Key:

 

(SAWW) = Sal Allahu- ?Alaihi Wa Ale Hi Wasalam (The Blessings of Allah be upon him and his family and peace).

 

(AS) = ?Alaihis-Salam (Upon him be peace).

 

(AS2) = ?Alaihas-Salam (Upon her be peace).

 

(AS3) = ?Alaihimus-Salam (Upon them be peace)

 

(RA) = Radi Allahu-?Anhu (May Allah be pleased with him).

 

(RA2) = Radi Allahu-?Anha (May Allah be pleased with her).

 

(RA3) = Radi Allahu-?Anhum (May Allah be pleased with them)

 

(SWT) = Subhana Huwa-ta'ala (Glory be to him).

 

All the quotes from the Holy Qur'an in this article are from the translation of Mohammad Habib Shakir, unless otherwise indicated, most commonly known as M.H Shakir or just Shakir, though no one can rely completely on any translations.

 

All quotes from the Bible in this response are from the King James Version (also known as KJV) of the Bible.

The Holy Prophet's high opinion of Women:

In the name of Allah (SWT), the most gracious, the most merciful.

 

By, Hussain Tirmizi.

This is a response to an article by Christian Apologist, David Wood, entitled: ?Banish Them to Their Beds and Scourge Them! Muhammad's Low Opinion of Women', located here:

http://answering-islam.org.uk/Authors/Wood/women.htm

His article will be in black and my response in green, except for any links made by him or me.

He wrote:

The status of women in the Arab world is a source of frequent criticism against Islam. Women in the West have fixed their gaze on the polygamy, veils, and other inequalities in Muslim countries and are concerned about the rapid spread of Islam. When Western critics charge that Islam teaches the inferiority of women, Muslims often argue that any disparity between men and women is the result of cultural differences, rather than of Islamic law:

The Qur'an enshrined a new status for women and gave them rights that they could have only dreamed of before in Arabia, so why the seeming disparity between what once was and what now appears to be? The answer lies in the deterioration of basic Islamic education that occurred in the Muslim world after the disasters of the Mongol invasions and the Crusades in the eleventh through thirteenth centuries. . . . Cultures that arose since that time have been characterized by customs and local cultural leanings more than genuine Islamic values.[1]

The treatment of women in the Muslim world, then, is the result of the Crusades and the Mongol invasions. If it weren't for the Christians and the Mongols, Muslim women would still be enjoying the prominent status given to them by Muhammad.

 

My Response:

 

Indeed it is, because most of the Islamic world does not act according to Islamic Law. Brother Ali Ataie, in his victorious debate with David says that Islam did not invent polygamy but limited and restricted it. Prior to Islam, pagan Arab men used to have dozens of wives and concubines whom they used to have sex with all the time. In that barbaric society men had sex with many women every night. To this inhumanity, Allah (SWT) sent this verse:

 

And if you fear that you cannot act equitably towards orphans, then marry such women as seem good to you, two and three and four; but if you fear that you will not do justice (between them), then (marry) only one or what your right hands possess; this is more proper, that you may not deviate from the right course. (Surah an-Nisa 4:3)

 

This verse makes it clear that in Islam, men can marry up to 4 wives, only if they can treat them equally or they can marry only one or they can marry 1 of their slave girls (i.e. those whom their right hands possess).

 

What about David's beloved societies? Men can have unlimited women in their homes, without even marrying them and give birth to dozens of illegitimate children (aka bastards). Yet David doesn't call that an inequality.

 

As for the veil, it is a sign of respect for the woman but is not compulsory. In Islam it is compulsory for the woman to cover her head, so her beauty is not shown to men for attraction. However, if the woman wants to wear a veil she can, to further conceal her beauty, which shows her love and endurance for the religion of Islam and for Allah (SWT). The Holy Qur'an explicitly states the reason why women are to cover themselves:

 

O Prophet! say to your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers that they let down upon them their over-garments; this will be more proper, that they may be known, and thus they will not be given trouble; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (Surah al-Ahzab 33:59)

 

This verse makes it clear that the women must let down their garments (over their bodies and on their heads, covering every part but the hands, face and perhaps the feet, if she wants) as this is more proper and also because they will be known and not given trouble. What this means is that the women will be known for their ability and not for exterior beauty, which is the best way to judge any human being. This also decreases the likelihood of sexual assault and rape, since the woman's beauty is concealed, thus reducing the probability of lustful men being overcome by their sexual desires, which lure them towards attractive women.

 

Neither the polygamy nor veils are inequalities. The real inequalities are allowing women to go around 99% naked in beaches and half-naked on the streets, which are part of the reason why lustful men trouble them.

