There is a phenomenon in the Muslim world called zebiba, or prayer bump. These are marks on the forehead and are apparently caused by continually touching or rubbing the forehead to the ground during prayer. In Arabic, zebiba means raisin. If you consider that Muslims pray five times a day, during which their foreheads touch a prayer mat at least 34 times per day, it is not surprising that these prayer bumps appear on some Muslims’ foreheads over time. No one knows why not all Muslims get them or what causes them specifically, but there is a lot of speculation. Some believe that it is due to skin type and others believe it might be caused by using a prayer mat made of straw or that people who get them press their foreheads too hard to the floor when they pray. It can appear as a discoloration of the skin or can actually become a bump, like a callous. For some odd reason, zebiba occurs most often on Egyptian men and very rarely on women at all, but I have personally seen a couple of men here in Saudi Arabia with them, but then again, they could have been Egyptian.
Many believe that zebiba is a sign of religious piety and devotion, however it seems to have become a religious status symbol of sorts in Egypt, with some thinking that a Muslim with zebiba is more religious or more conservative than other Muslims.
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About This Blog, and About Me: Susie of Arabia
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is KSA's 2nd largest city and is located on its west coast, right on the Red Sea. I moved here in 2007 with my Saudi hubby and teenage son. This journal reflects the things that I see here, life through my eyes, my lens.
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