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Old 01-19-2008, 06:08 PM
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Arrow Here are some delightful tidbits about the ideas Islam has about women

Here are some delightful tidbits about the ideas Islam has about women... and how to treat them.

"How a Man Should Discipline his Wife"

The permission to beat a woman in the case of rebelliousness is based on the QurŽan and the Hadith. "Admonish those women whose rebelliousness you fear, and leave them alone in their beds, and [even] beat them [if necessary]. If they obey you, do not seek any way [to proceed] against them" (Sura al-NisaŽ 4:32). Modern jurists and writers have done their best to weaken this verse by interpreting "rebelliousness" as disobedience and adultery, where beating would be the last means a man can resort to in order to keep the woman from committing that heinous deed. The old jurists and commentators, however, were more realistic and frank. Al-Shafi`i, for example, holds that a man has the right to beat his wife, but abstaining from it (namely from beating) is better. The other verse that is used to prove the permissibility of beating is Sura Sad 38:44, " 'Take in thy hand a bundle of rushes, and strike [your wife] therewith, and do not fail in thy oath.' We found him a steadfast man. How excellent a servant he was! He was a penitent." The person spoken of here is the prophet Job.

Qatada narrated: "Job's wife disobeyed him. So the prophet of God (Job) swore that he would give her a hundred lashes if God healed him." Al-Jassas says, "There is an indication in this verse that a man can beat his wife for the sake of discipline, otherwise Job wouldn't have sworn to beat her, and God wouldn't have commanded him to do so after he had sworn. In addition to mentioning and permitting the beating of women in the QurŽan on the grounds of rebelliousness (in the verse that says, "Admonish those women whose rebelliousness you fear... beat them"), the story of Job indicates that she could be beaten for a reason other than rebelliousness. The verse that says, "Men are the managers of the affairs of women," (Sura al-NisaŽ 4:34) means the same as the story of Job. This is because it was narrated that a man beat his wife during the lifetime of Muhammad, and her family wanted a requital. So God revealed, "Men are the ones that should be in charge of women because some have been favoured more than others." The judge Ibn al-`Arabi says, "The command to beat here is a permissive one." He also refers to the aversion it involves: Muhammad said, "I hate that a man beats his female slave when in anger, and perhaps has intercourse with her on the same day."

Beating should not be intense (mubarrih), as the jurists proved from the hadith pertaining to the permissibility of beating women. Sulayman Ibn `Amr Ibn al-`Ahwas narrated: "Ubai told me that he witnessed the address of departure of the prophet. He thanked God and praised him, and started preaching, saying, "I command you good-will for your wives, for they are captives to you that do not own anything, unless they commit a manifest obscenity [or adultery]. If they do [commit it], then God has given you permission to leave them alone in their beds and give them a bearable beating." Al-Sabuni says that this saying of Muhammad indicates that it is permitted to beat a woman for reasons of chastity (or decency). As to the point that beating should not be intense or painful, it means "that you should not break her bones or leave a bruise." In spite of the fact that there are many hadiths that relate how hateful it is to beat women, it seems that the jurists and the expositors in all ages (even in our days) chose the traditions that permit and prefer disciplinary punishment of women; such as "A man should not be asked why he beats his wife," which is now quoted frequently by the majority.

There is still a difference of opinion, however, among scholars about the definition of "rebelliousness," which gives a man the right to resort to beating as a last means. "Most jurists define legal rebelliousness [nushuz], which allows a man to beat his wife in order to remove that rebelliousness, in certain ways, such as disobeying a man in bed, and going out of the house without his permission. Some consider a woman's abstaining from ornaments, provided that the man wants it, as rebelliousness. They say, 'He may also beat her for neglecting her religious duties; such as ablution, praying...' It appears that rebelliousness is a general thing that includes all sorts of disobedience caused by recalcitrance and disdain." It is strange that jurists consider beating women as a legal means of forcing them to have intercourse. It is stranger still that Muslim writers in the twentieth century try to justify this weird apology by the alleged discoveries of psychology in Europe. Antagonism to women and blind bigotry caused one of them (who claimed to be quoting a European scholar) to assert that "woman takes pleasure in being controlled by the man due to her instinctive obedience to him. The more he beats her, the more she admires him! Nothing saddens a woman more than having a husband who is always kind and loving." Muhammad Zaki `Abd al-Qadir says that "women like difficult men, who can break their [the women's] will by their own will. Even though they scream... in their heart of hearts they feel the pleasure of their weakness against the strength of their men." A few years ago, a progressive professor wrote that "beating should be [used] when a woman indulges in rebelliousness, spreading misery in her home, to her children and relatives, and to her husband. No one should think that beating has a brutal aspect, as there are women who beat their husbands, and others do not allow their husbands to approach them [physically] except after they have given them a thrashing, to cause them to bleed. This has been pointed out by psychological studies on perversion."

