With no centralized Islamic religious authority, pretty much any Muslim “scholar” can create a fatwa, a religious edict for modern life supposedly guided by the Koran or the (less authoritative) hadiths – stories from Muhammad’s life. In recent years, supply has far outstripped demand, and it’s getting laughable. Most fatwas are harmless and a little mundane, but lately, some Islamic jurists have gone straight crazy.
A report by a committee set up by Al Azhar, one of the oldest and most prestigious Islamic universities in Cairo, to study the fatwas issued by the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis reveals how Islamists view women. The findings of the committee’s report were published in the Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Al Youm. In all, the committee studied 51 fatwas issued by the Brotherhood and Salafis during President Mohamed Morsi’s tenure.
According to the report, “the fatwas issued by both groups regard women as strange creatures who are created solely for sex. They considered the voices of women, their looks and presence outside the walls of their homes an ‘offense’. Some even went as far as to consider women as a whole offensive.”
“Al-Qaida has warned street vendors not to place tomatoes beside cucumbers because the vegetables are different genders.” – fatwa from Iraq in 2007
Women who swim in the sea commit adultery AND should be punished,” – from India Today:
- “When a woman goes swimming, as the word for sea is masculine, when “the water touches the woman’s private parts, she becomes an ‘adulteress’ and should be punished.” – “The misguided Fatwas of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis”, Al Masry Al Youm.
- Another fatwa prohibited women from “eating certain vegetables or even touching cucumbers or bananas”, due to their phallic imagery which could lead women down the wrong path.
- Another fatwa directed women to “turn off the air conditioners at home in the absence of their husbands as this could indicate to a neighbor that the woman is at home alone and any of them could commit adultery with her”.
- Another fatwa orders that girls as young as 10-years-old be married “to prevent them from deviating from the right path”.
- Another prohibited girls from going to school more than 25km away from their homes.
- A strange one said that a couple’s marriage would be annulled if they had sex with no clothes on.
- At the same time, some of these fatwas also sanctioned the use of women as human shields during violent demonstrations and protests.
- The Gatestone Institute, in an earlier report, had said that some of the fatwas issued by the Brotherhood and Salafis during Morsi’s tenure advocated the destruction of the pyramids and sphinx, the scrapping of the Camp David Accord, killing anyone who protested against president Mohamed Morsi, forbidding Muslims from greeting Christians, forbidding Muslim cab drivers from transporting Christian priests, forbidding TV shows that mock or make light of Islamists; and forbidding women from marrying any men involved with the former Mubarak government.
Top 10 Bizarre or Ridiculous Fatwas
Grand Mufti Sheikh Ibn Baaz:
- “The Sun Revolves Around the Earth.”
- In a 2000 Fatwa titled “The Transmitted and Sensory Proofs of the Rotation of the Sun and Stillness of the Earth”, Saudi Arabian Grand Mufti Sheikh Ibn Baaz asserted that the earth was flat and disk-like and that the sun revolved around it. He had insisted that satellite images to the contrary were nothing but a Western conspiracy against the Islamic world.
Source: Al-Ahram Weekly Issue 477, 13-19 April, 2000.
Ayatollah Khomeini: “Kill for A Book None of Us Can Should Read!”
- In 1988, publication of Salman Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses led Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini to issue a fatwa against Rushdie, with a huge bounty for his death. This triggered several attacks on the novel’s translators, publishers and booksellers, including the murder of Japanese translator Hitoshi Igarashi. Millions of Muslims around the world who had never read a single line of the book, and who had never even met Rushdie before, wanted him dead. Interesting fact, 24% of Iranians at the time couldn’t even read.
Source: “The West Is Choked by Fear”, Der Speigel Jan 4, 2010, Henryk Broder
The Fatwa: Malaysian National Fatwa Council: Tomboys
- A University of Massachusetts study recently reported that girls who play sports have higher self esteem, and are less likely to enter (or remain in) abusive relationships. Could this fact have threatened the he-men at the Malaysia National Fatwa Council? Maybe. Perhaps that’s why Kuala Lumpur had a near riot on their hands when the Sisters in Islam marched against a Malaysian fatwa banning tomboys, which branded any girls who act un-ladylike as violating Islamic tenets. Fortunately, the as-yet undefined punishment for Malaysian girls in t-shirts and jeans hasn’t been incorporated into Sharia law yet.
The Fatwa: Muhammad Al-Munajid: Bring Me the Head of Mickey Mouse
- That’s right, somebody put on hit on Mickey Mouse. Calling Mickey “one of Satan’s soldiers,” Sheikh Muhammad Al-Munajid decreed that household mice and their cartoon cousins must be “killed in all cases”, according to the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph. And get this—this guy’s not your average nutjob, either—Munajid used to be a former diplomat at the Saudi embassy in Washington D.C. He made the remarks on Arab television network al-Majd TV after he was asked to give Islam’s teaching on mice.
- But don’t worry, Mickey won’t be alone. Munajid also put a hit on Jerry from “Tom and Jerry”.
Rashad Hassan Khalil: No Nudity for Sex
- In 2007, the former dean of Islamic law at al-Azhar University in Cairo issued a fatwa that nudity during sexual intercourse invalidates a marriage between husband and wife. Debate was immediate. Suad Saleh, head of the women’s department of Al-Azhar’s Islamic studies, pleaded for “anything that can bring spouses closer to each other” and Islamic scholar Abdel Muti concurred, saying “Nothing is prohibited during marital sex, except of course sodomy.”
- Al-Azhar’s fatwa committee chairman Abdullah Megawar backpedaled and said that married couples could see each other naked but should really cover up with a blanket during sex.
Sheik Ali Gomaa: Urine Fatwa
- According to Egypt’s Grand Mufti, Sheikh Ali Gomaa, drinking the urine of Muhammad is deemed a great blessing. . . Failing to pass the laugh test with Muslim scholars, the Mufti later recanted, saying it was only his “personal opinion”.
Source: “A Fatwa Free-for-All in the Islamic World”, New York Times, Michael Slackman Published: Monday, June 11, 2007
Ezzat Attiya: Adult Breastfeeding in the Workplace
- In May 2007, Ezzat Attiya wondered how unrelated men and women could work together in the same office, when Islam forbids men and women who aren’t married or related to be alone together.
- His answer: let her suckle him FIVE TIMES. Yes, that’s right, an adult female breastfeeding an adult male coworker will defuse all sexual tension in the office. See, the female worker will now be the male worker’s foster mother, and they can be alone together anytime.
- Attiya’s ruling was intergalactically mocked, and quickly condemned on the homefront as well. He was later suspended from his job, pilloried in Arab newspapers, and issued a hasty retraction saying it was a “bad interpretation of a particular case.”
Source: “A Fatwa Free-for-All In the Islamic World”, New York Times, Michael Slackman, Monday, June 11, 2007.
There are more, but this should suffice to establish the depth of ignorance and religious mania. May Allah preserve us from such fools !