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Was Muhammad a Pedophile?

June 30, 2017 Leave a comment

One of the often repeated attacks on Islam is the accusation that Muhammad had sexual relations with a nine year old girl. Many critics of the religion mistakenly think that this is in the Koran. Others cite sources outside of the Koran as authoritative proof that he actually did this. I want to look at this accusation rationally and provide some possible alternative explanations.

First of all, I need to clear up a misconception regarding this alleged incident. Nowhere in the Koran does it say how many wives Muhammad had. We know from Arabic grammar that he had at least three wives because Arabic nouns have singular, dual, and plural number. Respecting the nouns and most pronouns, the plural number indicates three or more. However, the Koran limits the number of wives that a man can have to four. (Koran 4:3) Muhammad claimed to follow the Koran. (Koran 6:50; 7:203; 10:15; 46:9) So, it is reasonable to assume that he had no more than four. The names of his wives are not mentioned in the Koran. The ages of his wives are not mentioned either. We do not know from reading the Koran if Muhammad had a wife named Khadijah who was fifteen years older than he. We do not know from the Koran that Muhammad married a six year old girl named Aisha and had sexual relations with her when she was nine.

So, where do these tales about the Islamic prophet’s wives come from? The answer is from the Sunnah. The Sunnah is a large collection of stories about Muhammad. Many contain alleged sayings of Muhammad. Those sayings and stories are called hadiths (in Arabic, ahadith).

Here are the hadiths that talk about Muhammad having sexual relations with a nine year old girl named Aisha.

Narrated Hisham’s father: Khadija died three years before the Prophet departed to Medina. He stayed there for two years or so and then he married `Aisha when she was a girl of six years of age, and he consumed that marriage when she was nine years old. (Sahih al-Bukhari 3896)

Narrated `Aisha: that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death). (Sahih al-Bukhari 5133)

Narrated `Aisha: that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old. Hisham said: I have been informed that `Aisha remained with the Prophet for nine years (i.e. till his death). (Sahih al-Bukhari 5134)

Narrated ‘Urwa: The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with `Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death). (Sahih al-Bukhari 5158)

A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: Allah’s Apostle married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house when I was nine years old. (Sahih Muslim 1422b)

Narrated ‘A’isha: ‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah’s Apostle married her when she was six years old, and he (the Holy Prophet) took her to his house when she was nine, and when he (the Holy Prophet) died she was eighteen years old (Sahih Muslim 1422d)

Narrated ‘Aishah: The Messenger of Allah married me when I was seven years old. The narrator Sulaiman said: or Six years. He had intercourse with me when I was nine years old. (Sunan Abi Dawud 2121) Grade: Sahih

It was narrated from ‘Aishah that the Messenger of Allah married her when she was six years old, and consummated the marriage with her when she was nine. (Sunan an-Nasa’i 3255) Grade: Sahih

The hadiths are graded sahih (authentic), hasan (good), or daif (weak). All of the above hadiths were graded by the compilers as sahih (authentic).

Now, before someone jumps to a conclusion, it is good to know more about these hadiths and their compilers. The compiler of the hadith collection titled Sahih al-Bukhari was born in 810 and died in 870. The compiler of the hadith collection titled Sahih Muslim was born in 815 and died in 875. The compiler of the hadith collection titled Sunan Abi Dawud was born in 817 and died in 889. The compiler of the hadith collection titled Sunan An-Nasa’i was born in 829 and died in 915. Muhammad died in 632. The hadith compilers based the truthfulness of the hadiths on a chain of narrators. That chain of narrators is called an isnad. The isnad appears in the Arabic text of the hadith collections but not in the English translations of those collections. It basically says something like, “So-and-so narrated that so-and-so narrated that so-and-so narrated that so-and-so narrated that so-and-so said or did…” Since so much time has passed and none of these hadith compilers were alive between 632 and 810, it is impossible for them to verify the truthfulness of the isnad. They would need a time machine. To this date, no man has ever possessed a time machine. Another thing to remember is that the hadith compilers were Persians. The first Muslims were Arabs. The Arabs and the Persians fought against each other. The Persians did not like the Arabs. So, people from an ethnic group that hated the Arabs were compiling hadiths for Arab Muslims to use in their religion.

Basically then, those hadith collections are nothing more than a large collection of hearsay compiled by people who were members of an ethnic group that hated Arabs. Why should anyone believe any of those hadiths? They are simply a bunch of fabricated stories which, for all that we can really know, may very well have no basis in fact at all.

Think of an ancestor of yours who died 200 years ago. Can you produce a nine volume encyclopedia containing factual accounts of what that ancestor said and did? Can you produce six or seven different nine volume encyclopedias containing such factual accounts about that ancestor? I know that I could not do that. Use your brain then. Those hadiths are hearsay. Would any Superior Court judge in the United States admit those hadiths as evidence in court? No, of course not.

