Sunday, 20 June 2010

Hot Topic - New Fatwa in Saudi - Breastfeeding

A recent Fatwa introduced in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, played on the religious ruling that any women who breast feeds another male can be seen as her "Son" in the eyes of Islam, In KSA there is a male who works very closely with the family on a daily basis who is not a family member this is the families driver. Most Families in KSA will need to have a driver as women in the country are still not allowed by law to drive. The Fatwa states that Women are allowed to breastfeed their driver and by doing so will lawfully be making that man her "son" and enabling that man to mingle with the family as another male family member would. Thus making everyone's lives easier all round. It is also mentioned that female maids within a household can breastfeed the man (husband) of the house in order that maids can also mingle with the family as other female members would be able to (ie. Daughters)

My thought regarding this odd new Fatwa is can Saudi Women in fact make milk on demand? Because the way its worded is like (in my imagination) The Man and Woman of the house have a conversation which might go a little something like this:

Sitting at the table eating breakfast
Man: What are you up to today wife darling
Woman: Not much, need to go food shopping at some point, and need to get a new manicure
Man: That's nice darling, I was wondering if you could do me a favour though today
Women: Whats that?
Man: Well was just thinking last night, it would make life alot easier for you, and our Daughters if you could breast feed Raj
Woman: Excuse me
Man: Well apparently its allowed now, just squirt some of your breast milk in a cup and ask Raj to drink it, then he can come into the house when we need him to and you wont have to fuss around for half hour making sure your Abaya and Niqab are on right.
Woman: Excuse me
Man: Yeah so anyways thanks for breakfast I'll see you later, just sort that thing out for me for when I get home. Love you bye.
Woman: Excuse me

Now I am of course a woman and I'm well aware of the fact I cant produce milk on demand (or do I have something wrong with me?!) now if I was breast feeding my baby, I would find it very odd to have to give that milk to someone other than my baby, and does Raj the driver get a say about drinking his employers breast milk? in KSA are you kidding me? if its anything like the UAE (and I'm sure its worse) that family OWNS Raj and no Raj won't get a say he'll just have to hold his nose and gulp it down.

Friends Season 2 Episode 2 - The One With The Breast Milk - For more funny movies, click here

Additionally I wonder if, since Saudi sees this as a plausible Fatwa (of course as they live by Sharia Law) and since being able to see a women other than your wife and daughters without Niqab is the biggest of all wrongs, that the KSA government might be inclined to Give Raj from India Citizenship in their country. Since in the eyes of the religion he is in fact her son. hmmm no? Thought as much. Could KSA be "using" a religious law to their advantage? of course not, they would never misinterpret the religious texts to their advantage would they? seeing as that's all I've been told (and proven) since I moved to the middle east (by other Arabs of various nationalities) it seems this is a common opinion. Just look at the Niqab, and Abaya, this is not required anywhere in the Quraan. yet they are law in the Kingdom, Covering ones hair by wearing Hijab. yes. Not showing off ones womanly features (we know what those are!) to anyone other than ones wife. yes. but Niqab? no. I believe this IS extreme and seeing as this is not a religious regulation, I am not opposed to several European countries banning it as many have done.

The Niqab

Various Hijab Styles

As you can see there is a big difference, When I first move here I remember I even used to look at the various Hijab wearing women and thinking how glamorous some of them are, obviously now I've got used to it! Glamourous partly BECAUSE they aren't wearing clothes that reveal skin, but most do it in a way that they also don't show the curves of their body as well, which IS hard when shopping but when done right has a unique charm to it that in a way I am envious of.

Anyways, the main part of the article I have attached as reference is that women in Saudi are becoming increasingly frustrated and I'm sure there are some men on their side as well that they cannot drive. I can only imagine how they might feel, as I myself adore driving, my other half still knows where I am 90% of the time, and when he doesn't its for menial tasks he probably wouldn't care to know anyway. therefore having a driver 100% of the time takes away an important part of marriage - the element of trust. you still here stories where drivers are bribed by wives to take them to their lovers etc so there is no fool proof solution, yet a man would still rather trust a (quite often) poor man who might be open to bribery WITHOUT an honourable agreement such as marriage, rather than his wife. that is, if he is AGAINST women being able to drive. The article attached suggests women have become to desperate in the region they are threatening to Breast Feed their drivers (from what I can gather without a cup although I cant quite make that out) if they are not given the "freedom" the drive. this is a desperate measure from any women, especially one who spent (no doubt) their whole lives never showing even a wrist or an ankle to a man other than her husband or her father, and yet she is willing to show such intimacy with an employee.....

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