Friday, February 27, 2009

Islam and Wife-Beating: Muslim Scholars Speak

According to the Qur'an, men are permitted to beat their wives in certain situations:

Qur'an 4:34--Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret what Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High Exalted, Great. (Pickthall)

There are, of course, two extremes that should be avoided when we attempt to interpret this verse. On one extreme, some men may hold that they are free to beat their wives as often and as brutally as they like. This is not the case. On the other extreme, Muslim apologists often claim that Islamic wife-beatings are to be painless. This is simply absurd, given what the Muslim sources plainly declare.

In this post, we will observe the claims of Muslim scholars on the issue of wife-beating. We will then look at what some Muslim sources have to say on this issue, and why there have always been violent wife-beatings in Islam.

MUSLIM SCHOLARS ON WIFE-BEATING

This Muslim scholar tells Muslims that they shouldn't be ashamed about the Islamic practice of wife-beating. He declares that there are three types of women that a man can only live with if he carries a rod on his shoulder: (1) women who are accustomed to beating because their parents constantly beat them, (2) women who are condescending towards their husbands, and (3) women who will not obey their husbands.



According to the next Muslim scholar, the restrictions on beating one's wife are: (1) he must not do it in front of the children; (2) he must not cause bleeding, bruising, or broken bones; and (3) he should not hit her in the face.



According our next scholar, (1) a man should not beat his wife in the face, (2) he should not beat her where the beating will leave marks, (3) he should not beat her on her hands, and (4) "he should not beat her like he would beat an animal or a child--smacking them right and left."



The following scholar agrees with much of the above discussion. He adds that "beatings are indispensable."



So far we can see (1) that Muslim scholars rightly acknowledge that Islam permits wife-beating, and (2) that Muslims should follow certain rules when they beat their wives.

MUSLIM SOURCES ON WIFE-BEATING

The problem I have with some of the comments made by these Muslim scholars is that I can't find much of what they say in reliable Muslim sources. Indeed, the Muslim sources often indicate a quite different position from the ones we've seen.

For instance, consider the occasion on which Surah 4:34 was revealed. According to al-Tabari:

It was said that this verse was revealed because a man hit his wife on her face, so she came to the prophet (saw). The prophet then wanted to judge in her favor. But Allah revealed {Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others}. Then the prophet called on the man and recited this verse to him and said: "I wanted one thing, but Allah wanted another."

So a man hit his wife in the face, and she went to Muhammad for justice. Muhammad was about to judge in her favor, but Allah defended the man with Surah 4:34. How, then, can Muslims say that men may not hit their wives in the face, when 4:34 was revealed to defend a man who had hit his wife in the face? (Note: There is some support in Muslim sources for the claim that men shouldn't hit their wives in the face. However, as we've seen, the evidence is far from conclusive on this point.)

It's also difficult to see how Muslims can so confidently claim that men may not leave marks when they beat their wives, especially when we read about a man leaving a mark on his wife in Sahih al-Bukhari!

Sahih al-Bukhari 5825—Narrated Ikrima: Rifaa divorced his wife whereupon Abdur-Rahman married her. Aisha said that the lady came wearing a green veil and complained to her (Aisha) and showed her a green spot on her skin caused by beating. It was the habit of ladies to support each other, so when Allah’s messenger came, Aisha said, “I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women. Look! Her skin is greener than her clothes!” When Abdur-Rahman heard that his wife had gone to the prophet, he came with his two sons from another wife. She said, “By Allah! I have done no wrong to him, but he is impotent and is as useless to me as this,” holding and showing the fringe of her garment. Abdur-Rahman said, “By Allah, O Allah’s messenger! She has told a lie. I am very strong and can satisfy her, but she is disobedient and wants to go back to Rifaa.” Allah's messenger said to her, “If that is your intention, then know that it is unlawful for you to remarry Rifaa unless Abdur-Rahman has had sexual intercourse with you.” The prophet saw two boys with Abdur-Rahman and asked (him), “Are these your sons?” On that Abdur-Rahman said, “Yes.” The prophet said, “You claim what you claim (that he is impotent)? But by Allah, these boys resemble him as a crow resembles a crow.”

