A cleric in Saudi Arabia has become a subject of much ridicule on social media after a fatwa in which he banned women from watching football stating that they watched the game only to stare at men's thighs.
In the fatwa, the Saudi cleric reportedly said that women "do not care who wins the match, all they care about is watching the player's thighs". The Saudi social media users were quick to point out the imam's ridiculous fatwa with a trending hashtag in Arabic which translates to: #women_love_football_because_of_players'_thighs, the Al Arabiya reported.
The local cleric, who was discussing on the permissibility of women watching football matches on TV as per Islam, asked the Saudi husbands from forbidding their wives from watching football. "Threaten them with divorce," the Imam advised.
"..Woman seeing a foreign man is sinful, so what about seeing his thighs and tight kit," he asked.
The Saudi cleric went on to claim that it was impermissible for women to look at men who are unrelated to them and it was "extremely haram to look at players' thighs, many of whom are dressed in tight clothing".
In an opinion piece, a journalist from the Middle East region, Ruqaya Al-Huwairni, wrote in Al Jazeera, translated by Saudi Gazette: "I cannot describe how embarrassed and annoyed I was after listening to a fatwa issued by a local mosque imam."
"His judgement is harsh and it reduces women to sexual objects. The imam did not only say that such things bring corruption but also banned women from looking at men who are not related to them. Should women become blind so that they are unable to see men, such as their drivers, street cleaners, grocery shop owners, doctors, professors, etc?
"How can someone make something impermissible when Allah Almighty has made it permissible? Women look at men on the street, regardless of whether they are running, walking or playing football," Al-Huwairni questioned.
This is not the first time a Saudi cleric has raked up controversy over a bizarre fatwa. Back in April, Saudi Arabia's top cleric Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh was at the centre of a controversy after reports claimed he issued a fatwa allowing husband to eat his wife in the event of extreme hunger.
The reports, which were later slammed by the Saudi grand mufti, stated: "A man is allowed to eat his wife or parts of her body, if the husband was afflicted with a severe hunger."
The hoax report even went on to claim that the Saudi cleric justified the fatwa saying they would "become one as their bodies will fuse together after the husband eats his wife."