Since 9/11 Islam has been in the news and its founder, Muhammad, is often mentioned. And rightly so, for he is the hub of cartoons, riots, and beheadings. His many pronouncements form the foundation and structure of Islam and range from war to sex, medicine to assassinations, snakes to angels, eating to excrement.
Recently I’ve read comments on Muhammad’s sexuality that troubled me and with which I disagreed. Writers, both pro and con, have described Muhammad from whoremonger to Puritan. Some critics claim Muhammad was a pedophile while supporters say that his marriages were only for platonic or political reasons. Wherein lies the truth?
Based upon my study of Muhammad’s life I find that both extremes are inaccurate. Christians who say Muhammad was a pedophile are incorrect. It is true that he married Aisha when she was 6, and sexually consummated that marriage when she was 9, before she had her first menstruation. But that does not make him a pedophile. It is true that some of his marriages were for non-sexual reasons but other marriages and relationships were made simply due to the women’s beauty and his sexual desire. Muhammad did not linger and long like a shy O’Henry character; he took, or his status drew them. Women gravitate toward rich or powerful men.
Note that some great and important men have let their sex drives lead them into immoral acts. We all know of King Edward the VIII’s relationship with Mrs. Wallis Simpson – and the wound it caused our England. The Americans have their examples: reportedly, Thomas Jefferson used one of his slaves, Martin Luther King was an adulterer, as was President Kennedy. Yet each of these men accomplished great things for their country. Their moral failings tarnishes their character but does not diminish their accomplishments.
However, history shows us that when religious men engage in immoral behavior then they are judged more harshly. This is because they proclaim a moral code and betray it. Muhammad falls into this religious category and this is why we should examine his actions. Muhammad proclaimed himself as the best example for humans to follow and Muslims are instructed to follow his lifestyle (Quran, 68:4, 33:21), hence he should be held to a higher standard.
But we must be fair if we evaluate Muhammad. He was a man, and should be expected to act like a normal man, one who deals with the temptations of human nature. We cannot expect him to be completely pure and innocent. All men are sinners, including Muhammad1, and all men have sex drives. Even a morally fine man like the American President Jimmy Carter confessed to the sin of lust. I doubt he is alone. So to point the finger at Muhammad and condemn him for that would be unfair. Men like having sex and Muhammad was no exception.
Therefore, this is not a voyeuristic exercise intended to hold a man who proclaims morality accountable for the slightest error. But, if his sex drive were so great and unchecked that it clouded his judgment, influenced his religious teachings, and drove his actions, then it would be justified and necessary to criticize Muhammad.
And please note: throughout the Quran there are verses showing that Allah was concerned with Muhammad’s sexual activities. Allah gives specific commands to Muslims concerning with whom they may and may not have sex, and even how they physically could have sex (a reference to sexual positions is found in 2:222, 223). Since the Quran and Hadith speak frequently of sex it is legitimate to take a deeper look.
Consequently, we are going to examine Muhammad’s actions, statements, and attitudes related to sex. Is Muhammad’s Paradise little more than an opulent Nevada whore house where men can spend all the day long in intercourse with beautiful angelic-like beings, or is it a place where Allah is worshipped in purity of heart, or is it both? Did Muhammad act properly when he dealt with women and men when sex was involved? Did Muhammad treat women properly or were they little more than instruments to satisfy his lust? Was Muhammad so focused on sexual satisfaction that it caused him to pronounce teachings that degraded women?
In order to examine Muhammad’s actions, statements, and attitudes related to sex, we have to actually consider what the Islamic source materials state, i.e. the writings of the Quran, Hadith, and Sira. Many authors render many opinions but few of them bother to quote the Islamic source materials and discuss their application and context.
To answer the questions I’m going to break this examination into three topics and quote primarily from Islamic source materials. These topics are:
1) Muhammad, Houris, and sex in Paradise.
2) Muhammad’s dealings with men and women involving sex.
3) Muhammad’s teachings on a woman’s station with respect to sex.
[NOTE: When I use the term “Allah” I am referring specifically to Islam’s God. Allah simply means God in Arabic, but in order to distinguish between Islam’s God, and Christianity’s God, I use the term “Allah”].
[NOTE: If there is bold in the quotes that I use, the emphasis is mine.]
1) MUHAMMAD, HOURIS, AND SEX IN PARADISE
We start with Muhammad’s Quran – the most important Islamic text. It states that in Paradise men will be married to “Houris” (beautiful, angelic-like female creatures who’s virginity is renewed each day). Here are some verses:
“Thus (shall it be), and We will wed them with Houris, pure, beautiful ones.” The Evident Smoke, 44:54 Shakir2
… They shall recline on couches lined with thick brocade, and within reach will hang the fruits of both gardens. … Therein are bashful virgins whom neither man nor jinnee will have touched (opening their hymens with sexual intercourse) before. … Virgins as fair as corals and rubies…. The Beneficent, 55:54-58 Dawood3
In each there shall be virgins chaste and fair. … Dark eyed virgins sheltered in their tents whom neither man nor jinnee would have touched before. They shall recline on green cushions and fine carpets. … The Beneficent 55:70-77 Dawood
We created the Houris and made them virgins, loving companions for those of the right hand… That Which is Coming, 56:36 Dawood
As for the righteous, they shall surely triumph. Theirs shall be gardens and vineyards, and high-bosomed virgins for companions: a truly overflowing cup. The Tidings, 78:31-33 Dawood
Also reference 52:20, 56:22-24
(NOTE: for brevity’s sake I omitted the repetitive phrase “Which of your Lord’s blessings would you deny?” and represented it with three dots ” for verses 55:54-77).
