Can my friend marry my fiancé? Fatwa says no

A Syrian national living in Saudi Arabia made a strange request to the Imam of the Great Mosque of Makkah, asking for a fatwa [religious edict] allowing him to marry off his fiancé to his friend.

The anonymous man called Sheikh Saleh al-Humaid on live television, according to local al-Arabiya TV, where he made the plea after allegedly exhausting all other “legal” immigration avenues to aid the migration of his soon-to-be-wife.

But the Imam, who suggested regulations in the kingdom aim to serve public interest, declined the fatwa request, despite the caller stating his intentions to later get the couple divorced.

A fatwa is a religious ruling issued by Islamic scholars on issues affecting Muslims in their day-to-day lives, but as times develop, odd fatwas have emerged from the Arab world.

However, the mentioned fatwa request does not come as a complete shock to the Gulf nations, where obtaining a visa and or citizenship is almost impossible.

Refugees in the region, including those from Syria, Yemen, Palestine and Iraq regularly face difficulties when applying for access into the oil-rich Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates among others.

In stark comparison, millions of refugees affected by regional conflicts have resettled in places like Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon.

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