What Islam Really Says About Women - a Critique of Jamal Badawi's Booklet Gender Equity In Islam
July 2010 version

Part 1 - Inferiority of Women

Nice Things About Women and Wives *
Women Inferior in Islam vs. Badawi's Claims *
How Are Women Inferior in Muslim Society? A Muslim Counts the Ways *
Inheritance *
Women and Property *
Women Are Forbidden To Pray at Some Times *
Women are Not Half as Intelligent *
Women In the Eyes of Islamic Law *
Women in Employment *
Women and Leadership *
No Women Prophets *
No Women Rulers of Nations *
Role of Wives in Islam *
A Wife Needs Her Husband's Permission *
Women More Restricted on Divorce *
Temporary Marriage *
Mustahill / Muhallil (No Equivalent in English) *
Polygamy, Marriage, and Divorce *
Attitude on Divorce *
Marriage Consent Is Required, But... *
Slave Girls and Sex with Captives in Islam *
Sex with Captives *
Extra-marital Sex with Slave Girls *
When Sex with a Slave Girl is not OK *
Partners Besides Wives in the Qur'an *
Non-Muslim Sex Slaves may be OK, but non-Muslim Wives are Bad *
Beating Women in Islam *
Beating Wives *
General Slapping Women Around *
Veils and Partial Seclusion *
Veils Are Required *
The Importance of Veils: Striking Unveiled Women *
Women Secluded In the House *
Other Sharia Gender Rules *
Women in Heaven and Hell *
Houris (Heavenly Virgins) *
Women in Hell *
Accuracy of Translation of the Qur'an *
Contrast with the Bible *
Summary *
The Alternative - Seek the True God *
References *

Dr. Jamal Badawi is a noted Islamic apologist with at least 176 different tapes on Islam and Christianity. He has written a 59-page book with selected quotes showing some of the good things Islam says about women. The record needs to be set straight though; Muslims and non-Muslims both need to see the truth of all of what Islam really says about women. Dr. Badawi says a few things incorrectly, but much more serious are the many important aspects he fails to tell listeners. Before we discuss these those, let's very briefly go over a number of things Jamal Badawi says correctly.

Dr. Badawi, at the beginning of page 1, explicitly distances himself from diverse cultural practices of Islam that are either not found in the teaching in the Qur'an and hadiths, or even contradictory to the original teachings. Total seclusion of women inside the home, female circumcision, calling prostitution temporary marriage, and other practices in various parts of the Muslim world are very bad, but we find no fault with Dr. Badawi declining to defend practices at variance with what Mohammed originally taught. - There is still plenty left for him to defend, however.

So then which Islam are we speaking of anyway? There are many very different opinions of Islam, from liberal Muslims, to 'Alawites, Shi'ites, Sufis, and others. The only Islam Dr. Badawi is defending is the Islam of Mohammed found in the Qur'an and hadiths, and taught by many Sunni Muslims.

He says on p.3 "...authentic Sunnah is the second primary source of Islamic teachings, after the Qur'an." He says on p.47, "Another common term that some authorities consider to be equivalent to Sunnah is hadith (plural ahadith), which literally means "sayings'". Badawi gave a clear example of the importance of the hadiths that we had not considered. The Qur'an says that Muslims should pray, but with no details. It is the hadiths that provide the hundreds of pages of instructions on the times of prayer, when to pray, how long to pray, etc.

Thus Dr. Badawi bases all of his arguments on the Qur'an and authoritative hadiths, with a few things from al-Tabari and other sources. If you accept that the hadiths are generally accurate teachings, Dr. Badawi's choice of authorities is perfectly reasonable.

Among other things, Badawi provides quotes that women as well as men are spiritual, both have inherent dignity. Women have property rights, and can inherit, though only half as much.

Badawi also admonishes people in general on p.145 to not allow "cultural peculiarities" to be an excuse for the oppression of men and women in Islamic countries that is non-Islamic.

Nice Things About Women and Wives

Reading Badawi's pamphlet could give the impression that Islam says only nice things about women. While that is not correct, Islam does say some nice things about women and wives, and here are some of them.

"Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, 'Treat women nicely, for a woman is created from a rib, and the most curved portion of the rib is its upper portion so, if you should try to straighten it, it will break; but if you leave it as it is, it will remain crooked. So treat women nicely.'" Bukhari vol.4 no.548 p.346.

"Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported: Woman has been created from a rib and will in no way be straightened for you; so if you wish to benefit by her, benefit by her while crookedness remains in her. And if you attempt to straighten her, you will break her, and breaking her is divorcing her." Sahih Muslim vol.2 book 8 no.3467 p.752. See also Sahih Muslim vol.2 book 8 no.3466,3468 p.752-753 and Bukhari vol.7 book 62 no.113 p.80.

Mohammed in a sermon said "It is not wise for anyone of you to lash his wife like a slave," Apparently that would be too severe - for the wife that is, not the slave. Bukhari vol.6 book 60 ch.335 no.466 p.440. See also Bukhari vol.7 book 62 ch.94 no.132 p.100-101.

Likewise Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.1983 p.194 says that in a sermon Mohammed criticized Muslim men who beat their wives like they beat their slave girls. It could be a bummer to be a slave girl.

In contrast to this, Galatians 3:28 in the Bible says that in Christ there is no male nor female. While some ancient cultures might have thought of sons as superior to daughters, but Galatians 3:28 specifically says both believing men and women are "sons" in Christ Jesus.

Women Inferior in Islam vs. Badawi's Claims

Badawi claims women have "equity" in Islam, meaning no inferiority to men but having different roles. However, the fact that both value spiritual life and human dignity does not contradict the vast majority of Islamic scholars who say the Qur'an and hadiths are contrary to Badawi in many areas.

On women in general, here is what Mohammed said. "A slave is a shepherd of his master's property and a wife is a shepherd of her husband's house and children." Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2922 p.827

How Are Women Inferior in Muslim Society? A Muslim Counts the Ways

"'O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women).' They asked, 'Why is it so, O Allah's Apostle?' He replied, 'You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you.... The women asked, 'O Allah's Apostle? What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?' He said, 'Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?' They replied in the affirmative. He said, 'This is the deficiency in your intelligence. Isn't it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses? The women replied in the affirmative. He said, 'This is the deficiency in your religion.'" Bukhari vol.1 no.301 p.181. See also Sahih Muslim vol.2 book 4 no.1982,1983 p.432.

During the zenith of Islamic culture, Muslim scholar al-Ghazali (1058-1111 A.D.) catalogued a list of 18 ways women are inferior to men in Islam. Here are nine of them that relate to religion and culture.
Lesser inheritance
Liability to divorce and inability to divorce
Men can have multiple wives, but a woman can have only one husband
The wife must stay secluded at home
A woman must keep her head covered inside the house
A woman's court testimony is only counted as half of a man
A woman cannot leave the house except accompanied by a near relative
Only men can take part in Friday and feast day prayers and funerals
A woman cannot be a ruler or judge

(See Why I Am Not a Muslim p.300 for all of the 18 ways.)

Dr. Badawi disputes many of these points of the Muslim scholar al-Ghazali. We will look at some of these points, and examine Dr. Badawi's view.

"Narrated 'Aisha: Do you make us (women) equal to dogs and donkeys? While I used to lie in my bed, the Prophet [Mohammed] would come and pray facing the middle of the bed. I used to consider it not good to stand in front of him in his prayers. So I used to slip away slowly and quietly from the foot of the bed till I got out of my guilt." Bukhari vol.1 no.486 p.289. Let's analyze this statement. 'Aisha probably said this because Mohammed taught that a prayer was invalid if a dog or woman passed in front of you. Nothing actually says the prayer of a woman is invalid if a man passes in front of her.

A black dog or a woman, or a dog and menstruating woman cut off prayer. Abu Dawud vol.1 no.702,703 p.181; Ibn-i-Majah vol.2 no.949-953 p.78-80


In orthodox Islam daughters only get half the inheritance of their brothers. Sura 4:11 says, "Allah (thus) directs you As regards your children's (inheritance): to the male, A portion equal to that Of two females:..." (Yusef Ali's translation p.209).

Dr. Badawi on p.17 acknowledges this, but says the reason women have less inheritance is because men shoulder more of the burden for breadwinning. Actually though, having women inherit as much as men poses no hardship for men versus them only getting half as much.

By the way, Pakistan, Syria, and Egypt do not allow the woman to inherit anything according to Voices Behind the Veil p.131. However, that is against the Qur'an which says they should get half the portion of a male.

In contrast to this, prior to Mohammed in the Old Testament, daughters could inherit the same amount of land as their sons; Zelophehad's daughters inherited in Numbers 27:7-8. The only restriction on women's inheritance is that in those times, since the land was to remain within the tribe, Numbers 36:8 says that daughters who inherited land had to marry within the tribe. In the New Testament in 1 Peter vol.1 no.3-4, all believers (men and women) have the greatest inheritance of all, in inheritance in heaven.

Women and Property

When one is given a woman, servant, or cattle, one should seize its forehead and pray to Allah. Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.1918 p.157

Yahya related to me from Malik from Zayd ibn Aslam that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'When you marry a woman or buy a slave-girl, take her by the forelock and ask for Baraka [blessing]. When you buy a camel, take the top of its hump, and seek refuge with Allah from Shaytan." Muwatta' Malik 28.22.52

Treat women well, for they are [like] domestic animals ('awan) with you and do not possess anything for themselves." al-Tabari vol.9 p.113. Note that most Muslims scholars disagree with al-Tabari on this point though.

