Exhuming & mocking a 14 year old “Masturbate & your hand is pregnant in the Afterlife” fatwa

(nb: See the UPDATE at the bottom.The title of this article is incorrect. I have not changed the title to ensure that visitors land on the right page.)

I have written several times here about the fetish for salacious fatwas. The latest one making the rounds reports that a Turkish Muslim televangelist said that people who masturbate will, in the Afterlife, find their hands are pregnant.

From Scott Campbell:

Preacher Mucahid Cihad Han looked puzzled while answering a viewer’s question about masturbation on Turkish television.

The caller said he “kept masturbating”, despite being married and even partook in the dirty act during an annual pilgrimage to Mecca.

But Han then warned the man that masturbation is forbidden in Islam.

He continued: “Moreover, one hadith states that those who have sexual intercourse with their hands will find their hands pregnant in the afterlife, complaining against them to God over its rights.”

“If our viewer was single, I could recommend he marry, but what can I say now?” the self-proclaimed televangelist added.

He also advised the viewer to “resist Satan’s temptations”.

Han was mocked on social media after declaring his fatwa on masturbation.

“Are there any hand-gynaecologists in the afterlife? Is abortion allowed there?” one Twitter user said.

Another added: “So you think that being pregnant is a God-given punishment?”

What piqued my interest here was not the fiqh issues or the veracity of the evidence. Rather, it was how Han is described and how recently the Q&A transpired.

Why is Han described as a “self-proclaimed televangelist”? Is it that Han described himself this way, and the author is drawing attention to the etymological difficulties in applying the portmanteau “televangelism” to a Muslim? It seems like anyone who uses TV to call others to a particular set of beliefs can be described as “televangelist” even if it depends upon a bit of metaphor and borrowing.

It is interesting how the third to last line’s mention of social media mockery leads us assume that what prompted the mockery is also recent. Another article reports that Han said this on a TV show 14 years ago. If so, it is the recent exhumation of a 14 year-old show that prompted the mockery – not the show itself.

Whenever these stories come up it is difficult not to think about the motives of the people who initially reported on something that happened so long ago, as well as the motives of people several countries away then repeating the story. A slow news day? A distraction to keep our attention away from something important? The frequency of these pieces makes me think that a more likely motivation is the desire to influence public opinion against Islam and Muslims.


 

UPDATE: I struck out a paragraph and another phrase because it turns out that this is a recent event and “2000” is not a year. The comments are recent and it looks like @mucahid_han  is retweeting everything written about it.

The rest of the article still stands. Outside of Turkey or places with large Turkish communities, why is this news?