Sex and Violence
Chapter Three: The
Prophetic Attitude Towards Fair Sex
2nd Edition: January 15, 2017
Islamic Concubine Slave Trade
Prophetic Attitude Towards Fair Sex
nations have suffered a huge setback during the 20th century.
Its major cause is lack of women's rights, which have held them
back from playing their full role in modern history.
restricted woman is a handicapped mother, who being deprived of
proper training, cannot teach her children to cope with the mode
As we have
seen in the previous chapter, a Muslim woman is raised to live
for the pleasure of man, yet she is made to feel through misinterpretation
of the Muslim doctrine that she has substantive legal rights,
which make her man's equal. Since this issue has been deliberately
made complex by the Muslim divines to serve their own purpose,
I may draw reader's attention to the personal attitude of Prophet
towards member of fair sex. Since he was the Model of Behaviour,
his precedents may enhance understanding of the issue:
1. The hadith (Muslim 2: 3371 ) describes the frivolity of coitus
interruptus, which means withdrawing penis for the purpose of
discharging semen outside the female organ. In Arabic, it is called
narrates: "We went out with Allah's Messenger (may peace
be upon him) on the expedition to the Banu-Mustaliq and captured
some of their excellent women: We desired them because we suffered
for being absent from our wives. So we started copulating with
them by practicing azl, that is, withdrawing penis at the moment
of orgasm with a view to avoiding conception. Realising that we
were doing an act while the Messenger of Allah was amongst us,
we decided to refer the matter to him. The Prophet said, 'It does
not matter whether you observe azl or not because every soul that
is to be born up to the Day of Resurrection will be born."'
ponder over the following points contained in this hadith:
Prophet himself headed this expedition against the tribe of Mustaliq,
who had not yet embraced Islam.
2. The companions of the Prophet i.e., his immediate followers, who
were practically in his company, seduced women whom they captured
after murdering their menfolk.
3. Not only did they want to copulate with them but they also desired
to get ransom for them.
to be the Creator and God of all irrespective of colour or creed,
yet He is pleased when the Muslims lead military expeditions against
innocent people for the sheer "crime" of not believing
in Him and Muhammad. Is it really Allah playing havoc with the
unbelievers? He cannot; the Creator of this immense universe is
too great to care about beliefs and disbeliefs of ordinary mortals.
If it really mattered, He would have created believing humans.
Since longing for praise and greatness is a human weakness, it
is Muhammad's desire to murder and enslave innocent people for
personal glory. It is certainly defamation of Allah's character
and an insult to His greatness.
Fancy a man
projecting himself as the ambassador of high morality and encouraging
seduction of innocent women. Instead of allowing and encouraging
coitus interruptus to his reverent companions, he should have
rebuked and punished them to serve the cause of human values.
The fact that he did exactly the opposite, clearly demonstrates
that the Prophet used sexuality to enhance his own purpose, which
was personal deification and national dominance. Had he punished
the seducers, nobody would have joined him in his campaigns.
be remembered that seducing a slave-girl was punishable by death
in the Byzantine Empire, and it was customary not to dishonour
the captive women because it was considered inhuman in the Christian
and pagan worlds to subject conquered women to such disgrace as
helplessness was their only crime. These people were conscious
of the fact that the captured members of the fair-sex had lost
their fathers, husbands, sons and brothers in the battle. It was
considered a great punishment in itself, and any further humiliation
was thought of as sheer barbarity. This is the reason that ransom
was deemed conditional on respecting the captive women in the
civilised world whereas the Muslims observed azl as a cover-up
to receive ransom.
2. Like ordinary people, politicians and priests, the Prophet also
used women to conclude family alliances with powerful men: Abu
Bakr and Umar were his fathers-in--law and Uthman and Ali were
his sons-in-law. These are the men who are considered next to
the Prophet in rank and dignity for the part they played in spreading
Islam and establishing the Arab Empire. One expects higher morality
from the Prophet, who claimed to be the Model of Behaviour for
mankind, appointed by God.
3. Sodha Bint Zama was one of Muhammad's oldest wives. He married
her after the death of Khadija. As she had migrated to Medina
with her husband (Muhammad) under dreadful conditions, she obviously
possessed great wifely virtues. The Muslim commentators say that
the Prophet wanted to divorce her because of her age, though she
was only a year or two older than he was. She did not relish the
idea of consortial separation and wanted to avoid this catastrophe
at all costs.
had several wives, and as a matter of equity, he prepared a rota
system to spend a particular night with each of them regularly.