Imam Muhammad `Abduh attacks the so-called "imitators of the west who disdain the legality of beating women but do not feel the same way about the woman who snubs her husband and treats him haughtily, putting him under her thumb, even though he is the head of the house." He asks, "What corruption is it that will spread on earth when a righteous man is permitted to reduce the arrogance of a certain woman and bring her down from her conceited rebelliousness by beating her hand with a stick or slapping her on the face? If this is too much for their ethics, then their ethics have become refined to the point of non-existence. In fact, many of their western leaders beat their cultured, educated wives, whether dressed or naked. This has been practised by their wise men, scholars, kings, and princes, since it is a necessity that the majority of people cannot do without in honouring these educated women. How then could a necessity in a general religion, which suits both rural and urban societies and all sorts of people, be condemned?"

The great reformer Muhammad `Abduh adds: "The legality of beating women is not reprehensible, as far as reason and instinctive nature are concerned, so that it would need explanation. This is a needful procedure when the environment and morals are corrupt. It is permitted when the woman's return from her rebelliousness depends on it. But if the environment is good and women are receptive to advice and responsive to admonition, or give up [their evil ways] when deserted, then beating should be done away with. Each case has a judgment that suits it in the [Islamic] legislation, and, at any rate, we are instructed to be lenient and fair with women, and to retain them with decency or send them away with decency. The hadiths that speak of the instructions dealing with women are numerous."

Scholars are painstaking in emphasising that not all women should be beaten. There are women (the majority) who do not need to be disciplined by beating. Yet, some say there is a divine wisdom in beating women, otherwise the QurŽan wouldn't have given it as a solution to family problems. This last point makes it impossible for a Muslim to reject beating utterly, so the Muslim is at a loss, not knowing how to defend or justify it. He may justify it by the usage of beating as disciplinary punishment in the military and in schools, or compare beating with wars that keep order in the world!

There are others, still, who try to break with marital rights and try to lift themselves above the head of the house and reject the dictates of their own nature. These lay marital life open to deterioration and decay; therefore the QurŽan laid out for such women two familiar ways of correction and discipline to curb them and bring them back to their natural position. Civilised Muslims have misunderstood this sort of remedy and described it as a dry desert-like remedy that doesn't suit civilisation, which demands that honour and respect be paid to the wife.

Islam was not intended for a certain generation, region, or environment. It is a guidance and a legislation to all generations, regions, and environments. In fact, physical punishment for deviates and perverts, who do not learn by exhortation or abandonment, is required by natural instinct and is determined by the social system.

Nature has handed this [practice] down from father to son, as it has handed it down among the nations to the rulers. But for it, no family or nation would live right. Physical wars, which are based on weapons of iron and fire between civilised nations at the present time, are only an example of this disciplinary punishment that awaits aggressors. The divine laws perceive the phenomenon of war and fighting as follows: "If one of them should oppress the other, then fight the one who acts oppressively until they comply with God's commandment," and "If God did not defend [lit. push] some men by means of others, the earth would be ruined; but God possesses bounty [for everybody in] the universe."

Again, the truth is that those who are reluctant about the legislation of the QurŽan in this respect only flatter the emotions of a specific environment of women that we and everybody know. Such people pretend in their presence that they are keen on protecting women's honour and dignity, and on putting her on a level that displays her in an extraordinary way.

