is a rebuttal to Yamin Zakaria's letter titled "Islam's
tolerance for Prisoners of War and intolerance of Rape"
which appeared in the Readers' Opinion section of News From
Bangladesh. Mr. Zakaria's letter is provided below,
the parts to be rebutted are quoted in our response.
The letter and the rebuttal deal with rape and extreme violence.
to original presentation of Mr. Zakaria's letter.
Zakaria admits that Islam permits the jihadists to have sex
with their female captives. His primary claim is that this does
not constitute an endorsement of rape. His claim is not credible
for one simple reason: He assumes that the captive non-Muslim
female would willingly engage in sex with the Muslim
men who had just slaughtered her people (her husband, and/or
other family members and loved ones, etc.), some time within
about one month of that killing. The sheer implausibility and
improbability of that assumption, compared against the overwhelming
likelihood that sex under such conditions was forced (i.e.,
rape), should be enough to show that Zakaria is wrong.
for those of you who would like to see the long answer, and
read about (a) the Islamic policy on rape of female captives
and slaves, and (b) the incredible claims of Mr. Zakaria, please
read on. The reasons for making such an extensive rebuttal,
to what appears to be a casually-written letter of an Islamist
apologist, are two: First, the lengthy rebuttal provides comprehensive
reference material about rape and abuse of women, especially
of non-Muslim women, in Islam. Second, the rebuttal exposes
the kinds of lies, half-truths, and misleading statements that
typically come from Islamist writers.
will be shown in this extensive rebuttal, Islam does permit
the Muslim males to coerce the non-Muslim female captives to
have sexual intercourse.This is permitted once it
has been ascertained that the female is not pregnant. In this
context, the sexual intercourse is coerced. The female captive
is forced to have sex against her will, and that conforms exactly
to the standard definition of rape. Mr. Zakaria does not deny
that the men were permitted to have sex with these female captives.
Mr. Zakaria's defence of Islam on this issue is similar to
another one made by an imam who is an author of a popular Islamic
website called "ask-imam." Here is an excerpt of the imam's
extensive answer to a reader's question about Islam's
general policy in regards to copulation with the non-Muslim
females taken captive in war ("slave girls"):
ensured that the slave girl's duties were not restricted merely
to domestic chores but also gave her master permission to
copulate with her. This concession created an atmosphere of
love and harmony between the slave girl and her master. Islam
thereby raised the status of the war captive-maidens close
to that of wives. It was a psychological cure to her grief-stricken
heart, being deprived of her family and thrown into the hands
of a strange society." (1)
similar popular website, Islam Q & A, reviews several Islamic
scholarly opinions and concludes:
Book of Allaah indicates that the sexual relationships that
are permitted are only of two types, either marriage or those
(women slaves) whom one's right hand possesses.
wife has no right to object to her husband owning female slaves
or to his having intercourse with them.
will be shown, these answers are fully consistent with the Koran
and hadith. What is most striking in the above answers is the
shocking lack of empathy. They-Mr. Zakaria, the imams who
wrote the answers quoted above, and Mohammad/'Allah'-do
not seem to grasp the crime of rape from the perspective of
the victim. That is, they can't seem to allow themselves
to see that this is a horrendous crime, which would have a devastating
impact on the victim. This absence of empathy is remarkable,
given the magnitude of the crime, and given the circumstances
under which it was committed. The context was brought about
by imperialist Islamically-motivated raids and wars that were
launched to acquire land, property, wealth, and slaves. These
campaigns were carried out in the service of the larger goal
of establishing and spreading Islam; the acquisition of land,
material, and people was, supposedly, for the service of Islam,
and not for greed, lust, and other base human motives. Backed
by the force of this deliberately-established context, the Muslim
men then coerced the traumatized non-Muslim female captives
to have sex. These women were forced to have sex with those
men who had in many cases, only just recently, killed their
husbands, fathers, brothers, sons-and other members of their
society. At the same time, besides their own suffering, these
women would have to cope with the realization that their sisters,
mothers, daughters, friends, and other members of their society
were also suffering the psychological torture of mass institutionalized
slavery and rape. Only someone bereft of empathy, lacking in
sympathetic insight into the human mind and emotions, would
truly believe that the female captives would have had sex willingly
and freely with these men under these conditions. This sets
the context for our rebuttal of Mr. Zakaria's letter.
tolerance for Prisoners of War and intolerance of Rape"
Zakaria says he will show that Islam's policies are tolerant
toward (female) prisoners of war (captives) and are intolerant
of rape (of female captives). We will address those claims in
he does not stick to addressing those claims. He has slipped
into his letter a variety of additional claims in the form of
counterattacks against the various critics of Islam, and against
Western society in general. Although many of these counterattacks
are irrelevant to Mr. Zakaria's own stated aims in his title
and in his letter, we will also try to deal with several of
his remarks which we find to be inaccurate, misleading, and/or
inappropriate. We have superscripted each point to be addressed
from Mr. Zakaria's writing, e.g., "...war on Islam
and Muslims1...". This
rebuttal will address Mr. Zakaria's additional fallacies
and falsities in Part 2.
It will not be possible to address every false or misleading
claim made by Mr. Zakaria (to do so would require a book-length
treatment!), but the focus will be on the most important claims
that need to be addressed.
Zakaria's, YZ's, first paragraph is refuted in
Part 2. The second-through-fifth
paragraphs were removed, because they are either irrelevant
to the topic, or are else they contain claims that are redundant
with those addressed below. In the first 5 paragraphs, Mr. Zakaria
has only used the opportunity to make absurd allegations about
Western culture, including his preposterous claim that American
society views the horrendous crime of rape as merely a "minor
side annoyance" of sex tourism! His claim that criminals
in the west are "deliberately rewarded" for rape is totally
ridiculous. How is it that Zakaria's ravings are so widely-published?
Aside from some vaguely-worded, unsubstantiated, and reckless
remarks about the western culture, he has thus far said practically
nothing to address problems in Islam. That is typical of his
"So, how does the allegation of rape fit into Islam, given
that Islam does not even permit you to have consensual sex
outside marriage,1 then by greater
reasoning2 it could not permit you
to force someone to have sex with you. Certainly abduction
and rape of any woman3 inside the
Islamic State is severely punishable. It is generally regarded
as an act of "waging war against the society" usually
punishable by death!4 The allegation
of rape is based on the practice of taking the captured women
from the battlefield as war booty, who are then distributed
amongst the soldiers as concubines; the Quran refers to this
category as (Ma Malakat Aymanukum, literally: "what your
right hand possesses".5"
Islam does permit sex outside of marriage, as Mr. Zakaria
admits by the end of the paragraph. Islam allows not only polygamy
but, further, polygyny, meaning that the Muslim male may have
sex with additional females to whom he is not married-in
this case slaves/captives (70:29-30, 4:24, 23:5-6) in addition
to his multiple wives (4:3).
What "greater reasoning"? Zakaria is supposed to be talking
about Islam's policies and citing qualified Islamic
scholars. The questions that he should be answering are 'What
does the Koran allow?', 'What did the prophet allow?',
and 'What does Islamic Law allow?'
Zakaria says "any woman". Actually Muslim men are permitted
to rape non-Muslim women captives and slaves inside and
outside the Islamic state (see below).
"Waging war against the society" is punishable by death.
However, the Islamic laws to which Mr. Zakaria alludes, in the
context of this topic, pertain to fornication and adultery,
not rape. In traditional Islam (e.g., as practiced in Saudi
Arabia today), if a non-Muslim man has consensual sex with (i.e.,
does not rape) a Muslim woman, this is punishable by death (it
is classified as War against God or corruption on earth-both
are huge categories which could include almost any significant
words or actions deemed to be against Islam).
Mr. Zakaria, apparently, has no concerns whatsoever in talking
about women as "war booty" and "what your
right hand possesses." (Note: Captives were slaves,
"right hand possessions," but not all slaves owned by
Muslims were captured in battles and raids, etc.). Allah/Mohammad
and his Muslims had no such concerns either. Here are the relevant
Koranic verses, which Mr. Zakaria does not bother to cite:
"And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts,
from illegal sexual acts).
Except from their wives or (the captives and slaves) that
their right hands possess, for then, they are free from blame"
"And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts from
illegal sexual acts) .
Except with their wives and the (women slaves and captives)
whom their right hands possess, for (then) they are not to
"Also (forbidden are) women already married, except those
(captives and slaves) whom your right hands possess. Thus
has Allah ordained for you-"
"O Prophet (Muhammad SAW)! Verily, We have made lawful
to you your wives, to whom you have paid their Mahr (bridal
money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage),
and those (captives or slaves) whom your right hand possesses
- whom Allah has given to you-"
that all (parenthetical) and [bracketted] insertions in quotes,
throughout this article, are from the original sources, unless
otherwise noted. In some segments in quotes I have set the text
in bold to highlight key elements in the quote. All available
translations and tafsirs agree on the meaning of the verses.
In context, the above verses state that it is lawful in the
eyes of Allah, for all time, that the Muslim man may have sex
with his wives and his female slaves and captives. (Verse
33:50 refers specifically to Mohammad; the other verses refer
to Muslim men generally).
"The argument of rape is built on two basis, first, taking
of the captives from the battlefield and second, the subsequent
allocation of the captives to the soldiers as concubines1
"The mere abduction of a woman does not constitute rape
but in any case the women are not abducted as the critics
claim; they are simply prisoners of war (POW). Nobody went
specifically to hunt for them as they allege2,
they were simply there of their own will aiding the battle.
War means killing and usurping the possession of the enemy.
If it is wrong to take females as captives then it must also
be wrong to kill them and others. In that case the argument
should be against the actual war itself3
not just the taking of female captive as POWs, because the
latter is a consequence of war."
The word concubine is sometimes used, even though these women
are prisoners who are obligated to have sex with their captors.
By using the milder word "concubine" instead of the more
accurate "sex slave," Mr. Zakaria tries to make the whole
practice seem less horrific.
Capturing women and children as slaves was one of the sub-goals
of aggressive jihad, along with the seizing of land, livestock,
money, weapons, etc. All of that "property" was to be
put to the service of Islam, to be used and spent in Allah's
Cause. (Allah's Cause is to establish and spread Islam until
the whole world is under Islamic Law-the larger strategic
The descriptions of Mohammad's (i.e., the apostle's) raid
on the Jewish population of Khaibar (Khaybar) are typical:
"When the Apostle looked down on Khaybar he told his Companions,
and what into error they throw, and Lord of the winds and
what they winnow, we ask Thee for the booty of this town
and its people. Forward in the name of Allah.' He used
to say this of every town he raided."
