FACT #1: The Qur’an allows (or, perhaps, commands) men to beat their wives into subservience. If a wife doesn’t listen to her husband, the husband should admonish her. If that doesn’t work, he is to make her sleep in a separate bed. However, if the wife still doesn’t respect her husband’s authority, even after she has been banished to another bed, the husband is told to physically punish her. Consider three translations of the following verse:
Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret what Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High Exalted, Great.
Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.
Men are the protectors And maintainers of women, Because Allah has given The one more (strength) Than the other, and because They support them From their means. Therefore the righteous women Are devoutly obedient, and guard In (the husband’s) absence What Allah would have them guard. As to those women On whose part ye fear Disloyalty and ill-conduct, Admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); But if they return to obedience, Seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, Great (above you all).
Muslim translators have struggled with this passage and have sought ways to water down its clear meaning. For instance, Ali adds the word "lightly" to his translation, which doesn’t occur in the original Arabic. However, even if we allow Ali to tone down the parts of the Qur’an he finds offensive, the verse still allows husbands to beat their wives. Hence, according to God’s last and greatest prophet, spousal abuse is permissible, and perhaps even required. Modern nations that have established laws against spousal abuse are therefore in direct violation of Allah’s command in the Qur’an.
FACT #2: According to Muhammad, women lack common sense because their minds are deficient. Of course, this declaration didn’t go unchallenged. To his credit, Muhammad allowed women to question him about their intellectual deficiencies. His response to these questions was illuminating:
[Muhammad said]: O womenfolk, you should give charity and ask much forgiveness for I saw you in bulk amongst the dwellers of Hell. A wise lady among them said: Why is it, Messenger of Allah, that our folk is in bulk in Hell? Upon this the Holy Prophet observed: You curse too much and are ungrateful to your spouses. I have seen none lacking in common sense and failing in religion but (at the same time) robbing the wisdom of the wise, besides you. Upon this the woman remarked: What is wrong with our common sense and with religion? He (the Holy Prophet) observed: Your lack of common sense (can be well judged from the fact) that the evidence of two women is equal to one man, that is a proof of the lack of common sense.
The Prophet (the blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) said: "Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?" The women said: "Yes." He said: "This is because of the deficiency of her mind."
Notice here that, in the first passage, Muhammad justifies his claim that women lack common sense by stating that their testimony is worth half that of a man. Yet, in the second passage, Muhammad justifies his claim that the testimony of women is half as good as men’s testimony by stating that women have deficient minds. This is a classic example of circular reasoning. We can imagine a conversation between Muhammad and a more critical questioner:
"O Muhammad! Why is Hell full of women?"
"Because they lack common sense!"
"How do you know they lack common sense?"
"Their lack of common sense can be seen from the fact that their testimony is only half as good as a man’s testimony."
"But why is their testimony half as good as a man’s?"
"Because of the deficiency of their minds!"
"How do you know that their minds are deficient?"
"The deficiency of their minds can be seen from the fact that their testimony is worth half the testimony of a man."
"Again, why is their testimony half as good?"
"Because their minds are deficient!"
"Maybe the only thing deficient here is your argument."
Notice also that Muhammad’s claims here are falsifiable. That is, they can be tested and, in theory, disproved. We could easily set up an experiment to see whether Muhammad’s statements about the inferiority of a woman’s intellect are correct. We could also set up an experiment in which a group of men and a group of women each witness the same accident. If the testimonies gathered from the male group are twice as accurate as the testimonies taken from the female group, Muhammad’s statements will have been vindicated. On the other hand, if the reports from the two groups are similar, we can dismiss Muhammad’s ideas as the sexist comments of a man affected by cultural biases.
FACT #3: Muhammad offered women little hope for the afterlife. Indeed, he clearly states that most of the inhabitants of hell are women who were ungrateful to their husbands (though he never suggests that ungrateful husbands will receive similar punishment). This means that, after being admonished, banished to a separate bed, and beaten by her husband, a willful woman can look forward to an eternity in hell:
The Prophet (the blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) said: "I saw paradise and stretched my hands towards a bunch (of its fruits) and had I taken it, you would have eaten from it as long as the world remains. I also saw the Hell-fire and I had never seen such a horrible sight. I saw that most of the inhabitants were women." The people asked: "O Allah’s Apostle! Why is it so?" The Prophet (the blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) said: "Because of their ungratefulness." It was asked whether they are ungrateful to Allah. The Prophet (the blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) said: "They are ungrateful to their companions of life (husbands) and ungrateful to good deeds."
[Muhammad said], "O women! Give to charity, for I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-Fire were women." The women asked, "O Allah’s Apostle! What is the reason for it?" He said: "O women! You curse frequently, and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. O women, some of you can lead a cautious man astray."
