Women according to Muhammad in the Quran and in the Hadiths

quran 2

Whitewashing of the Quran is common

It is true that there are a few suras in the Quran which promote a respectful treatment of women, but there are also suras which tell us a completely different story. If you also take the muslim teaching of abrogation into account (where later suras supersede earlier ones should they conflict) we do not get a very nice picture of women. It is common to try to water down these suras by suggesting that they are not as severe as they seem, but the hadiths should correct us about what Islam really teaches.

Below we can see that Muhammad permitted (or commanded) husbands to beat their wives and also allowed them to have sex with female captives. He taught that men were allowed to marry as many as four wives (even if Muhammad himself was excluded from this restriction and married at least nine wives) whereas women could marry maximum one man. Muhammad allowed men to marry young girls who had not yet reached puberty. He taught the inferiority of women’s intellectual abilities and that their afterlife would not be as bright as the afterlife for men. If they even reached Paradise, considering that there would be more women than men in hell.

The three hadiths which are considered most trustworthy and respected among the Sunnis (and among the Ahmadiyyas) are Sahih Al-Bukhari, Shahih Muslim and Sunan Abu Dawood (the last 3 are Jami al-Tirmidhi, Sunan al-Sughra och antingen Sunan ibn Majah eller Muwatta Malik. Sahih means authentic, and there are two lesser degrees which are called ”good” and ”weak”. (There are also muslims who reject the authority of all hadiths and focus on the Quran only.)

Women are men’s property

S. 2:223 Arberry. Your women ARE A TILLAGE for you; so come unto your tillage AS YOU WISH, and forward for your souls; and fear God, and know that you shall meet Him. Give thou good tidings to the believers. 

Narrated Jabir: Jews used to say: ”If one has sexual intercourse with his wife from the back, then she will deliver a squint-eyed child.” So this Verse was revealed:– ”Your wives are a tilth unto you; so go to your tilth when or how you will.” (2.223) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 51)

Narrated Nafi’: Whenever Ibn ‘Umar recited the Qur’an, he would not speak to anyone till he had finished his recitation. Once I held the Qur’an and he recited Surat-al-Baqara from his memory and then stopped at a certain Verse and said, ”Do you know in what connection this Verse was revealed?” I replied, ”No.” He said, ”It was revealed in such-and-such connection.” Ibn ‘Umar then resumed his recitation. Nafi added regarding the Verse:– ”So go to your tilth when or how you will.” Ibn ‘Umar said, ”It means one should approach his wife in …” (2.223) Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 50)

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, ”If a husband calls his wife to his bed (i.e. to have sexual relation) and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will curse her till morning.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 54, Number 460) 

Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) 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)

If women are unable to get pregnant they seem rather useless:

Narrated Ma’qil ibn Yasar:
A man came to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and said: I have found a woman of rank and beauty, but she does not give birth to children. Should I marry her? He said: No. He came again to him, but he prohibited him. He came to him third time, and he (the Prophet) said: Marry women who are loving and very prolific, for I shall outnumber the peoples by you. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 11, Number 2045)

Usama b. Zaid reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: I have not left after me any (chance) of turmoil more injurious to men than the harm done to the men because OF WOMEN. (Sahih Muslim, Book 036, Number 6603; see also 6604)

S. 33:32-33 Shakir. O wives of the Prophet! you are not like any other of the women; If you will be on your guard, then be not soft in (your) speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease yearn; and speak a good word. AND STAY IN YOUR HOUSES and do not display your finery like the displaying of the ignorance of yore; and keep up prayer, and pay the poor-rate, and obey Allah and His Apostle. Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying. 


Permission for men to beat their wivesquran

It is enough for a man to ”fear” rebellion in a woman before he finds support in the Quran to beat her, and it does not suggest anywhere that it should be ”softly”.