Maybe a ninth century pedophile wanted to justify his pedophilia before various religious leaders and court judges. Maybe that ninth century pedophile invented this story about the Islamic prophet to do that. Maybe the Persians wanted to make fools of the Arabs and have them marrying nine year old girls. Maybe they invented this story about Muhammad and Aisha so that they could do that. Maybe there is some truth to the hadiths regarding this matter.  Maybe Muhammad pretended to do all of that with a nine year old girl, but never really did that. Maybe he did all of that in order to hide his virtues. There are many Christians Saints who have done things to hide their virtues. Muhammad could have been doing the same thing.

Anyway, the Koran teaches that women have a choice regarding whom they marry.

And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness, and men are a degree above them. Allah is Mighty, Wise. (Koran 2:228, Pickthall)

A man has the right to choose his wife and women have similar rights to men. So, they have the right to choose their husbands. A woman cannot be inherited from a deceased relative against her will.

O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. (Koran 4:19, Yusuf Ali)

A divorced woman can choose whom she marries. Her next marriage is formed by an agreement between her and her next husband in kindness.

And when ye have divorced women and they reach their term, place not difficulties in the way of their marrying their husbands if it is agreed between them in kindness. This is an admonition for him among you who believeth in Allah and the Last Day. That is more virtuous for you, and cleaner. Allah knoweth; ye know not. (Koran 4:232, Pickthall)

A man who owns a slave girl is forbidden to force her into prostitution.

Force not your slave-girls to whoredom that ye may seek enjoyment of the life of the world, if they would preserve their chastity. And if one force them, then (unto them), after their compulsion, lo! Allah will be Forgiving, Merciful. (Koran 24:33, Pickthall)

Since a slave girl can decide to preserve her chastity, her master cannot automatically expect her to become his wife or provide him with sexual favors outside of wedlock. A man may marry his slave girl, but only then with her permission. If he wants to have sexual relations with her, HE MUST MARRY HER!

And whoso is not able to afford to marry free, believing women, let them marry from the believing maids whom your right hands possess. Allah knoweth best (concerning) your faith. Ye (proceed) one from another; so wed them by permission of their folk, and give unto them their portions in kindness, they being honest, not debauched nor of loose conduct. (Koran 4:25, Pickthall)

Concerning slavery, the Koran actually encourages masters to emancipate their slaves. (Koran 2:177; 24:33; 90:12,13) Slavery existed in the seventh century among the Muslims because they lived in a non-Islamic culture that denied women the same rights as those of men. The Muslims used that institution of slavery to protect unmarried women (divorced women and widows) from prostitution. If a woman lost her husband back then, she could not go get a job at a convenience store on the corner of Main Street and Sixth Avenue. She was very dependent on men to help her or she would have to prostitute herself in order to survive. Remember that Arabia is a desert. People lived in the desert, not in a rainforest or subtropical environment with trees and vegetation.

As for this girl named Aisha if she really existed at all, she would have been too young to consent to marriage. She would have needed to have been older in order to make an informed decision. A young six year old girl is under the authority of her parents. She really would not have a choice if her father wanted her to marry a fifty year old man. Marriage is a choice granted to both men and women according to the Koran.

But then again, maybe that girl Aisha was nineteen and not nine when she had sexual relations with Muhammad. Maybe they both agreed to marry each other and then made love after the wedding. I really do not give much credence to that large collection of hearsay called the Sunnah anyway. So, I really do not care what those hadiths say.

 

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Why Rape is Haraam

December 21, 2016 Leave a comment

Rape is Haraam

Last year in Cologne, Germany on New Year’s Eve, several women were raped by migrant refugees. They even raped a volunteer female police officer. This rape epidemic has spread all across Europe. Pseudo-Islamic extremists rape and even gang rape white, European women and girls. What is so sad is that many of the rapists are committing these crimes with impunity. In many Middle Eastern countries, the rape victims are blamed for being raped and the rapists are excused. If a woman is outside her home in Saudi Arabia without a male relative as a chaperone, she can be raped with impunity. If a woman is not wearing enough clothing to cover her body and her head sufficiently according to the opinion of some religious scholars, she can be raped with impunity. None of these reasons for rape are justified by the Koran. Actually, any sexual activity outside of marriage is haraam according to the Koran. So, raping a woman who is not one’s wife is against the teachings of the Koran. All rape including domestic rape is in fact haraam according to the Koran.

A man must be married to a woman before he can have sexual intercourse with her. Four things are required in order to form an Islamic marriage.

First, both the man and the woman must be monotheists.