However, even if these women were to stop cursing and to start thanking their husbands, their prospects for the afterlife would still leave much to be desired. According to Muhammad, Muslim women can look forward to an eternity of standing in corners, waiting for men to come and have sex with them:
Allah’s Apostle (The blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) said: "In Paradise there is a pavilion made of a single hollow pearl sixty miles wide, in each corner of which there are wives who will not see those in the other corners; and the believers will visit and enjoy them."
Hence, good Muslim women who respect their husbands in this life will have the opportunity to continue their sexual service to their husbands in "Paradise." Apparently, Muhammad considered this to be an appropriate view of Paradise; many women would rightly disagree.
FACT #4: The Qur’an permits Muslims to have sex with their female captives and slaves (i.e. those "whom their right hands possess"). As the Muslim armies raided town after town, they captured many women, who would often be sold or traded. Yet, since the Muslim men were a long way from their wives, they needed wisdom from God to guide them in their treatment of their female captives:
The Believers must (Eventually) win through—Those who humble themselves In their prayers; Who avoid vain talk; Who are active in deeds Of charity; Who abstain from sex, Except with those joined To them in the marriage bond, Or (the captives) whom Their right hands possess—For (in their case) they are Free from blame.
Not so those devoted To Prayer—Those who remain steadfast To their prayer; And those in whose wealth Is a recognized right For the (needy) who asks And him who is prevented (For some reason from asking); And those who hold To the truth of the Day Of Judgement; And those who fear The displeasure of their Lord—For their Lord’s displeasure Is the opposite of Peace And Tranquility—And those who guard Their chastity, Except with their wives And the (captives) whom Their right hands possess—For (then) they are not To be blamed.
The Muslim practice of having sex with captured women is reported often in the Hadith, where we find Muslims perplexed about what to do with their captives. It wasn’t long before Allah sent a revelation allowing the confused soldiers to sleep with the women:
Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) sent an army to Autas and encountered the enemy and fought with them. Having overcome them and taken them captives, the Companions of Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) seemed to refrain from having intercourse with captive women because of their husbands being polytheists. Then Allah, Most High, sent down regarding that: "And women already married, except those whom your right hands possess (4:24)" (i.e. they were lawful for them when their Idda period came to an end).
We went out with Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) on the expedition to the Bi’l-Mustaliq and took captive some excellent Arab women; and we desired them, for we were suffering from the absence of our wives, (but at the same time) we also desired ransom for them. So we decided to have sexual intercourse with them but by observing azl (withdrawing the male sexual organ before emission of semen to avoid conception). But we said: We are doing an act whereas Allah’s Messenger is amongst us; why not ask him? So we asked Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him), and he said: It does not matter if you do not do it, for every soul that is to be born up to the Day of Resurrection will be born.
We went out with Allah’s Apostle (The blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) for the invasion of Bun Al-Mustaliq and we received captives from among the Arab captives and we desired women and celibacy became hard on us and we loved to do coitus interruptus [same as "azl" above]. So when we intended to do coitus interruptus, we said: "How can we do coitus interruptus before asking Allah’s Apostle (The blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) who is present among us? We asked (him) about it and he said: "It is better for you not to do so, for if any soul till the Day of Resurrection is predestined to exist, it will exist."
Jabir bin Abdullah (Allah be pleased with them) reported that a person asked Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) saying: I have a slave-girl and I practice azl with her, whereupon Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: This cannot prevent that which Allah has decreed. The person then came (after some time) and said: Messenger of Allah, the slave-girl about whom I talked to you has conceived, whereupon Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: I am the servant of Allah and His Messenger.
The Muslims had originally refrained from having sex with their captives because they were the wives of polytheists; nevertheless, God sent a message saying that they were free to have sex with the women. Modern Muslims believe that this sexual intercourse would only have occurred after marriage, but this view is clearly false. Muhammad’s followers said that they wanted to have sex with the women but that they still wanted to sell them. They asked Muhammad about performing coitus interruptus, but Muhammad answered that it doesn’t really matter. All children who are destined to be born will be born, so it doesn’t matter if a man practices coitus interruptus or not.
Thus, the Qur’an permits men to have sex with their female captives (whose husbands were sometimes still alive), and the Hadith provides examples of when this was practiced. Yet we must follow this fact through to its logical conclusion. The Muslims decided to have sex with their captives, whom they were later going to sell. These captives were women whose husbands and families had been exterminated by the Muslims. Would these women gladly consent to sexual intercourse with the men who had killed their families? Probably not. But since the Qur’an and Muhammad authorized sex with these captives, it is highly probable that Muhammad allowed Muslims to rape their captives.
This article is a revised and expanded version of an essay that originally appeared on www.answeringinfidels.com.
