Islam cleric forbids snowmen

As of today, the heat may not be the only reason Frosty the Snowman has to steer clear of the Middle East. Prominent Saudi Cleric, Sheikh Mohammed Saleh al-Munajjid raised a few eyebrows in the Muslim world recently by issuing a religious ruling called a fatwa against the building of snowmen.

The anti-frosty fatwa forbids the building of snow folk, even by fathers on behalf of their children.  The Sheikh recently wrote on a religious website, “It is not permitted to make a statue out of snow, even by way of play and fun.”

Sheikh Munajjid has stated that he based his ruling on the idea that it’s considered sinful to create an image of a human being in Islam- even, he says, ones made of snow. “God has given people space to make whatever they want which does not have a soul, including trees, ships, fruits, buildings and so on,” he declared in his ruling.

The cleric’s ruling has caused a spark of controversy on social media, where some Muslims have revealed that they find the fatwa excessive or even ridiculous.

“They are afraid for their faith of everything … sick minds,” one Arab man wrote on Twitter.

Another user declared,“A people looking for a fatwa (religious ruling) for everything in their lives, and a cleric who wants to interfere in everything in the lives of others through a fatwa.”

Other users who rejected the ban let their photos do the talking. Various pictures of Arab men seated beside snowwomen surfaced, one of them even featuring a man entertaining his frosty friend with tea.

The Sheikh did garner some followers however, who sent out tweets on his behalf.  “It [building a snowman] is imitating the infidels, it promotes lustiness and eroticism,” one man wrote.

Sheikh Mohammed Saleh al-Munajjid’s fatwa is likely to be a subject of debate in the near future among Saudi Muslim families living along the Jordan border, as cold weather has brought them snow for the third consecutive year.

Photo credit: kevin dooley / Foter / CC BY