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Muhammad: A Misogynist

I am accusing Muhammad of misogyny. Far from being a champion of women’s rights, as Muslims often present him, Muhammad insulted women and worsened their situation in Arabia who before Islam had more rights and freedoms. Muhammad took away the rights that the tribal societies of Arabia had granted their women. Consequently Muslim women are abused. They have fewer rights than slaves and animals. They are the property of men, be it their fathers, brothers, husbands or sons. In no society and in no moment of history, women were/are as denigrate and belittled as they are in Islam. 

Status of Arab Women before Islam   

Unfortunately Muslims left no trace of the pre Islamic literature of Arabia . They dismissed that era as Jaheliyah (age of ignorance) and destroyed every trace of its history. Therefore it is not easy to unravel the truth and know the exact status of women prior to Islam in that land. We have only the Islamic sources as our source. Even from these sources we can have a faint glimpse of that era and witness the fact that women had more rights before Islam than after it. 

Let us start with Khadijah the first wife of Muhammad.  This woman was a widow; she was wealthy and ran her own successful mercantile business.  She employed men to work for her.  Muhammad started as her employee.  This shows that women, prior to Islam, could own and manage businesses.  The men of the Quraish did not think it is degrading to have a woman as boss.  As a hadith reports, it was Khadijah who proposed marriage to Muhammad.  This is yet another indication of the level of freedom reached by women in the pre-Islamic Arabia .  In Islamic societies, even today, such a thing is taboo. 

One more example that shows women had more rights in pre Islamic society of Arabia is Hind the wife of Abu Sufyan a distant cousin and an archenemy of Muhammad.  It is reported that in the Battle of Uhud, Hind was leading the women of the Quraish, who were valiantly encouraging their men to fight and stop the aggression of the Muslims. 

As the fighting increased, the Quraish women, began to beat their drums to rouse their men on.  Abu Dujanaj, one of the fighters of Muhammad,  has reported: "I saw someone urging the enemy on, shouting wildly, and I made for him, but when I lifted my sword against him he screamed and I saw that it was a woman; I respected the Messenger's sword too much to use it on a woman."  That lioness of a woman, was Hind. [1] 

Another example of women commanding men in battles is Aisha the child-wife of Muhammad who after his death led an army of Muslim men against Ali in the war known as Jamal (Camel). 

After Muhammad’s death a valiant young women who had been captured by Muslims and had become a slave girl in the household of Aisha, asked Aisha to grant her leave so she could go to her tribe and bring them to Islam. Aisha consented, but Salma had a different plan. She went to her tribe and gathered a large army of Arabs who rallied around her. Riding on a camel, this young woman lead that army to confront Muslims. Abu Bakr dispatched Khalid ibn Walid, a ruffian from the Meccans who converted to Islam and thanks to his ruthless savagery had risen to the rank of a general receiving the title of seifulllah (sword of Allah) to confront Salam. In October 632 CE, the two armies faced one another. The battle was so crucial to Muslims that upon victory they called it Zafar (Victory).  The army led by this young girl proved to be a formidable adversary. Salma led her warriors from atop of her camel. Khalid realized that the only way to defeat his opponent was to kill her. He called her to discuss and as the two generals got close, Khalid injured the camel of Salma and when the wounded camel fell to the ground, he jumped on top of Salma and slew her with his sword.  Islam's victory is always gained through treachery. When her army saw their leader slain they scattered.  Khalid, is regarded as the greatest hero by all Muslims. The real hero of this saga was Salma. This young woman was indeed the Joan of Arc of the pre Islamic Arabia. No Muslim woman has ever come close to what Salma was. Thanks to Islam, women were reduced into chattels.

There is also the example of Asma bt. Marwan, the Jewess poetess of Medina who at the behest of Muhammad was assassinated, because she composed “inflammatory poems” against him. The fact that Muhammad feared Asma to the extent that he thought she is endangering his career by mere poems is yet another proof that in the pre Islamic culture of Arabia , Arabs respected their women, listened to them and were inspired by them. Women were not dismissed as imbeciles or deficient in intelligence as later they came to be called, but rather were leaders of thoughts and notable members of the society. 

The most glaring example of women’s lofty status before Islam is the fact that during the time of Muhammad, or perhaps just before he announced his prophethood, a woman, called Sijah, had claimed to be a prophetess and had gained many followers. Today a Muslim woman cannot be even Imam.  When in 2005, Dr. Amina Wadud, announced that she would be leading a congregation of Muslim men and women in Friday prayer, the entire Muslim world was up in arms. They condemned her and some even threatened to bomb the hall that she had chosen for conducting the prayer. No mosque allowed her to perform that prayer. 

Amazingly, Muslim women today are the first apologists of their low status and fully accept the denigration. This shows the power of fanaticism. 

The following hadith shows that Umar b. Khattab, the close companion of Muhammad who eventually became the 2nd Caliph complained about Muslim women learning “the bad habits” of emancipation and independence from the women of Medina and that the Prophet should do something about it. This story took place when Muhammad had his fling with the Coptic girl Mariyah who was a maid of his wife Hafsa, had a fight with his wives because they complained and had threatened to divorce them all. He was sitting at home pouting when Umar paid him a visit. Umar narrated:  

We, the people of Quraish, used to have authority over women, but when we came to live with the Ansar, [Muslims of Medina] we noticed that the Ansari women had the upper hand over their men, so our women started acquiring the habits of the Ansari women. Once I shouted at my wife and she paid me back in my coin and I disliked that she should answer me back. She said, 'Why do you take it ill that I retort upon you? By Allah, the wives of the Prophet retort upon him, and some of them may not speak with him for the whole day till night.' What she said scared me and I said to her, 'Whoever amongst them does so, will be a great loser.' Then I dressed myself and went to Hafsa and asked her, 'Does any of you keep Allah's Apostle angry all the day long till night?' She replied in the affirmative. I said, 'She is a ruined losing person (and will never have success)! Doesn't she fear that Allah may get angry for the anger of Allah's Apostle and thus she will be ruined? Don't ask Allah's Apostle too many things, and don't retort upon him in any case, and don't desert him. Demand from me whatever you like, and don't be tempted to imitate your neighbor (i.e. 'Aisha) in her behavior towards the Prophet), for she (i.e. Aisha) is more beautiful than you, and more beloved to Allah's Apostle….” 

