By: Ibn Kammuna
I stumbled upon a book written by Mohammad Shujaat. The title of the book was interesting “Social Justice in Islam” (ANMOL Publications PVT.LTD, New Delhi, 2004). The title intrigued me, only to be disappointed with the intellectual level of the author. One cannot write a lot in one short article to show the author’s intellectual dishonesty and lack of a decent ability of critical analysis. In this article I will only talk about some of the things he wrote about Islam and women. Here is what he writes:
This concept of the sanctity of chastity and the protection of women can be found nowhere else except in Islam. The armies of the western powers need the daughters of their own nations to satisfy their carnal appetites even in their own countries, and if they happen to occupy another country, the fate of its womenfolk can better be imagined than described.
But the history of the Muslims, apart from individual lapses, has been free from this crime against womanhood. It has never happened that after the conquest of a foreign country the Muslim army has gone about raping the women of the conquered people, or, in their own country, the government has arranged to provide prostitutes for them. (Page 39)
Note that his first sentence implies that only Islam protects the “sanctity and chastity and the protection” of women (I guess Mr. Shujaat doesn’t know what the Pakistani army did to the women of Bangladesh during their independence war). The author has not done a survey of all cultures, past and present, to make such a claim. In fact, such a claim makes Islam guilty of viewing a woman as no more than a commodity. However, what follows, makes clear what he is comparing women’s status in Islam with; it is the western culture and its view of women. Western values do not view women only as a sexual object. They are viewed as a full human being with rights and obligations, just as a man. In fact, what Mr. Shujaat mentions, makes clear that women in Islam are viewed only as sexual objects.
The second paragraph in the above quote aims at “saving grace” with regard how Muslims treated women in the past. Women in Islam are treated as “awrat”. They can bring honor or shame to the male Muslims, and that is why male chauvinist Muslims are always trying to subdue women. Also, Muslims in the past enslaved and raped women after their conquests. In fact, the prophet of Islam sanctioned such practice after each “Ghazwa” the Muslims did steal other people’s belongings, kill the men, enslave women and children, and rape the women. If you don’t believe me, look at this story about the holy prophet:
Narrated 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.
Note that the above hadith shows that the early Muslims took women as slaves and raped them. However, economics ruled, and women slaves were sold. A non-pregnant slave was worth more than a pregnant slave. This why Muslim men practiced coitus interruptus. They wanted sex without a resulting pregnancy, so they can get a better price for the slave woman when they sell her. Also, it is of critical importance in the above hadith to note the prophet’s value system. He did not worry about raping the women. That was not a problem for him. What was a problem is how to make sure that the men had the ultimate sexual joy out of raping those women made slave by Islam’s evil “Ghazwas”. Mr. Shujaat either did not know about the above hadith, or just wants to lie to people in his book to elevate Islam. If this is not enough evidence to incriminate Mr. Shujaat as a decent writer, look at the following verse from the Qur’an (33:50):
PICKTHAL: O Prophet! Lo! We have made lawful unto thee thy wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowries, and those whom thy right hand possesseth of those whom Allah hath given thee as spoils of war, and the daughters of thine uncle on the father’s side and the daughters of thine aunts on the father’s side, and the daughters of thine uncle on the mother’s side and the daughters of thine aunts on the mother’s side who emigrated with thee, and a believing woman if she give herself unto the Prophet and the Prophet desire to ask her in marriage – a privilege for thee only, not for the (rest of) believers – We are Aware of that which We enjoined upon them concerning their wives and those whom their right hands possess – that thou mayst be free from blame, for Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.
A true Muslim may not like the above verse because it proves that the holy prophet did practice raping women. Those women were given to him as spoils of war, by the mighty Allah. You see, the god of Muhammad did make sure that the prophet’s carnal desires are fully satisfied! I am sure Mr. Shujaat has seen the above verse. It is in his holy book after all.