Islam and Women

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Islamic scriptures generally employ the masculine pronoun in Arabic, which is used to refer to both men and women. On occasion, the scriptures diverge from this standard, inclusive usage, and comment specifically on men or women. The perspective taken by Islamic scriptures on women is of special interest in recent times due to frequent collision with modern values.

Women are legally disadvantaged by Islamic law in several domains of life. Particularly, women are disadvantaged in matters of sexual, domestic, legal, financial, sartorial, and physical autonomy. According to Islamic legal theory, while not all of Islamic law necessarily has a perceptibly rational basis, legal restrictions on women may be due to their supposed intellectual deficiency, which was pronounced by Muhammad according to a hadith collected in Sahih Bukhari.

It should also be noted that whereas the patriarchal arrangements of early Islamic society hardly deserve indictment, given their historical situation and the fact that they were in a limited sense an improvement upon pre-Islamic gender norms, the same can, perhaps, not be said about the perpetual enshrinement of those patriarchal norms - however much an improvement in 7th century Arabia - as took place in the ideas of Islamic law that finally emerged.

The writings of Professor Kecia Ali are renowned regarding the historical and modern Islamic approaches to women. Before her, Women and Gender in Islam by Leila Ahmed was also regarded as a seminal book on the subject. Ali's book Sexual Ethics and Islam is particularly wide-ranging.[1] She argues that the Quran is androcentric in terms of almost always addressing men and privileging male sexual agency.[2] Ali also notes in her book the "very real dissonance between the cultural assumptions undergirding the classical edifices of jurisprudence and exegesis and the modern notions influencing Muslim intellectuals and ordinary people everwhere".[3] Throughout the book she critiques feminist and modernist interpretations while noting where they may have merit, as well as apologetics that misquote, mistranslate, or side step difficult issues. She also criticises some aggressively patriarchal and indeed misogynist interpretations. While warning against blind optimism on the prospects for transformation, she suggests the importance of rejecting medieval interpretations and not taking the Quran and hadiths as a repository of regulations to be applied at all times and places.[4]

Verses addressed to women

Hadiths record a tradition that Umm Salamah prompted a couple of Quran verses directly addressing or about women.

Narrated Umm 'Umarah Al-Ansariyyah: that she came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and said: "I do not see but that everything is for the men, and I do not see anything being mentioned for the women." So this Ayah was revealed: 'Indeed the Muslim men and the Muslim women, the believing men and the believing women... (33:35)'
For Muslim men and women,- for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in Charity, for men and women who fast (and deny themselves), for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah's praise,- for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward.
Narrated 'Amr bin Dinar: from a man among the children of Umm Salamah, from Umm Salamah that she said: "O Messenger of Allah! I have not heard Allah mentioning anything about women and emigration." So Allah, Blessed and Most High, revealed: "Never will I allow to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female. You are members one of another (3:195)."
And their Lord hath accepted of them, and answered them: "Never will I suffer to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female: Ye are members, one of another: Those who have left their homes, or been driven out therefrom, or suffered harm in My Cause, or fought or been slain,- verily, I will blot out from them their iniquities, and admit them into Gardens with rivers flowing beneath;- A reward from the presence of Allah, and from His presence is the best of rewards."

There are a couple of similar verses:

Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer - We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do.
Whoever does an evil deed will not be recompensed except by the like thereof; but whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer - those will enter Paradise, being given provision therein without account.

Kindness and tranquility between Husbands and Wives

And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.
O you who have believed, it is not lawful for you to inherit women by compulsion. And do not make difficulties for them in order to take [back] part of what you gave them unless they commit a clear immorality. And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them - perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.
Permitted to you, on the night of the fasts, is the approach to your wives. They are your garments and ye are their garments. Allah knoweth what ye used to do secretly among yourselves; but He turned to you and forgave you; so now associate with them, and seek what Allah Hath ordained for you, and eat and drink, until the white thread of dawn appear to you distinct from its black thread; then complete your fast Till the night appears; but do not associate with your wives while ye are in retreat in the mosques. Those are Limits (set by) Allah: Approach not nigh thereto. Thus doth Allah make clear His Signs to men: that they may learn self-restraint.
Narrated 'Aishah: that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: "The best of you is the best to his wives, and I am the best of you to my wives, and when your companion dies, leave him alone."
Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: A believing man should not hate a believing woman; if he dislikes one of her characteristics, he will be pleased with another.

Being good to your Mother

O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed Allah is ever, over you, an Observer.
And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination.
We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents: In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth. The carrying of the (child) to his weaning is (a period of) thirty months. At length, when he reaches the age of full strength and attains forty years, he says, "O my Lord! Grant me that I may be grateful for Thy favour which Thou has bestowed upon me, and upon both my parents, and that I may work righteousness such as Thou mayest approve; and be gracious to me in my issue. Truly have I turned to Thee and truly do I bow (to Thee) in Islam."
Narrated Al-Mughira bin Shu`ba: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Allah has forbidden for you, (1) to be undutiful to your mothers, (2) to bury your daughters alive, (3) to not to pay the rights of the others (e.g. charity, etc.) and (4) to beg of men (begging). And Allah has hated for you (1) vain, useless talk, or that you talk too much about others, (2) to ask too many questions, (in disputed religious matters) and (3) to waste the wealth (by extravagance).
It was narrated that Abu Hurairah said: “A man came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and said: “O Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), tell me, which of the people has most right to my good companionship?' He said: 'Yes, by your father, you will certainly be told.' He said: 'Your mother,' He said: 'Then who?' He said: Then your mother.' He said: 'Then who?' He said: Then your mother.' He said: 'Then who?' He said: Then your father.' He said: 'Tell me, O Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) about my wealth- how should I give in charity?' He said: 'Yes, by Allah (SWT) you will certainly be told. You should give in charity when you are still healthy and greedy for wealth, hoping for a long life and fearing poverty. Do not tarry until your soul reaches here and you say: “My wealth of for so-and-so,” and “My wealth of for so-and-so,” and it will be for them even though you dislike that.'”