S. 4:34 (Pickthall)—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.

It seems like ”treat women kindly” means that men should treat them well in the matter of food and clothing. Women are said to be prisoners in the hands of men and men are allowed to beat women if they misbehave.

Narrated Amr ibn al-Ahwas al-Jushami
Amr heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) say in his farewell address on the eve of his Last Pilgrimage, after he had glorified and praised Allah, he cautioned his followers: ‘Listen! Treat women kindly; THEY ARE LIKE PRISONERS IN YOUR HANDS. Beyond this you do not owe anything from them. Should they be guilty of flagrant misbehaviour, you may remove them from your beds, and BEAT THEM but do not inflict upon them any severe punishment. Then if they obey you, do not have recourse to anything else against them. Listen! You have your rights upon your wives and they have their rights upon you. Your right is that they shall not allow anyone you dislike, to trample your bed and do not permit those whom you dislike to enter your home. Their right is that you should treat them well in the matter of food and clothing. Transmitted by Tirmidhi. (Al-Tirmidhi Hadith, Number 104 ALIM CD-ROM Version)

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 ‘A’isha, 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, Book 004, Number 2127)

Narrated Umar ibn al-Khattab: The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: A man will not be asked as to why he beat his wife. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 11, Number 2142)

Narrated Abdullah ibn AbuDhubab: Iyas ibn Abdullah ibn AbuDhubab reported the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) as saying: Do not beat Allah’s handmaidens, but when Umar came to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) 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 (peace_be_upon_him) complaining against their husbands. So the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: Many women have gone round Muhammad’s family complaining against their husbands. They are not the best among you. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 11, Number 2141)

Narrated AbuSa’id al-Khudri: A woman came to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) while we were with him. She said: Apostle of Allah, my husband, Safwan ibn al-Mu’attal, BEATS ME when I pray, and makes me break my fast when I keep a fast, and he does not offer the dawn prayer until the sun rises. He asked Safwan, who was present, about what she had said. He replied: Apostle of Allah, as for her statement ”he beats me when I pray”, she recites two surahs (during prayer) and I have prohibited her (to do so). He (the Prophet) said: If one surah is recited (during prayer), that is sufficient for the people. (Safwan continued:) As regards her saying ”he makes me break my fast,” she dotes on fasting; I am a young man, I cannot restrain myself. The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said on that day: A woman should not fast except with the permission of her husband. (Safwan said:) As for her statement that I do not pray until the sun rises, we are a people belonging to a class, and that (our profession of supplying water) is already known about us. We do not awake until the sun rises. He said: When you awake, offer your prayer. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 13, Number 2453)

So we can see that beating women is not uncommon among muslim men.

Fatima bint Qais (Allah be pleased with her) reported that her husband divorced her with three, pronouncements and Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) made no provision for her lodging and maintenance allowance. She (further said): Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said to me: When your period of ‘Idda is over, inform me. So I informed him. (By that time) Mu’awiya, Abu Jahm and Usama b. Zaid had given her the proposal of marriage. Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: So far as Mu’awiya is concerned, he is a poor man without any property. So far as Abu Jahm is concerned, he is A GREAT BEATER OF WOMEN, but Usama b. Zaid… She pointed with her hand (that she did not approve of the idea of marrying) Usama. But Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Obedience to Allah and obedience to His Messenger is better for thee. She said: So I married him, and I became an object of envy. (Sahih Muslim, Book 009, Number 3526)

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: There are three people whose prayer does not ascend beyond their heads, even to the length of a span: the person who leads people in prayer despite their disapproval; a woman who spends the night (in a state) in which her husband is annoyed with her; and the two brothers who are estranged. Transmitted by Ibn Majah. (Al-Tirmidhi Hadith, Number 347; ALIM CD-ROM Version)

Aisha felt that believing women (muslim women) suffered the most.