The Hadith also mention the Houris…
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, “The first batch (of people) who will enter Paradise will be (glittering) like the full moon, and the batch next to them will be (glittering) like the most brilliant star in the sky. Their hearts will be as if the heart of a single man, for they will have neither enmity nor jealousy amongst themselves; everyone will have two wives from the houris, (who will be so beautiful, pure and transparent that) the marrow of the bones of their legs will be seen through the bones and the flesh.” Bukhari4, volume 4, #476.
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Apostle said, “The first group of people who will enter Paradise, will be glittering like the full moon and those who will follow them, will glitter like the most brilliant star in the sky. They will not urinate, relieve nature, spit, or have any nasal secretions. Their combs will be of gold, and their sweat will smell like musk. The aloes-wood will be used in their centers. Their wives will be houris. All of them will look alike and will resemble their father Adam (in statute), sixty cubits tall.” Bukhari, volume 4, #544.
(Also ref. Sahih Muslim5, #6793).
The great Islamic scholar, Ibn Kathir6, comments on 78:33:
(And vineyards, and Kawa`ib Atrab,) meaning, wide-eyed maidens with fully developed breasts. Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and others have said, (Kawa`ib) “This means round breasts. They meant by this that the breasts of these girls will be fully rounded and not sagging, because they will be virgins, equal in age.This means that they will only have one age.” The explanation of this has already been mentioned in Surat Al-Waqi`ah…
Comment on 56:36 from Maariful Tafsir7 (commentary)
The word “abkaran, being the plural of bikr, means ‘virgins’. The sense is the creation of the maidens of Paradise will be of such a nature that, even after every sexual intercourse, they will remain like virgins. (Source, Page 290).
Comment on 44:54 from Maariful Tafsir
… Although the inmates of Paradise will not be legally obligated to observe the precepts of Shariah the purpose of marriage will be to honour them. Therefore, this should not raise any objection IF the word is taken in the first sense, houris having big dark eyes will be given as life partners to the men of Paradise. The houris in this case will be granted to them as a gift. There will be no need for a contract of marriage as is done in this world. (Source, Page 762).
Some interesting comments are found in The Shorter Encyclopedia of Islam8, page 141, under the word, “Hur”.
“Two names are written on their breasts, one of the names of Allah and the name of their husband. They wear many jewels and ornaments etc. on their hands and feet. They dwell in splendid palaces surrounded by female attendants and all possible luxury.
When the believer enters Paradise he is welcomed by one of these beings; a large number of them are at his disposal; he cohabits with each of them as often as he has fasted days in Ramadan and as often as he has performed good works besides. Yet they remain always virgins…
Thus far we see that Muhammad’s Allah placed an emphasis on sexual pleasure in Paradise. The Houris are companions who remain in a perpetual state of virginity, regardless of how often they are used for sex.
But Muhammad had more to say on this…
One of Muhammad’s more interesting sexual statements dealt with the amount of times a man can have sex in one day in Paradise.
A man will have intercourse in Paradise with his wives from among al-hoor al-‘iyn and his wives from among the people of this world, if they enter Paradise with him.A man will be given the strength of a hundred men to eat, drink, feel desire and have sexual intercourse. It was narrated from Anas that the Prophet said: “The believer in Paradise will be given such and such strength for sexual intercourse.” He was asked, “O Messenger of Allaah, will he really be able to do that?” He said, “He will be given the strength of one hundred (men).” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, no. 2459. He said, (it is) saheeh ghareeb). Sunan al-Tirmidhi #2459 (Source)
An additional three Hadith from Ibn Sad’s “Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir”9, volume 1, pages 438, 439. (I have omitted the isnaad and the obligatory blessing on Muhammad):
…The apostle of Allah said, “Gabriel brought a kettle from which I ate and I was given the power of sexual intercourse to forty men.”
…The apostle of Allah was given the power to equal to that of forty men and the people of paradise will be given the power equal to eighty men
…The prophet was granted the power of sexual intercourse to that of forty men.
Ibn Kathir commenting on 56:35-37 says regarding the amount of times a man can have sex in one day in Paradise:
(In Paradise, the believer will be given such and such strength for women.) Anas said, “I asked, `O Allah’s Messenger! Will one be able to do that’ He said,
(He will be given the strength of a hundred (men).)” At-Tirmidhi also recorded it and said, “Sahih Gharib.” Abu Al-Qasim At-Tabarani recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah was asked, “O Allah’s Messenger! Will we have sexual intercourse with our wives in Paradise” He said,
(The man will be able to have sexual intercourse with a hundred virgins in one day.) Al-Hafiz Abu `Abdullah Al-Maqdisi said, “In my view, this Hadith meets the criteria of the Sahih, and Allah knows best.” Allah’s statement,
(`Urub,) Sa`id bin Jubayr reported that Ibn `Abbas said, “They are in an infatuated state with their husbands, haven’t you ever seen a she-camel in heat? She is like that.” Ad-Dahhak reported from Ibn `Abbas who said, “The Urub and their husbands are their sweet hearts, and they are their husbands’ sweet hearts.” Similar was said by `Abdullah bin Sarjis, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Abu Al-`Aliyah, Yahya bin Abi Kathir, `Atiyah, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and others. Ad-Dahhak reported from Ibn `Abbas;
Muhammad claimed he was gifted to perform sexually 40 times a day and that men in Paradise can have sex up to 80 or 100 times a day. Do the math – 100 times a day is over four times an hour for 24 hours. That this doesn’t leave much time for anything else does it? Muhammad promised unlimited sex. So, what do you think was on Muhammad’s mind?
