Breastfeeding fatwa ranks in world's "stupidest"
Prophet's urine and naked sex fatwas still prominent
In three separate polls, the adult breastfeeding fatwa – Islamic ruling – went head to head with the Prophet's urine fatwa in the 2007 sweepstakes for the "stupidest" fatwas in recent memory.
In a list of 'The World's Stupidest Fatwas' compiled by American Magazine Foreign Policy, adult breastfeeding, sanctioned by a professor at Al-Azhar University, ranked third.
First was the 1989 fatwa from Ayatollah Khomeini that sanctioned the killing of Salman Rushdie, the British author of The Satanic Verses, a controversial book on the origins of the Quran.
Then came the "unclothed sex" fatwa that annuls the marriage of a couple who take off all their clothes when having sex, while the third banned the Japanese Pokemon games because they encourage gambling, which is forbidden in Islam.
In fourth place was the fatwa issued by some Pakistani chieftains that polio vaccines are a Western conspiracy to spread infertility amongst Muslims.
In another poll conducted by IslamOnline.com, the breastfeeding fatwa edged out the fatwa on flogging journalists issued by Al-Azhar's Grand Imam Sheikh Sayed Tantawi and the sacredness of the prophet's urine by Egypt's Mufti Sheikh Ali Gomaa.
Gomaa's statement that the prophet's apostles used to seek blessing by drinking his urine was no less provocative. Gomaa actually cited an incident when a woman drank the urine and the prophet told her "this stomach of yours will never see hell."
In May, Dr. Ezzat Atiya, head of Hadith (Prophetic Tradition) Department at Al-Azhar University, told AlArabiya.net that women should breastfeed their male co-workers so they can be alone in a closed office space.
“Breastfeeding an adult man five times makes it legal for the woman to sit alone with that man at a closed workplace. This way, the woman can take off her veil in front of her work-mate without being in violation of Islamic rulings," Atiya said.
After the ruling provoked outrage across the Muslim world, the university referred Atiya to a disciplinary board, which dismissed the Islamic scholar.
By that time, the fatwa had already made Muslims the laughing stock of the West and subjected girls to various types of harassment, Egyptian daily Al-Ahram reported in September.
Four days after the fatwa was posted on AlArabiya.net, Atiya signed a written statement of apology to all Muslims and retracted his statement, saying it was based on a specific incident.
The former Dean of Al-Azhar's School of Shari'a (Islamic law), Sheikh Rashad Hassan Khalil, ruled in 2006 that a marriage is no longer legitimate if the couple strip naked in front of each other, while the 2001 Pokemon fatwa that started in Saudi was supported by U.A.E. scholars and condoned by the Mexican Catholic Church as work of Satan.
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid).