PA cleric: Eating during Ramadan is a capital crime
Apply "the heaviest punishments"
to anyone who eats publicly during Ramadan
"until our society is pure,
clean and close to Allah"
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
The official Palestinian Authority daily has republished the religious ruling of a cleric that prohibited eating in public during Ramadan. In his article, Sheikh Hassan Ahmed Jaber, Mufti of the Rafiah District and a member of the Supreme Council for Religious Rulings in Palestine, calls on the PA to severely punish anyone who violates this law. To back up his ruling, he cited a Hadith (Islamic tradition attributed to Muhammad) that presents eating in public during the fast of Ramadan as a capital crime: "His blood becomes permitted [to be shed]." He called on PA police to "strike with an iron fist" and give "the heaviest punishments" to those who eat in public.
Palestinian Media Watch reported on this ruling last year when it first appeared in the official PA daily during Ramadan. In addition, PMW reported that the PA prohibited even non-Muslims from eating in public during the month of fasting, and that 6 people were arrested by the PA for eating in public.
The following is the text of the ruling, written by Sheikh Hassan Ahmed Jaber, Mufti of the Rafiah district and a member of the Supreme Council for Religious Rulings in Palestine, in his daily Ramadan column:
"The Prophet [Muhammad] said: 'The pillars of religion and foundations of Islam are three, and whoever neglects any one of them - his blood is permitted [to be shed]: the testimony that there is no God but Allah; fasting [during Ramadan]; and prayer.' [Hadith] Anyone who eats in public during Ramadan, denying the commandment of the fast and renouncing it, is violating Allah's laws and rebelling against Allah, Who said: 'Oh you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you...' [Sura 2, verse 183]. [By eating] he leaves the circle of Islam, and his blood becomes permitted [to be shed]. Also, eating in public during Ramadan hurts the sensitivities of all Muslims around the entire world...
Therefore, I call upon all our [security] services in the PA to strike with an iron fist anyone who gives in to temptation and eats in public during Ramadan, by applying the heaviest punishments, until our society is pure, clean and close to Allah."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 22, 2013 and Aug. 13, 2012]