To Moderate Muslim: Ethical basis of Islam and the thrashing of women by men
Reader comment on item: How the West Could Lose
Submitted by Plato (India), Mar 10, 2007 at 07:30
"The desicion to execute the men of Qurayza was made by an Arab man, not the Prophet (pbuh). The Qurayza men had plotted against their supposed allies, the muslims, thus violating their treaty. Regarding the wife of the Prophet, she accepted to marry him, and he did so as a gesture of good will to the people, not as a man taking property."Yes but he was appointed by the Prophet, knowing full well that Saad Muad had sworn vengeance on the Quraiza. (dhimmi no more will dispute whether the incident happened at all, but since it is mentioned in the biography and hadiths it is accepted by Muslims). The treaty violation is only an allegation. But what is so sacrosanct about a treaty when Allah himself absolves the prophet from having to honour them.
Read 9:1-5. Allah says in 9:1 that he has abrogated the agreements made with idolators and in 9:2 says they are free to move around for the four sacred months. 9:3 is just a reiteration of 9:1 i.e. the Prophet being freed from treaty liabilities with some embellishments. 9:4 is saying treaties with idolators who have not broken their agreement stands. Where is the need for this verse when if anyone violates an agreement the other party is automatically absolved of its conditions. But 9:5 makes it abundantly clear that what is meant is that the exemption is only for the four holy months and the Muslims can go about slaughtering the idolators after that even the ones who have not broken any treaty. So you see Moderate Muslim for the Prophet not keeping his convenants was no big deal. Why is just suspicion that the Quraiza were planning to break the treaty a crime serious enough to commit genocide.
[These five verses are also a perfect demonstration of Allah's confused thinking: He unilaterally abrogates the treaties the Prophet had made in 9:1 and 9:3 and in the next breath in 9:4 says 'except those ...with whom you made an agreement'. Who else will you abrogate a treaty with except with someone you made one with?]
And which wife are you talking about? Rehana of the Quraiza? She was part of the booty taken from the Quraiza. She apparently refused to marry the prophet and remained his slave all her life.
"Aisha was already a women by the time the marriage to the Prophet occured. In those times it was customary to be engaged very early, as people matured much quicker. The Prophet did in no way, I can't even say it, commit any crime against her, she was an adult in the definition of the time. I have read many scholarly reports, and they all say this."
A 53 year old man asking to marry a 6-year-old girl is not a crime? Slavery was not a crime 'in the definition of the time', so the Prophet holding slaves was not a crime? The Prophet is your ideal person so are you going to defend him in his slave-holding? As a US citizen are you willing to denounce slavery as a crime against humanity. Let us hear you say itModerate Muslim: The Prophet committed a crime against humanity because he held slaves. If you are willing to repeat that sentence on this blog then it will go half way to justify your name. Your prophet not only never denounced slavery but in fact encouraged it by allowing captives of his gazhwas to be kept or sold as slaves.
"The ayat sent by various posters, such as Noah Wilk, are all pertaining to attacking the non believer if he "transgresses" upon you, this in no way condones violence. This merely states than one must fight against those who would destroy Islam. Islam also has VERY clear perimeters as to what is valid and not in warfare. Women, children, and even tree's are to be left alone, and may not be harmed during warfare. This indeed shows that acts of violence such as "car bombings" and "suicide bombings" are wrong and not sanctioned in the Quran for many reasons, one being the suicide involved, one being the civilians and infrastructure targeted. I strongly condemn these attacks also because I wept just as much as any one of you on 9/11."Moderate Muslim how many gazhwas of the seventy or so can you name that were because non-believers 'transgressed upon you'. The very first attack causing bloodshed and the capture of booty was initiated by the Prophet during the sacred months at Nahla. Badr was an attack planned to capture Abu Sufyan's caravan. Were these caravans going about their business peacefully threatening Islam? What is your definition of 'threatening Islam'? From the activities of the Prophet in Medina it appears that since everything on earth belongs to Allah and his Prophet caravans plying their business even at great distances are a threat to Islam because they carry wealth which they refuse to hand over peacefully to the Muslims. Jews, Christians and pagans who laugh at his claims of being in communication with Allah are in rebellion against God and his prophet and must be subdued. Here is the reason why people like Noah, Susan and others are so suspicious of Muslims. If you can claim that the Prophets attacks on caravans and neighbouring tribes were in self-defence and to subdue rebellion against Allah it means that you consider all non- Muslim US citizens fair game both as sources of wealth and as people who can be subdued for rebelling against Allah. Moderate Muslim show you moderation by accepting that the Prophets gazwas were nothing but undisguised looting expeditions.