Narrated ‘Ikrima: Rifa’a divorced his wife whereupon ‘Abdur Rahman bin Az-Zubair Al-Qurazi married her. ‘Aisha said that the lady (came), wearing a green veil (and complained to her (‘Aisha) of her husband 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 Apostle came, ‘Aisha said, ”I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women. Look! Her skin is greener than her clothes!” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 72, Number 715)

woman leaderWomen are not as bright as men

Muhammad married Khadijah – a skilled business woman – before he became a prophet and started a new religion.

When it comes to inheritance and value of witnesses, two women are equal to one man. That is because women ”lack common sense” and ”deficiency of her mind”.

S. 4:11 Hilali-Khan Allah commands you as regards your children’s (inheritance); to the male, a portion equal TO THAT OF TWO FEMALES; if (there are) only daughters, two or more, their share is two thirds of the inheritance; if only one, her share is half. For parents, a sixth share of inheritance to each if the deceased left children; if no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third; if the deceased left brothers or (sisters), the mother has a sixth. (The distribution in all cases is) after the payment of legacies he may have bequeathed or debts. You know not which of them, whether your parents or your children, are nearest to you in benefit, (these fixed shares) are ordained by Allah. And Allah is Ever AllKnower, AllWise, 

S. 2:282 Arberry O believers, when you contract a debt one upon another for a stated term, write it down, and let a writer write it down between you justly, and let not any writer refuse to write it down, as God has taught him; so let him write, and let the debtor dictate, and let him fear God his Lord and not diminish aught of it. And if the debtor be a fool, or weak, or unable to dictate himself, then let his guardian dictate justly. And call in to witness two witnesses, men; or if the two be not men, then one man AND TWO WOMEN, such witnesses as you approve of, THAT IF ONE OF THE TWO WOMEN ERRS THE OTHER WILL REMIND HER; and let the witnesses not refuse, whenever they are summoned.”

[Muhammad said]: O womenfolk, you should give charity and ask much forgiveness for I saw you in bulk amongst the dwellers of Hell. A wise lady among them said: Why is it, Messenger of Allah, that our folk is in bulk in Hell? Upon this the Holy Prophet observed: You curse too much and are ungrateful to your spouses. I have seen none lacking in common sense and failing in religion but (at the same time) robbing the wisdom of the wise, besides you. Upon this the woman remarked: What is wrong with our common sense and with religion? He (the Holy Prophet) observed: Your lack of common sense (can be well judged from the fact) that the evidence of two women is equal to one man, that is a proof of the lack of common senseSahih Muslim 142. 

The Prophet (the blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) said: ”Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?” The women said: ”Yes.” He said: ”This is because of the deficiency of her mind.” Sahih Al-Bukhari 2658.

Women are described as those who are clothed with ornaments and are unable to speak plainly, implying that they are intellectually deficient:

S. 43:16-18 Shakir Has He taken daughters to Himself of what He Himself creates and chosen you to have sons? And when one of them is given news of that of which he sets up as a likeness for the Beneficent God, his face becomes black and he is full of rage. What! that which is made in ornaments and which in contention is unable to make plain speech! 

Narrated Abu Musa: Allah’s Apostle said, ”Many amongst men reached (the level of) perfection but none amongst the women reached this level except Asia, Pharaoh’s wife, and Mary, the daughter of ‘Imran. And no doubt, the superiority of ‘Aisha to other women is like the superiority of Tharid (i.e. a meat and bread dish) to other meals.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 623)

See also below

Women have less things to look forward to in afterlife

The number of virgins (not ”angels”) which await muslim men (not just martyrs) in Paradise are not specified in number in the Quran, but rather in the hadiths (72 virgins). These untouched young women are described as dark-eyed with big breasts. Paradise seems to describe a place which is appealing to men. Certainly not for women. There are also more women than men in hell. That is because of their deficiency in intelligence and religion. They also lack in good deeds.