 

A child may complain because his parents don't allow him to go near the edge of a cliff. Is it injustice to allow the child his wish or to force him away, thus protect him from his own desires? Similarly is it just to let a woman have 99% of her skin exposed and increase the chance of her being raped or force her to cover her body and head, thus protecting her from her own desires (in the case of some women)?

 

Parents restrict their children for their own good and safety. Similarly Allah (SWT) restricts us for our own good and safety and Allah (SWT) has far higher authority over us than our parents.

 

He wrote:

Muslim apologists have done an outstanding job convincing people that Muhammad was a champion of women's rights. Indeed, arguments for Muhammad's liberation of women have convinced some that "Muhammad was probably the greatest champion of women's rights the world has ever seen."[2] Descriptions of Muhammad's improvements in the area of gender relations abound in Muslim writings:

So far back as the seventh century of the Christian era, Islam abolished the horrible practice of female infanticide prevalent among the pagan Arabs, gave clear directions leading to the restriction of polygamy, restrained the unlimited rights exercised by men over their wives, and gave woman both spiritual and material equality with man.[3]

Arab human rights were quite backward, even for the time. Women had precious few rights. A woman became the property of a man upon marriage, and no woman could refuse a match made by her father. Spousal abuse was rampant, with no recourse to any quarter for help. Upon the death of her husband, a woman could be inherited by her son and made her son's wife. Female infanticide in which newborn baby girls were buried alive in the sand was quite common in a society that considered surplus females a burden. Women had no divorce or well-defined inheritance rights and certainly no political vote. A man could divorce without reason and leave a woman penniless, and there was no limit to the number of wives a man could have, nor rules for how each should be treated. . . . Arabian custom had always dictated that women should take no public role in religious or political activity. The superiority of men over women in all respects was also a widely accepted notion. Muhammad changed that notion by asserting that men and women were equals before God in every sphere. . . . To examine the record of Muhammad and his mission is to gain a new respect for the improvements he made in the lives of both men and women.[4]

The Qur'an provided women with explicit rights to inheritance, to property, the obligation to testify in a court of law, and the right to divorce. It made explicit prohibitions on the use of violence against female children and women as well as on duress in marriage and community affairs. . . . Women were equally responsible for ensuring that all religious duties of the individual and society were fulfilled, in terms of punishment for social, criminal and moral infractions. They were also offered equal opportunities to attain the ultimate boon: paradise and proximity to Allah if they strove with all their means to ?establish what is good and forbid what is evil'.[5]

While it is true that Muhammad raised the status of Arabian women in some respects,[6] we cannot let this fact cloud certain other issues, namely, (1) that Muhammad permitted husbands to beat their wives, (2) that he repeatedly proclaimed the inferiority of women's intellectual abilities, (3) that he taught that women's prospects for the afterlife are extremely bleak, and (4) that, according to Muhammad, it is acceptable for men to rape their female captives. When combined with the above passages describing Muhammad's beneficial impact on society, these four facts allow us to arrive at a more accurate and well-rounded picture of Muhammad's view of women.

 

My Response:

 

It is true that Islam brought many reforms to the woman in all respects as to how the barbaric pagan Arabs mistreated them. Back in pre-Islamic Arabia males were permitted to:

 

- Bury their daughters alive.
- Force women to pay for their wedding gifts (also allowed in the west).
- Inherit women (the step son would inherit the step mother or the family maiden).
- Take back wedding gifts from divorced wives.
- Treat women harshly.
- Strip women off inheritance rights (also allowed in the west).
- Have unlimited polygamy.

- Beat and raped their maidens.

- Have prostitution with women (also allowed in the west).

- Have women impress lustful men by stripping (also allowed in the west).

 

As well as this, they also put women under life-imprisonment in their houses for committing adultery, yet never laid a finger to punish a man who committed adultery. Words can never describe the cruel and barbaric treatment of women by the Arabs prior to Islam and the low-level of women in Arab society, though women from rich backgrounds were given decent rights (and they were a small minority).