Women Are Forbidden To Pray at Some Times

Women are to "abandon prayer" during their time of month. Sahih Muslim vol.1 book 3 no.652 p.188-189; vol.2 book 4 no.1932-1934 and footnote 1163 p.418-419; Bukhari vol.1 book 6 no.322 p.194, vol.1 book 6 no.327 p.196; vol.3 book 31 ch.41 p.98; vol.3 book 31 no.172 p.98; Sunan Nasa'i vol.1 no.355-361 p.281-284; vol.1 no.364-368 p.285-286; Abu Dawud vol.3 no.4662 p.1312. See an example in Muwatta Malik 2.29.102-103. One of the key wrongs of Christians and Jews, according to the Hadiths, is that they prayed at the wrong time.

A menstruating woman is not allowed to recite the Qur'an. Abu Dawud vol.1 footnote 111 p.56

On prayer, the New Testament has a rule too (if you can call it a rule.) All believers, male and female, are to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18; Ephesians 6:18).

Women are Not Half as Intelligent

According to the Muslim Sharia (Law), the witness of a woman is equal half that of a man, "because of the deficiency of the woman's mind." (Bukhari vol.3 book 48 no.826 p.502) Mohammed said that a nation will never succeed that makes a woman their ruler (Bukhari vol.9 no.219 p.170-171).

Eve was originally intelligent, but Allah made her [and not Adam] stupid after the fall. al-Tabari vol.1 p.280,281

A chain of transmission is "controversial" if it includes a woman. Ibn-i-Majah vol.5 no.3863 p.227. Transmission of a hadith by a woman is not as good as by a man. Sunan Nasa'i vol.1 p.84

The worst thing is not that Muslim writers would be considered male chauvinist pigs for saying that women have deficient minds. The really sad thing is that an educated Pakistani woman with a high-tech job once was trying to explain to me why this was true.

Galatians 3:28 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

Women In the Eyes of Islamic Law

"Narrated Abu Sai'id Al-Khudri: The Prophet said, 'Isn't the witness of a woman equal half of that of a man?' The women said, 'Yes.' He said, 'This is because of the deficiency of the woman's mind." Bukhari vol.3 book 48 no.826 p.502.

The Qur'an in Sura 2:282 says, "...And get two witnesses, Out of your own men. And if there are not two men, Then a man and two women, Such as ye choose, For witnesses, So that if one of them errs, The other can remind her...."

Dr. Badawi on p.34-35 acknowledges this, but also quotes Sura 24:6-9 which gives both husband and wife equal weight on charges of infidelity of the wife. Dr. Badawi says Sura 2:282 applies to only commercial transactions, and Sura 24:6-9 applies to everything else. However, it would be just as reasonable for all the other Muslim scholars to say Sura 24:6-9 applies to only infidelity cases, and Sura 2:282 applies to everything else.

Regardless of Badawi's novel interpretation, all should agree that since the vast majority of Muslims who practice Sharia have used the same interpretation here, either

a) Allah failed to communicate what he intended

b) Badawi is right and the Muslim consensus has misunderstood Allah's wishes all these centuries

c) Otherwise Dr. Badawi is wrong.

So if a Muslim man were to rape a Muslim woman, the man's word would count twice as much as the woman's. The word of a non-Muslim does not count at all in a court of law against a Muslim. Muslim man rapes a non-Muslim woman, even if a second non-Muslim woman is present, his word (that he did not do it) would count equal to the word of both of them.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said in an annual report that one woman is raped every three hours in Pakistan. Even worse, 72% of all women in police custody in Pakistan are physically and sexually abused. The Woman's Action Forum says that 75% of all women in jail are under the charge of zina (fornication). It was never stated how many men, if any, were in jail for that. See Why I Am Not A Muslim p.324 for information and examples.

Freeing from slavery one Muslim man or two Muslim women frees one from Hell fire. Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.2522 p.509.

In the Old Testament wise women are mentioned in 2 Samuel 14:2; 20:16-22. The virtuous wife speaks with wisdom in Proverbs 31:26. Of course what if you are not wise? Psalm 19:7 says that God makes wise the simple. This does not necessarily mean they will necessarily be wise in worldly knowledge, but wise in the wisdom of God.

If a man kills his wife over a lover, he needs no witness that she was guilty except his word. Ibn-i-Majah vol.4 book 20 no.2606 p.41

Women in Employment

Dr. Badawi has interesting words here. He starts off saying that a woman's primary role is motherhood, and that is why she must get her husband's consent before working. Dr. Badawi says a women can seek employment, especially in certain fields, whenever there is a necessity for it. However, if there is no necessity, then Dr. Badawi never says it is OK for her to work. Dr. Badawi's view is far superior to the Taliban's, which forbade almost all work, even if the woman was starving. However, a much more ancient book, the Bible, mentions a wife in a well-off family working, initiating commercial transactions, and buying and selling all without requiring her husband's consent; just as his buying and selling did not need her consent. This is in Proverbs 31:10-31. Proverbs does not say this lack of consent is not a source of friction between husband and wife, but verse 11 says her husband has full confidence in her. In my personal experience, if we are buying a car or a house, I have more confidence in my wife doing the buying and selling than myself doing it.

Women and Leadership

No Women Prophets

Dr. Badawi on p.13 "the demands and physical suffering associated with the role of messengers and prophets" is the reason there are no women prophets. Who says women were not capable of being prophets? What Badawi is perhaps unaware of is that there have been a number of godly prophetesses. Muslims recognize Miriam the sister of Moses as a godly woman. Exodus 15:20 says she was a prophetess. Deborah was a prophetess in Judges 4:4. Less well known is Huldah the prophetess in 2 Kings 22:14 and 2 Chronicles 34:22. In Luke 2:36 Anna was a prophetess who recognized the baby Jesus as the Messiah.

Joel 2:28 and Acts 2:17 says that both sons and daughters will prophesy. We have copies of these books from before the time of Jesus, and Sura vol.5 no.46 says that Jesus confirmed the Torah, of which Exodus 15:20 is a part.

No Women Rulers of Nations

Our point is to present an accurate view of Islam to balance what many modernist Muslims are saying. Lest someone mistakenly think we are antagonistic toward Dr. Badawi, we want to bring up an instance in his book where Dr. Badawi is at variance with much of Muslim scholarship, but in this instance, we think Dr. Badawi is the one who is correct.

First we will look at the quotes that define Sharia, then give the common Muslim interpretation, and then Dr. Badawi's interpretation.

"he [Mohammed] said, 'Never will succeed such a nation as makes a woman their ruler.'" Bukhari vol.9 no.219 p.170-171.

"Narrated Abu Bakr : During the battle of Al-Jamal [the camel] Allah benefited with a Word (I heard from the Prophet ): When the Prophet heard the news that the people of Persia had made the daughter of Khosrau their Queen (ruler), he said, 'Never will succeed such a nation as makes a woman their ruler.'" Bukhari vol.9 no.219 p.171. Note that the context Mohammed was originally said this was when the Persians made a woman their ruler. However, also note that the application of this saying benefited Muslims after Mohammed's death at the Battle of the Camel, when A'isha tried to defeat Caliph 'Ali. So while the immediate context was Persia, the applicability was universal for after that.

The next two hadiths (Bukhari vol.9 no.220,221 p.171-172) said that when it was mentioned that 'Aisha moved [mobilized] Basra, the response was "But Allah has put you to test whether you obey Him (Allah) or her ('Aisha)"

Sura 4:34 says "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." Note that the word (strength) in Yusuf Ali's translation is not in the Arabic.

-- That is it. There is nothing else in Sahih Muslim, Bukhari, or the Qur'an saying women cannot lead. Sura 4:34 does not mention leadership. Based on this single verse in Bukhari alone, many Muslims think women should not be presidents, governors, or in any government leadership position.

Dr. Badawi gives a number of weak arguments, but he also has one very strong one. Dr. Badawi says the only restriction given is the ruler of a nation; no restriction of any other government job is given; and even Muslim authorities such as al-Tabari accepted women as judges.

In contrast to this, Deborah was the top leader of Israel, a judge, during the time of Barak. She was a godly woman and a godly leader, and God never gave any hint that either she was wrong, or women who emulated this Bible hero were wrong to do so. Israel succeeded at this time too.

Role of Wives in Islam

A Wife Needs Her Husband's Permission

A wife cannot fast (superogatory) or allow someone to enter their home without her husband's permission. Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2452, 2453 p.677-678. (superogatory means beyond what is required.)

Outside of Ramadan, a wife can only fast with her husband's permission. Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.1761-1762 p.62

Mohammed did not rebuke a husband who beat his wife for praying and fasting extra. Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2453 p.677-678

Men tell their wives when to take a bath. "If anyone makes (his wife) wash and he washes himself on Friday, goes out early (for Friday prayer), attends the sermon from the beginning, walking, not riding, takes his seat near the Imam, listens attentively, and does not indulge in idle talk, he will get the reward of a year's fasting and praying at night for every step he takes." Abu Dawud vol.1 no.345 p.91. No reward for the wife is explicitly mentioned.

A woman should not give a gift from the joint property with her husband. Abu Dawud vol.2 no.3539 p.1006. This is generally because a woman lacks wisdom and intelligence according to Abu Dawud vol.2 footnote 2991 p.1006.