Orgasm is the epitome of Islam’s heaven. Isn’t this image of Paradise more like a teenage boy’s or lecherous old man’s vision… engaging in sexual act after sexual act?
Muhammad’s motivation is described best by the Ghost in Hamlet….
So lust, thought to a radiant angel link’d,
Will sate itself in a celestial bed
And prey on garbage.
Hamlet 1.5.61-3, the Ghost to Hamlet
Muhammad taught that Allah created “Houris” specifically for sexual use. They were created primarily to satisfy Muslim men’s lust. These Houris, though they are called “wives”, are not “wives” in any real sense. Rather, they are created primarily for sexual pleasure. They are whores, they are sex dolls, they are nothing but creatures created by Allah to be sexual playthings. Muhammad’s Allah plays the pimp.
This leads me to one of my main points against Muhammad and Islam: carnal pleasure was the best Muhammad could come up with because he did not know the beautiful presence of the One true God, he did not know the personal, intimate, love of Christ. Islam is a man’s religion – made by a man, for men. Consequently, Muhammad’s imagination created a heavenly Playboy mansion. Sorry, but I want something better and I know that what Christ and the Bible promise to believers far exceeds ejaculation.
The picture that the Quran gives us of Paradise is indeed one of an opulent Nevada whore house. Allah makes sure that his men can get erections all day long and provides the Houris to satiate their lust. Oh, lest they forget, I’m sure the Muslims there will remember to praise and thank Allah for this environment and ability of perpetual sex. But in Quranic passage after passage never is the emphasis put on Allah rather it is put on carnal fulfillment.
Doesn’t it strike you as perverse that Allah would create creatures just to be used sexually? This does not fit the character of the God I know.
Now we’ll move on to Muhammad’s personal relationships with men and women. Did Muhammad’s actions show respect toward women? Was Muhammad fair in his dealings with other men?
2) MUHAMMAD’S DEALINGS WITH OTHERS WHEN SEX WAS INVOLVED
WHAT MUHAMMAD WANTED…
I’ve always said that people today should take Muhammad at his word. What did Muhammad want?
1) The Apostle of Allah said, “I like not from worldly life but perfumes and women.
2) The Apostle of Allah did not receive from worldly luxuries except perfume and women.
3) The Prophet of Allah liked three worldly objects – perfume, women and food. He obtained two and did not obtain one. He obtained women and perfumes but did not get food.
4) The Apostle of Allah did not obtain any thing from worldly objects dearer to him than women and perfumes.
5) Nothing was dearer to the Prophet of Allah than a horse. Then he said: O Allah! excuse me, nay! the women. (i.e. not dearer than women). (Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, Volume 1, page 469).
These statements say that the desire of Muhammad’s heart was to have sex with many women. Now we’ll take a look at some of the ways in which he got it.
MUHAMMAD AND HIS OLD WIFE
This account focuses on how Muhammad treated one of his elderly wives.
After his first wife, Khadija, died Muhammad was left having to raise 4 young daughters. This is a challenge for any man. At the same time there was a female Muslim, Sauda, whose husband had left Islam, converted to Christianity, and later died. Sauda was now without a reliable means of support. A friend suggested to Muhammad that he marry her, and so he did. It is postulated that it was a mutually beneficial marriage: Sauda cared for and raised the children while Muhammad provided for her. This was not a marriage of lust or love but one of mutual support.
As time wore on Muhammad became more successful and wealthy. This gave him access to younger and more beautiful women. Sauda on the other hand grew older and uglier. She was never a beauty to begin with; she is described as being big and fat.
After his daughters matured he no longer needed Sauda. Muhammad found no sexual pleasure with her, but she was his wife and he had to do due diligence with her, i.e. give her a turn for intercourse. However, he didn’t like servicing the old, ugly woman and intended to divorce her. Some accounts say that he did divorce her but she begged him to take her back, promising her “sexual turn” to Aisha, (Muhammad’s child bride and favorite sexual partner). He relented and in the end did not divorce her.
The Sunan of Abu Dawud10 records:
… When Sauda daughter of Zam’ah became old and feared that the apostle of Allah would divorce her she said: Apostle of Allah, I give to ‘A’ishah the day you visit me. The Apostle of Allah accepted it from her. She said: We think that Allah, the Exalted, revealed about this or a similar matter the Qur’an: “If a wife fears cruelty or desertion on her husband’s part.”
This event is discussed in detail by Sam Shamoun here: http://www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/sauda.htm
I am not going to cover this in detail for Sam Shamoun has already done so. However, I want to point out how Muhammad treated his elderly wife who had served him faithfully for many years, when he no longer needed her.
Regarding this Quranic passage, the Muslim scholar Ibn Kathir 11 states (taken from Sam Shamoun’s article):
Making peace is better than separation. An example of such peace can be felt in the story of Sawdah bint Zam’ah who WHEN SHE BECAME AGED, THE PROPHET WANTED TO DIVORCE HER, but she made peace with him by offering the night he used to spend with her to A’isha so that he would keep her. The Prophet accepted such terms and kept her.
