THE DAILY STAR (Lebanon) Middle East & North Africa
Monday, January 9, 2006
To strip or not to strip? Egyptian clerics debate sex
CAIRO: An Egyptian cleric's controversial fatwa claiming that nudity during sexual intercourse invalidates a marriage has uncovered a rift among Islamic scholars.
According to the religious edict issued by Rashad Hassan Khalil, a former dean of the prestigious AI-Azhar University's faculty of Sharia (or Islamic law), "being completely naked during the act of coitus annuls the marriage."
The religious decree sparked a hot debate on the private satellite network Dream's popular religious talk show and on the front page of Sunday's AI-Masri Al-Yawm, Egypt's leading independent daily newspaper.
Soad Saleh, who heads the women's department of Al-Azhar's IslamIc studies faculty, pleaded for "anything that can bring spouses closer to each other" and rejected the claim that nudity during intercourse could invalidate a union.
During the live televised debate, Islamic scholar Abdel Moti dismissed the fatwa, saying: "Nothing is prohibited during marital sex, except of course sodomy."
For his part, AI-Azhar's fatwa committee chairman Abdullah Megawar argued that married couples could see each other naked but they should not look at each others's genitalia and suggested that they cover up with a blanket during sex.
sexual intercourse, rapports sexuels
rift : scission, rupture
scholar : savant, érudit
dean : doyen
sparked : alluma
leading : important, influent
dismissed : rejeta, écarta