Wed not idolatresses till they believe; for lo! a believing bondwoman is better than an idolatress though she please you; and give not your daughters in marriage to idolaters till they believe, for lo! a believing slave is better than an idolater though he please you. These invite unto the Fire, and Allah inviteth unto the Garden, and unto forgiveness by His grace, and expoundeth His revelations to mankind that haply they may remember. (Koran 4:32, Pickthall)

A Muslim may even marry a virtuous Jew or a Christian.

And so are the virtuous women of the believers and the virtuous women of those who received the Scripture before you (lawful for you) when ye give them their marriage portions and live with them in honour, not in fornication, nor taking them as secret concubines. (Koran 5:5, Pickthall)

“Those who received the Scripture” before them are the Jews and the Christians.

Secondly, there must be mutual consent on the part of both the man and the woman to enter into a marital relationship. Women, according to the Koran, have rights similar to those of men.

And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness, and men are a degree above them. (Koran 2:228, Pickthall)

A woman can, therefore, choose which man she wants to marry. A man can choose which woman he wants to marry. A Muslim woman can even marry a virtuous Jew or Christian since she has “rights similar to those of men.” (See Koran 5:5.) A woman cannot be inherited against her will from a deceased relative.

O ye who believe! It is not lawful for you forcibly to inherit the women (of your deceased kinsmen). (Koran 4:19, Pickthall)

Obligatory levirate marriages existed in Old Testament times (Deuteronomy 25:5-10), but according to the Koran such marriages are no longer obligatory on the part of the woman. Slave-girls could choose to remain chaste and their owners had to respect their choice. So, even a slave-girl could refuse to marry her master.

Force not your slave-girls to whoredom that ye may seek enjoyment of the life of the world, if they would preserve their chastity. And if one force them, then (unto them), after their compulsion, lo! Allah will be Forgiving, Merciful. (Koran 24:33, Pickthall)

A divorced woman can marry whoever she wants. This verse from the Fourth Surah implies that she has a choice in the matter when it speaks of “an agreement between them,” that is, between the divorced woman and her new fiancé.

And when ye have divorced women and they reach their term, place not difficulties in the way of their marrying their husbands if it is agreed between them in kindness. This is an admonition for him among you who believeth in Allah and the Last Day. That is more virtuous for you, and cleaner. Allah knoweth; ye know not. (Koran 4:232, Pickthall)

The Pseudo-Islamic practice of arranging forced marriages is, therefore, contrary to the teachings of the Koran. In some Middle Eastern countries, young women are forced into marriages with men without their consent.

Thirdly, if a man intends to marry a woman, he must utter “a recognized form of words.”

But plight not your troth with women except by uttering a recognised form of words. (Koran 2:235, Pickthall)

The Koran does not explicitly say what those words should be. It says “recognized” meaning that he should use words that are recognized as expressing an intention to marry by the vast majority of the people within the society in which he lives.

Finally, he must give her a dowry.

And give unto the women (whom ye marry) free gift of their marriage portions; but if they of their own accord remit unto you a part thereof, then ye are welcome to absorb it (in your wealth). (Koran 4:4, Pickthall)

If these four Koranic requirements are not met, then a man and a woman do not have a legitimate right to have sexual intercourse with each other. Since rape is sexual intercourse with a woman against her will, the second requirement for marriage has not been met. Pseudo-Islamic extremists probably rape polytheistic women, too. When they do that, the first requirement for marriage has not been met. Rape is unlawful sex.

The Koran is not the only holy book that forbids rape. The Bible does, too. In the Torah, which is “a light and guidance for mankind” (Koran 6:92), it says:

And if there be a young damsel espoused to a man, and a man should have found her in the city and have lain with her; ye shall bring them both out to the gate of their city, and they shall be stoned with stones, and they shall die; the damsel, because she cried not in the city; and the man, because he humbled his neighbour’s spouse: so shalt thou remove the evil one from yourselves. But if a man find in the field a damsel that is betrothed, and he should force her and lie with her, ye shall slay the man that lay with her only. And the damsel has not committed a sin worthy of death; as if a man should rise up against his neighbour, and slay him, so is this thing; because he found her in the field; the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to help her. (Deuteronomy 22:23-27, LXX)

Death by stoning was abrogated by Jesus. (See John 8:1-11.) There is, therefore, no death penalty for adultery or fornication. Adulterers and fornicators are supposed to be disfellowshipped, not put to death. (Koran 4:26; I Corinthian 5:11) A rapist needs to be excluded from society by being exiled or imprisoned. The principle for excluding him from society can be derived from this verse in the Koran.

