Monday, March 24, 2014

Sheepgate: Solving the Mystery of the Quran's Missing Verses on Breastfeeding Adults

We've already solved the Mystery of Muhammad's Death, so that cold case is closed. But there is another mystery in early Islam, which we'll call "Sheepgate: The Case of the Qur'an's Missing Verses on Breastfeeding Adults."

In order to solve this mystery, we'll need some background information.

Islam has some incredibly odd teachings (to put it mildly). But every once in a while we come across a command that's so unbelievably absurd, on so many levels, we can only wonder why Muhammad wasn't laughed out of Arabia when he delivered it to his followers.

Take, for instance, Muhammad's solution to the problem of a man and a woman, who aren't married to each other, needing to be alone together for some reason. How would an unmarried man and woman avoid having sex at the first opportunity? Not a problem, when you've got Allah at your beck and call. Allah, in his timeless wisdom, revealed in the Qur'an that the woman simply needs to breastfeed the man ten times, which will make them legally related (she will be his foster mother). That way, they won't be tempted to have sex.

Even though the Qur'an is eternal, however, Allah eventually changed his eternal mind about the need for ten breastfeedings. Five, it turns out, would be sufficient:

Sahih Muslim 3422—Amra reported that she heard Aisha discussing fosterage which (makes marriage) unlawful; and she (Aisha) said: There was revealed in the Holy Qur'an ten clear sucklings, and then five clear (sucklings).

So five breastfeedings were enough to turn a man into a woman's foster son, and therefore to eliminate the possibility of sexual relations.

But be careful to complete at least five breastfeedings, because one or two wouldn't be enough, as Muhammad was careful to point out:

Sahih Muslim 3417—Allah's Apostle said: Being suckled once or twice, or one suckling or two, do not make marriage unlawful.

So there we have it. The Qur'an contains at least two verses on breastfeeding adults—one abrogated verse requiring ten breastfeedings and another verse requiring five. Aisha is quite clear that these verses are part of the Qur'an:

Sahih Muslim 3421—Aisha reported that it had been revealed in the Holy Qur’an that ten clear sucklings make the marriage unlawful, then it was abrogated by five sucklings and Allah’s Apostle died and it was before that time (found) in the Holy Qur’an (and recited by the Muslims).

But these verses aren't in the Qur'an we have today. So what happened to them? Aisha tells us what happened to the first verse:

Sunan ibn Majah 1944—It was narrated that Aishah said: “The Verse of stoning and of breastfeeding an adult ten times was revealed, and the paper was with me under my pillow. When the Messenger of Allah died, we were preoccupied with his death, and a tame sheep came in and ate it.”

The other verse (commanding five breastfeedings) isn't in the Qur'an either, so we can only conclude that both verses on breastfeeding adults were eaten by Aisha's sheep. Was this a mere accident, or was something more sinister afoot? Let's see if we can solve the Mystery of the Missing Verses.

For a while at least, Muhammad's wives were on board with Allah's views concerning breastfeeding and fosterage, for Muhammad's wife Hafsa ordered her sister to breastfeed Asim before he could visit her:

Al-Muwatta of Imam Malik 30.1.8—Yahya related to me from Malik from Nafi that Safiyya bint Abi Ubayd told him that Hafsa, Umm al-Muminin [Mother of the Believers], sent Asim ibn Abdullah ibn Sa'd to her sister, Fatima bint Umar ibn al-Khattab, for her to suckle him ten times so that he could come in to see her. She did it, so he used to come in to see her.

Eventually, however, most of Muhammad's wives (everyone except Aisha, who was happy to have her sister breastfeed men for her, in order to make them her foster brothers) became disgruntled over the practice, and they insisted that Allah's command to breastfeed adults didn't apply to them:

Al-Muwatta of Imam Malik 30.2.12—Sahla bint Suhayl, who was the wife of Abu Hudhayfa, and one of the tribe of Amr ibn Lu'ayy, came to the Messenger of Allah, and said, "Messenger of Allah! We think of Salim as a son and he comes in to see me when I am uncovered. We only have one room, so what do you think about the situation?" The Messenger of Allah said, "Give him five drinks of your milk and he will be mahram [illegal to marry] by it." She then saw him as a foster-son. Aisha, Umm al-Muminin [Mother of the Believers], took that as a precedent for whatever men she wanted to be able to come to see her. She ordered her sister, Umm Kulthum bint Abi Bakr as-Siddiq and the daughters of her brother to give milk to whichever men she wanted to be able to come in to see her. The rest of the wives of the Prophet refused to let anyone come in to them by such nursing. They said, "No, by Allah! We think that what the Messenger of Allah ordered Sahla bint Suhayl to do was only by an indulgence concerning the nursing of Salim alone. No, by Allah! No-one will come in upon us by such nursing!"