" So, I entered upon the Prophet and saw him lying on a mat without wedding on it, and the mat had left its mark on the body of the Prophet, and he was leaning on a leather pillow stuffed with palm fires. I greeted him and while still standing, I said: "Have you divorced your wives?' He raised his eyes to me and replied in the negative. And then while still standing, I said chatting: "Will you heed what I say, 'O Allah's Apostle! We, the people of Quraish used to have the upper hand over our women (wives), and when we came to the people whose women had the upper hand over them..."

'Umar told the whole story (about his wife). "On that the Prophet smiled." 'Umar further said, "I then said, 'I went to Hafsa and said to her: Do not be tempted to imitate your companion ('Aisha) for she is more beautiful than you and more beloved to the Prophet.' The Prophet smiled again.” [2] 

The above Hadith is self-explanatory. The Meccans were more bigoted than the rest of the Arabs. Often people living in religious hubs are more extremists and more misogynists than people living elsewhere. However, people do not think uniformly. In any society some are more fanatical than others. As it appears, Umar and Muhammad were particularly more close-mined and more misogynists than the rest of the Meccans. These two men were the bigots of the bigots. While the rest of the Meccans did not have any problem listening to the pep talks of their women or accepting them as trade partners, these two men thought emancipation of women is gross, an indecency that must be corrected.

 

Hijab Was Suggested by Umar and Accepted by Allah 

Muhammad, fearing younger men casting eyes on his young and beautiful wives and “molesting” them, ordered them to veil themselves. Of course he made his wish to come as a revelation: 

“O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad): that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested.”  33.59

Umar explained that the above verse was revealed upon his insistence. 

"My Lord agreed with me ('Umar) in three things... (2) And as regards the veiling of women, I said 'O Allah's Apostle!  I wish you ordered your wives to cover themselves from the men because good and bad ones talk to them.' So the verse of the veiling of the women was revealed.” [3] 

It seems odd that the maker of this universe should need the advice of one of his creatures to ordain laws for mankind. Umar, foolishly boasts that God agreed with him. However, not all the companions of Muhammad were as foolhardy as Umar.  Abdulah ibn Sarh who was an scribe of Muhammad was cleverer.  He left Muhammad and Islam after he noticed that God changed his revelations and agreed with him after he suggested better verses.  That is of course another subject.  What interests us at this moment is the fact that women prior to Islam did not wear this veil of shame that they are forced to wear today.  It was because of Muhammad’s insecurities, who as an old man hoarding a harem of young and beautiful women, and fearful of younger and more virile men casting eyes on his wives that the order of veiling was issued. 

The fears of this old man that younger men may lust after his wives are reflected in these verses that are conveniently placed in the mouth of Allah. 

Q.33:30: O Consorts of the Prophet! If any of you were guilty of evident unseemly conduct, the Punishment would be doubled to her, and that is easy for Allah.

31.  But any of you that is devout in the service of Allah and His Messenger, and works righteousness,- to her shall We grant her reward twice: and We have prepared for her a generous Sustenance. [4]

Muhammad often reminded his wives to behave in a way as not to attract the attention of other men and cover themselves to not become desired by strangers.

32.  O Consorts of the Prophet! Ye are not like any of the (other) women: if ye do fear (Allah), be not too complacent of speech, lest one in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire: but speak ye a speech (that is) just.  

33.  And stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display, like that of the former Times of Ignorance; and establish regular Prayer, and give regular Charity; and obey Allah and His Messenger. And Allah only wishes to remove all abomination from you, ye members of the Family, and to make you pure and spotless. [5]

Here we can see clearly, that women prior to Islam, or in the “Times of Ignorance”, as Muhammad disparagingly referred to it, could go out of their houses unveiled, in “dazzling display”.  Today a woman, displaying a flock of hair or an arm inside her family car could be dragged out and beaten by Islamic moral police in some Islamic countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia as the Taliban did in Afghanistan .  Few Islamic countries allow women go out of their houses unveiled, let alone in “dazzling display”

 

Men Are Maintainers of Women and Superior to Them.

Muhammad, not only took away the women’s freedom of dress, he made them subservient to men and dependant on them. He wrote: 

Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded.” [6]

The above verse reduces woman into the livestock of man giving him the authority to maintain her as if she were his donkey or camel.  Sadly, Khadija did not live long enough to remind her beloved husband that when he married her, she was the maintainer of him who spent out of her property. 

In another place he expressly states that men have a degree of advantage over women. 

“And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable; but men have a degree (of advantage) over them.” [7] 

Muhammad did everything he could to make women subservient to their husbands. According to him women who do not obey their husbands would go to hell. 

