A Kuwaiti cleric has rolled out that Muslims should avoid using animated features in conversations because they didn’t exist at the time of the Muslim Prophet Mohammad.
Kuwaiti cleric Khaled Al-Kharaz said Muslims should not use emoticons as it has no base in the Islamic code of conduct, or Shariah and that it is better to avoid and maintain a distance from these expressive images.
The cleric was answering a question asked by Al Anbaa newspaper when he made the comments. The article asked clerics if emojis, that are available in mobile messaging application Whatsapp, come under the Islamic ruling of forbidden images.
Although Al-Kharraz suggested using the images is not based on Islamic laws, other clerics said there is nothing wrong with using emojis.
Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Al-Hamoud Al-Najdi said the emoticons don’t actually take the form of pictures. Another cleric, Dr. Jalawi al-Jamia, agreed with Al-Najdi and said there is no harm in using emoticons and said they are permissible.
Dr. Al-Jasser said using emojis to express your feeling is absolutely fine as they don’t match the guidelines of a forbidden photo.
The cleric’s comments took the people in Kuwait by storm and they reached out on Twitter to troll Al-Kharaz.
“It's also best to avoid shawarma since it didn't exist in the Prophet's era. Plus its flavor blows the mind away, so it must be seen as alcohol,” wrote a Twitter user.
Another one said, “Twitter also didn't exist in the Prophet's era... why don't you delete it then?”
However, this isn’t the first time a cleric has made questionable comments.
In Sept. 2017, a top cleric in Saudi Arabia was banned from all religious activities after he suggested women shouldn't be allowed to drive because they have smaller brains than men.
Just a few months later, another popular Saudi cleric ruled that under Islamic law, digital currency bitcoin is prohibited in Islam because is it “ambiguous” and provides anonymity to criminals.
Jeddah-based cleric Assim al-Hakeem made the comment during his show “Ask Zaad.”
“We know that bitcoins remain anonymous when you deal with it… which means that it's an open gate for money laundering, drug money and haram (forbidden) money,” he said.
Spotlight, Banner: Reuters, Kacper Pempel