From the very beginning of Islam, Muslims have been asking experts on Islamic law questions on how to implement it in certain cases. Indeed, a large number of aHādīth (أحاديث, sayings of Muhammad and other senior members of the early Muslim community) came about when someone approached another (usually Muhammad) with a certain situation and asked what one should do. The response is remembered and used as a template for further rulings on similar issues.
A World of Fatwas by Arun Shourie demonstrates how, frankly, ridiculous this situation can become. People ask all sorts of questions, some of which are outright weird and even perverted.
Akhbar-e-Jehan is a weekly Urdu magazine from Pakistan. I used to read it in Saudi Arabia. A particular section of that publication was always a cause of disbelief and amusment for me. It was called Ketab oo sunnat ke roshni may--In the Light of the Book and Sunnah.
There, tons of questions, sent in by readers, were answered by an Islamic religious scholar.
I just looked at their most recent issue--Oct. 23-Oct. 29, 2006. There is one Q&A about water. My translation of almost all of it follows:
"Question: What are the rules on drinking water? What was the way of our lovely Prophet (SWAT) in this matter?
Answer: The Prophet used to breath three times upon drinking water. He didn't approve of drinking water in one breath.
He also disapproved of drinking water while standing. Furthermore, he said that if someone absentmindedly drank water while standing then he or she should vomit it all back."
The more "true" a Muslim gets, the more insane he becomes.
In an amazing coincidence, the very next question is about wearing clothes that end below the ankle. (A big no-no.) The question after that refers to adorning attire that happens to be...red:
"Question: Can males wear clothing that is red in color?
Answer: Abdullah bin Umar'd narrates that once a person wearing red clothes passed by the Prophet (SWAT) and said "Yo!," and the Prophet (SWAT) didn't offer a reply."
There you go Muslim men! It's all cool if you marry a six-year-old girl when you're fifty. But don't you E-V-E-R wear a red T-shirt.
Because that would be just wrong.