The Prophet said “I also saw the Hell-fire and I had never seen such a horrible sight. I saw that most of the inhabitants were women." The people asked, "O Allah's Apostle! Why is it so?" The Prophet replied, "Because of their ungratefulness." It was asked whether they are ungrateful to Allah. The Prophet said, "They are ungrateful to their companions of life (husbands) and ungrateful to good deeds. If you are benevolent to one of them throughout the life and if she sees anything (undesirable) in you, she will say, 'I have never had any good from you.' " [8]

 

Men Can Beat Their Wives 

Muhammad instructed men to beat their wives if they are not obedient. 

and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.” [9]

Mishkat al-Masabih narrates: "the above verse was revealed in connection with a woman who complained to Mohammad that her husband slapped her on the face (which was still marked by the slap). At first the Prophet said to her: 'Get even with him', but then added: 'Wait until I think about it.' Later on the above verse was revealed, after which the Prophet said: 'We wanted one thing but Allah wanted another, and what Allah wanted is best.'" [10]

Maybe on the spur of the moment and faced with this obvious injustice, Muhammad was moved by a fleeting rash of compassion, but that did not last very long. Soon he thought about the implications of what he had said and how this would affect his own relationship with his rebellious wives. So he made his Allah issue that shamefully unjust verse giving men the liberty to beat their wives to make them obedient.      

As it is clear from the above verse, a woman does not have to disobey her husband in order to be beaten. Her husband can beat her only if he FEARS that she may disobey her. As Irshah Manji in "The trouble with Islam:  writes (p34 regarding 4:34) "To deserve a beating, a woman doesn't have to disobey anybody, a man merely has to fear her disobedience. His insecurity becomes her problem" 

Good women do not complain if their husbands beat them:

Narrated Abdullah ibn AbuDhubab: Iyas ibn Abdullah ibn AbuDhubab reported the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) as saying: Do not beat Allah's handmaidens, but when Umar came to the Apostle of Allah (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 (peace_be_upon_him) complaining against their husbands. So the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: Many women have gone round Muhammad's family complaining against their husbands. They are not the best among you.” [Muslim 11:2141]

The husband does not have to explain to anyone why he beats his wife.

“Narrated Umar ibn al-Khattab: The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: A man will not be asked as to why he beat his wife.” [Muslim 11:2142]

Muhammad went as far as to say women should prostrate in front of their husbands: 

“If I were to command anyone to make prostration before another I would command women to prostrate themselves before their husbands, because of the special right over them given to husbands by Allah.” [11] 

In a hadith Aisha narrated one night Muhammad, left her home after he thought she is asleep. She secretly followed her and when he came back and saw she was panting, he inquired where she had gone. [Poor man was extremely paranoid whether his wives were cheating]. He told her if she concealed what she was doing the “Subtle and the Aware” [ghosts] would inform him. Aisha says that when I confessed that I had followed him, “He struck me on the chest which caused me pain,” [Muslim4.2127 ]  

Women’s Deficiencies.  

A hadith reports one meeting that Muhammad had with women where he called them “deficient in intelligence and religion”:

”Once Allah's Apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) o 'Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, "O women! Give alms, [this money would go to him as the viceroy of God on Earth and he would distribute it to those whose favor he was seeking or to make the show of generosity] 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. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of 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 her 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 her religion." [12]

The above is a flagrant case of misogyny where Muhammad commits the travesty of first taking the rights of the women away and then condemning them for not having those rights.  Not only he injures, but he adds insult to the injury by blaming the victim.  This hadith is reported by various narrators and is also recorded in Sahih Muslim, which makes it one of the most authoritative hadiths of Muhammad.

 

Women Are Created For Men.  

The Quran says: 

"And of His signs is that He created for you, of yourselves, spouses, that you may repose in them" [30.21

The Arabic text makes it clear that “for you” is masculine, meaning the verse is addressing men and “them” is in feminine gender. (In fact Allah in the Quran never addresses women directly. He always speaks to the Prophet or the male believers. Women are always referred to in third person.) What this verse is conveying is that women are created FOR men and are for their enjoyment. 

The great Islamic scholar, Fakhr al-Din al-Razi (not to be confused with Razes, who was a freethinker and mocked Muhammad and other prophets) in At-Tafsir al-Kabir, commenting on Q. 30:21wrote:

"His saying 'created for you' is a proof that women were created like animals and plants and other useful things, just as the Most High has said 'He created for you what is on earth' and that necessitates the woman not to be created for worship and carrying the Divine commands. We say creating the women is one of the graces bestowed upon us and charging them with Divine commands to complete the graces bestowed upon us, not that they are charged as we men are charged. For women are not charged with many commands as we are charged, because the woman is weak, silly, in one sense she is like a child, and no commands are laid upon a child, but for the grace of Allah upon us to be complete, women had to be charged so that they may fear the torment of punishment and so follow her husband, and keep away from what is forbidden, otherwise corruption would be rampant."

Hadi Sabzevari, an eminent Muslim scholar, in his commentary on another grand Muslim thinker, Sadr al-Mote'alihin wrote:

That Sadr ad-Deen Shirazi classifies women as animals is a delicate allusion to the fact that women, due to the deficiency in their intelligence and understanding of intricacies, and due to their fondness of the adornments of the world, are truly and justly among the mute animals [al-haywanti al-sa^mita]. They have the nature of beasts [ad-dawwa^b], but they have been given the disguise of human beings so that men would not be loath to talk to them and be compelled to have sexual intercourse with them. That is why our immaculate Law [shar'ina al-mutahhar] takes men's side and gives them superiority in most matters, including divorce, "nushuz," etc. [14]

These scholars did not made these derogatory remarks about women without knowledge. They were interpreting the sayings of Muhammad whom to them was the best messenger of God and an example to follow. The reference to the inferiority of woman and their deficiency in intelligence and religion is abounding in the Hadith and the Quran.