(Notice Aisha's claim that Muslim women were suffering more than pagan women.)

Even more disturbing is the fact that there are situations where a man may murder the mother of his own children!

Sunan Abu Dawud 4348— Narrated Abdullah Ibn Abbas: A blind man had a slave-mother who used to abuse the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and disparage him. He forbade her but she did not stop. He rebuked her but she did not give up her habit. One night she began to slander the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and abuse him. So he took a dagger, placed it on her belly, pressed it, and killed her. A child who came between her legs was smeared with the blood that was there. When the morning came, the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) was informed about it.

He assembled the people and said: I adjure by Allah the man who has done this action and I adjure him by my right to him that he should stand up. Jumping over the necks of the people and trembling the man stood up.

He sat before the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and said: Apostle of Allah! I am her master; she used to abuse you and disparage you. I forbade her, but she did not stop, and I rebuked her, but she did not abandon her habit. I have two sons like pearls from her, and she was my companion. Last night she began to abuse and disparage you. So I took a dagger, put it on her belly and pressed it till I killed her.

Thereupon the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Oh be witness, no retaliation is payable for her blood.

So men may rest assured that murdering one's "companion" is acceptable in certain situations (though this was his slave-girl, not his wife).

Some of the Muslim sources agree with the scholar above who said that beatings are indispensable. For example, beatings are necessary because, without them, women will become emboldened towards their husbands.

Sunan Abu Dawud 2141—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 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 complaining against their husbands. So the Apostle of Allah said: Many women have gone round Muhammad’s family complaining against their husbands. They are not the best among you.

Beyond this, we know that Muhammad, Abu Bakr, and Umar would not hesitate to hurt women.

Sunan Ibn Majah 1986—Ash’ath b. Qais is reported to have said, “One night Umar 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 bed, he said to me, ‘O Ash’ath, preserve from me a thing that I heard from Allah’s messenger. (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).”

Sahih Muslim 2127— . . . When it was my turn for Allah's Messenger to spend the night with me, he turned his side, put on his mantle and took off his shoes and placed them near his feet, and spread the corner of his shawl on his bed and then lay down till he thought that I had gone to sleep. He took hold of his mantle slowly and put on the shoes slowly, and opened the door and went out and then closed it lightly. I covered my head, put on my veil and tightened my waist wrapper, and then went out following his steps till he reached Baqi'. He stood there and he stood for a long time. He then lifted his hands three times, and then returned and I also returned. He hastened his steps and I also hastened my steps. He ran and I too ran. He came (to the house) and I also came (to the house). I, however, preceded him and I entered (the house), and as I lay down in the bed, he (the Holy Prophet) entered the (house), and said: Why is it, O 'Aisha, that you are out of breath? I said: There is nothing. He said: Tell me or the Subtle and the Aware would inform me. I said: Messenger of Allah, may my father and mother be ransom for you, and then I told him (the whole story). He said: Was it the darkness (of your shadow) that I saw in front of me? I said: Yes. He struck me on the chest which caused me pain, and then said: Did you think that Allah and His Apostle would deal unjustly with you?…

Sahih Muslim 3506—Jabir b. 'Abdullah reported: Abu Bakr came and sought permission to see Allah's Messenger. He found people sitting at his door and none amongst them had been granted permission, but it was granted to Abu Bakr and he went in. Then came 'Umar and he sought permission and it was granted to him, and he found Allah's Apostle 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 she asked me some money, and I got up and slapped her on her neck. Allah's Messenger laughed and said: They are around me as you see, asking for extra money. Abu Bakr then got up went to 'Aisha 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 for anything he does not possess. . . .

Sahih al-Bukhari 6845—Narrated Aisha: Abu Bakr came to towards me and struck me violently with his fist and said, "You have detained the people because of your necklace." But I remained motionless as if I was dead lest I should awake Allah's Apostle although that hit was very painful.

