More child marriages

I’ve been wanting to write this post all day but I just couldn’t get myself to do it. I wanted to write about how frustrated and sad I am, but what does it matter how I feel standing as a helpless onlooker, reading these horror stories about 10, 12 and 13 year olds being legally and openly married (read sold off) to men decades their seniors. I’ve gone through all the emotions and now I’m weary of the nightmare scenarios going through my head as I imagine what these poor children are going through. So let me just state the facts:

In Najran, a city in the south of Saudi a thirteen year old girl was married off to a man in his fifties. Everyone in the family opposed the marriage including the girl’s grandfather and uncle but nothing could be done to stop it. According to a family member, the father went through with it because he wanted to use her dowry money for a new car.

In another case, a sheikh, Saeed Al Jaleel, has come out saying that a couple of years back he was asked to marry a 10 year old girl to a 34 year old man. He tried to stop the marriage. He spoke to the girl’s mother to try to get her to object, he tried to convince the father not to go through with it but they both insisted. His hands were tied since there are no regulations, and he married them.

And finally you have this story in Arab News:

NAJRAN: A marriage official (mazoun) in the southern city of Najran has told a local Arabic daily that he had married a minor girl who is barely 12 years old and consummated their marriage after only two and a half months….”When my mother insisted I consummate my marriage, I had to summon up the courage for two weeks before I was able to have sex with her,” he said. He said when he first saw her, he was shocked by her fragility and added that he spent a long time trying to understand how to treat her.”

Since reforms have started the only thing that has been implemented is that women can book into a hotel without a male guardian’s permission. A small step but now the time is ripe for criminalizing wedlock pedophilia. And don’t give me that line that the prophet PBUH married Aisha when she was 9 years old. That’s disputed and historians have shown that she was actually 19.

So many Saudis tired and upset about these stories, including members of the royal family. A huge campaign and petition organized by one of the biggest women magazines in the Middle East, Sayidaty, and signed by icons and leaders, all this and nothing to show for it.

Women are still considered legally minors no matter how old they are, banned from driving, and at the mercy of their guardians when it comes to education, work, marriage, divorce and child custody.

We need laws to instate our rights as human beings and protect our daughters from these horrors.

171 Comments

Filed under Child marriages

171 responses to “More child marriages

  1. I have been in tears over this news all day.. it makes me sick to my stomach that little girls will continue to be sold off to the highest bidder. This is NOT Islam…. This is merely the act of some money hungry MORONS that need to use little girls as their trophy trade!

  2. Countrygirl

    There’s one thing that i don’t understand in the lasr news you mentioned The man said that he took his courage to have sex with her….but could he simply said no to the marriage when he saw for the first time his spouse, he’s an adult man and he could have said no to the marriage, he had the choice the kid no

  3. Saudi~LIBER~ALI

    One thing I don’t understand:

    Whenever I talk to people about this issue in Saudi Arabia I find NO ONE supporting child marriages. When I read stories about them in the news, I find many relatives of the poor bride opposing the marriage.

    So apparently they’re always a two or three people somewhere who support this kind of marriages.

    That article you referred us to won’t change albukhari. This book, as they teach in school, is 100% authentic, actually a selection of the most authentic hadiths, in albukhari’s opinion.

    “The most correct book after Quran” one of my teachers told us back in school.

    But, albukhari was apparently wrong about other things too (breastfeeding?!), why not this one?

    And even if it was in albukhari, is that enough to prevent us from making something as OBVIOUSLY WRONG as child marriage, unlawful?

    • Mubin Shaikh

      A big problem is this near idolization of hadeeth as if to say even Al Bukhari is somehow free from error like the Quran is.

      A very troubling situation. I’m sorry but if you don’t know by now, in the year 2010 that child marriages from CENTURIES ago is no longer socially appropriate…..then there is no hope in the foreseeable future.

      • Ashraf

        There is no specific age of marriage according to the Islamic religion. As soon as the person, man or woman, reaches puberty, they become “mukallaf” i.e. responsible for their actions in the eyes of Islam. So age does not play a big role in this. I agree it is socially and culturally forbidden in many cultures but it is not forbidden religiously

      • Marcus

        And there is me thinking that sharia law encompasses hadeeth in its form…

  4. muslimerican

    That was hard to read… insha’Allah the necessary reforms will gain momentum. Thank you for writing about this!