Naqisatan 'aqlan wa dinan (deficient in intelligence and religion), an Arab aphorism, is an allusion to women that stems from the sayings of Muhammad.  

 

Women Who Refuse Sex Will Be Cursed by Angels 

The following Hadith also makes it clear that women are created for men and for their satisfaction.

”Allah's Apostle said, "If a husband calls his wife to his bed (i.e. to have sexual relation) and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will curse her till morning." [15]

The above makes one wonder, whether Allah has nothing better to do than worrying about the sexual pleasures of Muslim men!  It seems absurd that God would employ a host of angels to do nothing but sit around and curse the women who do not sexually please their husbands. To curse means invoking the wrath of God. Why would God need so many angles to invoke his wrath on frigid women when he can punish them his own?  There seems to be a lot of redundancies and mismanagements up there.  It is like the president of a country, have his staff lobby him for the plans that he wants to put into action.  It just makes no sense.  If these angels are paid then this is a complete waste of divine funds and if they are not paid then it is slavery.  You can't say the angels do this voluntarily because the angles do nothing without the will of Allah.  There are more hadiths on this subject:

“Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: By Him in Whose Hand is my life, when a man calls his wife to his bed, and she does not respond, the One Who is in the heaven is displeased with her until he (her husband) is pleased with her.” [16]

And 

“The Prophet said, "If a woman spends the night deserting her husband's bed (does not sleep with him), then the angels send their curses on her till she comes back (to her husband)." [17]

It is hard to determine why Muhammad was so concerned about this issue. Perhaps it helps to remember that he was an old man when his numerous wives were mostly teenagers or in their early twenties. His teeth must have been decaying and his mouth had a foul smell.  As I have shown in Understanding Muhammad, he emitted a foul smell that he tried to mask with abundance of perfume. He was also impotent.  It is natural to assume that his young wives were not that much desirous to share their bed with an old, smelly and impotent man like him.  Is it possible that Muhammad concocted these stories to intimidate his young wives not to reject his sexual advances, when he wanted to “fondle” them? Or do you think Allah is also a pimp? 

According to the Prophet of Allah, a man’s sexual urges are such an emergency that his wife must leave her food burn in the oven rather than leave him alone in bed with an erection.

The prophet of Allah said: When a man calls his wife to satisfy his desire, let her come to him though she is occupied at the oven." [18]

Imagine kids coming home:

-   Mom, we are home and hungry.
-  Oh, I am sorry, but the dinner is burnt.
-  Ah agaaaaain?
-  Yes my dear. Daddy had an emergency, which mommy had to attend to.
-  But Mom,  you said the same also yesterday. 
-  I know my sweet heart. Daddy lately spends a lot of time on the Internet.
 

 

Women are Pudenda?!!

As if all these derogatory remarks about women were not enough, Muhammad even compared them to pudenda.

Ali reported the Prophet saying: 'Women have ten ('awrat). When she gets married, the husband covers one, and when she dies the grave covers the ten.[19]

What is ‘awrat? ..The Encyclopedia of Islam defines 'awrat as pudendum, that is "the external genitals, especially of the female. [Latin pudendum (literally) a thing to be ashamed of]"[20]

According to the following Hadith, women not only have ten 'awrat, but the woman herself is perceived as 'awrah:

"The woman is 'awrah. When she goes outside (the house), the devil welcomes her." [21]

Women are discouraged from going outside the house, even to pray in the mosque. 

"A woman is closest to God's face, if she is found in the core of her house. And the prayer of the woman in the house is better than her prayer in the mosque."[22]

This is a far cry from the time when Arabs respected women, listened to their advices and followed them as leaders and prophetesses.  Gradually, as the new generations were indoctrinated with the teachings of the new revelation they became scornful of women and eventually Muslim women lost their rights in the society, along with their dignity.   

 

Women Have Less Legal Rights 

The “deficiency of women” in intelligence affects their legal rights as well.

And call in to witness two witnesses, men; or if the two be not men, then one man and two women, such witness as you approve of, that if one woman errs the other will remind her. Q. 2:282

In other words not only a woman alone cannot witness against a criminal, if there is no male witness, the testimonies of any number of women without the testimony of a man are worthless.  This means that if a woman is raped and she cannot produce any male witnesses, (which is logically almost always the case) she cannot witness against her assailant.  However, her testimony can be regarded as confession of fornication and can be used against her.  Also if the victim of rape becomes pregnant, that is evidence of the adultery and she could be charged and punished with death by stoning.  A few years ago Amina Lawal was sentenced by the Islamic courts of Nigeria to be stoned as soon as her infant was weaned.  The father of the child could not be charged with adultery because her testimony was not enough.  This case came to the attention of the world public and eventually the Islamic courts had to back off, but thousands of such cases have happened and continue to happen, and injustice is made against women, without ever anyone hearing of them.

 

Women Inherit Less

Muslim apologists claim that prior to Islam women had no rights at all and received no inheritance. This is not so.  Khadija received her wealth through inheritance.  When Muhammad decided that women should receive half of the inheritance of what their blood brothers receive, women did not celebrate with joy. 

Allah (thus) directs you as regards your Children's (Inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females.  4.11

As a matter of fact many, including one of his own wives complained that this arrangement is unfair to women. 

Umme Salmah (RA) said: "O Messenger of Allâh! The men wage Jihad [can collect booty] whereas we (women) do not and we receive half the inheritance." (i.e. blood-brothers receive double the share of blood sisters). Thereafter the verse "And do not covet.... 4.32." was revealed.” [23]  

And in no wise covet those things in which Allah Hath bestowed His gifts More freely on some of you than on others: To men is allotted what they earn, and to women what they earn.  4.32

If they complained, it is clear that their rights had been taken away from them. This suffices as proof that women prior to Islam had more rights to inheritance than what Muhammad allotted to them.

