Inquiry and Analysis Series – No. 355
May 25, 2007
Al-Azhar Lecturer Suspended after Issuing Controversial Fatwa Recommending Breastfeeding of Men by Women in the Workplace
By: L. Lavi*
The head of the Hadith Department in Al-AzharUniversity, Dr. Izzat Atiyya, recently issued a controversial fatwa dealing with breastfeeding of adults. The fatwa stated that a woman who is required to work in private with a man not of her immediate family – a situation that is forbidden by Islamic law – can resolve the problem by breastfeeding the man, which, according to shari’a, turns him into a member of her immediate family.
The fatwa sparked a storm of protest in the Egyptian public arena, especially within the religious establishment. It was harshly criticized by Muslim Brotherhood MPs, who even brought it up for discussion in parliament, as well as by Egyptian intellectuals and columnists.
In response, Al-AzharUniversity formed a special committee to debate the fatwa, and on the recommendation of this committee, Dr. Atiyya was suspended. The Egyptian information minister ordered the removal from sellers’ shelves of the issue of the government weekly Al-Watani Al-Yawm in which the fatwa had been published.
Head of the Al-Azhar Hadith Department: Breastfeeding Allows a Woman to Be With a Man in Private
“Being together in private means being in a room with the door closed, so that nobody can see them… A man and a woman who are not family members are not permitted [to do this], because it raises suspicions and doubts. A man and a woman who are alone together are not [necessarily] having sex, but this possibility exists, and breastfeeding provides a solution to this problem… I also insist that the breastfeeding relationship be officially documented in writing… The contract will state that this woman has suckled this man… After this, the woman may remove her hijab and expose her hair in the man’s [presence]…
for the rest of the story on this fiesty fatwa: http://memri.org/bin/latestnews.cgi?ID=IA35507
tips to Blond Sagacity for pointing me to this one- please view her coverage at : http://mobyrebuttal.blogspot.com/