Women in Islam: An exegesis - Part 4
20 Nov, 2005
Sharia is on men's side and make no mistake about it!
Islam has shocked the world with the its best kept secret, that is, Sharia laws, especially its provision on matters of sex, marriage, gender rights, polygamy-etc. Islamists are dying to enact these barbaric laws wherever they see their potential of success. A few of the once secular countries (such as Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, and certain parts of Malaysia and Nigeria) have come under these medieval, uncivilized, barbaric rules of Islamic Sharia. Words fail to describe the inhumane, tormenting, and mind boggling cruelty and despicable provisions contained in the Sharia laws. More importantly, this Sharia has totally robbed the Muslim women of whatever little rights they could exercise during the 'decadent' secular rules. The worst and the largest victim of Sharia had been the women, unquestionably. Quite often, we find a woman is to be stoned to death for being raped by criminals. A victim is to be executed for the crime committed by the culprits!! This is what is 'true' Islamic justice.
Why is it so? Isn't Islamic justice the perfect justice system on earth? After all, the Sharia is Allah's laws. Allah could never do such abominable injustice to women. What a load of rubbish! Sharia is designed to protect men all the way. Through and through. It is simply because tyrannical men who call themselves prophets of God wrote those laws. Didn't they? That is precisely why Sharia is always and will always remain on men's side when it comes to sex, family, matrimonial-any matter where both sexes are involved. In making Sharia, these prophets never consulted women. Imagine what would be the provisions of Sharia if the prophets were women and not men.
Here I am citing a few examples of the bias of Sharia for men.
Men can punish rebellious wives by beating them. However, a woman cannot punish a rebellious husband in a similar manner. If the man is cruel then the woman must seek to please him and compromise with him as per verse 4:128
Men are greedy; if women fear cruelty from men then they can make an amicable settlement...4:128
YUSUFALI: If a wife fears cruelty or desertion on her husband's part, there is no blame on them if they arrange an amicable settlement between themselves; and such settlement is best; even though men's souls are swayed by greed. But if ye do good and practise self-restraint, Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.
Women should beg a man not to divorce her (Shahih Bukhari 7.62.134)
regarding the Verse: 'If a wife fears cruelty or desertion on her husband's part...') (4.128) It concerns the woman whose husband does not want to keep her with him any longer, but wants to divorce her and marry some other lady, so she says to him: 'Keep me and do not divorce me, and then marry another woman, and you may neither spend on me, nor sleep with me.' This is indicated by the Statement of Allah: 'There is no blame on them if they arrange an amicable settlement between them both, and (such) settlement is better." (4.128)
Polygamy by men is divine. Don't we know this already?
Many Islamic writers take great pride to announce to the world that Islam was the only religion that put a limit on the number of wives that a man can have at any given time. They always cite very ancient, biblical customs when many men used to have unlimited wives. They even go one step further in saying that 'actually Islam promotes monogamy since Qur'an says that it is impossible to be fair with all the wives-and that is a requirement by Allah to have multiple wives, therefore, it is not possible to have more than one wife at any time'. What a convoluted logic! Even a primary school kid will laugh when this type of inane argument is presented. Another issue they always try to avoid is that they never talk about the modern secular matrimonial laws. They are always living in the past --very distant past indeed, at least a few thousand years behind. A further tactic used by these "erudite" Islamic scholars is that they will exhort hundreds of virtues of polygamy when asked why they do not compare their rules with secular ones.
What a bizarre situation. Think of it. At one point, they are adamant that monogamy is the way to go-and Islam is actually for monogamous marriage. At the same time, just like a chameleon they quickly change color to eulogize polygamy for infinite reasons. They will even tell you that the best cure for today's promiscuous society is actually the practice of polygamy by men. According to them, polygamy is a divine provision for men. It is because men, by nature, desire to have multiple sex partners. So, instead of turning to the prostitutes for this excess libido, they should marry more women. How about multiple husbands at any time by a woman? Does not women also desire to have sex with many men? Nope. No way. Allah is absolutely against this. Why? Have any Islamist ever asked any woman on this matter? If they have not, then let me say that the desire to have sex with multiple partners is equally strong in women as it is with men if not more. Have a look at nature. You will see plenty of examples. In fact, prehistoric societies were matriarchal where a woman was the center of everything. She used to have many sex partners without any problem just as Islamic men have multiple wives today.
