Top 10 Controversial Verses Concerning Women

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10. A husband has sex with his wife, as a plow goes into a field.[edit]

The Qur'an in Surah 2:223 says:

Women are your planting place (for children); come then to your planting place as you please and forward (good deeds) for your souls, and fear Allah. And know that you shall meet Him. Give glad tidings to the believers.

We should make no mistake about this verse. It includes sexual positions. The hadith below implies the context of this verse:

Jabir (Allah be pleased with him) declared that the Jews used to say: When a man has intercourse with his wife through the vagina but being on her back. the child will have squint, so the verse came down: (Quran 2:223) " Your wives are your tilth; go then unto your tilth as you may desire"

9. Husbands are a degree above their wives.[edit]

The Qur'an in Surah 2:228 says:

Divorced women shall wait by themselves for three periods. It is unlawful for them, if they believe in Allah and the Last Day, to hide what He has created in their wombs, in which case their husbands would have a better right to restore them should they desire reconciliation. And for them similar to what is due from them with kindness. But men have a degree above them. Allah is Mighty and Wise.

Gender inequality shows up in a theological context. The hadith below shows that the majority of the inhabitants of hell are women because they are ungrateful and harsh towards their husbands. There is no word about the husbands' ingratitude and harshness.

Narrated 'Abdullah bin Abbas: The Prophet then said, "I saw Paradise (or Paradise was shown to me), and I stretched my hand to pluck a bunch (of grapes), and had I plucked it, you would have eaten of it as long as this world exists. Then I saw the (Hell) Fire, and I have never before, seen such a horrible sight as that, and I saw that the majority of its dwellers were women." The people asked, "O Allah's Apostle! What is the reason for that?" He replied, "Because of their ungratefulness." It was said. "Do they disbelieve in Allah (are they ungrateful to Allah)?" He replied, "They are not thankful to their husbands and are ungrateful for the favors done to them. Even if you do good to one of them all your life, when she seems some harshness from you, she will say, "I have never seen any good from you.' "

8. A male gets a double share of the inheritance over that of a female.[edit]

The Qur'an in Surah 4:11 says:

Allah charges you concerning your children, for a male like the share of two females. If they are women, above two, they shall have two thirds of what he left, but if she is one, then to her a half. While for his parents, to each one of the two a sixth of what he left, if he has a child. But if he has no child and his heirs are his parents, his mother shall have a third. If he has siblings, to his mother a sixth after any bequest he had bequeathed, or any debt. Your fathers and your children, you do not know which of them is nearer in benefit to you. This is an obligation from Allah. Surely, Allah is the Knower, the Wise.

7. A woman's testimony counts as half of a man's testimony[edit]

The Qur'an in Surah 2:282 says:

Believers, when you contract a debt for a fixed period, put it in writing. Let a scribe write it down between you with fairness; no scribe shall refuse to write as Allah has taught him. Therefore, let him write; and let the debtor dictate, fearing Allah his Lord, and do not decrease anything of it. If the debtor is a fool, or weak, or unable to dictate himself, let his guardian dictate for him in fairness. Call to witness two witnesses of your men, if the two are not men, then a man and two women from the witnesses whom you approve; so that if one of the two errs, one of them will remind the other. Whenever witnesses are called upon they must not refuse, and do not be weary to write it down, be it small or large, together with its term. This is more just with Allah; it ensures accuracy in testifying and is the least of doubt. Unless it is present merchandise that you circulate between you; then no guilt shall be on you if you do not write it down and take witnesses when you are selling, and let no harm be done to either scribe or witness. If you do, that is a transgression in you. Fear Allah. Allah teaches you, and Allah has knowledge of everything.

The foundational reason for having two women witnesses is that one of the women may 'forget' something. This verse goes to the nature of womankind, and implies that a woman's mind is weak.

This hadith removes any ambiguity about women's abilities in Surah 2:282:

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: The Prophet said, "Isn't the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?" The women said, "Yes." He said, "This is because of the deficiency of a woman's mind."

6. A wife may remarry her ex-husband if and only if she marries another man, they have sex, and then this second man divorces her[edit]

The Qur'an in Surah 2:230 says:

If he divorces her (for the third time), she shall not be lawful to him after that until she has wed (not for the purpose of remarrying her former husband) another spouse and then if he divorces her it shall be no offense for either of them to return to each other, if they think that they can keep within the Bounds of Allah. Those are the Bounds of Allah. He makes them plain to people who know.