A wife cannot give a gift without her husband's consent. Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.2388 p.423

Women More Restricted on Divorce

Men can forsake wives, but a wife cannot forsake husband. Bukhari vol.7 no.121,122 p.93; vol.7 chapter 93 vol.7 no.130 p.99

Paradise has a strong smell. Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.2054 p.236 A woman who asks for divorce without extreme reasons is also forbidden the smell of Paradise. Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.2055 p.237. Similarly, if a woman asks for divorce without a strong reason in Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2218 p.600.

Men are not restricted however. Bukhari vol.3 no.859 (p.534) says a man can divorce for "something unpleasant about his wife, such as old age or the like."

A man became a Muslim and his wife knew about it. She became a Muslim, divorced her husband and married again. After the man told Mohammed, Mohammed took her away from her current husband and gave her back to her former husband. Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2230-2231 p.603

Temporary Marriage

"Narrated 'Ali bin Abi Talib: On the day of Khaibar, Allah's Apostle forbade the Mut'a (i.e. temporary marriage) and the eating of donkey meat." Khaibar was fairly late in Mohammed's career, not too long before he died. Bukhari vol.5 book 59 no.527 p.372 as well as Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.1961,1963 p.180,182. Bukhari vol.7 no.50,52 p.36,37 also discuss temporary marriage. Most but not all Sunni Muslims do not practice temporary marriages, while many Shi'ite Muslims feel free to do so.

"Narrated Abu Jamra : I heard Ibn 'Abbas (giving a verdict) when he was asked about the Mut'a with the women and he permitted it (Nikah-al-Mut'a) On that a freed slave of his said to him, 'That is only when it is very badly needed and women are scarce.' On that, Ibn 'Abbas said, 'Yes.'" Bukhari vol.7 book 62 no.51 p.36-37

"Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah and Salama bin Al'Akwa, "While we were in an army, Allah's Apostle came to us and said, 'You have been allowed to do the Mut'a (marriage) so do it.' Salama bin Al-Akwa said: Allah's Apostle said, 'If a man and a woman agree (to marry temporarily), their marriage should last for three nights, and if they like to continue, they can do so; and if they want to separate, they can do so. I do not know whether that was only for us or for all the people in general Abu 'Abdullah (Al-Bukhari) said: 'Ali made it clear that the Prophet said, 'The Mut'a marriage has been cancelled (made unlawful).'" Bukhari vol.7 book 62 no.52 p.37

Mohammed forbade temporary marriage at Khaybar [Khaibar]. Muwatta' Malik 28.18.41

Rabia ibn Umayya had a temporary marriage, and the woman got pregnant by him. [Caliph] 'Umar ibn al-Khattab went out in dismay saying, "This temporary marriage had I come across it, I would have ordered stoning and done away with it!" Muwatta' Malik 28.18.42

As for modern effects of Mohammed's rule, see FoxNews Today 14 June 2007

"TEHRAN —  Iran is embracing, quite literally, friends with benefits.

The Islamic Republic that requires women to wear headscarves or be whipped, separates the sexes on buses and subways and treats adultery as a capital crime is abuzz with a straight-faced proposal by its hard-line interior minister -- himself a member of the Muslim clergy -- to let men and women marry for a specified amount of time.

Earlier this month, Interior Minister Mostafa Pour-Muhammadi declared that "temporary marriage is God's rule," and encouraged Iranians to accept the notion of men and women entering into legally binding, but temporary, unions. His suggestion was received with serious, if stunned, attention by a population that has endured 28 years of Islamic theocracy."

Mustahill / Muhallil (No Equivalent in English)

A divorced woman cannot remarry the same man until she has consummated a marriage with someone else. Bukhari vol.7 book 63 no.186,187 p.136; Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2192 p.592-593

Note that if a man remarries the same woman, he does not need to consummate a marriage with anybody.

When a man "irrevocably" divorces a woman, she must consummate a marriage with someone else before they can get back together again. Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.1933-1936 p.165-168. There is no such strange rule for a man.

Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2302 p.629 also discusses the disgusting role of a mustahil in Islamic society.

Rifaa ibn Simwal divorced his wife Tamima (irrevocably, 3 times) and she married another who could not consummate the marriage. Later Rifaa wanted to marry her again, but Mohammed said Rifaa could not until Tamima consummated a marriage with someone else. Muwatta' Malik 28.7.17

A'isha said that Mohammed said a man and women could not remarry after an irrevocable divorce until the woman had consummated a marriage with someone else. Muwatta' Malik 28.7.17 Yahah related that Malik said similar. Muwatta' Malik 28.7.19

Even for Muslim women who do not have to submit to a mustahill, woman go through a lot in Muslim society. However, that is nothing compared to what a non-Muslim captive, slave girl, or even an "independent-thinking" wife can go through. We will cover this in part 2.

A Word to Women (and Men too)

Sometimes Muslim women can feel inferior as the hadiths have taught, or even guilty for being a women, but I want to just say that this is very wrong. God created you, and if you think you are "junk", and God created junk, you are disrespecting God. Psalms (zubur in Arabic) 139:14 teaches that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

It is not enough to choose to believe the key truths of God. You also have to choose to disbelieve the lies that the key truths of God contradict. Mohammed taught one of the three worst lies was to attribute to Him things he did not say. While we should not lie about anybody, it is a much, much worse lie to attribute to God things God did not say.

Repent of the times you accepted lies, even knowing they were lies. Pray to God to show you the truth, and give you a heart to follow the truth and turn away from all lies, which can become idols themselves. What is there that you love more than God? Anything you love more than God can be an idol, even a religion. Do not love Islam more than God, and we do not ask you to love Christianity more than God either. Simply choose to love God with all your heart, all your heart, all your soul, all your strength and all your mind, and I am confident God will show you the truth of His word.

Nothing can separate God's children from the love of God. Rom 8:29-39; 2 Cor 5:5; 1 Thess 4:17;5:10

Live a life of love through Christ. 1 Cor 16:14; Eph 5:1; 1 John 3:10-18,23; 4:7-13; 5:2; 2 Cor 8:24; Jn17:26.



What Islam Really Says About Women - a Critique of Jamal Badawi's Booklet Gender Equity In Islam

Part 2: Marriage and Sexual Relations in the Qur'an and Hadiths

Polygamy, Marriage, and Divorce

Some people might think that Judeo-Christian morality and Muslim morality are very similar. In the areas of marriage and sex, official Sunni Islamic Law is actually very detailed, and very different, in what is allowed. Let's learn what the Sharia of Muslim lands teaches and then come to your own conclusions.

Dr. Badawi on p.27 asserts that an equal ratio of men and women born makes it impossible that polygamy was the norm for Islam; therefore it was not the norm. However, what if it was not impossible? There would be more women than men because

a) believing men were chastised if they did not fight in Jihad, so many would die off that way

b) While Muslim women cannot marry non-Muslim men, Muslim men can have non-Muslim concubines, have unlimited concubines, and have sex with unlimited women who are neither one of the four regular wives nor concubines, but simply captives or slaves "their right hands possess".

Attitude on Divorce

A man in Islam can divorce his wife for any reason. Bukhari vol.3 no.859 (p.534) says a man can divorce for "something unpleasant about his wife, such as old age or the like."

A man must divorce his wife, if his father commands it. Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.2088-2089 p.259-260

'Umar commanded his son 'Abd Allah to divorce his wife, but he refused because he loved her. So 'Umar went to Mohammed, and Mohammed ordered him to divorce her. Abu Dawud vol.3 no.5119 p.1422

"'Abdullah b. 'Umar (Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "The most despicable acts of lawful acts in the sight of Allah is divorce." Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.2018 p.216

'Umar said Mohammed divorced Hafsah (revocable divorce) and then took her back. Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2276 p.619

Mohammed ordered his adopted son Zaid to divorce Zainab, and then Mohammed married Zainab. Zaid had no choice, because Mohammed recited Sura 33:36-38. Muslims believe the Qur'an is uncreated and inscribed on a tablet in heaven, but Sura 33:36-38 mentions Zaid by name saying he was not to have any choice in divorcing Zainab. Later Zainab bint Jahsh "used to boast before the other wives of the Prophet and used to say, 'Allah married me (to the Prophet) in the Heavens.'" Bukhari vol.9 no.517 p.382. Also vol.9 no.516,518 p.381-383.

As an aside, bin means son in Arabic, and bint means daughter.

Two Muslim men were good friends, so one man asked the other which wife he should divorce so that the other could marry her. Bukhari vol.5 book 58 no.125 p.82

A man had a wife for many years, who bore him many children. He intended to "exchange her" (Majah's choice of words) but he kept her when she agreed to give up her turn with him. Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.1914 p.188.

There are some differences among the Sunni schools on divorce Sahih Muslim vol.2 footnote 1464 p.520

See also Book 10. The Book of Divorce. Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 p.205, for an entire chapter on divorce.

Yahya related to me from Malik that he had heard that a man came to Abdullah ibn Umar, and said, 'Abu Abd ar-Rahman! I placed the command of my wife in her hand, and she divorced herself, what do you think?' Abdullah ibn Umar said, 'I think that it is as she said.' The man said, 'Don't do it, Abu Abd ar-Rahman"' Ibn Umar said, 'You did it, it has nothing to do with me.'" Muwatta' Malik 29.2.10

A slave-girl, married to a slave was set free, and asked Hafsa, wife of Mohammed for advice. Hafsa said she preferred the freed girl not do anything, but told her that if her husband has not had intercourse with her since she was freed, she was free to divorce him. But if that was not the case, then she has no authority at all. Muwatta' Malik 29.9.27

Marriage Consent Is Required, But...

Dr. Badawi p.23 says that in Islam the woman has a right to accept or reject marriage proposals.

