A fatwa (religious edict) issued by a Saudi cleric banning snowmen or snow animals has evoked mixed reactions on social media.
A recent snowfall in northern part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia saw excited Saudi citizens building snowmen and even snow camels, some even snow couples.
But the joy was short-lived. A man who asked a religious website whether he was allowed to build snowmen for his children was told that doing so would amount to insulting his faith.
Cleric Mohammed Saleh Al Minjed issued a fatwa stating that building snowmen was an insult to Islam.
He said that building snowmen or an image of an animal, even if it is for fun or recreation, was not permitted under Islam. Only inanimate objects like ships, fruit and buildings could be imitated, the Gulf News report noted.
The Saudi cleric said that building a snowman was akin to creating an image of a human being and sinful according to the country's strict interpretation of Sunni Islam laws.
"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 wrote in his ruling, reported The Guardian.
The incident, however, soon took the social media by storm. The Al Marsd News, citing a Saudi blogger who supported the fatwa, noted: "It has no value in our traditions, and those who are fascinated by the West should emulate their inventions and sciences, not their culture."
However, an angry blogger cited by the Saudi news source, blasted the fatwa, stating: "We have snow for fleeting days, maybe even hours, and there is always someone who wants to rob us of the joy and the fun... It seems that the only thing left for us is to sit down and drink coffee."
Many Twitter users reportedly wrote in Arabic and identified themselves with Arab names while opposing the fatwa. "They are afraid for their faith of everything ... sick minds," one Twitter user wrote.
Another social media user put up a photo of a man in formal Arab garb holding the arm of a "snow bride" wearing a bra and lipstick. "The reason for the ban is fear of sedition," he wrote.
More Twitter Reactions on the Saudi Fatwa against Snowman:
Arthur Snell @SnellArthur wrote:
Do you want to build a #Snowman? Not if you're in Saudi Arabia. Apparently it's unislamic.
caroline fernandes @EastVillageWest said
Frosty the Snowman - an alien, seditious and lust-inducing figure? Who knew?
Gareth Edwards @g_eds
Do you wanna build a snowman ? No, it promotes lustiness and eroticism. Saudi cleric issues fatwa on snowmen
Dennis Mathew @DenzyM
Girl to Saudi cleric: do you wanna build a snowman?
Cleric: hell no, that's too difficult, let me raise a fatwa instead #snowman #killjoy