Rashid and Ahmed
Life TV”s “Daring Question,” hosted by Muslim apostates, Rashid and Ahmed, recently ran a show dedicated to examining the connection between hadiths and fatwas””particularly the more outrageous ones which have caused Islam no small scandal, such as Rida” al-Kabir, “breastfeeding the adult.”
Rashid initiated the show by asking: “Are these otherwise absurd fatwas truly grounded in usul al fiqh [Islam’s roots of jurisprudence] or can we dismiss them as products of eccentric or deviant ulema and fuqaha [theologians and jurists]?”
The first fatwa they focused on was the so-called “Mickey Mouse fatwa–”wherein a sheikh declared that Mickey Mouse (a cartoon character) must die. Rashid indicated that this one particular fatwa received much exposure (and laughs) in the Western media; but he displayed several Arabic newspapers also questioning the legitimacy/sanity of such a fatwa.
The hosts then played a clip of Sheikh Muhammad Salih al-Munajjid, condemning the rodent, deploring the fact that some otherwise upright Muslims allow their children to find favor in despicable characters like Mickey Mouse or Jerry. As rodents, the sheikh confirmed, they are dirty and corrupt”””little satans–”who, according to sharia, should be killed indiscriminately. The sheikh was visibly agitated that Muslim children were being exposed to these animated rats, and finding them “lovable.”
After the clip (and after a moment of perplexed silence in the studio), Rashid asked Ahmed: “So, we”ve seen what the sheikh says: is that his own position or can he actually back it up from Islam itself?
Ahmed (the more scholarly of the two, who actually studied at Al Azhar in his former Muslim life) confirmed the latter. He quoted several Muhammadan ahadith from Sunan Abu Dawud portraying rodents as “soldiers” and “hosts” of Satan,” and enemies to believers. Sahih Muslim contains a hadith clearly stating that rodents should be killed indiscriminately.
Ahmed also revealed that, according to Sahih Bukhari””the most authoritative hadith collection””along with pigs and monkeys, rats too were once upon a time Jews.
Here Rashid asked if even rat-hatred is a product of Islamic anti-Semitism? Ahmed said that was plausible, but, then again, it seems that Muhammad commanded his followers to hate any number of animals, for any number of reasons. Here he quoted some hadiths where Muhammad categorically condemned various insects, for no apparent reason, and said black dogs are satanic and must also be killed with impunity (see here for a list of Muhammad and the animals).
Rashid addressing the viewers asked how, scientifically speaking, anyone can believe any of these hadiths: “Can we scientifically demonstrate that rats were Jews and black dogs satans? God gave us a brain to use, people.”
At any rate, the two hosts concluded that, as absurd as the sheikh’s “kill-rodents” (including Mickey Mouse and Jerry) fatwa seemed, it is not based on his own particular views, but rather Islam’s.
The second video clip dealt with the left hand in Islam. One Sheikh Wajadi Ghunim, from Al Azhar, dramatically explained the great importance of refraining from using one’s left hand: “How can you nonchalantly use your left hand, and then say you hate Satan?!” he demanded of his viewers.
He quoted Muhammad saying, “Satan eats and drinks with his left hand.” He then went on to mock the notion of “etiquette” during eating. He offered a personal anecdote: once when he was dining at some five-star restaurant with several dignitaries, the chef came up to him sheepishly advising him to use the fork with his left hand instead of right, to which the sheikh boomed “I AM MUSLIM!”
The sheikh further indicated that, from childhood, he was left-handed; but, in an effort to be a “true” Muslim, he forced himself out of that satanic habit. He did this by placing his left hand beneath his thigh when eating, in order to force himself to get used to eating with his right.
Finally, while going through these motions in front of the camera (left hand beneath thigh, pretending to eat with right hand), he concluded his imaginary meal by licking all his right fingers””for, as he sternly admonished, that too is sunna: Muhammad, in Sahih Bukhari, told his followers to always lick””or have someone else lick””their fingers clean after eating, “For you know not where [in the food] the blessing dwells.”
Here, Rashid, somewhat astonished, asked “So many great men””such as Michael Angelo, Einstein, Newton, Da Vinci, Picasso [he could”ve added yours truly]””were left-handed: so what gives? Simply because they wrote or ate with their left hand, we must conclude that they were followers of Satan?”
Ahmed said that everything the animated sheikh said is, in fact, sunna: he quoted from Sahih Muslim Muhammad saying, “Do not eat or drink with your left hand for Satan eats and drinks with his left hand.”
Rashid seemed still unable to get over the finger-licking aspect: “Look, no one is out to judge other cultures, but this is the problem: because Muhammad””a 7th century bedouin””did this or that, they try to impose it on all of us, against our will.”
Rashid, somewhat timidly, asked Ahmed: “Are there any more hadiths that associate human physiology with Satan?
“Many,” answered the latter (while appearing to be desperately trying to suppress a chuckle). “For instance, yawning. According to Sahih Muslim, Muhammad said that if you must yawn, you should fully cover your mouth””preferably with the back, not palm, of the hand””lest Satan scurry down your throat, where he will dwell and laugh.” According to Sahih Bukhari, if you must yawn, do not give yourself to yawning fully; rather, hold it back as much as possible, and by so doing vex Satan.
The hosts played one last video of Sheikh Ishaq al-Hawani who was discussing the importance of waking up at night to perform the obligatory night prayers. The sheikh then read from a hadith where Muhammad said that Satan urinated in the ears of a man who failed to wake up for the night-time prayer.
A(nother) moment of perplexed silence followed, when finally Rashid asked the viewers: “Billions of people in this world do not wake up to pray. Are we to believe, then, that there are billions of satans urinating in humanity”s ears?! So many problematic questions””if Muslims were to only seriously reflect on them for a moment, surely they would forfeit Islam.”
They took a few calls. One caller could not stop laughing and did not seem to have much to contribute aside from mocking Islam, to which Ahmed said, “Yes, we understand; but you and everyone else must understand that this show is not about mocking Islam, but exposing it, in order to help other Muslims leave the darkness and come into the light.”