Putting all of this together, what do we have? The Qur'an is quite unclear as to how beatings should be performed, and most of the world's Muslims don't have copies of the necessary commentaries lying around. The result is that many Muslims are only aware of the fact that they may beat their wives, not of the fact that there are certain limitations. The result is awful. Let's consider a few examples.

WIFE-BEATING IN THE REAL WORLD

In this debate on wife-beating, a woman reports her research on wife-beating practices.



In our next video, Rania al-Baz discusses a beating her husband gave her. (Note: Her husband did not follow the advice of the scholars above.)



The husband of the twelve-year-old girl in the following video obviously doesn't follow the rules either:



Many are already familiar with the story of ten-year-old Nujood Ali, whose husband beat and raped her.



In this next video, two women discuss an instance of wife-beating, and they compare women in the West with women in the Muslim world.



I'm not sure how Muslims can offer a remotely compelling response to the facts here. In the book that would spread around the world as the heart of Islam, Allah declared that men may beat their wives. Unfortunately, he didn't clarify how this is to be done in his perfect book. Women have been suffering ever since.

In defense of Islam, here's a video by Khalid Yasin (though I wonder whether he is in touch with reality--the reality of Islamic teachings, and the reality of women in the Muslim world).



Obviously, Khalid must reject Aisha's claim from Sahih al-Bukhari: “I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women."

To conclude, let's see how one former Muslim woman responds to the claim that Muslim women love the treatment they receive under Islam.



(Note: There may be some important videos or texts I should add to this post. If anyone, Christian or Muslim, has anything significant to add, I'm open to suggestions.)

26 comments:

gsan said...

Westerm islamophobia and lies, I tell you!!

Stephanie said...

Despite what the Koran allows or prohibits, I have to ask the obvious: How could any healthy, SANE person desire a innocent little girl sexually?

I'm honestly sitting here, racking my brain for a comprehensible explanation. There is no comprehensible explanation. It's sexual perverseness; whether "legal" or not, it's perverse and immoral.

Also, another obvious question: Isn't the concept of a "light beating" an oxymoron? How are you supposed to beat someone, but so it doesn't cause any marks, bleeding, broken bones, etc.? I bruise pretty easily--you don't have to knock me around at all. Would "light beating" be a smack on the arm, a kick on the leg, a tug of the hair, or what? Maybe it's lost in translation, but still; a man can inflict a lot of harm on a woman whether intentional or not. I remember a time where I could roughhouse with my younger brother and easily overpower him. Now that he towers over me, I wouldn't dare challenge him. (Unless I have an opening in which I can run--very far.)

I had to laugh a bit at the comparison of "light beating" to therapy. Wouldn't it be interesting if, here in America, you paid to see a psychologist or counselor, and all he did was beat you? Physical abuse is only going to cause mental dilemmas and perhaps much worse. It's not going to fix the problem. But since Allah allows physical "correction," of course it's going to be consistently used. It sounds to me like another half-baked excuse to indulge the flesh.

El-Cid said...

From al-Wahidi's commentary, on the reason An-Nisa 4:34 was revealed:

"Said Muqatil: “This verse (Men are in charge of women…) was revealed about Sa‘d ibn al-Rabi‘, who was one of the leaders of the Helpers (nuqaba’), and his wife Habibah bint Zayd ibn Abi Zuhayr, both of whom from the Helpers. It happened Sa‘d hit his wife on the face because she rebelled against him."

If you read the rest, it demonstrates that in the end Muhammad did not rebuke, forbid, or punish what this man did.

http://www.altafsir.org/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=86&tSoraNo=4
&tAyahNo=34
&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0

Then, we also have these little gems about the value of women from al-Tabari and al-Qurtubi (two of Islams most prolific and highly respected exegetes):

"A Woman may be likened to a sheep—even a cow or a camel—for all are ridden.” (Tafsir al-Qurtubi vol.15, p.172)

Tabari IX:113 "Allah permits you to shut them in separate rooms and to beat them, but not severely. If they abstain, they have the right to food and clothing. Treat women well for they are like domestic animals and they possess nothing themselves. Allah has made the enjoyment of their bodies lawful in his Qur'an."

