Friday, February 11, 2005

The Ayatollah's Edicts & Whether Holding Hands is Permissible

I was reading an interesting article by Patrick Cockburn on Counterpunch Magazine (""Sistani's Vision for Iraq") and it lead me to Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's Official site.

Ayatollah al-Sistani is one of the key figures Iraq's Shi'ite community, a group that represents over 60 percent of the Iraqi population. In the January 30 election, the United Iraqi Alliance is claiming to have won a majority of the seats in Iraq's National Assembly. According to the Economist, the UIA "claims Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani as its chief mentor."

A recount is underway in Iraq but if the preliminary results hold to be true, will the UIA (which some have described as fundamentalist) turn Iraq into another Iran? Ayatollah al-Sistani has not expressed an interest in running for public office, but will the UIA decide to bring in Sharia law or something similar?

Will America's attempt to inject democracy serum into an Iraq, bound by the chains of occupation, turn it into another fundamentalist Arab regime indifferent to American demands? [Ed. Note: JB, can you make these sentences any longer? This is amateurish bullshit. Get to the point.]

I decided to do a little digging and on al-Sistani's website, I found some startling revelations. Thanks to his very comprehensive FAQ page, here are the Grand Ayatollah's views on:

Suicide
"Question:Is suicide permissible in Islam?

Answer:It is not permissible.

Question:What does the Qur’an say about suicide?

Answer:Islam does not allow it in every circumstance."

Oral Sex
"Question:Is oral sex by husband or wife allowed?

Answer:It is permissible provided no liquid out swallowed."

Checking Out Some Guy
"Question:Which part of strange man’s body is it allowed for a woman to look at? Is it allowed to look at his breast? On the tv in the western countries its very oft, that the men show their bodies till the belly ?

Answer:Looking of a woman at a stranger’s (ajnabi) body is forbidden, if it is with lust and fear of falling in sin. It is not even permissible to look without that (lust and fear) also as a measure of obligatory precaution except for the parts of body which normally a man does not cover i.e. head, hand and ankles which a woman can look at if it is without lust and without fear of falling in sin."

Masturbation
"Question:If my wife wants me to masturbate in front of her, is it then allowed?

Answer:You are not allowed to do it with hand, but your wife is."

Friendship
"Question:I wanted to know about friendship norms in islam about females ?

Answer:Friendship with her is not permissible. Because in such friendship man is not immune from sin."

Backdoor Action
"Question: Is anal intercourse permissible.?

Answer:Permission is bound to wife’s agreement, but it is strongly undesirable."

Orgies
"Question:Is having an orgy permissible under the Qur’an?

Answer:It's forbidden."

Or Just Getting Acquainted
"Question:Are shaking of hands with girls allowed?

Answer:It is not permissible."


After reading al-Sistani's site, I've realized that I take a lot of my freedoms for granted.

I didn't quote his ultra-religious edicts to mock him in any way--I am equally disdainful of all religions--it's just that a party that sees him as its spiritual guide could very well win the Iraqi election and write a constitution that will absorb edicts like these.

Saddam was definately a brutal tyrant but he was still more of a secular leader than a religious one, mainly because his Sunni-led regime used secular policies to minimize the power of Shi'ite religious leaders. Now that the Shi'ites will be running the show in Iraqi, can they be relied upon to protect the rights of women? What about those of minorities like the Kurds, the Turkmen, or the Sunnis?

My heart of hearts hopes that there will be an end to the fighting between Iraqi versus Iraqi and the occupation will end by Bush's strained National Guardsmen and tired Marines. Then, you can bring the boys home, Mr. Bush. [Ed. Note: Tell them not to buy their tickets just yet. There's 20 or 30 thousand Iraqis running around with heavy weaponry looted from Saddam's weapons depots. JB, you are one deluded informer! The occupation will end the year we have a female President.B]

Oh, and just in case you were wondering:


"Question:I have a cat, and I heard that I couldn’t pray in clothing that have cat's hair. Is this true?

Answer: It does not make the prayer void.

Question:Praying in a condition that you have a leather wallet (bought from un Islamic country & unaware of the nature of leather) in your pocket is acceptable or not?

Answer:That is permissible and there is no objection in it."

6 comments:

Snape said...

Interesting post about religious rules. Are you a muslim?

christiana said...

I'm actually writing a paper on Sistani's website right now. Something that caught my eye, as well as some of my Sunni friends was the emphasis of chess being haram(forbidden) yet anal intercourse being halal(allowed). The reactions of my Sunni friends said it all-chess is a strong part of Muslim culture, and reversely, anal sex is strongly forbidden. I was quite confused by the website's answers. Also, I was able to have one of my Kuwaiti friends trained in literary(Egyptian)Arabic who pointed out that in the Arabic Q&A section, there is a much stronger emphasis on womens' roles compared to that of the short, and lacking English Q&A section. Food for thought...

Basf said...

Shii'te's interpretations of Quran is famous for it's firmness. But Sistani is very diiferent from most ayatollah because he dislikes politics. Religion and state are two different subjects. He is a traditionalist. I think you miss this important point of view when you wrote about Sistani. Why don't u check again his website and try to find if there are posts about political issues.

grmarsh said...

sistani is a mystic in direct union with god.....gm

grmarsh said...

ayatollah sistani apparently is one of those rare true mytics in union with God according to a recent guest on charlie rose...recognized as such he will thus have the final say on the settlement as he should....gm

grmarsh said...

ayatollah sistani is one of those most rare mystics in union with God according to a recent guest on charlie rose...recognized as such he will have the final say on any settlement as he should. gm