6 In their efforts to provide evidence for Islam, Muslims tend to exaggerate the immorality in Arabia before the rise of Islam, so much so that they sometimes conflict with their own claims. For instance, it is often claimed that female infanticide was horribly widespread in Arabia, and that Muhammad improved the situation by outlawing infanticide. Yet Muslims also maintain that there was unbridled polygamy in Arabia, in which men would sometimes marry hundreds of women; Muhammad supposedly improved the situation by limiting men to no more than four wives. The problem here is obvious. If everyone was murdering their daughters, how could there possibly have been so many women to marry? If infanticide was common, women would have been a rare commodity. But there were plenty of women to go around, so infanticide couldn’t have been very common. Further, when Muslims are criticized for allowing polygamy, they often argue that polygamy was acceptable in the time of Muhammad because of the shortage of men. Yet if infanticide was as common as Muslims claim, there would have been an even greater shortage of women, so that polygamy would have been unnecessary.
7 Qur’an 4:34, Mohammed Pickthall Translation.
8 Qur’an 4:34, M.H. Shakir Translation.
9 Qur’an 4:34, Abdullah Yusuf Ali Translation.
10Sahih Muslim, Abdul Hamid Siddiqi, tr., Number 142.
11Sahih Al-Bukhari, Dr. Muhammad Matraji, tr. (New Delhi: Islamic Book Service, 2002), Number 2658.
12 This raises an important question: Were Muslim women more ungrateful to their husbands than husbands were to their wives? This doesn’t seem likely. According to Muslim apologists, women’s rights were almost nonexistent in Arabia before Islam (but see Note 23). Would Muslim men have had a great deal of gratitude towards their wives? Probably not. The attitude would most likely have been, "You women had better thank us for treating you so well." As it turns out, this is exactly the attitude we see in Muhammad, who tells ungrateful women that their ingratitude will earn them a place in hell.
13 Ibid., Number 1052.
14 Ibid., Number 1462.
15 Ibid., Number 4879.
16 Qur’an 23:1-6, Abdullah Yusuf Ali Translation.
17 Ibid., 70:22-30.
18Sahih Muslim, Number 3432.
19 Ibid., Number 3371.
20Sahih Al-Bukhari, Number 4138.
21Sahih Muslim, Number 3384.
22 For more on this, see "Muhammad and the Female Captives" and "Adultery: Do It! Do It! Do It!"
Women Must Hide their Beauty
and Dress Modestly
Nur 24:30-31.....Say to the believers that they should restrain their eyes and guard their modesty... And say to the believing women that they should restrain their eyes, and guard their modesty (virture), and that they display not their ornaments except what appears of them. And that they draw their veils over their bosoms and display not their ornaments except to their husbands...
Ahzab 33:59.....O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close around them (when they go abroad). That will be better, that so they may be recognized and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.
Women who Refuse Sex Get Cursed Bukhari 7.62.121.....The Prophet said, “If a man invites his wife to sleep with him and she refuses to come to him, then the angels send their curses on her till morning.”
Women are not allowed to travel alone
(38) Narrated Ibn 'Umar: The Prophet said, "A Woman should not travel for more than three days except with a Dhi-Mahram (i.e. a male with whom she cannot marry at all, e.g. her brother, father, grandfather, etc.) or her own husband.)" (Book #20, Hadith #192)
(40) Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, "It is not permissible for a Woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day to travel for one day and night except with a Mahram." (Book #20, Hadith #194) 39.62
Women are crooked creatures
AbuHuraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: woman is like a rib. When you attempt to straighten it, you would break it. And if you leave her alone you would benefit by her, and crookedness will remain in her. A hadith like this is reported by another chain of narrators (Book #008, Hadith #3466)
Women are breeding machines
Narrated Ma'qil ibn Yasar: A man came to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and said: I have found a woman of rank and beauty, but she does not give birth to children. Should I marry her? He said: No. He came again to him, but he prohibited him. He came to him third time, and he (the Prophet) said: Marry women who are loving and very prolific, for I shall outnumber the peoples by you. (Book #11, Hadith #2045)
If you want to free a slave,
first free the men, then the women
Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin: Al-Qasim said: Aisha intended to set free two slaves of her who were spouses. She, therefore, asked the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) about this matter. He commanded to begin with the man before the woman. The narrator Nasr said: AbuAli al-Hanafi reported it to me on the authority of Ubaydullah. (Book #12, Hadith #2229)
Forced marriage and forced divorce
Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: A woman embraced Islam during the time of the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him); she then married. Her (former) husband then came to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and said: Apostle of Allah, I have already embraced Islam, and she had the knowledge about my Islam. The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) took her away from her latter husband and restored her to her former husband. (Book #12, Hadith #2231)
No prostitution in Islam
Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: There is no prostitution in Islam. If anyone practised prostitution in pre-Islamic times, the child will be attributed to the master (of the slave-woman). He who claims his child without a valid marriage or ownership will neither inherit nor be inherited. (Book #12, Hadith #2257)
According to the latest report of the International Labor Organization in Geneva/Switzerland, (2008) Saudi Arabia, the cradle of Islam, and country that applies the Shari’s law, is one of the countries which has the highest rates of prostitution in the world. It is all clandestine.
Women expressing emotions is forbidden
Narrated AbuSa'id al-Khudri: The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) cursed the wailing woman and the woman who listens to her. (Book #20, Hadith #3122)