Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Fatwa Against Snowmen

So, recently it snowed in northern Saudi Arabia, and people made snowmen.

And then, somebody thought to ask: hey, is this okay? Are we allowed to do this? And they asked a prominent Islamic scholar, Sheikh Mohammed Saleh al-Munajjid, who gave them an official ruling: No.

Snowmen, he reasons, are representations of people, and The Prophet's teachings forbid the making of images. You can make snow fruit, or snow trees, or snow buildings, but not anything with a soul.

So it's official: no snowmen.*

The good news is that, like the Biblical ban on eating bats (Leviticus 11.19, Deuteronomy 14.18), the ban on making snowmen in Saudi Arabia is likely to be a ruling that's relatively easy for folks to follow.

Here's the link:


--John R.

*though I'm not sure how far the Sheikh's authority runs; it may be limited to Sunnis in the Saudi kingdom. In which case an imam living in, say, Minnesota, might issue a different ruling.

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