Saudi Arabia Cleric Issues Fatwa Against Building Snowmen

What’s wrong with building a snowman? Plenty if you ask a scholar of Islam in Saudi Arabia. A prominent Saudi Arabian cleric apparently issued a religious ruling, officially called as a ‘Fatwa,’ forbidding the building of snowmen. According to the cleric the practice is highly anti-Islamic.

The religious scholar, Sheikh Mohammed Saleh al-Munajjid strongly believes that building snowmen isn’t an acceptable Islamic practice and it should cease with immediate effect. The leader confirmed his viewpoint on a website where one of the members had asked whether it was OK for fathers to build snowmen for their children. To this, the cleric replied in the negative, saying,

“It is not permitted to make a statue out of snow, even by way of play and fun.”

Sheikh Munajjid had an explanation ready to back his fatwa. He argued that to build a snowman was to create an image of a human being. Under the Saudi kingdom’s strict interpretation of Sunni Islam, such an action is considered a sin. While noting his ruling, he added.

“God has given people space to make whatever they want which does not have a soul, including trees, ships, fruits, buildings and so on.”

In simpler terms, the cleric was OK with building snow figurines representing anything non-human or animals for that matter. As amusing as it might sound, children might now be left with other “inanimate” objects only. How does one have fun building a snow sculpture of a tree, isn’t what the religious leader pondered much upon.

Fortunately for the children, the fatwa hasn’t been accorded a date of implementation and moreover, no local government authority has officially confirmed or denied the same. Apparently, any cleric in Saudi Arabia is entitled to issue a fatwa. However, they are to strictly base their rulings on the teachings of Islam and must have valid basis under Saudi law.

The country’s northern regions have been recently lashed by multiple snowstorms leaving in their wake sporadic accumulations of snow that will soon melt away. Despite being the second hottest country in the world snow has covered a few upland areas of Tabuk province near Saudi Arabia’s border with Jordan for the third consecutive year as cold weather swept across the Middle East.

Though this is a rare opportunity for children to enjoy the snow, perhaps the cleric has put a severe dampener on their plans to build a big snowman.

[Image Credit | EPA]