Manama: Saudi social media users have poured scorn on a fatwa that allowed young men married to ugly women to take drugs before intimate relations in order to have the delusion they are as beautiful as houris.

The fatwa said that hallucinogenic drugs can be taken for 30 minutes during sexual intercourse and only by men who are less than 40 years old. The drugs can be used only in the evening, it added.

“This is the ideal men who are unfortunately married with ugly-looking wives so that they can see them, under the effects of the drugs, as beautiful women, like Houris or lovely nymphs,” the fatwa said.

Houri is a Quranic term referring to “to be beautifully dark-eyed” women in heaven.

The origin of the religious edict is not known, although some users attributed it to a Moroccan figure, but it went viral on the Internet and sparked a huge debate in which most people expressed shock and sarcasm.

Suroor, a blogger, said that drugs should never be allowed, regardless of the reason.

"This fatwa is utter nonsense,” she said. “The men who believe their wives are not good looking and need to live an illusion, even if it is for fleeting minutes, can simply switch off the light and use their imagination to think she is a superstar,” she said.

Dayem said the person behind the fatwa must be high on drugs when he issued it, even if it was for fun.

“This means that we will next have a fatwa that says infidelity and cheating are permissible if they help solve marital problems,” he said.

For Hala, ugliness is not physical, but moral.

“When we talk about an ugly person, we should mean deficiency in moral standards and good manners, and not in good looks,” he said. “This fatwa is so ridiculous that it should not be dignified with comments,” he added.