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Monday, October 08, 2007

This week's marriage fatwas

MEMRI uncovered two interesting fatwas today:
A sheikh from Al-Azhar, Farahat Al-Manji, decreed that a marriage ceremony acted out by two actors for a film or a television show is valid and binding.

According to the fatwa, if the woman is already married, the second marriage is considered bigamous.

Source: Islamonline.net, October 2, 2007

Egypt's Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs has decreed that misyar marriages – "pleasure marriages" in which the woman gives up some of the rights granted her by Islam, such as the right to housing and financial support from her husband – are permissible in Islam.

The council, which is the major fatwa-issuing body in Egypt, added that the marriages are allowed as long as all provisions specified by shari'a have been met, and as long as they are not banned by the state.

Source: Alarabiya.net, October 2 2007.

Misyar marriages, of course, are pretty much Muslim-sanctioned prostitution for Sunnis. Muslims will go on business trips and "marry" a local girl just for sex. (A similar type of temporary marriage for Shias is called Mut'ah and it is a marriage for a pre-determined set amount of time - Shiites and Sunnis each strongly feel that the other type of marriage is forbidden.)

These two fatwas show that Muslims have watered down the definition of marriage and divorce so much that the terms are almost meaningless, and any social safeguards that the "decadent" West has for monogamy and respect for women are not only non-existent in Islam, but the concomitant disrespect for women is religiously sanctioned.