Following are excerpts from an interview with Moroccan cleric Abd Al-Bari Al-Zamzami, a member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, and from an address delivered by Al-Zamzami. The interview was posted on the Internet on May 11, 2011 and the address on March 24, 2012.
May 11, 2011
Interviewer : You have ruled it permissible for a woman to use a certain vegetable [a carrot] to fulfill her sexual urges.
Abd Al-Bari Al-Zamzami : Yes.
Interviewer : Where did you get this from?
Abd Al-Bari Al-Zamzami : There is a saying that goes: "The less one knows, the more one criticizes." Someone with little knowledge and narrow cultural horizons finds everything he hears to be strange, and so he criticizes it.
I did not invent anything. I merely quoted the early imams. Their fatwa stated that an unmarried woman or a widow who is battling her sexual urges - as a means to avoid the forbidden and to protect her chastity, she may turn to such things to relieve the pressure.
Interviewer : People find this extremely strange.
Abd Al-Bari Al-Zamzami : That's because they are not well-versed in Islamic religious culture.
March 24, 2012
Abd Al-Bari Al-Zamzami : A few days ago, I was asked by the Al-Sabbah newspaper about men who have sex with their dead wives. The truth is that this question took me by surprise, and I asked the journalist whether there really are people who do this deplorable and disgraceful act, which is not to be expected from a normal, balanced person. Only a mentally or psychologically unbalanced man would do such a thing.
In any case, I do not have the right to prohibit things. Fatwas are not shaped according to one's will or whim. Rather, they reflect the law of Allah.
Therefore, I do not have the right to prohibit that act merely because I consider it deplorable.
The evidence I relied upon in this case was that a wife's death does not sever her relations with her husband. A wife's death does not sever her marital relations with her husband. She remains his wife post mortem, in the Hereafter, just as she was his wife in her lifetime.
It is perfectly clear that marital relations are not severed by a wife's death. She remains her husband's wife. This being the case, the husband has the right to do whatever he wants with her. For instance, he may kiss her. It is common for a husband to kiss his wife after her death, out of love and sorrow. This is something that is done, and there is nothing wrong with it.
The fact that such an act is permissible does not make it commendable or even acceptable. Having sex with your wife's corpse is permitted but not commendable.