Apparently, Muhammad's wives had more common sense than their husband, for they realized how silly it was for grown women to put their bare breasts into the mouths of grown men in an attempt to avoid sexual tension.

So what happened to the missing verses?

There are only three plausible explanations for why these verses were eliminated from the Qur'an when Muhammad died. First, since Aisha had the only written copy of the verses, Muhammad's other wives may have eventually persuaded her to destroy them. Second, while Aisha may have remained faithful in her desire to preserve the Qur'an, Muhammad's other wives may have engaged in a bit of sabotage, sending a hungry sheep into Aisha's house to rid the world of one of history's most ridiculous teachings. Third, Sheepgate may have been a genuine accident; Aisha's sheep may have coincidentally consumed a verse that most of Muhammad's wives found absolutely repulsive.

I find the third explanation the least probable, since it would be extraordinarily unlikely for a sheep to start munching on such an absurd verse by chance. The first two explanations may seem to be equally plausible, since they both account for the data. Nevertheless, there's another important piece of data to consider. The sheep didn't only eat the verse of breastfeeding an adult, but also the verse of stoning an adulteress. Because Aisha had been accused of adultery, we don't need Sherlock Holmes to tell us what she would have thought of that verse.

The evidence, then, points to sabotage, either by Aisha alone or by some conspiracy among Muhammad's wives. The verses of breastfeeding an adult, along with the verse of stoning, fell victim to one of history's least common means of malice: death by sheep.

For more on this topic, see Sam Shamoun's article: "Islam and the Nursing of Adults."


Anthony Rogers said...

I am sure there are a lot of Muslim men who are quite upset with Aisha's sheep right about now.

Unknown said...

I'm so sorry my dog ate the homework = I'm sorry my goat ate the mushaf

this proves muslim intelligence IS EQUAL to the intelligence of 10 yrs old child

Unknown said...

So Mohammad's allah (god of hate and sexual perversion) dictates to illiterate Mohammad that to prevent men and women from having sex, they must perform some foreplay...

What is wrong with this picture? Any reasonable person would recognize how sick Islamic teaching is, good thing Islam forbids thinking about Islam under penalty of death...


Nakdimon said...

Note that the abrogation is ONLY from 10 sucklings to 5 sucklings. NOWHERE does it say it was abrogated OUT of the Quran So where is the verse?

Unknown said...

The more I read about Mohammad the more certain I become that someone from Ethiopia must have played a huge role in Mohammed's life (My grand father used to tell me an ancient story about an Ethiopian priest who was expelled from a specific church and migrated to Arabia and wrote a book for some false prophet). Look, the suckling story is a very ancient pagan Ethiopian story. The story goes as: if someone wants to be related to some family, A mother of one family will suckle an INFANT form the other family. HOWEVER, after the Ethiopians accept Christ (we are talking about a year about second century), they drop the tradition of suckling to be related to some one; instead, they started to be a God father or God Mother to an infant(adult) of the family they want to be related with. This happen during the infant's or adult's baptism.
May God help the Muslims see the satanic teaching of Mohammed and turn them to Christ. And may God help Christians live up to the teaching of Christ.
Most people leave Christianity because of the actions of fake Christians than the beauty of the teaching of any book out there.

Christlike said...

Absurdities upon absurdities yet Muslims are blind to them, I have observed three pillars of Islam
1. Ignorance
2. Deception
3. Terror.
Without these 3 pillars Islam would be long dead.

David Wood said...

For more on changes to the Qur'an, see:

The Original Burn the Quran Day

Michael C said...

It is a crime for a man and unrelated woman to be together, and for a woman to be uncovered. If, however, the woman breastfeeds the man five sucklings that makes him related to her, and she can be in his presence. The only way this can happen is by having crimes committed – unexplained inconsistencies of Sharia.

Michael C said...

Michael C

Unknown said...

please try to be honest and do not depend on false dirty lies about Islam . do you know why you depend on lie?! because you did not find any real problem in great Islam to talk about.

Unknown said...

The breastfeeding is in reference to babies, so a man and woman breastfed by the same womanare considered siblings

David Wood said...

Wow! iGibby Gibb rushed to defend Islam without even bothering to read the sources. She says it refers to breastfeeding children, when the passages cited clearly refer to "breastfeeding an adult."