Muslim, Book 19, Number 4437:
has been narrated on the authority of Anas that the Messenger
of Allah (may peace be upon him) raided Khaibar. One morning
we offered prayers in the darkness of early dawn (near Khaibar).
Then the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) mounted
(his horse). Abu Talha mounted his and I mounted behind Abu
Talha on the same horse. The Prophet of Allah (may peace be
upon him) rode through the streets of Khaibar and (I rode
so close to him) that my knee touched the thigh of the Prophet
of Allah (may peace be upon him). The wrapper got aside from
his thigh, and I could see its whiteness. When he entered
the town, he said: God is Great. Khaibar shall face destruction.
When we descend in the city-square of a people, it is a bad
day for them who have been warned (and have not taken heed).
He said these words thrice. The people of the town had
just come out from (their houses) to go about their jobs.
They said (in surprise): Muhammad has come. We captured
Khaibar by force."
Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 59, Number 512:
Anas: "The Prophet offered the Fajr Prayer near Khaibar
when it was still dark and then said, "Allahu-Akbar! Khaibar
is destroyed, for whenever we approach a (hostile) nation
(to fight), then evil will be the morning for those who have
been warned." Then the inhabitants of Khaibar came out
running on the roads. The Prophet had their warriors killed,
their offspring and woman taken as captives. Safiya was amongst
the captives. She first came in the share of Dahya Alkali
but later on she belonged to the Prophet . The Prophet made
her manumission as her 'Mahr.'"
Mohammad quickly manumitted her and married her; also see Sahih
Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 8, Number 367.
Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 143:
Anas bin Malik: "-when Allah enabled him [the Prophet]
to conquer the Fort (of Khaibar), the beauty of Safiya
bint Huyai bin Akhtab was described to him. Her husband
had been killed while she was a bride. So Allah's Apostle
selected her for himself and took her along with him till
we reached a place called Sad-AsSahba,' where her menses were
over and he took her for his wife.Haris (a kind of
dish) was served on a small leather sheet. Then Allah's Apostle
told me to call those who were around me. So, that was the
marriage banquet of Allah's Apostle and Safiya-" (Brackets
added. Also see Sahih Muslim, Book 8, Number 3325).
Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 59, Number 523:
Anas bin Malik: "The Prophet stayed with Safiya bint Huyai
for three days on the way of Khaibar where he consummated
his marriage with her. Safiya was amongst those who were
ordered to use a veil."
was clearly attracted to Safiya's physical beauty. The most
likely reason for the speedy, make-shift 'marriage' was
that this permitted Mohammad the quickest route to have 'lawful'
sex with Safiya (i.e., "consummated" his marriage to her).
This was a key condition of marriage contracts:
Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 81:
'Uqba: "The Prophet said: "The stipulations most entitled
to be abided by are those with which you are given the right
to enjoy the (women's) private parts (i.e. the stipulations
of the marriage contract).""
Muslim, Book 8, Number 3302:
b. Amir (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Messenger
(may peace be upon him) as saying: The most worthy condition
which must be fulfilled is that which makes sexual intercourse
lawful. In the narration transmitted by Ibn Muthanna (instead
of the word "condition") it is "conditions"."
prophet Mohammad also took other female captives for himself
in this manner (33:50-52). Ibn Kathir notes, from 33:50,
refers to the slave-girls taken captive by Mohammad "-(those
(slaves) whom your right hand possesses whom Allah has given
to you,) means, `the slave-girls whom you took from the
war booty are also permitted to you.' He owned Safiyyah
and Juwayriyah, then he manumitted them and married them,
and he owned Rayhanah bint Sham`un An-Nadariyyah and Mariyah
Al-Qibtiyyah, the mother of his son Ibrahim, upon him be peace;
they were both among the prisoners, may Allah be pleased with
that Mohammad's Coptic Christian slave Mariyah was not obtained
through war but was received by Mohammad as a gift from an Egyptian
ruler. See Shamoun's discussion of Mariyah's status (4).
speedy marriage to Safiya has been investigated thoroughly (5).
Mohammad had sex with her (i.e., raped her) near in time to
when her husband was tortured and killed by Mohammad's men.
The men were acting on Mohammad's orders. Here's how 'the
apostle' had dealt with Safiya's husband:
the husband of Safiya, had been guardian of the tribe's treasures,
and he was brought before the apostle, who asked where they
were hidden. But Kinana refused to disclose the place. Then
a Jew came who said, 'I have seen Kinana walk around a certain
ruin every morning.' The apostle asked Kinana, 'Art thou prepared
to die if we find thou knewest where the treasure was?' And
he replied, 'Yes.' So the apostle ordered the ruin to be dug
up, and some of the treasure was found. After that Kinana
was asked again about the remainder, but he still refused
to tell. The apostle of Allah handed him over to al-Zubayr,
saying, 'Torture him until he tells what he knows', and al-Zubayr
kindled a fire on his chest so that he almost expired; then
the apostle gave him to Muhammad b. Maslama, who struck off
his head." (6)
women in particular was probably a significant motivation for
the young Muslim men. Such sentiment among the Muslim men was
quoted in the historian Tabari's work in quoting one jihadist's
declaration (Tabari IX:25): "By Allah, I did not come
to Fight for nothing. I wanted a victory over Ta'if so that
I might obtain a slave girl from them and make her pregnant."
Sex with the "war booty" captives was considered by
Mohammad to be a much-deserved reward for the jihadists:
Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 59, Number 637:
Buraida: "The Prophet sent 'Ali to Khalid to bring the
Khumus (of the booty) and I hated Ali, and 'Ali had taken
a bath (after a sexual act with a slave-girl from the Khumus).
I said to Khalid, "Don't you see this (i.e. Ali)?"
When we reached the Prophet I mentioned that to him. He said,
"O Buraida! Do you hate Ali?" I said, "Yes."
He said, "Do you hate him, for he deserves more than
that from the Khumus.""
We can certainly argue against the ethics of Mohammad's wars
too. The vast majority of the "wars" fought by Mohammad's
men were aggressive jihads, raids, surprise attacks, etc. Capturing
women was probably a major incentive for the men. Because Mohammad
and the Muslims were practicing polygyny, this would have led
to a shortage of available females among the Muslims. There
would be many men without mates. The raids and wars of aggression
had multiple objectives, but they certainly supplied the demand
for more females.
Mr. Zakaria is misleading when he claims that the sex with the
female captives only came about as the unavoidable consequence
of warfare. The practice of having sex with the female captives
could have been forbidden by Mohammad, but instead he led his
men in engaging in it, and he ('Allah') came up with
rules to make it lawful for all Muslims for all time. It should
also be understood that not all of the sex-slaves were obtained
through battle or terror; some were obtained by Muslims through
other means, such as their trading in slaves. Also note that
verses 23:5-6 and 70:29-30, which give permission to the Muslim
men to have sex with their female slaves ("right hand possessions"),
were revealed during the Meccan phase of Mohammad's career,
before he and his Muslims became involved in raids, battles,
"If the female captives are not ransomed or killed1
or set free, then they are allocated to soldiers as concubines.
This also depends on the actual international situation, how
the enemies are behaving with the Islamic State and how they
are treating Muslim prisoners. In the case that the women
prisoners are distributed as concubines there are very clear
and detailed rules2 regarding
how they should be treated, definitely not left to the whims
of the soldiers to do as they please."
Female captives could be killed, as Zakaria admits, but particularly
if they spoke against Islam (see "singing girls," below).
The captives could also be ransomed for money or people, or
else set free, depending on the 'grace' (or whim) of
the Muslim authority. The Muslim authority was under no general
obligation to set war captives free. Rather, it was most often
the case that only individual slaves could be released, much
later, and only when certain conditions had been met (this is
described below), and war captives generally did not meet these
It is precisely those "detailed rules" that permitted
the men to do as they pleased. Mr. Zakaria thinks the 'sex'
in this context is morally or ethically acceptable because 'Allah'
has made it lawful. A simple clear rule would have been: Do
not allow the jihadists to have sex with (i.e., rape) the female
captives. Why didn't 'Allah' come up with that
rule? Allah, who is supposedly the best of judges and all-wise,
and "able to do all things," spends hundreds of verses
in the Koran threatening disbelievers with hell-fire simply
for disbelieving, and praises himself in hundreds more verses,
but he does not even give a single verse to forbid rape! Why
are Islamist-spokesmen like Mr. Zakaria left to try and quibble
over detailed rules that, when examined in detail, end up approving,
instead of forbidding, the rape of female captives? Such apologist-spokesmen
would rather try to deceive the public with some convoluted
justification of rape than simply admit that Mohammad/Allah
"What commentators need to realize is that in Islam a captive
woman as a concubine, has essentially same legal rights as
a wife,1 this is surely distinct
from the victims of abduction and rape. Remember, this is
despite the fact that she is not a guest but a prisoner of
war. First of all she is allocated to the soldier and then
she has to go through the Iddah period2
of clearing the womb, which can take up to 1 month to ensure
that she is not already pregnant, during this period no man
may approach her. She has the right to be fed, clothed, and
sheltered adequately at all times. After that period her master
may approach her but he cannot force himself on her. He cannot
have sex against her will. Equally she is not entitled legally
to refuse without good reason, the exact same as a wife. But
in the case that she does refuse, the relationship would naturally
come to an end. Remember, even a slap on her face would mean
in Islam necessitating her freedom.3"
The "same legal rights as the wife" in Islam? This is
not true with regard to the master-slave relationship, because
the female captive is a slave (!) and does not have freedom.
A slave did not have property rights, nor many other rights-limited
as they were-that wives had. As a slave and war captive,
she does not have the power to get a divorce to get free of
her captor. Nevertheless, a Muslim wife's power to obtain
a divorce from her Muslim husband is very limited under traditional
Islamic law that has not yet been modified by western influences:
sharia, the husband has the unilateral right to divorce
his wife without cause-Classical sharia lays out
very limited conditions under which a woman can divorce a
man-he must be infertile at the time of marriage; insane;
or have leprosy or another contagious skin disease. Most Islamic
nations, including Egypt and Iran, now allow women to sue
for divorce for many other reasons, including the failure
to provide financial support." (7)
does Mr. Zakaria expect that most readers will assume that a
slave-girl having the same legal rights as a wife in Islam would
be necessarily be a good state of affairs? This question is
worth addressing. In his famous farewell address, Mohammad said
to his Muslims "-The women who live with you are like
captives, unable to manage for themselves: you took them as
a trust from Allah, and enjoyed their sex as lawful through
a word from Allah-" Mr. Zakaria himself has railed
against equal rights for women in Islam, calling
the proposals of moderate progressive reformers "idiocy,"
and accusing one such Muslim woman thinker (Amina Abdul Wadud)
of being guilty of "apostasy"(8)!