Since Aisha was the most dearly loved wife of Muhammad, Sodha
volunteered to give up her own turn in favour of Aisha to influence
him. The Prophet willingly accepted this offer and desisted from
his threatened action. (Mishkat,Vol. 3, P 352)
Is this action
compatible with the concept of equity? On the contrary, does it
not show what the Prophet thought of womanhood? Why did the Prophet
accept this proposal? The following account may explain the issue.
4. The Prophet was a wise man. He wanted to create close ties with
Aisha's father, Abu Bakr, who was very rich, very sincere and
very capable. After Muhammad's death, Islam would have become
an echo of wilderness but the wisdom, resolutness and bold action
of Abu Bakr, who had succeeded Muhammad as his caliph, made Islam
a living faith, which imposed the Arab cultural imperialism over
all Muslim people of the world. This is exactly what Muhammad
had dreamt of. As this episode is sexually oriented, I may provide
readers with necessary details of Muhammad's marriage with Aisha
so that they may come to their own conclusions:
Prophet's first wife, was a rich and powerful woman, and thus
proved helpful to his career It is universally accepted that she
was fifteen years older than the Prophet. However, he was forty-five
years older than Aisha. She was a child of six and the Prophet
was fifty-one at the time of their nuptial ceremony. This age-difference
of Khadija and Aisha in relation to Muhammad, reveals his personal
attitude towards womanhood.
a child of six and naturally did not know anything about matrimony
or its purpose. Islam has laid down certain rules for the marriage
woman should marry without the permission of her guardian. The
ruler or state is the guardian of such a female, who has no guardian
at all. (Mishkat, Vol. 2 p 78)
b. No widow or virgin should be married off without her consent.
(Mishkat, Vol. 2, p 77)
Abu Bakr, Aisha's father was her guardian, but she was too young
to know the meaning or purpose of marriage for giving her consent.
Thus the episode of Aisha's marriage does not satisfy the basic
Islamic rules of matrimony.
conscious of being the most beloved wife of the Prophet (Mishkat,
Volume 2, page 79), and this is proven by the unusual behaviour
of a husband towards his wife:
"The Prophet would stand in the (open) door and as negroes
practiced their spears in the yard of the mosque, he (the Prophet)
picked me up and held close to his chest so that I could watch
them from over his shoulders. He kept standing because of me until
I left him. One can judge little girl's interest in game from
this." (Mishkat, Vol. 2, p 99)
I used to play with my dolls in the presence of the Prophet. I
also had other little girls as my friends, who would play with
me. When the Prophet came, they left. When the Prophet directed
them towards me, they would start playing with me again."
(Mishkat Vol. 2, p 99)
"During menstruation, I used to bite off meat from bone;
the Prophet would take the bone from me and place his mouth at
the same spot to eat of it where I had been biting; when I drank
water, he would take the vessel from me and place his lips at
the same spot where I had put mine." (Ibn-e-Majah, Vol. 1,
"The Prophet told me that she was shown to him in dreams
by an angel for three nights consecutively. Each time, the angel
brought me (Aisha) to him (the Prophet) wrapped up in a silk cloth
and said, 'this is your wife.' The Prophet removed the cloth from
my face and confirmed that it was I. He said that if it was from
Allah, it was bound to happen." (Mishkat, Vol. 3, p 265)
hadiths demonstrate the Prophet's deep rooted love and desire
for Aisha, but the following hadith is really stunning:
Gabriel does not come to me with the Divine message when I am
in bed with any of my wives except Aisha " (Mishkat, Vol.
3, p 265)
"The Prophet and I used to take bath together from the same
vessel of water. If he was in a hurry, I would say, 'leave some
water far me '. At that time we both used to be in a state of
defilement." (Mishkat, Vol. 1, p 102)
Here are more
hadiths which should help to understand the Prophet's attitude
said: "I was six years' old when the Prophet married me then
we migrated to Medina where I caught fever. My hair fell off,
and I became clean- headed. My mother, Rumaan, came to me when
I was playing on the swing with my friends. She called me and
I came to her. I did not know her intentions. She held me by my
hand and made me stand in the door while I was panting. She washed
my face and head, and then took me inside where some Ansaar women
had gathered. They were saying 'God bless and good luck.' Then
my mother handed me to these women, and they decorated me. Then
the Prophet came and I was frightened; they handed me over to
him. I was nine years' old at that time." (Ibn-e-Majah, Volume
1, p 526)
hadith gives fuller explanations:
the Prophet Muhammad married Aisha, she was six years' old; when
she left her paternal home and came to live with him, she was
nine, and when he died, she was eighteen." (Ibn-e-Majah,
Vol. 1, p 250)
Here the hadith
'b' elucidates the event described in 'a' i.e., it is not about
the wedding ceremony but about consummation of marriage. One should
pay attention to the fact that it was Aisha's mother who washed
her face and head. It means that, mentally, she was not ahead
of time but a normal nine-year-old child. The following hadith
completes the story:
said:" she was nine years old when the act of consummation
took place and she had her dolls with her." (Mishkat, Vol.