The Value of Daughters

The Quran famously condemns the mushrikeen for feeling shame or even burying their female newborn children.

And they attribute to Allah daughters - exalted is He - and for them is what they desire. And when one of them is informed of [the birth of] a female, his face becomes dark, and he suppresses grief. He hides himself from the people because of the ill of which he has been informed. Should he keep it in humiliation or bury it in the ground? Unquestionably, evil is what they decide.
To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth; He creates what he wills. He gives to whom He wills female [children], and He gives to whom He wills males. Or He makes them [both] males and females, and He renders whom He wills barren. Indeed, He is Knowing and Competent.

Statements about women

Women as a fitnah to men

Narrated Usama bin Zaid: The Prophet said, "After me I have not left any trial [fitnah] more harmful to men than women."

Women as intellectually deficient

Muhammad's declared that the majority of the inhabitants of Hell are women.[5] When asked why, he said it was because they are deficient in intelligence and religion and because they are ungrateful to their husbands. He also advanced in the same narration that their deficiency in intelligence was responsible for some of their legal disabilities.

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:

Once Allah's Apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) o 'Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, "O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women)." They asked, "Why is it so, O Allah's Apostle ?" He replied, "You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you." The women asked, "O Allah's Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?" He said, "Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?" They replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn't it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?" The women replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her religion."
Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: On 'Id ul Fitr or 'Id ul Adha Allah's Apostle (p.b.u.h) went out to the Musalla. After finishing the prayer, he delivered the sermon and ordered the people to give alms. He said, "O people! Give alms." Then he went towards the women and said. "O women! Give alms, for I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-Fire were you (women)." The women asked, "O Allah's Apostle! What is the reason for it?" He replied, "O women! You curse frequently, and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. O women, some of you can lead a cautious wise man astray." Then he left.

Muhammad also disapproved of female heads of state in severe terms.

Narrated Abu Bakra:

During the battle of Al-Jamal, Allah benefited me with a Word (I heard from the Prophet). When the Prophet heard the news that the people of the Persia had made the daughter of Khosrau their Queen (ruler), he said, "Never will succeed such a nation as makes a woman their ruler."

Most of Hell's inhabitants are women

Quran 37:22-23, in speaking of Hell-bound wrongdoers, states that the inhabitants of Hell will have their wives enter alongside them, apparently irrespective of their guilt. While the Arabic text of the Quran uses the word zawj, which can also mean 'spouses', it is clear in context that the term is referring to wives. The early pseudo-Ibn Abbas tafsir from the 8th or 9th century, along with many other classical authorities, specifically points out that this verse uses the word zawj to mean "wives".[6]

Narrations in Sahih Bukhari state the majority of Hell's inhabitants will be women. The reasons given for this outcome is that women are ungrateful to their husbands.

(And it is said unto the angels): Assemble those who did wrong, together with their wives and what they used to worship instead of Allah, and lead them to the path to hell;
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: The Prophet said: "I was shown the Hell-fire and that the majority of its dwellers were women who were ungrateful." It was asked, "Do they disbelieve in Allah?" (or are they ungrateful to Allah?) He replied, "They are ungrateful to their husbands and are ungrateful for the favors and the good (charitable deeds) done to them.
Narrated 'Abdullah bin Abbas: The people say, "O Allah's Apostle! We saw you taking something from your place and then we saw you retreating." The Prophet replied, "I saw Paradise and stretched my hands towards a bunch (of its fruits) and had I taken it, you would have eaten from it as long as the world remains. I also saw the Hell-fire and I had never seen such a horrible sight. I saw that most of the inhabitants were women." The people asked, "O Allah's Apostle! Why is it so?" The Prophet replied, "Because of their ungratefulness."

Women compared to prisoners

One of the earliest and most important biographies of Muhammad, that of Ibn Ishaq, reports Muhammad to have described women as 'prisoners' during his Farewell Sermon in the valley of Arafat.

"Lay injunctions on women kindly, for they are prisoners with you having no control of their persons. You have taken them only as a trust from God, and you have the enjoyment of their persons by the words of God, so understand (T. and listen to) my words, O men, for I have told you.[7]

This statement is found in the most widely transmitted version of the farewell sermon, as recorded also by al-Tabari, and the hadith collectors Ibn Majah and al-Tirmidhi (see Farewell Sermon for details). According to traditional exegesis of the sermon, ʿawān means prisoners, though the English translator of the sermon in al-Tabari renders it as "domestic animals" in line with classical Arabic dictionaries.

In a hadith in Sahih Bukhari, Sad bin Ar-Rabi hands over his wives in a purely transactional manner, the spirit of which was reinforced by the institution of mahr.

Narrated Ibrahim bin Sad from his father from his grand-father: Abdur Rahman bin Auf said, "When we came to Medina as emigrants, Allah's Apostle established a bond of brotherhood between me and Sad bin Ar-Rabi'. Sad bin Ar-Rabi' said (to me), 'I am the richest among the Ansar, so I will give you half of my wealth and you may look at my two wives and whichever of the two you may choose I will divorce her, and when she has completed the prescribed period (before marriage) you may marry her.'

Women compared to dogs and donkeys

Most orthodox Islamic scholars considers dogs to be haram - forbidden and najis - unclean. Thus the comparison of women to dogs in these Sahih (authentic) ahadith are noteworthy:

Narrated 'Aisha: The things which annul the prayers were mentioned before me. They said, "Prayer is annulled by a dog, a donkey and a woman (if they pass in front of the praying people)." I said, "You have made us (i.e. women) dogs."
Narrated 'Aisha: It is not good that you people have made us (women) equal to dogs and donkeys.

