The Fatwas and the Crippled Muslim Society
“Stupidity is the same as evil if you judge by the results”.
“In low intelligent ignorant societies, the clever are denigrated and the stupid are belauded; the brainy are stoned and the dull are held in high esteem!”
A fatwa is a decree. The usual sequence is that an orthodox Muslim puts an issue before an authority, and the latter rules on the topic and gives a formal legal opinion (Zaydan, 1976, p. 130). Anyone trained in Islamic law may issue a fatwa – either an individual or an institution – and problems of life, belief and law which confront a Muslim are thus answered. Qur’an says,
“… the matter is decreed concerning which you inquired.” (Q: 12.41)
“So ask the people of the knowledge if you do not know.” (Q: 21.7)
“Then judge (think, consider) O you with eyes.” (Q: 59.2)
“She said: O chiefs! give me advice respecting my affair: I never decide an affair until you are in my presence.” (Q: 27.32)
Issuing a fatwa as per Shariah (Allah’s sacred law) is an art. Here, Shariah is used as a standard test of validity of all positive laws – “a standard of values to which all law must be compiled with” (Alhaji, 1998, p. 303). So, fatwas are the Shariah in action. The learned (mosque-type education) professors of Islam pronounce on matters ranging from personal hygiene, to marital relationships, to the fine points of law on inheritance and various scientific matters, such as earth moves around the sun or the sun moves around the earth etc. Though most of them do not break new ground, some really take a bizarre turn. This is the funny side of Islam. Though people say that a humor book can be found on every religion except Islam, this is not true. The fatwas accurately depict the ‘ahkam’ (orders, wills) of Allah Almighty regarding obligation, permission and prohibition. Qayyim (1955, p. 224) described that a cleric is a reporter of Allah’s ‘hukm’ (order) regarding an issue. Let me present some gems and jewels.
In a 1993 fatwa, Saudi Arabian Grand Mufti Sheikh Ibn Baaz declared “The earth is flat. Whoever claims it is round is an atheist deserving of punishment.” (Das, 2012, p. 274; Reyes, 2010, p. 564). Ibn Baz disbelieved the news of the landing on the moon, and even suspected conspiracies behind the propagation of such falsehoods (AbuKhalil, 2002, p. 64). Previously, in 1966, this cleric wrote another quirky fatwa, “Sun goes around the earth and earth is motionless”. (Weston, 2008, p. 329). According to him, the satellite images to the contrary were nothing but a Western conspiracy against the Islamic world. This great Qur’anic scholar was head of the Council of Senior Scholars and was granted presidency of the administration for scientific research and legal rulings. Later, Ibn Baaz urged a caution towards fellow Muslims,
“We must make careful checks whenever the kuffar [unbelievers] or faseqoon [immoral folk] tell us something: we cannot believe or disbelieve them until we get sufficient proof on which the Muslims can depend” (Lacey, 2009, p. 352).
It is sad that Muslim scholars think that Western Scientists are very narrow-minded. But does Qur’an really teach science? According to Qur’anic cosmology the earth is flat – a circular disk, stretched out like a carpet, a thing spread to sit or lie upon, extend, stretch out, bed, carpet, expand, stretch out, spread out flat, a flatten part etc (Q: 2.22; 13.3; 15.19; 20.53; 43.10; 50.7, 51.48; 71.19, 78.6, 88.20, 91.6). Allah had put mountains like paper-weights on it (Q: 31.10) and driven them as pegs (Q: 78.7). The earth is fixed and stationary. The sun, moon and planets move around the earth in a circular motion (Bukhari: 4.54.421). The sun takes Allah’s permission to rise and set (Q: 36.38), and the sun can be folded up (Q: 81.1). The Grand Mufti did not study any other book except Islamic literature. As a result, he considered the non-muslim scientists as laymen in regard to understanding the meaning of the Qur’an. Since Allah’s revelation has primacy over science, as a sincere student of knowledge he insisted that the earth is flat. Abul A’ala Maududi (1903 to 1979), one of the greatest Muslim thinkers of the last century, said:
“As the aim of the Qur’an is to guide Man and not to teach Nature Study or History or Philosophy or any other science or art, it does not concern itself with these latter subjects.” (Maududi, 1975, p. xxvi)
The Qur’an REALLY described a geocentric universe revolving around a flat earth because Muhammad understood it that way.
Saudi authorities issue extremely creative fatwas. A prominent Saudi religious leader, Sheikh Mohammed al-Munajid, issued a fatwa against all mice – “Shariah, or Islamic law, calls for the extermination of all mice. That includes the common house mouse as well as the famous cartoon [Mickey] mouse.” The learned cleric explained, in a television interview reported by the MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute), “The mouse is one of Satan’s soldiers and is steered by him” and makes everything it touches impure. Munajid expressed his Islamic wisdom in the following comment.