2, p 77)
speaks for itself and the reader can draw his or her own conclusion.
has universally been considered a private and confidential affair
between the parties concerned but there is a stunning hadith in
reports that Allah's apostle (may peace be on him) had nine wives
and he appointed a separate night for each of them. Thus, the
turn of each wife fell on every nineth day. However, they all
used to gather in the house of the one whose turn it was to have
coitus with the Prophet. It was the night of Aisha (the youngest
wife) when Zainab (a pretty wife) came there. The Prophet stretched
his hand towards her. As Aisha noticed it, she said, "It
is Zainab." So, he withdrew his hand. The two wives got involved
into an altercation, which gradually became louder and lasted
till early morning when Adhan ( Iqama ) was announced for prayers.
( As usual ) Abu Bakr, father of Aisha called to accompany the
Prophet to the mosque. He said, "Messenger of Allah, come
for prayer, and throw dust in their mouths. "
that after finishing prayers, Abu Bakr, her father, would return
to reprimand her as he did on such occasions. This is exactly
what happened: "Abu Bakr returned and spoke to her (Aisha)
in stern words, and said 'Do you behave like this?"'
(Sahih Muslim, Hadith 3450, p 747)
with one wife in the company of several others, is an unusual
attitude. Even more amazing is Abu Bakr's treatment of his daughter
in a matter, which was purely sexual.
Prophet claimed to be Mercy for all humankind, Model of Behaviour
and the Preacher of higher morality, but it becomes difficult
to believe these assertions when we carefully examine his attitude
towards the institution of concubinage at the expense of his own
It is a universally
accepted principle of jurisprudence that once a law has been laid
down, the law-giver must abide by it while he allows it to stand.
The reason is that the law is considered supreme and indivisible;
therefore, nobody is above the law because it applies equally
to both the high and low.
the Koran acknowledges that bias in the application of law leads
to contradiction within the legal system, and this is something
which is injurious to the dignity of the Word of Allah:
do they not ponder the Koran? if it had been from other than God
surely they would have found in it much inconsistency." (Women:
this verse means that a message cannot be from God if it contains
inconsistency. When this rule is applied to the Koran, it fails
to pass the test of divinity because we find numerous inconsistencies
in it. Let us take the law of marriage, for instance:
one of you, who has not the affluence to be able to marry believing
freewomen in wedlock, let him marry believing slave-girls that
your right hands own; God knows very well your faith; the one
of you is as the other So marry them, with their people's leave,
and give them their wages honourably as women in wedlock, not
as licence or taking over. (Women, 4: 25)
law of sexual intercourse has been clearly stated, that is:
1. Marry believing freewomen, but if one cannot afford such a marriage,
2. then marry a believing slave-girl honourably by observing
all the legal and proper customary rules of marriage.
Now, it is
evident that the Koran does not permit sex outside marriage. It
means that coitus with a concubine is tantamount to rape or adultery
because she has not been given the marital honour through the
recognised process of marriage. Even though she is the property
of her master, he has no right to have sexual intercourse with
her; it is simply seduction. The Byzantinian (Roman) law acknowledged
a slave girl's right of chastity and prescribed death for the
violator. Allah has obviously adopted the same approach, which
is further supported by the following verses:
the spouseless among you, and your slaves and handmaidens that
are righteous; If they are poor, God will enrich them of His bounty
.... And let those who find not the means to marry, be abstinent
till God enriches them of His bounty. Those your right hands own
who seek emancipation, contract with the accordingly
constrain not your slave-girls to prostitution, if they desire
to live in chastity " (Light, 24: 30)
verses clearly lay down that a man must observe abstinence until
he can afford to get married. Thus forcing a slave-girl to coitus
amounts to prostitution, which is a sin and carries a heavy penalty.
So far so
then the Koran contradicts itself suddenly:
We (God) have made lawful for thee thy wives whom thou hast given
their wages and what thy right hand owns, spoil of war that God
has given thee ... (The Confederates, 45)
On the one
hand, the Koran forbids sex outside marriage but on the other,
it authrorises sexual intercourse with slave-girls despite having
declared it unlawful! Why this glaring inconsistency? The reason
is also given in these verses: here slave-girls (what the right
hand owns) are mentioned with the spoils of wars. Owing to scarcity
of women, the Arabs had developed enormous appetites. Allah allowed
the seduction of slave-girls as an inducement to Jehad, which
sought to attract the pagan Arab to Islam through a carnal bait.