Note that Mr. Zakaria supports the death penalty for apostasy
to the Koran and hadith, the wife must absolutely obey her husband.
The Koran orders the husband to beat the wife if he "fears
disobedience" from her. Verse 4:34, the notorious wife-beating
verse, does say "beat" her (or hit, or scourge). At
least 10 available respectable translations of the Koran say
"beat" (or scourge, or hit), and multiple tafsirs
and ahadith confirm it (see below). For a discussion of 4:34
and the word "beat," see (10).
Here is verse 4:34 (note that "Qanitat" means obedient):
are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah
has made one of them to excel the other, and because they
spend (to support them) from their means. Therefore the righteous
women are Qanitat, and guard in the husband's absence what
Allah orders them to guard. As to those women on whose part
you see ill conduct, admonish them, and abandon them in their
beds, and beat them, but if they return to obedience,
do not seek a means against them. Surely, Allah is Ever Most
High, Most Great."
Kathir's tafsir of 4:34 is as follows:
said, (Men are the protectors and maintainers of women,)
meaning, the man is responsible for the woman, and he is her
maintainer, caretaker and leader who disciplines her if
she deviates. (because Allah has made one of them to excel
the other,) meaning, because men excel over women and are
better than them for certain tasks. This is why prophethood
was exclusive of men, as well as other important positions
of leadership. The Prophet said,
who appoint a woman to be their leader, will never achieve
success.) Al-Bukhari recorded this Hadith. Such is the
case with appointing women as judges or on other positions
because they spend from their means.) meaning the dowry, expenditures
and various expenses that Allah ordained in His Book and the
Sunnah of His Messenger for men to spend on women. For these
reasons it is suitable that he is appointed her maintainer,
just as Allah said,
men have a degree (of responsibility) over them).
of the Righteous Wife
the righteous) women,
Qanitat), obedient to their husbands, as Ibn `Abbas and
guard in the husband's absence) As-Suddi and others said that
it means she protects her honor and her husband's property
when he is absent, and Allah's statement,
Allah orders them to guard.) means, the protected [husband]
is the one whom Allah protects. Ibn Jarir recorded that Abu
Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
best women is she who when you look at her, she pleases you,
when you command her she obeys you, and when you are
absent, she protects her honor and your property.) Then, the
Messenger of Allah recited the Ayah,
are the protectors and maintainers of women, ) until its end.
Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdur-Rahman bin 'Awf said that
the Messenger of Allah said,
the woman prayed her five daily prayers, fasted her month,
protected her chastity and obeyed her husband, she
will be told, 'Enter Paradise from any of its doors you wish.')
to those women on whose part you see ill conduct,) meaning,
the woman from whom you see ill conduct with her husband,
such as when she acts as if she is above her husband,
disobeys him, ignores him, dislikes him, and so forth.
When these signs appear in a woman, her husband should advise
her and remind her of Allah's torment if she disobeys him.
Indeed, Allah ordered the wife to obey her husband and prohibited
her from disobeying him, because of the enormity of his
rights and all that he does for her. The Messenger of Allah
I were to command anyone to prostrate before anyone, I would
have commanded the wife to prostrate before her husband, because
of the enormity of his right upon her.) Al-Bukhari recorded
that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
the man asks his wife to come to his bed and she declines,
the angels will keep cursing her until the morning.) Muslim
recorded it with the wording,
the wife goes to sleep while ignoring her husband's bed, the
angels will keep cursing her until the morning.) This is why
to those women on whose part you see ill conduct, admonish
them (first)). Allah's statement,
them in their beds,) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn
`Abbas said "The abandonment refers to not having intercourse
with her, to lie on her bed with his back to her.'' Several
others said similarly. As-Suddi, Ad-Dahhak, `Ikrimah, and
Ibn `Abbas, in another narration, added, "Not to speak
with her or talk to her.'' The Sunan and Musnad compilers
recorded that Mu`awiyah bin Haydah Al-Qushayri said, "O
Allah's Messenger! What is the right that the wife of one
of us has on him'' The Prophet said,
feed her when you eat, cloth her when you buy clothes for
yourself, refrain from striking her face or cursing
her, and to not abandon her, except in the house.) Allah's
them) means, if advice and ignoring her in the bed do not
produce the desired results, you are allowed to discipline
the wife, without severe beating. Muslim recorded that
Jabir said that during the Farewell Hajj, the Prophet said;
Allah regarding women, for they are your assistants. You have
the right on them that they do not allow any person whom you
dislike to step on your mat. However, if they do that, you
are allowed to discipline them lightly. They have a right
on you that you provide them with their provision and clothes,
in a reasonable manner.) Ibn `Abbas and several others said
that the Ayah refers to a beating that is not violent. Al-Hasan
Al-Basri said that it means, a beating that is not severe.""
must be obedient, otherwise the husband is permitted to beat
her to keep her in line. What does "a beating that is not
severe" mean to Mohammad and his men, who mutilated, tortured,
and decapitated their opponents? We need a concrete example
of what Mohammad, in that context, considered to be an acceptable
level of beating. In at least one case, the prophet permitted
a beating that was hard enough to cause obvious bruise-marks
[I add my comments in brackets]:
Bukhari. Volume 7, Book 72, Number 715.
said "I have not seen anyone suffering as much as the
believing women. Look! Her skin is greener than her clothes!""
[The "green" adjective is in reference to the visible
bruising from the beating. In this incident, Ayesha brought
to the prophet's attention a woman who had been badly beaten
by her husband in a domestic quarrel. In response, the prophet
did not condemn the beating, and "Allah" did not substitute
a new verse in place of the 4:34, even though Allah supposedly
had the power to substitute in new verses to replace others
struck his own wife, the child-bride Aisha (Ayesha), hard enough
to cause her pain:
Muslim, Book 4, Number 2127:
[Mohammad] struck me [Ayesha] on the chest which caused me
pain, and then said: Did you think that Allah and His Apostle
would deal unjustly with you?" [The prophet struck Ayesha
deliberately, to rebuke her for having secretly watched him
pray. There is no indication that Mohammad thought that striking
Ayesha was an "unjust" way of dealing with her].
Muslims must try to follow Mohammad's example conduct (33:21)
and standard of character (68:4), and obey him (4:80), this
means that the beating called for in verse 4:34 can be hard
enough to cause pain and clearly visible bruising*, but "not
severe" and not striking her face. *(Some fiqh rulings say
there should not be visible bruisings, but this is inconsistent
with other rulings and is inconsistent with the above-cited
example from "sahih" hadith illustrating what the prophet
considered acceptable). The beating which Allah/Mohammad envisioned
was not a light symbolic tapping, as some apologists have claimed.
The disciplinary beating is supposed to be the latter of a series
of progressive punishments. Mohammad wanted the Muslim wives
to be obedient, meek, and grateful to their husbands. This is
confirmed in the following hadith:
Abu Dawud, Book 11, Number 2141:
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
first, Mohammad said don't beat them. Then, when it was found
that the women had become "emboldened toward their husbands,"
Mohammad gave the husbands permission to beat them (Koran, 4:34).
When the latter policy was in effect, Mohammad criticized those
women who complained about their husbands' abusiveness! Finally,
although verse 4:35 calls for abitration to settle the dispute
between the husband and wife, Mohammad says in the hadith below
that the husband will not even be questioned for beating his
Abu Dawud, Book 11, Number 2142:
Umar ibn al-Khattab: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
A man will not be asked as to why he beat his wife."
("Allah") warned that he would replace his wives if they
were not sufficiently obedient and pious (66:5). Mohammad further
threatened the believing women generally with a terrible penalty
of torture and hell-fire in the hereafter:
Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 24, Number 541:
Prophet Muhammad said) I have seen that the majority of the
dwellers of Hell-Fire were women....[because] they are ungrateful
to their husbands and they are deficient in intelligence."
(Also in Sahih Muslim, Book 36, Numbers 6596, 6597. Sahih
Muslim Book 36, Number 6600 also says women are the minority
in Paradise. [Brackets added]
laws even permit the Muslim husband to use force to "enjoy"
a wife. Abul Kasem, in his article Sex and Sexuality in Islam
quotes from the Hedaya, an authoritative commentary on Islamic
is what Hedaya (ref. 11, p. 141) writes:
can enjoy a wife by force"
not if she be refractory."
a wife be disobedient or refractory and go abroad without
her husband's consent, she is not entitled to any support
from him, until she return and make submission, because the
rejection of the matrimonial restraint in this instance originates
with her; but when she returns home, she is then subject to
it, for which reason she again becomes entitled to her support
as before. It is otherwise where a woman, residing in the
house of her husband, refuses to admit him to the conjugal
embrace, as she is entitled to maintenance, notwithstanding
her opposition, because being then in his power, he may, if
he please, enjoy her by force.""
above hadith, tafsir, verses, fiqh, and legal interpretations,
all show that the rights of the wife were limited in that she
was held to a stringent standard of obedience to her husband's
wishes, such that he could beat her as punishment and use force
to "enjoy" her. If this is the standard for the Muslim
males' treatment of Muslim wives, how could the treatment
possibly be better for the already traumatized non-Muslim captive
females? In fact, depending on whether or not the slave
had violated Islamic laws, she could be punished physically
by her master, as illustrated in this hadith:
Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 46, Number 731:
Abu Huraira and Zaid bin Khalid: The Prophet said, "If
a slave-girl (Ama) commits illegal sexual intercourse, scourge
her; if she does it again, scourge her again; if she repeats
it, scourge her again." The narrator added that on the
third or the fourth offence, the Prophet said, "Sell
her even for a hair rope.""[Also see Sahih
Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 34, Numbers 362 and 363; these use
the term "lash" for scourge].
here orders the Muslim masters to lash or flog the female slave
if she commits illegal sexual intercourse. Illegal sexual intercourse
would include having sex with anyone other than her current
If she does not cease she must be sold. At some point, a female
slave might voluntarily have sex with someone to whom she is
actually attracted (e.g., someone other than her master; perhaps
with another slave from her own original tribe), or she could
be raped by someone (other than her master). In either case,
she could be punished. Mohammad's phrasing "Sell her even
for a hair rope" shows his utter contempt toward the slave
girls who did not follow his rules.
should be added that there were circumstances in which Mohammad
ordered Muslims not to beat their slaves. This was not a general
Muslim Book 15, Number 4079:
reported that Ibn Umar called his slave and he found the marks
(of beating) upon his back. He said to him: I have caused
you pain. He said: No. But he (Ibn Umar) said: You are free.
He then took hold of something from the earth and said: There
is no reward for me even to the weight equal to it. I heard
Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: He who
beats a slave without cognizable offence of his or
slaps him (without any serious fault), then expiation
for it is that he should set him free."