However, it is strange that silence implies consent. "Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as having said: ... a virgin must not be married until her permission is sought. They asked the Prophet of Allah (may peace be upon him): How her (virgin's) consent can be solicited? He (the Holy Prophet) said: That she keeps silence." Sahih Muslim vol.2 book 8 no.3303 p.714. See also Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.1870,1872 p.129,130; Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2087-2088 p.560; vol.2 no.2095 p.562. Bukhari vol.9 book 85 no.79 p.66; Bukhari vol.9 book 86 no.100 p.81

Actually, Muslim scholars disagree on marrying a virgin against her will. Abu Dawud vol.2 footnote 1426 p.561. For example, Yahya said he heard others [not Mohammned] says that if a virgin is given in marriage by her father without her permission, it is binding on her. Muwatta' Malik 28.2.7

The Hanafites are the largest of the four major schools of Sunni Islam. Hanafi also taught that even if the woman is an adult, a guardian's permission is still required. Abu Dawud vol.2 footnote 1409 p.557

A marriage is not valid unless the woman's guardian gives consent. A woman who marries a man only with her own consent is an adulterer. Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.1879-1882 p.137-139

However, Dr. Badawi failed to mention one "tiny detail." Women captives do not have the right to refuse to be a sex slave concubine, because if they did, their masters would still have a right to have sex with them anyway, as the next section shows.

Slave Girls and Sex with Captives in Islam

I must give advance warning that some of this material is very "frank". Remember though, we are reading what is considered good and moral religious literature by orthodox Sunni Muslims. But we will let you be the judge of that. Here are the references and quotes so you can decide.

Sex with Captives

Stripping female captives of their clothes is OK, according to Sahih Muslim vol.3 book 17 no.4345 p.953 and Ibn-i-Majah vol.4 no.2840 p.187.

After the battle of Karbala (after Mohammed died), the Muslim soldiers supporting Yazid forcibly disrobed the Muslim women supporting Husayn. Sunni Muslim warriors stripped even Muslim women. al-Tabari vol.19 p.161

Muslim soldiers with Mohammed had sex with captives among the Bani Al-Mustaliq. Bukhari vol.9 no.506 p.372; Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2167 p.582

The fact that it was OK for Muslims to have sex with captive women is in Sahih Muslim vol.2 book 8 no.3371-3374 p.732-735; Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2150 and footnote 1479 p.577-578.

"Narrated Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri that while he was sitting with Allah's Apostle he said, 'Oh Allah's Apostle We get female captives as our share of booty, and we are interested in their prices, what is your opinion about coitus interruptus?' [a sexual practice] The Prophet said, 'Do you really do that? It is better for you not to do it, No soul that which Allah has destined to exist, but will surely come into existence." Bukhari vol.3 no.432 p.237. See also Bukhari vol.5 book 59 no.459 p.317; vol.7 no.136-137 p.102-103; vol.8 no.600 p.391; Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2166,2168 p.582

"Abu Sai'd al-Khudri said : The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) sent a military expedition to Awtas on the occasion of the battle of Hunain. They met their enemy and fought with them. They defeated them and took them captives. Some of the Companions of the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) were reluctant to have intercourse with the female captives in the presence of their husbands who were unbelievers. So Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Qur'anic verse: (Sura 4:24) "And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess." That is to say, they are lawful for them when they complete their waiting period.(1479)" Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2150 p.577

"After the distribution of the spoils of war a man may have intercourse with the female slave after passing one menstrual period, if she is not pregnant. If she is pregnant one should wait till she delivers the child. This is the view held by Malik, al-Shafi'i and Abu Thawr. Abu Hanifah holds that if both the husband and wife are captivated together, their marriage tie still continues; they will not be separated. According to the majority of scholars, they will be separated. Al-Awza-i maintains that their marriage tie will continue till they remain part of the spoils of war. If a man buys them, he may separate them if he desires, and cohabit with the female slave after one menstrual period. ('Awn al-Ma'bud II.213)" Note that Mohammed married Safiyah right after the battle. Abu Dawud vol.2 footnote 1479 p.577-578.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 says, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Not thieves, not covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." (KJV)

A Muslim warrior has to wait until a woman's menstrual course is finished before having sex with her. Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2153-2154 p.578

Mention of a man having sex with his multiple slave girls. He could not go to more than one wife on a day though. Muwatta' Malik 2.23.90

Narrated Ibn Muhairiz : I saw Abu Sa'id and asked him about coitus interruptus. Abu Sa'id said, "We went with Allah's Apostle in the Ghazwa of Bani Al-Mustaliq and we captured some of the Arabs as captives and the long separation from our wives was pressing us hard and we wanted to practice coitus interruptus. We asked Allah's Apostle (whether it was permissible). He said, "It is better for you not to do so. No soul, (that which Allah has) destined to exist, up to the Day of Resurrection, but will definitely come into existence." Bukhari vol.3 no.718 p.432

Notice that the captives were in no way considered "wives". They were neither wives nor concubines, or they would not have seen any need to ask Mohammed about this.

In contrast to this, the Old Testament teaches that if a soldier wanted a captive woman, he had to marry her first, and only after waiting for a month in Deuteronomy 21:10-14.

Extra-marital Sex with Slave Girls

That Muslims can force captives to have sex may be a surprise not only to some westerners. Even many Muslims who are not very familiar with their own hadiths might not know that Mohammed and Muslims historically did this. It is perfectly reasonable that a Muslim would be expected not to believe this unless there was thorough evidence, so here is the thorough evidence.

"...We went out with Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) on the expedition to the Bi'l-Mustaliq and took captives 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 [sex] with them but by observing .... 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." Sahih Muslim vol.2 book 8 no.3571 p.732-733.

Note that in this quote these women were in no way considered "wives".

Bukhari vol.3 book 34 ch.111 no.432 p.237; vol.5 book 59 ch.31 no.459 p.317; vol.8 book 76 ch.3 no.600 p.391 also teach it is morally acceptable, though not always desirable, to force female slaves to have sex.

"Can one travel with a slave-girl without knowing whether she is pregnant or not? Al-Hasan found no harm in her master's kissing or fondling with her.

Ibn 'Umar said, 'If a slave-girl who is suitable to have sexual relations is given to somebody as a gift, or sold or manumitted [freed], her master should not have sexual intercourse with her before she gets one menstruation so as to be sure of absence of pregnancy, and there is no such necessity for a virgin.'

'Ata said, 'There is no harm in fondling with one's pregnant (1) slave-girl without having sexual intercourse with her. Allah said: 'Except with their wives and the (women captives) whom their right hands possess (for in this case they are not to be blamed).'" Footnote (1) says, "Pregnant from another man, not her present master." Bukhari vol.3 book 34 ch.113 after no.436 p.239-240. (Same 'Ata as previous.)

"And 'Ata disliked to look at those slave girls who used to be sold in Mecca unless he wanted to buy." Bukhari vol.8 no.246 p.162.

Mohammed was asked about sex with slave girls. - It is fine. Sahih Muslim vol.2 book 8 no.3377,3383-3388 p.734-735. In contrast to this, in the Old Testament a man who had sex with a slave, and not his wife, the man was executed.

Sex with captives is OK. Sahih Muslim vol.2 book 8 no.3371-3376 p.733; Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.2517 p.506

Sex with slave girls is OK. Ibn-i-Majah vol.1 no.89 p.52; vol.3 no.1920 p.158; vol.3 no.1927-1928 p.162. See also Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.1851 p.117.

Abu Said al-Khudri asked Mohammed about coitus interruptus on the expedition to the Banu Mustaliq. Mohammed said they did not have to do that, because no soul will come into existence unless Allah has decreed it. Muwatta' Malik 29.32.95

Abu Ayyubal-Ansari practiced coitus interruptus. Muwatta' Malik 29.32.97

Abdullah ibn Umar did not practice coitus interruptus and thought it disapproved. Muwatta' Malik 29.32.98

Ibn Fahd asked Zayd ibn Thabit [Abu Said] about coitus interruptus with slave girls. None of his wives were more pleasing to him than some of his slave girls, but none of his slave girls pleased him so much that he wanted a child by them. He was told coitus interruptus was fine. Muwatta' Malik 29.32.99 [Notice that slave girls were not considered wives.]

"Mali said, 'A man does not practice coitus interruptus with a free woman unless she gives her permission. There is no harm in practicing coitus interruptus with a slave-girl without her permission. Someone who has someone else's slave-girl as a wife, does not practice coitus interruptus with her unless her people give him permission. Muwatta' Malik

Ibn Abbas was asked about coitus interruptus and he said to ask his own slave girl. She was embarrassed, so he said it is fine; he does it himself. Muwatta' Malik 29.32.100

Malik said that a free man must not marry a slave-girl when he can afford to marry a free-woman, and even when he cannot, he should not marry a slave-girl unless he fears fornication. Muwatta' Malik 28.12.29

Islam even has a special word for this: an Umm Walad (or um Walid) is a slave girl who gives birth to her master's child. Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 footnote 1 p.257. Mariya was an um walid of Mohammed according to al-Tabari vol.13 p.58.

"An umm walad does not have to mourn when her master dies, and a slave-girl does not have to mourn when her master dies. Mourning is for those with husbands." Muwatta' Malik 29.33.108

The night that his wife died, 'Uthman was spending the night with one of his slave girls. Shamaa-il Tirmidhi ch.45 translator's commentary after no.6 (310) p.332. Note that she was not considered another wife, but a slave girl. Muslims could not call their slave girls wives, if they had more than four, because the Qur'an limits all Muslims (except Mohammed) to only four wives.