Women compared to devils

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

Women compared to a tilth

Your women are a tilth for you (to cultivate) so go to your tilth as ye will, and send (good deeds) before you for your souls, and fear Allah, and know that ye will (one day) meet Him. Give glad tidings to believers, (O Muhammad).
Talq bin Ali narrated that The Messenger of Allah said: “When a man calls his wife to fulfill his need, then let her come, even if she is at the oven.” (Darussalam: Sahih)

Menstruation as an illness

They question thee (O Muhammad) concerning menstruation. Say: It is an illness, so let women alone at such times and go not in unto them till they are cleansed. And when they have purified themselves, then go in unto them as Allah hath enjoined upon you. Truly Allah loveth those who turn unto Him, and loveth those who have a care for cleanness.

Barren Women

Narrated Ma'qil ibn Yasar: A man came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and said: I have found a woman of rank and beauty, but she does not give birth to children. Should I marry her? He said: No. He came again to him, but he prohibited him. He came to him third time, and he (the Prophet) said: Marry women who are loving and very prolific, for I shall outnumber the peoples by you.
Narrated Ma'qil bin Yasar: It was narrated that Ma'qil bin Yasar said: "A man came to the Messenger of Allah and said: 'I have found a woman who is from a good family and of good status, but she does not bear children, should I marry her?' He told him not to. Then he came to him a second time and he told him not to (marry her). Then he came to him a third time and he told him not to (marry her), then he said: 'Marry the one who is fertile and loving, for I will boast of your great numbers.'"
It was narrated from 'Abdullah bin 'Umar that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: "An omen is in a dwelling, a woman or a horse." Abu Dawud said: This tradition was read out to al-Harith b. Miskin and I was witness. It was said to him that Ibn Qasim told him that Malik was asked about evil omen in a horse and in a house. He replied: There are many houses in which people lived and perished and again others lived therein and they also perished. This is its explanation so far as we know. Allah knows best. Abu Dawud said: 'Umar (ra) said: A mat in a house better than a woman who does not give birth to a child.

The guile of women is great

Quran 12:23-12:34 relates a story following prophet Yusuf, where the wife of al-'Aziz tries to seduce him. Her husband catches her and she accuses Yusuf of being the one to try and to seduce her. However, the husband does not believe his wife due to Yusuf's shirt being ripped on the back (and not the front). When referring to the adulterous woman's behaviour, her husband states that the guile (kayd) of women is great using the female plural.

So when he saw his shirt torn from behind, he said: Lo! this is of the guile of you women. Lo! the guile of you is very great.

Yusuf himself uses the female plural a few verses later about the guile of the specific women who try to tempt him (Quran 12:33-34). The point of the story seems to be the victory of the prophet over temptation.

While some modern commentators emphasise this and other aspects of the story, the vast majority of classical commentators took the second part of verse 28 spoken by al-'Aziz to indicate a defining feature of women in general. Some, such as al-Zamakhshari, even contrast it with another verse about the weakness of Satan's guile. Al-Qurtubi presents this idea in the form of a hadith (with a weak chain):[8]

It has been reported by Yahya bin Abī Kathīr from Abu Hurayrā that the messenger of God said in the Qurʾān: Indeed the deception of Satan is weak (Q 4:76) and he said: Indeed, your deception [Oh you women] is great (Q 12:28).
Tafseer al-Qurtubi for Q 12:28 translated by Taira Amin[8] (arabic)


Virgins in Paradise

The Qur'anic Paradise is sensual in nature, promising Muslim men voluptuous, gigantic, and transparent-skinned virgins, but does not specify their exact number. The hadith literature compliment the Qur'anic text by specifying the exact number of virgins as 72 and providing detailed descriptions of their characteristics. These narrations vary in strength from good (hasan) to authentic (sahih) and have been accepted by the Islamic tradition. There are also given details on the physical attributes given to men to sustain 72 virgins, namely, ever-erect penises that never soften and the sexual strength to satisfy 100 women. Although it is said they will receive a "great reward" and there are also hadith which refer to 72 virgins as one of the "seven blessings from Allah" to the martyr, the Qur'an does not specify these virgins are a reward exclusively for jihadists/martyrs, but rather for any Muslim male who gains admittance to Paradise.

Narrated Abdullah bin Qais: Allah's Apostle said, "In Paradise there is a pavilion made of a single hollow pearl sixty miles wide, in each corner of which there are wives who will not see those in the other corners; and the believers will visit and enjoy them.

In Islamic law

Women are legally disadvantaged by Islamic law in several in several domains of life. Particularly, women are disadvantaged in matters of sexual, domestic, legal, financial, sartorial, and physical autonomy. According to Islamic legal theory, while not all of Islamic law necessarily has a perceptibly rational basis, legal restrictions on women may be due to their supposed intellectual deficiency, which was pronounced by Muhammad according to Sahih Bukhari.

Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is obligatory in the Shafi'i madhab[9] and encouraged by the remaining three madhabs, namely the Hanafi, Hanbali, and Maliki. Salafi scholars also encourage the practice. In universally conceiving of FGM as being either an obligatory or favorable practice, the schools of Islamic law agree that prohibiting FGM altogether would not be acceptable, as this would be tantamount to contravening God's laws and preferences. Views on the specific type of FGM required or permitted vary within and between the madhhabs. Some prominent modern Islamic scholars have dissented from the favorable consensus of the Islamic tradition and ruled it to be unlawful.

Obligatory (on every male and female) is circumcision. (And it is the cutting-off of the skin [qat' al-jaldah] on the glans of the male member and, as for the circumcision of the female, that is the cutting-off of the badhar [qat' al-badhar, badhar or بَظْرٌ either means the clitoris or the prepuce of the clitoris; Lane says that the precise usage was confused at some point in history[10]] (and this is called khufad))
Reliance of the Traveler [Umdat al-Salik], Section e4.3 on Circumcision

The Islamic legal tradition, while differing on its implementation, embraced FGM wholeheartedly, and, In the hadith literature, Muhammad is recorded as tacitly approving of the practice (Sahih Muslim 3:684) , prescribing circumcision in general without specifying the requirements thereof per gender (Sahih Bukhari 7:72:777), and commenting generically on its implementation (Sunan Abu Dawud 41:5251). No where is Muhammad recorded prohibiting the practice.