Muslim Book 15, Number 4089:
Mas'ud reported that he had been beating his slave and he
had been saying: I seek refuge with Allah, but he continued
beating him, whereupon he said: I seek refuge with Allah's
Messenger, and he spared him. Thereupon Allah's Messenger
(may peace be upon him) said: By Allah, God has more dominance
over you than you have over him (the slave). He said that
he set him free. This hadith has been narrated on the authority
of Shu'ba with the same chain of transmitters, but made no
mention of (these words) of his: I seek refuge with Allah,
I seek refuge with Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him)."
slave should not be beaten unless they have committed a "cognizable
offence" (i.e., violation of Islamic laws, such as speaking
out against Islam). In addition, the latter hadith suggests
that if the slave declares seeking refuge with (or repentance
from) Allah, that can prevent or reduce a punishment. Non-Muslim
slaves could not, honestly, make such an appeal.
Regarding the waiting period, or iddah, in the case of female
captives, Ibn Kathir's tafsir of verse 4:24 states:
Women Already Married, Except for Female Slaves
(forbidden are) women already married, except those whom
your right hands possess.) The Ayah means, you are prohibited
from marrying women who are already married,
those whom your right hands possess) except those whom you
acquire through war, for you are allowed such women after
making sure they are not pregnant. Imam Ahmad recorded
that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri said, "We captured some women
from the area of Awtas who were already married, and we disliked
having sexual relations with them because they already had
husbands. So, we asked the Prophet about this matter, and
this Ayah was revealed,
(forbidden are) women already married, except those whom
your right hands possess). Consequently, we had sexual relations
with these women.'' [-]"
al-Jalalayn tafsir (4:24) states:
forbidden to you are, wedded women, those with spouses, that
you should marry them before they have left their spouses,
be they Muslim free women or not; save what your right
hands own, of captured [slave] girls, whom you may have sexual
intercourse with, even if they should have spouses among the
enemy camp, but only after they have been absolved of
the possibility of pregnancy [after the completion of one
menstrual cycle]; this is what God has prescribed for you
(kitāba is in the accusative because it is the verbal
Ibn Abbas' tafsir (4:24) states:
all married women (are forbidden unto you save those (captives)
whom your right hands possess) of captives, even if they have
husbands in the Abode of War, after ascertaining that
they are not pregnant, by waiting for the lapse of one period
Muslim men were permitted to have sexual intercourse with these
traumatized, emotionally-devastated captive females after they
had menstuated. This was permitted even if their husbands were
still alive. (For further information on the laws regarding
intercourse with the captive slave-girls, see (12)).
the above tafsirs show, these females' marriages to their
husbands were considered to have been unilaterally annulled
by "Allah"/Mohammad (or Islamic ruler) to make the
intercourse between slave and slave-owner legal, and in this
case the laws regarding fornication do not apply, provided the
iddah period was observed. As scholar and critic of Islam Robert
Islamic legal manual 'Umdat al-Salik [Reliance
of the Traveller], which carries the endorsement of Al-Azhar
University, the most respected authority in Sunni Islam, stipulates:
"When a child or a woman is taken captive, they become
slaves by the fact of capture, and the woman's previous
marriage is immediately annulled."" (13)
hadith cited in Ibn Kathir's tafsir (above) portrays a scenario
in which Mohammad's men are concerned about the polytheist
women captives' marriages, but "Allah" does not have
a revelation on this matter until after the men express
Muslim, Book 8, Number 3432 (also 3433, 3434):
Sa'id al-Khudri (Allah be pleased with him) reported that
at the Battle of Hanain Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon
him) 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 (may peace be upon him) 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 (iv. 24)"
(i. e. they were lawful for them when their 'Idda period came
to an end)."
Abu Dawud, Volume 2, Number 2150:
Said al-Khudri said: "The apostle of Allah sent a military
expedition to Awtas on the occasion of the battle of Hunain.
They met their enemy and fought with them. They defeated them
and took them captives. Some of the Companions of the apostle
of Allah were reluctant to have intercourse with the female
captives in the presence of their husbands who were unbelievers.
So Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Quranic verse, "And
all married women (are forbidden) unto your save those (captives)
whom your right hand possesses". That is to say, they
are lawful for them when they complete their waiting period.""
you imagine the emotional states of these women captives during
this ordeal? But 'Allah' simply provides a revelation
(verse 4:24) that permits the Muslim men to have their way with
the 'polytheist' women, right in the presence of those
womens' husbands who were also held captive, without any
concern or empathy for the non-Muslim captives as human beings,
nor with any respect for their (non-Muslim) institution of marriage.
It seems Allah's role here is to wipe the Muslim men's
consciences clear, to remove whatever moral restraints they
had, in committing these crimes against humanity.
the Muslim men in these situations actually wait until the females
had menstruated? (This is of course a minor concern in light
of the magnitude of the crime of rape). The answer is not certain,
but there is some evidence to suggest that the men directly
under Mohammad's guidance did not wait. For example, the
Sahih Muslim hadith below, which is also reported in the Sahih
Bukhari collection, implies that the men did not wait for up
to a month:
Muslim, Book 8, Number 3371 (3371-3388):
Sirma said to Abu Sa'id al Khadri (Allah he pleased with him):
O Abu Sa'id, did you hear Allah's Messenger (may peace be
upon him) mentioning al-'azl? He said: Yes, and added: 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."
review some key points of this hadith:
The Muslim men are on an aggressive jihad expedition; they are
At least some of the men are married and "suffering" from
not having had sex with their wives in some time, so they deem
it acceptable to have sex with the "excellent" women they've
They also would like to use these same women for ransom (money
or exchange of people).
At least some of them ("we") have already had sex with
the women, or some of them are in the process of doing so (see
"we are doing an act"), or they are about to do so, following
the prophet's judgement. They are using coitus interruptus
to prevent pregnancy.
They ask Mohammad, who is present, for guidance. Mohammad tells
them whether or not a child is to be born is Allah's decision.
He does not forbid rape. He does not forbid selling the women
of all, does anyone think, after reading that hadith carefully,
that those men had waited up to a month before raping the women?
Secondly, the prophet's statements on coitus interruptus
vary between circumstances, but he is fully consistent in allowing
the men to have sex with (i.e., rape) the female captives. Although
Mohammad does not forbid coitus interruptus with slave/captive
females, overall he prefers that they should not withdraw the
penis when ejaculating. Indeed, Mohammad permits the traumatized
women captives to be forcibly impregnated. The remark "we
also desired ransom for them" indicates that at least some
of the men in this incident were concerned about getting the
women pregnant because the women captives could not be ransomed
while they were pregnant (12).
Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 34, Number 432:
Abu Said Al-Khudri: that while he was sitting with Allah's
Apostle he said, "O Allah's Apostle! We get female captives
as our share of booty, and we are interested in their prices,
what is your opinion about coitus interruptus?" The Prophet
said, "Do you really do that? It is better for you not
to do it. No soul that which Allah has destined to exist,
but will surely come into existence.""
these men wanted to get their pleasure before ransoming the
women for profit. The hadith does at least raise doubts about
whether the men waited the duration of the iddah period. But
iddah or no iddah, rape is rape. It is inconceivable that
sexual intercourse under those conditions was not rape.
Next, Mr. Zakaria gives a contorted explanation, such that (a)
the Muslim man cannot force the captive woman to have sex with
him, but (b) the captive woman cannot refuse to have sex with
him without a "good reason"(!), and (c) the captive woman
can refuse to have sex and can leave the master-slave relationship
without penalty, and the man is not permitted to slap her on
3(a), there are no rulings that say that a Muslim man cannot
force a lawfully-obtained, non-pregnant non-Muslim captive woman,
after the iddah period, to have sex with him. The concept of
rape is not described in the Koran or hadith; only unlawful
sexual intercourse (e.g., fornication, adultery, sodomy) is
forbidden. Also note that even if the Muslim man was not aggressively
forceful in his advances, the situational constraints-the
Muslim state's power over her is absolute-would compel
the woman, out of fear, to acquiesce to the sexual intercourse.
Like so many aspects of Islam, this situation is governed by
fear. There is very little deterrent to prevent a Muslim man
from killing his female slave. There are no penalties mentioned
in the Koran, or only minimal penalties mentioned in the hadith,
when a Muslim kills a non-Muslim. It is reported in Sahih Bukhari,
b83, n50 and v4,
b52, n283 that "-no Muslim should be
killed in Qisas (equality in punishment) for killing a Kafir
(disbeliever)." This is confirmed in Islamic law, which
states that a Muslim may kill a non-Muslim without being subject
to the law of retaliation (Qisas) (Reliance of the Traveller,
o1.2, see (2)). The penalty (to be paid in blood money) for
killing a woman is only half the penalty for killing a man,
and the penalty is reduced greatly if the victim is a non-Muslim
(Reliance of the Traveller, o4.9. ). If the female war captive
is from a people who are still at war with the Muslims, there
could be zero penalty for killing her (Reliance of the Traveller,
o4.17). These women would quite legitimately fear being killed
by their Muslim captors, captors who had killed many of those
womens' people. If a female captive spoke out in anger or
frustration, insultingly, or mockingly about Islam, Muslims,
or Mohammad, she could be killed, and the killer would not be
penalized at all in such a case. There are many instances described
in the ahadith where the prophet Mohammad (14)
executed or assassinated persons who he believed had insulted
him, Allah, Islam, or Muslims. Here is just one such example:
Abu Dawud, Book 14, Number 2678:
Sa'id ibn Yarbu' al-Makhzumi: The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him)
said: on the day of the conquest of Mecca: There are four
persons whom I shall not give protection in the sacred and
non-sacred territory. He then named them. There were two
singing girls of al-Maqis; one of them was killed and the
other escaped and embraced Islam."
singing girls had not plotted or carried out any violence against
Mohammad or the Muslims at all. They had sung lyrics that Mohammad
believed were insulting to him as prophet of Islam. Therefore
'Allah' (Mohammad) required that they be executed. One
of the girls was forgiven because she embraced Islam. The other
did not embrace Islam and so Mohammad had her executed. Embracing
Islam was therefore a means to survival. Clearly, the threat
of execution was a major factor in compelling captive slave
females to "convert" to Islam. This would reduce the chances
of being executed for saying something, even accidentally or
sarcastically, that could be construed as un-Islamic. The Hanbali
jurist Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328) wrote that captive non-Muslim
non-combatants, including women and children, could be executed
if they merely engaged in verbal or written opposition to Islam:
for those who cannot offer resistance or cannot fight, such
as women, children, monks, old people, the blind, handicapped
and their likes, they shall not be killed unless they actually
fight with words [eg. by propaganda] and acts [by spying or
otherwise assisting in the warfare]. Some jurists are of the
opinion that all of them may be killed, on the mere ground
that they are unbelievers, but they make an exception for
women and children since they constitute property for Muslims."
