Islamic cleric issues fatwa against all-you-can-eat buffets

In Saudi Arabia an Islamic cleric has issued a fatwa against all-you-can-eat buffets.

Appearing on a Saudi Quranic TV station, Sheikh Saleh bin Abdullah Al-Fawzan, a member of the Standing Committee of the Council of Senior Scholars, said that the all-you-can-eat buffets offered at some restaurants are “haram” (forbidden by Allah):

“Whoever enters the buffet and eats for 10 or 50 riyals without deciding the quantity they will eat is violating Sharia (Islamic) law,” Fawzan was quoted on al-Atheer channel.

In prohibiting the open buffets, Saleh al-Fawzan said that the value and quantity of what is sold should be pre-determined before it is purchased.

The fatwa (religious edict) against all-you-can-eat buffets has stirred debate among some users of social networking sites like Twitter. Using the Twitter hashtag “prohibiting-open-buffet” (in Arabic), some of the site’s users criticized Fawzan’s fatwa, according to a report issued by abna.ir. The following is an excerpt from that report:

“Restaurants will be ruined if they didn’t quantify the food they sold. This negates the sheikh’s premise that the quantity is unknown,” said one Twitter user.

“This is not Quran just a mere fatwa, if you want to follow it, you are a free man but you can not impose it on others,” wrote another.

One user sarcastically wrote: “Congratulations! Open buffets have made it in the list for what is forbidden for us.”

However, some comments were posted supporting the cleric.

“It is funny, those who call for discussions, they do not discuss evidence or what the sheikh has proposed but discuss his person.”

While another said: “The disaster is those who criticize the sheikh are ignorant, they do not know.”

IBT reports the credibility of the Saudi cleric’s fatwa is debatable as the Saudi Council of Muftis is the only religious council having the authority to issue a fatwa in the country.


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