In 2012, the Muslim Brotherhood worked to decriminalize FGM. According to Mariz Tadros (a reporter),"the Muslim Brotherhood have offered to circumcise women for a nominal fee as part of their community services, a move that threatens to reverse decades of local struggle against the harmful practice [...] Many of the Brothers (and Salafis) argue that while it is not mandatory, it is nevertheless mukarama  (preferable, pleasing in the eyes of God)."[11]


Islamic law prohibits Muslim women from marrying non-Muslim men based on Quran 2:221 and Quran 60:10 (while Muslim men may marry Christian and Jewish women according to Quran 5:5). Islamic law permits men to marry up to four wives (alongside an unlimited number of concubines), while women are restricted to a single husband and are prohibited from any other form of sexual activity. Modern Islamic scholars differ on whether or not a bride may stipulate as a condition of her marriage that her husband remain monogamous.

Islamic scriptures describe the mahr, or primarily financial gift made by a groom to his bride upon the marital nikah (sexual intercourse) contract, as 'the recompense for your having had the right to intercourse with her'. The Arabic word for "marriage" is "zawaj". In Islamic law, marriage is considered under the concept of nikah, a legal and financial contract between a male and a female Muslim. Nikah literally means "sexual intercourse".

For some time as a prophet, Muhammad permitted temporary mut'ah marriages whereby men would be permitted to engage in sexual activity with a woman for a predetermined period of time in exchange for compensation. While prohibited by Sunni scholars today, the practice is still considered legitimate by many Shi'ite scholars.

Control over movement and taking additional wives

Under Islam, a husband has a right to take up to four wives and has significant control over his wives. Under the Hanbali (but not Hanafi) school, women may stipulate conditions in the marriage contract to grant greater freedom of movement or to object to her husband taking additional wives, with a right to divorce if these are broken. In many cases such stipulations will not have been agreed ahead of the marriage, though some modern reforms of family law have sought to improve the situation. Otherwise the husband's rights are automatic.

One important right granted by the Hanbali (but not Hanafi) law school that gives women a certain amount of independence and status in marriage is her right to insert conditions that are favourable to her directly into the marriage contract. The wife's ability to make conditions, provided that they are not contrary to the object of marriage, can resolve many inequities in areas such as polygamy and divorce. For example, clauses may be added that eliminate the husband's right to take a second wife or that grant the wife greater freedom of movement. These conditions limit the husband's somewhat automatic and extensive legal control over his wife. Because these conditions can be enforced by granting the wife her husband's power of divorce if they are violated, they bestow more equal rights of divorce on the wife.
John L. Eposito, "Women in Muslim Family Law", 2001, p. 22

Child marriage

The major schools of Islamic jurisprudence were in agreement that a pre-pubescent child could be contracted in marriage by his or her father and without consent. They based this view variously on Muhammad's marriage to Aisha, the example of his companions, and the Quran (particularly Quran 65:4). The Maliki and Shafi'i schools even allowed a father to forcibly contract his daughter in marriage who had already reached puberty if she was still a virgin, despite hadith evidence indicating otherwise. The family were to hand over the betrothed wife for consummation of the marriage when they determined that the girl was now able to endure intercourse without physical harm rather than this being tied to any particular age (though Ibn Hanbal specified the age of nine due to the example of Aisha's marital consummation with Muhammad). Some Quranic commentators interpreted the Quran such that only females who had reached puberty can be contracted in marriage, though most thought that marriage of minors was permitted. The Byzantines around this time allowed girls to be married from the age of thirteen and the Persian Sassinids allowed marital consummation from the age of twelve.

Today, many modern Muslim countries have legislated to raise the minimum age of marriage, in many cases to the age of 16 or 18 for girls (though often with loopholes or with ineffective enforcement) and to prevent forced marriage, often in the face of opposition from Islamic scholars. Many Muslim campaign groups and charities have been involved in this process and continue to offer help to those at risk (see the article Forced Marriage which includes sources of help).[12] In collaboration with activists, in 2019 the deputy Grand Imam of al-Azhar University in Cairo issued a fatwa calling for marriage based on mutual consent with a minimum age set as 18.[13] Unicef say that the prevalence of child marriages are decreasing globally but are nevetheless common (including among non-Muslim populations in some regions of the world).

Muhammad's encouragement to marry and fondle young virgins

Narrated Jabir: "Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said to me, "Have you got married O Jabir?" I replied, "Yes." He asked "What, a virgin [bikr] or a matron [thayyib]?" I replied, "Not a virgin but a matron." He said, "Why did you not marry a young girl [jariyah] who would have fondled with you?
Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah: I was accompanying the Prophet on a journey and was riding a slow camel that was lagging behind the others. ... When we approached Medina, I started going (towards my house). The Prophet said, "Where are you going?" I said, "I have married a widow." He said, "Why have you not married a virgin to fondle with each other?"
Narrated 'Aisha: The Prophet and I used to take a bath from a single pot while we were Junub. During the menses, he used to order me to put on an Izar (dress worn below the waist) and used to fondle me.

Silence of a virgin implies her consent to marriage

Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with them) reported Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: A woman who has been previously married (Thayyib) has more right to her person than her guardian. And a virgin should also be consulted, and her silence implies her consent.

Domestic rights and beating wives

Under Islamic law, women are obligated to obey their husbands in their domestic, social, professional, sexual and, to a limited extent, religious lives. Marital rape is not considered a crime. Quran 4:34 instructs Muslims men to, among other things, beat their wives if they fear nushuz (a word of unclear meaning but to be compared with similar usage in Quran 4:128). Muslim scholars agree on the permissibility of the practice but disagree on the conditions for and nature of the beating permitted. Women are also accorded a number of rights under the nikah contract. Men are obligated to provide for their wives financially and not to be too harsh to them, although the meaning of this latter requirement is set by the marital and gender norms of 7th century Arabia, where wife-beating was commonplace and acceptable. Women whose husbands fail to fulfill these rights are eligible for requesting divorce.


