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Yes, Some Islamic Scripture, Commentaries, and ‘Fatwas’ Permit Necrophilia

A Muslim man who sexually violated a number of corpses was recently sentenced on February 1 in the UK. According to the report:

A warped “monster” who broke into a funeral parlour before having sex with a woman’s corpse has been jailed for six years. Kasim Khuram, 23, forced his way into a Co-op undertakers before violating a dead body at around 1.40am on November 11 last year. A court heard how he lifted the lids of several coffins before selecting his victim. Khuram then removed the body from the coffin, took off her clothes and then “interfered with her” in the chapel of rest, leaving her face down on the floor.

Another female body was found face down in a coffin with her lower clothing pulled down while seven other corpses, including a baby, were disturbed. Police were alerted by the alarm at the funeral parlour on Walsall Road, in Great Barr, Birmingham, and turned up to find the depraved pervert still at the scene. Officers said he was “more concerned” about leaving his watch behind. Khuram, who had been drinking vodka and smoking mamba, told officers: “I bet you think I’ve been sh***ing them don’t you?” and sickeningly added: “every hole is a goal.”

At a time when Islam is associated with any number of troubling practices, can this too be laid at its feet? Alas, while necrophilia is a depravity not unique to any one modern culture, only Islam contains scriptures, commentaries, and fatwas (Islamic decrees) permitting the macabre practice.

As with most of Islam’s problematic teachings, necrophilia is traceable to Muhammad.

According to a hadith (a recorded tradition concerning the sayings and doings of Muhammad) that exists in six of Islam’s classical reference texts (including the important Kanz al-‘Umal and al-Hujja fi Biyan al-Mahujja), Muhammad once took off his shirt, placed it on a dead woman, and then descended into and “lay with her” in the grave.

As they hurled dirt atop the corpse and Muhammad, the grave diggers exclaimed:

O Prophet, we see you doing a thing you never did with anyone else.

To this he responded:

I dressed her in my shirt so that she may be dressed in heavenly robes, and I lay with her in her grave so that the pressures of the grave [also known as Islam’s torments of the grave] may be alleviated from her.

One can interpret this, and there certainly is no absolute reason to maintain that Muhammad was actually copulating with the corpse. There are, however, some hurdles.

First: The two Arabic words (ataja‘ ma‘ha اضطجع معها) which I translate above as “lay with her” are indeed used in Arabic to mean “intercourse.” This is similar to the English idiom “to lay with her,” which can literally mean nothing more than laying down with a woman, but often is a reference to sex. More than a few Muslim clerics have made this linguistic observation.