Saudi women use fatwa in driving bidThe women threatened to follow through the fatwa which allows them to breastfeed their drivers and turn them into their sons
By Abdul Rahman Shaheen, CorrespondentPublished: 00:01 June 20, 2010
Image Credit: Gulf News
Riyadh: Saudi women plan to turn a controversial fatwa (religious ruling) to their advantage and launch a campaign to achieve their long-standing demand to drive in this conservative kingdom.
If the demand is not met, the women threatened to follow through the fatwa which allows them to breastfeed their drivers and turn them into their sons.
The campaign will be launched under the slogan: “We either be allowed to drive or breastfeed foreigners,” a journalist told Gulf News.
Amal Zahid said that their decision follows a fatwa issued by a renowned scholar which said that Saudi women can breastfeed their foreign drivers for them to become their sons.
“As every Saudi family needs a driver, our campaign will focus on women’s right to drive,” she said.
The controversial fatwa, which was regarded as both funny and weird, issued recently by Shaikh Abdul Mohsin Bin Nasser Al Obaikan, member of Saudi Council of Senior Scholars and adviser to the king, has sparked a debate in society.
The renowned scholar said Saudi women can breastfeed their foreign drivers for them to be become their sons and brothers to their daughters.
Under this relationship, foreign drivers can mix freely with all members of the family without breaking the Islamic rule which does not allow mixing of genders.
Breast milk kinship is considered to be as good as a blood relationship in Islam.
“A woman can breastfeed a mature man so that he becomes her son. In this way, he can mix with her and her daughters without violating the teachings of Islam,” the scholar said.
‘Ridiculous and weird’
Al Obaikan based his fatwa on a Hadith (saying) of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) which was narrated by Salim, the servant of Abu Huzaifa.
Later, Al Obaikan clarified that his fatwa was being distorted by the local media which ignored the condition that the milk should be drawn out of the woman and given to the man in a cup to drink.
Speaking to Gulf News, a number of Saudi women condemned the fatwa. Fatima Al Shammary was quoted by the local Arabic daily Al Watan as saying the fatwa was “ridiculous and weird”.
“This fatwa has become a hot topic of debate among women. Is this is all that is left to us to do: to give our breasts to the foreign drivers?” she said.
Another Saudi woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, questioned: “Does Islam allow me to breastfeed a foreign man and prevent me from driving my own car?
“I have not breastfed my own children. How do you expect me to do this with a foreign man? What is this nonsense?” she said.
Another woman said the fatwa should also apply to the husbands who should be breastfed by housemaids. By doing so, all will be brothers and sisters,” she said.
Hamid Al Ali, a journalist for an electronic newspaper, recalled that an Egyptian driver who had a crush on a female teacher he drives to school asked her to breastfeed him. When she retorted angrily, he said: “I want to be your son.”
Saudi writer Suzan Al Mashhadi sarcastically asked Al Obaikan: “Do the women have to breastfeed the driver in the presence of their husbands or can they do this alone?”
“Who will protect the wife if the husband entered the house unexpectedly and found his wife breastfeeding the driver?” she asked.
I might not have mentioned that i’m clinically addicted to bejeweled2 on my itouch. I truly am and i admit to needing some professional help. I play with it any free moment i have, and some moments that arent so free.
A few days ago, i leave work and ask the driver to go to a nearby client’s office to pick up a check. When he pulls over bu the building’s side entrance, I cant tear my eyes off my game (it was a crucial few moments) so i ask him to go up to the 1st floor and give them this CD, where the lady will give him an envelope too. So he goes up, and a minute or two later, i hear him getting back in the driver’s seat again. I pause my game and look up, thinking, “that’s odd, that was a bit too fast” only to be confronted with the back of a RED SHUMAGH (saudi men’s head gear) in the seat in front of me!!!!
I was speechless. Everything seemed to be moving super-fast, only i was operating in a sluggish speed. The stranger puts the car in gear while a blurt out (naively thinking maybe he made a mistake and got in the wrong car) “HEY!! What Do you thing you’re doing??!!!” (in Arabic, naturally).
He Ignores me
I yell and bang on his chair “What is WRONG with you??!!” “STOP!”
he starts driving the car, saying “I’m moving the car”
I told him : “you DO NOT get in people’s cars to move them! Especially without permission! if you have a problem with where the car is parked you tell me and I will move it, not you!!! STOP NOW AND GET OUT!” This was feeling so surreal by now…
He grumbles back “if you had any manners you wouldn’t have let him park here” He stops the car (he only drove it a few meters ahead) and gets out.
by then i was fuming, If IIIIII had any manners??!!! so now I’m liable for my driver’s inability to park in an empty area??!! I wasn’t paying attention to see if he blocked anyone, a. I stopped doing that because I’d wind up with high blood pressure if I tried to be a backseat driver. and b, big deal! have some manners I was barely there for three minutes!
All that was in my head, I get a look at his face for the 1st time when left my car, and was surprised to see an old man, in his 60s maybe, with a white mustache and blue thobe. he’s angrily marching towards his Grey CLS -class Mercedes when i get over some of my shock, open my door and yell out “If you have a problem you talk to ME, I move MY car, not YOU!” and slam my door shut. He looks at me like I’m a crazy idiot.
I was so angry, I was shaking, anger receded to be replaced by fear. I realized i was afraid. This could have been anyone, anything, and he treated me like an invalid child that could just be picked up and driven off with. No respect. I was lucky he wasn’t a criminal.
Should i make sure my driver locks all doors if I’m ever left in the car?? I already make sure the back doors are always locked, but i cant control the front ones. I keep on thinking why didn’t I attack HIM??!!! I could have, but didn’t. That would have taught him a lesson. i wish i did. I did fleetingly think i should write his license plate down… but then i was like “why bother? who’s gonna do anything about it”??
I’m thinking of going back there again, he probably works in that office, all i need to do is wait for him to go back to his car again… could i report such a thing??
I dunno. Am i being too dramatic?