A wife can ask her husband to divorce her, and if he releases her from the marriage, she makes a payment to him of the mahr (item or sum of financial worth) she had received or some other agreed payment. This is known as khula'. If he refuses, she can try to get a divorce by judicial decree when there are grounds for which his consent is not required (such as inability or failure to fulfil his marital obligations, desertion, insanity, or cruelty).

There is a consensus among classical Islamic scholars that if a woman converts to Islam and her husband fails to, their marriage is nullified.[14][15] This ruling is derived, in part, from Quran 60:10. The classical scholars also ruled that if on the other hand a husband converts to Islam, the marriage remains intact so long as his wife is a Christian or Jew. If a Muslim husband or wife leaves Islam, the marriage to his or her Muslim spouse is immediately annulled, though some held that the marriage is unaffected if only the wife leaves the religion, while others said that she becomes the husband's slave.[16]

One verse grants similar rights to men and women during the divorce period, in some sense granting the husband a degree above his wife.

Divorced women remain in waiting for three periods, and it is not lawful for them to conceal what Allah has created in their wombs if they believe in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands have more right to take them back in this [period] if they want reconciliation. And due to the wives is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable. But the men have a degree over them [in responsibility and authority]. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.


In nearly every instance where the Quran commands (men) to be chaste, it repeats that they need not be chaste with their wives and 'those whom their right hand possesses', which is universally acknowledged by historians and Islamic scholars as an Arabic euphemism which refers to one's slaves. An entire chapter in Sahih Muslim (chapter 29) is dedicated to the topic and is entitled: 'It is permissible to have sexual intercourse with a captive [i.e. slave] woman after she is purified (of menses or delivery). In case she has a husband, her marriage is abrogated after she becomes captive.'

Those who humble themselves in their prayers; Who avoid vain talk; Who are active in deeds of charity; Who abstain from sex, Except with those joined to them in the marriage bond, or (the captives) whom their right hands possess,- for (in their case) they are free from blame.

Iddah (Female Menstrual Waiting Period)

The 'iddah is the period of time a woman must observe after the death of her husband or after a divorce, during which she has to face numerous restrictions. These restrictions include being largely confined at home and the clothes she is allowed to wear. For a widowed woman the waiting period is 4 months and 10 days; for a pregnant woman the waiting period is up to 9 months (till the birth of the baby); and for a divorced woman the waiting period is 3 menstrual cycles.


Generally, Islam grants women half the share of inheritance available to men if they inherit from the same father. This forms part of a wider Quranic and cultural context in which men are expected to provide for women and to pay a dower for marriage. However, it is easy to imagine scenarios even in the 7th century where the beneficiaries are at different stages of their lives or marital circumstances such that no rationale would justify the allocation fixed in the Quran.

Allah instructs you concerning your children: for the male, what is equal to the share of two females. But if there are [only] daughters, two or more, for them is two thirds of one's estate. And if there is only one, for her is half. And for one's parents, to each one of them is a sixth of his estate if he left children. But if he had no children and the parents [alone] inherit from him, then for his mother is one third. And if he had brothers [or sisters], for his mother is a sixth, after any bequest he [may have] made or debt. Your parents or your children - you know not which of them are nearest to you in benefit. [These shares are] an obligation [imposed] by Allah. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Wise.
They request from you a [legal] ruling. Say, "Allah gives you a ruling concerning one having neither descendants nor ascendants [as heirs]." If a man dies, leaving no child but [only] a sister, she will have half of what he left. And he inherits from her if she [dies and] has no child. But if there are two sisters [or more], they will have two-thirds of what he left. If there are both brothers and sisters, the male will have the share of two females. Allah makes clear to you [His law], lest you go astray. And Allah is Knowing of all things.


Islamic scholars differ in their interpretation of the verses prescribing female attire. All four madhabs agree by consensus that women must cover their entire body, excluding their hands and face, except for Hanafis, who also permit women to reveal their feet. These clothing requirements only apply in the presence of unrelated men (in addition to some male relations) and during prayers. Hanafis and some other scholars also require women to observe these requirements in the presence non-Muslim women, fearing that these non-Muslim women may describe a Muslim woman's physical features to other men. Some modern interpretations disagree with the traditional views (see main article).


Islamic scriptures dictate that, in a court setting, a woman's testimony is worth half a man's. The reasoning given in Sahih Bukhari 1:6:301 is the deficiency of the female intellect. Islamic jurists have variously endorsed some exceptions to this rule-of-thumb, however. In legal cases relating to matters of female anatomy or specialty, a woman's testimony may be equal to a man's. On the other hand, Islamic jurists have also dictated that there are certain domains of law where a woman's testimony cannot be counted for anything at all.

The Quran itself mentions the principle in the context of loan contracts.

O you who have believed, when you contract a debt for a specified term [...] And bring to witness two witnesses from among your men. And if there are not two men [available], then a man and two women from those whom you accept as witnesses - so that if one of the women errs, then the other can remind her. [...]

Punishment for lewdness

The Qur'an states that women found guilty of lewdness (l-fāḥishata) should be confined to house arrest until death or mysteriously 'God ordains another way'. The next verse (Quran 4:16) on the other hand ordains (unspecified) punishment if two men are found guilty of lewdness, but who are to be left alone if they repent and amend their ways:

If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, Take the evidence of four (Reliable) witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them, or Allah ordain for them some (other) way

Most scholars believe the above verse (Quran 4:15) was abrogated by the punishment of 100 lashes for both men and women who commit fornication (zina) in Quran 24:2, or stoning if either is married to someone else as set out in the hadith (such as Sahih Bukhari 9:92:432and Sahih Muslim 17:4194):

The [unmarried] woman or [unmarried] man found guilty of sexual intercourse - lash each one of them with a hundred lashes, and do not be taken by pity for them in the religion of Allah, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day.

