Saudi clerics issue fatwa okaying adult breast-feeding as way of circumventing Islamic law

via published on June 23, 2010

While it has been common for women to breast-feed their young male relations so that they may be allowed together alone later, two Saudi clerics recently advocated extending the practice to unrelated adult males.

As part of Islamic law, men and women are forbidden to be alone together, unless they are blood relatives or have established maternal relations, in order to prevent sexual contact.

As a way to avoid breaking this rule — which can result in lashings or prison time — Sheikh Al Obeikan, adviser to the royal court and consultant to the Ministry of Justice, told Gulf News that women should give their breast milk to male colleagues, acquaintances or anyone with whom they come into regular contact.

“The man should take the milk, but not directly from the breast of the woman,” Al Obeikan said, according to Gulf News. “He should drink it and then becomes a relative of the family, a fact that allows him to come in contact with the women without breaking Islam’s rules about mixing.”

While Al Obeikan advises that milk should be pumped and then given in a glass, another Saudi sheik, Abi Ishaq Al Huwaini, argues that men should suckle directly.

Soon after these proclamations, a Saudi bus driver allegedly asked a female teacher, whom he drives frequently, for her breast milk, according to AOL News. The teacher refused and is threatening to sue.

This fatwa, which has sparked controversy and disapproval, has prompted some to call for stricter constraints on law making.

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