“If a mouse falls into a pot of food – if the food is solid, you should chuck out the mouse and the food touching it, and if it is liquid – you should chuck out the whole thing, because the mouse is impure…. According to Islamic law, the mouse is a repulsive, corrupting creature. How do you think children view mice today – after Tom and Jerry?… Even creatures that are repulsive by nature, by logic, and according to Islamic law have become wonderful and are loved by children. Even mice.
Mickey Mouse has become an awesome character, even though according to Islamic law, Mickey Mouse should be killed in all cases.” (Beckford, 2008)
The same cleric had also called for a ban on football, because the shorts worn by the players ‘reveal nakedness’. Arab’s stupidity tops the chart of all sorts of Islamic stupidity. Islam sucks away the brain of the Muslims.
Does Allah want us to die laughing?
Many Islamic governments appoint religious scholars on the reserve seats in their legislative bodies to issue fatwa. In last few years, the supply of fatwas has far outstripped demand, and it’s getting laughable, and lately, some Muslim clerics have gone straight crazy. Jalan (2015) mentioned many crazy fatwas, such as:
- Women are prohibited from watching football because they look at men’s thighs (from Saudi Arabia)
- Men must wear clothing that covers all of their thighs (opposing to previous fatwa, a cleric, Sheikh Abd al-Rahman al-Ajlan had issued this one).
- Girls should not dress up as tomboys because they were supposedly ‘violating human nature’ (issued by the Malaysian National Fatwa council).
- If a couple has sex in a naked state, their marriage would be nullified (Rashad Hassan Khalil, former dean of Al-Azhar University, Cairo, had issued this fatwa). In support, the chairman of the university’s fatwa committee commented that married couples could see each other’s naked body but should cover up in a blanket while having sex.
- You can totally take a stealthy look at your bathing fiancée but you must marry her thereafter (from a cleric Osama al-Quosy)
- Having food in a buffet is haram. Even having food at open buffet banquets is not permissible because “they do not quote a clear price for transactions” (from Egypt).
- Reading romantic novels are prohibited because they leave you in a world of fantasy (issued by Sheikh Salman al-Oadah). However, “certain academics” can read them “to be aware of what’s out there”.
- In a particular case from India, a woman was raped by her father-in-law and instead of punishing him, the fatwa said that her husband had now become her son! (from the Islamic court in Deoband of India). The father-in-law now became her husband, and hence, naturally her husband would now be her son. However, acting upon the victim’s plea, the Indian government later arrested the father-in-law.
- Women cannot eat phallic-shaped fruits/vegetables, such as cucumber and banana because they turn women on, making them do sinful activities! (from an Islamist preacher living in Europe)
- Living on Mars is prohibited!!! (issued by the United Arab Emirates’ General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowment)
- Use of emoticons (pictorial representation of facial expressions) is forbidden because they imitate Allah’s creatures (from Muslim Internet Forum). Play or watch Pokemon video games and cards are also prohibited because “such activities promote gambling and possess the minds of young people” (from Saudi Arabia’s Higher Committee for Scientific Research and Islamic Law)
- Muslim men can have sex with their just-deceased wives (issued by the head of Moroccan Association for Jurisprudence Research) because no holy book prohibits sex with corpses.
- Women should not sit on chairs (issued by al-Habib Omar Bin Muhammad). When a woman sits on a chair she exposes herself to an extra-marital affair by ‘jinn’.
- Unrelated men and women can work alone together if the women breastfeed the man (issued by the cleric Ezzat Attiya). When a woman breastfeeds the man, he becomes her son.
- Husbands are allowed to eat their wives if they are extremely hungry (issued by Cleric Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah). The cleric must be a psycho like Prophet Muhammad. The cleric believes within his Islamic understanding that such an act represents the woman’s sacrifice and obedience to her husband and “her desire for the two to become one”.
- Eating meat of the jinn is permissible (from Egypt). However, the cleric did not mention where to find jinn.
- It’s a crime to talk while you are urinating! (issued by Sheikh Abd al-Wahhab al-Turayri from Fatwa Department Research Committee). It is only acceptable if you are asking for water to clean yourself.
This is the height of Islamic stupidity. From the above verdicts we can see a complete disregard for the social, economic, psychological and scientific knowledge regarding a particular issue. Totally devoid of commonsense, these clerics are very powerful as Ibrahim et al. (2015, p. 323) noted, the position of many clerics is similar to that of a minister and the fatwas issued by them have utmost legal validity which are adopted by the court through legal decision. Few dared to cross swords with them, indeed few dared to even stand in their way.