You also blithely say Islam has 'VERY clear perimeters as to what is valid and not in warfare. Women, children, and even tree's are to be left alone, and may not be harmed during warfare. This is a clear demonstration of the fact that you have not read your Koran. What do you have to say about: 59:5 'Whether you chop a tree or leave it standing on its trunk is in accordance with GOD's will. He will surely humiliate the wicked. Whatever palm tree you cut down, or left standing on their roots, it was by ALLAH's leave that HE might humiliate the transgressors.'The prophet himself took concubines and wives from among the captive women and booty including women were distributed to his soldiers to be kept as slaves or released for ransom. (according to dhimmi no more all these stories, including the Koran may be later compilations, but these are what the Islamic world believes in)
"Family, society and ultimately the whole of mankind is treated by Islam on an ethical basis."1) What, Moderate Muslim, is the ethical basis for allowing and not prohibiting the taking, gifting and trading of slaves whereas Allah had no hesitation in prohibiting usury?
2) What was the the ethical basis of the Prophet himself holding slaves and accepting and giving slaves as gifts and setting an example for all mankind?
3) What is the ethical basis of allowing men to thrash their wives?
4) What is the ethical basis of legally reducing women's status to half that of a man in witnessing and property rights?
5) What is the ethical basis for reducing conquererd people to dhimmitude?
This scholar, Badawi, has argued that ancient socieites had worse ethics. But all that is past history for them. Why do Muslims not let the poor ethics of the Koran fade into history like other people? What we see is the kind of atrocious reasoning indulged in by scholars like Badawi to defend indefensible ethics in the Koran. This scholar instead of cataloguing the woes of women in ancient societies should try and catalogue the woes of women in Islamic societies.
"Despite the social acceptance of female infanticide among some Arabian tribes, the Qur'an forbade this custom, and considered it a crime like any other murder.
"And when the female (infant) buried alive - is questioned, for what crime she was killed." (Qur'an 81:8-9).
This surah does not tell us that female infanticide was considered to be murder. Even now hundreds of women are killed for honour and we see very little action to eradicate this in Islamic countries. Whereas countries like India have gone all out to eradicate widow burning, and female infanticide.
"Her share in most cases is one-half the man's share, with no implication that she is worth half a man! "
No? Then what does the witnessing surah mean, if two men are not available, one man and two women will suffice? Why do Muslim commentators denigrate women as not being as mature as men and being emotionally unstable. The PMS is quoted as an example of women's unstable character. As Allah was so knowledgeable he would also know that after the age of about 55 women do not suffer from it, so why did he not allow full equality when women are post-menopausal?
"And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them, and men are a degree above them." (Qur'an 2:228). What does this 'degree above them' mean?"In the midst of the darkness that engulfed the world, the divine revelation echoed in the wide desert of Arabia with a fresh, noble, and universal message to humanity: "O Mankind, keep your duty to your Lord who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate (of same kind) and from them twain has spread a multitude of men and women" (Qur'an 4: 1).Sounds grand. A scholar who pondered about this verse states: "It is believed that there is no text, old or new, that deals with the humanity of the woman from all aspects with such amazing brevity, eloquence, depth, and originality as this divine decree."
It is obvious that the words in parenthesis, of same kind, are the translators and not of the original. But pondering this verse can you Moderate Muslim elaborate a little more than the scholar about what the verse reveals with amazing brevity about the humanity of women. I can see more sublime meaning in Shakespeare's ' a rose by any other name would smell as sweet'.
You quote the Koran:He (God) it is who did create you from a single soul and therefrom did create his mate, that he might dwell with her (in love)...(Qur'an 7:189)It is obvious you are quoting Yusuf Ali's translation, who has the tendency to add his contribution to Allah's words, in this case , 'in love'. Most other translators do not have these words. Muslims are not enjoined to live with their wives in love, rather the wife's are told to be careful of their duty to their husbands, they are threatened with banishment from their husbands beds if they misbehave ( the misbehaviour is left to the husband's imagination) and they can even be thrashed if she continues to be recalcitrant.
"Even in modern times, and in the most developed countries, it is rare to find a woman in the position of a head of state acting as more than a figurehead,..."Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi, Benazir Bhutto, Merkel, Begum Zia, Sheikh Hazina were or are puppets?
"1. The history of Muslims is rich with women of great achievements in all walks of life from as early as the seventh century (B.C.)
2. It is impossible for anyone to justify any mistreatment of woman by any decree of rule embodied in the Islamic Law, nor could anyone dare to cancel, reduce, or distort the clear-cut legal rights of women given in Islamic Law.
3. Throughout history, the reputation, chastity and maternal role of Muslim women were objects of admiration by impartial observers."1. It would have helped if you had named some.
2. What about the thrashing of women allowed in the Koran? Why are rape charges brought against women if they cannot produce four (mostly male) witnesses to the crime? How ridiculous and anti-women is that?
3. Please name some of these impartial observers.
Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".
Reader comments (2101) on this item
Comment on this item
Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum. Daniel J. Pipes