#MeToo and Islam

October 18, 2017

My heart goes out to all the #MeToo victims, whether male or female. But it's amusing to note that men like Harvey Weinstein are nowhere near as atrocious as Muhammad, the founder of Islam. I say this because of this ridiculous tabloid that was published yesterday on a British online newspaper titled: How the teachings of Islam could help us prevent more sexual abuse scandals.

 

Let's review some of his statements:

 

In a recent internationally broadcast lecture given live before roughly 6,000 Muslim women, the Khalifa of Islam said, “Chapter four, verse two of the Holy Quran…clarifies that women were not created out of the body of a man or from his rib. Rather, the Quran testifies to the fact that men and women were created from a single soul and are of the same kind and species.” Thus, the Quran 4:2 first establishes men and women as equal beings. Chapter 4:20 then forbids men from forcing a woman to act against her will, thereby ensuring women maintain autonomy and self-determination.

 

Absolutely hilarious! Let's actually read what the entire chapter teaches, and how the ethics therein are more deplorable toward women, so-much-so that Harvey Weinstein would actually blush!

 

First, note that Qasim Rashid makes a mistake in regards to which ayah (verse) is being used. It's the very first ayah of Surah 4, not the second ayah.

 

Second, the first ayah reads:

 

O you people, fear your lord who created you from a single soul and created a wife from it, and from them he spread many men and women. And fear Allah of whom you ask of him and the wombs. Surely Allah was watching over you.

 

To state that "women were not created out of the body of a man or from his rib" and "men and women were created from a single soul" is not what this ayah is teaching, and neither did the scholars of early Islam interpret it this way. The following are tafsirs (commentaries) by various prominent early Islamic scholars:

 

Tafsir al-Jalalayn

O people of Mecca fear your Lord that is His punishment by being obedient to Him Who created you of a single soul Adam and from it created its mate Eve Hawwa’ from one of his left ribs and from the pair of them Adam and Eve scattered separated and spread many men and many women.

 

Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

(Be careful of your duty to your Lord) obey your Lord (Who created you) by means of copulation (from a single soul) from the soul of Adam alone, for the soul of Eve was included in his (and from it) from the soul of Adam (created its mate) Eve (and from them twain has spread abroad) He created through the copulation of Adam and Eve (a multitude of men and women) scores of human beings: male and female.

 

Kashani Tafsir

O people, fear your Lord: be wary of claiming for yourselves His attribute when good things issue from you. Rather, adopt that attribute as a shield for you when good issues from you and say that it has issued from the Absolute Powerful, Who created you of a single soul, which is the universal rational-speech faculty that is the heart of the world, being the real Adam, and from it created its mate, that is, the animal soul that issues from it. They say that she was created from his left breast-bone from the aspect that is turned towards the world of engenderment, which is weaker than the aspect oriented towards the Truth. Were it not for its [the single soul's] mate, he [Adam] would not have been made to descend to this world, as is commonly known.

 

Al Qushairi Tafsir

O people fear your Lord who created you of a single soul and from it created its mate and from the pair of them scattered many men and women; and fear God by whom you claim [your rights] from one another and kinship ties.

 

Kashf Al-Asrar Tafsir

O people, be wary of your Lord, who created you from one soul, created from it its mate, and scattered forth from the two many men and women. And be wary of God, whom you ask against one another, and of the wombs. Surely God is watcher over you.

 

Notice that all of these tafsirs teach Adam as the "single soul" by which Eve is a mere "mate" created afterwards as a byproduct of Adam's ontological self. To state that they both equally derive from a single entity is to fabricate lies.

 

Third, let's see what happens after Surah 4:1, where we read Surah 4:3-4 teaching that men may have four wives, and that it is lawful to lust after women (contradicting Jesus in Matthew 5:27-30):

 

(3) And if you fear that you cannot deal fairly among the orphans, so have sex [marry] what appeals to you from the women, two and three and four. So if you fear that you will not treat them equally, so one [wife]; or [have sex with] what your right hand possesses [concubines and slaves], this is near that you may not have hardship.

 

(4) And give the women their dowry as a free gift, so if they give you from their own soul part of it, then consume it with enjoyment and pleasure.