The child of a slave girl and her master is mentioned in Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.2004 p.207.

Muslims could take slave girls as they wanted, whether it was rape or not. "Then one of the Syrians came, entered his [general Mus'ab's] camp, and took out a slave girl. She shouted, 'Alas my humiliation!' Mus'ab looked at her and then paid no further attention to her." al-Tabari vol.21 p.186

When Sex with a Slave Girl is not OK

A Muslim slave owner is not allowed to look at the nakedness of a slave girl if she is married to someone else. Otherwise it is OK; she does not have to be married to him, only owned by him at the time of sex. Abu Dawud vol.1 no.496 and footnote 198 p.126.

Also Said ibn al-Musayyab said it is forbidden for a man to have intercourse with a female slave who is carrying another man's child. Muwatta' Malik 28.21.

A man who had sex with a slave-girl he owned could not also have sex with her sister, until the first slave-girl was made unlawful for him, either by marriage to someone else, setting her free, etc. Muwatta' Malik 28.14.35

"Yahya related to me from Malik that he had heard that Umar ibn al-Khattab [caliph] gave his son a slave-girl and said, 'Do not touch her, for I have uncovered her." Muwatta' Malik 28.15.36

"Yahya related to me from Malik from Yahya ibn Said that Abu Nahshal ibn al-Aswad said to al-Qasim ibn Muhammad, 'I saw a slave-girl of mine uncovered in the moonlight, and so I sat on her as a man sits on a woman. She said that she was menstruating, so I stood up and have not gone near her after that. Can I give her to my son to have intercourse with?' Al-Qasim forbade that. Muwatta' Malik 28.15.37

All of these quotes are available in Muslim books you can buy, so there is no real secret here. Now if you were brought up in a Muslim school, perhaps your teachers did not tell you about this part of Islam. Perhaps when you decided to follow Islam you were not told the full story, and joined Islam under false pretences.

Partners Besides Wives in the Qur'an

If one reads the Qur'an (as I have from cover to cover), one can miss many things if you do not know the terminology. Now that we understand what "those whom your right hands possess" means, let's see what the Qur'an clearly states.

"Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess...." Sura 4:24.

"Those whom their right hands possess" is also mentioned in Sura 16:71.

"...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," Sura 23:5-6

"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," Sura 70:29-30

It is not lawful to marry more than "these", except for those whom your right hands possess. Sura 33:52. See also Sura 33:50. So more than four "partners" is OK, as long as they other are merely those whom your right hands possess.

All the quotes of the Qur'an here, unless otherwise stated, are from Yusuf 'Ali's translation, and "(captives)" is not in the Arabic but his translation. Apparently it is to try to soften the impact of "those whom your right hands possess", but the truth is, it is not limited to captives, but also slaves.

Non-Muslim Sex Slaves may be OK, but non-Muslim Wives are Bad

"Do not marry polytheistic women until they have become true believers. For a woman who is a true believe is better than a woman who is a polytheist, even should you find the latter greatly pleasing. Furthermore, do not permit your women to marry polytheistic men until they have become true believers. For a man who is a true believer is better than a man who is a polytheist, even should you find the latter greatly pleasing... Sura 2:221 (quotes from Women In Islam p.53)

"Whenever Ibn 'Umar was asked about the marrying of a Christian or Jewish woman, he replied: 'Truly, God has made polytheistic women unlawful for true believers, and I do not know anything worse in polytheism than for a woman to say 'Our Lord is Jesus', though he was merely just one of God's servants!'" Bukhari vol.7 no.209 p.155-156. Also quoted in Women in Islam p.53

"Malik said, 'In our opinion, Allah made marriage to believing [Muslim] slave-girls halah [lawful], and He did not make halal marriage to Christian and Jewish slave-girls from the People of the Book." Muwatta' Malik 28.16.38a [However, Mohammed had a Christian Coptic slave girl named Mary/Mariam.]

Yet Mohammed had at least two concubines who were not Muslim. Mary the Christian and Rayhana/Raihana/Rayhanah bint Zayd/Zaid. He also had some slave girls on the side too. Bukhari vol.7 no.274 p.210; Abu Dawud vol.3 no.4458 p.1249. Salmah for example, was a maid-servant of Mohammed. Abu Dawud vol.3 no.3849 p.1084; al-Tabari vol.39 p.181.

al-Tabari vol.12 p.202 also mentions that 'Umar was going to give 10,000 dirhams to each of Mohammed's widows, but none for Mohammed's slave girls. However, the wives insisted that Mohammed's slave girls each get 10,000 dirhams too.

"Malik said, 'In our opinion, Allah made marriage to believing [Muslim] slave-girls halah [lawful], and He did not make halal marriage to Christian and Jewish slave-girls from the People of the Book." Muwatta' Malik 28.16.38a

Mohammed probably never had sex with the wife of someone else though. "He [Mohammed] replied, 'Conceal your private parts except from your wife and from whom your right hands possess (slave-girls).'" Abu Dawud vol.3 no.4006 p.1123

Beating Women in Islam

Beating Wives

"'How does anyone of you beat his wife as he beats the stallion camel and then he may embrace (sleep with) her?' And Hisham said, 'As he beats his slave.'" Bukhari vol.8 no.68 p.42.

Why does the Qur'an say in Sura 4:34 to "beat" or "scourge" your wife, if she is disobedient? Dr. Badawi on p.25 acknowledges that a man can "administer a gentle pat". However, he is toying with words here. The Arabic word "beat" or "scourge" does not mean tap lightly; it is the same word used to beat a violent criminal or a camel.

In Sura 4:34 the Arabic word idreb is a conjugate of daraba which means "to beat, strike, or hit" according to Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic p.538.

Mohammed himself once deliberately struck 'Aisha "on the chest which caused me pain", according to Sahih Muslim vol.2 book 4 ch.352 no.2127 p.462.

If a husband is remiss, the Qur'an never says the wife is to have her husband beaten. Even if the husband is a known beater, nothing is done to him.

In Egypt they do not think much of Dr. Badawi's novel interpretation. The Guardian Weekly reported that in 1987 and Egyptian court ruled that a husband had the duty to educate his wife, and therefore he could punish her as he wished. (from Voices Behind the Veil p.152).

Umm Kulthum did not want to marry the caliph 'Umar because "he leads a rough life and is severe with his womenfolk." al-Tabari vol.14 p.101.

'Aisha explained to the Caliph 'Umar, "You are rough and ready. ... How will it be with (Umm Kulthum) if she disobeys you on any matter and you punish her physically? al-Tabari vol.14 p.102

Likewise al-Tabari vol.15 p141 footnote 251 said that all four caliphs had family ties to Mohammed except 'Umar, "since Muhammad thought him too harsh for any of his daughters." So Muhammad thought him too harsh for his daughters, but did not stop him from being harsh towards others.

Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.1850 p.116 in discussing the responsibilities of a husband says that a husband cannot beat the face of his wife, or denounce her as ugly, or fail to materially support her. See also Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2137 p.574; vol.2 no.2138-2139 p.574-575. In all these references, only the face is exempt from beating.

Beat women, but not severely, if they allow anyone whom you dislike to lie on their beds. Abu Dawud vol.2 no.1900 p.505

Mu'awiya and Abu Jahm both asked to marry Fatimah bint Qais. Abu Jahm doesn't put his stick down from his shoulder. Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2277 p.619-620. Mohammed knew this, but nowhere he rebuked Abu Jahm.

According to the Muslim historian al-Tabari, Job was allegedly ordered to beat his wife. al-Tabari vol.2 p.140

Today the penal code of Egypt and Libya Article 212 says that if a woman disobeys her husband, the man can file a complaint with the local judge. The judgments can be implemented in a coercive manner if the situation demands it. The house can be besieged by the forces of order if the need arises following the instructions of the judge." (See Why I Am Not A Muslim p.314 for more info.)

"'A'ishah said: Habibah daughter of Sahl was the wife of Thabit b. Qais b. Shimmas. He beat her and broke some of her part. So she came to the Prophet (may peace be upon him) after morning, and complained to him against her husband. The Prophet (may peace be upon him) called on Thabit b. Qais and said (to him): Take a part of her property and separate yourself from her. He asked: Is that right, Apostle of Allah? He said: Yes. He said: I have given her two gardens of mint as a dower, and they are already in her possession. The Prophet (may peace be upon him) said: Take them and separate yourself from her."

Note that the man still got the gardens back after beating his wife and breaking part of her. Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2220 p.600

"This shows that wives should obey their husbands. In case they do not obey or become emboldened towards their husbands, they should try to amend them by preaching and education. Beating is the last resort. But it is better to avoid beating as far as possible." Abu Dawud vol.2 footnote 1467 p.575.

A man would go and have intercourse with his slave-girl and is wife went and suckled her. Afterwards his wife warned her he could no longer do that because of what she did. So the man went to 'Umar, and 'Umar told him to beat his wife and go to his slave-girl, because suckling only applied to the young. Muwatta' Malik 30.2.13

Change in the Qur'an: "Yahya related to me from Malik from Abdullah ibn Abi Bakr ibn Hazm from Amra bint Abd ar-Rahman that A'isha, the wife of the Prophet [Mohammed],... said, 'Amongst what was sent down of the Qur'an was 'ten known sucklings make haram' - then it was abrogated by 'five known sucklings'. When the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, died, it was what is now recited of the Qur'an.'" A man would go and have intercourse with his slave-girl and is wife went and suckled her. Afterwards his wife warned her he could no longer do that because of what she did. So the man went to 'Umar, and 'Umar told him to beat his wife and go to his slave-girl, because suckling only applied to the young. Muwatta' Malik 30.3.17

In a January 2004 Associated Press article by Mar Roman, a Muslim imam in Fuengirola, Spain, Mohammed Kamal Mustafa, was fined $2,735 and given a 15-month suspended prison sentence for writing and distributing the book Women in Islam, which urged husbands to hit their wives ``on the hands and feet using a rod that is thin and light so that it does not leave scars or bruises on the body.'' The imam argued that he was interpreting passages of the Qur'an and said he opposed violence against women.

