Women in Christianity and Islam

Women in Christianity and Islam

Daniel discusses the position of women in Islam and Christianity with the Islamic Dawah team.

“…and call upon two of your men to act as witnesses; and if two men are not available, then a man and two women from among such as are acceptable to you as witnesses, so that if one of them should make a mistake, the other could remind her. [273]..” from Sura 2:282

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: Once Allah’s Apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) o ‘Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, “O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women).” They asked, “Why is it so, O Allah’s Apostle ?” He replied, “You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you.” The women asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?” He said, “Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?” They replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn’t it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?” The women replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her religion.” Sahih Bukhari 1:6:301 Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband’s] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance – [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand. Sura 4:34

Muslim Book 4, Number 2127: narrated Aisha “..He said: Was it the darkness (of your shadow) that I saw in front of me? I said: Yes. He struck me on the chest which caused me pain, and then said: Did you think that Allah and His Apostle would deal unjustly with you? ….

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Age of marriage and Sura 65:4

Age of marriage and Sura 65:4

The team have a heated discussion about whether or not it was right for Muhammad (54) to marry Aisha when she was 6 and consummate the relationship when she was 9. The discussion then turns to Sura 65:4:

“And those who no longer expect menstruation among your women – if you doubt, then their period is three months, and [also for] those who have not menstruated. And for those who are pregnant, their term is until they give birth. And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him of his matter ease.”

The most authoritative early tafsirs – Ibn Kathir, Ibn Abbas, Al Jalalyn, plus numerous others ALL agree this is referring to girls who have not yet started their periods. For more information, please see this article: https://www.answering-islam.org/Quran…

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Did Aisha consent to marry Muhammad?

Did Aisha consent to marry Muhammad?

Godwin questions the camera-shy Islamic Dawah Team if Aisha gave her consent to marry Muhammad.

Narrated Aisha:
The Prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six (years). We went to Medina and stayed at the home of Bani-al-Harith bin Khazraj. Then I got ill and my hair fell down. Later on my hair grew (again) and my mother, Um Ruman, came to me while I was playing in a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me, and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She caught me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. I was breathless then, and when my breathing became all right, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said, “Best wishes and Allah’s Blessing and a good luck.” Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah’s Apostle came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of age. (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 234)

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Did Muhammad have good moral standards?

Did Muhammad have good moral standards?

Godwin questions Islamic Dawah Team about whether Muhammad had good moral standards. Fondling virgins? Tongue sucking during fasting? Looking at a baby girl and promising to marry her when she grows up? Marrying pre-pubescent girls?

It was narrated that Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah (may Allaah be pleased with them both) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) asked me, ‘Have you got married?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘A virgin or a previously-married woman?’ I said, ‘A previously-married woman.’ He said, ‘Why not a young girl, whom you could play with and she could play with you?’ I said, ‘I have sisters and I wanted to marry a woman who could gather them together and comb their hair and take care of them.’ He said: ‘You will reach, so when you have arrived (at home), I advise you to associate with your wife (that you may have an intelligent son).’” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1991; Muslim, 715)

Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin: The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to kiss her and suck her tongue when he was fasting. Sunan Abu Dawud 13:2380

(Suhayli, ii.79: In the riwaya of Yunus I.I recorded that the apostle saw her (Ummu’l-Fadl) when she was baby crawling before him and said, ‘If she grows up and I am still alive I will marry her.’ But he died before she grew up and Sufyan b. al-Aswad b. Abdu’l-Asad al-Makhzumi married her and she bore him Rizq and Lubaba….(ref.10, p. 311)

And those who no longer expect menstruation among your women – if you doubt, then their period is three months, and [also for] those who have not menstruated. And for those who are pregnant, their term is until they give birth. And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him of his matter ease. (Sura 65:4)

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How did Muhammad handle marital strife?

How did Muhammad handle marital strife?

Lizzie talks to Islamic Dawah Team on Muhammad’s responses to disputes between his wives. Was it in keeping with Allah’s revelation in Sura 4:3 and Sura 4:129 (even though they contradict each other?)

Sura 4:3 And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one or those your right hand possesses. That is more suitable that you may not incline [to injustice].

Sura 4:129 And you will never be able to be equal [in feeling] between wives, even if you should strive [to do so]. So do not incline completely [toward one] and leave another hanging. And if you amend [your affairs] and fear Allah – then indeed, Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful.

