Thursday, May 28, 2015

Against Pregnant Hands

Until now I had no idea that the Islamic concept of the afterlife was so weird. Recently Turkish Islamic preacher Mucahid Cihad Han warned on a live television broadcast that in the afterlife, men who masturbate would find themselves with "pregnant hands." Most conservative strands of the Abrahamic monotheistic religions consider masturbation a sin, but this is the first time I've ever come across such a bizarre explanation. How does a hand get pregnant, anyway? I realize that it's the afterlife so this could be a "spiritual pregnancy." But what does that even mean?

According to Hurriyet Daily News, Han was appearing on the TV station 2000 TV when a man rang the station to confess that despite being married, he kept masturbating - even during the holy pilgrimage to Mecca known as Umrah.

Forced to repeat the question several times to the confused preacher, he was eventually advised that the act was forbidden. 'Moreover,' Han said, 'One [saying] states that those who have sexual intercourse with their hands will find their hands pregnant in the afterlife, complaining against them to God over its rights.

'If our viewer was single, I could recommend he marry, but what can I say now?' He later posted on Twitter an interpretation of Islam which he said proved masturbation was forbidden, adding: 'Lets keep ourselves out of trouble.'

While I realize that in the afterlife basic biological constraints don't necessarily exist, this still strikes me as a strange interpretation that just brings up more questions. How many eggs does a hand produce? It's the afterlife, so I suppose that number could be huge. If it's one for every sperm, that means most men will find themselves with a massive infernal legion of the night in the next world. But what if that's the idea? Could someone deliberately generate more "offspring" so as to enter the afterlife with the largest possible army? Because that would be badass.

It's more likely that this is just a bunch of nonsense, even to those who believe that the afterlife is real. In fact, the Christian Bible contains nothing prohibiting masturbation. The story of Onan, which is usually cited, is more about disobeying God and refusing to honor community traditions in favor of self-interest - which many sins have in common. It also sounds like it's not a settled issue in Islam, pregnant hands notwithstanding.

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Anonymous said...

You need to know that in Islam, everyone will be revived with a physical body in the afterlife. So the "pregnancy" here is "pregnancy" in the most literal sense of the word. As for how it could happen...

Scott Stenwick said...

Yeah, that part is where the whole thing gets confusing. If physical constraints do apply, where do the eggs come from? Do they spontaneously emerge from your fingernails or something?