holes cut in them in such a way that the victim’s head, hands, and feet are left outside. Next they poured a mixture of milk and honey into the man’s mouth until he is filled to the point of nausea, smearing his face, feet, and arms with the same mixture, and left him exposed to the sun. This is repeated every day, the effect being that flies, wasps, bees ,predatory birds and vultures , settle on his face and parts of him exposed , and gnaw on,eat and sting the man. His belly, distended as it is with milk and honey, throws off liquid excrements, and these putrefying breed swarms of worms and maggots . Thus the victim lying immobile, his gangerous flesh rotting away in his own filth and being devoured alive by animals ,insects and worms, dies a lingering and horrible death."
The last known victim of muslim scaphism was found in the Hindu Kush in 1991.
written by dead or alive , December 01, 2012
Don`t forget the hot seat.A hapless victim is tied to an iron chair and a fire is lit under it.Modern Muslims place a microphone near the victim and wire to loud speakers to let the village people hear the screams.
Self flagellation
written by Montegue , December 01, 2012
It's a wonder to me...
written by Betty , December 01, 2012
that 'ol Malem can talk about a "and frankly the majority of Muslims do not think this is a sign of devotion or piety" while he himself says Hadith is incorrect? Does the word hypocrite mean anything to the loser?
As you state,torture, this was used in early Christianity and "Flagellants were condemned by the Roman Catholic Church as a cult in the 14th century and the sect was excommunicated." while it still occurs in the backwards actions of Muslims...
written by Montegue , December 01, 2012
The scar on the forehead is from rubbing the head with carpet till it burnt, not from prayer. To produce a scar such as this by touching is impossible, unless the head is hit hard enough to produce severe brain damage.

The scar is a sign of pious fraud.
dirty prayer carpets
written by dead or alive , December 01, 2012
The infection in their foreheads comes from foot fungus or athlete foot.They prayed on the wrong end of the carpet.

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