“He liked to use kohl”

While I am on the topic of grooming, I figured I should post this extract from a martyrdom biography from 1980s Afghanistan that I came across recently. (It’s from Basil Muhammad’s al-ansar al-arab fi afghanistan, p. 336.)

My translation:

“(2) Martyr Ali al-Libi: Barely 20 years
old. He obtained a high school diploma before joining the Jihad in 1986. He got
to know Hussein and they never parted. He was very righteous and had a sharp
temperament. He refused to fight anywhere other than in the front ranks. When
the young men at al-Mas’ada were ordered to withdraw the day before he was
martyred, he protested and refused, but complied in the end.  After dawn prayers he turned back with
Hussein, Saifallah, and other brothers. He acquired the love of the Qur’an from
Hussein, and served as mu’azzin of the camp he was in. He liked to use kohl [my emphasis]. He
participated in the Sha’ban battle and was lightly injured before being
martyred. He was buried with his brothers in the ‘Zikoyak’ site.”

Kohl, as you may know, is a type of eyeshadow that women have worn in Africa and Asia since ancient times. What you might not know is that in the Muslim world, it is perfectly fine for men to wear it too, because it is Sunna, i.e., something that the Prophet Muhammad used to do. 

In this fatwa on iktihal (the wearing of kohl) from the salafi website IslamQA, we can read that the Prophet recommended a particular type of kohl called ithmid: “The best of your kohl is ithmid (antimony), for it makes the vision clear and makes the hair  grow.” Ithmid is the term for kohl made of stibnite, the mineral form of antimony. People make kohl in many other ways, including from charcoal, lead, and almonds, but grinded stibnite is widely considered pure kohl. 

We can also read that

“the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to apply kohl to his right eye three times, and to his left eye twice”. This has apparently given rise to a debate among scholars about whether it is best to apply it an odd number of times on both eyes or an odd number on one eye and an even number on the other.

I don’t have any pictures of jihadis where I can tell for sure that they are wearing kohl, but there are plenty of pictures online of ordinary muslims wearing and applying kohl. 

Here’s one from GettyImages:

And I’m pretty sure this guy is wearing some:

(picture source: The Muslim Vegetarian)

If you feel like trying it out for yourself, you can buy some here.

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