There is a good reason to be a Muslim – they don’t have to take the hardship of using their brain. Otherwise they would have issued a fatwa against these ‘scholarly’ clerics. These clerics are honest and sincere in their part, as their all understanding comes from the “strict literal translation of the Qur’an” (Razi, 2014, p. 7). They have absolutely no insight into the social, economic and customary problems of the people, but in Muslim Nations their judgments are the final one.
We can see this crippled thought pattern of Muslims in India also. Dar al-῾Ulum is performing the function of issuing fatwa in India. Starting in 1866, from the very beginning, they were profoundly anti-west and anti-modern and their main objective was “to provide Indian Muslims a direct access to the original sources of Islamic learning…” (Shourie, 2006, pp. 6-7). From 1962 they have published fatwas in volumes and discussed many important points from Islamic point of view, such as:
- If a minor girl is raped, is a bath necessary for her?
- If a man knowingly inserts a finger in the vagina of a woman, is bath necessary?
- If a woman inserts a finger in the vagina of another woman, is bath necessary?
- If a girl inserts a finger in her own vagina without being excited, is bath necessary?
- Is a pregnant goat which has been used for intercourse allowed or prohibited for eating?
- If a Muslim had intercourse with a cow and then sold it, how the money should be spent?
- After how many days one should remove pubic hair?
- Can one pick one’s nose in front of others?
- Is the urine of a cow or camel good or not?
- May one sleep with one leg resting on the other knee?
- How to urinate – standing or sitting?
- Is the water usable if a pig falls into a well?
- Can one who has piles lead the Islamic prayer?
- May a mother spread paper on the floor so that the child may defecate on it rather than soil the floor, and so that the excreta many be thrown away that much more easily?
Stupid is as stupid does. The examples can be multiplied manifold, but I stop here for good because any further example may give the readers nausea. This is how the Muslim leaderships in India spend their time and energy. Other subjects of earnest exposition are geography of heaven and its meteorology, menstrual blood, semen of a man, cat’s and dog’s urine, triple talaq, and indeed cursing the infidels. Sometimes the scholars cannot decide amongst themselves and fight. As example, two famous scholars – Qadi Shihabuddin Daulatabhai and Shaikh Abdul Fath Junpuri – engaged in a bitter controversy and abused and cursed each other invoking Allah’s name on the question of whether the saliva of a cat was clean or unclean (Shourie, 2008, p. 266). This is the height of Islamic creativity on the sacred soil of India.
Yet another fatwa from Indonesian authorities had banned Muslim women to pass winds with sound because in doing so she appears like a man. (Angelowicz, 2013). Flatulence, commonly known as farting is a natural body-act. This cannot be banned or controlled by law. In Malaysia we can see fatwas regarding child marriage (child under the age of puberty), womb donation, various types of vaccine, and indelible ink (Ibrahim et al., 2015, p. 323). These absurd edicts play a very significant role in Muslim society because the life of Muslims and their personality is clear and plain in terms of their beliefs, worship, social life, economic activity, legislation, litigation and the law. As Ibrahim et al. (2015, p. 323) wrote:
“Fatwa and mufti play a very significant role in Muslim society. If no one is entrusted with the role of issuing fatwa, society would descend into chaos to the extent that people are not able to differentiate between what is permissible and what is prohibited. Perhaps, in such a scenario, what is permissible might become prohibited while what is prohibited might become permissible. Therefore, fatwa and mufti are necessary in order to meet with the religious needs of society.”
In Pakistan, there are unlimited religious schools (madrassah) and their graduates are assigned authority to issue fatwa; each of them claims of following the true teachings of Islam. Razi (2014, p. 12) lamented:
“This unlimited and unrestricted authority of issuing fatwa in Pakistan has created so many problems for Pakistani people and especially for women. For instance, a fatwa was issued on April 2012 in Kohistan against the women of NGO’s that they would be forcefully married to the local men if they dared to enter there. Likewise, on May 11, 2012, in a mosque of Noshki, Balochistan, a fatwa was issued that any women using a cell phone will have acid thrown on her face.”
According to New York Times (May 17, 2002), a judge in Pakistan sentenced a young woman, Zafran Bibi, to death for “adultery” by stoning. Her fault was that she was raped by her husband’s brother. The judge defended his action by saying that he had simply followed the Qur’an based law – the Shariah (Trifkovic, 2002, pp. 154-55). It’s sad that Muslims continue to treat women in such a derogatory and inhumane way. The human life evolves with time and development, but the clerics still live in the dark age of Islam. As long as Muslims believe that the Qur’an is appropriate and compatible with every place and time, the flow of funny but dangerous fatwas will never cease. The clerics can openly disrespect the women because Qur’an says:
“And they ask you a decision about women. Say: Allah makes known to you (Q: 4.127)
At present, illiteracy in Pakistan is the most burning issue. The clerics take advantage of it; they condemn worldly and as well as scientific education and favor only literal understanding of the Qur’an and Hadith, and try their best to confine the young generation to the study at madrassahs. Lack of scientific knowledge, lack of technology, overpopulation and poverty had resulted in the failure to establish an organized society with strong moral and good consciousness and to maintain justice among the people. As a result, common people get confused and put them into anxiety as every Muslim just wants to please Allah and Muhammad.