Ibn Taymiyya (1996). al-Siyasa al-shariyya. (Translated by
Rudolph Peters). Jihad in Classical and Modern Islam. (pp.
44-54; see p. 49). Princeton NJ. Markus Wiener Publishers).
tradition of threatening, executing, or assassinating critics
(those who "fight" using free expression against Islam)
3(b), Mr. Zakaria admits that a woman cannot legally refuse
to have sex with her husband if he demands it, unless she has
a "good reason." Simply not being willing to have sex
is not a "good reason" in Islam; she must be obedient
and conform to the man's desires (see Ibn Kathir's tafsir
of 4:34, above). The hadith cited by Ibn Kathir regarding the
angels "cursing the female until morning" (e.g., see Sahih
b62, n121) is conceptually consistent with Mohammad's
policy of compelling the woman to have sex.
3(c), if (or when) the Muslim captor did rape the female
captive, then what? Can she complain to the Muslim authorities,
and, with credible evidence, have that man punished with rape?
The Koran, Mohammad, and traditional Islam do not recognize
the concept of rape (i.e., coercing a person to have sexual
intercourse against their will). Nevertheless, even if some
interpretation of Islam did recognize the concept of rape, what
then? Would a case be prosecuted fairly? First of all, according
to the Koran, a woman's testimony is worth only half that
of a man's testimony (2:282). According to Islamic law, a
non-Muslim cannot testify against a Muslim (Reliance of the
Traveller, o24.2-4, o24.2(e)., also see Koran 65:2). In addition,
the Koran asserts that non-Muslims are liars (2:10, 4:50,
9:42, 16:39, 16:105, 59:11, 7:66; 58:18-19). Thus, a non-Muslim
female captive's testimony would be given practically no
credibility against that of the Muslim man. Furthermore, in
cases of alleged sexual impropriety, the woman requires 4 male
eye-witnesses, all testifying to have witnesed the alleged act!
This is based on the Koran's verses 24:4 and 24:13. If she
makes the allegation but cannot bring the four witnesses, she
is considered an evil-doer (24:4) and a liar (24:13) and will
be given a harsh penalty. These Koran-based rules also apply
in regards to Mr. Zakaria's claims about the female captive
being slapped on the face by her captor: If she testifies to
that, her testimony is given practically no weight because she
is a female non-Muslim testifying against a Muslim male, and
she risks being punished if she can't prove the allegations.
Besides, we've already seen that the master is permitted
to flog the female slave if she violates Islamic law.
"Is it any surprise that most of the Sabees were easily
absorbed, many freed themselves1
and virtually all converted to Islam2?
If she thought she was treated unjustly she is hardly likely
to embrace their religion and/or marry their master after
gaining emancipation. Also, Islam has always3
encouraged freeing these women captives this is why in so
many places freeing a female concubine appears as a penance."
It is highly misleading to say that they "freed themselves."
Slaves, being slaves, were forbidden to leave by their own free
will. The female captives could be bought and sold (except while
they were pregnant). They could only be manumitted (freed) with
the permission, and by the 'grace,' of their masters.
A contract could be drawn up between the Muslim master and the
slave, such that the slave could buy his or her way out of slavery.
Here are the most relevant verses:
"And marry those among you who are single (i.e. a man who
has no wife and the woman who has no husband) and (also marry)
the Salihun (pious, fit and capable ones) of your (male) slaves
and maid-servants (female slaves). If they be poor, Allah
will enrich them out of His Bounty. And Allah is All-Sufficent
for His creatures' needs, All-Knowing (about the state of
And let those who find not the financial means for marriage
keep themselves chaste, until Allah enriches them of His Bounty.
And such of your slaves as seek a writing (of emancipation),
give them such writing, if you know that they are good and
trustworthy. And give them something yourselves out of
the wealth of Allah which He has bestowed upon you. And force
not your maids to prostitution, if they desire chastity, in
order that you may make a gain in the (perishable) goods of
this worldly life. But if anyone compels them (to prostitution),
then after such compulsion, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful
(to those women, i.e. He will forgive them because they have
been forced to do this evil action unwillingly)."
from Ibn Kathir's tafsir of verse 24:33:
are three (from among the poor) whom it is a right upon Allah
to help: one who gets married seeking chastity;
a slave who makes a contract with his master with the aim
of buying his freedom; and one who fights for the sake of
such of your servants as seek a writing (of emancipation),
give them such writing, if you find that there is good and
honesty in them.) This is a command from Allah to slave-owners:
if their servants ask them for a contract of emancipation,
they should write it for them, provided that the servant has
some skill and means of earning so that he can pay his master
the money that is stipulated in the contract.
bin Anas told him that Sirin, who had a lot of money, asked
Anas for a contract of emancipation and he refused. So he
went to `Umar (bin Al-Khattab), may Allah be pleased with
him, and he said, `Write it for him.' He refused, so `Umar
hit him with his whip and recited,
them such writing, if you find that there is good and honesty
in them.) Then he wrote the contract.''
verse is often cited by apologists, framed as if it says that
any slave could simply ask his or her Muslim master to sign
a piece of paper declaring him or her free. That was not the
case. This verse refers to a slave having to either work to
buy him/herself out of slavery or be bought out of slavery by
sponsors. And it does not apply to all slaves. Note the following
conditions for a slave to buy his or her freedom from the Muslim
master: "If you know they are good and trustworthy." This
rules out the manumitting of non-Muslim slaves who were obtained
as war captives. In addition, the Koran is clear that there
is "no good" in non-Muslims (8:23); non-Muslims are said
to be "guilty" for disbelieving (45:31, 83:29); they are
liars (2:10, 4:50, 9:42, 16:39, 16:105, 59:11), "evil"
(2:91, 2:99), and so on (15).
Verse 28:86 is absolutely clear that Muslims should "never
help" the disbelievers. All of these statements, taken as
the perfect words of guidance from Allah (2:2), make it impossible,
or else very unlikely, for a disbelieving (i.e., non-Muslim)
slave to be manumitted, without the Muslim owner violating the
to her master (or some other master) was the main way that a
female slave could be manumitted. She had to be manumitted first,
because it was unlawful for a master to marry a slave, including
his own slave. For marriage to a Muslim man, a Muslim female
slave was considered to be preferable over a non-Muslim free
woman (Koran, 2:221, 4:25). Slaves had to obtain permission
from their master(s) before they could get married (16).
To be married to a (Muslim) master, she had to convert to Islam
(this follows the general rule in verse 2:221) if she was not
Jewish, Christian, or Sabean.
preference for the freeing of Muslim slaves (or those who declare
conversion to Islam) over the freeing of non-Muslim slaves is
also evident in many ahadith. Here are some examples:
Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 46, Number 693:
Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "Whoever frees a Muslim
slave, Allah will save all the parts of his body from
the (Hell) Fire as he has freed the body-parts of the slave."
Said bin Marjana said that he narrated that Hadith to 'Ali
bin Al-Husain and he freed his slave for whom 'Abdullah bin
Ja'far had offered him ten thousand Dirhams or one-thousand
Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 46, Number 724:
Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "A pious slave
gets a double reward." Abu Huraira added: By Him in Whose
Hands my soul is but for Jihad (i.e. holy battles), Hajj,
and my duty to serve my mother, I would have loved to die
as a slave."
Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 46, Number 727:
Abu Musa: The Prophet said, "The Mamluk (slave) who
worships his Lord in a perfect manner, and is dutiful,
sincere and obedient to his Saiyid (master), will get a double
Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 255:
Abu Burda's father: The Prophet said, "Three persons
will get their reward twice. (One is) a person who has
a slave girl and he educates her properly and teaches
her good manners properly (without violence) and then manumits
and marries her. Such a person will get a double reward. (Another
is) a believer from the people of the scriptures who has
been a true believer and then he believes in the Prophet (Muhammad).
Such a person will get a double reward. (The third is) a
slave who observes Allah's Rights and Obligations and is sincere
to his master.""
notes of explanantion for the terms used in those ahadith above
are needed. First, "pious" here is an adjective
that can only be meant to refer to someone, after Mohammad's
revelation, who believes in Islam. Islam is the only acceptable
religion (3:85) after Mohammad's revelation. The same is
true for the description "worships his Lord in a perfect
manner." Second, educating a slave, before manumitting
and then marrying her, requires that she be "educated"
to adopt or at least agree to live by Islamic beliefs and rules;
everything other than Islamic teaching is considered jahiliyyah,
meaning ignorance. Third, in regards to "educating"
the female slave, the translator's parenthetical insertion
"without violence" does not have any bearing whatsoever
on the fact that violence could be used to punish the slave
if the slave had committed some violation of Islamic law. Fourth,
where the latter hadith refers to "a believer from the people
of the scriptures who has been a true believer," that means
a person who, prior to Mohammad's revelations, had a belief
in Christianity or Judaism that was consistent with Mohammad's
idiosyncratic version of the "true" version of those religions.
After Mohammad's revelations, they had to believe in Islam,
period. As for those Jews and Christians who did not meet these
criteria, or who rejected Islam outright, they would not be
rewarded at all but instead were "evil" (7:177), the "worst
of created beings" (98:6) and would be punished for eternity
in hell (3:113-119). Fifth, even if Jewish and Christian
slaves were manumitted without converting to Islam, they were
not free under the Islamic state. Rather, they would be subjected
to the onerous and humiliating conditions of dhimmitude, and
would be required to pay a special non-Muslim head tax known
as jizya, in accordance with verse 9:29. Lastly, the
institution of slavery itself is supported in the ahadith (and
in the Koran, see verse 16:71, below), with (Mohammad's Companion)
Abu Huraira's statement "I would have loved to die as
a slave," and Mohammad's own statement that a slave who
follows Islam and is sincere to his master will get a reward
"twice" in the hereafter. Being "sincere" to his/her
master meant, among other things, not trying to escape captivity!
This is confirmed by ahadith such as these:
32: Calling the Slave as Infidel.
Muslim, Book 1, Number 129:
is narrated on the authority of Jarir that he heard (the Holy
Prophet) saying, The slave who fled from his master committed
an act of infidelity as long as he would not return to him.
Mansur observed: By God, this hadith was narrated from the
Apostle (may peace and blessings be upon him), but I do not
like that this should be narrated on my authority here in
Muslim, Book 1, Number 130:
is narrated on the authority of Jarir that the Messenger of
Allah (may peace and blessings be upon him) observed: The
slave who fled from his master, responsibility with regard
to him was absolved."