S. 78:31-36 Arberry Surely for the godfearing awaits a place of security, gardens and vineyards and maidens with swelling breasts, like of age, and a cup overflowing. Therein they shall hear no idle talk, no cry of lies, for a recompense from thy Lord, a gift, a reckoning,

[Muhammad said], ”O women! Give to charity, for I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-Fire were women.” The women asked, ”O Allah’s Apostle! What is the reason for it?” He said: ”O women! You curse frequently, and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. O women, some of you can lead a cautious man astray.” Sahih Al-Bukhari 1462.

The Prophet said: ”I saw paradise and stretched my hands towards a bunch (of its fruits) and had I taken it, you would have eaten from it as long as the world remains. I also saw the Hell-fire and I had never seen such a horrible sight. I saw that most of the inhabitants were women.” The people asked: ”O Allah’s Apostle! Why is it so?” The Prophet said: ”Because of their ungratefulness.” It was asked whether they are ungrateful to Allah. The Prophet said: ”They are ungrateful to their companions of life (husbands) and ungrateful to good deeds.” Sahih Al-Bukhari 1052.

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.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 54, Number 476)

Wives will be standing in the corners of a pavilion – without being able to see each other – while the believers will be able to come and enjoy them:

Allah’s Apostle said: ”In Paradise there is a pavilion made of a single hollow pearl sixty miles wide, in each corner of which there are wives who will not see those in the other corners; and the believers will visit and enjoy them.” Sahih Al-Bukhari 4879.

Marrying up to four wives for men (but no similar rights for women)muslim marriage

We can see above that there are polygamous marriages also in heaven, just like polygamous marriages are allowed on earth. Since Muhammad is viewed as a perfect role model, Muslims should try to imitate his way of living. Muhammad declared that Allah had permitted men to marry up to four wives, but Muhammad was conveniently provided an exception and had at least 9 wives.

S. 4:1-5 Arberry Mankind, fear your Lord, who created you of a single soul, and from it created its mate, and from the pair of them scattered abroad many men and women; and fear God by whom you demand one of another, and the wombs; surely God ever watches over you. Give the orphans their property, and do not exchange the corrupt for the good; and devour not their property with your property; surely that is a great crime. If you fear that you will not act justly towards the orphans, marry such women as seem good to you, two, three, four (fainkihoo ma taba lakum mina alnnisa-i mathna WA thulatha WA rubaAAa); but if you fear you will not be equitable, then only one, or what your right hands own; so it is likelier you will not be partial. And give the women their dowries as a gift spontaneous; but if they are pleased to offer you any of it, consume it with wholesome appetite. But do not give to fools their property that God has assigned to you to manage; provide for them and clothe them out of it, and speak to them honourable words.

Narrated Aisha: I used to LOOK DOWN upon those ladies who had given themselves to Allah’s Apostle and I used to say, ”Can a lady give herself (to a man)?” But when Allah revealed: ”You (O Muhammad) can postpone (the turn of) whom you will of them (your wives), and you may receive any of them whom you will; and there is no blame on you if you invite one whose turn you have set aside (temporarily).” (33.51) I said (to the Prophet), ”I feel that your Lord hastens in fulfilling your wishes and desires.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 311)

Women do not have a chance to get a divorce the way men do

A woman has the right to ask for a divorce (if there is a strong reason for it – which of course is up to men to sort out) only if the man grants her this right. A man however, does not need to ask his wife for a divorce but has the right to divorce her just by pronouncing it (see sura above). Muhammad wanted to divorce one of his own wives when she was old and ugly according to the hadiths, but she escaped this prospect by offering him some of her rightful nights to his favorite wife Aisha. See more in link in the bottom of the page.