"'Umar b. al-Khattab reported the Prophet (may peace be upon him) as saying: A man will not be asked as to why he beat his wife.(1468)" Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2142 p.575. That may be comforting, - at least for the men!

"This means that a man tries his best to correct his wife, but he fails to do so, he is allowed to beat her as a last resort. This tradition never means that a husband should beat her [his] wife without any valid reason. If he beats her without any fault on her part, he will be responsible and called to answer." Abu Dawud vol.2 footnote 1468 p.375

On the other hand, the later Shamaa'il Tirmidhi ch.47 no.6 (331) p.366 says that Mohammed never hit anyone, except in battle.

While the Bible does mention disciplining children, it never mentions beating, hitting, or even disciplining a wife or husband.





Non-Muslim women

Not allowed as wives of Muslims

Sex OK if they are slave girls, captives, or concubines

Muslim women

Non-Muslim husbands forbidden

Can still beat, but not like slave girls

A Final Caution

Abraham Lincoln once asked, "if you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?" When someone said "five", Lincoln said that was wrong, because calling a tail a leg does not make it so.

Just because a major world religion says God teaches that beating women, sex slaves, and extra-marital sex with captives is OK, does not make it so. These practices are wicked, and should not be condoned, even when done with the approval of the religious books of Islam.

Turn back from the innovations of Mohammed and the hadiths, to what God really said in the Bible.

Where Do You Go From Here?

God is not unknowable. You need to bow before the Creator of the Universe, who wants his own to know Him as Father, and be willing to follow the teaching of the True God.

God does not totally abandon his people. God does not his followers believe the teachings of Satan. So do not disrespect God by saying He "lost" his word, or allowed the teachings of Moses and Jesus to be corrupted, and corrupt lies is all God gave His followers, all they could have in times past.

Sin does not mean just little slip ups. You need to confess that you have turned your back on God's teaching and commands, you have not only done the wrong things, you have failed to do the right things. Not only have our actions be wrong, we have had hatred of people, lust, and greed in our hearts. Ask God to come into your life, give you a new, clean heart, that will transform your mind, words, and actions. Then you will stop asking what you must not do instead of what you can get away with. Rather, you will want to do everything you can to please God.

To everyone Jesus appeared to die on the cross because He really did die on the cross. God did not fool all of His followers with false teaching for centuries. Jesus' death was not a defeat, but the means by which Jesus went forth in battle and defeated Satan in His own realm of Hell. After Jesus conquered, Jesus was physically raised from the dead as a sign of God.

You can no longer ignore Jesus' words. He taught that He was no mere prophet. There is only one God, but Jesus is a distinct part of the inseparable God. Call on Jesus as your Lord, worship Him as the apostles and His other followers did, and accept His forgiveness for sins.

Pray right now to God to show you the truth and come into your life, to give you eternal life. You may still have many questions, and that is fine. Contact us at www.muslimhope.com and we will be happy to answer them.


What Islam Really Says About Women - a Critique of Jamal Badawi's Booklet Gender Equity In Islam

Part 3: Veiling Women, Unveiling Afterlife, and Veiling the Qur'an

General Slapping Women Around

Dr. Badawi on p.25 says that in no circumstances does the Qur'an encourage, allow, or condone family violence or physical abuse. However, Mohammed himself tolerated it multiple times.

Before we go on, we need to interject that this is especially relevant today. Some Muslims in Great Britain, India, and other countries want to persuade those countries to have Muslims under Muslim (Sharia) law, and not just the law of the nation. Beating wives is lawful under Sharia.

In others. Fatima bint Qais was divorced from her husband and received three marriage proposals, from Mu'awiya, Abu Jahm, and Usama bin Zaid. Mohammed mentioned that Mu'awiya was poor and without property, and Abu Jahm "is a great beater of women" in Sahih Muslim vol.2 book 8 no.3526 p.772. See also Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.1869 p.129. Notice that in both references Mohammed himself publicly recognized that he knew Abu Jahm was a great beater of women, but Abu Jahm was not punished. He was not even told to stop!

Bukhari vol.7 no.132 p.101 says not to flog your wife as you flog a slave and then sleep with her later. It does not specify whether the slaves are male or female, because at another time (Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.1983 p.194) Mohammed criticized Muslim men for beating their wives in the same way they beat their slave-girls.

If the wife had a bad tongue (i.e. is insolent) Mohammed suggested divorcing her. When the man said there were children, Mohammed then said to ask her to obey him. However, do not beat her like he would a slave girl. Abu Dawud vol.1 no.142 p.35

Yet according to Ibn-i-Majah (the least authoritative of the six recognized collections of hadiths) A'isha said Mohammed did not beat his attendant or his wife. Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.1984 p.194

Are the hadiths contradictory saying that Mohammed beat women and not beat women? Not necessarily. If A'isha was not just covering up, it might have been said before the following incident.

Flip-flop on Beating: Iyas b. 'Abdullah, the son of Abu Dhubab (Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "Do not beat the slave girls (women folk.)." Then 'Umar visited the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said, "Allah's Messenger, women have become emboldened towards their husbands. So allow us to beat them. So, they were beaten (when permission was granted) Upon this many groups of women went round the family of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). When it was morning, he (the Holy Prophet) said, "Seventy women went round the family of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) this night. Every woman was making a complaint against her spouse. You will not find them the best among you. [The footnote says "them" refers to the men]. Note that the peace which was supposedly on Mohammed apparently did not extend to the wives and slave girls who were the alleged rightful objects of beating. Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.1985 p.194-195

Let's look at this again from another hadith. "Iyas b. 'Abd Allah b. Abi Dhubab reported the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) as saying: Do not beat Allah's handmaidens, but when 'Umar came to the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) and said: Women have become emboldened towards their husbands, he (the Prophet) gave permission to beat them. Then many women came round the family of the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) complaining against their husbands. So the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) said : Many women have gone round Muhammad's family complaining against their husbands. They are not the best among you.(1467)" Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2141 p.575

"One night 'Umar (Allah be pleased with him) arranged a feast. When it was midnight, he got up and went towards his wife to beat her. I separated them both. When he went to his bed, he said to me, "O 'Ash'ath, preserve from me a thing that I heard from Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). (These things are): A man will not be taken to task for beating his wife (for valid reasons) and do not sleep without observing witr prayer." I forgot the third (exhortation)." Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.1986 p.195. Note that (for valid reasons) is a qualification added in the translation; it is not in the Arabic.

Even worse, Mohammed himself tolerated it with his own wives.

Abu Bakr and Omar came in to Mohammed's tent and "found Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) sitting sad and silent with his wives around him. He (Hadrat 'Umar) said: I would say something which would make the Holy Prophet laugh, so he said : Messenger of Allah, I wish you had seen (The treatment meted out to) the daughter of Kharija when you asked me some money, and I got up and slapped her on the neck. Allah's Messenger laughed and said : They are around me as you see, asking for extra money. Abu Bakr (Allah be pleased with him) then got up, went to 'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) and slapped her on the neck, and 'Umar stood up before Hafsa and slapped her saying : You ask Allah's Messenger which he does not possess. They said: By Allah, we do not ask Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) for anything he does not possess. Then he [Mohammed] withdrew from them for twenty-nine days." Sahih Muslim vol.2 book 8 no.3506 p.763

When a woman thinks she should be given more money for support, even if she were wrong, is this the way women are supposed to be treated, with slapping?

So he [Abu Bakr] admonished me ['Aisha] and said what Allah wished him to say and hit me on my flank with his hand. Nothing prevented me from moving (because of the pain) but the position of Allah's Apostle [Mohammed] on my thigh. Allah's Apostle got up when dawn broke...." Bukhari vol.1 no.330 p.199.

Abu Bakr deliberately poked 'A'isha when she lost her bracelet and held up the caravan. Sunan Nasa'i vol.1 no.313 p.259; vol.1 no.317 p.261; vol.1 no.326 p.267

We cannot emphasize enough, that for Christians it is NEVER OK to slap a woman around.

Veils and Partial Seclusion

Dr. Badawi says modesty is required, but he totally sidesteps the hot issue of veils.

Muslims today apparently have at least three views on veils. Muslim women in many places wear a veil covering their face, or a burqa covering their entire body except the eyes. Many who follow a modern or "neo-Islam" do not veil themselves. A third view, witnessed on a plane leaving Egypt is to be fully veiled in the Mideast, but to remove the veils, revealing western clothes once the plane is in the air. But our focus is not on the variety among Muslims today, but to see from the hadiths what Mohammed really taught and the earliest Muslims practiced.

Veils Are Required

The hadiths state that veils were for all Muslim women. Sahih Muslim vol.2 book 7 no.2789 p.606-607

I asked a Muslim woman, wearing traditional Muslims dress with a headscarf, why she was not wearing a veil. She believed that veils are preferred, but not required.