The writer and philosopher Abbas Mahmud al-Aqqad does not lag behind the great reformer Imam Muhammad `Abduh in his arguments; he is even more forthright and gives more illustrations. He thinks it is right for a man to beat his wife when he is angry, to correct whatever mistake she makes. "Beating is not always a positive thing [to do] in every case and with every woman. Yet, beating is permitted since some women accept discipline only through it. The objections to beating made on the part of modern-day pedantics should be treated as a skirmish in political manoeuvres, not as a real discussion of the affairs of life and morals. There is only one consideration that validates the objection to beating as a punishment. Since God did not create women to be disciplined by beating, when nothing else seems to work. Anyone holding this view is oblivious to the fact that beating is approved as a disciplinary measure in the army and at school. So [this action is taken against] soldiers and pupils, whom we honour and respect, assuming the objection hinges on honour and respect. The superiors of these [soldiers and pupils] have more means of physical and moral punishment, deprivation and reward, that husbands do not have in the limited domain of the home."

Al-Aqqad's thoughts concerning beating women can be summarised by this statement: There are some women among them that cannot be disciplined except by beating; and there are even some neurotics who crave beating just as some patients crave some sorts of torture. The following is a quotation from the same author:
Women themselves may make fun of these babblers [he means women's rights activists] who are only at home at parties and in nightclubs. Women know for sure that beating a disobedient and rebellious wife is not as appalling as it is claimed to be in the nightclubs and parties. There might be some elegant ladies who frequent those places of amusement who know more about this than the "ladies' men" with their false "courtesy". They know, as others also do, that those women do not hate it [beating] or think it evil.

Mr Ahmad Shalabi has the same difficulty in understanding the opponents of beating women "especially since beating is applied as a means of correction and disciplinary punishment only when it will bring about good results. It is ridiculous to imagine that there is no member of mankind who is not capable of being corrected by being beaten. Or why don't those people object to the punishment of beating in the army?" We don't know what they might say if they knew that the punishment of beating has now been cancelled in the army and schools in some countries, and that modern psychology has proved that beating does not rehabilitate the mentality of a person, but ruins it, whether the victim is a child or a woman!

Mohammed about Women Mohammed's teachings are included in what is called "Hadith." The "Hadith" is a record of Mohammed's words and deeds according to his wives, relatives, and companions. Next to the Quran, it is the most important part of Islamic law; its teachings are just as binding.

The Hadith is recorded in many books, and by many people, not all of them are agreed upon by all Muslims. All of our quotes here are from "Sahih Al-Bukhari" which comes in nine volumes, and contains thousands of Hadiths. Al Bukhari is accepted by most Muslims as the authentic words of Mohammed. Because of the limited space, we will mention here just a few examples.

