The Al Sukh en'Ip Home for the Aged has taken a recent fatwa, or religious edict, by Al-Azhar University cleric Ezzat Attiya and extended it to the care of its residents.
According to the Jerusalem Post, Ezzat Attiya had issued a fatwa, or religious edict, saying adult men could breast-feed from female work colleagues as a way to avoid breaking Islamic rules that forbid men and women from being alone together.
Effective immediately, the female staff will be allowed to care for the male residents as long as they first allow the male patients to suckle on their breasts.
Since the staff at Al Sukh is largely female, the male residents occasionally go unattended far too long, according to a relative of one of the male patients at Al Sukh. "Now, perhaps they will provide better care for my father in his waning years," said Hassan Hussein.
The home administrator, Ahmed al-Qassam, is delighted about the new fatwa as he will now be able to staff the home more inexpensively with a female staff and provide the male patients more activities during the day that they were not able to enjoy with the limited male staff. "Just at the announcement of the fatwa, our male residents seemed more vibrant and alive. I am very hopeful that by implementing this new level of care and compassion, the quality of life for this group of patients will improve greatly."
Female staff were unavailable for comment as Mr. al-Qassam was not able to provide a qualified male chaperon and most of the female staff were visiting with their male patients for the first time.