Many Muslim Egyptian men have prayer bruises on their foreheads.
Some of them are quite large and pronounced.
I have spent some time looking at people as I sit in public places, and I have watched men pray.
From what I know of physics and my observations of the topography of some men’s foreheads, I fail to see how these bruises could be formed in the shapes and sizes that are exhibited.
There are many here who are quite convinced that these bruises are enhanced. I have heard many explanations as to how this is done. The most painful sounding one is with a hot iron. Ow.
These bruises are referred to, somewhat derisively, as zebiba (prune) by those who have no bruise. Either “secular” Muslims or Christians.
The largest bruises are on lower income individuals, though one will sometimes see one on a well dressed, more weathly looking individual.
And most of the bruises are on men 40 and younger. Again there are exceptions.
We have now visited 3 other mainly Muslim countries (Morocco, Qatar and Jordan) and have not seen these on any other Muslims other than Egyptians.
If my suspicions and the comments of others are true, and these bruises are enhanced, it is obviously some sort of display of piousness.