January 10, 2006
"It's got sex, of course it's bloody Aqoul material"
I shall link and say no more.
[Editor Lounsbury: Oh piffle, let's quote it, in full - re a quite stupid al Azhar Uni faculty member's fatwa against the evils of being naked while banging your spouse...]
No nudity for sex
09/01/2006 14:56 - (SA)
Cairo - An Egyptian cleric's controversial fatwa claiming that nudity during sexual intercourse invalidates a marriage has uncovered a rift among Islamic scholars.
According to the religious edict issued by Rashad Hassan Khalil, a former dean of Al-Azhar University's faculty of Sharia (or Islamic law), "being completely naked during the act of coitus annuls the marriage".
The religious decree sparked a hot debate on the private satellite network Dream's popular religious talk show and on the front page of Sunday's Al-Masri Al-Yom, Egypt's leading independent daily newspaper.
Suad Saleh, who heads the women's department of Al-Azhar's Islamic studies faculty, pleaded for "anything that can bring spouses closer to each other" and rejected the claim that nudity during intercourse could invalidate a union.
During the live televised debate, Islamic scholar Abdel Muti dismissed the fatwa: "Nothing is prohibited during marital sex, except of course sodomy."
For his part, Al-Azhar's fatwa committee chairman Abdullah Megawar argued that married couples could see each other naked but should not look at each other's genitalia and suggested they cover up with a blanket during sex.
Faqihs, loony type academic fuckers.
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Reminds me of the bit in Like Water for Chocolate; several months after the wedding, the marriage still unconsummated, Pedro is covering up his wife with a sheet with a strategically placed hole in it, while crossing himself and reciting, ”No es por vicio, ni por fornicio, sino para dar un hijo a Tu servicio.” [It is not vice, nor fornication, but in order to give a child to Your service.]
Kind of removes the romance, no? Personally, agnostic though I may be, I prefer the Jewish take on marital sex; within relatively wide limits, any act which has the effect of increasing the level of pleasure and intimacy between spouses is a generally good thing. I mean really, what’s the harm in people actually enjoying themselves?
Posted by: Eva Luna at January 10, 2006 10:18 AM
Any idea what they're basing this on?
"within relatively wide limits"
What are the limits?
Posted by: Baal Shem Ra at January 10, 2006 11:41 AM
"All but anal" is generally the consensus among non-whackjob scholars. Recall Meph and I demonstrated that threesomes were permitted under sharia, provided that the participants could not see each other's private parts (dark, covered up). Only fair, considering the restrictions on premarital sex.
I'm fairly sure Egyptian scholars have issued fatwas against yoga and Egyptian game shows as well. The reasoning is obviously sketchy and they seem to come off as dangerously out of touch, based on popular response. One wonders how far removed Islamic schooling is from mainstream society (or perhaps most Islamic scholars come from rural areas?). I seem to recall secular & religious school systems being entirely separate in the 19th century.
Posted by: eerie at January 10, 2006 11:54 AM
I'm afraid that I don't know. I tried googling the fatwa a bit yesterday, but only came up with different news sources who'd published the same article. Perhaps it is related to what eerie/meph mentioned earlier (the threesomes post) about not being allowed to look at the area between the navel and the knees.
I suppose everyone here already knows that you don't need to be a 'somebody' to issue a fatwa, and that sorts of them abound. One friend told me about an Ibadhi fatwa prohibiting people from eating honey as the bees 'stole' the nectar from the flowers.
Posted by: Dubaiwalla at January 10, 2006 11:55 AM
First, I added the text of the arty to reduce click through needs.
Second, re this: One wonders how far removed Islamic schooling is from mainstream society (or perhaps most Islamic scholars come from rural areas?). I seem to recall secular & religious school systems being entirely separate in the 19th century.
I recall Egyptian Azhar Islamic studies students are far more heavily rural than other faculties (but the data I recall is elderly, historical - however, probably not greatly changed).
I should think that this sort of nonsense is the sort of theological lunacy that has little to do with lived reality.
Certainly does it match my experiences.
Posted by: The Lounsbury at January 10, 2006 01:19 PM
re, anal, I remember reading an FAQ on Sistani's site saying that anal is okay as long as she's down for it. No word on pegging, however.
Posted by: praktike at January 10, 2006 02:49 PM
Supra I should have said "doesn't."