David,

This was a very thorough post. I really like the way you drew from multiple sources and then tied it all together with video evidence of how the teachings play out in the modern world.

David Wood said...

Stephanie,

Here's my view of "light beating," based on the most consistent reading of Islam's sources.

A "heavy beating" would be one where bones are broken, skin is shredded, etc. (Cf. the practice of Roman scourging.)

A light beating would be one where this sort of permanent damage isn't done.

This is the only way I can make sense of Islam's sources on this issue.

Stephanie said...

Mr. Wood-

Thank you for the clarification on that subject; all that aside, I would contend that beating is beating, and abuse is abuse. I know unfortunately many Muslims would debate that (perhaps maintaining that if the beating is light it is therefore humane). Thanks again for answering me.

David Wood said...

Stephanie,

I agree completely. I find it interesting that Muslims are quick to present their view of beating, as if the rest of us will find light beatings humane. We don't.

Matthew said...

No true scotsman.

Matthew said...

I predict the following response:

Those scholars are misguided because the islamic rules are different.

Fernando said...

Matthew... I think muslim's best choise of wordes to explain this ain't true islam is woulde be to sai these people are jews in disguise...

Brian said...

A beating is a beating light or not the "Islamaphobia" excuse is yet another excuse to try to cover up the evils of Islam. Just one time I would like them to take credit instead of blaming The West or The Jews we all know how evil Islam is thats why muslims make such lame excuses.

Matthew said...

Despite what the Koran allows or prohibits, I have to ask the obvious: How could any healthy, SANE person desire a innocent little girl sexually?

I think a this could happen and that there is no healthy sane person who desires an innocent little girl sexually.

Taylor said...

I'm sure you're already aware of this compilation on AI.
http://www.answering-islam.org/Silas/wife-beating.htm#_Toc160373814

What I wonder is - since Islam is a mixture of Zoroastrian, Hellenistic, apocryphal Christian, and Jewish beliefs - from where did Islam borrow this wife-beating practice?

Matthew said...

Maybe the wife-beating part comes from Allah?

Fernando said...

I'm fealling sad thate due to Ousama lack of respect this blog got so sad... Ain't there another way to block the un-polite posters that doesn't block the moste vivid exchange off opiniones?

Brian said...

The issue is what kind of man would even consider hitting his wife? I would never hit any woman and where I live a man who hits a woman is considered a cruel and whimpy person. When I see the quran teaching this I have to wonder if muhammad was that big of a whimp or was he just scared?

Nakdimon said...

Taylor: "What I wonder is - since Islam is a mixture of Zoroastrian, Hellenistic, apocryphal Christian, and Jewish beliefs - from where did Islam borrow this wife-beating practice?"

Man that's a GOOD question! How on earth they got from "love your wife as Christ loved the Church" to "beat her!", beats me.

Semper Paratus said...

Given what we know of Muhammad's treatment of Aisha, I think what we have here is a good old fashioned case of Muhammad deriving a moral norm from the exigencies of his own situation and conduct. "I hit Aisha; hence, if I say it is wrong for husbands to hit their wives, then I indict myself; but if I say it is okay, then I am free and clear, both now and in the future (if I fly off the handle again)."

Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

Nakedimon,

How did the debate go on Saturday?

I came on, but had to leave before the debate started.

El-Cid said...

Taylor said: "What I wonder is - since Islam is a mixture of Zoroastrian, Hellenistic, apocryphal Christian, and Jewish beliefs - from where did Islam borrow this wife-beating practice?"