However, in the hadiths, "...Allah does not accept the prayer of a woman who has reached puberty unless she wears a veil." Abu Dawud vol.1 no.639 p.168

The law that a woman must cover her face is included in the law that she must cover her private parts. Abu Dawud vol.2 footnote 2749 p.935

Most curiously, veils are not required for slave women in Sahih Muslim vol.2 book 8 no.3325,3328 p.721-722; Bukhari vol.7 book 62 ch.13 no.22 p.14. Apparently the point was not the temptation of men, but simply modesty of Muslim women.

When Mohammed "took" Safiyah, the other Muslims waited to see if he would have her be veiled to see if she was going to be a regular wife, or unveiled for either a concubine or a "sex captive". He had her veiled, and made her a regular wife. Bukhari vol.4 no.143 p.92.

When the decree to veil women came. "Narrated 'Aisha the wife of the Prophet : 'Umar bin Al-Khattab used to say to Allah's Apostle, 'Let your wives be veiled.' But he did not do so. The wives of the Prophet used to go out to answer the call of nature at night only at Al-Manasi'. Once Sauda, the daughter of Zam'a went out and she was a tall woman. 'Umar bin Al-Khattab saw her while he was in a gathering, and said, 'I have recognized you, O Sauda!' He ('Umar) said so as he was anxious for some Divine orders regarding the veil (the veiling of women.) So Allah revealed the Verse of veiling. (Al-Hijab; - a complete body cover excluding the eyes)." Bukhari vol.8 no.257 p.170

Interestingly, it is OK for a woman to stay in another man's house if he is blind. Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2282 -2283 p.621

It is still OK for a woman to adorn herself for seekers in marriages. Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2299 p.627-628

One should have a look at a woman you want to marry to create harmony. Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.1865 p.126

Similarly, it is good to look at a woman's face before marrying her. Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2077 p.557

The Bible speaks of a veil but in a very different way. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, "And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."

The Importance of Veils: Striking Unveiled Women

In Afghanistan today, even after the Taliban were driven out, Afghan women are still being abused, harassed and threatened, according to the Human Rights Watch report "We Want to Live as Humans" (52 pages). (Source: The Dallas Morning News 12/17/2002). This would happen when they are caught without wearing their burqa.

In Sahih Muslim vol.2 book 7 no.2789 p.606-607 'Aisha was on a camel with her relative 'Abd al-Rahman bin Abu Bakr, and she took off her veil since no one was around in the empty desert. "...I lifted my head covering and took it off from my neck. He struck my foot as if he was striking the camel. I said to him: Do you find anyone here?..." Footnote 1648 says "What A'isha meant was that it was wilderness and there was none from whom she was required to observe purdah. 'Abd al-Rahman was, however, over-cautious and he was afraid lest anyone should abruptly appear before her." Leaving aside the question of whether she should have been veiled when no one else was around there are three things to note:

1) When people were around she should have been veiled

2) It is OK to strike her

3) There was no criticism for striking her first, and explaining why she was struck after that.

An unveiled women outside of the house was almost stabbed by her husband (Sahih Muslim vol.4 book 24 no.5557 p.1213). "The man carried the weapons and then came back and found his wife standing between the two doors. He bent towards her smitten by jealousy and made a dash towards her with a spear in order to stab her. She said : Keep your spear away and enter the house until you see that which has made me come out. He entered and found a big snake coiled on the bedding...."

See also Abu Dawud vol.3 no.5237-5238 p.1448-1449 and Muwatta' Malik 54.12.33.

In Nigeria, a non-Muslim woman was walking where there was a mosque on the other side of the street. The mosque service had just ended, and when the people came out, they attacked her.

Modernist Muslims are wrong. Veils and seclusion of women from men in Muslim society [today] is required. Abu Dawud vol.1 translation footnote 506 p.267

Arabian Veils Prior to Mohammed

As a side note, veils were not a new thing among Arabs given by Mohammed. Tertullian, writing 198-220 A.D., mentions that Arabian heathen females were entirely veiled except for one eye. On the Veiling of Virgins ch.9 p.37

Women Secluded In the House

In contrast to veils, Dr. Badawi on p.32 does take a stand saying total seclusion was alien to the prophetic period. He elsewhere says the centuries of Islamic Jurisprudence should not always be followed, and claims seclusion and not leaving the house are not Islamic.

While early Islam did not preach total seclusion, it taught that a woman should not go on a journey of three days or more except when a close relative (Mahram) is with her. Sahih Muslim vol.2 book 7 no.3096-3098,3101-3110 p.675-676. An unaccompanied woman cannot journey for more than a day according to Ibn-i-Majah vol.4 no.2899 p.220

The prophet explicitly forbade that a woman should go on a two-day journey without her husband or a Mahram Sahih Muslim vol.2 book 7 no.3099-3100 p.676.

A divorced woman cannot go out of the house at some times. Abu Dawud vol.2 no.1605-1606 p.622-623

However, the original Islam said that Muslim women confined to their houses can come out during Id festivals. Ibn-i-Majah vol.2 no.1307-1308 p.277

A man cannot enter into conversation with a woman except out of necessity Sahih Muslim vol.4 footnote 2964 p.1442

It was said that Mohammed never touched the hand of a woman. Ibn-i-Majah vol.4 no.2874-2875 p.204-205

On the other hand, a young girl from Ethiopia made Mohammed very happy. "Narrated Um Khalid bint Khalid: When I came from Ethiopia (to Medina), I was a young girl. Allah's Apostle made me wear a sheet having marks on it. Allah's Apostle was rubbing those marks with his hands saying, "Sanah! Sanah!" (i.e. good, good)." Bukhari vol.5 book 58 no.214 p.137

Averroes (Abu al-Walid Mohammed bin Ahmad ibn Mohammed ibn Roshd) was a famous Muslim philosopher who lived from 1126-1198 A.D. He said that the poverty and distress of that time came from women being kept like "domestic animals or house plants for purposes of gratification, of a very questionable character besides, instead of being allowed to take part in the production of material and intellectual wealth, and in the preservation of the same." Quoted from Y. J. de Boer The History of Philosophy in Islam 1933. p.198 in Why I Am Not a Muslim p.271

In contrast to this, Prov 31:14-16,18 says of the virtuous woman "She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up wile it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. (18) "She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night." (NIV)

Other Sharia Gender Rules

Men cannot wear silk; this includes silk ties. (Bukhari vol.7 book 72 no.720 p.482; Sahih Muslim vol.4 book 29 no.6038 p.1314)

Men cannot wear yellow clothing: (Sahih Muslim vol.3 book 22 no.5173-5178 p.1146; Ibn-i-Majah vol.5 no.3603-3604 p.90-91) Shamaa-il Tirmidhi ch.47 no.4 (329) p.363.

Women cannot wear wigs of artificial hair. (Bukhari vol.7 no.133 p.101; Sahih Muslim vol.3 book 22 no.5297-5306 p.1165-1166; Muwatta' Malik 51.1.2)

Women cannot have false hair or alter their teeth. Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.1987-1989 p.196-197

Women cannot have false hair, alter teeth, or remove facial hair. Bukhari vol.6 book 60 ch.297 no.408 p.380.

In the mosque, the woman's place is in the back Sahih Muslim vol.1 book 4 no.880-881 p.239

On circumcision for girls, Muslim legal experts disagree according to the Abu Dawud vol.3 footnote 4257 p.1451. It is neither endorsed nor forbidden in the Qur'an.

It is implied that females are circumcised in Muwatta' Malik 2.19.73-77

Women in Heaven and Hell

"Narrated 'Abdullah bin Qais Al-Ash'ari: The Prophet said, 'A tent (in Paradise) is like a hollow pearl which is thirty miles in height and on every corner of the tent the believer will have a family that cannot be seen by the others.'" Bukhari vol.4 no.466 p.306. It is 60 miles high in Sahih Muslim vol.4 book 38 no.6806 p.1481.

Bukhari vol.6 book 60 ch.294 no.402 p.374 says that believers will have wives beautiful women restrained (chained?) in pavilions. While Muslims cannot drink on earth, they will have wine in Heaven.

Any woman who dies while her husband is pleased with her is promised Paradise. Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.1854 p.119; vol.3 no.2013 p.212. (There is no mention of a man who dies while his wife/wives are pleased with men is promised Paradise.)

Christian women have a much to look forward to in heaven as men. Galatians 3:28 says that in Christ there is neither male nor female.

In the Bible, people are neither married nor given in marriage in Matthew 22:30.

Houris (Heavenly Virgins)

In heaven believers (men, that is) will allegedly have wives called "houris" Bukhari vol.4 no.544 p.343 and other places.

A man who controls his anger will be given his pick of wide-eyed maidens [houris]. Abu Dawud vol.3 no.4759 p.1339

Houris do not want wives [on earth] to annoy their husbands, since the houris will also be the wives of the husbands in the afterlife. "Mu'adh b. Jobal (Allay be pleased with him) reported that Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, 'A woman does not annoy her husband but his spouse from amongst the maidens with wide eyes intensely white and deeply black will say: Do not annoy him, may Allah ruin you." He is with you as a passing guest. Very soon, he will part with you and come to us.'" Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.2014 p.212

Rumi's Mathnawi book 1 no.3450 p.192 tells of people of Paradise snatching kisses from the lips (of houris).

Women in Hell

"It is narrated on the authority of 'Abdullah b. 'Umar that the Messenger of Allah observed: 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 proof of the lack of commonsense, and you spend some nights (and days) in which you do not offer prayer and in the month of Ramadan (During the days) you do not observe fast, that is a failing in religion...." Sahih Muslim vol.1 book 1 no.143 p.47-48. See also Bukhari vol.2 no.161; vol.1 no.301, vol.1 no.28; vol.7 book 62 no.125,126 p.96 Sahih Muslim vol.2 book 4 no.1926 p.417; vol.4 no.9596-6600 p.1431 Sunan Nasa'i vol.2 no.1578 p.342.