Following the example of their prophet Muhammad some Muslims today continue this discarding. The wife gets old and their Allah grants them the option of dumping her. In the book, “Princess”, a similar event is described. Sultana, the Saudi female is married and incredibly wealthy. But after years of marriage she has aged. The powerful husband wants another women to satisfy his lusts…
Kareem could mouth any deception he chose, but I understood the implications of his taking a second wife. The desire for children was not his basis. The issue was primitive. We had been wed for eight years; sexual license was his aim. Obviously, my husband was weary of eating the same dish and sought a new, exotic fare for his palate. Sasson, “Princess”12, page 217.
This “Kareem” though lustful, was a bit more moral and faithful than Muhammad. Kareem intended to keep his wife even though he wanted another sexually. Muhammad, on the other hand, was going to dump Sauda and abandon her, much like a man dumps garbage. Instead of trying to do the right thing and care for Sauda, as the Quran commands in chapter 4:3, Muhammad intended to throw her away like a candy wrapper. Muhammad did not have the decency to care for an elderly wife. Instead he thought with his penis and sought to throw Sauda away.
MUHAMMAD AND HIS SOLDIER
This next account focuses on how Muhammad treated one of his soldiers.
Muhammad had a committed battalion of men who fought for him through thick and thin. These men were loyal, tough, and obedient. They put their lives on the line for Muhammad again and again. Suffering through wounds and depravations they carved out a small State with Muhammad as Sovereign.
When Muhammad and his troops attacked a non-Muslim town and were victorious, Muhammad would enslave those they captured. He gave the female prisoners as the spoils of war to his soldiers. The female slaves were now the soldiers property, and as such, could be used for sex. The soldiers raped the female slaves. (More on this later.)
Following Muhammad’s conquest of the Jewish area of Khaibar one of Muhammad’s soldiers, Dihya, came to Muhammad and asked if he could take a female slave. Muhammad told him to take his pick. Dihya knew who was who in Khaibar and he promptly took the most beautiful woman for himself!
However, some of Muhammad’s advisors also knew about this woman and they told him that she was too beautiful for anyone else. Muhammad commanded Dihya to bring her to him. Muhammad took one look at her and was impressed by her beauty. He took Safiya for himself and told Dihya to go take another slave.
Below are the Islamic texts. I have written out the first quote in full and then edited the following references for relevant material to save space.
Narrated ‘Abdul ‘Aziz:
Anas said, ‘When Allah’s Apostle invaded Khaibar, we offered the Fajr prayer there yearly in the morning) when it was still dark. The Prophet rode and Abu Talha rode too and I was riding behind Abu Talha. The Prophet passed through the lane of Khaibar quickly and my knee was touching the thigh of the Prophet . He uncovered his thigh and I saw the whiteness of the thigh of the Prophet. When he entered the town, he said, ‘Allahu Akbar! Khaibar is ruined. Whenever we approach near a (hostile) nation (to fight) then evil will be the morning of those who have been warned.’ He repeated this thrice. The people came out for their jobs and some of them said, ‘Muhammad (has come).’ (Some of our companions added, “With his army.”) We conquered Khaibar, took the captives, and the booty was collected. Dihya came and said, ‘O Allah’s Prophet! Give me a slave girl from the captives.’ The Prophet said, ‘Go and take any slave girl.’ He took Safiya bint Huyai. A man came to the Prophet and said, ‘O Allah’s Apostle! You gave Safiya bint Huyai to Dihya and she is the chief mistress of the tribes of Quraiza and An-Nadir and she befits none but you.’ So the Prophet said, ‘Bring him along with her.’ So Dihya came with her and when the Prophet saw her, he said to Dihya, ‘Take any slave girl other than her from the captives.’ Anas added: The Prophet then manumitted her and married her.”
Thabit asked Anas, “O Abu Hamza! What did the Prophet pay her (as Mahr)?” He said, “Her self was her Mahr for he manumitted her and then married her.” Anas added, “While on the way, Um Sulaim dressed her for marriage (ceremony) and at night she sent her as a bride to the Prophet . So the Prophet was a bridegroom and he said, ‘Whoever has anything (food) should bring it.’ He spread out a leather sheet (for the food) and some brought dates and others cooking butter. (I think he (Anas) mentioned As-Sawaq). So they prepared a dish of Hais (a kind of meal). And that was Walima (the marriage banquet) of Allah’s Apostle .” Bukhari, volume 1 #367
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
The Prophet came to Khaibar and when Allah made him victorious and he conquered the town by breaking the enemy’s defense, the beauty of Safiya bint Huyai bin Akhtab was mentioned to him and her husband had been killed while she was a bride. Allah’s Apostle selected her for himself and he set out in her company till he reached Sadd-ar-Rawha’ where her menses were over and he married her. … Bukhari, volume 3 #437
Also reference Sahih Muslim #3329.
Muhammad’s lust overcame his sense of integrity and fairness and he chumped his own soldier. Muhammad lied and broke his word. His status gave him the power of taking what he wanted when he wanted it. My initial quote states: “The Prophet of Allah liked three worldly objects – perfume, women and food.” Here is a case of Muhammad illicitly taking what he wanted.
Is he a good example for mankind? Or is this just another example of how men with political power abuse those under their rule?
I’m sure Muhammad was thinking to himself, … “It’s good to be the king!”
