Hizbul-Islam militants in Somalia ordered men in Mogadishu this week to grow their beards and trim their moustaches.
“Anyone found violating this law will face the consequences,” a Hizbul-Islam militant said, announcing the edict.
But, is growing a beard obligatory under Islam?
Professor Muhammad Abdel Haleem, of the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, says it is not.
It is up to the individual whether he lets his facial hair grow or not, Mr Abdel Haleem says, attributing this view to most scholars of Islamic law across a majority of Muslim-dominated countries.