This might shed some light on it:

"Every community's laws reflect it life-style, customs, and morals. In addition to the testimony of verse 38[34] of sura 4, there is historical evidence that the Ancient Arabs considered the husband to be the owner of his wife and fully entitled to inflict pain on her. Abu Bakr's daughter Asma, who was the fourth wife of Zobayr b. ol-'Awwam (one of the Prophet's first ten converts and principle companions), is reported to have said, "Whenever Zobayr was angry with one of us, he used to beat her UNTIL THE STICK BROKE."

The Islamic law on this subject has at least the merit of gradation. First admonition, next cessation of intercourse, and only in the last resort violence should be used to make the wife obey. In the opinion of several commentators and lawyers, the beating should not be severe as to break a bone, because in that case the legal right to retaliation in kind and degree might be invoked. Zamakhshari, however, writes in his comment on the verse that "some authorities do no accept gradation of the punishment of the insubordinate wife but consider infliction of any of the three penalties to be permissible." This was of course the interpretation given to the words by fanatical Arab theologians such as Ebn Hanbal and Ebn Taymiya. Nevertheless, the meaning of the words is clear and moreover confirmed by what follows in verse 39[35]: "And if you fear a breach between the two, send an arbiter from his kinsfolk and an arbiter from her kinsfolk in case they desire reconciliation." (Dashti, Ali; 23 Years: A Study of the Prophetic Career of Mohammad [Mazda Publishers, Costa Mesa, CA 1994], pp. 114, 115-116)

I guess Muhammad just kept the parts of the so-called Jahiliya ("days of ignorance") that he liked and/or found useful.

I also think it is really humorous to see Dashti quoting from a source that refers to Ibn Hanbal (the founder of the Hanbali school of fiqh) and Ibn Taymiyyah (a scholar held in highest regard by Salafis) by calling them "fanatical Arab theologians".

I wonder what Bassam thinks of Dashti's characterization of Ibn Taymiyyah? (and if he concurs with Taymiyyah's interpretation of 4:34?)

Osama Abdallah said...

Stephanie and David Wood,

Stephanie, you said:

"Despite what the Koran allows or prohibits, I have to ask the obvious: How could any healthy, SANE person desire a innocent little girl sexually?

I'm honestly sitting here, racking my brain for a comprehensible explanation. There is no comprehensible explanation. It's sexual perverseness; whether "legal" or not, it's perverse and immoral."


Smaller (in size) females are a whole lot more attractive than bigger ones. That is why in the Western culture, it is publically made absolutely clear in the movies and the media that Oriental girls (from Japan, China, Korea, Vietnam, etc...) are considered "the hottest", and that is why Thailand makes a great business in prostitution to the Westerner tourists. IT IS A BOOMING BUSINESS THERE. Also, younger females are more attractive to men than older females. It is not forbidden in either Islam or the Bible to marry young girls. Please show me where in the Bible is it forbidden for young girls to get married to older men?

David,

It is important for us to understand that women could cause a lot of bloodshed. In the Middle East, and even still today, you could lose your head if you even curse someone's mother.

The Noble Verses speak about NASHIZ WOMEN. These types of women are ones who do things such as the following:

1- Being flirty and loose especially with other men.

2- Too challenging to authority, and especially to the authority of the husband.

3- Rude, harsh and/or foul-mouthed.


There are other points that I can't think of here right now.

Beating and discipline are important, not just to children, but sometimes to the parents also. The Holy Quran allows for the father to beat the wife, ONCE AND AFTER THE THIRD WARNING:

[004:034] Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because God has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what God would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them; but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For God is Most High, great (above you all).

[004:035] If ye fear a breach between them twain, appoint (two) arbiters, one from his family, and the other from hers; if they wish for peace, God will cause their reconciliation: For God hath full knowledge, and is acquainted with all things.

Like I mentioned before, the Holy Quran clearly States:

1- If the woman is NASHIZ (does a major thing as I explained above), then warn her.

2- If she does it again, then discontinue sleeping with her for a while.

