- ZOUHAIR BAGHOUGH
Morocco: Imam Zamzami backtracks on Controversial Fatwa
Monstres Sacrés can match the latest Fatwa published by the (respected) Islamic Scholar and member of the religious establishment, Abdelbari Zemzami. He basically allows sexual intercourse with a corpse. Yes. Necrophilia is now Halal in Morocco by the grace of Alem Zemzami.Yes, we do have a freak show going on these days. But none of our
I should perhaps be more specific in Zemzami’s Fatwa: he allows the widowed husband to have sexual intercourse with the corpse of his deceased wife. The Fatwa does not say whether it reciprocates for a woman (although I suspect even with rigor mortis, it will not do) nor does it specify how many hours after the wife’s death a man can still, you know… perform their marital duties. If it was not for the scholar’s level of seniority, I would dismiss this fatwa as yet another deranged, lonely individual who did not get some for a while. But this is Zemzami. And it is a Fatwa from an official of the Habous ministry. If indeed such Fatwa is genuine.
But the issue goes beyond our funny Zemzami – please follow the hashtags#FunnyZemzami and #ZemzamiFatwa, you will get a kicking out of the twittoma’s imagination and acerbic witticism- and strikes at the very heart of individual freedom and the rule of positive law; Zemzami is empowered to produce Islamic rulings that can easily be considered an obligation on the Muslim community in Morocco; As a Alem, an Islamic Scholar, his Fatwas are norms. He can claim to actually dictate what we, as members of the Ummah, should do or not do. We are thus submitted to the double fetter of God’s law, and Man’s law. We individual citizens have no grip on such legislation, an infringement on our democratic rights, and perhaps the most straightforward argument in favour of the criticism that Morocco is no democracy.
Zemzami justifies his ruling by means of analogy: Since a good Muslim couple will meet again in Heaven, and since death does not alter the marital contract (in his opinion) it is not a hindrance to the husband’s desire to have sexual intercourse with the corpse of his (freshly) deceased wife. A deranged mind and flawed logical thinking seem not to be part of the position of Senior Alem’s requirements. I am no Islamic Scholar (thank God) but I remember from my (compulsory and utterly boring) High School Islamic courses that there is a minimum amount of logical thinking when the Imam (or Alem) makes their Ijtihad, or investigations. And quite frankly, I really don’t see how he managed to find a ruling for the deceased; The Islamic literature is very extensive on the living (as it normally it should be) but Zemzami’s ruling tops them all. He seemed to overlook the procreating objective of marital mating (this is why concepts such as “نكاح المتعة” are forbidden) or even
Indeed, Zemzami’s ruling is funny. It is so, because if one wants to think of it otherwise, the first thing to spring to mind is something like: “what goes on the man’s life to take such a keen interest in such an obscure issue to devote time and resources and come up with a an even stranger ruling”? I mean, perhaps the Habous officials do bore themselves to death in their offices, but still, they are civil servants and receive their salaries (comfortable salaries in Zemzami’s case) on the taxpayer’s dime. It is only just to question the man’s competence (never mind sanity) and legitimacy to dream up rulings regulating our lives.
Abdelbari Zemzami, again, is no ordinary scholar: he is formally a “الخبير في فقه النوازل“ which means an Expert in Exceptional Matters, issues that have not been delineated in the Quran, the Hadith, or anywhere in Sharia law. Zemzami actually did his job: such a bizarre occurrence never happened before, and was never discussed in past scholarly work or in the original Islamic laws, so it is up to him, the expert, to come up with something. Yes, Zemzami is the chief scholar at the vanguard of new Islamic rulings designed to make life more harmonious within the Islamic community. Frightening.
The whole idea of a Ulema corps is at odds with democracy. First because it is another infringement on individual rights; Indeed, we are living in a society, and because of it, individuals need to sacrifice some of their rights for the sake of the collective freedom. The democratic setting minimizes these fetters to the necessary rules required for a peaceful coexistence. This means that no restrictions should be put on intimate issues -which religions, especially Islam, want to regulate in accordance to their teachings, so as to achieve their Holy City utopia. In view of these elements, positive law is sufficient an infringement on individual freedom to indulge in adding yet another restriction. And even though there is no direct link between the Penal sanction of non-marital sexual relationships and Zemzami’s fatwa, I suspect frustrations due to the repressive sexual policy, as it were, do lead to suchVaudevillian situations; Opening up to sexual tolerance and essential the breaking of ‘wedlock monopoly‘ could help stem dangerous behaviour (rather than encourage them, as the conservative theory goes)
Zemzami’s ruling is a blessing in disguise: it furthers the cause of secularists; It is the proof that dogmatic and conservative policies are a failure, and frustrations and social deviances arising from such fettering rules are a blatant rebuttal to those who believe all Moroccans will be moral knights and dames. Subsequently, instead of treating everyone as a devout Muslim (and punishing anyone who does not care about it) it is easier, and nicer, to scrap these pieces of legislation. It also have the courage to do away with hypocrisy (the penal code punishes non-observant ofRamadan but not those who do not go to the Mosque, even though prayers have seniority as an Islamic pillar)
Oh, and one last thing. Zemzami really should be put in some asylum. Or allowed to set up a One Man Show; that way he will do no harm to the saner people. And it seems he stands by his ruling: necrophilia is Halal. Looking forward to the next ruling on f**king goats.