Narrated Thawban: The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: If any woman ASKS her husband for divorce without some strong reason, the odour of Paradise will be forbidden to her. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 12, Number 2218)

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said to Abdu Yazid: Divorce her. Then he did so. He said: Take your wife, the mother of Rukanah and his brothers, back in marriage. He said: I have divorced her by three pronouncements, Apostle of Allah. He said: I know: take her back. He then recited the verse: ”O Prophet, when you divorce women, divorce them at their appointed periods.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 12, Number 2191)

Narrated Rukanah ibn Abdu Yazid: (Rukanah) divorced his wife absolutely; so he came to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him). He asked (him): What did you intend? He said: A single utterance of divorce. He said: Do you swear by Allah? He replied: I swear by Allah. He said: It stands as you intended. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 12, Number 2202)

Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin: Habibah daughter of Sahl was the wife of Thabit ibn Qays Shimmas. He beat her and broke some of her part. So she came to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) after morning, and complained to him against her husband. The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) called on Thabit ibn Qays and said (to him): Take a part of her property and separate yourself from her. He asked: Is that right, Apostle of Allah? He said: Yes. He said: I have given her two gardens of mine as a dower, and they are already in her possession. The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Take them and separate yourself from her. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 12, Number 2220)

Imam Malik records traditions where men can authorize women to pronounce a divorce, but they didn’t have to.

(1129) Nafi’ reported that ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Umar used to say: If a man should authorize his wife in the matter of divorce, she could declare herself divorced any time she liked; but if the husband should object and say: I gave you option of only divorce and swears to it, he would have the right over her until the period of ‘iddah probation.

(1130) Kharija b. Zaid b. Thabit reported that he was sitting with Zaid ibn Thabit when Muhammad b. Abi Atiq came and tears were flowing from his eyes. Zaid said: What is the matter with you? He said: I had given my wife the option of divorce and she has left me. Zaid asked: Why did you give her the authority? He replied: It was my fate. Zaid said: If you wish, you can get her back, for only one divorce has become effective. YOU ARE STILL HER MASTER.

(1131) Qasim b. Muhammad reported: A man of Thaqif gave his wife the option of divorce. She gave herself one divorce. He kept quiet. She then gave herself another divorce. He said: Stones be in your mouth. She then gave herself the third divorce. He said: Stones be in your mouth, and they went quarreling to Marwan b. Hakam. Marwan took an oath from the man to the effect that he had given option only for one divorce and handed her back to him. (Muwatta’ Imam Malik, English translation with exhaustive notes by Professor Muhammad Rahimuddin [Sh. Muhammad Ahsraf Publishers, Booksellers & Exporters, Lahore (Pakistan), reprinted July 2000], pp. 246-247; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Permissible to have sex with female captives (even if these captives are married)

As the Muslim armies raided areas they also captured many women who would often be sold or traded. There was a risk that some women would get pregnant, which would result in a reduced chance to sell them as useful slaves – which was the aim. It is highly unlikely that the women themselves wanted to have sex with the same men who exterminated their husbands (and sometimes also children). This means that it is very likely that Muhammad allowed Muslims to rape their captive women. They are what their right hands possess, so their property.

S. 23:1-6—The Believers must (Eventually) win through—Those who humble themselves In their prayers; Who avoid vain talk; Who are active in deeds Of charity; Who abstain from sex, Except with those joined To them in the marriage bond, Or (the captives) whom Their right hands possess—For (in their case) they are Free from blame.

S. 70:22-30—Not so those devoted To Prayer—Those who remain steadfast To their prayer; And those in whose wealth Is a recognized right For the (needy) who asks And him who is prevented (For some reason from asking); And those who hold To the truth of the Day Of Judgement; And those who fear The displeasure of their Lord—For their Lord’s displeasure Is the opposite of Peace And Tranquility—And those who guard Their chastity, Except with their wives And the (captives) whom Their right hands possess—For (then) they are not To be blamed.

S. 4:24 Y. Ali Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess: Thus hath God ordained (Prohibitions) against you: Except for these, all others are lawful, provided ye seek (them in marriage) with gifts from your property, – desiring chastity, not lust, seeing that ye derive benefit from them, give them their dowers (at least) as prescribed; but if, after a dower is prescribed, agree Mutually (to vary it), there is no blame on you, and God is All-knowing, All-wise. 