Again as a war booty and its use was declared "lawful and
good" by the Koran, concubinage, that is, seducing slave-girls
on a regular basis, became lawful and pious act in Islam. Further,
one must also remember that the Prophet himself came to own slave-girls
as his share of booty in battles against the Jews. For example,
pretty Saffyia, the Prophet's share of booty, embraced Islam and
became his wife as a freewoman but beautiful Rihana refused to
accept Islam, and therefore had no choice but to act as Prophet's
concubine: her legal status was that of a household chattel. Therefore,
she could not ignore the sexual demands of her master.
of concubinage became evident in relation to gaining and retaining
converts, the Prophet extended its scope beyond the spoils of
a battlefield. He made it lawful to purchase women for concubinage
and accept them as gifts of goodwill. For this purpose, he encouraged
concubinage as an institution:
marry idolatresses, until they believe; a believing slave-girl
is better than an idolatress, though you may admire her
(The Cow 2: 220)
It does not
imply that a (Muslim) man must marry a believing slave-girl; he
is free to have intercourse with her. It simply enlarges the institution
of concubinage by forbidding marriage with the unbelieving women;
they are considered good enough for sexual intercourse but not
suitable for the holy bond of matrimony. What kind of morality
being the Behavioural Model for all beings by Allah's decree,
set the example of concubinage. He accepted Marya, (Mary) the
beautiful Coptic girl, as a gift from the ruler of Egypt. As she
did not embrace Islam, she remained the Christian concubine of
the Prophet and bore him a son, Ibrahim, who died in his infancy.
mentioned, the Prophet had made a rota system which required of
him, as a rule, to spend a particular night with a certain wife.
Since a concubine has no spousal rights, *Marya (a Christian)
and Rihana (a Jewess) did not come within this rule of regularity,
but had to be available whenever the Prophet desired them.
that when it was the turn of Aisha (the Prophet's youngest wife),
Hafsah (another wife of the Prophet, who was Umar's daughter )
found him in her own room with Marya. Since it was a serious breach
of the rota system, the Prophet realising its consequences, pleaded
with Hafsah not to tell Aisha. He vowed to her that as a compensation
for the act, he would have nothing more to do with Marya. But
the fiery Hafsah, who could not swallow the fact because it had
happened in her bed, gave the secret away.1*
a Christian slave-girl of Egyptian origin but all Prophet's wives
(except Saffyia) were proud of their Koresh descent, and looked
down upon her. This incident bore heavily upon them because:
1. He broke faith with Aisha: instead of sleeping with her according
to the rota system, he honoured Marya.
2. Hafsah was completely upset by the fact that he used her room
and bed for the purpose.
It led to
a mighty row between the Prophet and his wives. To gauge the magnitude
of domestic discord, one must pay attention to the following verse:
of the Prophet, you are not as other women. If you are god-fearing,
be not abject in your speech
. but speak honourable words."
(The Confederates, 33: 30)
cannot be anything but abusive language. This is what the Prophet
is complaining about here. As the situation worsened, he threatened
to divorce them and declared "Ila," that is, a period
of separation, before finalising the act of divorce. The details
of this episode are to be found in Chapter DLXXXI of Sahih Muslim.
It ought to be stated that both Abu Bakr (the father of Aisha)
and Umar (the father of Hafsah) spanked their daughters to make
them obey the Prophet, their son-in--law!
I must add
emphatically that concubinage was not Muhammad's invention. It
had existed in the East long before his advent. Being a Prophet
of God, who had come to enforce higher morality through personal
example as the Behavioural Model, he should have abolished it.
I must state categorically that concubinage is an evil institution,
and those who practiced it, must have known it. This is an abomination
1. A concubine is the property of her master; he can sell her and
is a forced mistress and cannot withhold herself from the master
whenever he wants her. Nor could she walk out on him because the
law concerning the fugitive slaves was very severe, indeed.
with a concubine amounts to rape because she is forced, and not
a consenting party.
4. Concubinage is a crime against womanhood: it abolishes all her
(human) rights of freedom, inheritance and dignity.
5. Concubinage means that woman has no purpose but to please man.
scientific advances have hit at the roots of Scriptural faith
sustained through brainwashing, the Muslim scholars have come
out with very large nets of misinterpretation to keep the faithful
in an eternal hypnotic state. They claim that a concubine in an
Islamic household is not a woman kept for sexual purposes against
her will, but is secondary wife.
