Kenya: Kadhi says condom use 'acceptable'

The Nation (Nairobi)
The Muslim community does not oppose the use of condoms in totality, Chief Kadhi Sheikh Hammad Kassim has said.
Sheikh Kassim advised Muslims to get facts right before opposing the use of condoms, saying there were instances the religion permitted it.
Addressing an Islamic policy guidelines workshop on HIV/Aids at a Mombasa hotel yesterday, the Chief Kadhi said the spread of HIV/Aids among Muslims was on the rise owing to the fanatical beliefs that anything related to sex was bad.

"Time has come when the community and other religious leaders used common sense in judging issues. We are in an era of Aids and if one partner tests positive and the other negative, there is no harm for them to use condoms," he said.

He, however, cautioned that his statement should not be taken as a go-ahead to practise illicit sex.

Sheikh Kassim also urged Muslims to change their behaviour on polygamy, warning that gone were the days when supremacy was gauged on the number of women one married.

"Islam allowed polygamy for genuine reasons. But now people have taken it as a sign of prestige whereby they marry today and divorce the following morning. This risky behaviour is a great setback to fight against the pandemic," he said.

He thus advised Muslims expecting to marry to visit Voluntary Counselling and testing centres to know their status.

He at the same time warned Imams and other religious leaders against stigmatising infected people through their sermons.

"Imams and leaders should know that Aids is not spread through sexual intercourse alone. So when they sensitize the community against HIV/Aids, they should mention the fact that it can be got through other means like using blades, blood transfusion and the like," he added.

by Juma Namlola, The Nation (Nairobi), March 15, 2005

Taken from the March 2005 +M Bulletin by Positive Muslims