During a recent trip to South Africa, I was approached by a native South African who had recently converted to Islam. During our conversation, he let on his surprise at the distinction and sometimes absurdity in his opinion of some of the fatwas issued by some of our scholars.
To bolster his argument, he cited the long-drawn out debate on the breast-feeding fatwa promoted by some of the scholars, the gist of which allowed a female in a mixed-sex working environment to bypass the state of seclusion or khulwa by breast-feeding her male co-workers.
He was referring to a Saudi scholar's suggestion that women donate their breast milk to men in an attempt to get around the kingdom's ban on the mixing of unrelated men and women, sparking global controversy.
It seems the Shaikh in question, Shaikh Abdul Mohsen Al Obaikan, a consultant at the Saudi royal court, issued a fatwa stating there should be symbolic bond between unrelated men and women who regularly come into contact with each other. My African friend found that to be a preposterous concept indeed.
But not all of the surprising fatwas had necessarily originated in Saudi Arabia, although we have had our share of calling Mickey Mouse and Pokemon ‘evil'. In Iran, se... >>>
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