A glance at Saudi government-approved fatwas

AP News
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Posted: Oct 09, 2010 1:20 PM
A glance at Saudi government-approved fatwas

A glance at several official fatwas, or religious rulings, by the Council of Senior Religious Scholars, the body of government-appointed clerics that is the voice of Saudi Arabia's ultraconservative Wahhabi interpretation of Islam. The fatwas, viewable in Arabic and English at http://www.alifta.net/, are in most cases in response to questions sent in by Saudis seeking advice.

TAKING FLOWERS TO THE SICK:

_ "This practice is impermissible as it entails wasting money on non-useful purposes and imitating Allah's adversaries in this custom."

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CINEMAS:

_ "It is not permissible for a Muslim to build a cinema, or run it for himself or for another person, due to the forbidden kinds of amusement it provides. As shown today around the globe, it presents obscene scenes and images that provoke desires and promote lewdness and immorality. Furthermore, it helps women mix with men who are not Mahram (spouse or unmarriageable relatives)."

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SWIMMING POOLS:

_ "The mingling of boys and girls in studying is Haram (prohibited). The same applies to showering and swimming while naked (or semi naked) in a swimming pool, whether they are young or old, for the Fitnah (sedition) occurring due to this, and for seeing each others' 'Awrah' (private parts of the body that must be covered in public), this is also considered a means to mischief and evil."

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RELATIONS WITH NON-MUSLIMS:

"A Muslim should not begin greeting the non-Muslims. However, when the Jews, Christians, or others offer Salam (greetings), he should reply "Wa `Alaykum" (the same to you) ... These are some of the rights the non-Muslims have on Muslims. This also includes the right of being a good neighbor. You must not harm your non-Muslim neighbors. You should give them charity if they are needy."

"It is not permissible for a Muslim to follow the funeral of a Kafir (disbeliever), for this is considered an act of loyalty to them which is Haram (prohibited). However, consoling them is acceptable."

"Relationships based on mutual affection, love and brotherhood between a Muslim and a Kafir are prohibited. It might render a Muslim as a Kafir. There is nothing wrong, however, if the kind of relationship developed between the Muslim and Kafir does not go beyond selling and buying or accepting the Kafir's invitation to have lawful food with him or accepting a lawful present, provided that no harm is done to the Muslim's faith."