The finally and absolutely divorced couple is not permitted to remarry each other unless she marries another man, they have sex, and he divorces her. Sura 2:230 engenders a divorce on the road to a possible reconciliation. Why have the intervening step of a second marriage and divorce before the first couple can work out their differences and get back together?

5. Slave-girls are sexual property for their male owners.[edit]

The Qur'an in Surah 4:24 says:

And (forbidden to you) are married women, except those whom your righthand owns. Such Allah has written for you. Lawful to you beyond all that, is that you can seek using your wealth in marriage and not fornication. So whatever you have enjoyed from them give them their obligated wage. And there is no fault in you in what ever you mutually agree after the obligation. Allah is the Knower, the Wise.

Sayyid Maududi (d. 1979), a highly respected traditional commentator and scholar, says in his comment on the verse that is it lawful for Muslim holy warriors to marry women prisoners of war even when their husbands are still alive.

And forbidden to you are wedded wives of other people except those who have fallen in your hands [as prisoners of war]
Maududi, vol. 1, p. 319

But what happens if the husbands are captured with their wives? Maududi cites a school of law that says Muslims may not marry them, but two other schools say that the marriage between the captive husbands and wives is broken (note 44). But why would a debate over this cruelty emerge in the first place? No marriage should take place between prisoners of war and their captives, married or not. In fact, no sex should take place between women captives and their Muslim overlords. Islam allows deep immorality with women who are in their most helpless condition. This crime is reprehensible, but Allah wills it nonetheless— the Qur'an says so. The hadith demonstrate that Muslims jihadists actually have sex with the captured women, whether or not they are married. In the following hadith passage, Khumus is one—fifth of the spoils of war. Ali, Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law, had just finished a relaxing bath. Why? See the hadith:

Narrated 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 Khumlus."

The following hadith from the same source shows that Muhammad was intimate with his slave-girls.

Narrated 'Aisha: The Prophet used to take the Pledge of allegiance from the women by words only after reciting this Holy Verse:--(60.12) "..that they will not associate anything in worship with Allah." (60.12) And the hand of Allah's Apostle did not touch any woman's hand except the hand of that woman his right hand possessed. (i.e. his captives or his lady slaves).

4. A man may be polygamous with up to four wives[edit]

The Qur'an in Surah 4:3 says

If you fear that you cannot act justly towards the orphans, then marry such women as seem good to you; two, three, four of them. But if you fear that you cannot do justice, then one only, or, those you possess. It is likelier then that you will not be partial.

The clause 'marry those who have fallen in your possession' means slave-girls who were captured after a war. Men may 'marry' them because slaves do not incur very much expense, not as much as free women do. This means that the limit on four wives is artificial. Men could have sex with as many slave-girls as they wanted.

Maududi paraphrases the verse: 'If you need more than one [wife] but are afraid that you might not be able to do justice to your wives from among the free people, you may turn to slave girls because in that case you will be burdened with less responsibilities' (note 6) (See Sura 4:24). However, Muhammad would not allow polygamy for his son-in-law Ali, because an extra wife would hurt Muhammad's first daughter Fatima, by his first wife Khadijah. Fatima was married to Ali.

Narrated Al-Miswar bin Makhrama: I heard Allah's Apostle who was on the pulpit, saying, "Banu Hisham bin Al-Mughira have requested me to allow them to marry their daughter to Ali bin Abu Talib, but I don't give permission, and will not give permission unless 'Ali bin Abi Talib divorces my daughter in order to marry their daughter, because Fatima is a part of my body, and I hate what she hates to see, and what hurts her, hurts me."

3. A husband may simply get rid of one of his undesirable wives[edit]

The Qur'an in Surah 4:129 says:

You will not be able to be just between your women, even though you are eager. Do not be altogether partial so that you leave her as if she were suspended. If you reform and are cautious, Allah is the Forgiver, the Merciful.

