are required to perform good deeds and acts to themselves and others to promote humanity. Performing good deeds does not know social boundaries. In Islam, a Muslim is required to perform good deeds regardless of social status or ethnicity, as long as they are physically and mentally able to do so.
Well, that seems honourable enough, however, a good deed can land you in jail in Saudi Arabia.
A recent Nigerian convert to Islam, studying at the Badiya Islamic Center in Riyadh, learned the hard way, that those good deeds have major restrictions and limitations involved.
Ibrahim Mohammed Lawal decided to help his 63 year old neighbour, who he found out was sick and needed help.
So he took her to various hospitals in Riyadh, including the Riyadh Medical Complex at Shumaisy, all of which refused to treat her. It was only after the intervention of Sheikh Fawaz, director of Badiya Islamic Center, that the Badiya Hospital admitted the case. Despite the charitable act Mohammed ended up in detention, accused of immoral behavior because he was neither married nor related by blood to the elderly woman.
Speaking to Arab News on phone from his cell in the Malaz prison, Mohammed said that after the woman received treatment and after he returned to Riyadh after three days in the Western Region, he was arrested after checking up on the woman’s health. In the woman’s apartment were three other women related to her.“I was glad to note that the lady was making steady progress,” he said. “While we were chatting, there was a knock on the door. When this lady opened the door, four or five Saudis, whom I had seen outside the building before, barged in. They accused me of being alone with the woman unrelated to me and suspected my intention behind this visit to her apartment.”
The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice found him guilty for committing a crime: Being in the presence of a woman who is not a relative (a so-called “illegal state of seclusion”).
Not only did they arrest him, and the 3 other women, they took his laptop, money and other personal items.
He was sentenced to 50 days in prison and just wants to go back to Nigeria. I wonder if he's having second thoughts about his new-found religion!
Hat/Tip: In partibus infidelium