  5. Mary Dearing

    I try not to comment on customs or practises in other countries. They are yours to change. But I will say that in the US, at times, I like to walk through the older cemetaries. The older headstones are handcarved, they tell a little about the person they memorialize, you can pick up a bit of history. From our earliest days two sad stories emerge. The sadness of a community that suffers through years when it looses it’s children to measles epidemics. And the sad stories of young women of 14 years or younger who died attempting to give birth to their first child. It is always these child brides who have the most elaborately carved stones, with a bit of poetry on them.

  6. Shazad

    Honestly, the issue of Aisha being 9 or 19 has now perplexed me. What do you think, after reading this:

    http://www.islamic-life.com/forums/local_links.php?linkid=879&catid=3

    But honestly, I am a 50/50 on it.

    • Marcus

      I can see quite clearly how you are 50/50, confused is a better word for this situation concerning this subject matter.
      I read the PDF file and found it pathetic and speaks of shaytan… thats enough for me….
      When the author says “So let us not give ear to doubts that are spread by the enemies of Islam, especially by the hypocrites who have become mouthpieces for the disbelievers, merely echoing what they say due to the disease that plagues their own hearts. These are about whom Allah said:

      I really and truly wonder who on this beautiful earth he could be talking about? He must be talking about muslims, for it is only muslims who are spouting this rhetoric from the pulpits on a Friday…

    • Who cares. It may sound disrespectful coming from a Christian woman. But I say the same thing about stuff that used to be ok in bible times but are not so any longer. I was born in a very poor country. We lived in a small town. And one of the horrific memories of my childhood was my teenager cousins with gruesome injuries suffered during childbirth. And I know everyone knows what I am talking about. This is more about culture than religion. My country is a majority Christian country but child bride was a common thing until the government stepped in and started enforcing the law.

  7. I think this is the time when women movements should stand up and fight for their rights

    • Marcus

      And Islam falls… Women are not equal under Islam and sharia law… So any woman that stands up to this and fights for their rights has my full backing and 100% support and any woman wishing to leave the kingdom should be able to do so without having her husband`s permission.
      So book your tickets.

  8. Horrendous.

    Mums and dads get on the streets and stay there till your leaders listen. The whole global world would stand behind you. The protection of children trancends many differences.

    • Marcus

      Wow… street protests to force political change and laws for the good… democracy.

      • Well I am an Aussie but I don’t think I’m talking about political systems. I’m talking about mums and dads protecting their children from harm…that’s it.

    • Marcus

      It is sharia law Leesis…. and which allows the practice, so laws must be changed and this is political… Islam is not a religion, it is a political ideology full stop…

      • THE HOLY SINNER.

        If you think Islam is a political ideology, you obviously lack knowledge of what Islam is. So now instead of being in a haste of commenting on what you feel a compulsion to, why not study/understand/discuss it first?

      • lol. My country, Ethiopia, is the second oldest Christian country in the world. And child bride was very common when I was growing up. My sister even got “married” at just 10 months old.

    • Countrygirl

      But in the case of child bride are the mums and dads that gives away THEIR OWN CHILD to some old perverted

  9. Marcus

    I was interested until you came out with the excuse that Aisha was 19 and then your post is pointless…

  10. Coolred38

    Ashraf…”but is not forbidden religiously”…how sad to know that God himself didnt bother educating people (Arab/Muslims) about when a woman can be considered ready mentally, physically, and emotionally for marriage. Apparenly some blood between her legs is all thats required to marry her off? How truly sad is that?

    • Ashraf

      How sad you could not comprehend that societies change by time. How sad you could not comprehend that what was considered lawful 100s of years ago are all of a sudden “unlawful” because a “man-made” law said so. Correct me if I am wrong, but weren’t woman as young as 11 and 12 allowed to marry just 200 years ago in the US itself? Wasn’t marrying as soon as reaching puberty an acceptable universal custom among all nations and not just the Muslim ones?. You are saying Aisha was a child at 9? What if I show you a hadith where Aisha herself said that when a girl reaches 9, she is considered a woman at that time?

      • Coolred38

        200 years ago isnt NOW…its no longer acceptable. If Aisha truly was 9 years old and stated that 9 year old CHILDREN are in fact considered women…then why is that considered a fact? Just cause SHE said it.

        Go and ask one of those 8 or 9 year old “women” today if they feel mature and capable of being f**ked by an old man without either getting hurt or suffering mental problems…see if they collaborate Aisha’s “fact”. Then wait around for them to have a baby when their pelvis isnt fully formed nor their bodies and see how happy they are to be women then.