Can we not, therefore, conclude that Islamic polygamy is just a sexist phenomenon, unfair and an utterly illogical provision on the pretext of enforcing divine sanction?
Let us look at some of the provisions of Islamic polygamy in the Holy Scriptures.
Four free women wives (some say nine) at a time and any number of slave girls are permitted...4:3
YUSUFALI: If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, Marry women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice.
People with very little knowledge of Islam often think that the provision of four wives at any time is all that Islam allows for having multiple sex partners. Perish this thought. The reality is that a Muslim man can have sex with as many women as his heart desires at any time whether through marriage or not. In fact, the holy man of Islam, Imam Hasan had up to 300 wives, believe it or not (more on this will be found in a subsequent section). Besides four legal wives at any one time, Islam permits a man to have unlimited number of concubines as long as they are slave women or captive women. More on sex with captive women will be found in a later part of this essay.
So, Muslim men, rejoice! You do not need to carry the burden of four wives. When Islam takes over the world, slavery will be re-introduced. Slave markets will be re-established in all the important parts of the world. If you are tired with your old wives, then just go to the nearest slave market and buy a slave-girl/s. Have sex with her for as long or as much as you like, then when you are tired of her, you can sell her off to recover your principal. All you need to do is to feed and cloth the sex-slave for the duration of your desire. See, how beautiful the Islamic rule is! A free unlimited sex is also possible with captive women. Where can you get captive women in today's world? If you think that this is impossible, then you have not understood Islam. Remember, when the Jihadis conquer the Western countries, all non-Muslim women there become their captives, at least in theory. The Jihadis then can distribute them to all the Muslim residents and among themselves. Then they can enjoy these petite infidel women to their hearts content. This is the provision of Allah. In Iran and the Taliban controlled Afghanistan, the Mullahs did just that. Whenever, an atheist, secular, socialist, communist woman was captured for waging war against God, she was given to a prison guard to use her as he pleased. The guard made sure that he had sexually enjoyed her before she is executed. Unbelievable, huh? See (http://www.homa.org/wings/irisituation.html )
Here is Holy Scripture on sex with slaves and captives.
Sex with captive women and slave women is permitted-23:1-6
YUSUFALI: The believers must (eventually) win through,-
YUSUFALI: Those who humble themselves in their prayers;
YUSUFALI: Who avoid vain talk;
YUSUFALI: Who are active in deeds of charity;
YUSUFALI: Who abstain from sex,
YUSUFALI: 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,
As I wrote before, that many Islamists are adamant that Islam does not encourage polygamy although there is no harm if someone wants to resort to it. These Islamists are simply hiding the truth. The fact of the matter is that the Muslims are openly encouraged to have multiple wives. This is evident from the following hadith.
The best Muslims had the largest number of wives...( Shahih Bukhari 7.62.7)
Narrated Said bin Jubair:
Ibn 'Abbas asked me, "Are you married?" I replied, "No." He said, "Marry, for the best person of this (Muslim) nation (i.e., Muhammad) of all other Muslims, had the largest number of wives."
It is not only that the best Muslims had the largest number of wives but they also had incredible sex drive. Imagine having sex with all the wives in one's harem in a single night and that also when you are past fifty! Well, you may say this is almost an impossible task. Then you are not a good Muslim. See the founder of Islam did just that. Allah's Qudrat, no doubt.
The best Muslim men should have incredible sex power (Shahih Bukhari 7.62.142)
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
The Prophet used to pass by (have sexual relation with) all his wives in one night, and at that time he had nine wives.