Muslim, Book 1, Number 131:
b. Abdullah reported it from the Holy Prophet: When the slave
runs away from his master, his prayer is not accepted."
it is necessary to take a closer look at another aspect of Islamic
Muslim, Book 9, Number 3581:
Huraira (Allah be pleased witli him) reported Allah's Prophet
(may peace be upon him) as saying: If anyone emancipates a
share in a slave, he is to be completely emancipated if he
has money; but if he has none, the slave will be required
to work to pay for his freedom, but must not be over-burdened."
Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 46, Number 698:
'Abdullah bin 'Umar: Allah's Apostle said, "Whoever frees
his share of a common slave and he has sufficient money to
free him completely, should let its price be estimated by
a just man and give his partners the price of their shares
and manumit the slave; otherwise (i.e. if he has not sufficient
money) he manumits the slave partially.""
Abu Dawud, Book 29, Number 3916:
Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-'As: The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him)
said: If any slave entered into an agreement to buy his freedom
for one hundred uqiyahs and he pays them all but ten, he remains
a slave (until he pays the remaining ten); and if a slave
entered into an agreement to purchase his freedom for one
hundred dinars, and he pays them all but ten dinars, he remains
a slave (until he pays the remaining ten)."
could own shares in a slave, and manumissions could be "partial."
The slave is not considered free until he or she has paid off
all of the amount agreed upon in the contract. For the slave-owner
to free him or her, the owner must contribute (see 24:33), or
receive from other sponsors, sufficient funds to meet the precise
amount specified in the contract. All the while, keep in mind
that (a) this does not generally apply to war captives, (b)
disbelievers are (according to the Koran) not good or trustworthy,
and (c) Muslims are ordered to never help or support the disbelievers
(28:86). All of this must be done without violating the Koran:
Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 46, Number 735:
'Urwa: That 'Aisha told him that Buraira came to seek her
help in her writing of emancipation (for a certain sum) and
that time she had not paid anything of it. 'Aisha said to
her, "Go back to your masters, and if they agree that
I will pay the amount of your writing of emancipation and
get your Wala', I will do so." Buraira informed her masters
of that but they refused and said, "If she (i.e. 'Aisha)
is seeking Allah's reward, then she can do so, but your Wala'
will be for us." 'Aisha mentioned that to Allah's Apostle
who said to her, "Buy and manumit her, as the Wala' is
for the liberator." Allah's Apostle then got up and said,
"What about the people who stipulate conditions which
are not present in Allah's Laws? Whoever imposes conditions
which are not present in Allah's Laws, then those conditions
will be invalid, even if he imposed these conditions a hundred
times. Allah's conditions (Laws) are the truth and are more
Koran itself is even more emphatic: "-Whoso judgeth
not by that which Allah hath revealed: Such are wrong-doers."
(5:45). Because 'Allah' never abolished the institution
of slavery, but instead allowed it and regulated it, slavery
can never be abolished in Islam without violating the Koran.
It is not surprising that the slaves would tend to declare a
conversion to Islam when they were living under the Islamic
state, under Islamic rules, due to the deliberately punishing
conditions for non-Muslims.
It is wrong to say, as Mr. Zakaria does, that Islam "always"
encouraged freeing the captives. Slaves were generally only
released in certain individual cases according to strict rules,
and, as was noted, the war captives in question normally would
not have qualified for release. Note that "Allah"/Mohammad
never abolished slavery as an institution, and never ordered
Muslims to stop acquiring more and more slaves, and buying and
selling slaves. Any slaves who were freed would simply be replaced
with more slaves. Due to Mohammad's numerous aggressive jihads,
in which slaves were acquired, he certainly increased the numbers
of slaves owned by Muslims. Let's also keep in mind that
Mohammad and his wives had slaves. The Koran has no verse that
forbids slavery, but has several verses which assume its acceptability
and mention regulations pertaining to its practice (2:221, 4:3,
4:36, 23:5-6, 24:58, 30:28, 33:50-52, 33:55, 70:29-30). According
to the Koran, Allah is sovereign of the heavens and the earth
(7:157-158) and is "able to do all things"-but not
abolish slavery. The Koran says that slavery exists because
it is Allah's will that some people should be favoured
over others in material wealth and property:
"And Allah has preferred some of you above others in wealth
and properties. Then, those who are preferred will by no means
hand over their wealth and properties to those (slaves) whom
their right hands possess, so that they may be equal with
them in respect thereof. Do they then deny the Favour of Allah?"
female captive slaves were part of the war booty, which was
a gift from Allah to the true Muslim believers who were willing
to fight in Allah's Cause. (The disbelievers fight on the
side of Satan, see 4:76). Those jihadists who survived the battle
and who were victorious received a share of the 'war booty'
(48:19-21); those who were slain were to receive their reward
of beautiful virgins and servant boys in Paradise (37:40-47,
78:31, 44:54, 52:20, 55:51-78, 56:28-). By Allah's decree,
the real 'war booty' had been made lawful, or legal to
obtain, for Mohammad and his followers (Sahih Bukhari, Volume
1, Book 7, Number 331; Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 53, Number
351). The capturing and keeping of slaves, especially non-Arab
slaves, is a central element of Islam, is still practiced today
in some Islamic countries, and was practiced through Islamic
"In that era, women easily accepted the fair treatment
from Islam1, as non-Islamic societies
took women prisoners their fate was much, much worse, they
were virtually treated like animals, they had no legal rights
and were humiliated as representative of their enemies2
rather than treated as distinct individuals with rights. So
looking at how the Sabee is treated by Islamic laws, it does
not even close to rape, nor is she a sex-slave3
otherwise she would not have legal rights in any areas. She
can even take the head of the Islamic state to court.4
Zakaria says that these rape victims "easily accepted the
fair treatment from Islam"!
Actually, the female slaves held captive by Muslims were treated
as representative of their enemies. That's why Muslims destroyed
their lives, held them captive, and raped them. The women captives
were representative of disbelievers and therefore there was
no need, from the Koranic perspective, to respect them as individuals.
They are guilty according to the Islamic notion of collective
guilt, whereby all disbelievers are the enemy and guilty according
to Allah. The Koran requires that Muslims humiliate non-Muslims
living under Islamic law (9:29).
Not a sex slave? She is held captive so that the Muslim man
can have sex with her, she is not permitted to refuse the sex-so
she is a sex slave, and she is raped.
Another unsupported claim. I doubt that a slave could take the
head of the Islamic state to court. But, even if this was permitted,
her testimony as a non-Muslim female captive would not be worth
much compared to the Muslim male head of state's testimony.
(And, no doubt, the Muslim male head of a Muslim state would
be a pious, and therefore favoured, and eminently forgivable,
"If critics and hate mongers want to criticize the actions
of individuals, criminals or monsters so be it; however if
they want to comment on what is Islam, they will have to concede
its fair1 and practical nature2
is in no way endorsing or encouraging of rape, in fact the
opposite is the case with harsh punishments for rapists3
unlike the domiciles of its critics. No doubt, the treatment
given by the Islamic state in the past excelled the track
record of other nations in this arena of treating prisoners
Have to concede its "fair" nature? Based on what?
Mr. Zakaria has not presented a single reference pertaining
to Islamic law and has not quoted or cited the Koran, Hadith,
Sira, or any Islamic jurisprudence.
Islam's "practical" nature? What is practical about
requiring the "proof" of 4 Muslim male eye-witnesses to
convict an accused of an act of adultery or fornication?
The Muslim male captor was legally permitted to have sex with
as many slaves as were made available to him according to the
Islamic government. There was no penalty for raping them.
"On the contrary real rape is flourishing within secular
societies. Only recently we saw literally mass raping and
gang raping inside the heart of Europe during the Bosnian
war, even the UN took part in the gruesome rituals. Japanese
forces did the same when they invaded China, the infamous
rape of Nanking. Russian soldiers raped over 500,000 German
women during the Second World War, and the Italian women were
also raped. 1
use the word rape because it fits the above mentioned notion
of rape, women were randomly picked up by anyone and forced
to have sex, then the soldiers left or others took over like
in the gang rape situation. One can go on listing examples
but such traits were never followed by Muslims as it was never
endorsed by Islam."2
We will not dispute the specifics of the cases cited by Mr.
Zakaria because his general point that rape is an all-too-common
occurrence in human history, and even today, is correct. No
country, no group of people anywhere in the world, to my knowledge,
did not have some men who committed rape. Nevertheless, rape
is clearly illegal according to all modern secular western laws.
Rape is not illegal in Islam, as was already shown.
His claim that rape was never endorsed by Islam was already
shown to be false. The claim that the abomination of rape
was "never followed by Muslims" is also false. No,
not just false, but an egregious lie. No doubt, when we cite
examples of Muslims raping, Zakaria will claim those rapists
were not real Muslims. But we have already shown how Islam permits
rape. Also note, in the above tafsirs of 4:24, the phrases "enemy
camp" and "Abode of War." This, Land of War (or Dar
ul Harb), refers to all territory, anywhere in the world, that
is deemed to be not yet under Islamic law (i.e., it is not yet
Land/House of Islam or Dar ul Islam) nor inhabited by a people
who have a temporary truce (hudna) with a Muslim nation. Because
Islam regards itself at war with all non-Muslim peoples who
refuse Islam or are not protected by temporary truce with Islamic
countries, according to Koranic law Muslim males can take captive
and rape any non-Muslim female (married or not) in any country
that is deemed to be not under Islamic law. In his in-depth
article on Sex and Sexuality in Islam, Abul Kasem writes:
Muslim man (whether married or not), while living in an infidel
country, can...(...have sex) with any number of infidel women
without even having the slightest fear of committing Zina
(fornication) or adultery-This is what I found when I consulted
the living and breathing Islam, that is, Sha'ria [the material
below is quoted from the Hedaya; note 'Mussulman' means
punishment for Zina or adultery committed in a foreign country
(ref. 11, p185)
is not incurred by committing whoredom in foreign country.
If a Mussulman be guilty of whoredom in a foreign country,
or in the territory of the rebels, and afterwards return into
a Mussulman state, punishment is not to be meted out on him,
on the plea that a man, in embracing the Mussulman faith,
binds himself to all the obligations thereof, wherever he
may be. The arguments of our doctors on this occasion are
twofold; --FIRST, the Prophet has said, "punishment is
not to be inflicted in a foreign land"SECONDLY, the
design of the institution of punishment is that it may operate
as a prevention or warning; now the Mussulman magistrate has
no authority in a foreign country, wherefore if punishment
were instituted upon a person committing whoredom in a foreign
country, yet the institution would be useless; for the use
of the institution is that punishment may be executed; and
as the magistrate has no authority in a foreign country, the
execution is impossible; whence it appears that the commission
of whoredom in a foreign country does not occasion punishment
there; and if this person should afterwards come from the
foreign territory into a Mussulman state, punishment cannot
be executed upon him; because as his whoredom did not occasion
punishment at the time of its being committed, it will not
that in mind, let's consider some examples. As Donna M. Hughes
writes on the atrocities unfolding in Sudan:
Islamic fundamentalists attack enemy populations, women and
girls suffer even more. In Sudan in 1989, a coup installed
the present military dictator Omar al Bashir, who declared
Sudan to be an Islamic republic and imposed sharia
(Islamic law). The Arab Islamist government intensified the
long-standing conflict with the south by backing raids against
the Christian and animist civilian populations. The raiders
killed men and animals, burned villagers, and abducted women
and children. Since 1983 - when the Sudan People's Liberation
Army started the warfare that preceded Bashir's coup -
an estimated 2 million people have been killed and 4.5 million
people have become refugees and internally displaced persons.