 

The teachings of Islam and the abrogations and restrictions Islam had brought to these sick, practices had astounded the pagans:

 

- Stop the burial of new-born girls (Surah an-Nahl 16:59-60, Surah at-Takwir 81:8-9, 14, Surah Bani Israel 17:31)
- Give women their wedding gifts for free (Surah an-Nisa 4:4)
- Do not inherit women against their will (Surah an-Nisa 4:19)
- Do not take back wedding gifts from women (Surah an-Nisa 4:19)
- Treat women kindly (Surah an-Nisa 4:19, 36)
- Give women a fixed right to inheritance (Surah an-Nisa 4:7)
- Only marry 1 women, unless you can treat more than 1 with justice, in which case you can marry up to 4 (Surah an-Nisa 4:3)

- Punish both the man and the woman equally for adultery (not just the woman) (Surah an-Nur 24:2)

- Treat your wives and your maidens with kindness (certainly meaning you cannot beat or rape them) (Surah an-Nisa 4:36)

- Women, dress modestly so you are not troubled (meaning they cannot strip or wear little clothing) (Surah al-Ahzab 33:59)

- Execute those who do not desist from harassing women (Surah al-Ahzab 33:60-61)

- Free your slave-girl if you hit her (Muslim 15:4079, 4082, 4088, 4108)

- Give half-punishment for adultery to maidens (Surah an-Nisa 4:25)

 

 

All of these reforms show that the Holy Prophet Mohammad (SAWW) had a very high opinion of women. He gave them such amazing reforms, which astonished and astounded the barbaric pagan Arabs at the time so much. Karen Armstrong, so rightly said that the Holy Prophet Mohammad (SAWW) was the feminist of his time.

 

The Holy Prophet Mohammad (SAWW) forbade his followers to beat their wives, did not claim women had inferior intellect, did not claim that it is hard for women to succeed in the Hereafter and never allowed men to rape their female captives and ordered execution for rapists. Each of these claims from David Wood will be examined and refuted.

 

He wrote:

Four Facts

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.[7]

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.[8]

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).[9]

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.

 

My Response:

 

David is clearly wrong. Islam does not at all allow men to beat their wives into submission. Nowhere does this verse say ?beat your wives into submission'. This is David's view. Surah an-Nisa 4:34 is the most misused and misinterpreted verse out of all verses when people argue about the status of women in Islam. However, before analysing the verse let us refute the false claims of David.

 

The verse states that if men fear ?Nushooz', i.e. rebelliousness and disloyalty from their wives, they must first warn them, meaning they should first tell them to fulfill their duties and not to transgress. If they continue this transgression, men must stop sharing beds with them until they stop their acts. If they still rebel, men are told to ?Idribuhoona' them. This Arabic term has many meanings among which are, heal, strike, beat, discipline, travel etc. Lastly, men they must divorce if ongoing problems do not stop.

 

The most widely used translation is ?beat', ?scrouge' or ?chastise'. However, after analysing the background to this verse, through commentaries and other verses from the Holy Qur'an, the ?beating' in this verse is under very extreme and rare conditions and is one where the woman is not to be beaten violently, not to feel pain, not to be hit in the face and not to have any mark left behind (see Tafsir of ibn Kathir, Tafsir of al-Jalalayn, Tafhim al-Qur'an, by Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi and The Message of the Quran, by Muhammad Asad).

 

In contrast to being prescribed to discipline their wives, men are told to treat them kindly (Surah an-Nisa 4:19, 36) except if they do transgress, in which case they are to take certain measures and under extreme and rare conditions, are allowed to lightly strike them, meaning the most they can do is hit them with a toothbrush (not too hardly), grab them by the arm and squeeze it, in a way that doesn't hurt too much.

 

If they obey the husbands, then they have no way against them. Women do have to be obedient to their husbands, as do husbands to their wives. Neither of them can disobey one another and if they have major disagreements it is better that they sort it out or divorce. The simple answer is that women shouldn't transgress and men shouldn't transgress either.

 

And if a woman fears ill usage or desertion on the part of her husband, there is no blame on them, if they effect a reconciliation between them, and reconciliation is better, and avarice has been made to be present in the (people's) minds; and if you do good (to others) and guard (against evil), then surely Allah is aware of what you do. (Surah an-Nisa 4:128)

 

The Arabic word used here is also ?Nushuz', thus neither the male nor the female are allowed to be disloyal or rebellious to each other. Both have equal rights and must obey one-another.

 

Allah (SWT) has made both males and females guardians (Awliya) of one another (Surah at-Tawba 9:71), meaning that both have their own rights and responsibilities over each other and are equal.

 

David states that modern nations have put a Law against spousal abuse, which violates the command of Allah (SWT). However, that is not true, because Islam also prohibits spousal abuse and during very unlikely situations allows a very mild, unexaggerated, unpainful and non-violent strike where the man cannot hit the woman on the face, nor hit her in such a way that a mark would be left behind. Therefore it does not violate the command of Allah (SWT).