Gender Segregation

In Islamic law, unrelated women and men are not allowed to be alone together, have any sort of physical contact, engage in frivolous conversation, look at one another for any reason other than momentarily for the purpose of identification, or pray such that a woman is located in front of or adjacent to any man (women must stand behind men in prayer). Muhammad's wives are instructed in the Quran to remain at home as much as possible and according to hadiths Muhammad did not permit women to travel on significant journeys except under the supervision of a male guardian or relative. Some medieval scholars forbade women to leave their homes at all without permission. Modernist scholars generally contest these interpretations using other hadiths and arguments.

Muhammad and Women

Wives and Concubines of Muhammad

Main Articles: List of Muhammad's Wives and Concubines and Qur'an, Hadith and Scholars:Muhammad's Wives and Concubines and Ages of Muhammad's Wives at Marriage

According to multiple sources, Muhammad had many wives and concubines, and was known to others as a "womanizer".[17] Muhammad consummated his marriages with thirteen women, divorced another six, and had concubines. It is reported that he used to visit eleven wives in one night:

Narrated Qatada: Anas bin Malik said, "The Prophet used to visit all his wives in a round, during the day and night and they were eleven in number." I asked Anas, "Had the Prophet the strength for it?" Anas replied, "We used to say that the Prophet was given the strength of thirty (men)." And Sa'id said on the authority of Qatada that Anas had told him about nine wives only (not eleven).


Aisha, sometimes spelt as 'Ayesha' or 'Aysha', was the nine year old child-bride of Muhammad. She was engaged to him at the age of six, when he was in his fifties. She was also the daughter of Abu Bakr, a close friend of Muhammad. Historically, she is known as Muhammad's "favorite wife." It has also been recorded in authentic Islamic sources that Muhammad struck Aisha[18] and also allowed Abu Bakr to do the same.[19] Aisha was not 'offered' to Muhammad by her father (as would have normally been the case for the marriage of so young a girl), rather it was Muhammad who approached Abu Bakr, and Abu Bakr originally protested.[20] However, Muhammad justified his desire for Aisha with a divine vision from Allah.[21]

'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house when I was nine years old.

The age of Muhammad's child-bride Aisha has in recent times become an actively contested issue, with a few modern Islamic scholars arguing that she was in fact older than nine when married or when the marriage was consummated. The overwhelming majority of modern Islamic scholars have, however, rejected this view as contravening authentic scripture.


Khadijah bint Khuwailid/Khuwaylid (555 – 619 AD) was the first wife of Muhammad and also a distant cousin. Belonging to the Bani Asad tribe, Khadijah was the daughter of Khuwaylid bin Asad bin. ‘Abd al-‘Uzza bin Qusayy, the Grand son Qusayy. She was a wealthy woman aged forty who ran her own business, and her marriage with Muhammad was a controversial one which almost sparked in bloodshed. Khadija's high social standing is often cited as evidence by some modern Islamic scholars that women were empowered by Islam.[22] It is important to note, however, that she was a "great independent businesswoman" before Islam, during the so-called "Period of Ignorance" (Jahiliyah). Indeed, after Islam, Muhammad prohibited women from taking leadership positions, along with dictating other legal disabilities for women.[23]


Safiyah bint Huyayy (610 - 670 AD) was the bride of Kinana and the chief mistress of the Jewish tribes of Quraiza and An-Nadir. When the Muhammad's followers invaded and conquered Khaibar, the opposition's fighting men were killed and Safiya was taken captive (along with the rest of the women and children) and allotted as booty to Dihya Al-Kalbi, a Muslim.[24] Kinana, Safiyah's suitor or husband, was tortured and executed by Muhammad's followers in order to discover the hiding places of treasure,[25] and one source relates that he and Safiya had been married only one day.[26] She was so beautiful that the Muslims began praising her in the presence of Muhammad[27], and so the prophet commanded that Dihya be brought before him along with Safiya. Upon seeing her, Muhammad said, "Take any slave girl other than her from the captives"[28] and he selected her to be his slave rather than the slave of any of his companions.

She was held captive until their marriage, and when Muhammad decided that she would be his wife rather than his concubine, he made known to her that her manumission was her mahr.


Mariyah the Copt was one of the prophet’s wives’ maids and bore him a son who later died, called Ibrahim. Muhammad slept with her without any ceremony, which caused uproar among his wives. It is said that the controversy was finally settled by verses Quran 66:1-6, allowing Muhammad to continue sleeping with her after he had placated his wives by recinding this right.

Waqidi has informed us that Abu Bakr has narrated that the messenger of Allah (PBUH) had sexual intercourse with Mariyyah in the house of Hafsah. When the messenger came out of the house, Hafsa was sitting at the gate (behind the locked door). She told the prophet, O Messenger of Allah, do you do this in my house and during my turn? The messenger said, control yourself and let me go because I make her haram to me. Hafsa said, I do not accept, unless you swear for me. That Hazrat (his holiness) said, by Allah I will not contact her again. Qasim ibn Muhammad has said that this promise of the Prophet that had forbidden Mariyyah to himself is invalid – it does not become a violation (hormat).[29]

Muhammad's exemptions from sexual laws

Muhammad often received revelations from God which would absolve him from or resolve for him various personal restrictions and controversies. These revelations would form part of the Quran and hadith. Critics have suggested that such verses would scarcely merit inclusion in a eternal document of divine importance that conceives of itself as "guidance for all of mankind". According o Sahih Bukhari, Aisha, Muhammad's wife, once said to him after one such revelation, "I feel that your Lord hastens in fulfilling your wishes and desires."[30]

Narrated Aisha: I used to look down upon those ladies who had given themselves to Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) and I used to say, "Can a lady give herself (to a man)?" But when Allah revealed: "You (O Muhammad) can postpone (the turn of) whom you will of them (your wives), and you may receive any of them whom you will; and there is no blame on you if you invite one whose turn you have set aside (temporarily).' (33.51) I said (to the Prophet), "I feel that your Lord hastens in fulfilling your wishes and desires."

