By Omar Bihmidine
Morocco World News
Sidi Ifni, April 1, 2012
People in Morocco now begin to feel more skeptical than ever before about the validity of the fatwas lately issued by Abdelbari Zamzami because of the queer, shameful messages conveyed through them. Together with his previous fatwas that decree that a Muslim is allowed to make love to his dead wife, a form of necrophilia, and that it is strictly forbidden for Moroccans to take to the street after the king’s speeches, the latest fatwas he issued a few days ago is that women are allowed to have recourse to masturbation to satisfy their long-repressed sexual desires as the last straw to singlehood.
Sheikh Zamzami is undeniably famous, if not infamous as well, for being well-versed in Islamic fatwas, especially those touching on taboo issues, such as sex, masturbation, sex positions, and sex education at large. Yet, the solutions he suggests they will allay one’s sexual and emotional repression haven’t lived up to Moroccans’ expectations in that they are exaggerated and preposterous.
Unfortunately, when the sheikh allowed women to make use of carrots, bottles and pestles to quench their desires, he must have forgotten that all human beings, be they men or women, have once masturbated at different points in their lives. And this is not something new to them so that he can give them a lecture. Hence, giving them this kind of permission based on Islamic teachings will not make them more addicted to masturbation than they already have been. His latest fatwa will surprisingly make these women more confident about themselves as faithful Muslims even though feeling guilty is inescapable at any rate.
It is true that men and women alike must be or have been addicted to masturbation just as inveterate smokers are to smoking. Regrettably, this, however, is the fact that Zamzami missed to consider before issuing such a fatwa. The sheikh should have alternatively consulted science about both the implications and imprints masturbation can have on practicing masturbators and the benefits it may offer Man. The benefits can lead to quenching one’s repressed desires, whereas the effects can culminate in gradual decline of eyesight, in too much drowsiness and laziness, in emaciated legs, in the inability to practice sport as sprightly as possible, let alone in the hidden impact on women’s later married life. The sheikh must bear in mind that Islam has never decreed remedies that may in some way or another put one’s health in jeopardy.
Aside from this trivial and much-criticized solution, why didn’t Zamzami instead delve into the reasons leading women into the rampant phenomenon of sprint-hood, and subsequently into the suggested, so-called remedy, masturbation? Why didn’t he encourage and favor marriage and closely investigate the circumstances lying behind the fear and complex the youth are currently expressing towards marriage? Why didn’t he dare to point an accusing and blaming finger to those behind the youth’s dashed hopes about their future married life?
Most importantly, why didn’t he ask himself why the prophet PBUH himself suggested that the youth fast rather than masturbate? The Prophet PBUH says, “O young people! Whoever among you can marry, should marry, because it helps him lower his gaze and guard his modesty (i.e. his private parts from committing illegal sexual intercourse etc.), and whoever is not able to marry, should fast, as fasting diminishes his sexual power.” Bukhari:5066.
For God’s sake, isn’t Zamzami yet aware that fasting has scientifically proved healthy and masturbation, hazardous in many ways, such as the ones mentioned above. To me, the fact that the sheikh opted for masturbation as his alleged remedy to women’s predicament and as an alternative to a possible and threatening pitfall, adultery, as stated by the sheikh is akin to opting for the lesser of the two evils as the idiom goes, particularly that none has been effective with real Muslims.
As usual, similar to previous fatwas, the latest one has sparked an outcry amongst Moroccans, especially among conservative ones. As a response to the outcry, Zamzami elaborated on the issue, adding that he is ready at any time to argue the controversy and that he is all ears to any proofs from the Quran and Sunna if the public dare to come up with them and disprove his fatwa.
However, by perusing the sheikh’s fatwa, we can’t help inferring that he himself didn’t base his fatwa on tangible proofs from the same sources. The so-called proofs he supported his statements with were merely in the form of alleged quoting some late anonymous savants in the past who too issued the same fatwa, and also in the form of likening hunger and thirst to women’s sexual desires. That is, no hadith and Qurantic verse were exemplified and made notice of.
As we all know, one’s sexual desire is hard to control and repress, and no one can fight against the body’s needs. Yet, to say that masturbation alleviates and dissipates the desire is preposterous. On the contrary, the more one masturbates, the more he or she feels the need to do it over and over again. Perhaps, lacking in experience as such, the sheikh has no choice but to conclude that using carrots or whatever tool will calm women down and prevent them from thinking of adultery. In accordance to science, however, masturbation has been behind the loss of virginity for a number of girls and women all over the world.
As a responsible man and a well-known, sheikh, he must now make it clear for us Moroccan grassroots whether issuing fatwas on this taboo issue is more important and beneficial to the struggling society than issuing fatwas on Arab dictators, on corrupt politicians and senior officials, on social injustice that is currently tearing apart Moroccans, on the escalating prices of livelihood, on this critical period when the youth prefer singlehood, bachelorhood and sprinthood to leading an impoverished and excruciating married life. It is high time the sheikh thought the real issue over and stopped living in his own ivory tower. And enough is enough to more foolish fatwas that disparage the really noble things Islam teaches.
We Moroccans have been taken aback by Zamzami’s weird fatwas, and it is time alone that will tell whether the sheikh whom many Moroccans begin to distrust is really sane and wise or not. The man has allowed himself to benefit from a transport license. He has allowed a man to make love to his dead wife. Now, strangely enough, he has allowed unmarried women to masturbate, utilizing different tools, ranging from pestles to vegetable roots. If only he had allowed the Moroccan grassroots to take to the street and called on the government to provide them with the basic rights that will financially help them get married, away from masturbation, the so-called sheikh would be commended for that. In the meantime, he would do us of good if he just shuts up.
Omar Bihmidine is high school teacher of English. He obtained his Associate Degree at Choaib Eddoukali University in 2008. His writings take the form of short stories, poems and articles, many of which have been published in Sous Pens magazine, in the ALC magazine in Agadir, and in the late Casablanca analyst newspaper.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
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