 

Let us look at the teachings of Saint Paul in the Bible on women submitting to their husbands:

 

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. (Ephesians 5:22)

 

Here we see that in Christianity the wives are to submit to their husbands as they submit to God. This verse shows the inferiority of women in Christianity and teaches that they are told to submit to their husbands and obey every single thing he says, which is obvious, since she is supposed to submit to him like he is her Lord.

 

Christians normally try to answer this verse by quoting the 25th verse of the same chapter, which reads:

 

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it (Ephesians 5:25)

 

However, this does not solve the problem but only shows that the husbands are to love their wives. It is like a former dog-owner saying to his dog: ?Dog, obey your Master, like you obeyed me' and then tells the new-owner, Peter: ?Peter, love this Dog a lot'. That still means the dog is a dog to its master and that is the status Saint Paul has put women into. This verse doesn't answer the low opinion of Saint Paul on women.

 

Is wife beating prohibited in the Bible? Yes, but so is divorce (Luke 16:18).

 

So what if the woman falls in love with a man and 2 years later he starts forcing her to do useless things against her and starts beating her up violently for any disobedience? Can she divorce him? No (Luke 16:18).

 

Can she call for help? Well let's find out from Jesus' example.

 

When the Jews were capturing him and Peter cut off the ear of one of them, Jesus condemned it (John 18:10-11), therefore if anyone tries to help her, she must condemn him, as Jesus did.

 

Therefore she has to deal with that for the rest of her life or she can break Biblical Law by divorcing and/or calling for help.

 

This is God's word for David, a book forcing an innocent women to remain a victim of an oppressive husband, never being allowed to divorce him and not being allowed to call for help and he condemns Islam.

 

He wrote:

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.[10]

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."[11]

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:

 

          Questioner:   "O Muhammad! Why is Hell full of women?"

Muhammad:   "Because they lack common sense!"

Questioner:   "How do you know they lack common sense?"

Muhammad:   "Their lack of common sense can be seen from the fact that their testimony is only half as good as a man's testimony."

Questioner:   "But why is their testimony half as good as a man's?" Muhammad:   "Because of the deficiency of their minds!"

Questioner:   "How do you know that their minds are deficient?" Muhammad:   "The deficiency of their minds can be seen from the fact that their testimony is worth half the testimony of a man."

Questioner:   "Again, why is their testimony half as good?"

Muhammad:   "Because their minds are deficient!"

Questioner:   "Maybe the only thing deficient here is your argument."

 

My Response:

 

In Islam people are not judged on gender, race, colour, nation or tribe but on righteousness (Surah al-Hujarat 49:13).

 

For more information on women in Islam visit this link:

 

http://womaninthequran.com/04.html - 2

 

The misconceptions on Ahadith has been cleared up in this article, by Brother Karim (a convert to Islam):

 

http://answering-christianity.com/karim/women_not_deficient_in_intelligence_and_religion.htm

There is no inconsistency in the Ahadith. Just read the above article to clear up all misconceptions.

He wrote:

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[12]). 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."[13]

[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."[14]

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."[15]

My Response:

There is no need to answer the misconception behind the first two Ahadith. I would just advise the reader to visit the following links:

http://answering-christianity.com/karim/women_not_deficient_in_intelligence_and_religion.htm

http://answering-christianity.com/karim/mistranslations_of_hadiths.htm

Let us explain the last Hadith David quotes using a verse from the Holy Qur'an:

Pure ones confined to the pavilions. Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny? (Surah ar-Rahman 55:72-73)

If one can read Arabic, he will know that the word used for pure ones is ?Houris' and this only refers to servants created by Allah (SWT) to be the consorts of believing men in paradise. This does not refer to female believers on Earth and it is the same with the Hadith.

Allah (SWT) made the Houris in paradise for the purpose of serving believing men and being their consorts, just as angels are made to serve Allah (SWT) without any skepticism.

In Islam good men and good women are blessed equally in Paradise (Surah at-Tawba 9:71, Surah ar-Rum 30:15). The reward of believing men is mentioned in greater detail than that of believing women, however, the reward for believing women is still equal, regardless.

He wrote:

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.[16]

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.[17]

My Response:

Prior to Islam, these Arab men used to commit adultery all day long and have sex with women every night. Allah (SWT) forbade this filthy act, but the Muslims who were away from their wives, were used to being sexually satisfied every day, but because of going out to battle, they had to control their lust.

Muslims are told not to go near adultery (Surah Bani-Israel 17:32). It is lawful to have sex with female captives (concubines), as long as they willingly agree. See this article for the proof:

http://call-to-monotheism.com/does_islam_permit_muslim_men_to_rape_their_slave_girls_

Let us see the rights for slaves in Islam.