MUHAMMAD AND HIS SON’S WIFE
This next account focuses on three persons: Muhammad, his adopted son Zaid, and Zaid’s wife Zaynab. I will not go into all the details because this event is documented in depth in an article by Sam Shamoun: http://www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/zaynab.htm
I’ll present the story, relevant Quranic passages, some comments, and a summary. I’ll quote from Sam Shamoun’s article because there is no need for me to re-write the argument. Quotes from Sam’s work will be in blue font, while Quranic passages will be in green.
This story is that one day Muhammad went to visit his adopted son Zaid (also spelled Zayd). Zaid was not home but his wife Zaynab was. Muhammad saw her scantily dressed and commented on her great beauty. The wife overheard Muhammad and was flattered. This caused her to gloat and in turn she taunted her husband. Therefore Zaid, knowing that Muhammad wanted her to satisfy his sexual desire, went to Muhammad and offered to divorce her. Muhammad told him not to divorce her but to remain with her. However the damage had been done and Zaid could no longer withhold something, even his wife’s body, from Muhammad. A short while later Zaid divorced Zaynab to enable Muhammad to marry her and satisfy his lust. Thereafter Muhammad did indeed marry her.
Below is the passage from the Quran on this event.
You said to the man whom God and yourself have favored: ‘Keep your wife and have fear of God.’ You sought to hide in your heart what God was to reveal. You were afraid of man, although it would have been more proper to fear God. And when Zayd divorced his wife, We gave her to you in marriage, so that it should become legitimate for true believers to wed the wives of their adopted sons if they divorced them. God’s will must needs be done. No blame shall be attached to the Prophet for doing what is sanctioned for him by God. Such was the way of God with the prophets who passed away before him (God’s decrees are pre-ordained); who fulfilled the mission with which God had charged them, fearing God and fearing none beside Him. Sufficient is God’s reckoning. The Confederate Tribes, 33:37, 38 Dawood.
Sam Shamoun summarizes Muhammad’s justification and trite excuse, found above, and presents two significant problems with the Quran’s pretext:
According to the Quran itself Allah caused Muhammad to have desires for another man’s wife, namely his adopted son Zaid ibn Haritha’s spouse Zaynab bint Jash. This led to his adopted son divorcing her so that Muhammad could marry her. The alleged reason why Allah commanded this to happen was so that Muhammad could set the example for others to emulate, making it permissible for adoptive fathers to marry their adopted children’s divorcees:
The other problem with this marriage is that shortly after it took place Allah abolished the practice of adoption completely:
God has not assigned to any man two hearts within his breast; nor has He made your wives, when you divorce, saying, ‘Be as my mother’s back,’ truly your mothers, neither has He made your adopted sons your sons in fact. That is your own saying, the words of your mouths; but God speaks the truth, and guides on the way. Call them after their true fathers; that is more equitable in the sight of God. If you know not who their fathers were, then they are your brothers in religion, and your clients. There is no fault in you if you make mistakes, but only in what your hearts premeditate. God is All-forgiving, All-compassionate. S. 33:4-5
In light of the foregoing, how could Muhammad set the example for adoptive fathers to marry their adopted sons’ former spouses when Allah went on to forbid the practice of adoption? Does this make any sense whatsoever? Is it not obvious that Muhammad needed to find justification for marrying Zaynab so he came up with this excuse and after people continued taunting him for marrying his son’s divorcee he then decided to do away with adoption altogether?
Sam’s summary is below:
1. Allah caused Muhammad to start lusting for a married woman who happened to be the wife of his adopted son.
2. Allah even caused Muhammad’s son to divorce his wife so that Muhammad could then marry her.
3. The reason why Allah did this was to show others that it was permissible for them to marry their adopted sons’ former wives.
4. Yet later on Allah forbade the adoption of children and prohibited calling any one the child of someone other than his/her biological father.
5. Therefore, Muhammad’s marriage to Zaynab was unnecessary since Muslims have no chance of ever marrying the former wives of their adopted children since there is no more adoption in Islam!
6. Furthermore, Muslims believe that Allah knows all things which means that he knew beforehand that he was going to abolish the practice of adoption. Why did he then commission the divorce between Zayd and Zaynab in order to allow Muhammad to set an example for others to marry their adopted children’s divorcees when he already knew in advance that he would prohibit adoption altogether?
Hence, whether a person consults the Quran alone or seeks to understand it by turning to the hadiths and/or the Islamic commentators, the fact remains that a Muslim must still deal with Muhammad committing adultery by taking another man’s wife.
Let’s be honest: had Muhammad truly wanted Zaid’s marriage to work, he would have exerted his influence and continued to counsel them to stay together. After all, didn’t Muhammad teach that “Allah” hates divorce?
Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar:
The Prophet said: Of all the lawful acts the most detestable to Allah is divorce. Sunan of Abu Dawood, Book 12, Number 2173:
Apparently when it comes to satisfying Muhammad’s sexual desires, Allah doesn’t hate divorce very much, he actually planned a divorce!
And my goodness! What does this tell you about Islamic marriage? Here is a man, married to a beautiful wife, but he does not love or respect her. She was nothing more than a sexual plaything to Muhammad and Zaid chucked her up on the meat block to gratify Muhammad’s lust. This was not a marriage based on love: it was a marriage for Muhammad’s lust.
Muhammad played the Jon Lovitz “Pathological Liar” character and invented “Quranic” lies to justify his sin.
