A prominent Saudi cleric triggered a minor backlash on social media when he advised his followers not to build a snowman, “even by way of play and fun,” claiming the practice was forbidden under Islamic law.
Sheikh Mohammed Saleh al-Munajjid made the pronouncement shortly after a winter storm dusted the northern reaches of the Arabian peninsula with snow, Reuters reports.
Munajjid, fielding questions on a religious website, replied that any representation of a man, including a snowman, violated the kingdom’s strict ban against figurative depictions of the human form.
“God has given people space to make whatever they want which does not have a soul, including trees, ships, fruits, buildings and so on,” he said.
The interpretation proved contentious on social media, where some commenters posted derisory images of snowmen, while other’s commended the cleric for his “sharp vision” against Satanic temptations.