 

Muhammad’s Opinion of Women

The Prophet of Allah had such a low regard for women that he compared them to tilth or farmland and said you can enter your tilth from wherever you like (ana she’tom). 

Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will… 2.223 (This is the exact translation. Often the translations made by Muslims are sanitized)

It is not proper to be more descriptive, but it is obvious that the word ana she'tom (from wherever) allows a man to enter a woman from every penetrable orifice.  The above led Muslims to regard women as nothing but toys created to appease men.

'Umar was once talking when his wife interjected, so he said to her: 'You are a toy, if you are needed we will call you.'[24]

The most eminent Islamic scholar a Ghazzali said:

In the company of women, looking at them, and playing with them, the soul is refreshed, the heart is rested, and the man is strengthened to the worship of God...this is why God said: 'That he might rest in her.' (Q. 7:189) [25]

The verse that Ghazzali refers to is: Verse 7.189

It is He Who created you from a single person, and made his mate of like nature, in order that he might dwell with her (rest in her).

It is obvious that Muhammad did not have much reverence for women.

The Prophet said, "After me I have not left any affliction more harmful to men than women." [26]

In another place he compares women to a crooked rib. 

Woman is like a rib. When you attempt to straighten it, you would break it. And if you leave her alone you would benefit by her, and crookedness will remain in her. [27]

This hadith is classified as “agreed upon” because it is reported by other collectors of hadith too. In another hadith he said:

The woman advances and retires in the shape of a devil, so when one of you sees a woman, he should come to his wife, for that will repel what he feels in his heart. [28]

 

Women on Top

Prior to Islam, in non-Arab countries, such as in Persia and Byzantine, women had more rights than in Arab countries. In fact in Iran women could become Queens and monarchs. What did Muhammad think of that?  

When the Prophet heard the news that the people of the Persia had made the daughter of Khosrau their Queen (ruler), he said, "Never will succeed such a nation as makes a woman their ruler." [29]

Someone asked me why then in some Islamic countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan there were women prime ministers? The answer is that many Muslims do not know their religion and unwittingly follow the customs of their pre Islamic “jaheliah” era.  Jaheliah means the era of ignorance and Muslims often ignorantly do things that are not Islamic. The Taliban know the real Islam. The more a country is Islamic and the more the Sharia takes over, the more women lose their rights and privileges.

 

Female Infanticide  

One argument that Muslim apologists bring up as proof that Muhammad liberated women is the Quran’s injunction of not burying female infants alive.  They want you to believe this odious act was a common practice of the Arabs that was stopped only after Islam. However, this myth can be dismissed with a simple logic.  If this practice was so common, how could Arabs afford to have several wives and how did their race survive at all? 

Female infanticide is practiced in China and in India even today.  This is done only among the least educated and the poorest people.  This repulsive practice is illegal and a crime severely punished in both countries.  There is no reason to believe that it was different in Arabia .  Certainly, most Arabs disdained this act.  It just goes against the human nature.  When Muhammad prohibited it, he echoed the voice of the majority and said what was commonsense to everyone.  It is like today, a self styled prophet, prohibit drinking and driving.  Would that be regarded as a great teaching? 

Muhammad did not fail to portray woman as evil, crooked and deficient in intelligence; created only for the enjoyment of man; whose only function is to be the incubator for his children; who must serve him and be obedient to him; who is not capable to be responsible for her own life but must be maintained by a man’ who should receive less inheritance; and whose testimony is worth half of that of a man, because she is deemed to be imbecile with faulty memory!  

Women in Islam lost a great deal, including the right to travel alone. [30]  

 

God and Daughters? Indeed a Division Most Unfair! 

Muhammad had such a low esteem of women that he thought it is not befitting for God to have daughters when ordinary man can boast having sons. 

In verse 53.19-22, after dismissing the claim that God has any daughters as the Quraish used to think, he says appallingly:

WHAT!… For you the male sex, and for Him, the female?
Behold, such would be indeed a division most unfair!”

Suppose God had only daughters and no sons: Would it really be an unfair division? Should God be embarrassed for not having sons?  Ironically the fate played a joke on Muhammad, whose sons all died at infancy and he was left with only daughters.  One can only imagine how much embarrassment he must have felt for not having sons.  A man with such sense of inferiority and such a colossal ego had nothing but daughters, which he thought was “a division most unfair”.  

(Note that the verse refers to God in third person pronoun. This is not an error in translation. The Arabic word is lahoo, which means "for him". Muhammad often forgot that the Quran is supposed to be the word of God and should be written in first person pronoun.) 

The fact that Arabs worshipped goddesses is proof that they respected women enough to attribute them the roles of deities.  According to Muhammad, all denizens of the celestial assembly, including angles are male.  The only female inhabitants of paradise are the houris who are celestial whores, created for the enjoyment of men.  In fact few women are allowed in Paradise .  Muhammad said, most of them will end up in hell.  