3- If she does it again, then beat her. Now "beat" in Arabic and the Holy Quran means "TO HIT" or "TO LEAVE": www.answering-christianity.com/beating.htm.

4- If she still doesn't repent, then bring a team from your side and hers and discuss it. Either fix the problem or divorce.


That's it. I also mentioned before that in Islam we have what is called the KHULUA', and it allows the woman to divorce herself from the husband if he is an evil person.

Osama Abdallah
www.answering-christianity.com

Osama Abdallah said...

Another important point about NASHIZ MOTHERS IS:

How could she raise good women who will be capable to become responsible mothers? A loose woman can bring Hell upon her tribe, because she'll cause conflicts by the sword to happen among families and tribes.

NOW WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO TOLERATE AND ACCEPT SUCH DANGER (the nashiz woman) TO BE IN YOUR TRIBE and bring shame upon you, and cause you to go to wars with other tribes and famlies

At www.answering-christianity.com/beating_yes.htm, I've provided a Hadith where one of the Companions told the Prophet that he's cut his wife into pieces before finding her flirting with another man! The Prophet responded to him by saying:

"You will not be more jealous and protective for your wives more than Allah Almighty and His Messenger." Meaning that Noble Verses' 4:34-35 Law is the Law to follow, because it is from Allah Almighty.

Osama Abdallah
www.answering-christianity.com

Osama Abdallah said...

Here are some Hadiths that I provided in the link that I gave above:

AI-Mughira b. Shu'ba (Allah be pleased with him) reported that Sa'd b. 'Ubada (Allah be pleased with him) said: "If I were to see a man with my wife, I would have struck him with the sword, and not with the flat part (side) of it. When Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) heard of that, he said: Are you surprised at Sa'd's jealousy of his honour? By Allah, I am more jealous of my honour than he, and Allah is more jealous than I. Because of His jealousy Allah has prohibited abomination, both open and secret And no person is more jealous of his honour than Allah, and no persons, is more fond of accepting an excuse than Allah, on account of which He has sent messengers, announcers of glad tidings and warners; and no one is more fond of praise than Allah on account of which Allah has promised Paradise. (Translation of Sahih Muslim, The Book of Divorce (Kitab Al-Talaq), Book 009, Number 3572)"

"......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. He darted with the spear and pierced it and then went out having fixed it in the house, but the snake quivered and attacked him and no one knew which of them died first, the snake or the young man. We came to Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) and made a mention to him and said: Supplicate to Allah that that (man) may be brought back to life. Thereupon he said: Ask forgiveness for your companion and then said: There are in Medina jinns who have accepted Islam, so when you see any one of them, pronounce a warning to it for three days, and if they appear before you after that, then kill it for that is a devil. (Translation of Sahih Muslim, The Book on Salutations and Greetings (Kitab As-Salam), Book 026, Number 5557)"

Clearly, NASHIZ WOMEN CAN BRING MUCH TROUBLE AND BLOOD SHED TO THE FAMILY AND THE TRIBE. Islam came to heal this forever.

Osama Abdallah
www.answering-christianity.com

Stephanie said...

Mr. Abdallah,

The point I was trying to convey is that a 10-year-old girl is not mature enough physically OR emotionally to handle sexual relations. Even when that girl reaches puberty and she is capable of bearing a child, she is still in danger of dying during childbirth; the newborn itself, also, will more than likely be a low birth weight baby and would suffer complications or even die (the latter being more likely).

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, true; however there is a difference between LOVING someone and LUSTING after them. A 40-year-old, or even a 20- or 30-year-old, "loving" a 10-year-old girl is highly doubtful. What could an older, more mature man see in a young girl? Fertility, perhaps. But nothing emotionally or intellectually. (Mind you, I suppose Middle Eastern Muslim men don't exactly look for an equal to spend their life with.)

10-year-old girls are not cognitively mature enough to engage in ADULT activity (be it sex, politics, or any other activity requiring specific skills); that is why they are considered children. Childhood is a prime time in which child play games with their peers; children--once biologically mature enough (and by that I mean the maturation of the frontal lobe of the brain where they gain the ability to grasp certain concepts and develop certain motor skills)--go to school and learn. Children do not have sex with middle-aged men.

