Saudi Cleric Bans & Issues Fatwa On Snowmen For Being Anti-Islamic

By @vitthernandez on
Syrian refugees make a snowman after a heavy snowstorm at Al Zaatari refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria, January 8, 2015. Syrian refugees in Jordan's main Zaatari refugee camp appealed for help on Thursday after a reg
Syrian refugees make a snowman after a heavy snowstorm at Al Zaatari refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria, January 8, 2015. Syrian refugees in Jordan's main Zaatari refugee camp appealed for help on Thursday after a regional storm buffeted the Middle East with blizzards, rain and strong winds. The temperatures, which usually average 13 Celsius (55.4 Fahrenheit ) this time of the year have plunged to 2 to zero Celsius (35.6-32 Fahrenheit), Jordan Meteorological Department (JMD) said on Tuesday. ReutersMuhammad Hamed


Syrian refugees make a snowman after a heavy snowstorm at Al Zaatari refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria, January 8, 2015. Syrian refugees in Jordan's main Zaatari refugee camp appealed for help on Thursday after a regional storm buffeted the Middle East with blizzards, rain and strong winds. The temperatures, which usually average 13 Celsius (55.4 Fahrenheit ) this time of the year have plunged to 2 to zero Celsius (35.6-32 Fahrenheit), Jordan Meteorological Department (JMD) said on Tuesday. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed (JORDAN - Tags: ENVIRONMENT CONFLICT)

Even if the Middle East has lots of hot deserts and there is not much snow in the region, a Saudi Arabian saw in the snowman an enemy of the Islam faith. Sheikh Mohammed Saleh al-Munajid not only banned Muslims from making snowmen, he even issued a fatwa against it.

Tabuk province near the country's boundary with Jordan experienced snow for the third straight year in its upland area as part of the cold weather being experienced in the Middle East.

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He was asked on a religious Web site by a father if it is okay for them to build snowmen for their children, the sheikh replied, quote by the Sydney Morning Herald, "It is not permitted to make a statue out of snow, even by way of play and fun."

Explaining his move, he cited Islamic scholars who said that building a snowman was like creating an image of a human being which is considered sinful. That point of view is based on Saudi's strict interpretation of Sunni Islam.

He added that God has allowed people to make things such as ships, trees, fruits and buildings, but these are without a soul.

The fatwa, which did not have a date of implementation and was neither confirmed nor denied by local governments, allowed building of other figures on snow such as ice castles, provided it is not a human.

However, even fellow Arabs criticised in Twitter the sheik's ruling.

One Twitter user said Munajid has a sick mind that is afraid for his faith of everything, another sees the reason behind the ban the fear of sedition.

One tweeted that there are two types of people in Saudi Arabia. The first are "people looking for a fatwa (religious ruling) for everything in their live, and a cleric who wants to interfere in everything in the lives of others through a fatwa."

However, the sheik was also supported by some. One user prayed that God preserve the scholars "for they enjoy sharp vision and recognize matters that even Satan does not think about."

To contact the writer, email: v.hernandez@ibtimes.com.au