Maududi provides an interpretation of the verse:

Allah made it clear that the husband cannot literally keep equality between two or more wives because they themselves cannot be equal in all respects. It is too much to demand from a husband that he should mete out equal treatment to a beautiful wife and to an ugly wife, to a young wife and to an old wife, to a healthy wife and to an invalid wife, and to a good natured wife and to an ill—natured wife. These and like things naturally make a husband more inclined towards one wife than towards the other.

This means that wives are the source of a man's inability to treat all of them equally. One is beautiful, while another is ugly. How can Allah demand from a husband super—human strength under changing circumstances in his wives?

In such cases, the Islamic law does not demand equal treatment between them in affection and love. What it does demand is that a wife should not be neglected as to be practically reduced to the position of the woman who has no husband at all. If the husband does not divorce her for any reason or at her own request, she should at least be treated as a wife. It is true that under such circumstances the husband is naturally inclined towards a favorite wife, but he should not, so to say, keep the other in such a state of suspense as if she were not his wife.
Maududi: Vol. 1, pp. 383—84, note 161

2. Husbands may hit their wives if they merely fear highhandedness in their wives (regardless of whether they are actually highhanded or not)[edit]

The Qur'an in Surah 4:34 says:

Men are the maintainers of women for that Allah has preferred in bounty one of them over another, and for that they have spent of their wealth. Righteous women are obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah has guarded. Those from whom you fear rebelliousness, admonish them and desert them in the bed and beat them (without harshness). Then, if they obey you, do not look for any way against them. Allah is High, Great.

The hadith says that Muslim women in the time of Muhammad were suffering from domestic violence in the context of confusing marriage laws:

Narrated 'Ikrima: Rifa'a divorced his wife whereupon 'AbdurRahman bin Az-Zubair Al-Qurazi married her. 'Aisha said that the lady (came), wearing a green veil (and complained to her (Aisha) of her husband and showed her a green spot on her skin caused by beating). It was the habit of ladies to support each other, so when Allah's Apostle came, 'Aisha said, "I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women. Look! Her skin is greener than her clothes!"

This hadith shows Muhammad hitting his child-bride, Aisha: He [Muhammad] struck me [Aisha] on the chest which caused me pain.

Muhammad b. Qais said (to the people): Should I not narrate to you (a hadith of the Holy Prophet) on my authority and on the authority of my mother? We thought that he meant the mother who had given him birth. He (Muhammad b. Qais) then reported that it was 'A'isha who had narrated this: Should I not narrate to you about myself and about the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him)? We said: Yes. She said: When it was my turn for Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) to spend the night with me, he turned his side, put on his mantle and took off his shoes and placed them near his feet, and spread the corner of his shawl on his bed and then lay down till he thought that I had gone to sleep. He took hold of his mantle slowly and put on the shoes slowly, and opened the door and went out and then closed it lightly. I covered my head, put on my veil and tightened my waist wrapper, and then went out following his steps till he reached Baqi'. He stood there and he stood for a long time. He then lifted his hands three times, and then returned and I also returned. He hastened his steps and I also hastened my steps. He ran and I too ran. He came (to the house) and I also came (to the house). I, however, preceded him and I entered (the house), and as I lay down in the bed, he (the Holy Prophet) entered the (house), and said: Why is it, O 'A'isha, that you are out of breath? I said: There is nothing. He said: Tell me or the Subtle and the Aware would inform me. I said: Messenger of Allah, may my father and mother be ransom for you, and then I told him (the whole story). He said: Was it the darkness (of your shadow) that I saw in front of me? I said: Yes. He struck me on the chest which caused me pain, and then said: Did you think that Allah and His Apostle would deal unjustly with you?

1. Mature men are allowed to marry prepubescent girls[edit]

As for your women who have despaired of further menstruating, if you are in doubt, then their waiting period is three months as well as those who have not yet menstruated. As for those who are pregnant, their term shall be the time they deliver their burden. Allah will ease (matters) by His order for whosoever fears Him.

Maududi correctly interprets the plain meaning of verse 4, which appears in the context of divorce:

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

Divorcing prepubescent girls implies marriage to them. So the fathers of prepubescent girls may give them away, and their new husbands may consummate their marriage with them. If Islam ever spread around the world, no one should be surprised if Muslims lowered the marriage age of girls to nine years old.

See Also[edit]

  • Top 10 Lists - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Top 10 Lists