 

More Disparaging Remarks about Women 

In one hadith Muhammad equates women to dog and ass and says: 

[A man’s] prayer would be cut off by (passing of an) ass, woman, and black Dog. [31] 

In another place he interpreted a dream that he had of a black woman to an “epidemic”. [32]

He also said women are the most harmful affliction to men:

After me I have not left any affliction more harmful to men than women. [33] 

 

A Good Wife 

Man’s only duty to his wife is to maintain her.  He has to provide for her food, shelter and clothing, i.e. meet her physical needs, much like one has to take care of his livestock.   Her emotional, psychological and sexual needs should not be of his concern.  As far as Islam is concerned those needs simply do not exist because women are not really fully humans.  Muhammad, not only had a score of women in his harem when he was an old impotent man, he even prohibited his young wives to remarry after his death.  This man was so possessive that could not bear the thought of another man touching his wives even after his death. 

He sanctioned polygyny and allowed men to marry four wives (Q.4:3) and as many slave girls as they please.  Some scholars believe that this verse does not limit the number of wives but rather the verse should be understood as a man can marry any number of wives, two, three, four, etc. [34] 

Therefore men are allowed to lust after other women when they are married but:

The virtuous wife, [is one who] if her husband bids her, she obeys him; if he looks at her, she pleases him; if he gives her an oath; she fulfils it, and if he is absent from her, she guards herself and his property.[35] 

Isn’t this how one would describe a good dog?

Now let us see what other virtues a good woman must have:

The best women are those who have the prettiest faces and the cheapest dowry.[36]

The good wife is out of this world because she helps free you to concentrate on the life to come. She does that by doing her house duties (instead of the husband having to do them), and by satisfying the husband sexually so protecting him from sexual temptation. [37]

When a prophet is so contemptuous of women, so disdainful of their faith, so derisive of their intelligence, so abusive of their rights and so condescending of their status, can we expect more from his followers?  Muslim women will never be free, as long as they look up at Muhammad as their spiritual guide.  If they do not want to believe me, they must believe their own messenger who said:  

Allah's Apostle said, "Many amongst men reached (the level of) perfection but none amongst the women reached this level except Asia , Pharaoh's wife, and Mary, the daughter of 'Imran. [38]

 

Conclusion:

Going into detail on this subject would require a book. Nonetheless we have enough evidence to convict Muhammad of misogyny, abuse of women’s rights and denigrating half of humanity. [39]

Because of this travesty (misogyny) Muslim women were abused and were not allowed to flourish to the full extent of their potential.  They became subject to humiliation, discrimination, rape, honor killing, and all sorts of physical, emotional and sexual abuses without being able to fight back for their rights.  As a result, the entire Muslim world languished and lagged behind, as half of its population was barred from emancipation and could not participate and contribute to the society

Women were denied education as it was deemed to be unnecessary.  Uneducated women are ignorant and lack self esteem.  These women raised sons and projected their own feeling of inferiority on their children.  Those sons inherited the low self-esteem of their mothers and built the Islamic world with inadequacy and incompetence fighting constantly against the demon inside them - the demon of fear, hurt pride and humiliation.  Eventually, the whole Islamic world was plunged into darkness of ignorance, self-pity and dictatorship.  Dr. Mahathir, the ex- Prime Minister of Malaysia summed up this sentiment eloquently when in the 10th summit of the Organization of Islamic Conference he said:  We are all Muslims. We are all oppressed. We are all being humiliated.”  That is a well-expressed description of how Muslims feel. This sense of inferiority, however, is not because the Zionists control the world by remote control, as Dr. Mahathir, erroneously diagnosed, but the outcome of the abuse of women in all the Islamic countries.  

Not every man with lack of self-esteem rises to power to become a ruthless killer like Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden or Hasan Sabbah (the founder of the Assassins Order), but the inferiority complex consumes his soul and he acts dictatorially, no matter at what level of society he is positioned.  He seeks power. He needs to demonstrate himself and prove to the world that he is somebody.  He is conscious of his own devalued selfhood.  He starves for recognition and dreads being ignored.  He feels abandoned, humiliated and victimized and hence he seeks revenge.  This too was echoed by Dr. Mahathir who called upon the Muslims to acquire “guns and rockets, bombs and warplanes, tanks and warships” to get their rights from their “detractors and enemies”. 

The Prime Minister was right! Muslim men are oppressed and humiliated. The truth is, however, that their humiliation has nothing to do with the Jews.  It has to do with how they were raised; it has to do with how their mothers were raised and it has to do with how Islam treats women.  Women, who have no self-esteem, cannot raise sons with high self-esteem.  What we get are men with bruised egos, who seek power and recognition to overcome their inferiority complex.  Is it any wonder that the mother of Osama bin Laden was the least favorite wife of his father’s numerous wives?  Osama grew up with a mother with low self-esteem and inherited her sense of inferiority.  Today he is fighting against his own devalued self by trying to become a hero to those who applaud and approve his heinous crimes.

Men with low self-esteem are dangerous. Lee Harvey Oswald killed J.F. Kennedy for no other reason than to prove himself. To prove that he is important and can do something big.  All these humiliated men want is to prove themselves, even if it is as assassins or terrorists.  Those men who were responsible for the massacre of the 9/11 and all those who strap bombs to their waists and blow up themselves and kill others to become martyrs, suffer from devalued selfhood.  They come from a culture of shame.  They feel humiliated, angry and thus express their anger with violence and terror. 

The self anointed prophet of Arabia could never imagine that his insecurities as a man and his obsession to control his young wives would one day bring the world to the brink of destruction.  As if, a narcissist like him would have given a hoot! 

Muhammad is guilty for taking away the rights of women, for reducing them to the level of chattel and livestock and thus giving birth to a sick society of emotionally scarred men, with humongous egos, unable to function harmoniously in a world of equals and not capable to be happy.  They fail in relationships with their spouses and children unless it is patriarchal. They fail to function in the society unless it is dictatorial.  They perpetuate the cycle of abuse, humiliation and dictatorship ad infinitum.  Little men, who are hurt inside, because their emotional needs were not met by their ignorant and equally emotionally needy mothers, wear masks of denial and grandiosity, hide inside the highly inflated and highly inflammable egos, are explosively dangerous to themselves, and in such a great numbers, to the entire world. 

