Saturday, January 8, 2011

Beyond doubt

I attended the other day the funeral of a man in his late seventies. At the funeral, I heard people talking about his widow's "'Iddiyeh" or 'counting' which refers to a custom still practiced among some Muslims where the widow must lock herself at home for 100 days before she is allowed to go out. To be honest, I didn't quite understand the reason right away until I realized that this has to do with sex. Of course! When it comes to religion, sex and dignity have some mysterious links. She should lock herself in so that, in case she found herself pregnant, society wouldn't doubt for a second that her late husband was indeed the father. Poor woman, I thought. When he died, her husband was almost 80 and she was in her late sixties for God's sake!
P.S. In case this crossed your mind, let us be clear, this practice is not common among Christians not because of any greater enlightenment, but, because if a Christian woman locked at home after her husband dies, gets pregnant, there is no way to tell whether the father is her late husband or the holy spirit!

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