 

Then we read Surah 4:15-16 where adulterous and homosexual women are to be locked up in their houses until they die! Ironically it contradicts Surah 24:2 that commands 100 lashes, and also contradicts the actual practice of Shariah where they would be stoned to death (based on a Surah that was eaten by a goat when Muhammad's family was dealing with his funeral). Furthermore, the punishment for homosexual men in ayah 16 is less than the punishment for lesbians in ayah 15!

 

(15) And for those who commit indecency [lesbianism or adultery] among your women, so call for witnesses from among you against them. So if they testify, so detain them [the women] in their houses until death takes them, or Allah makes another way for them.

 

(16) And if two [men] among you commit it [homosexuality], then punish them. So if they repent and reform, then leave them alone. Surely Allah was relenting, merciful.

 

Fourth, when we read Surah 4:20, it absolutely does not "forbid men from forcing a woman to act against her will, thereby ensuring women maintain autonomy and self-determination." This again is a fabricated lie, as we read that Muslim men can exchange their wives:

 

(20) And if you desire to exchange one wife for another wife and have given one of them a measure, do not take deduction from it. Would you take it by slander and a manifest sin?

 

Fifth, let's keep reading the chapter. We then read Surah 4:24-25 teaching that it is lawful for married men to have sex with their slaves and concubines, and further clarifies that it is lawful for married men to seek women with money (literally marriage for fun, but we all know that this is mere prostitution).

 

(24) And married women [are also forbidden], except all that your right hand possesses. This is the decree of Allah for you. And it is lawful to you, besides this, to seek out women with your money, chaste without fornication. So, whatever you enjoy by it [their sexual parts] from them, so give them their wages; it is an ordinance. And there will be no sin on you about what you have mutually agreed on after the ordinance. Surely Allah was knowing, wise.

 

(25) And whoever among you who cannot have sex [marry] with the free believing women, so [marry] those whom your right hand possesses [slaves] from among your young believing girls. And Allah knows best your faith, some of you from others. So have sex [marry] with them with the permission of their masters, and give them their wages with fairness, chaste without fornication and not entertainers of lovers. So if they become Muslim, so if they commit indecency, so torment them half of the torment prescribed for [free] married women. This is for those who fear to fall into fornication among you, and if you were patient, it would be good for you. And Allah is forgiving, merciful.

 

According to this Islamic Q&A site, this is their explanation:

 

Fixed-Term/Temporary/Pleasure Marriage are different names for the Arabic word of "Mut’a”which is a contract between a man and woman, much in the same way the Long-Term/Permanent/Conventional Marriage is. The main difference is that the temporary marriage longs only for a specified period of time, and man and woman will become stranger to each other after the expiration date without divorce.

 

Then we read Surah 4:34, where men are superior to women, so-much-so that men must scourge their wives before they become rebellious:

 

(34) Men are in charge of women by what Allah preferred some of them above the others and by what they spend out of their money. So good [women] are obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah has guarded. And of whom you fear rebellion, so preach to them and separate from them in the beds and scourge them. So if they obey you, so do not seek a way against them. Surely Allah was higher, big.

 

Here's a good question: how did Muhammad and his followers interpret this ayah? Did they put this ayah to good use?

 

Let's read the following (with accompanying web links for verification):

 

Sunan Abu Dawud Hadith 2146

Do not beat Allah's handmaidens, but when Umar came to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and said: Women have become emboldened towards their husbands, he (the Prophet) gave permission to beat them. Then many women came round the family of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) complaining against their husbands. So the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Many women have gone round Muhammad's family complaining against their husbands. They are not the best among you.


Tafsir Ibn Kathir

(And take in your hand a bundle of thin grass and strike therewith (your wife), and break not your oath.) Ayyub, peace be upon him, got angry with his wife and was upset about something she had done, so he swore an oath that if Allah healed him, he would strike her with one hundred blows. When Allah healed him, how could her service, mercy, compassion and kindness be repaid with a beating? So Allah showed him a way out, which was to take a bundle of thin grass, with one hundred stems, and hit her with it once. Thus he fulfilled his oath and avoided breaking his vow.