Two hundred thousand women and children have been captured
for labor and sexual slavery. Some of the victims were trafficked
into slavery and sexual servitude beyond northern Sudan to
Middle Eastern countries.
in the north, the slaves are subjected to forced Islamization
and Arabization-The inhabitants of Darfur are Muslims but
from black African tribes. They are not Arab, and most significantly,
not Islamist. The government seized this opportunity to ethnically
cleanse the west as it has done in the south.
airplanes and helicopters have bombed and strafed villages,
and government-backed militia, called Janjaweed - meaning
armed men on horseback - have attacked civilian populations
in a scorched-earth campaign of killing, raping, burning
villages, and driving people from their homes. An estimated
1.2 million people have been internally displaced and 170,000
have fled across the border into Chad. An estimated 30,000
have been killed.
rape victim was told by her attacker: "You, the black
women, we will exterminate you, you have no God.""(18)
Spencer, in a 2004 article, cites examples of rape carried out
by Muslims during jihads, from two different parts of the world:
happened in Darfur, from which Sudanese military personnel
actually airlifted women to Khartoum to serve as sex slaves-
victim reported that] Each of us was raped by between three
and six men-.One woman refused to have sex with them, so
they split her head into pieces with an axe in front of us."
Indira Dzetskelova, the mother of one of the child hostages
in Beslan, Russia, reports that "several 15-year-old
girls were raped by terrorists." Her daughter "heard
their terrible cries and screams when those monsters took
them away." (13)
comprehensive report published by Amnesty International contains
similar horrific accounts:
aged 37, from Mukjar told Amnesty International how the Janjawid
had raped and humiliated women: "When we tried to escape
they shot more children. They raped women; I saw many cases
of Janjawid raping women and girls. They are happy when they
rape. They sing when they rape and they tell that we are
just slaves and that they can do with us how they wish.""(19)
about male captives and slaves, given that Islam forbids sodomy?
This doesn't stop the Arab-Muslim perpetrators in Sudan.
Male captives are being raped in Sudan, as described by Maria
Sliwa, who interviewed some of the victims:
continuous flow of tears poured down his precious adolescent
face, as he spoke of the way he was repeatedly raped and
sodomized by gangs of government soldiers.
raped me," Majok cried. "And when I tried to refuse,
they beat me." After taking care of his master's cattle
all day, Majok said he was often raped at night. He told me
that his rapes were very painful and he would rarely get a
full night's sleep. He also spoke about the other slave
boys he saw who suffered his same fate. "I saw with my
eyes other boys get raped," Majok said. "He [the
master] went to collect the other boys and took them to that
special place. I saw them get raped."
1989, Sudan's extremist government, which is seated in
the North, has been waging war against its diverse populace.
The battle is over land, oil, power and religion, by a government
that is made up of some of Africa's most aggressive Arab
Islamists, says Jesper Strudsholm, Africa correspondent for
on-going atrocity in Sudan reflects two aspects of Islam: Muslim
supremacism (e.g., 3:110; 98:7), which is one of the core principles
of Islam, and a lingering element of Arab supremacism, which
exists in some Islamic traditions and laws (see Note 1, below).
raping of female captives, whether non-Muslim or those regarded
as lesser or not true Muslim, under Islamic law, is nothing
new and is not an uncommon occurrence in jails in the Islamic
world. For example, a young woman, Isma, tells that she was
raped in Saudi Arabia, and was threatened again with rape while
in custody there:
Isma's case-she was raped last year in the holy city of
Madinah. "I was the victim, I was raped and molested
but I was named as the accused, and the man who committed
the crime was not touched," she said, hiding her
face with both hands in shame.
were chained all during this period. The only time jail officials
removed the chain was during lunch or when anyone went to
the bathroom or at prayer time," she said.
Once a jail official offered me help and assured me I would
be released if I agreed to sleep with him."
women prisoners were mostly Pakistanis, Indonesians, Bangladeshis
and Nigerians. [i.e., mostly non-Arabs] "When I used
to protest against the ill treatment they beat me on my back,"
Isma added." (21)
systematic jihad rape of non-Muslim captives who are taken as
slaves is consistent with historical accounts. This example,
from an article by Andrew Bostom, shows Islamic jihadist rape
of nuns (22).
Cameniates provided an eyewitness account of the jihad capture
and pillage of Thessaloniki in 904 C.E.-excerpts from Cameniates
narrative reveals that:
Thessalonians tried to escape through the streets, pursued
by the Saracens, who were unleashed like wild beasts. In their
panic, men, women, the elderly, and children, 'fell into
each other's arms to give each other one last kiss.'
The enemy hit with no mercy. Parents were killed while trying
to defend their children. No one was spared: women, children,
the elderly, all were immediately pierced by the sword-Nuns,
petrified with fear, with their hair disheveled, tried to
escape, and ended up by the thousands in the hands of the
barbarians, who killed the older ones, and sent the younger
and more attractive ones into captivity and dishonor-
The Saracens also massacred the unfortunate people who had
sought refuge inside churches."
cited in that article by Dr. Bostom are historical rulings of
Islamic jurists, based on the prophet Mohammad's rulings
and conduct, permitting the killing of women and children captives.
Such killing of women and children was also permitted during
jihads (also see Sahih Muslim, Book 19, Numbers 4321, 4322,
4323; and Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 256; and
note that the Koran does not forbid the killing of non-Muslim
women and children). This is despite the fact that, in other
circumstances, the prophet is reported to have forbidden the
killing of women and children.
perpetrated by predominantly Muslim immigrants and those of
Muslim background have increased alarmingly in Europe in recent
years, as has been well-documented by the blogger Fjordman:
to a new study from the Crime Prevention Council, Br,
it is four times more likely that a known rapist is born
abroad, compared to persons born in Sweden. Resident aliens
Libya, Morocco and Tunisia dominate the group
of rape suspects. According to these statistics, almost
half of all
perpetrators are immigrants. In Norway and
Denmark, we know that non-Western immigrants, which
frequently means Muslims, are grossly overrepresented on rape
statistics. In Oslo, Norway, immigrants were
involved in two
out of three rape charges in 2001. The numbers
in Denmark were the same, and even higher in the city of Copenhagen
with three out of four rape charges. Sweden has a larger immigrant,
including Muslim, population than any other country in northern
Europe. The numbers there are likely to be at least as bad
as with its Scandinavian neighbors. The actual number is thus
probably even higher than what the authorities are reporting
now, as it doesn't include second generation immigrants. Lawyer
Ann Christine Hjelm, who has investigated violent crimes in
Svea high court, found that 85
per cent of the convicted rapists were born
on foreign soil or by foreign parents."
number of rapes committed by Muslim immigrants in Western
nations are so extremely high that it is difficult to
view them only as random acts of individuals. It resembles
warfare. This happens in most Western European countries,
as well as in other infidels countries such as India. In Bradford,
England, Channel 4 pulled a documentary about Pakistani
and other Muslim men sexually abusing white English girls,
some as young as 11. Writer Theodore Dalrymple
thinks that "thanks to their cultural inheritance,
(Muslim) abuse of women is systematic rather than unsystematic
as it is with the whites and blacks." In France,
grotesque reports about systematic gang rapes
of French or "too Western" Muslim girls keep coming
in. At the same time, European jails are getting filled
up with Muslims imprisoned for robberies and all kinds of
violent crimes, and Muslims bomb European civilians. You can
see the mainstream media are struggling to make sense of all
of this. That's because they can't, or don't want to, see
the obvious: This is exactly how an invading army would behave.
Rape, pillage and bomb-If you postulate that many of the
Muslims in Europe view themselves as a conquering army and
that European women are simply war booty, it all makes
perfect sense and is in full accordance with Islamic law." (23)
as we've seen, it is consistent with Islamic law. The predominantly
Muslim male rapists are targetting predominantly non-Muslim
European women. From the standpoint of Islamic law, it doesn't
matter what a Muslim man does to a non-Muslim female in Dar
ul Harb (Land of War, i.e., non-Muslim countries), because there
is no penalty for the Muslim man in such a case. (Note, however,
how Islamic law allows for the killing of apostates and critics,
anywhere in the world). It is not only Islamic law, but the
cultural traditions upon which it is built, with the elements
of disrespect towards women and non-Muslim women in particular,
that lead to the tendency for some Muslims to intentionally
target and rape non-Muslim women (and "less-Muslim" women).
This is expressed in this section by Fjordman:
Muslim immigrants admit their bias quite openly. An Islamic
Mufti in Copenhagen sparked
a political outcry after publicly declaring
that women who refuse to wear headscarves are "asking
for rape." Apparently, he's not the only one thinking
this way. "It is not as wrong raping a Swedish girl
as raping an Arab girl," says
Hamid. "The Swedish girl gets a lot of help
afterwards, and she had probably fucked before, anyway. But
the Arab girl will get problems with her family. For her,
being raped is a source of shame. It is important that she
retains her virginity until she marries." It was no coincidence
that it was a Swedish girl that was gang raped in Rissne -
this becomes obvious from the discussion with Ali, Hamid,
Abdallah and Richard. All four have disparaging views on Swedish
girls, and think this attitude is common among young men with
immigrant background. "It is far too easy to get a Swedish
whore-- girl, I mean" says Hamid, and laughs over
his own choice of words. "Many immigrant boys have Swedish
girlfriends when they are teenagers. But when they get married,
they get a proper woman from their own culture who has never
been with a boy. That's what I am going to do. I don't
have too much respect for Swedish girls. I guess you can say
they get fucked to pieces."" (23):
same type of trend has emerged in Australia, where once again
Muslim male perpetrators are targetting non-Muslim women on
the belief that non-Muslim women are not to be respected, whereas
strict Muslim women must be spared from being raped. Journalist
Sharon Lapkin (24)
number of teenage Australian girls were subjected to hours
of sexual degradation during a spate of gang rapes in Sydney
that occurred between 1998 and 2002, the perpetrators of these
assaults framed their rationale in ethnic terms. The young
victims were informed that they were "sluts" and "Aussie
pigs" while they were being hunted down and abused.
