Cleric condemns Rihanna's new Saudi boyfriend for 'fornication'

Is kissing Rihanna haram? Cleric condemns Riri's new Saudi boyfriend over 'fornication' photos
2 min read
29 Jun, 2017
'Third base is not Zina!' - a Saudi cleric first proclaimed the now-famous photos could have been Photoshopped...
If she moves to Saudi, Rihanna won't be able to drive or sympathise with Qatar---[Getty]
Rihanna's finally found love in a hopeless place. Saudi Arabia.

And as news spread that the Barbadian popstar has a new boyfriend - and a Saudi billionnaire at that - one cleric from the ultraconservative Muslim kingdom condemned intimate pictures of the couple as "possible fornication". 

Assim Alhakeem, a Jeddah-based preacher, was at pains to stress, however, that since the pictures "do not prove full sexual intercourse", the acts by Saudi Toyota heir Hassan Jameel may not be punishable by the "one hundred lashes" prescribed for unmarried "fornicators" by Saudi Arabia's interpretation of Islamic law.

Alhakeem, who answers questions from the Twittersphere, was concerned over the potential "sinfulness" of Hassan Jameel, but initially urged caution before condemnation.

When asked about pictures which show the couple kissing, he replied: "Muslims don't believe in such photos as there is Photoshop! Allah told us to verify the news before judging people as mentioned in 49:6."

"In Islam, this is hanging out! Fornication, known in Arabic as Zina, is when he takes her to 'fourth base'! Third base is not Zina," he added, using a popular Western euphemism and the Arabic word for adultery respectively.

However, he later aknowledged even the kissing and physical contact between the two was forbidden and potentially punishable by a Muslim judge.

Assim Alhakeem's bizarre Twitter account, which has tens of thousands of followers, appears genuine - but it has not been verified by Twitter with their customary blue tick. Assim Assim Alhakeem also appears to be a real cleric in Saudi Arabia.

Social media reacted with the usual memes and jokes as reports emerged of Riri's new beau.

Some have even referenced the Qatar crisis, although no one has yet asked whether the singer's purported Saudi boyfriend will pressure her to condemn Qatar and write a song asking for Doha to surrender.

Follow Karim Traboulsi on Twitter: @Kareemios