Shaving Hair and Beards in Early Islamic Egypt: An Arab Innovation?

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Shaving Hair and Beards in Early Islamic Egypt: An Arab Innovation?

Type: Article / Letter to editor
Title: Shaving Hair and Beards in Early Islamic Egypt: An Arab Innovation?
Author: Sijpesteijn, P.M.
Journal Title: Al-Masaq: Journal of the Medieval Mediterranean
Issue: 1
Volume: 30
Start Page: 9
End Page: 25
Pages: 17
Issue Date: 2018
Abstract: Three papyri dating from the first 80 years after the Arab conquest record the Arab authorities in Egypt punishing some Egyptian officials by shaving off their hair and beards. Literary sources confirm that in this period the Arab authorities ordered the shaving off of the beards of the native Egyptian population. Later Arabic narrative sources abound in references to this punishment, both official juridical texts and popular descriptions of public punishments and shaming ceremonies in mediaeval Egypt and elsewhere in the Islamic territories. There are, however, no attestations of the systematic use of this punishment from pre-Islamic Egypt, nor does the context fit the later narrative accounts of the shaving off of beards and hair. This article examines where the practice of shaving off of beards and hair as an officially prescribed punishment in early Islamic Egypt came from and why it was – or was deemed to be – effective as a punishment.
Uri: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/calm20/current
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/71761
 

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