SEX WITH SLAVES
Muhammad also gave himself and his followers the right to have sex with slaves. Slave women were property and Muslim men were allowed to rape them. You can read about their treatment in an in-depth article here: http://www.answering-islam.org/Silas/femalecaptives.htm
I will quote some of the Quran’s passages on this and other related materials.
“Not so the worshippers, who are steadfast in prayer, who set aside a due portion of their wealth for the beggar and for the deprived, who truly believe in the Day of Reckoning and dread the punishment of their Lord (for none is secure from the punishment of their Lord); who restrain their carnal desire (save with their wives and their slave girls, for these are lawful to them: he that lusts after other than these is a transgressor…” Quran, 70:22-30, Dawood.
“…who restrain their carnal desires (except with their wives and slave girls, for these are lawful to them…” Quran, 23:5,6, Dawood.
Also reference 4:24 and 33:50.
The “Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir”, page 151, mentions one of Muhammad’s slaves, Mariyah:
…”He presented to the prophet Mariyah, her sister Sirin, a donkey and a mule which was white… The apostle of Allah liked Mariyah who was of white complexion and curly hair and pretty… Then he cohabited with Mariyah as a handmaid and sent her to his property which he had acquired from Banu al-Nadir.”
This story is also supported by Tabari’s History13, volume 39, page 194.
“He used to visit her there and ordered her to veil herself, [but] he had intercourse with her by virtue of her being his property.”
Raping slaves was widespread amongst the Muslims. Note Muhammad’s ambivalent statement about the Muslim men using their newly acquired slaves for sex.
…Abu Sirma said to Abu Said al Khudri: “O Abu Said, did you hear Allah’s messenger mentioning about al-azl (coitus interruptus)?” He said, “Yes”, and added: “We went out with Allah’s messenger on the expedition to the 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 and he said: “It does not matter if you do not do it, for every soul that is to be born up to the Day of Resurrection will be born”. Sahih Muslim, volume 2, #3371.
These Muslims intended to sell the slave women in the slave market or for ransom. They performed coitus interruptus to prevent the slaves from getting pregnant, because if the slave got pregnant the Muslim soldier would be responsible for the slave and her future child. Therefore they could not sell the pregnant slave and their profit would be lost.
When it came to sexual satisfaction slave women were objects to be used as their owner saw fit. So many African Americans complain about early American slavery, but do those that have converted to Islam realize at how barbarically Muhammad treated slave women?
MAKING THE ROUNDS
Earlier we were treated to Muhammad’s claim that he had the sexual power of 40 men. Here’s an example of Muhammad in action and how he viewed women, his wives in particular.
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
The Prophet used to pass by (have sexual relation with) all his wives in one night, and at that time he had nine wives. Bukhari, volume 7, # 142.
Anas bin Malik said, “The Prophet used to visit all his wives in a round, during the day and night and they were eleven in number.” I asked Anas, “Had the Prophet the strength for it?” Anas replied, “We used to say that the Prophet was given the strength of thirty (men).” And Sa’id said on the authority of Qatada that Anas had told him about nine wives only (not eleven). Bukhari, volume 1, #268.
Question for the female readers: How do you think Muhammad’s wives felt, knowing that while she was having sex with him, he would soon be traipsing off to the next wife, and then another, and another? How would you feel if your husband behaved that way? Would his using you be a manifestation of love or would you be just another piece of meat on his sexual buffet?
And for the record, few of Muhammad’s wives had children, and there was conflict aplenty between Muhammad’s wives. Some of them even successfully lied to him to prevent him from having sex with his other sexual partners. They were not one big happy family and few of the women found fulfillment in children. These accounts reinforce the “contract” aspect of Islamic marriage. Those women knew that one of their main functions was to service Muhammad’s desires.
This section reviewed Muhammad’s actions in obtaining sexual satisfaction and examined if anyone was ill-treated. The examples prove that Muhammad did wrong several people:
- He discarded his old wife Sauda, but kept her once she allowed him to have sex with someone else.
- He cheated, chumped, and defrauded one of his soldiers in order to take the most beautiful woman, Safiya, as his own.
- He got to feast on his son’s wife, Zaynab, by letting a few choice words slip, acted in a surreptitious and coy manner, and waited for the ripe apple to fall into his lap. Further, he claimed to have received a ridiculous “revelation” that allowed him to have this woman.
- He claimed the right to use, even rape, female slaves to gratify his lusts.
- He used his wives as a sexual banquet. He went through one after another like a fat sexual glutton going through a nine course meal of flesh.
Little wonder then that Aisha said, “It seems to me that your Lord hastens to satisfy your desire.” Aisha knew that when Muhammad wanted a woman, Muhammad got a woman.
3) MUHAMMAD’S TEACHINGS ON SEX
We now turn to Muhammad’s teachings on sex. Do they put Muslim wives in a degraded or respected position?
1) ISLAMIC MARRIAGE: A CONTRACT
Muhammad taught that Islamic marriage is based upon a “marriage contract”. A man is to give the wife a dowry as part of the arrangement. This dowry literally buys the man the right to manage and control his wife, and buys him the right to her sexual organs. This marriage contract is definitely not an “until death do us part” contract, rather the marriage is based on performance and desire. When the man no longer desires the woman he can divorce her as Muhammad did with Sauda.