The best women to marry as per Islam
Have you noticed that most of the Islamic Paradises (like, Pakistan, Nigeria Bangladesh, Sudan-etc) are incredibly poor and unbelievably over populated? Why is it so? Does Islam have anything to do with this poverty and overcrowding? It is true that in the past, the government of those Islamic Paradises used to emphasize a lot on birth and population control. The exploding birth rate in these countries is a time bomb ticking away. It is one of the root causes of the backwardness, poverty, and unhygienic/unhealthy living conditions of these teeming millions. When the Islamists took over the control of these nations, population control was no longer a top priority. Why? The reason is that the Islamists have a secret agenda. The agenda is that they want to Islamize the whole world by exploding the population bomb albeit through Islamic population. They are pursuing this issue quite adroitly. Their method of subjugating the world through a terrible Islamic population bomb negates all the attempts by various national and international agencies to improve the living conditions of these 'Islamic Proletariat'. On this matter, they are quite close to the communistic ideology. The Islamists want to replace the communist idea of 'dictatorship of the Proletariat' with the 'dictatorship of the Islamic Proletariat'. Where did the Islamists get this idea from? Did they borrow from Karl Marx's 'Manifesto of the Communist Party' or his classic work 'Das Kapital'? Nope. The Islamists found this strategy in the very words of Muhammad himself. Here is the advice by Muhammad on how to select a woman carefully to be used as a baby-making factory.
Muhammed advised not to marry barren women, but to marry only those women who can give birth to plenty of children...( Sunaan Abu Dawud 11.2045)
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.
The above hadith clearly explains the agenda of the Islamists. Doesn't this hadith make a woman as some kind of a child-making factory? You see, in an Islamic marriage, mutual love, understanding, companionship is not so important. The most important reason for marriage is procreation (the production of unlimited number of children) without any regard for the health or the welfare of the women (mothers in this case).
It is not only that a woman is quite similar to a baby-making factory; she is also a machine for enjoyment. Read this disgusting hadith to see for yourself how merciful and sympathetic Islam is towards women!
If you marry a pregnant woman, then her vagina is lawful if you pay the dowry, after she gives birth, flog her; the child becomes your slave...( Sunaan Abu Dawud 11.2126)
A man from the Ansar called Basrah said: I married a virgin woman in her veil. When I entered upon her, I found her pregnant. (I mentioned this to the Prophet). The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: She will get the dower, for you made her vagina lawful for you. The child will be your slave. When she has begotten (a child), flog her (according to the version of al-Hasan). The version of Ibn AbusSari has: You people, flog her, or said: inflict hard punishment on him.
How about the women who are secularists/freethinkers and feminists? These women can forget about getting married, as they are totally haram for any Muslim man. Can they marry non-Muslims? Don't even think of that, for, that is haram too. If any woman violates this rule, then she and her husband faces possible stoning to death as this type of union will be regarded as adultery. If you are not a beautiful woman, your chances of marriage with a Muslim man are also very slim. These women are all condemned to remain spinster until they die, -if we go by the 'real Islam' here is what Imam Ghazali says.
Women not legal for marriage. Already married, apostate, atheist, feminist, permissive, Zoroastrian, idol worshipper, a fifth wife, accused of adultery whether proved or not, and others prohibited due to kinship. (Ref: 7 vol. I, pp 226-228)
She should be beautiful Ibid, p228)
She should be beautiful, this is also desirable as with it you will preserve your chastity. As for her nature, she should not be ugly, as much as she should be beautiful so her nature should be beautiful, as the two should go hand in hand.
The definition of the best woman (Ibid, p228)
The prophet said, "The best of your women is the one who if her husband looks at her she pleases him, and if he orders her something she obeys, and if he is away she keeps him in herself and his wealth."
She should be beautiful and cheap (Ibid, p228)
Her dowry should be reasonable. The Prophet said: "The best of the women are the beautiful in face and the least in dowry."