If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, take the evidence of four (reliable) witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them, or Allah ordain for them some (other) way. (Koran 4:15, Yusuf Ali)

The four witnesses in this verse are probably four men who had sexual relations with the woman who may very well have been practicing prostitution. They probably repented and testified against her. Four witnesses are not needed in the case of rape, because the woman who was raped in the field in the passage from Deuteronomy did not need four witnesses. (Deuteronomy 22:25-27) Most rapes do not happen in front of four men. They usually occur in a secluded location where  no one is watching. The rape victim’s testimony is sufficient to convict her rapist in many cases, because if the sex were consensual she most likely would not testify against him. Requiring four witnesses to convict every rapist would not be an abrogating revelation of Allah. Abrogating revelations are better than or similar to the abrogated ones. (See Koran 2:106.) Requiring four witnesses is not better than the revelation of Allah in Deuteronomy 22:25-27.

Four witnesses are needed to convict prostitutes and those who have had sex in public (Koran 4:15; 24:4), but not rape victims. Witnesses need to be cross-examined in the same way that the Holy Prophet Daniel did in the case of Susanna. (Koran 4:26. See the History of Susanna. In the Septuagint, this is the first chapter of the Book of Daniel.)

A prostitute is a menace to the social order of a society. Therefore, she should be excluded from society in order to prevent further damage to the moral fabric of society. The rapist is a threat to society as well. Therefore, he, like the prostitute, should be excluded from society by either imprisonment or exile.

Among the Pseudo-Islamic extremists in Europe is the practice of taharrush. To the Pseudo-Islamic practitioners, this is a game which results in the gang rape of a woman. It is a part of Pseudo-Islamic Arab culture. It is haraam because the men who violate these women are not married to them. The Koran says:

And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way. (Koran 17:32, Sahih International)

Sexual Immorality Forbidden

In the Bible, it says:

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality. (I Thessalonians 4:3, NKJV)

Now the body is not for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. (I Corinthians 6:13, NKJV)

God Forbids Immorality

 Here is a video showing this barbaric Pseudo-Islamic practice of taharrush.

The CBS News reporter, Lara Logan, was a victim of this Pseudo-Islamic practice of gang rape. She talks about her experience in this video.

In the video Lara says that the men called her an Israeli and a Jew, although she is neither of these. Even if she were a Jew or an Israeli, they should never treat her the way they did. In the Koran, it says:

Let not hatred of any people seduce you that ye deal not justly. (Koran 5:8, Pickthall)

The first generation Muslims loved those who did not love them (Koran 3:119) and were called by Muhammad “the best community that has been raised up for mankind.” (Koran 3:110) Those Pseudo-Islamic extremists clearly were not living up to this ideal by sexually assaulting Lara Logan.

The Devil Encourages Immorality

Not all rapes carried out by these Pseudo-Islamic extremists are done collectively as gang rapes. Here are two videos about Muslim hypocrites who are raping women in Sweden and Norway.

In the last video, the rapist told his victim that “he had the right to do exactly as he wanted to a woman.” Well, we have already seen that the Koran forbids sex outside of marriage and it clearly forbids rape when it calls the Torah a light and guidance for mankind. Rape is forbidden in the Torah. Therefore, the rapist was not practicing Islam. He was practicing Pseudo-Islam.

Hypocrites

Many of the Pseudo-Islamic extremists blame the woman for not covering her body sufficiently, but that is still not the woman’s fault. The woman is still the victim. The Koran provides two things that men can do to keep from falling into the sin of sexual immorality (zina). They can “lower their gaze” (Koran 24:30) and pray (Koran 29:45).

Lower Your Gaze

Prayer Preserves from Sin

The example of Joseph is also given in the Koran. The Koran says that Joseph did not commit adultery with Potiphar’s wife because he had seen “the proof of his Lord.” (Koran 12:24) Knowing that there really is a God who is watching our actions can help one to be more vigilant against sin.

Joseph and Potiphar's Wife

There is really no excuse for this kind of behavior. Those Pseudo-Muslims cannot say that Islam teaches them to behave this way. The Koran clearly forbids sexual immorality. A man can only have sex with his wife. He cannot force a woman to become his wife. Women can choose whom they want to marry. (Koran 2:228; 4:19,232; 24:33) If they are using any of those unreliable hadiths written down over two hundred years after Muhammad died to support this barbaric and criminal practice, well, I think you know what I think about that if you have been reading my blogs. Is it really possible to produce a reliable nine volume encyclopedia of stories telling about what someone said and did two hundred years after he has died? Is it possible to produce six different encyclopedias like that one two hundred or three hundred years after someone died? What does the Koran say?

And follow not that of which you have not the knowledge; surely the hearing and the sight and the heart, all of these, shall be questioned about that. (Koran 17:36, Shakir)

And they have no knowledge thereof. They follow but a guess, and lo! a guess can never take the place of the truth. (Koran 53:28, Pickthall)

I am very skeptical about any hadith that clearly contradicts the teachings of the Bible and the Koran.