I am not saying that there is not true marital love in Muslim marriages, there is. Muhammad wanted strong loving marriages and the wife to be treated properly and cared for. (Sura 4 goes into details concerning Muhammad’s instructions on how the man is to treat the wife.) I am saying, however, that the foundation of Islamic marriage is contractual, not spiritual, and that distinction, as you shall see, puts the wife at a disadvantage.
Regarding the dowry buying the wife’s sexual organs, Bukhari recorded the following hadith. Note that the husband wanted his money back but because he already had had sex with his wife the transaction was sealed.
Narrated Said bin Jubair:
I said to Ibn ‘Umar, “If a man accuses his wife of illegal sexual intercourse (what is the judgment)?” He said, “Allah’s Prophet separated the couple of Bani ‘Ajlan (when the husband accused his wife for an illegal sexual intercourse). The Prophet said, ‘Allah knows that one of you two IS a liar; so will one of you repent?’ But they refused. He then again said, ‘Allah knows that one of you two is a liar; so will one of you repent?’ But they refused, whereupon he separated them by divorce.” Aiyub (a sub-narrator) said: ‘Amr bin Dinar said to me, “In the narration there is something which I do not see you mentioning, i.e. the husband said, “What about my money (Mahr)?’ The Prophet said, “You are not entitled to take back money, for if you told the truth you have already entered upon her (and consummated your marriage with her) and if you are a liar then you are less entitled to take it back.” Bukhari, volume 7, #261 (also 262).
The point is that, unlike other cultural marriages, Muhammad instituted that a man have the legal right to have sex with his wife. Once the man consummated the marriage the women had rendered what was paid for. Islamic marriage is not equal to Christian marriage. Instead of sex being an act of love it is part of a contract. A Muslim wife must fulfill this obligation continually or risk a divorce. And when a woman was divorced in early Islam she went without a primary means of support.
[Note: Islamic marriage is large topic and my comments are generalized. Because of Muhammad’s various rules many Muslim scholars have gone into great depth trying to explain all the stipulations].
2) OBEY YOUR MASTER
Muhammad placed women in an inferior position to men similar to that of a child to his parents. A child is not fully mature and is incapable of making informed decisions or able to fend for himself. That makes him inferior to the adults who are responsible for his care. Likewise, Muhammad taught that women are inferior to men both intellectually and spiritually, and the husband, being superior, is given the right and responsibility to rule the wife as the parents rule the child. The Quran states:
“Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because God has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them. Surely God is high, supreme.” Dawood, 4:34
Note in the above verse that the wife is to obey her husband or she can be beaten (http://www.answering-islam.org/Silas/wife-beating.htm).
Not only is he to be obeyed, he is to be honored greatly because Allah has made him superior to the woman. Further, she is to put his sexual fulfillment above other duties. Muslim’s and Tirmidhi’s hadith records Muhammad’s statement that the husband is over the wife and that she must hurry to fulfill his sexual desires:
Narrated Qays ibn Sa’d:
I went to al-Hirah and saw them (the people) prostrating themselves before a satrap of theirs, so I said: The Apostle of Allah has most right to have prostration made before him. When I came to the Prophet , I said: I went to al-Hirah and saw them prostrating themselves before a satrap of theirs, but you have most right, Apostle of Allah, to have (people) prostrating themselves before you. He said: Tell me , if you were to pass my grave, would you prostrate yourself before it? I said: No. He then said: Do not do so. 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.” Sahih Muslim #2135
Chapter 20: IT IS NOT PERMISSIBLE FOR A WOMAN TO ABANDON THE BED OF HER HUSBAND
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger 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. Sahih Muslim, Book 008, Number 3367:
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger as saying: When a man invites his wife to his bed and she does not come, and he (the husband) spends the night being angry with her, the angels curse her until morning. Sahih Muslim, Book 008, Number 3368:
Talq b. `Ali reported God’s messenger as saying, “When a man calls his wife to satisfy his desire she must go to him even if she is occupied at the oven.” (Mishkat Al-Masabih, p. 691: Tirmidhi)
Examine the wife’s position: if she does not come when called, even if it means burning dinner, she is disrespecting her husband and Allah and the angels are angry with her. Islamic wives are the sexual servants of their husbands and will be chastened if they do not hurry to comply. The offense! The outrage! Allah is angry and the angels are cursing her!
3) PROSTITUTION BY ANY OTHER NAME: MUTA MARRIAGE
“Muta Marriage” is a short term contractual relationship, lasting hours or a few days, where the man gives something of value to a woman and they “marry” and engage in sex for an agreed length of time. Once the contractual time expires the marriage is over and they go their own ways. This is legalized Islamic prostitution. Men get satisfaction and women get something of value, be it money, or clothing, or even a Quranic recital.
Narrated Abdullah: We used to participate in the holy wars carried on by the Prophet and we had no women (wives) with us. So we said (to the Prophet ). “Shall we castrate ourselves?” But the Prophet forbade us to do that and thenceforth he allowed us to marry a woman (temporarily) by giving her even a garment, and then he recited: “O you who believe! Do not make unlawful the good things which Allah has made lawful for you.” Bukhari: Volume 6, Book 60, Number 139.
Temporary “Muta” marriage is practiced today and often arranged by Imams and other Islamic leaders in Europe (the city centre’s where Shia Muslims cluster), America (Shia parts of Dearborn, Michigan), and of course in the Mideast. The most common victims of Muta marriage are destitute widows and orphaned girls who are sold to old men. These females are driven to extreme means to pay rent and feed themselves and their children. These females are abused by both the men who purchase them and the Islamic leaders. Muhammad’s system allows them to be abandoned and then exploited rather than responding with charity and compassion.