She should be fertile (Ibid, p228)
She should be fertile, so if she was known to be barren, she should not be sought in marriage. The Prophet said: "Marry the fertile and amicable." If she was not married and her condition was unknown, then watch her health and youth as if she is healthy and young and she will be fertile.
She should be virgin if not previously married (Ibid, p229)
She should be virgin. The Prophet said to Gaber when he married a deflowered woman: "It would have been better if you had married a virgin you would have enjoyed each other better."
Choose carefully for your sperm (Ibid, p229)
The prophet said: "Stay away from the flower which grows in the sewerage." So they said: " And what is the flower which grows in the sewerage?" he said: "She is the beautiful woman of bad origin." He also said: "Choose carefully for your sperm, because bad traits are inherited."
Asking men to look for beautiful women may be benign. How about ugly and unsightly men? While the beauty of a woman is a desirable feature for a Muslim man, there is gross injustice for a beautiful woman who ends up with an ugly man. If a woman marries an ugly man, then surprisingly the fault still lies with the woman and not with the ugly man!! Some justice, huh!
As per Imam Ghazali, an ugly husband is a woman's punishment.
An ugly husband is a punishment for a beautiful woman (Ibid, p235)
It was narrated that Al Asmo'ai said: "I entered a scrub land who had the ugliest face, so I asked her: "O you, how did you accept to marry some one like him?" she said: "Hold your tongue, you have uttered a wrong thing, he may be best in what is between himself and his creator, so He made me a reward for him, or it may be that I am the worst in what is between myself and my creator, so he made him my punishment."
Dower (Mahr) for women
Marriage is an important institution in Islam. With marriage, a family unit, the basic building block of a society is founded. An Islamic marriage is not a legal marriage without mahr. And what is mahr? Mahr is the dower a prospective groom pays to contract a woman for marriage. No Islamic marriage is valid without a mahr. If we condemn the dower demanded by grooms (in India and Bangladesh) to marry a woman, then we must also do the same for Islamic mahr. Why should a man pay a woman to get married to her?
The plain answer is that a man pays to his wife/s to have sexual intercourse with her. What? This is outrageous, you say. Here is the truth. As per Islam, the mahr is the price a man pays to use a woman's private parts. Are you enraged and furious? Of course, you are. Now, before you call me an 'Islam basher' please read on.
Let us search the Qur'an first.
Give dower to women as a free gift...4:4
YUSUFALI: And give the women (on marriage) their dower as a free gift; but if they, of their own good pleasure, remit any part of it to you, Take it and enjoy it with right good cheer.
This verse looks very innocent indeed until we dig deeper. After all, giving some present to some one is nothing so special. We all do that. Sons give present to their mothers. Mothers give presents to their children. Friends give present to friends and so on. Husbands give present or gift to wives and vice versa. This custom is very much a social etiquette. Now, what is so different in giving mahr to a woman for marriage?
To get the real reason for a mahr we need to look at hadith and Sharia. Read the following hadith from Shahih Bukhari.and Shahih Muslim
Marriage gives the man the right to enjoy a woman's private parts...( Shahih Bukhari;7.62.81)
Volume 7, Book 62, Number 81:
The Prophet said: "The stipulations most entitled to be abided by are those with which you are given the right to enjoy the (women's) private parts (i.e. the stipulations of the marriage contract)."
The most worthy condition that must be fulfilled in a marriage is that sexual intercourse becomes lawful-(Shahih Muslim 8.3302)
Book 008, Number 3302:
'Uqba b. Amir (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The most worthy condition which must be fulfilled is that which makes sexual intercourse lawful. In the narration transmitted by Ibn Muthanna (instead of the word" condition") it is" conditions".