Bukhari Book 47, Hadith 755 Narrated ‘Urwa from ‘Aisha: The wives of Allah’s Apostle were in two groups. One group consisted of ‘Aisha, Hafsa, Safiyya and Sauda; and the other group consisted of Um Salama and the other wives of Allah’s Apostle. The Muslims knew that Allah’s Apostle loved ‘Aisha, so if any of them had a gift and wished to give to Allah’s Apostle, he would delay it, till Allah’s Apostle had come to ‘Aisha’s home and then he would send his gift to Allah’s Apostle in her home. The group of Um Salama discussed the matter together and decided that Um Salama should request Allah’s Apostle to tell the people to send their gifts to him in whatever wife’s house he was. Um Salama told Allah’s Apostle of what they had said, but he did not reply. Then they (those wives) asked Um Salama about it. She said, “He did not say anything to me.” They asked her to talk to him again. She talked to him again when she met him on her day, but he gave no reply. When they asked her, she replied that he had given no reply. They said to her, “Talk to him till he gives you a reply.” When it was her turn, she talked to him again. He then said to her, “Do not hurt me regarding Aisha, as the Divine Inspirations do not come to me on any of the beds except that of Aisha.” On that Um Salama said, “I repent to Allah for hurting you.” Then the group of Um Salama called Fatima, the daughter of Allah’s Apostle and sent her to Allah’s Apostle to say to him, “Your wives request to treat them and the daughter of Abu Bakr on equal terms.” Then Fatima conveyed the message to him. The Prophet said, “O my daughter! Don’t you love whom I love?” She replied in the affirmative and returned and told them of the situation. They requested her to go to him again but she refused. They then sent Zainab bint Jahsh who went to him and used harsh words saying, “Your wives request you to treat them and the daughter of Ibn Abu Quhafa on equal terms.” On that she raised her voice and abused ‘Aisha to her face so much so that Allah’s Apostle looked at ‘Aisha to see whether she would retort. ‘Aisha started replying to Zainab till she silenced her. The Prophet then looked at ‘Aisha and said, “She is really the daughter of Abu Bakr.”

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Did Muhammad treat his wives equally?

Hatun & Lizzie question whether Muhammad treated his wives justly as Sura 4:3 states?

We look at how  Sura 4:129 contradicts Sura 4:3 and discuss the Ibn Kathir’s tafsir and supporting ahadith.

Sura 4:3. And if you have reason to fear that you might not act equitably towards orphans, then marry from among [other] women such as are lawful to you – [even] two, or three, or four: but if you have reason to fear that you might not be able to treat them with equal fairness, then [only] one – or [from among] those whom you rightfully possess. This will make it more likely that you will not deviate from the right course.

Sura 4:129. And it will not be within your power to treat your wives with equal fairness, however much you may desire it; and so, do not allow yourselves to incline towards one to the exclusion of the other, leaving her in a state, as it were, of having and not having a husband. But if you put things to rights and are conscious of Him – behold, God is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.

Bukhari Book 47 Hadith 755 .

Narrated ‘Urwa from ‘Aisha: The wives of Allah’s Apostle were in two groups. One group consisted of ‘Aisha, Hafsa, Safiyya and Sauda; and the other group consisted of Um Salama and the other wives of Allah’s Apostle. The Muslims knew that Allah’s Apostle loved ‘Aisha, so if any of them had a gift and wished to give to Allah’s Apostle, he would delay it, till Allah’s Apostle had come to ‘Aisha’s home and then he would send his gift to Allah’s Apostle in her home. The group of Um Salama discussed the matter together and decided that Um Salama should request Allah’s Apostle to tell the people to send their gifts to him in whatever wife’s house he was. Um Salama told Allah’s Apostle of what they had said, but he did not reply. Then they (those wives) asked Um Salama about it. She said, “He did not say anything to me.” They asked her to talk to him again. She talked to him again when she met him on her day, but he gave no reply. When they asked her, she replied that he had given no reply. They said to her, “Talk to him till he gives you a reply.” When it was her turn, she talked to him again. He then said to her, “Do not hurt me regarding Aisha, as the Divine Inspirations do not come to me on any of the beds except that of Aisha.” On that Um Salama said, “I repent to Allah for hurting you.” Then the group of Um Salama called Fatima, the daughter of Allah’s Apostle and sent her to Allah’s Apostle to say to him, “Your wives request to treat them and the daughter of Abu Bakr on equal terms.” Then Fatima conveyed the message to him. The Prophet said, “O my daughter! Don’t you love whom I love?” She replied in the affirmative and returned and told them of the situation. They requested her to go to him again but she refused. They then sent Zainab bint Jahsh who went to him and used harsh words saying, “Your wives request you to treat them and the daughter of Ibn Abu Quhafa on equal terms.” On that she raised her voice and abused ‘Aisha to her face so much so that Allah’s Apostle looked at ‘Aisha to see whether she would retort. ‘Aisha started replying to Zainab till she silenced her. The Prophet then looked at ‘Aisha and said, “She is really the daughter of Abu Bakr.”