Our purpose is to give the reader a taste of the teachings of Mohammed, the prophet of Islam. Some of these teachings may shock you, and some may amuse you.
  • Women are deficient in mind and religion.
    • Mohammed asked some women, "Isn't the witness of a woman equal to half that of a man?" The women said, "yes," He said, "This is because of the deficiency of the woman's mind. " Vol. 3:826
    • Mohammed to women: "I have not seen any one more deficient in intelligence and religion than you." Vol. 2:541
The majority of people in hell are women.
    • Mohammed said, "I was shown the Hell-fire and that the majority of its dwellers are women. " Vol. 1:28, 301; Vol. 2:161; Vol. 7:124
Women are a bad omen.
    • Mohammed said, " Bad omen is in the woman, the house and the horse." Vol. 7:30
Women are harmful to men.
    • Mohammed said, "After me I have not left any affliction more harmful to men than women." Vol. 7:33
Women may not wear wigs.
    • Mohammed said, " Don't wear false hair for Allah sends His curse upon such ladies who lengthen their hair artificially." Vol. 7:133
Mohammed's sexual strength is equal to 30 men.
    • Anas said, "The prophet used to visit all his wives in an hour round, during the day and night and they were eleven in number." I asked Anas, "Had the prophet the strength for it?" Anas replied, "We used to say that the prophet was given the strength of thirty (men). " Vol. 1:268
Mohammed married a 9 year old girl.
    • "Narrated Aisha that the prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old." Vol. 7:64
Allah hurries to please Mohammed's sexual desires.
    • When the Quranic verse that allows Mohammed to postpone the turn of any wife was revealed, and when Mohammed said that Allah allowed him to marry his adopted son's wife, Aisha (one of his wives) told him, "O Allah's Apostle I do not see but that your Lord hurries in pleasing you. " Vol. 7:48
When a woman is divorced irrevocably, she can not return to her husband until she marries (including having sexual intercourse) with another man.
    • "Narrated Aisha: The wife of Rifaa Al-Qurazi came to Allah's Apostle and said, 'O Allah's Apostle, Rifaa divorced me irrevocably. After him I married Abdur-Rahman bin Az-Zubair Al-Qurazi who proved to be impotent.' Allah's Apostle said to her, 'Perhaps you want to return to Rifaa? Nay (You cannot return to Rifaa) until you and Abdur-Rahman (the impotent man) engage in sexual intercourse! '" Vol. 7:186
Islam is to be imposed by force.
    • Mohammed said, "I have been ordered to fight with the people till they say, "None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and whoever says, " None has the right to be worshipped but Allah , his life and property will be saved by me." (otherwise it will not). Vol. 4:196
Apostasy is punishable by death.
    • Mohammed said, "Whoever changes his Islamic religion, kill him." Vol. 9:57
A Muslim must not be killed if he kills a non-Muslim.
    • Mohammed said, " No Muslim should be killed for killing a Kafir" (infidel). Vol. 9:50
Ethnic cleansing is practiced.
    • Mohammed said to the Jews, "You should know that the earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle (Mohammed) and I want to expel you from this land (The Arabian Peninsula), so, if anyone owns property, he is permitted to sell it." Vol. 4:392
    • Mohammed's last words at his deathbed were: "Turn the pagans (non-Muslims) out of the Arabian Peninsula." Vol. 5:716
No assurance of Salvation.
    • Mohammed said. "By Allah, though I am the apostle of Allah, yet I do not know what Allah will do to me." Vol. 5:266
God punishes a deceased if his relatives weep.
    • Mohammed said, "The deceased is punished because of the weeping of his relatives." Vol. 2:375
When you speak badly about a deceased, the deceased will go to hell.
    • Mohammed said, "You praised this, so Paradise has been affirmed to him, and you spoke badly of this, so hell has been affirmed to him. You people are Allah's witnesses on earth." Vol. 2:448
Urine on your clothes will bring punishment from God.
    • Mohammed said, "The deceased person is being tortured in the grave not for a great thing to avoid, it is for being soiled with his urine. " Vol. 2:460
Holy war (Jihad) is a guarantee of heaven.
    • Mohammed said, "The person who participates in (Holy battles) in Allah's cause and nothing compels him to do so except belief in Allah and His Apostle, will be recompensed by Allah either with a reward, or booty (if he survives) or will be admitted to paradise (if he is killed). " Vol. 1:35
Drinking camel's urine will make you healthy.
    • "The prophet ordered them to follow his camels, and drink their milk and urine , so they followed the camels and drank their milk and urine till their bodies became healthy." Vol. 7:590
Fever is from the heat of hell.
    • Mohammed said, " Fever is from the heat of hell, so put it out (cool it) with water." Vol. 7:619
A fly in your drink is a cure.
    • Mohammed said, "If a housefly falls in the drink of anyone of you, he should dip it (in the drink), for one of its wings has a disease and the other has the cure for the disease. " Vol. 4:537
How the baby's looks are determined.
    • Mohammed said, "As for the child, if the man's discharge precedes the woman's discharge, the child attracts the similarity of the man, and if the woman's discharge precedes the man's, then the child attracts the similarity of the woman." Vol. 5:275
If you eat garlic don't come to the place of worship.
    • Mohammed said, "Whosoever ate from this plant (i.e. garlic) should not enter the mosque." Vol. 1:812
Effect of evil eye
    • Mohammed said, "The effect of an evil eye is a fact. " Vol. 7:636
Which shoe you should put on first.
    • Mohammed said, "If you want to put on your shoes, put on the right shoe first, and if you want them off, take the left one first." Vol. 7:747
Breathing in your drink is bad.
    • Mohammed said, "Don't breath into your drinking utensil." Vol. 1:156
God frightens his devotees with eclipse.
    • Mohammed said, "The sun and the moon are two signs amongst the signs of Allah and they do not eclipse because of the death of someone but Allah frightens His devotees with them. " Vol. 2:158

The Majority in Hell are Women

The following observation is to me one of the clearest evidences of the inequality of men and women under Islam.

Mohammed said, "I was shown the Hell-fire and that the majority of its dwellers are women."

