An Egyptian preacher made headlines on social media after he issued a controversial fatwa (religious proclamation) giving a man the right to peep on his future wife while she is showering before he marries her.
Usama al-Qawsi, a salafist preacher, confidently stated in a video that it is acceptable for a man to “hide” while watching his wife-to-be shower as long as his intentions are “pure.”
“If you were really honest and wanted to marry that woman, and you were able to hide and watch her in secret, see the things that she wouldn’t usually let you see before marrying her, then it is acceptable as long as your intentions are pure,” said the salafist preacher in a video.
“One of the Prophet’s companions did that. Some disapproved and told him: ‘How do you do that when you’re one of the Prophet’s companions?’ The Prophet answered: ‘If you can see something that would make you want to marry her then go ahead and do it.”
In Isam, women are forbidden to reveal parts of their body other than their hands and faces to males, except to their husbands and direct family members.
His provocative fatwa was quickly rejected by the Egyptian Minister of Religious Endowments Mohammad Mukhtar.
“This is what we say to him and the likes of him, where is the glory and masculinity in watching a woman shower?” Minister Mukhtar was quoted as saying.
“Would you allow this to happen to your daughter? If it was OK with you then it isn’t with the conservative, civilized Muslim and Christian societies – they disapprove of it. Besides, Islam preaches that modesty should be in our nature and all religions concur.”
Such allegations are not foreign to Egypt’s salafist community. Last June, during the World Cup, a Salafist preacher condemned watching soccer matches stating that it was unacceptable in Islam because it is a distraction and it “destroys nations.”
Yasser Borhami, one of the founders of main the Salafist movement in Egypt, stated that watching games is “a disaster that makes me very irate.”
Borhami explained that watching football matches distracts oneself from worldly duties and religious obligations, and is destined to ultimately lead to “the destruction of nations and peoples.”