Most of the people of the fire were women. They were ungrateful to their husbands and ungrateful for good behaviour (towards them). Muwatta' Malik 12.1.2

Why do you think there are more women in Hell? Is it because there is not as much incentive for them to be in heaven? Bukhari vol.6 prior to no.402 p.374 the English translation note says, "The statement of Allah, Beautiful fair females restrained in pavilions." Bukhari vol.6 book 60 ch.294 no.402 p.374 says, "Narrated Qaisi, Allah's Apostle said, 'In Paradise there is a pavilion made of a single hollow pearl sixty miles wide, in each corner there are wives who will not see those in the other corners; and the believers will visit and enjoy them.'" What rewards are in Paradise for faithful women who do not wish to be restrained?

In Christianity women have just as much to look forward to in Heaven as men.

Accuracy of Translation of the Qur'an

Badawi in the notes on p.60 says that he quotes from Yusuf Ali's translation, making slight modifications whenever necessary in the interest of improved clarity and accuracy. He made numerous changes, but most of them are OK, such as substituting "you both" for "ye" when ye referred to both men and women. However, there is one case that is suspect.

Badawi on p.5 quotes, "O mankind! Reverence your Guardian-Lord, Who created you from a single person (nafsin-waahidah), created, of like nature, his mate, ... (reverence) the womb (that bore you); for Allah ever watches over you.... (Qur'an 4:1)" The bold is not in the original but added to contrast with below.

"Of like nature" is a curious phrase here. We have Yusuf Ali's translation, as well as three others. In other translation those scholars have put together, there is nothing that says "of like nature". Here is what they say instead:

"...Who created you From a single Person, Created, out of it, His mate, and from them twain Scattered (like seeds) Countless men and women; - Fear Allah, through Whom Ye demand our mutual (rights), and be heedful of the wombs (That bore you); for Allah Ever watches over you." (Yusuf Ali)

"...from that soul He created its mate, and through them He spread countless men and women. Fear Allah, the One in whose name you demand your rights from one another and ties of relationship; surely Allah is watching you very closely." (Muhammad Farooq-i-Azam Malik)

"...from it created its mate, and from the pair of them scattered abroad many men and women; and fear God by whom you demand one of another, and the wombs; surely God every watches over you." (Arbury)

"...from a single soul and created therefrom its mate, and from them twain spread many men and women ; and fear Allah, in Whose name you appeal to one another, and fear Him particularly respecting ties of relationship. Verily, Allah watches over you."

Now the problem here is not with Dr. Badawi's conclusion, but with his method. We agree that God made men and women of like nature, but his main point about the Qur'an is proved not by only one verse in the Qur'an. Rather it is only by one phrase he alone added in one verse, which is not in any of the four translations.

Dr. Badawi is not alone in "shifting" the meaning of the Qur'an. In Sura 4:34 about beating wives, the Arabic word for "beat" is the same word used to beat a camel of violent criminal. Yet Abdullah Yusuf 'Ali translates this as "beat (lightly)". He at least puts the word lightly in parenthesis to show that he added it; it was not in the Arabic.

Contrast with the Bible

Equality: In Christ there is no Jews nor Greek, male nor female, but all (even women) are sons (the most honored in Greek culture) in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28

Inheritance: Women can inherit property. Numbers 27:7-8; 36:8-9 gives the example of just as much as their brothers.

Leaders in Society: Women can be not only a leader, but the top leader of a people. Deborah was a godly leader in Judges 4-5.

Leaders in the Church: Women could not be church elders or have authority over men, though they could be deaconesses. 1 Timothy 2:11-15. They could still teach women and children though.

In commerce, a wife can have her own business, independent of her husband. Proverbs 31

Judicially, nowhere is the witness of a woman said to be less than a man.

Women were to keep silent during the church service. 1 Corinthians 14:33-38

Women in New Testament times were to pray or prophesy with their heads covered. 1 Corinthians 11:3-16

Women are to obey their husbands, but husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church. (Christ died for the church.) Ephesians 5:22-25

No seclusion for women was even imagined: some accompanied Christ and also Paul.


Dr. Badawi is trying to convince his readers that Islam taught an enlightened view of women, with no inferiority to men, though different roles. He accurately shows that women have dignity, motherhood, is good, etc., but his argument will not persuade many Muslims who follow the Sharia. They will not be convinced because Dr. Badawi left out many key passages legitimizing exploiting captives and slave girls, veils for women, and secluding women. Besides adding a phase to a quote from the Qur'an, he was flat wrong when he said Mohammed never "resorted to that means" of beating a woman (p.54). Mohammed once deliberately struck A'isha on the chest, causing her pain. Sahih Muslim vol.2 book 4 no.2127 p.462; Sunan Nasa'i vol.2 no.2041 p.526.

In addition, Badawi made the following errors
No women as prophets
Women agree to marriage
Only four wives
Court of law
Silence in saying the veil was required
Seclusion of women

The Alternative - Seek the True God

To give Dr. Badawi credit, he tried very hard to glean all the positive that he could about women. However, Muslims as well as non-Muslims can notice the many glaring omissions. There is an easier way though.

Maybe, just maybe, the awful things in the hadiths and Qur'an were not from the true God and are wrong. That would mean Sharia based on that would not be valid either. Instead of resting content following these rules without questioning anything, people should seek the true God and find his true, reliable revelation. This revelation is found what even the Qur'an acknowledges as God's word, the Torah and Gospels. Read the Bible to see God's revelation given to man.


www.Answering-Islam.org is a very extensive web site presenting and debating many aspects of Islam.

Arbery, A.J. The Koran Interpreted Macmillian Publishing Co. 1955.

Ali, Maulawi Shr. The Holy Qur'an : Arabic Text and English Translation. Islam International Publications Limited. 1997 (This is published under the auspices of the Ahmadiyya Muslims)

Awde, Nicholas translator and editor. Women in Islam : An Anthology from the Qur'an and Hadiths. St. Martin's Press 2000. (207 pages) He only quotes from Bukhari, and naively assumes Bukhari contains everything in the others.

Badawi, Jamal, Ph.D. Gender Equity in Islam : Basic Principles. American Trust Publications. 1995.

Caner, Ergun Mehmet. Voices Behind the Veil. Kregel Publications. 2003 (218 pages)

Hasan, Prof. Ahmad. Sunan Abu Dawud : English Translation with Explanatory Notes. Sh. Muhammad Ashraf Publishers, Booksellers & Exporters 1984 (three volumes)

>The History of al-Tabari. Ihsan Abbas et al. editorial board. Volumes 1-11. SUNY Press.

>The Holy Qur-an : English translation of the meanings and Commentary. Translated by 'Abdullah Yusuf 'Ali. Revised and edited by The Presidency of Islamic Researches, IFTA, Call and Guidance. King Fahd Holy Qur-an Printing Complex. (no date)

Khan, Dr. Muhammad Muhsin (translator) The Translation of the Meanings of Sahih Al-Bukhari Arabic-English. Islamic University, Al-Medina Al-Munawwara AL MAKTABAT AL SALAFIAT AL MADINATO AL MONAWART. No date, No copyright.

Malik, Muhammad Farooq-i-Azam. English Translation of the Meaning of AL-QUR'AN : The Guidance for Mankind. Institute of Islamic Knowledge. 1997.

>Sahih Muslim by Imam Muslim. Rendered into English by 'Abdul Hamid Siddiqi. International Islamic Publishing House. (no date)

>Sunan Ibn-i-Majah by Imam Abu Abdullah Muhammad b. Yazid ibn-i-Majah al-Qazwini. Translated by Muhammad Tufail Ansari. Kazi Publications 121-Zutgarnain Chambers, Ganpat Road, Lahore, Pakistan. Worldwide Copyright 1993 Zaki Publications Lahore Pakistan.

>Sunan Nasa'i translated by Muhammad Iqbal Siddiqi. 1994 Kazi Publications.

>The NIV Study Bible : New International Version Zondervan Bible Publishers. 1985.


"Yahya related to me from Malik from Nafi that Safiyya bint Abi Ubayd told him that Hafsa, umm al-muminin, sent Asim ibn Abdullah ibn Sad to her sister Fatima bint Umar ibn al-Khattab for her to suckle him ten times so that he could come in to see her. She did it, so he used to come in to see her." Muwatta' Malik 30.1.8. However 30.1.6 and 30.1.10, 30.1.11, 30.2.14 say that it does not count if the chld is more than two years old.

Sahla bint Suhayl asked Mohammed about Salim, whom they thought of as a son and comes in to see her when she is uncovered; they only had one room. So Mohammed said to give him five drinks of her milk, and then it is fine. None of Mohammed's wives would do this though, because they thought it was an indulgence for Sahla alone, and not for others. Muwatta' Malik 30.2.12

"As for a man who strikes his wife with a rope or a whip and hits what he did not mean to hit [such as hurting an eye, ear, etc.] or does what he did not intend to do, he pays blood-money for what he has struck according to this principle, and retaliation is not inflicted on him." However, it then says that if a man did it intentionally, then retaliation is inflicted on him. Muwatta' Malik 43.23.18

There is no dispute that women do not swear; women have no right to swear for blood or to pardon in murder. Muwatta' Malik 44.2.2a

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