Women and the Farewell Sermon

The Farewell Sermon (خطبة الوداع‎, Khuṭbatu l-Wadā') is Muhammad's last sermon before his death in 632 CE. One widely distributed modern redacted and edited version of the sermon differs significantly from the original versions found in Sunan Abu Dawud 1900 (Ahmad Hasan Ref), Sahih Muslim 7:2803, al-Tabari's History, and ibn Ishaq's Sirat. Muhammad's order in the sermon to men to control their women by beating them confirms and slightly moderates the Qur'anic order of wife-beating in Quran 4:34. In al-Tabari's version, Muhammad also compares women to domestic animals (ʿawān). In ibn Ishaq's version, quoted below, the translator renders the same Arabic word as prisoners, in line with traditional exegesis of the sermon.

"You have rights over your wives and they have rights over you. You have the right that they should not defile your bed and that they should not behave with open unseemliness. If they do, God allows you to put them in separate rooms and beat them but not with severity. If they refrain from these things they have the right to their food and clothing with kindness. Lay injunctions on women kindly, for they are prisoners with you having no control of their persons. You have taken them as a trust from God, and you have the enjoyment of their persons by the words of God, so understand…"[31]

Women in the modern Muslim world

Honor Violence and Islam

Honor killing has occured in many cultures, and is the murder by family members, usually of females, who are perceived to have brought shame on the family. The attitude is that the honor of the family in the community can be protected or restored in this way. Common triggers for honour killing occur when young couples have unmarried relations with each other, or when a woman marries someone against the wishes of her parents.

In Islamic law, there is no punishment merely for the shame caused upon a family by their female relations, nor to restore family honor by killing them. There are, however, punishments for various types of Zina (unlawful sexual relations) in Islam. Zina includes both fornication (when an unmarried person has intercourse), for which the punishment is flogging, and adultery (when a married person has intercourse with someone other than their spouse), for which the punishment is death by stoning. These punishments are only to be applied by the authorities. A punishment in a private setting is mandated in Quran 4:34 which tells men to beat their wives as a last resort in certain circumstances Quran 4:34.

Honour killing has been condemned in a recent fatwa[32], which says that the punishment for fornication by the unmarried is flogging, and must be carried out by the proper authorities.

However, some statements about women and the rules to control them as outlined above in this article may contribute to the perceived social consequences of failing to exert such control and the underlying attitudes towards women and girls held by those who commit honor killing and honor violence. This includes such rules as those concerning gender segregation and zina (especially the prohibition of sexual intercourse between an unmarried couple, even the suspicion of which is a common trigger for honor violence against girls), and a woman marrying without the approval of her wali. Underlining the seriousness in which some of these are regarded, certain punishments such as stoning, flogging, and even death by being thrown off a tall building are prescribed for sexual crimes in Islamic law, though these are to be carried out by the authorities. In the modern age, there have been many reported incidents of honor violence when young women are perceived to have violated Islamic requirements about dress and adornmonts when using photo and video based social media. A connection between Islam and honor violence is disputed by some on the basis that honor killing in the Muslim world is largely associated with certain countries like Pakistan and in parts of the Middle East and North Africa rather than universal. The problem has also been documented in a Hindu religious context in countries such as India and Nepal, particularly involving couples of differing castes.

While Islamic law does not order honor violence, parents who murder their children are not punishable with the Qisas (retaliation) under the Sharia. The standard manual of law for the Shafi'i school sets out this exemption in plain terms.

Retaliation is obligatory [...] against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right [...] The following are not subject to retaliation [...] (4) a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring.
'Umdat al-Salik (Reliance of the Traveller), section o1.1-2

Efforts in modern Muslim countries have been made to deter such killings by changing the law to enable prosecution of the perpetrators, for example Pakistan in 2016 (after a change that had left a large loophole in 2004)[33], though as of 2022 the effect there has been limited.[34]

The United Nations Population Fund estimated in September 2000 that as many as 5,000 women and girls fall victim to such killings each year. Cases of non-fatal honor violence would likely be far higher.

Strict enforcement of hijab

In a few countries today (notably Iran and Afghanistan), the wearing of hijab is legally enforced, though in most Muslim-majority countries this is not the case though there may be social pressure. In the holy city of Mecca in March 2002, fifteen teenage girls perished in a fire at their school when the Saudi religious police, the muttawa'in, refused to let them out of the building, because in the female-only school environment, they had shed the outer garments that women are required to wear in the presence of men. They had not put these garments back on before trying to flee from the fire. The muttawa'in, favoring the victims' death to the transgression of Islamic law, battled police and firemen who tried to open the school's doors to save the girls.[35] In 2018 Saudi Arabia rescinded its laws relating to head coverings.

Domestic abuse

According to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, over 90% of married women report being kicked, slapped, beaten or sexually abused when husbands were dissatisfied by their cooking or cleaning, or when the women had 'failed' to bear a child or had given birth to a girl instead of a boy.[36]

Prosecution of rape cases

Islamic law traditionally has required four reliable muslim male witnesses or a confession in order to convict a man for rape (as an extension of the legal treatment of zina), though some modern legal approaches have sought to reduce this evidentiary burden. In some modern juristictions there is even a risk that a woman alleging rape can herself by prosecuted for slander or fornication if she lacks sufficient evidence, though this is not the position of most schools of traditional jurisprudence (see main article).