 

Tabari Volume 09, page 113
Now then, O people, you have a right over your wives and they have a right over you. You have [the right] that they should not cause anyone of whom you dislike to tread your beds; and that they should not commit any open indecency (fallishah). If they do, then God permits you to shut them in separate rooms and to beat them, but not severely. If they abstain from [evil], they have the right to their food and clothing in accordance with custom. Treat women well, for they are [like] domestic animals ('awdnm) with you and do not possess anything for themselves. You have taken them only as a trust from God, and you have made the enjoyment of their persons lawful by the word of God, so understand and listen to my words, O people.

 

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith 5204

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "None of you should flog his wife as he flogs a slave and then have sexual intercourse with her in the last part of the day."


Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith 6042

The Prophet (ﷺ) forbade laughing at a person who passes wind, and said, "How does anyone of you beat his wife as he beats the stallion camel and then he may embrace (sleep with) her?" And Hisham said, "As he beats his slave"


And look at this following hadith, where Muhammad is not concerned with the suffering of the Muslim women. Instead, he rebukes her for her words against her husband, thereby providing clear approval of wife beating:

 

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith 5825

Rifa`a divorced his wife whereupon `AbdurRahman bin Az-Zubair Al-Qurazi married her. `Aisha said that the lady (came), wearing a green veil (and complained to her (Aisha) of her husband and showed her a green spot on her skin caused by beating). It was the habit of ladies to support each other, so when Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) came, `Aisha said, "I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women. Look! Her skin is greener than her clothes!" When `AbdurRahman heard that his wife had gone to the Prophet, he came with his two sons from another wife. She said, "By Allah! I have done no wrong to him but he is impotent and is as useless to me as this," holding and showing the fringe of her garment, `Abdur-Rahman said, "By Allah, O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)! She has told a lie! I am very strong and can satisfy her but she is disobedient and wants to go back to Rifa`a." Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, to her, "If that is your intention, then know that it is unlawful for you to remarry Rifa`a unless `Abdur-Rahman has had sexual intercourse with you." Then the Prophet (ﷺ) saw two boys with `Abdur- Rahman and asked (him), "Are these your sons?" On that `AbdurRahman said, "Yes." The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "You claim what you claim (i.e.. that he is impotent)? But by Allah, these boys resemble him as a crow resembles a crow,"

 

Sunan Abu Dawud Hadith 2146

Do not beat Allah's handmaidens, but when Umar came to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and said: Women have become emboldened towards their husbands, he (the Prophet) gave permission to beat them. Then many women came round the family of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) complaining against their husbands. So the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Many women have gone round Muhammad's family complaining against their husbands. They are not the best among you.

 

Sunan Ibn Majah Hadith 1985

"The Prophet said: 'Do not beat the female slaves of Allah.' Then 'Umar came to the Prophet and said: 'O Messenger of Allah, the woman have become bold towards their husbands? So order the beating of them,' and they were beaten. Then many women went around to the family of Muhammad. The next day he said: 'Last night seventy women came to the family of Muhammad, each woman complaining about her husband. You will not find that those are the best of you.' "

 

Sunan Abu Dawud Hadith 2147

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: A man will not be asked as to why he beat his wife.

 

Sunan Ibn Majah Hadith 1986

"I was a guest (at the home) of 'Umar one night, and in the middle of the night he went and hit his wife, and I separated them. When he went to bed he said to me: 'O Ash'ath, learn from me something that I heard from the Messenger of Allah" A man should not be asked why he beats his wife, and do not go to sleep until you have prayed the Witr."' And I forgot the third thing."


Then we read Surah 4:43, where in Islam, women are dirtier than dirt:

 

(43) O you who have believed, do not come near the prayer while you are drunk until you know what you are saying, nor after sexual orgasm except that you are merely passing by, until you wash. And if you were sick or travelling or one of you has relieved himself or you have touched the women, and if you did not find water, so rub your faces and your hands with good dirt. Surely Allah was pardoning, forgiving.

 

I could literally go on and on, since this post is quite lengthy. I could continue by showing Surah 4:57-64 where in heaven, men will have multiple ever-virgin wives. Later in Surah 4:129-135 we read that it's impossible for Muslim men to treat their wives fairly. And finally in Surah 4:176 (the last ayah of the chapter), women receive half of the inheritance that a man receives. The Quran is obsessed with misogyny.

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