These two ahadith are still not convincing that mahr is a payment to have sex with a woman (wife, in this case). After all, no one can deny the fact that sexual enjoyment of each other's private parts is, indeed, an important part of a marriage. Now, if some man pays a woman to have sexual intercourse with her, what do we call her? An Islamic scholar from Nigeria, Abdur Rahman I. Doi admits that the mahr is indeed a remuneration (Ref: 9, p 162). Remuneration for what?
See how Muhammad prevented Ali from sleeping with Fatima until he (Ali) paid the mahr.
Ali could not have intercourse with Fatima (Muhammed's daughter) until Ali paid her dowry (the coat of mail)...( Sunaan Abu Dawud 11.2121 )
Book 11, Number 2121:
Narrated A man from the Companion of the Prophet:
Muhammad ibn Abdur Rahman ibn Thawban reported on the authority of a man from the Companions of the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him): When Ali married Fatimah, daughter of the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him), he intended to have intercourse with her. The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) prohibited him to do so until he gave her something. Ali said: I have nothing with me, Apostle of Allah. The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Give her your coat of mail. So he gave her his coat of mail, and then cohabited with her.
A more elaborate reason for mahr is given in the Dictionary of Islam.
Dower is the payment for usufruct of wife (Ref: 6, p91)
Dower is considered by some lawyers to be an effect of the marriage contract, imposed on the husband by the law as a mark of respect for the subject of the contract - the wife; while others consider wife, and its payment is necessary for the usufruct of the wife, and its payment is necessary, as upon the permanency of the matrimonial connection.
So, what price a man should pay a woman to have an Islamic marriage (read for sexual intercourse)? Surprisingly, it is not that expensive. There is a minimum mahr that can be as little as a pair of shoes (Ref: 9, p163). And there is no limit to the maximum. It is even possible to contract an Islamic marriage without paying any money or any object of pecuniary value. If a woman agrees then a man can marry in exchange for reciting a verse from the Quran (Ref: 9, pp163, 164). Sex from a woman could be as cheap as that.
Minimum dower is ten dirham (Ref: 6, pp 91, 314)
Dower need not invariably be in currency or even in metal; everything except carrion, blood, wine and hog. Also the bridegroom's own labour, if he is a freeman, being held by the law to be a good dower.
When one pays dower for having sex with wives then that indicates that women's sexual organs have some money value i.e. they are some sort of product or services for which payments are necessary to derive their benefits. This is exactly how it is mentioned in 4:24. The dowry is also called a duty (as per Pickthal) or a wage as per verse 4:24.
PICKTHAL: And all married women (are forbidden unto you) save those (captives) whom your right hands possess. It is a decree of Allah for you. Lawful unto you are all beyond those mentioned, so that ye seek them with your wealth in honest wedlock, not debauchery. And those of whom ye seek content (by marrying them), give unto them their portions as a duty. And there is no sin for you in what ye do by mutual agreement after the duty (hath been done). Lo! Allah is ever Knower, Wise.
This verse clearly states that mahr is a payment that gives the man the right of ownership of sex organs of a woman. This blunt statement will, no doubt, offend many Muslims who blindly follow Islam. We must accept the fact that the Islamic system of payment of mahr to a woman is nothing but a price that is put on her sexual and reproductive organs. We may or may not like this unpleasant statement but this is the truth. I shall discuss more on this matter in later sections.
So, Islamic mahr represents nothing but the exploitation of women of the highest order. It is nothing but the ownership of the body of female slaves by a master. I raise my previous question again. If a man pays a woman to have sexual intercourse with her, what do we call her?
Abul Kasem is an Bengali ex-Muslim and academic. He has contributed in Leaving Islam - Apostates Speak Out and Beyond Jihad - Critical Voices from Inside and Why We Left Islam.. He has also written extensively on Islam in various websites and is the author of five e-Books: A Complete Guide to Allah, Root of Terrorism ala Islamic Style, Sex and Sexuality in Islam, Who Authored the Quran? and Women in Islam. Mr. Kasem leaves in Sydney, Australia. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.