Among all the crimes perpetrated by Muhammad, all his killings and lootings, raps and pedophilia, slavery and genocide, misogyny is the most injurious one.  Misogyny has been more devastating to Muslims than anything else.  Although women were the direct targets of misogyny, the damage caused by this evil has victimized each and every follower of Muhammad.  A sick society has "evolved" with timid men, self pitying men, arrogant, ego centered, violent and angry men, hate mongers, and war mongers who are unfit to to lead happy harmonious lives. 

 

Woman wants to be beaten only once a week

On September 22, 2004 a sad report came out of Iran and was spread through the Internet that ironically many found amusing. It was about an Iranian woman, beaten every day by her husband, who asked a court to tell him to beat her only once a week.  

The Aftab-e-Yazd daily reported that Maryam, the middle-aged woman, said she did not want to divorce her husband because she loved him. "Just tell him to beat me once a week ... Beating is part of his nature and he cannot stop it," Maryam told the court. When the court prohibited the husband from beating the wife, he protested: "If I do not beat her, she will not be scared enough to obey me".   

In this comic/tragic drama, lie two very sad realities that affect all Muslim women irrespective of their nationalities. The first is psycho-religious. Muslim women are raised to accept abuse as normal. Since childhood, they are treated differently. In Islamic countries boys are preferred to girls. Girls are the source of disappointment to their fathers and an embarrassment to their mothers.  If a woman gives birth to a boy she is lauded, but if the child is a girl, she is snubbed and chided.  Little girls learn from infancy that they are unwanted.  At the table their brothers eat first and take the lion’s share.  In poorer families, female members cook and serve the males, then wait until these have had their fill. Thereafter, they come to the table and scavenge the leftovers.  

Boys get the first opportunity to go to school and get ahead in life.  Girls are often denied this chance for there seems to be no need for them to become educated, since there are few work opportunities for women in Islamic societies.  All to which a girl can aspire is to get married to a man who will take care of her.  She inherits half of what her brothers inherit and has fewer rights.  The rationale is that she would not need it because it would be up to her husband to maintain her.  

Daughters are liabilities to their families and they are “given away” in marriage as soon as possible.  That could be as young as nine years old.  All this conditioning happens with the blessing of “the best and the most perfect religion” of Islam. After all, it was Muhammad who said women are “deficient in intelligence” [Bukhari:1.6.301. Muslim: 2.24.541]. It was he who said men have a “degree of advantage over women” (Q. 2:228). It was he who said women who disobey their husband “should be beaten” (4:34).    

Thus Muslim women grow up knowing only one reality and that is they are inferior to men and must please them if they want to survive.  The brainwashing is so complete that many Muslim women actually fight to preserve their lower status.  Many of them insist on wearing veil and pride themselves in their servitude and lower rank.  

In Islamic societies the abused are as much dependent on the abuser as the latter is on the former.  A good definition of this symbiotic man/woman relationship in Islamic countries is sadomasochism or to use a more modern term—codependency.  Muslim women have been abused and humiliated since their birth and this is the only form of existence they have ever known and are “comfortable” with.  They learn from very early on that to survive and get ahead in life, they have to please the men around them.  Men also learn that women are deficient in intelligence, deceitful and untrustworthy.  As the result they grow up having no respect for women, their intelligence and their dignity.  These men learn to abuse their sisters and beat them just as their fathers beat their mothers and they will eventually beat their wives as this has become their habit.  Muslim men grow up with the understanding that it is their God given right to beat their women and Muslim women grow up accepting the right of their husbands to beat them.  

All this is the pernicious psycho-religious effect of a nefarious doctrine that will not go away as long as it is believed to be the religion of God.

The other sad reality is the socio-economic effect of Islam on women’s lives. In Islamic countries all doors are closed to women.  There are little to no opportunities available for them to live productive and independent lives.  They have little education and no job training.  All they know is household chores.  If women do not marry and do not find a husband who would take care of them, they will have a very difficult life.  Marriage is the only hope a Muslim woman has for survival.  She knows that.  She knows that she has to marry soon and that if she is dumped by her husband her future will be bleak.    

In Islamic countries, the patrimony of the family is not divided equally between the estranged husband and wife, but rather, man keeps everything, as everything has been his earnings.  The Quran makes it clear that everything is his property and a good woman is one who takes care of her husband's property.  

It's the duty of the woman to keeping her husband’s house orderly, cook for him and raise his numerous children. These are not recognized as work and hence, after a divorce she is entitled to nothing.  She will also lose the custody of her children, as in Islam women are nothing but incubators for the children. Children belong to the father as soon as they are no more toddlers.  All she can get is her mahr (a fee agreed upon prenuptially) that often is only a token and sums up to nothing.  It could be something as insignificant as a dress.  Women often do not demand too much for mahr, not only because Muhammad insisted that good women should also be cheap but also because if they become too demanding they risk not marrying at all and that would be a great disgrace to them and to their families.  

Divorce could mean disaster for a Muslim woman. It not only means that she would lose her social status but she could actually face starvation.  If she is not young enough to re-marry, she will be forced to find menial works.  Work is not readily available to women in Islamic countries.  The only work available is domestic and janitorial work, which is poorly paid and very demeaning.  Only the lucky ones can get jobs as maids.  Many divorced women will end up in the streets as beggars, or as it happens in Iran, as prostitutes.  