Sunni Muslims do not normally practice Muta marriage. But many Sunni Muslims today are ashamed of what Muhammad did because they know that Muhammad allowed prostitution to satisfy his men’s wants. And that’s the same story with Muhammad again and again. Like Felix and his bag of tricks, Muhammad always managed to pull a “revelation” out of thin air and change the rules of the game. If one reads the “Sirat Rasulallah”, (“The Life of Muhammad”, by A. Guillaume), one will find that Muhammad allowed, then disallowed, then allowed, then disallowed Muta marriage, etc. several times. Muhammad’s rules and religion depended on circumstances, not on God’s will.
I asked the question if Muhammad’s teachings put women in a degraded position and indeed they do. The marriage contract subjects the wife to the husband’s rule and she is now legally obligated to service her husband. If she disobeys she can be beaten. Because Muhammad taught that women are inferior to men they must honor their keeper and service him on demand. Further, Muhammad placed such importance upon sexual satisfaction that he allowed prostitution and women were purchased cheaply. To this day Muslim women are exploited for sex, legally, properly, under Islamic law,
For more on Islam and sexual allowances see this article: http://www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/women_in_islam3.htm
CONCLUSION: MUHAMMAD, ISLAM, AND SEX
“By their fruits ye shall know them.” Jesus, Matthew 7:16.
Muhammad claimed to be a prophet and we should examine his words and deeds. We have reviewed Muhammad’s actions, teachings, and attitudes related to sex to determine if these were tainted. I have quoted primarily from Islamic source materials and these texts prove Muhammad was corrupted by his sex drive.
Before I began this study I knew Muhammad loved having sex with beautiful women. What man wouldn’t? However, I never thought that his lust was as corrupting an influence as it has turned out to be. As I put together the pieces they formed a picture of a man who sanctioned his lust. Muhammad did not have to lie about it, like President Bill Clinton, instead he made up new rules to justify his behavior. Like a corrupt political leader Muhammad used his position to take advantage of others.
Muhammad’s Paradise is a sexual paradise. It is a man’s, not a woman’s Paradise. It is a Playboy Mansion where he, and other men, engage in sex 24/7.
The famous Christian missionary, Zwemer, having lived amongst Muslims and studied Islam for many years wrote this about the carnal component of Islam:
The degraded and degrading ethics of Islam are based on a low ideal of character, fixed forever as the high-water mark of holiness. To be like Mohammed is to be perfect. The deep-rooted sensuality of the prophet has borne bitter fruit in all ages and all Moslem lands.14
The “allah” that sanctioned Muhammad’s deeds is not the true God. Rather Muhammad’s allah15 is a synthetic creation of Muhammad’s knowledge and imagination, and the influences of a dark spirit. This allah served Muhammad when it suited him.
The real God’s character and standards far exceed “allah’s”.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:27. 28.
How does Muhammad fare under God’s standards?
Jesus foretold false prophets would come and deceive many (Matthew 24:11). Muhammad was a false prophet with a destructive message and as such Muhammad has done Satan’s bidding and oppressed and misled millions. To this day the Islamic world is kept in its bondage. The more fundamentalist an Islamic nation is, the darker is their society.
- Shakir, M. H., “The Quran”, Tahrike Tarsile Quran, Inc., Elmhurst, NY, 1993
- Dawood, N. J., “The Koran”, Penguin, London, England, 1995
- Bukhari, Muhammad, “Sahih Bukhari”, Kitab Bhavan, New Delhi, India, 1987, translated by M. Khan
- Muslim, Abu’l-Husain, “Sahih Muslim”, International Islamic Publishing House, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 1971, translated by A. Siddiqi,
- Ibn Kathir, “Tafsir of Ibn Kathir” published by Darussalam, New York, NY, 2000.
- Maariful Tafsir (http://www.islamibayanaat.com/EMQ.htm)
- Gibb, H.A.R., “E. J. Brill Shorter Encyclopedia of Islam”
- Ibn Sa’d, (d. 852 A.D.), “Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir”, (Book of the Major Classes), translated by S. Moinul Haq, Pakistan Historical Society.
- Sunan Abu Dawud, English translation with explanatory notes by Prof. Ahmad Hasan Sh. Muhammad Ashraf Publishers, Booksellers & Exporters; Lahore, Pakistan, 1984] Volume 2, Book V. Kitab al-Nikah (Book of Marriage), Chapter 705: Division of Time Among One’s Wives, Number 2130, p. 572.
- Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Part 5, Sura An-Nisa, ayat 24-147, abridged by Sheikh Muhammad Nasib Ar-Rafa’i [Al-Firdous Ltd., London, 2000 first edition]
- Sasson, Jean, “Princess”, William Morrow and Co, 1992
- al-Tabari, “The History of al-Tabari”, (Ta’rikh al-rusul wa’l-muluk), State University of New York Press 1993
- Samuel Zwemer, “The Evangelization of the Mohammedan World in This Generation,” taken from the book, “The Haystack Centennial;” American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions: Boston, 1907
- (For a more thorough review of this spirit and how it caused Muhammad to attempt suicide several times, see: http://www.answering-islam.org/Silas/suicide.htm)
8 July, 2006