The Moorish Wanderer

Funny Zemzami, The Necrophile Scholar

Posted in Flash News, Moroccan ‘Current’ News, Morocco, Read & Heard, Tiny bit of Politics by Zouhair ABH on May 10, 2011

Yes, we do have a freak show going on these days. But none of our Monstres Sacrés can match the latest Fatwa published by the (respected) Islamic Scholar and member of the religious establishment, Abdelbari Zemzami. He basically allows sexual intercourse with a corpse. Yes. Necrophilia is now Halal in Morocco by the grace of Alem Zemzami.

I should perhaps be more specific in Zemzami’s Fatwa: he allows the widowed husband to have sexual intercourse with the corpse of his deceased wife. The Fatwa does not say whether it reciprocates for a woman (although I suspect even with rigor mortis, it will not do) nor does it specify how many hours after the wife’s death a man can still, you know… perform their marital duties. If it was not for the scholar’s level of seniority, I would dismiss this fatwa as yet another deranged, lonely individual who did not get some for a while. But this is Zemzami. And it is a Fatwa from an official of the Habousministry. If indeed such Fatwa is genuine.

Abdelbari Zemzami, the Man who brings sunshine to the Nihilists' dreary lives. (Picture ALM)

But the issue goes beyond our funny Zemzami – please follow the hashtags #FunnyZemzami and #ZemzamiFatwa, you will get a kicking out of the twittoma’s imagination and acerbic witticism- and strikes at the very heart of individual freedom and the rule of positive law; Zemzami is empowered to produce Islamic rulings that can easily be considered an obligation on the Muslim community in Morocco; As a Alem, an Islamic Scholar, his Fatwas are norms. He can claim to actually dictate what we, as members of the Ummah, should do or not do. We are thus submitted to the double fetter of God’s law, and Man’s law.  We individual citizens have no grip on such legislation, an infringement on our democratic rights, and perhaps the most straightforward argument in favour of the criticism that Morocco is no democracy.

Zemzami justifies his ruling by means of analogy: Since a good Muslim couple will meet again in Heaven, and since death does not alter the marital contract (in his opinion) it is not a hindrance to the husband’s desire to have sexual intercourse with the corpse of his (freshly) deceased wife. A deranged mind and flawed logical thinking seem not to be part of the position of Senior Alem’s requirements. I am no Islamic Scholar (thank God) but I remember from my (compulsory and utterly boring) High School Islamic courses that there is a minimum amount of logical thinking when the Imam (or Alem) makes their Ijtihad, or investigations. And quite frankly, I really don’t see how he managed to find a ruling for the deceased; The Islamic literature is very extensive on the living (as it normally should be) but Zemzami’s ruling tops them all. He seemed to overlook the procreating objective of marital mating (this is why concepts such as “نكاح المتعة” are forbidden)

Indeed, Zemzami’s ruling is funny. It is so, because if one wants to think of it otherwise, the first thing to spring to mind is something like: “what goes on the man’s life to take such a keen interest in such an obscure issue to devote time and resources and come up with a an even stranger ruling”? I mean, perhaps the Habous officials do bore themselves to death in their offices, but still, they are civil servants and receive their salaries (comfortable salaries in Zemzami’s case) on the taxpayer’s dime. It is only just to question the man’s competence (never mind sanity) and legitimacy to dream up rulings regulating our lives.

Abdelbari Zemzami, again, is no ordinary scholar: he is formally a الخبير في فقه النوازل which means an Expert in Exceptional Matters, issues that have not been delineated in the Quran, the Hadith, or anywhere in Sharia law. Zemzami actually did his job: such a bizarre occurrence never happened before, and was never discussed in past scholarly work or in the original Islamic laws, so it is up to him, the expert, to come up with something. Yes, Zemzami is the chief scholar at the vanguard of new Islamic rulings designed to make life more harmonious within the Islamic community. Frightening.