Amusing illustration of how utterly whack many Faqih are (and to my best understanding this flies in the face of established theological thought on the subject - Sistani's site, while Shi'a usually seems to be very mainstream to my ... well, highly suspect reading in the sex area. Reading as well as applied analysis.).
A serious reflexion would be on how divorced much of the faqih are from modern reality.
A less serious reflexion might be on your chances of getting a truly whack fatwa from someone. Like medieval indulgences... I have fond memories of a certain fellow I knew searching for someone he could cite, fatwa wise, re permissibility of a rational and analytical gambling system. Apparently he wanted at least one proper Faqih to support his own highly tortured but nevertheless interesting analysis of permissibility as it had to do with managed and shared risk.
On an in between reflexion, one might, were one learned, reflect on the queer analyses of the faqihs' analyses of economic issues and risk.
Posted by: The Lounsbury at January 10, 2006 05:50 PM
I wanted to do a writeup on the history of public education as various ME countries were reforming in the 19th c. Setting up secular schools and marginalising religious education (e.g. making it clear that secular/European-style education led to positions in the gov't bureaucracy) probably resulted in different groups attending each type of school. Perhaps the divorced-from-reality scholar is a result of not being exposed enough to secular schooling/modern urban lifestyle, or being taught to view it as a form of Western intellectual imperialism. I think that's what Qutb thought, and he was from rural Egypt.
Of course, same reasoning doesn't really apply to elites in al-Qaeda, who are more educated and less likely to be country bumpkins.
Posted by: eerie at January 10, 2006 06:56 PM
BSR: here you go.
Now go forth, be mindful of thy mitzvot, and do them; so shalt thou be consecrated unto thy God.
Posted by: Eva Luna at January 10, 2006 08:40 PM
Thank you, I'd already perused that page. I see that G-d still hasn't changed his views on money shots.
Posted by: Baal Shem Ra at January 11, 2006 09:25 AM
Pshaw, that's nothing. Journalist Mohssen Arishie reports that an Al-Azhar professor of ossoul ad-din recently advised housewives to breastfeed their adult manservants to remove any thoughts the servants might have had of sexually assaulting them. Turning the relationship into a mother-son relationship would, the professor reasoned, be enough to counteract the effect of the lady of the house's baring her breasts to the servant and suggesting he suck them.
Posted by: The Skeptic at January 11, 2006 09:48 PM
Eerie, you don't have to rely on ME for stuff like that: some years ago, I read a fascinating history paper (by Donald Sutherland, I think) about sex and contraceptives in France following the Revolution--when various regions differed in the attitude of the local clergy regarding the Revolutionary government in Paris (and for counterrevolutionary activities). While I forget the details, he claims to find rather fascinating correlations between the extent of "refractoriness" of the clergy, the degree of counterrevolutionary activities in the region, contraceptive practices, and local demographics.
Posted by: kao_hsien_chih at January 12, 2006 03:00 AM
It sounds funny when people talk about Muslims and fatwa and Islam without a clue ,even the Muslims comments are close to silly and nonsense and it says how much they do not know about their religion
fatwa is just the understanding of one human ,one intellect and if a scholar make a mistake there are millions to correct and discuss and Islam did not forbid questions ,Islam is high above all the Animal ways of seeking desires man is man and Animals are Animals
It is Islam who made it must for the husband to kiss his wife first b4 anything so people do not know enough to say all this
just an article or misleading book or two does not change the truth
The good news is Islam will be soon the logic and the first choice in the west b4 the East bze it is clear simple and sent for the happiness of mankind
you can not hide the sun with anything ,u can just wear black glasses to not see it
Seeker of knowledge
Posted by: fadil at June 10, 2006 02:29 AM
Eerie, the Azharite education system under Abduh and thereafter was "modernized" to include maths, science and other subjects and the curriculum standardized and gradually brought under state regulation and then completely under state regulation in the Nasser years - but Azhari high school still takes a year longer than secular and you can't transfer between the Azhari and secular systems. You might read Gregory Starrett's Putting Islam to Work on this subject, there's a free online edition that I'll post a link up to with relevant chapters if you like.
Posted by: SP at June 10, 2006 08:28 AM
The book focuses mostly on religious education in the regular public school system, not Azhari.
Posted by: SP at June 10, 2006 08:48 AM