Muslims are ordered to pay charity for the freedom of servants (Surah at-Tawba 9:60) and in Islam there is a rule that a servant can buy his freedom by working for a certain amount of time and he/she must be given money after his/her emancipation (Surah an-Nur 24:33).

In addition, many Islamic rules are there for the solution to slavery, in a barbaric place like 7th Century Arabia. Islam gave the best methods to free slaves, for instance during a solar-eclipse, Muslims had to free slaves (Bukhari 2:18:163), the price for manslaughter was to free a believing slave (Surah an-Nisa 4:92), Muslims are encouraged to free slaves (Bukhari 7:65:286) and if a Muslim hits his slave he must free him/her (Muslim 15:4079, 4082, 4088, 4108). Also maidens who were married to believers would receive half the punishment for adultery (Surah an-Nisa 4:25) as a free woman.

In Islam the slaves were freed with compensation and were given such equal rights to their masters. Islam teaches to feed slaves with what we eat, dress them as we would dress and help them if we give them work beyond their power (Bukhari 1:2:29, Muslim 15:4094, 4095, 4096).

Servants were freed rapidly during the Islamic era and had rights equal to their masters. In Islam the emancipation of slaves is compulsory and in an Islamic society part of the alms go towards liberating slaves, thus sexual relations with them would occur under relatively rare conditions.

Now why did Allah (SWT) allow sex with them? Allah (SWT) knows best of course, but from my reasoning, the maiden would have no other partner and remain sexually unsatisfied. Her master had to take care of her, feed her and clothe her in the same way he ate and dressed. In Islam, they could marry one another (Surah an-Nisa 4:25) or simply have sexual relations if both agreed, since she is still lawful to him as his maiden.

Is it OK that she remains sexually unsatisfied and ends up committing adultery or have legal sexual relations with her master? There is nothing wrong with sexual relations with maidens.

If Christians have no problem with God's Prophet having sexual relations with their maidens (such as David), why do they have a problem with Muslims doing so? It is lawful and I don't see anything to be embarrassed about.

Of course, what is better is if the master frees her, since the Holy Prophet Mohammad (SAWW) himself encouraged that (Bukhari 7:65:286) and then he can marry her. That is preferred in Islam, but if he wants to have sex with her without marriage and she agrees, she is lawful to him, as his maiden, both Islamically and Biblically (as seen in Abraham's example).

He wrote:

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).[18]

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.[19]

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."[20]

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.[21]

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[22]), 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.

My Response:

There is nothing wrong with a child being born to a maiden. The woman has the rights equal to that of a wife, equal treatment as the master, i.e. same foods, clothing and shelter as seen in the Hadith, quoted previously. Allah (SWT) is more lenient with her than with a free women, i.e. she gets half the punishment for adultery. Her child is born free as well.

Let us examine Hadith prohibiting rape of female captives:

Narrated By Jabir ibn Abdullah : Musaykah, a slave-girl of some Ansari, came and said: My master forces me to commit fornication. Thereupon the following verse was revealed: "But force not your maids to prostitution (when they desire chastity)." (Abu Dawud 12:2034).

Has David read this Hadith or does he just ignorantly assume that Muslims can rape their female captives? The verse referred to in the above Hadith is Surah an-Nur 24:33, which prohibits men to force their maidens to prostitution. If they want to have sexual relations both have to agree.

Islam demands kindness towards slaves (Surah an-Nisa 4:36) and in the Hadith explored before we have seen that Islam teaches to feed slaves with what we eat, dress them as we would dress and help them if we give them work beyond their power (Bukhari 1:2:29, Muslim 15:4094, 4095, 4096) and that if a Muslim hits his slave he must free him/her (Muslim 15:4079, 4082, 4088, 4108)

The Holy Prophet Mohammad (SAWW) didn't allow even the hitting of a slave, so who in the right mind can ignorantly assume that he allowed rape? When a man committed rape on her maiden, Allah (SWT) revealed Surah an-Nur 24:33, which prohibited this, as seen in Abu Dawud 12:2034.

