Islamabad - Put your razor down and pack up. This was the blunt order passed by a little known religious group in district Mansehra after two barber shops ‘failed’ to comply with a written ‘code’ issued by the organization, banning classy beard styles for men. Stylish beard styles.
The religious organization — International Khatm-e-Nabuwat Movement (IKNM) — had earlier issued orders to barbers telling them to refrain from carrying out stylish and classy beard cuts, calling it “blasphemous, disrespectful and profane act”, with a warning of the closure of businesses for violating the ban.
“Irreverence, contempt or disrespecting beard is un-Islamic. Any shop found doing classy and stylish shave cuts such as French cut will be shut without serving a notice,” says the pamphlets issued by the barber shops’ association under the patronage of IKNM divisional and tehsil chiefs. “Followers of Islam are appealed to cooperate in this regard to put an end to the temptation (fitna) and to gain the pleasure of Allah,” it further says.
The pamphlets also installed in town's barber shops tell customers not to ask for any existing beards or stubble to be shaved classy or fashionable.
An official told The Nation that barber associations in different areas have been conveyed through the pamphlets not to carry out the particular procedure or style.
Small goatee styles
The official said that the pamphlets had been distributed in Bhir Kund, Khaki, Shinkiyari, College Doraha and other areas of the district. The official said that the two shops were shut in the Bhir Kund locality.
IKNM Hazara Division head Qazi Wasih-ur-Rehman confirmed to The Nation that his organization had shut down two barber shops in Bhir Kund. He, however, denied that any harm was caused to the barbers or their shops.
Rehman claimed that the ‘shaving code’ has not specifically been issued against the ‘French cut’, but it aimed to stop the youth from keeping ‘Ahmedi-style beard’.
He said that a few shops had started fashioning the specific beard style and they had been directed to stop executing the demand.
“Vacation of shops for violation involves a complete process and it is not carried out all at a sudden,” he said. “Initially, a warning is issued to a shopkeeper, and if it is ignored, he is put on notice though owners to vacate the shop in 15 days,” he said.
Replying a question, Rehman said that the complaint about the ‘specific beard style’ came to his organization’s knowledge through multiple sources.
He also said that the local people or the administration did not put any hurdle in spreading the ‘message’ of his movement. “The step has been taken for the protection of the Prophethood (PBUH)”, he said.
Meanwhile, District Police Officer Manshera Naeem Shehzad Bukhari talking to The Nation said that no incident of shutting down of barber shops has been reported to him. He said that earlier an inquiry was carried out about the distribution of the pamphlets but no serious episode or case was reported.
Different kinds of beard styles
“Sovereign business is the right of every person and the police will make sure this freedom of the people. Anyone can contact the police if threatened by any group,” he said.
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