In March 2007, a 19-year-old Saudi woman received a sentence of 90 lashes. A man had threatened to tell her father that they were having an affair unless she met him alone. When she did, she was kidnapped and repeatedly raped, after which her brother beat her because the rapes brought shame to the family. After this, a Saudi court sentenced her to be lashed ninety times because she had met a man alone who was not related to her. Fuziyah Al Ouni, a feminist activist, said she was outraged by the case. 'By sentencing her to 90 lashes they are sending a message that she is guilty.'[37]

In 2004, a sixteen-year old girl, Atefeh Rajabi, was hanged in a public square in Iran. Rajabi was charged with adultery, although it had likely been a case of rape. Her rapist was not executed. Rajabi told the mullah-judge, Haji Rezaii, the he ought to punish men who rape, not their victims. The judge both sentenced and personally hanged Rajabi because, in addition to her crime, he said that she had 'a sharp tongue.'[38]

On November 1, 2008 a 13-year-old girl in Somalia was stoned to death after being raped by three men. She was unable to produce the required four witnesses to the rape and was therefore accused of adultery as required by Shari'a law. It was reported that the girl begged for mercy before being buried waist high in the ground and pummeled to death with stones by a crowd of some 1,000 Muslims.[39][40]

Strict segregation of genders

In February 2008, an American businesswoman of Jordanian descent was arrested in Saudi Arabia after being found by the religious police sitting in the family area of a Starbucks with a male business associate. They had been working together at their nearby office when power was lost, and they decided to go to Starbucks to use the wireless internet. She was released from jail a day later, bruised and crying after being detained and beaten for being in the presence of another man who was not her relative.[41]

See Also

External Links


  1. Kecia Ali,Sexual Ethics and Islam, England: Oneworld Publications, 2006
  2. Ibid. pp. 131-132
  3. Ibid. Introduction p. xxvii
  4. Ibid. pp. 153-157
  5. Sahih Bukhari 1:6:301
  6. "Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn Abbas 37:22", 
  7. ibn Ishaq, p. 651
  8. 8.0 8.1 Taira Amin (2023), The Discursive Construction of Women’s Guile in the Muslim Exegetical Tradition in (Eds.) A. Aghdassi and A.W. Hughes, New Methodological Perspectives in Islamic Studies pp.46-72, Leiden:Brill DOI:10.1163/9789004536630_005.
  9. Section on FGM in the standard manual of Shafi'i law
  10. Lane's Lexicon بَظْرٌ
  11. Tadros, Mariz (24 May 2012). "Mutilating bodies: the Muslim Brotherhood's gift to Egyptian women". openDemocracy
  12. For example Muslim Women's Network UK and Tahirih Justice Center Forced Marriage Initiative
  13. Senior Islamic cleric issues fatwa against child marriage -
  14. Stories of Women who Became Muslim and Left their Non-Muslim Husbands -
  15. Leeman, Alex B. (2009) "Interfaith Marriage in Islam: An Examination of the Legal Theory Behind the Traditional and Reformist Positions," Indiana Law Journal: Vol. 84 : Iss. 2 , Article 9. pp.754-759 Available at: and
  16. Leeman, Alex B. (2009) "Interfaith Marriage in Islam: An Examination of the Legal Theory Behind the Traditional and Reformist Positions," Indiana Law Journal: Vol. 84 : Iss. 2 , Article 9. pp.754-759 Available at: and
  17. "....Layla’s people said, "’What a bad thing you have done! You are a self-respecting woman, but the Prophet is a womanizer. Seek an annulment from him.’ She went back to the Prophet and asked him to revoke the marriage and he complied with [her request]...." - al Tabari vol.9 p.139
  18. "...He said: Was it the darkness (of your shadow) that I saw in front of me? I said: Yes. He struck me on the chest which caused me pain, and then said: Did you think that Allah and His Apostle would deal unjustly with you?..." - Sahih Muslim 4:2127
  19. "....Abu Bakr (Allah be pleased with him) then got up went to 'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) and slapped her on the neck, and 'Umar stood up before Hafsa and slapped her saying: You ask Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) which he does not possess...." - Sahih Bukhari 1:7:330
  20. "....The Prophet asked Abu Bakr for 'Aisha's hand in marriage. Abu Bakr said "But I am your brother."...." - Sahih Bukhari 7:62:18
  21. "....You were shown to me twice (in my dream) before I married you. I saw an angel carrying you in a silken piece of cloth, and I said to him, 'Uncover (her),' and behold, it was you. I said (to myself), 'If this is from Allah, then it must happen....." - Sahih Bukhari 9:87:140
  22. For example, take a look at this bit of vandalism.
  23. "Narrated Abu Bakra: During the battle of Al-Jamal, Allah benefited me with a Word (I heard from the Prophet). When the Prophet heard the news that the people of the Persia had made the daughter of Khosrau their Queen (ruler), he said, "Never will succeed such a nation as makes a woman their ruler." - Sahih Bukhari 9:88:219
  24. Sahih Bukhari 2:14:68
  25. Ishaq. I (Author), Guillaume. A (Translator). (2002). The Life of Muhammad. (p. 515). Oxford University Press - Tabari vol. 8, p.123 - Muir, Sir William. (1878). The Life of Mahomet, New Edition. (pp. 390-391) London:Smith, Elder and Co.
  26. Muir, Sir William. (1878). The Life of Mahomet, New Edition. (pp. 392) London:Smith, Elder and Co.
  27. Sahih Muslim 8:3329
  28. Sahih Bukhari 1:8:367
  29. Tabaqat v. 8 p. 223 Publisher Entesharat-e Farhang va Andisheh Tehran 1382 solar h ( 2003) Translator Dr. Mohammad Mahdavi Damghani
  30. Sahih Bukhari 6:60:311
  31. Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah, p. 651
  32. Fatwa 101972 Ruling on honour killing
  34. ‘Honor Killings’ Continue Unabated in Pakistan - The Diplomat, 2022
  35. Christopher Dickey and Rod Nordland - The Fire That Won't Die Out - Islamawareness, 2002
  36. Pakistan: Violence against women: Media briefing - Amnesty International
  37. Saudi gang-rape victim faces 90 lashes - Khaleej Times Online, March 5, 2007
  38. Alasdair Palmer - Death and the maiden in Iran - The Telegraph, August 29, 2004
  39. Raped girl, 13, stoned to death,2008-11-01
  40. David Williams - Somali girl 'pleaded for mercy' before Islamists stoned her to death for being raped - Daily Mail, November 5, 2008
  41. Sonia Verma - American Woman Boasted of Saudi Freedoms To Bush Brother Before Arrest at Starbucks - Fox News, February 7, 2008