New South Wales Supreme Court in December 2005, a visiting
Pakistani rapist testified that his victims had no right to
say no, because they were not wearing a headscarf.
earlier this year Australians were outraged when Lebanese
Sheik Faiz Mohammed gave a lecture in Sydney where he informed
his audience that rape victims had no one to blame but themselves.
Women, he said, who wore skimpy clothing, invited men to
with haunting synchronicity in 2004, the London Telegraph
reported that visiting Egyptian scholar Sheik Yusaf al-Qaradawi
claimed female rape victims should be punished if they were
dressed immodestly when they were raped. He added, "For
her to be absolved from guilt, a raped woman must have shown
the victim: That is no surprise coming from Qaradawi. What Qaradawi's
claim (and that of many other conservative Muslims) can be reduced
to is this: If she is non-Muslim, or dresses as such, she can
be raped, and if she is raped, it his her own fault. As Lapkin
Western women are not the only victims in this epidemic. In
Indonesia, in 1998, human rights groups documented the testimony
of over 100 Chinese women who were gang raped during the riots
that preceded the fall of President Suharto. Many of them
were told: "You must be raped, because you are Chinese
Solidarity Worldwide reported that in April 2005, a 9-year-old
Pakistani girl was raped, beaten with a cricket bat, hanged
upside down from the ceiling, had spoonfuls of chillies poured
into her mouth, and repeatedly bashed while handcuffed. Her
Muslim neighbours told her they were taking revenge for the
American bombing of Iraqi children and informed her they were
doing it because she was an "infidel and a Christian.""
and other commentators may be correct. The examples from Sudan,
Europe, Australia, Pakistan, and elsewhere, suggest that rape
is being used as a weapon, a tactic, or a strategem of war,
against the non-Muslim populations. In another article, Lapkin
traces one of the rape cases in Australia back to Islamic cultural
traditions in Pakistan:
some parts of Pakistan, sexual assault - including gang
rape - is officially sanctified as a legitimate form of
enforcing the social value system.
village council recently ordered that five young girls should
be "abducted, raped or murdered" for refusing to be
treated as chattel. The girls were aged between six and thirteen
when they were married without their knowledge, to pay a family
when Mukhtar Mai's 12-year-old brother was alleged to have
committed an offence in a small Pakistani farming village,
the village council ordered that his sister be gang-raped.
So, she was taken to a hut where four men repeatedly assaulted
to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan there were 804
cases of such officially orchestrated sexual assault in 2000,
and 434 of these were gang rapes. And if that isn't bad
enough, the victims of these atrocities are then expected
to commit suicide because rape victims bring irreparable shame
upon their family."(25)
Koran does not forbid rape and does not put any lower age limit
on slave girls and wives. The rape of girls is permitted by
Islam because, first of all, the Koran assumes in its divorce
laws the acceptability of marriages to pre-pubescent females
(65:4, see tafsirs of Ibn Kathir, al-Jalalayn, Ibn Abbas, Maududi,
and so on) and many authentic ahadith from the Sahih Bukhari
and Sahih Muslim collections, as well as many others, clearly
and directly state that Aisha was either 6 or 7 years of age
when Mohammad married her, and she was 9 years of age when he
consummated that marriage.
Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 88:
'Ursa: The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with 'Aisha
while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with
her while she was nine years old and she remained with
him for nine years (i.e. till his death)."
thorough presentation of this issue has been presented by Sam
Even though it is possible, as apologists have suggested, that
Aisha could have menstruated at such a young age, the fact remains
that at 9 years of age she was still a child, and according
to the ahadith she was still playing with dolls. Because a child
does not have the capacity to form a proper consent to have
sex with an adult, then the sex with these girls must be viewed
not only as a crime of pedophilia but an act of rape. Due to
Mohammad's actions with Aisha, there is no Islamic basis
for forbidding sex with slave girls who are 9 years of age or
older. (Indeed, there is no explicitly stated age limit in the
Koran and ahadith). Any attempt to raise the age limit in modern
times in Muslim countries has been due to influences outside
descriptions of these cases and trends could go on and on. What
has been presented shows that some Muslims who commit rape are
following Islamic law and tradition, which invalidates
Mr. Zakaria's claim that these rapes have nothing to do with
Islam. Some Muslims also rape when they have deviated
from Islamic law, which invalidates Mr. Zakarias additional
claim that "such traits were never followed by Muslims,"
where such traits include sodomy, gang-rape, etc.
and Sunnah-based Islam permits a Muslim man to (a) rape non-Muslim
female war captives and other non-Muslim female slaves, and
(b) rape Muslim and non-Muslim wives. This all took place under
the auspices of Islamic law during the prophet Mohammad's
time, throughout Islamic history, and is still taking place
throughout many parts of the world today.
thank the many authors whose works are quoted extensively here.
Sources, Part 1.
Ibn Kathir's tafsir (on-line edition, not complete http://www.tafsir.com/
and Ibn Abbas tafsirs http://www.altafsir.com
Law (Fiqh): Ahmed ibn Naqib al-Misri (1999). Reliance of
the Traveller ('Umdat al-Salik): A Classic Manual of Islamic
Sacred Law. (Translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller). Beltsville, MD:
are different editions of this work, which deals with the Shafi'i
school of jurisprudence).
examples of the Islamic laws from Reliance of the Traveller
can be found online, e.g.,
/newswire/display_any/21475 (Thanks to Mentat).
/view.php?q=5482 Slave girls: an excerpt from
the imam's extensive discussion.
?ln=eng&QR=10382 Question #10382: Ruling
on having intercourse with a slave woman when one has a wife
/about252-islamwatch.html The Goal of Islam:
A Mission to the World, Archimedez, islam-watch.org.
/Shamoun/mary_concubine.htm Mohammad's Coptic
Slave Mariyah, article by Sam Shamoun, at Answering-Islam.
/oped/AbulKasem51209p2.htm Mohammad had Violated
the Qur'an, Abul Kasem, Dec. 9, 2005, faithfreedom.org
/Articles/sira/20.htm From the Sira (brief):
This link has a short account of the capture of Khaibar.
.html?id=8034 Islam: Governing Under Sharia,
Sharon Otterman, Council on Foreign Relations, March 14, 2005.
of Gender Equality, Yamin Zakaria, usa.mediamonitors.net,
March 23, 2005.
?recordID=157 Kill the Apostate, Yamin Zakaria,
International Institute of Peace, 2006-03-29.
/Silas/wife-beating.htm Wife Beating in Islam,
retrieved April 27, 2006.
Sex and Sexuality in Islam, Abul Kasem, islam-watch.org
, Apr. 25, 2006.
/Articles/SStephan/slavegirls .htm Further
information pertaining to intercourse with slave girls, cites
comments by Maududi, posted on faithfreedom by S. Stephan.
/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID =15206 The
Rape Jihad, Robert Spencer, FrontPageMagazine September 24,
/Muhammad/Enemies/index.html Muhammad and his
Personal Enemies, Answering-Islam, retrieved April 27, 2006.
/post-486-islamwatch.html#486 Insults and Opposition
to Non-Muslims, posted by Archimedez, islam-watch.org
/marriage_dictionaryofislam .html Excerpted
from the Marriage chapter in the "Dictionary of Islam"
by Thomas Patrick Hughes (c) 1886, retrieved from muslim-canada.org,
April 26, 2006.
Slaves, Arab Masters, Andrew G. Bostom, andrewbostom.org,
April 18, 2005.
/comment/hughes200408120844.asp The Rape of Sudan
Terrorism Against Women and Girls, Donna M. Hughes, NationalReview
August 12, 2004.
/index/engafr540762004 Sudan. Darfur: Rape as
a weapon of war: sexual violence and its consequences. Amnesty
international, 19 July 2004.
/Sudan.html Sudan's Rape Cries, Maria Sliwa,
Global Tryst, retrieved April 25, 2006.
Sixteen-year-old [Pakistani] girl raped, jailed in Saudi Arabia,
Khaleej Times Online, (AFP), 24 April 2006.
/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID =14964 Jihad
Killings of POWs and Non-Combatants, Andrew Bostom, FrontPage
Magazine, September 9, 2004.
/oped/Fjordman51213.htm Immigrant Rape Wave in
Sweden, Fjordman, faithfredom, 2005/12/13.
/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID =20646 Western
Muslims' Racist Rape Spree, Sharon Lapkin, FrontPageMagazine.com
December 27, 2005.
Muslim Gang Rapes and the Aussie Riots, Sharon Lapkin, FrontPageMagazine.com
December 15, 2005.
/Shamoun/prepubescent.htm Muhammad and Aisha
Revisited: An Examination of Muhammad's Marriage to a Prepubescent
Girl And Its Moral Implications, Sam Shamoun, Answering-Islam,
as retrieved April 26, 2006.
Muslim-Arab Supremacism In Islam.
from the Reliance of the Traveller, Abul Kasem observes that
"-the mandatory qualifications of an Islamic caliph
are: 1. must be a Muslim 2. must be a male 3. must
be from the Quraysh tribe of the Arabs 4. must be a freeman
(i.e., not a slave) 5. must be of sound mind. This
provision of Islamic law means that the world (the Pan Islamic
world) must be ruled by an Arab (from the Quraysh stock, probably
from Saudi Arabia or Jordan) and no one else." http://www.islam-watch.org
/AbulKasem/IslamOppressed.htm When is Islam Oppressed?
Abul Kasem, Nov. 20, 2005.
is often the case, there are inconsistent statements in the
ahadith, with some stating "Allah has chosen Arabs above
others," etc., but with others contradicting those (see Mohammad's
Farewell Address). However, al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden
has recently revealed his Arab supremacist views by endorsing
the racist massacres, enslavement, and rape of black Muslims
(who are considered lesser Muslims by the Arab Muslims in Sudan),
Christians, and animists, that is taking place in Sudan, and
calling for the Arab Muslims there to fight against U.N.
peacekeepers who may be sent there (Source: http://sudanwatch.blogspot.com
Nonsensical bin Laden Calls for Jihad in Sudan's Darfur,
Sudan Watch, April, 23, 2006).
the Muslims are not Muslim enough for the Islamist government
of Sudan and their associate bin Laden. One victim of the violent
campaign, who had been held as a slave by an Arab family, noted
of the Black Muslim victims, "They took the religion of Islam,
but they didn't take the whole packet," Deng said. "And
today, they're paying a price for it." (Source: http://www.reflector.com/local
Speaker talks of slavery in Sudan, Jimmy Ryals, The Daily Reflector,
April 18, 2006
Part 2 ]