The whole idea of a Ulema corps is at odds with democracy. First because it is another infringement on individual rights; Indeed, we are living in a society, and because of it, individuals need to sacrifice some of their rights for the sake of the collective freedom. The democratic setting minimizes these fetters to the necessary rules required for a peaceful  coexistence. This means that no restrictions should be put on intimate issues -which religions, especially Islam, want to regulate in accordance to their teachings, so as to achieve their Holy City utopia. In view of these elements, positive law is sufficient an infringement on individual freedom to indulge in adding yet another restriction. And even though there is no direct link between the Penal sanction of non-marital sexual relationships and Zemzami’s fatwa, I suspect frustrations due to the repressive sexual policy, as it were, do lead to such Vaudevillian situations; Opening up to sexual tolerance and essential the breaking of ‘wedlock monopoly‘ could help stem dangerous behaviour (rather than encourage them, as the conservative theory goes)

Zemzami’s ruling is a blessing in disguise: it furthers the cause of secularists; It is the proof that dogmatic and conservative policies are a failure, and frustrations and social deviances arising from such fettering rules are a blatant rebuttal to those who believe all Moroccans will be moral knights and dames. Subsequently, instead of treating everyone as a devout Muslim (and punishing anyone who does not care about it) it is easier, and nicer, to scrap these pieces of legislation. It also have the courage to do away with hypocrisy (the penal code punishes non-observant of Ramadan but not those who do not go to the Mosque, even though prayers have seniority as an Islamic pillar)

Oh, and one last thing. Zemzami really should be put in some asylum. Or allowed to set up a One Man Show; that way he will do no harm to the saner people. And it seems he stands by his ruling: necrophilia is Halal. Looking forward to the next ruling on f**king goats.

8 Responses

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  1. xoussef said, on May 11, 2011 at 10:24

    Oh man, there is nothing funny about that, unless it’s “شر البلية” and it certainly qualifies as such, it’s appalling! I guess the criteria for such people to get to such positions are as arbitrary as in other departments of civil service. Even if such ruling have some skewed, but still logical argument (by theology’s standards that is), can’t the man use just a bit of common sense????

    I completely agree with you on the rest of course ^^.

  2. mouka said, on May 11, 2011 at 21:12

    This is utter nonsense. How can idiots like this “Alem” utter such bullshit and get away with it?
    Well, maybe he is right at home with “Amir Al Mouminin”, since that is the official religious title that the king has. If Amir Al Mouminin can spend some “quality time” in a Parisian gay bar, then everything is fair game in the “most-beautiful-country-in-the-world”!!!
    Mohammed 6 got married immediately after the scandal of the French magazine “Paris Match” published the pictured of our “Amir Al Mouminin” in a Parisian gay bar.
    Religion in Morocco is a tool, used by the regime to control the illiterate masses. It is a cynical and twisted use of religion, but in a way, it is understandable. Believers are much easier to manipulate than thinkers. It is no coincidence that the regime is feeding us religion by the truckload every day, including these long sermons on Fridays and these “tajwid” competitions.
    The king couldn’t care less about religion if the masses weren’t true believers.

  3. keh said, on May 14, 2011 at 01:03

    I just wanted to add that this man is also a (democratically) elected member of the parliament., representing Casablanca. His complete name is Benseddik Zamzami.

    • Zouhair Baghough said, on May 14, 2011 at 12:12

      First off, what an honour! (I believe you are Khalid Hariry MP, right?)

      I was sure 100% wether he was an MP. Many thanks for the info.
      Isn’t worrying that such a man would have political constituency as well as religious leadership? What do you think?

      PS: I don’t agree with your party’s line, but I think you are doing great.

  4. RoccaMarina said, on September 17, 2011 at 18:20

    Hello wanderer… I came across your page by chance. I love it. I’m a confused leftist too. more liberal than radical. from the other side of the sea. Lebanon, that is. I’ll keep myself posted to your blog. Very useful for readers like me who are interested in less publicized events and information about Morocco. Keep up the good work.

    • Zouhair Baghough said, on September 18, 2011 at 20:42


      Thanks for stopping by! It’s always difficult to define one’s self on the radical/liberal spectrum.
      You’ve got to voice your opinions too, y’know 🙂



  5. […] Imam Abdelbari Zemzami‘s PRV party as a coalition member; the same Zemzami who published a pro-necrophilia fatwa not so long ago. Because RNI has been very keen on positioning itself at the centre of the […]

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