Justification of Rape in Islam?
Breitbart reported on Tuesday that a grooming gang survivor has revealed that she was sexually abused by hundreds of Pakistani Muslims for years, but despite reporting her abusers to the police, none have ever been arrested.
Sarah—an alias name given to protect her identity—said that she was systematically raped and abused as a child in the early 2000s after running away from care homes in Derby, England.
Speaking to regional newspaper the Birmingham Mail, Sarah said: “I gave Derby police my Birmingham offenders’ names—but no one has ever been charged.
Other grooming gang victims across the country have also said that for years during and after the abuse, authorities had failed to believe them, instead insisting they were to blame because they had made bad choices, had lied about being raped, or were even accused of voluntarily prostituting themselves at young ages.
No Justice under Islamic Law for Women
Equality under the law has no meaning in Islam, especially for women, thereby making the plight of rape victims even heavier.
Just one example of the dreadful way of treating women in Islam is a case of a Saudi woman who was gang-raped in 2018. The Islamic court convicted the woman to a prison term and lashes for having committed the “sin” of riding in a car with a male who was not her relative. This is a standard form of sharia justice—a savage heritage of barbarism that ruled the Arabian Peninsula some centuries ago and still persists.
While the raping of a woman is a crime in all countries, sharia courts in Islamic states, such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Libya, allow a rapist to escape punishment by marrying his victim. In other instances, the victim who asks for justice is often prosecuted with the crime of zina (adultery). This is because since the sharia does not allow forensic evidence to be used, such as DNA; rape can only be proven if the rapist admits to the crime or if there are four male witnesses who corroborate the woman’s testimony.
The Quranic position of four witnesses stems from Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 59, hadith 462, when the Prophet’s favorite wife, Aisha, “was accused of cheating [on her polygamous husband]. Three witnesses corroborated the event, but Muhammad apparently did not want to believe it, and so established the arbitrary rule that four witnesses are required.
If the rape is not proven, as it often appears to be the case, the woman’s complaint then becomes a confession of adultery, for which she can be flogged or stoned. The male aggressor remains unpunished, since he never admitted to a sexual act.
Justification of Rape
Disgusting as this may sound, according to Michael Hess, vice president of the Sweden Democrats in Karlskrona in southern Sweden, rape is “rooted in Islam.” Rape by Muslims is so prevalent that Sweden, and for that manner in other European countries, have forbidden the police to collect any data in the investigation that would point to Islam.
It is true that many Islamic scholars hold that rape is a crime and the perpetrators are to be punished. At the same time, there is a religious justification for this crime:
- The believers must (eventually) win through, those who humble themselves in their prayers; who avoid vain talk; who are active in deeds of charity; they guard their private parts [abstaining from sexual relations], 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, 1–6
- Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘If a man calls his wife to his bed and she refuses [and does not come], and he spends the night angry with her, the angels will curse her until morning.’” —Sahih Bukhaari, 4794 Interesting how the woman has no recourse!
- “O 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?” 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.” —Sahih al-Bukhari 34, 432
- “We went out with Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) on the expedition to the Bi’l-Mustaliq and took captive 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 sexual intercourse with them but by observing ‘azl (Withdrawing the male sexual organ before emission of semen to avoid-conception). 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.” —Sahih Muslim, 3371
- It was narrated from Anas, that the Messenger of Allah had a female slave with whom he had intercourse, but ‘Aishah and Hafsah would not leave him alone until he said that she was forbidden for him. Then Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, revealed: “O Prophet! Why do you forbid (for yourself) that which Allah has allowed to you.” —Sunan an-Nasa’i Book 4:36, 3411
The Prophet Muhammad, while not divine, the exemplar to be imitated by Muslims:
“By Allah, whenever Allah’s Messenger spitted, the spittle would fall in the hand of one of them (i.e., the Prophet’s companions) who would rub it on his face and skin; if he ordered them, they would carry out his orders immediately; if he performed ablution, they would struggle to take the remaining water…” —Sahih Bukhari, 2731-2732
Scenes of Muhammad’s companions, and indeed Muhammad himself, engaging in sexual activity with slaves and captives are common throughout hadith literature. This would therefore make the justification of rape more prevalent since Muhammad himself, according to he hadiths, had the blessings of Allah to do so.
As explained by Amil Imani:
“In Islamic culture, women are treated as chattel. Young girls are subjected to barbaric genital mutilation to make them sex slaves and birth channels without the ability to enjoy intercourse. Minors are subject to execution, adulterers are stoned to death, a faithful follower of Allah can have as many as four permanent wives—and replace any of them at any time he wants.”
Rape, as we know, is not limited to the Islamic culture; it is unfortunately ubiquitous. Yet at least in Western culture, it is supposed to be punished, not justified as in many Islamic countries. Yet as in the aforementioned case of “Sarah,” because of political correctness, Muslim rapists tend to get off with a slap on the wrist, if that!
Mario Alexis Portella is a priest of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Florence, Italy. He has a doctorate in canon law and civil law from the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome; he also holds a M. A. in Medieval History from Fordham University, as well as a B.A. in Government & Politics from St. John’s University. He is also author of Islam: Religion of Peace? – The Violation of Natural Rights and Western Cover-Up.