Allah’s Messenger sent an army to Autas and encountered the enemy and fought with them. Having overcome them and taken them captives, the Companions of Allah’s Messenger seemed to refrain from having intercourse with captive women because of their husbands being polytheists. Then Allah, Most High, sent down regarding that: ”And women already married, except those whom your right hands possess (4:24)” (i.e. they were lawful for them when their Idda period came to an end). Sahih Muslim 3432.

We went out with Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) on the expedition to the Bi’l-Mustaliq and took captive some excellent Arab women; and we desired them, for we were suffering from the absence of our wives, (but at the same time) we also desired ransom for them. So we decided to have sexual intercourse with them but by observing azl (withdrawing the male sexual organ before emission of semen to avoid conception). But we said: We are doing an act whereas Allah’s Messenger is amongst us; why not ask him? So we asked Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him), and he said: It does not matter 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 3371.

We went out with Allah’s Apostle for the invasion of Bun Al-Mustaliq and we received captives from among the Arab captives and we desired women and celibacy became hard on us and we loved to do coitus interruptus [same as ”azl” above]. So when we intended to do coitus interruptus, we said: ”How can we do coitus interruptus before asking Allah’s Apostle who is present among us? We asked (him) about it and he said: ”It is better for you not to do so, for if any soul till the Day of Resurrection is predestined to exist, it will exist.” Sahih Al-Bukhari 4138.

Jabir bin Abdullah (Allah be pleased with them) reported that a person asked Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) saying: I have a slave-girl and I practice azl with her, whereupon Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: This cannot prevent that which Allah has decreed. The person then came (after some time) and said: Messenger of Allah, the slave-girl about whom I talked to you has conceived, whereupon Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: I am the servant of Allah and His Messenger. Sahih Muslim 3384.

If women commit a ”flagrant indecency” (up to the man to decide) it is lawful to inherit women against their will and to debar them:

S. 4:19 Arberry O believers, it is not lawful for you to inherit women against their will; neither debar them, that you may go off with part of what you have given them, except when they commit a flagrant indecency. Consort with them honourably; or if you are averse to them, it is possible you may be averse to a thing, and God set in it much good. 

There is much confusion if it is permitted to have intercourse through the woman’s anus. Here is one that therefore clarifies that it is not permitted among the Sunnis. (Clarification needed since other hadits say something else.)

1483. This shows that it is not lawful to have intercourse with one’s wife through her anus. This is the view agreed upon by the whole community. The Shi’ah alone allow intercourse through anus, but this is against the traditions which prohibit this practice. (Sunan Abu Dawud, English translation and Explanatory notes by Prof. Ahmad Hasan, Volume II, p. 579)

muslim womanWomen should always be ready to have sex with their husbands

Muhammad does not seem to think it is anything wrong with looking at a woman with the aim to lust for her. He does not allow men to have sex with anyone else but their wives (and their captive women), so to solve the predicament when having been sexually aroused he immediately finds one of his wives to have sex with her regardless of she is busy or not. So the intention is not to make his wife happy but to satisfy his own desires. If this is the way men generally are requested to solve the problem each time they have been lusting for other women, there could not be room for any rejection from the part of the wife that is supposed to be used for this purpose.

Jabir reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) saw a woman, and so he came to his wife, Zainab, as she was tanning a leather and had sexual intercourse with her. He then went to his Companions and told them: The woman advances and retires in the shape of a devil, so when one of you sees a woman, he should come to his wife, for that will repel what he feels in his heart. (Sahih Muslim, Book 008, Number 3240)

Narrated Abdullah ibn Mas’ud. Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) saw a woman who charmed him, so he went to Sawdah who was making perfume in the company of some women. They left him, and after he had satisfied his desire he said, ”If any man sees a woman who charms him he should go to his wife, for she has the same kind of thing as the other woman.”Darimi transmitted it. (Al-Tirmidhi Hadith, Number 927; ALIM CD-ROM Version)

By him in Whose Hand lies my life, a woman can not carry out the right of her Lord, till she carries out the right of her husband. And if he asks her to surrender herself [to him for sexual intercourse] she should not refuse him even if she is on a camel’s saddle. Ibn Majah 1854.

