Ramadan Day 18:
Muslims are in bondage to a religious system that justifies the mistreatment and abuse of women and children.
Christian missionaries, medical organizations, and secular nonprofit groups have told the same story: women who live where Islam is dominant are often viewed as property. They are sold into sex slavery, they are discarded in divorce, they are kept confined in harems.
One missionary told me that men often treat their cattle and goats better than their treat their wives and daughters.
While it is true that tribal customs play a role in this mentality, it is also true that many Muslims trace their “abuse is good” perspective back to the Qur’an and hadith.
Most of us are familiar with the Qur’an as the sacred text of Islam, but only a few Westerners seem to understand the importance of the hadith. The hadith are records of Muhammad’s specific words and actions in dealing with his friends, his wives, and his neighbors.
It is important to realize that imams and Muslim scholars do not base their teachings from the Qur’an alone, but draw from the recorded hadith. With rare exception, the Islamic world holds the hadith collection of Sahih Bukari as completely trustworthy.
Here are a few hadith that illustrate the mentality that many Muslims have toward women (and keep in mind, orthodox Islam considers nine-year-old girls to be women):
“Muhammad said, After I die, the biggest problem that I leave to man is woman” – Sahih Bukhari, volume 7, book 62, number 33
“While on his way to pray, Muhammad passed a group of women and he said, “Ladies, give to charities and donate money to the unfortunate, because I have witnessed that most of the people in Hell are women.”
They asked, “Why is that?”
He answered, “You swear too much, and you show no gratitude to your husbands. I have never come across anyone more lacking in intelligence, or ignorant of their religion than women. A careful and intelligent man could be misled by many of you.”
They responded, “What exactly are we lacking in intelligence or faith?” Muhammad said, “Is it not true that the testimony of one man is the equal to the testimony of two women?” After they affirmed that this was true, Muhammad said, “That illustrates that women are lacking in intelligence. Is it not also true that women may not pray nor fast during their menstrual cycle?” They said that this was also true. Muhammad then said, “That illustrates that women are lacking in their religion.”
– Sahih Bukhari, volume 1, book 6, number 30
“Their guile is immense and their mischief is noxious; they are immoral and mean spirited. It is a fact that all the trials, misfortunes, and woes which befall men come from women.” – quoted from the collection of hadith known as the Kanz-el-‘ Ummal, number 21:825, compiled by al Hindi
“Women are domestic animals; beat them.” – Tabari 9:112-114
“Women are half devils.” – Tabari 3:367
“No wife shall refuse her husband what he wants from except on religious grounds (such as a during her period).The duty of the wife is to give him comforts in bed whenever he wants.” – Khan, Mishkat al-Masabih, 1:138,40.
“The Messenger of Allah said: ‘By Him in Whose hand is my life, when a man calls his wife to his bed, and she does not respond, the One Who is in heaven is displeased with her until he (her husband) is pleased with her.’” – Sahih Muslim 2:3367
“The prophet once said to a woman: ‘Watch how you treat your husband for he is your Paradise and your hell.’” – Kanz-al-Ummal 22:868
“Whosoever female dies while her husband is pleased with her, will enter Paradise.” – MishlatAl -Masabih, 1:2:60
The rise of the internet has allowed the hadith to be accessed by regular people (and not just imams, mullahs, and Islamic leaders) and the result is that many are beginning to wrestle with the problematic moral teachings in Islam.
Today, we pray for the millions of Muslim women around the world who are held captive in a false religion.
We pray for God to send His Word into their lives, His Word that “gives light” (Psalm 119:130) and which does not value them only in relation to their husbands, but for who they are as Image-bearers of Almighty God. In His eyes, male and female are not more or less valuable (Galatians 3:28).
We pray for those who are illiterate, abused, imprisoned, and silenced to find comfort and strength from the knowledge that the True God will judge their abusers.
We also pray for the sons, brothers, husbands, and fathers who are being fed the spiritual poison of Islam to grow sick of it, and seek for the life-giving Bread of Life.