In pre-Islamic Arabia these girls were beaten, raped and killed but Islam removed all this barbaric lifestyle from the pagan Arabs. Therefore David has no case and no proof for rape, but we have proof against rape, which is above. Also see this article for additional proof:

http://call-to-monotheism.com/does_islam_permit_muslim_men_to_rape_their_slave_girls_

He wrote:

 

Assessment

Muhammad improved the lives of women in Arabia in some ways.[23] However, Muslims sometimes use this fact as evidence of Muhammad's prophethood. Such an argument is absurd. All that is implied by the improvement in women's lives is that Islam wasn't as bad as the culture before it, which says more about the pagans than it does about the Muslims. For, as we have seen, Muhammad permitted spousal abuse, stated repeatedly that women have inferior minds, claimed that most of the people in hell are women, and allowed his men to have sex with their captives. This situation was still probably better than that of women prior to the rise of Islam; however, Muhammad was far from being "the greatest champion of women's rights the world has ever seen."

My Response:

What is wrong with David? He says Islam improved woman's lives in Arabia in some ways. How absurd is that? Let us analyse again the improvements Islam brought to the woman.

Back in pre-Islamic Arabia males were permitted to:

 

- Bury their daughters alive.
- Force women to pay for their wedding gifts (also allowed in the west).
- Inherit women (the step son would inherit the step mother or the family maiden).
- Take back wedding gifts from divorced wives.
- Treat women harshly.
- Strip women off inheritance rights (also allowed in the west).
- Have unlimited polygamy.

- Beat and raped their maidens.

- Have prostitution with women (also allowed in the west).

- Have women impress lustful men by stripping (also allowed in the west).

 

The teachings of Islam and the abrogations and restrictions Islam had brought to these sick, practices had astounded the pagans:

 

- Stop the burial of new-born girls (Surah an-Nahl 16:59-60, Surah at-Takwir 81:8-9, 14, Surah Bani Israel 17:31)
- Give women their wedding gifts for free (Surah an-Nisa 4:4)
- Do not inherit women against their will (Surah an-Nisa 4:19)
- Do not take back wedding gifts from women (Surah an-Nisa 4:19)
- Treat women kindly (Surah an-Nisa 4:19, 36)
- Give women a fixed right to inheritance (Surah an-Nisa 4:7)
- Only marry 1 women, unless you can treat more than 1 with justice, in which case you can marry up to 4 (Surah an-Nisa 4:3)

- Punish both the man and the woman equally for adultery (not just the woman) (Surah an-Nur 24:2)

- Treat your wives and your maidens with kindness (certainly meaning you cannot beat or rape them) (Surah an-Nisa 4:36)

- Women, dress modestly so you are not troubled (meaning they cannot strip or wear little clothing) (Surah al-Ahzab 33:59)

- Execute those who do not desist from harassing women (Surah al-Ahzab 33:60-61)

- Free your slave-girl if you hit her (Muslim 15:4079, 4082, 4088, 4108)

- Give half-punishment for adultery to maidens (Surah an-Nisa 4:25)

I believe David is either ignorant or deceptive.

Does he flick through Islamic material and sees what he thinks is bad without even looking at the great reforms or teachings of Islam? Or perhaps he sees the great teachings and reforms of Islam but purposely skips it out completely?

Allah (SWT) knows.

These improvements are not the only proof of the Prophethood of the Holy Prophet Mohammad (SAWW). There are many, many other proofs such as the great reforms Islam brought to a backwards people, the great character of the Holy Prophet Mohammad (SAWW) and last of all the scientific, literary archaeological and mathematical miracles of the Holy Qur'an. Even if the Holy Qur'an did not have these miracles, I would accept it without question, because the reforms and character of the Holy Prophet Mohammad (SAWW) are the greatest proof for me to accept Islam. The historical effect brought about by Islam is also proof. Where would the world be if Islam didn't come?

Well, Europe was sunk in the Dark Ages, Arabia as we know were barbaric pagans. The only real place of knowledge for that time was China and India. It was in fact the words of the Holy Prophet Mohammad (SAWW) that lead to true enlightenment of humanity, i.e. his command to gain knowledge and his teaching that for every disease there is a cure. These 2 statements alone lead Muslims researching all over the world to research chemistry, maths, physics, biology, medicine and many other subjects that Muslims mastered.

Much of the knowledge we have with us is from the Muslims. The words chemistry, algebra, alkali and many other scientific terms originate from Islamic knowledge.

Which human being could have made such a profound impact on the world, with just 2 statements, except a Messenger of God? The Holy Prophet Mohammad (SAWW) was indeed the most influential person in history, as stated by Michael Heart.

David then just repeats his introduction and his ?FOUR FACTS', which are fully responded to.

The Holy Prophet Mohammad (SAWW) was indeed the champion of women's rights and had such a high opinion of women and the evidence of that is the rights he gave them, for instance, the right to teach men [unlike the Bible which prohibits this (1 Timothy 2:12)] and get education and many other rights listed above, which serve as proof of his High Opinion on women.