Muhammed condones a form av prostitution/fornication/adultery

In theory it would be possible to have brief ”marriages” that only last for an hour – and up to three days before they are annulled. There is a dispute whether this custom has been abrogated or not.

S. 4:24 Y. Ali Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess: Thus hath God ordained (Prohibitions) against you: Except for these, all others are lawful, provided ye seek (them in marriage) with gifts from your property, – desiring chastity, not lust, seeing that ye derive benefit from them, give them their dowers (at least) as prescribed; but if, after a dower is prescribed, agree Mutually (to vary it), there is no blame on you, and God is All-knowing, All-wise. 

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.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 139)

Narrated Jabir bin ‘Abdullah and Salama bin Al-Akwa’: While we were in an army, Allah’s Apostle came to us and said, ”You have been allowed to do the Mut’a (marriage), so do it.” Salama bin Al-Akwa’ said: Allah’s Apostle’s said, ”If a man and a woman agree (to marry temporarily), their marriage should last for three nights, and if they like to continue, they can do so; and if they want to separate, they can do so.” I do not know whether that was only for us or for all the people in general. Abu Abdullah (Al-Bukhari) said: ‘Ali made it clear that the Prophet said, ”The Mut’a marriage has been cancelled (made unlawful).” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 52)

Narrated Abu Jamra: I heard Ibn Abbas (giving a verdict) when he was asked about the Mut’a with the women, and he permitted it (Nikah-al-Mut’a). On that a freed slave of his said to him, ”That is only when it is very badly needed and women are scarce.” On that, Ibn ‘Abbas said, ”Yes.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62,Number 51)

Ibn Uraij reported: ‘Ati’ reported that Jabir b. Abdullah came to perform ‘Umra, and we came to his abode, and the people asked him about different things, and then they made a mention of temporary marriage, whereupon he said: Yes, we had been benefiting ourselves by this temporary marriage during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him) and during the time of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar. (Sahih Muslim, Book 008, Number 3248)

The word used is ”mut’a” even if translators try to change it into for example Hajj-at-Tamatu. The expression still refers to the practice of temporary marriages. Despite the Sunni claim that Mut’a has been cancelled one will still find Shiite Muslims condoning and practicing it,

Narrated ‘Imran bin Husain: The Verse of Hajj-at-Tamatu was revealed in Allah’s Book, so we performed it with Allah’s Apostle, and nothing was revealed in Qur’an to make it illegal, nor did the Prophet prohibit it till he died. But the man (who regarded it illegal) just expressed what his own mind suggested. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 43)

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: The temporary marriage applied only in the early days of Islam. A man would come to a settlement where he had no acquaintance and marry a woman for the period it was thought he would stay there, and she would look after his belongings and cook for him. But Ibn Abbas said that when the verse came down, ”Except their wives or the captives their right hands possess,” intercourse with anyone else became unlawful. Tirmidhi transmitted it. (Tirmidhi Hadith, Number 942; ALIM CD-ROM Version)

Mut’ah marriage involves a man hiring a woman for a specific amount of money, for a certain period of time, to have sex with her. The scholars agree that this Mut’ah marriage was authorized in the beginning of Islam. It is reported that when the Prophet came to Mecca to perform ‘umrah, the women of Mecca dressed up and adorned themselves. The companions complained to the Prophet that they had not had sex for a long time, so he said to them: ‘Enjoy these women. (At-tafsir al-kabir, S. 4:24)

Men are allowed to marry young girls who have not yet started to menstruatemuslim bride

The waiting period for divorcing women who have not yet menstruated is three months. A woman can only be divorced if she was first married, so the sura therefore assumes that young girls can be married and divorced before they reach puberty. The purpose of this waiting period is to ensure that the wife who is about to be divorced is not pregnant (which a few months waiting period would sort out), and/or to make sure that the father is known (the child from the current husband and not the next husband.) The sura speaks both about wives who have had a history of menstruating and other wives who have not started to menstruate.