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Muhammad is not a prophet – 10 reasons (2)

 

Swearing in ceremony

Reason 2: Muhammad broke his oaths for immediate sexual gratification

“O Prophet, why do you prohibit [yourself from] what Allah has made lawful for you, seeking the approval of your wives? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. Allah has already ordained for you [Muslims] the dissolution of your oaths. And Allah is your protector, and He is the Knowing, the Wise.” Sura 66:1-2

This is one of those verses from the clear, detailed, well-explained Qur’an that is impossible to explain without the ahadith and the tafsirs to help us. What is it that Allah has made lawful to Muhammad? What was his oath that Allah released him from?

There are two possible contexts to the revelation. The first is that that Aisha was jealous of Muhammad for staying too long drinking honey at Zainab’s place, so she incited his other wives against him to ask if he had been drinking maghafir – a kind of sweet sap with a strong smell – implying “you smell, Muhammad.” Muhammad said, no, I’ve just been drinking honey, but to keep you happy, I promise I won’t drink it again. This is in Ibn Kathir. It’s also referred to in Bukhari and Muslim.

The other context, and the more popular among the classical tafsir writers, is the story of Mary the Copt. The Qur’anic commentators Al-Jalalyn (Tabari, Al-Badawi and Sunan an-Nisai as well) all refer to this story, as does Ibn Kathir, who – according to this Muslim – said the honey story was a “questionable” context of revelation for these verses. And if this Muslim is to be believed, the story of Mary the Copt has been expunged from the on-line version of his tafsir. If true, then why? Probably because it’s so embarrassing to the prophet of Islam.

The story goes like this. Muhammad used to visit his wives in turn; when it was Hafsa’s turn, he didn’t find her at home. Rather than wait for her, he decided to have sex with with his slave girl, Mary the Copt – a present to Muhammad from al-Muqawqis, the ruler of Egypt after the treaty of al-Hudaybiyah – in Hafsa’s bed. Hafsa is upset by this, after which Muhammad agrees to make Mary “unlawful” for him. Here is Al-Jalalyn’s tafsir:

O Prophet! Why do you prohibit what God has made lawful for you in terms of your Coptic handmaiden Māriya — when he lay with her in the house of Hafsa who had been away but who upon returning and finding out became upset by the fact that this had taken place in her own house and on her own bed — by saying ‘She is unlawful for me!’ seeking by making her unlawful for you to please your wives? And God is Forgiving Merciful having forgiven you this prohibition.

Then, conveniently, Muhammad receives Sura 66:1.

“O Prophet, why do you prohibit [yourself from] what Allah has made lawful for you, seeking the approval of your wives? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. Allah has already ordained for you [Muslims] the dissolution of your oaths. And Allah is your protector, and He is the Knowing, the Wise.” Sura 66:1-2

In other words, go ahead Muhammad: it doesn’t matter that Hafsa is upset, your instant sexual gratification is more important than your wives’ feelings. And if they complain, what does Sura 66:5 say?

“It may be if he divorced you that his Lord will give him instead of you, better wives than you.”

Quite apart from the murky light it sheds on Muhammad, what are ordinary Muslims to make of it? Why are these verses in the Qur’an, Allah’s eternal speech? How are they to apply these verses to their lives, given that Muhammad is their ‘exalted pattern of conduct’?

Muhammad’s sexual morality is a subject for another post, as is the convenience of his revelations, but for now let’s compare Allah’s casual rescinding of Muhammad’s oath with what the Bible says. The Old Testament affirms that making a vow to the LORD is a serious act, not to be taken lightly:

If you make a vow to the LORD your God, do not be slow to pay it, for the LORD your God will certainly demand it of you and you will be guilty of sin. But if you refrain from making a vow, you will not be guilty. Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do, because you made your vow freely to the LORD your God with your own mouth. (Deu 23:21-23)

YHWH says it’s better not to make the vow at all if you don’t think you can keep it:

When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it. (Ecclesiastes 5:4-5-6)

Jesus goes further in Matthew 5:33-37:

“Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

Allah is not a god of his word and Muhammad not a man of his word, in flagrant disobedience to the previous Scriptures which the Qur’an claims to confirm (Sura 3:3, 4:136, 5:48, 5:68, 29:46).

YHWH of the Bible is a God of His word – He does what He says He will do. Jesus keeps His word to His Father and His followers, even to the point of sacrificing Himself on the Cross for the sake of a world that hated Him. Nothing self-gratifying about that.

Was Aisha really ready for marriage?

Was Aisha really physically, emotionally and spiritually ready to be married to Muhammad?

‘A’isha reported that Allah’s Apostle married her when she was seven years old, and he was taken to his house as a bride when she was nine, and her dolls were with her; and when he (the Holy Prophet) died she was eighteen years old. (Sahih Muslim, Book 008, Number 3311)

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