He wrote:

In the West, the status of women has greatly improved over the past few centuries. We can all be thankful that people in some areas of the Muslim world are seeing the change and are trying to adopt similar policies, in spite of Muhammad's low opinion of women. Yet many areas, intent on following Muhammad's guidelines, are still in darkness.

My Response:

In the west the status of women did not really change in the past few centuries but in the past few decades. We can be thankful that the world improved so much because of Islam and if the Holy Prophet Mohammad (SAWW) had not come, there would be little improvement in the world. During his time civilisations were falling but he united them and the warring tribes and nations in Arabia under Islam. Imagine, a single orphan, who was persecuted for preaching the Message of Allah (SWT), making such a difference to the whole world.

The west had only gotten advanced after gaining knowledge from and scientific material that Muslim Scholars, such as Jabir ibn Hayyan (the father of Chemistry), al-Biruni, Abu Ali ibn Sina (aka Avicenna), Mohammad ibn Musa al-Khwarezmi, Abu Ali ibn Haytham (Alhazen) and many others had discovered, which would not have been discovered, had it not been for the Islamic policy of compulsory education, which, by the way, was also copied by the west.

Much of the western science is recycled from the works of Muslims. I do not find it wrong for the west to use some policies in Islamic Law, but I find it wrong for the west to criticise what had led to such improvement in their own society.

I do not see how the western treatment of women is better than or even matches the Islamic treatment. In the west men can force women to pay for their wedding gifts, while in Islam they get it free (Surah an-Nisa 4:4). Deceased people do not have to give their daughters inheritance, whereas in Islam the woman gets a definite right to inheritance (Surah an-Nisa 4:7). In the west women can wear bikinis and be seen as sex tools [by sexually active men who constantly lust over them, which is forbidden by Jesus who says the one who does it is condemned to hell as an adulterer (Matthew 5:27-30)] rather than people, whereas in Islam women are ordered to cover their bodies, except their faces, hands and feet, which gets them to be known as people for their ability rather than sex tools (Surah al-Ahzab 33:59).

In the west women are far more likely to be raped, since men would be lured by her external beauty, while in Islam it is highly unlikely that they would be raped, because men cannot be lured by their beauty as they are fully dressed and because the man would be harshly executed if he rapes a woman, which he so rightly deserves (Surah al-Ahzab 33:59-61). In the west there is a 14-year sentence for a man who sexually assaults a person? Is that justice? What if he comes out and does it again, except this time he isn't caught by the police? Where is the justice?

Also in the west pornography, prostitution and stripping is legal. What kind of rights are those? Those are barbaric pagan traditions conserved by the west that demoralize women and make them look like sexual tools for men.

In many areas, following man-made guidelines, in the name of Islam, there is darkness because they just go back to the same false pagan barbaric policies of women, which Islam came to destroy. They do not allow women to education, bury their daughters alive at times, punish rape-victims and do all sorts of filthy pagan acts, which Islam destroyed and brought great reform to. We pray to the most gracious, most merciful and most loving Lord, Allah (SWT) to keep these people away from their transgression and from following the dark teachings of the pagans and to follow the real peaceful and just teachings of Islam.

He wrote:

We can only hope that those who want to heed the Qur'an will one day pick up the Bible and read the words of the Apostle Paul:

Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.[24]

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.[25]

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into the name of Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.[26]

My Response:

Let us analyse each one and see other doctrines of Saint Paul on women.

Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. (Colossians 3:19)

Apparently David cherry picks here and does not quote the previous verse:

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. (Colossians 3:18)

We must hope that Muslims must pick up the Bible and read these words of Saint Paul, to realise that in Christianity women must submit themselves to their husbands as if they are God and husbands must only love their women and not be bitter towards them. That is like someone telling a dog: ?Do not be bitter towards your master and submit to him' and then he tells the master: ?Love your dog and do not be bitter towards him'. I wonder why David skips out the entire context of the verse he quotes? Maybe its because he wants to evangelise the parts which look good but does not want the truth to be exposed to his readers right away?

Missionaries have a habit of quoting sections of the Bible with nice looking teachings, but never quote the parts, which will make people hate and avoid Christianity, as seen above and as will be seen now.

Let us analyse the next quote:

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (Ephesians 5:25)

That sounds so nice, doesn't it? I only wish it was not ruined by the three verses before:

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. (Ephesians 5:22-24)

Apparently wives must submit themselves to their husbands as if they are God. The husband is the head of the wife and the wives are to submit to their husbands in everything. But the husband must love his wife. This sounds like putting a woman to the level of a dog, which is what Saint Paul is doing. Is David to afraid to show the context of what he thinks is the true word of God?