This hadith can be found in:-

SaHeeH Bukhari: 29, 304, 1052, 1462, 3241, 5197, 5198, 6449, 6546 (FatH Al-Bari's numbering system)
SaHeeH Muslim: 80, 885, 907, 2737, 2738 (Abd Al-BaQi's numbering system)
Sunan Al-Tarmithi: 635, 2602, 2603, 2613 (AHmad Shakir's numbering system)
Sunan Al-Nasa'i: 1493, 1575 (Abi Ghuda's numbering system)
Sunan Ibn Majah: 4003 (Abd Al-BaQi's numbering system)
Musnad AHmad: 2087, 2706, 3364, 3376, 3559, 4009, 4027, 4111, 4140, 5321, 6574, 7891, 8645, 14386, 27562, 27567, 19336, 19351, 19415, 19425, 19480, 19484, 20743, 21729, 26508 (IHya' Al-Turath's numbering system)
Muwata' Malik: 445 (Muqata' Malik's numbering system)
Sunan Al-Darimi: 1007 (Alami and Zarmali's numbering system)

On the web you might consult these: Sahih Bukhari: Vol. 1:28, 301; Vol. 2:161; Vol. 7:124-126.

I've read this Hadeeth when I started researching Islam a year ago, and I found it to be the strongest evidence that men and women are not equal. Let me explain:-

Let's say we have two classes in a certain school, they both have the same number of students, and that number is a huge number. Say we gave them both a test. The majority of Class A passed the test while the majority of Class B failed. If both classes have the same mental capabilities, same degree of education, same test, same incentives then they should get very close results. Else, it means that something was not right. That either Class B are not as well educated as A, or that B's exam was harder, etc.... Thus the examiner isn't a fair examiner.

The above applies to the Hadeeth. If both men and women are equal then the number of men relative to women in hell should be almost equal too. If not, then it means that either women are more subject and tempted by sin (a harder exam), or that they don't have the same opportunities men do (less level of education). Which in the end indicated that God either wasn't fair in testing them, or he wasn't fair in creating them.

Add to this observation that there are naturally more boys are born than girls (about 5% more), i.e. more men than women have lived on this earth (even though they die younger), then this issue becomes even stronger.

Even though it seems quite clear what Muhammad meant, a possible objection could be raised from the English translation. What is the meaning of the word "majority" in the Arabic? Is it possible to interpret it as 50.1% to 49.9% or does the Arabic indicate a vast difference in numbers?

The word in Arabic is "akthar", and is usually used when there's a great difference in size, number, etc... That Hadeeth is understood by all Sheikhs and taken for granted that it means the "vast majority". I even once heard someone saying that it means two-thirds of the people of hell are women. From the context, it is impossible to interpret it as 50.1% to 49.9%.

Another reason for that is that Mohammed "saw" with his eyes the vast difference, he didn't do a survey, and God didn't tell him the number. So if the difference is seen then it cannot possibly be just a 1% or 2% difference.

I did a further search and this Hadeeth appears lots of time. I found another Hadeeth in Bukhari which says something along the line of "the general public of hell's dwellers are women". The Arabic phrase used makes it very clear that Mohammed is talking about a VAST majority here.

Volume 7, Book 62, Number 124:

Narrated Usama:

The Prophet said, "I stood at the gate of Paradise and saw that the majority of the people who entered it were the poor, while the wealthy were stopped at the gate (for the accounts). But the companions of the Fire were ordered to be taken to the Fire. Then I stood at the gate of the Fire and saw that the majority of those who entered it were women."

This hadith is found in

SaHeeH Bukhari: 5196, 6547 (FatH Al-Bari's numbering system)
SaHeeH Muslim: 2736 (Abd Al-BaQi's numbering system)
Musnad AHmad: 21275, 21318 (IHya' Al-Turath's numbering system)

The Arabic word used for "the majority" here is 'Aammah (or 3ammah), and it indicates beyond any shred of a doubt (in Arabic) the *vast majority*. You see, I don't think that "the majority" is a good translation. The translation for 3amah that I found was "the general public". So Mohammed was actually saying that the "general public" of the people of hell are women.

Number of occurrences in Bukhari (both Hadeeths): 11 times
Number of occurrences in Muslim (both Hadeeths): 6 times
Number of occurrences in Ahmad (both Hadeeths): 27 times
Total number of occurrences (of both Hadeeths in ALL nine books): 53 times

Based on it being reported in many of the authentic books and also by many different chains of narrators, it is not possible to argue that this hadith is not authentic in its essential meaning.
O Israel
The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”

Last edited by Paparock; 01-19-2008 at 06:15 PM..
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