I can't see a morality argument working here since we have differing beliefs, so I'll use another approach because this isn't just about "cultural norms." Biologically, it's common sense to wait until the child is an adult. When violated, children will show telltale signs of confusion, fear, emotionally unstability, guilt, depression, etc. You can almost always tell when a child has been sexually violated; it's not good for them psychologically. Again I stress, they can't handle it physically and they can't handle it emotionally--even if the child doesn't UNDERSTAND what's going on, he or she usually exhibits feelings of discomfort. And unless you have been one of those children who have suffered sexual abuse, you cannot tell me how those children (or even teens and adults) feel.

There are so many repercussions when it comes to sexually assaulted children. For example, they're at heightened risk to abuse drugs, to suffer from chronic depression, PTSD, suicidal thoughts or attempts, promiscuous behavior, and even being criminals themselves one day. A lot of children are resilient, however, through the help of a supportive family or other means. I know that having a supportive family certainly helps, but so much more does having a relationship with God.

Also, nowhere in the Bible does it condone a middle-aged man marrying a prepubescent girl. I Timothy 5:14 does say, "So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander." But it does not refer to children marrying middle aged men. And this is what I've been talking about--children marrying middle aged men.

Also age differences in the Bible--such as the ten years between Abraham and Sarah--are deemed (at least by our standards) appropriate at certain ages. Obviously if Abraham was 13 when he married Sarah (who would be 3), we would have some major objections. If he was 30 and she was 20, we might object less. But today, there are MANY women who can be married off to men of the same age. There is no reason to give away a small child if there are young ladies who are mature enough to handle that. (This does not mean I am agreeing with the custom of women being given away to men--my argument is for extreme age differences, especially when the girl is prepubescent.)

I think I gave you more than enough to read (in case you haven't noticed, I can go on and on and on sometimes!), so I'll end on that note. Thanks for reading (though I don't blame you if you end up ignoring my remarks).

God bless,
Stephanie

El-Cid said...

"......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. ..."

Osama, you seem to somehow be overlooking the fact that you just quoted a Hadith that provides evidence of a Muslim man who was ready to stab and murder his wife simply for coming out of their house!!

Is this what Islam does to people?

traeh said...

To Stephanie: Isn't it the case that up until a century or two ago, it was not so uncommon for a much older man to marry a young girl (though not a prepubescent girl)?

My point is not that we should applaud Muhammad, nor that we should go back to letting underage girls marry. My point is merely that sexual attraction to very young women -- girls who are reaching puberty -- was manifestly not unusual in the not distant past. And to imagine that even men today feel no physical attraction to girls entering puberty is really to live in a sheltered world.

But to recognize the relative ubiquity of sexual attractions is very different from believing it a healthy thing to act on such attractions or do anything to develop them in this day and age. Today the individual counts for more than ever before, and that includes especially the individuality of the helpless female child, who must be protected and allowed to grow up and physically and mentally mature until she is old enough to make her own decisions about whom she wishes to unite with. Children are not equipped to make such decisions, and so we rightly protect them until they become adults or nearly so.

As to beatings of Muslim women, one of the imams in the above videos makes it sound like he is advising spankings. He says no bruising, no hitting in the face, no bone-breaking, no permanent damage, no leaving marks. Sounds sort of like spanking. That a man should be able to "spank" his wife, much less beat her, still seems idiotic, another indication of how insane Islam is. And 4:34 says "beat," not "spank." And David Wood has here given a great deal of evidence that Islam -- through a combination of commission and omission in its sacred texts -- causes a great deal more than mere spankings to go on.

christiantheism said...

@gsan, you said:
"Westerm islamophobia and lies, I tell you!!"

Can you be more specific? Are you talking about the video content or the content direct from Islamic doctrine?