Saudi fatwa: No giving birth unless ‘male guardian’ is present

Saudi fatwa: No giving birth unless ‘male guardian’ is present

Arguably one of the most oppressive regimes on the planet, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s (KSA) religious clerics council has ruled no woman may seek or receive medical attention from male medical or health professionals unless a “male guardian” is present, as reported by the English-language newspaper the Arab News (of Jeddah, KSA) on Feb.14, 2014.

The kingdom’s all-powerful Council of Senior Scholars issued a “fatwa” (religious edict) prohibiting any and all women within the confines of the nation from as much as even speaking to a male doctor, nurse, or even a nutritionist without the Islamic definition of male guardian being present.

Per Islamic sharia law, male guardians would be those of first or second degree of kinship — such as husbands, fathers, grandfathers or uncles. Adult sons or nephews would also fit the qualification.

According to Sheikh Qais al-Mubarak, a member of the Council of Senior Scholars:

Islamic law does not permit women to visit their doctors without male guardians.

The sheikh further stated:

Women are prohibited from exposing body parts to male doctors in Islamic law, especially during childbirth.

Perhaps enlightened by the realization that women could go into labor with or without a male guardian present, the cleric did grant a dispensation:

 This does not include medical emergencies. Islamic jurisprudence makes exceptions.

The Saudi Morality Police, officially know as The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Haia), has been ordered to enforce the newly issued order.

An anonymous source cited by the Arab News that  Haia officers “recently issued orders to employees working at a nutrition center not to admit women patients unless a guardian accompanies them during their weekly visits.”

Reportedly, the implementation of the order has caused “huge losses to the nutrition center in a single week.”

Saudi Vice & Morality officers. Wikimedia-Commons.
Saudi Vice & Morality officers. Wikimedia-Commons.

T. Kevin Whiteman

T. Kevin Whiteman

T. Kevin Whiteman is a retired Master Sergeant of Marines. He is the founder of the blog Unapologetically Rude and has written for Examiner and other blogs.

Commenting Policy

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse. Read more.

You may use HTML in your comments. Feel free to review the full list of allowed HTML here.

Facebook Comments

Disqus Comments