Thus, it is understandable that Muslim women would prefer an abusing husband who beats them regularly to divorce.  This also explains why women consent to sharing their husbands with second, third or fourth co-wives.  They know that the alternative is divorce and that means facing a very bleak future of uncertainties and assured poverty.  

Stigmatization is just one dilemma that a divorced woman faces.  The real challenge is survival after the divorce. Only after we take into consideration the psycho-religious and the socio-economic factors that subjugate Muslim women can we appreciate the gravity of the problem and understand why Maryam would be happy if her husband beats her only once a week instead of everyday.  Only then do we understand why she says that she still loves him.  Maryam knows perfectly well that if her abusive and savage husband dumps her, she will have to either commit suicide or live as a beggar. Streets of Islamic countries are full of beggars. The competition if fierce.  All Maryam wants is to live.  Or maybe she doesn't but has no choice.  She is willing to be beaten once a week and live like a slave for food.  Perhaps she prefers death to this wretched life. Many Muslim women can't take it anymore and commit suicide. Suicide rate among young Muslim women is highest in the world.  

To Maryam and to millions of Muslim women who live in abusive relationships and in abusive societies, life is not a right but a privilege.  It is a privilege that they have to earn by pleasing their husbands even if it means enduring their violence.  

Muslim women with no husbands have no hope.  If they are divorced or if they are widowed, if they have no large inheritance and if they can’t find another husband, they have no future.  They are outcasts and burdens to the society and to themselves. Death is far more enticing to them than this dismal and miserable life.  Perhaps this explains the raison d'être of the Chechen Black Widows.  These women have lost their husbands and being Muslim women, there is nothing left for them but to die.  However, as good Muslims, they want to take their revenge and kill as many innocent people as they can before they face their own coveted death.

Abuse of women is one of the problems facing the Muslim world and it is not a minor one.  Unfortunately there is no resolution to this problem unless Islam is eradicated from these societies.  Misogyny is just one of the many symptoms of the sick Islamic world. The disease is Islam!   

 

 

References: 

[1]  http://anwary-islam.com/battle/ghazwah_uhud.htm
[2]  Bukhari Volume 3, Book 43, Number 648:
[3]  Bukhari, v1, bk 8, sunnah 395.
[4]  Quran, 33:30
[5]  Quran, 33:32
[6]
 Qurna, 4:34
[7] 
Quran 2:228
[8]  Bukhari Volume 2, Book 18, Number 161
[9]  Quran.4:34
[10] Razi, At-tafsir al-Kabir, on Q. 4:34.
[11]  Muslim Book 11, Number 2135)
[12]  Bukhari Volume 1, Book 6, Number 301

[13]  Quran: 30.21

[15]   (Quoted in Soroush, Abdolkarim, _Farbehtar az ideoloji_, Sera^t, Tehran , 1373 A.H.S.). [A.H.S. = After the Hegira, in Solar years].

[14]  Bukhari Volume 4, Book 54, Number 460.

[16]   Sahih Muslim Book 008, Number 3367:

[17]   Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 122
[18]   Mishkat al-Masabih, English translation, Book I, Section 'Duties of husband and wife', Hadith No. 61.
[19]   Kanz-el-'Ummal, Vol. 22, Hadith No. 858. See also Ihy'a

[20]   The World Book Dictionary

 'Uloum ed-Din by Ghazali, Dar al-Kotob al-'Elmeyah, Beirut , Vol II, Kitab Adab al-Nikah, p. 65.  

[21]   Ihy'a 'Uloum ed-Din by Ghazali, Dar al-Kotob al-'Elmeyah, Beirut , Vol II, Kitab Adab al-Nikah, p. 65. Reported by Tirmizi as a true and good Ahadith.  

[22]   Ihy'a 'Uloum ed-Din by Ghazali, Dar al-Kotob al-'Elmeyah, Beirut , Vol II, Kitab Adab al-Nikah, p. 65. Reported by Tirmizi as a true and good Ahadith.

[23]   (Ibn Katheer vl.1, pg.498)

[24]   Al-Musanaf by Abu Bakr Ahmad Ibn 'Abd Allah Ibn Mousa Al-Kanadi who lived 557H., Vol. 1 Part 2, p. 263. See also Ihy'a 'Uloum ed-Din by Ghazali, Dar al- Kotob al-'Elmeyah, Beirut , Vol II, Kitab Adab al-Nikah, p. 52.  

[25]   Ihy'a 'Uloum ed-Din by Ghazali, Dar al-Kotob al-'Elmeyah, Beirut , Vol II, Kitab Adab al-Nikah, p. 34.
[26]   Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 33
[27]  
Sahih Muslim Book 008, Number 3466
[28]   Book 008, Number 3240
[29]   Volume 9, Book 88, Number 219
[30]   (Sahih Bukhari 2.194)
[31]  
Muslim Book 004, Number 1032
[32]   Bukhari Volume 9, Book 87, Number 163

[33]   Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 33
[34]   Razi, At-tafsir al-kabir, commenting on Q. 4:3
[35]   Mishkat al-Masabih, Book 1, duty towards children Hadith No. 43.

[36]   Ihya' 'Uloum ed-Din by Ghazali, Dar al-Kotob al-'Elmeyah, Beirut , vol. II, Kitab Adab al-Nikah, p. 45.

[37]   Ibid., p. 35

[38]   Bukhari Volume 4, Book 55, Number 623

[39]  For further studies, read Abul Kasem’s book on women available online and an excellent essay written by M. Rafiqul-Haqq and P. Newton called The Place of Women in Pure Islam also available online.   


 

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