Imagine what the world would be like if people studied BEFORE trying to defend Islam!

Owais Kamal said...

Sine people dont read the Quran or the Hadith you have manipulated these Hadiths

Verse 18:27 Quran
"And recite what has been revealed to you (O Muhammad) of the book (The Quran) of your Lord. None can change His Words, and none will you find as a refuge other than Him.

Chapter 15 verses 6 to 9 of Quran

And they say "O you (Muhammad) to whom the Dhikr (The Quran) has been sent down! Verily, you are mad man! Why do you not bring angela to us if you are truthful?" We send not the angels down except with the truth ( i.e. for torment), and in that case, they (the disbelievers) would have no respite! Verily, We, it is We Who have down the Dhikr (i.e. the Quran) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption)

from these verses IT IS CLEAR that Allah will protect the Quran

The hadith books (total 6) is NOT written in the presence of the Prophet (hadith are narrations of companions and Allah DOES NOT say he will protect the narrations of people)

A'isha (Allah be pleased with, her) reported that it had been revealed in the Holy Qur'an that ten clear sucklings make the marriage unlawful, then it was abrogated (and substituted) by five sucklings and Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) died and it was before that time (found) in the Holy Qur'an (and recited by the Muslims). (Sahih Muslim, Hadith 2634) --


REASONS why this hadith is NOT authetic
1) A verse(which is related to LAW) is repeated MULTIPLE times in different places in Quran...IF one VERSE is lost there SHOULD have been a identical one in the QUran

- Allah says He WILL protect HIS words and the Pophet's words NOT the words of Aisha or anyone else
-There is no HISTOICAL evidence that people accused Aisha of saying the Quran is Lost meaning that this fabiation was made after her DEATH

Owais Kamal said...

AND SINCE YOU PEOPLE ARE the other Hadith.. they are talking about MARRIAGE or two sukling to dot make MARRIAGE unlawful -_-

Owais Kamal said...

AND SINCE YOU PEOPLE ARE the other Hadith.. they are talking about MARRIAGE or two sukling to dot make MARRIAGE unlawful -_-

Sahih Muslim 3417—Allah's Apostle said: Being suckled once or twice, or one suckling or two, do not make MARRIAGE unlawful. This is between a husband and a wife

Al-Muwatta of Imam Malik 30.1.8.THIS is a contradiction.for him suck he must enter the room FIRST than can suck THEN enter the room to see her?

Unknown said...

Alyaa Ghanema said
' you know why you depend on lie?! because you did not find any real problem in great Islam to talk about'

That's just too funny. Must be a stand up comedian or something.

Maheen Fatima said...

This hadis isn't authentic. Find something from Quran and Sahih Bukhari, then comment on its fallacies. I have studied Koran for two years, being a pure atheist before, and I found that religion flawless.

Unknown said...

To Neha
I'm not sure which Koran you have been studying but this is ridiculous. Surely you are making a joke. The simple existence of the doctrine of abrogation makes your comment ridiculous by itself. That's without even bothering to analyse the various absurdities and contradictions throughout the book.

Easy matha ma tics for A/L said...

Hey ...listen to me we thowheed jammath are ready to proove that these hatheeths are not alid because these messages are against the Allah's words don't worry these messages are created by munaafiks and it won't demolish the real human being Muhammad peace be upon him

Unknown said...

Owais Kamal English is clearly not your first language. Read the hadiths in Arabic if you understand . It is not talking about a marriage between a man and his wife,it is talking about making a marriage unlawful between two people who one breastfed the other, so for example it is unlawful (haram) for a man to marry his mother. So if any women breastfeeds him, she becomes like a foster mother therefore now it is haram for him to marry her. So no one is lying, you people need to stop trying to defend the indefensible. Even the azhar stated the hadiths are authentic

Malaya Christian said...

Oh, zombies will protest these conspiracy theories about the hungry sheep eating the verses of the quran. Hahahahaha.

Unknown said...

The breast feeding only makes marriage illegal if the male is breast fed before the first 2 years of his life. This entire article is bogus and filled with lies. Adult breast feeding was never encouraged. You're clearly either misinformed or a liar. Jesus hates liars. More importantly. ALLAH the one who created Jesus hates liars.

Unknown said...

i was laughing & went on laughing while i read the account !

Just Call Me Leen Ok! said...

...applicable only to a baby boy less than 2 yrs old. PLEASE STOP LYING!!!

Bruce said...

Too bad the goat wasn't hungrier.