The reason common Muslims are very much all right with these verdicts is that these fatwas accurately reflect what has been set out in the Qur’an and the Hadiths. Muslims have no central authority beyond the Qur’an. The clerics “interpret the legal texts of the Qur’an and the Sunnah in the light of his own interpretive modes and thus, derive Islamic law” (Razi, 2014, p. 9). This is the strength of the authorities; in the end they can always cite the Qur’anic verses and Hadiths and no Muslim can find an answer around those ultimate authorities.
During early February 1979 the mullahs and the ayatollahs drove out Shah and established the Islamic Republic of Iran and the writings and recordings of fundamentalist Islamists like Ayatollah Khomeini and Ali Shariati were being widely circulated among the Iranians (Milton-Edwards, 2005, p. 81). Khomeini dusted down a number of passages from the Qur’an in particular those concerning the sexual behavior of the Shia Muslims. Then he compiled a set of rules and collected them in a handbook called the ‘Blue Book’. Part of this book was published by an Italian magazine under the playful title ‘The Ten Khomeindments’ (Fallaci, 2004, pp. 211-12). Some of the Khomeini’s fatwas are worth mentioning.
- Marriage with one’s own sister, or one’s own mother or one’s own mother-in-law is prohibited.
- A man who had sexual relationships with his aunt cannot marry her daughter, i.e., his cousin.
- If a father has three daughters and wants to give one of them in marriage, at the wedding ceremony he must specify which daughter he is giving.
- If a man marries a minor who has reached the age of nine and if during the defloration he immediately breaks the hymen, he cannot enjoy her any longer.
- If a widowed or repudiated wife has not reached the age of nine, she may remarry soon after her widowhood or the repudiation without waiting for the prescribed four months and ten days.
- If a wife does not obey her husband and is not always available for her pleasure, the husband does not give her food, clothing or lodging.
- The mother and the daughter and the sister of a man who has had anal relationship with another man may not marry the later. But if the later has had or having anal relations with an acquired relative, the marriage remains valid.
- A man who has had sexual relationship with an animal, such as a sheep, may not eat its meat.
When I read all these religious verdicts, more than nausea they make me ill. Today the whole Muslim society is stinking like a gutter but they want us to respect their stone-age culture. This society is completely devoid of spirituality and humanity. How can I respect a culture where a man is specifically instructed that marrying his own mother, or own sister is prohibited and eating a sheep that he keeps as his mistress is not allowed? How can a sane person sing the praises of a society where a girl-child can be widowed or repudiated at the age of nine or before? These clerics are the children of ignorance and mother of misery of the entire Muslim world. Almost every school throughout the Muslim world teaches religion and the Qur’an, notwithstanding the schools in and around mosques. To what extent is science, physics, biology, chemistry, philosophy, social science etc. being taught?
Islam created a culture and society where these authorities could never be questioned. His and his will only counted like a pyramid with only one center and peak. Everywhere it took hold; freedom and any manifestation of evolution, science and technology, any expression of free will and development of reasoning power were immediately stifled. Reason is the light, the sun, of the brain; it is the compass of the mind. Since Islam enslaves its followers, it intimidates the Muslims and makes them feel stupid even if they are intelligent. Today, Muslims are lagging behind in all aspects of human development – science, art, technology, military, economy, law, architecture, philosophy etc. In Western Nations most of the Muslims live like parasites. Muslim Ummah can neither be reformed nor rescued from the doldrums of slumber, bondage and decadence. Its collapse is imminent and not far away. It is dying like a rabid dog. In its last days it can only inflict death to everyone and everything that comes within biting range.
Where Islam governs, there is no equality. Where there is no equality, there is no democracy. No democracy means no progress, no evolution. No evolution means that people are indeed backwards. Muslims threaten to wage war every single time people offend them or their religion, behave like animals and yet at the same time have a disgusting air of superiority. Islam is the most backward and reactionary ideology on earth. This autocratic, totalitarian ideology is the root cause of most of the evils today. This filthy satanic cult of Muhammad had never made man moral, temperate, industrious, honest and free. Muslims have never received any help from the heaven, that all sacrifices have been in vain and all prayers have died unanswered in the heedless air.
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Author can be contacted at [email protected]