S. 65:1, 4 Arberry O Prophet, when you divorce women, divorce them when they have reached their period. Count the period, and fear God your Lord. Do not expel them from their houses, nor let them go forth, except when they commit a flagrant indecency. Those are God’s bounds; whosoever trespasses the bounds of God has done wrong to himself. Thou knowest not, perchance after that God will bring something new to pass… As for your women who have despaired of further menstruating, if you are in doubt, their period shall be three months; and those who have not menstruated as yet. And those who are with child, their term is when they bring forth their burden. Whoso fears God, God will appoint for him, of His command, easiness. 

Narrated Sahl bin Sad: While we were sitting in the company of the Prophet a woman came to him and presented herself (for marriage) to him. The Prophet looked at her, lowering his eyes and raising them, but did not give a reply. One of his companions said, ”Marry her to me O Allah’s Apostle!” The Prophet asked (him), ”Have you got anything?” He said, ”I have got nothing.” The Prophet said, ”Not even an iron ring?” He said, ”Not even an iron ring, but I will tear my garment into two halves and give her one half and keep the other half.” The Prophet; said, ”No. Do you know some of the Quran (by heart)?” He said, ”Yes.” The Prophet said, ”Go, I have agreed to marry her to you with what you know of the Qur’an (as her Mahr).” ‘And for those who have no courses (i.e. they are still immature). (65.4) And the ‘Iddat for the girl BEFORE PUBERTY is three months (in the above Verse). (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 63; emphasis ours)

A renowned Muslim commentator Abu-Ala’ Maududi:

Therefore, making mention of the waiting-period for girls who have not yet menstruated, clearly proves that it is not only permissible to give away the girl at this age but it is permissible for the husband to consummate marriage with her. Now, obviously no Muslim has the right to forbid a thing which the Qur’an has held as permissible. (Maududi, volume 5, p. 620, note 13, emphasis added)

The Quran teaches that there is no waiting period for marriages that have not been consummated. Then there would be no concern for a possible pregnancy or any question of fatherhood. The waiting period only applies in the case of a prepubescent if her husband has actually slept with her.

S. 33:49 O you who believe: When you marry believing women and then divorce them before you have touched them, no period of idda (waiting) have you to count in respect of them: so give them a present and set them free in a graceful manner. 

There are muslim countries where they block websites which are critical against Islam, so the best sites with the most extensive information might be blocked – like this one that I have used as one of my sources. It is my hope that muslims in that case might find other articles where they will see the truth about Islam, and that there is life in Jesus Christ who died for their sins.

2 thoughts on “Women according to Muhammad in the Quran and in the Hadiths

  1. To the person who is a Muslim who reads this i would just want to say that the writer and owner of this blog is not a serious scholar or a person who knows much from a Christian (or Muslim) perspective. Its a manic person with very shallow theological and historical knowledge who also is depp into humanism and some sort of western half religious nationalism on the far right.


    • Haha! And how would my lack of scholarship change the Quran verses that I quoted, or the extensive hadith texts? Speaking of scholarship, I wrote this blog article in connection with my present studies at the University of Uppsala where Islam is on the curriculum.

      Interesting that you seem to be so certain of that I’m ”manic” and that I lack knowledge in both theology and history. How can you be so certain of that? Do you know which schools that I’ve attended? You are also wrong about me being deep into ”nationalism on the far right”. I do vote for Sverigedemokraterna which is NOT a party on the far right. I advice you to make a better research before you make so many false claims about fellow people.




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