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Interesting psak from Imam Dr. Attiya: male breastfeeding

Thursday, January 03, 2008


I write frequently about interesting halachik decisions I hear about. Sometimes they are purely interesting, sometimes unique, sometimes controversial, sometimes silly.

Yesterday I read in the newspaper an article that described a vote of the most unusual declarations of the year. It included what I will call an Interesting psak from an imam.

BTW, the article only gave a couple of examples of decisions that were included in the list.

Anyway, some Imam came out with a psak in May of 2007 that ended up being controversial in the muslim world.

The issue at hand is a male and a female co-worker. They have an uncomfortable situation that their religion forbids them to be alone together, and she would not be allowed to remove her hijab, which win his presence, which would make her workday very uncomfortable.

The only way around this is to find some way to make them be considered family. This would be simple if they were both single - they could get married and solve the problem. The problem is that most of the time that is not a viable solution.

So this Imam found a way. He declared a fatwa that in such a situation the woman should nurse the man (yes, you read that correctly). If the male would breastfeed form the woman, they would be considered family and then they could be alone, she could remove her hijab in his presence, etc.

An unfortunate result of this though is that their children would not be allowed to marry each other because they too would be considered family with each other.

I have no idea if this solution only works if the woman in question is lactating, or if it is purely symbolic and even if she is not lactating, just the symbolic act of breastfeeding" would create the relationship. From the various articles I read on the subject (I did a little research which is why I did not post on this topic yesterday), none of them explained this detail.

Anyways, for your information, the Imam was fired from his position at his university after this psak became public.

Another interesting psak was that if one were to drink the urine of Mohamed, he would be blessed.

I was not aware that the urine of Mohamed is still readily available for consumption. Do they store it somewhere? do they sell it in bottles at the Mosque or at the local kiosk?
Has it been saved in storage similar to the Jewish tradition of a flask of manna and anointing oil having been stored and hidden away? I could not find much on this fatwa, but it is pretty disgusting.

Then again, I know there are various hassidic rebbes who also give away or sell "blessed wine" that would effect blessing on the people who drink from it. This is generally a small bottle of wine that was procured from the cup of the rebbe after he blessed on it and drank from it. Often, this bottle is then mixed with other bottles of wine, so as to spread the affect.

I remember as kids, my mother would sometimes get bottles of such wine from some rebbes who would come to town on visits. We generally refused to drink from it, considering it disgusting to drink from what other people already drank (I think we would say "spit in") from (what can I say - we were good yekkes and did not believe in these things). In my older years, I am much less concerned about germs and cooties and am less reluctant to drink such things..

Maybe they stored a bottle of urine from Mohamed and then mix it with other people's urine to increase the amounts and pass it around for people to drink and be blessed.

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