The Fiqh of “Weekend at Bernie’s”

Update (26 April 2012): Actually, on further reflection, this story probably is bogus.

Granted, sex is part of life and there’s nothing wrong or weird about a jurist discussing its various permutations frankly, but, honestly, is this a big problem that needed to be addressed?

From “Egypt’s women urge MPs not to pass early marriage, sex-after-death laws: report” (The Onion Al Arabiya News, 4/25/2012):

Egypt’s National Council for Women (NCW) has appealed to the Islamist-dominated parliament not to approve two controversial laws on the minimum age of marriage and allowing a husband to have sex with his dead wife within six hours of her death according to a report in an Egyptian newspaper.

The appeal came in a message sent by Dr. Mervat al-Talawi, head of the NCW, to the Egyptian People’s Assembly Speaker, Dr. Saad al-Katatni, addressing the woes of Egyptian women, especially after the popular uprising that toppled president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.

She was referring to two laws: one that would legalize the marriage of girls starting from the age of 14 and the other that permits a husband to have sex with his dead wife within the six hours following her death.

[...]

The controversy about a husband having sex with his dead wife came about after a Moroccan cleric spoke about the issue in May 2011.  [MORE]

Emphasis added. I can’t help but think of that 1989 comedy, “Weekend at Bernie’s.

I love this last feminist touch:

Zamzami Abdul Bari said that marriage remains valid even after death adding that a woman also too had the same right to engage in sex with her dead husband.

Muslim women are deeply in your debt, ya Sheikh. Wouldn’t want them denied this macabre conjugal right.

Am I missing something? Does this solve a problem?

Compared to this,Talmudic responsa on Golems and minyan seem eminently practical.

Speaking of frank discussions by Muslim scholars of the infinite varieties of sexual experience, this legendary example from 1980s Iran is sure to brighten your mood (from “Sex and the Single Mullah” in Foreign Policy, 4/23/12):

As Karim Sadjadpour recounts in his new article for Foreign Policy, an obscure cleric known as Ayatollah Gilani had a popular television show in the early days of the Iranian revolution during which he would opine upon the halal or haram status of various outlandish scenarios. His best-remembered went like this:

Imagine you are a young man sleeping in your bedroom. In the bedroom directly below, your aunt lies asleep. Now imagine that an earthquake happens that collapses your floor, causing you to fall directly on top of her. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that you’re both nude, and you’re erect, and you land with such perfect precision on top of her that you unintentionally achieve intercourse. Is the child of such an encounter halalzadeh (legitimate) or haramzadeh (a bastard)?

Finally, a legal discussion that keeps your attention!

I seem to remember being told by a teacher in Farsi class some years back that gilan is slang in contemporary Iran for breaking wind, for whatever that’s worth.


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