 

Let us analyse David's next quote:

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:26-29)

That is so nice isn't it? Apparently it is the only quote from Paul, which has respect for women and that, is why David shows its context and not the context of the other verses he quotes. David just chooses the verses, which suit him and not the verses that show how Saint Paul's other views on women, which will be analysed soon.

 

However, I believe that Saint Paul is right in saying that there should be no classification in a person's worth as a human being, because Islam teaches this as well.

 

Islam teaches that out of all of mankind, no matter what nation or tribe he belongs to, the best one is the one who is most righteous (Surah al-Hujarat 49:13), removing all types of racism and sexism.

 

However let us analyse some other views of Saint Paul on women (I will not quote the verses but will simply cite them to be as brief as possible):

 

1.     Women must learn in total submission and never teach or have authority over a man, because apparently Eve sinned first and not Adam and the women have to be blamed because one of their own gender supposedly happened to sin before the male did (1 Timothy 2:11-14)

2.     Women are to be silent in church as it is forbidden for them to speak in Church and they must be obedient. If they had a question they must ask their husbands because it is a shame for women to speak in Church (1 Corinthians 14:34-35)

3.     Men are the head of women just as Christ is the head of man (1 Corinthians 11:3)

4.     Women must cover their heads in prayers and if they do not they must shave their heads (1 Corinthians 11:5-6)

5.     Men are the image and glory of God, while women are the glory of man (1 Corinthians 11:7)

 

These are Saint Paul's views on women, plus the other two verses, which I mentioned where he says that women must submit to their husbands as if they are God (Colossians 3:18, Ephesians 5:22).

 

David's entire article is refuted and nothing is left to answer in his article except his 6th and 23rd footnote.

 

He wrote:

 

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.

 

My Response:

 

The pagans did not bury every single daughter. They only buried those daughters who were born before the first male was born, because it was a shame to have a daughter being the eldest child in the family. There were still lots of women in Arabia and every single man did not marry dozens of women. This act was only common to the high-class who had the most wealth and power. Polygamy wasn't restricted because of the ratio of men to women. It was restricted and limited to 4 and not 1, because the men would have less chance to commit adultery that way.

 

Let's take the example of Reverend Jimmy Swaggart, whom I think was the most famous evangelist of his time. He had one wife, whom he boasted was the best one and yet he had slept with a prostitute. If he had even 2 wives would this have happened? No. He would have been sexually satisfied.

 

Islam came to remove adultery and all other filthy pagan acts, however polygamy is only allowed if the wives are treated equally and only 4 wives are allowed maximum, no more. The solution to Swaggart's problem was Islam. Therefore David's claims are refuted.

 

He wrote:

 

In other ways, women's rights seem to have taken a step backwards with the rise of Islam. For example, Muhammad's first wife, Khadija, was a successful business woman, who was able to select whomever she wished as a husband. Thus, we know that women were able to have prominent positions in society and could wield a great deal of power before the rise of Islam. Under Islamic Law, however, women couldn't so much as leave their houses without the permission of their husbands (and could only do so in the proper attire).

 

My Response:

 

Yes, Bibi Khadija (AS2) was a successful businesswoman because she was born to a wealthy family and was capable. What about the women in the Middle and Low classes? They were treated like any other objects, except that they were sexually attractive.

 

Islam did not forbid women to have their businesses and David has no proof that when Islam came women were not allowed to leave their houses. Women after Islam were indeed very successful and became teachers and had the right to education. In fact education was compulsory for both males and females (as seen in many sources of Islam, such as Sunan ibn Majah), which is why society progressed so fast under the Islamic Golden Age. In the pre-Islamic Arab society, women in rich families had rights but not in poor families. Islam, however, gave respect to all women, whether rich or poor. Islam liberated women, with many, many reforms (although the amount quoted is not even 10% of the great reforms, which Islam had brought).

Indeed, the Holy Prophet Mohammad (SAWW) had a very high opinion of women as seen in the many, many great reforms he brought to them and was the greatest champion of women's rights. See the real position of women in Islam and the reforms brought about by Islam, in my two articles here:

http://muslim-responses.com/Women_Reform/Women_Reform_ http://muslim-responses.com/Destroying_Paganism/Destroying_Paganism_

Verily all Praise belongs to Allah (SWT), the Lord of all Creation, who created woman to be the proper companion of man, who is different but equal.

And verily Allah (SWT) knows best and I pray for the guidance of David Wood and for him to open his mind.

www.muslim-responses.com