This is very
Prophet Muhammad did not marry Rihana or Marya: both these women
were his slaves, and he slept with them whenever he liked.
sanction sexual intercourse with a helpless woman "possessed
by the right hand" of a Muslim, but morality does not permit
such an atrocity. How would the Muslims feel if their daughters,
sisters, mothers and wives were seized by the non-Muslims and
used for immoral purposes ?
2. There is no such thing as a secondary wife even in a polygamous
such women as seem good to you, two, three, four; but if you fear
you will not be equitable, then only one or what your right hand
owns." ( Women, 1 )
a. Polygamy is allowed on the strict condition that a husband treats
all his wives equally and fairly. Hence equity is the basic principle
for having more than one wife at the same time. If a man cannot
be equitable to all his wives, he loses the right to polygamy.
remember that marriage is a civil contract, which is brought about
by a nuptial ceremony recognised by custom and law. The rule of
equity demands that a man must go through a matrimonial ritual
with a concubine, too. If he does, she becomes a wife entitled
to equality, and thus cannot be treated as a "secondary wife."
is a wife or she is not.
b. The verse quoted above clearly states that if a man fears that
he will not be equitable to all his wives, then he must have only
one wife but can also possess concubines.
demonstrates beyond a shadow of doubt that a concubine is not
a wife but a woman kept for domestic duties and carnal pleasure.
are several hadiths which show the distinction between a wife
and a concubine:
Abd b. Zamaa
said to the Prophet: "He is my brother and the son of my
father's concubine." ( Mishkat, page 115 )
Here the distinction between a wife and concubine is maintained
said: "The concubine, who bore her master a child, would
become free after his death." ( Ibn-e-Majah, p 96 )
"We used to sell our concubines, who bore us children but
the Prophet expressed no revulsion." (Ibn-e-Majah, p 96)
seduced the slave-girl of his wife but the Prophet did not subject
him to any punishment." (Ibn-e-Majah, p 107)
are different for a wife and a concubine: If a wife commits adultery,
she is liable to death by stoning but a concubine must be flogged
even if she does it four times; thereafter, the master must sell
her even if he can get only a piece of string for her.
is a very strange twist to the whole affair of concubinage when
it comes to the children she has borne to her Muslim master: they
are treated as legitimate even if the concubine is a Kafir i.e.,
non-Muslim! How surprising it is that in sexual pleasures the
difference between belief and unbelief disappears! One wonders
about the morality and legality of the Islamic doctrine.
be noted that the Prophet himself had a son, called Ibrahim, from
his concubine, Marya!
became rife in the world of Islam because the Muslims believe
that the Prophet is the Behavioural Model for them, and entry
into paradise is not possible until he is imitated sincerely in
all aspects of life including eating, drinking, walking, talking,
and so on. In fact a person is not a true believer unless he acts
like the Prophet and looks like him. This attitude is based on
the following Koranic verse:
have had a good example in God's Messenger for whosoever hopes
for God and the Last Day
" (The Confederates, 33: 20)
is that the Prophet cannot be a Model of Behaviour for people
because he was above his own laws. If he is not willing to practice
his own rules of conduct, how can he expect other people to follow
them? Here are a few examples, out of many such episodes:
1. A Muslim is not allowed more than four wives at the same time
but the Prophet had no fewer than nine wives simultaneously.
2. A Muslim is permitted more than one wife on the strict condition
of equity, but when the Prophet failed to do so, Allah did not
tell him to keep one wife only; instead He gave him dispensation
from the fundamental law of polygamy:
suspend any of your wives at will, and receive any one of them
as you will: and whomsoever you desire of those whom you have
set aside, it is no sin for you (The Confederates, 33: 50)
If this is
not enough, look at the following verses:
and any woman believer, if she give herself to the Prophet and
if the Prophet desires to take her in marriage, for thee exclusively,
apart from the believers." (The Confederates, 45 )
making exclusive law of sexual enjoyment for the Prophet to the
total exclusion of the believers. It is this exclusivity which
negates the Prophet's claim as the Behavioural Model for his followers.
Humans can follow in the footprints of a human but cannot measure
up to the conduct of someone who occasionaly gives the impression
of being a man but usually claims the privileges of God.
In view of
these facts, one wonders if it is not befitting to regard Islam
who are usually brainwashed, lose the ability to be rational.
Despite what I have said above, the followers of Islam set up
huge harems to honour the Prophet as the Behavioural Model. I
shall explain this point in the next chapter with reference to
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