        One last thing…you are a man, a male, so please do not even approach the subject of what it feels like to be a woman…or a girlchild…cause you dont have a clue. Relying on some supposed hadith from a 9 year old 1450 years ago is all you got to go on? Seriously?

        Put it this way…picture your 9 year old daughter (if you have one) getting climbed on by a 45 year old man (or older usually) and suffering the agony of rape…and yes..that is what it is plain and simple…and tell me your mind will have convinced you she is a woman and fully capable of handling her new maturity.

        If you can do that…well all I can say is…f**k, that is disgusting and you shouldnt be a parent.

  11. Clara

    I did read different accounts of historians who refuted that Aisha was 9 when the marriage was consummated.
    That is all fine and dandy but the hadith is still there right? it says clearly that Aisha married Muhammad when she was 6 and marriage was consummated when she was 9.
    Now, I’m only wondering how many people are aware of such historical findings and how many decide to take them as a fact rather than Bukhari’s hadith. Cause hadiths, if they don’t fly in the face of Quran (or sometimes even if they do), are considered as a reliable source of knowledge (so I’ve been told).
    Bottom line is that Muhammad is to be imitated. The hadith might be false but I’m sure some people will refuse to believe anything that is not Quran and hadiths. As a result the practice will continue.

    • Ashraf

      Sayyidah Aisha said: ‘When a girl is nine years old, she is a woman (meaning, she has attained puberty).’ (Tirmidhi, Hadith 1109)

      Those are the words of Aisha herself. People of the desert generally reach puberty faster than people elsewhere. Prove me wrong. And during those times, men and women bore responsibilities much earlier than in our modern time. So it is idiotic to blanket this practice unlawful based only on a “modern” man-made law!. You have to take many factors into consideration before judging whether they are lawful or not. Compare it to the practices of their times. And if you found that it was an exception, then you can claim it was unlawful. Otherwise, your argument has no leg to stand on

      • Clara

        Ashraf

        that was the case 1400 years ago when the living conditions were different, more severe and life expectancy was shorter.
        There was a piece of research I read few years back saying that girls reach PHYSICAL maturity earlier than it was for example 20 years ago. So it’s only about the physical maturity. What about emotional and social maturity that develops fully when you are in your early/mid twenties if i’m not mistaken?
        I would think that in order for spouses to become garments for each other and so that they can comfort each other a full maturity in all spheres of life is required. 12 year old girl will not give you that for God’s sake!

        You say: So it is idiotic to blanket this practice unlawful based only on a “modern” man-made law!
        it’s not idiotic. we don’t live in 6th century arabia anymore. the entire world moved on, developed and we have different standards now. People don’t die at the age of 22 but they live long years.
        And Islam together with its followers should evolve as well!

        Personal question: could you possibly have sex with a 12 year old girl? Why yes, or why no?

      • Agata

        Well, you contradict yourself – if Aisha said it because the people from the desert reach puberty faster than the rest of the human beings, then this law (marry a 9 years old) SHOULD APPLY ONLY TO THE PEOPLE OF THE DESERT. I am from the north of Europe and really I am serious here 9 years old girls are girls with no sign of breast etc. So how it is that later you treat is as a ‘general law’?

      • great….i also have same source….indeed she was young and perfect for the marraige!

        keep it up bro…

        visit my website…

        http://islamgreatreligion.wordpress.com

  12. Saudi~LIBER~ALI

    You know what?

    I support marriage as soon as reaching puberty, against what we have today, for both genders.

    Because we’re living in an arranged-marriages-only country it should as soon as possible.

    Otherwise we’re a nation of depressed virgins.

  13. Honestly, I blame it all on sheikhs who proceed with the marriage contracts even though they know it’s not right.
    If sheikhs or whoever validates the marriage contract stopped doing it then there will be no more child marriages.

    • Goolam Dawood

      All they’re doing is applying what they know. They have no qualms about the morality of their actions. In factm, they believe what they’re doing is blessed and sanctified.

  14. Ashraf

    Clara,

    No that was not just the case 1400 years ago. It was the case for 100s of years including 100-200 years ago in US where 11, 12 and 13 year old girls used to marry and give birth. You are certainly missing the point. It is certainly inappropriate in this time and age for women to marry at this very young age in many societies but to say it is “unlawful” is beyond idiotic. Who dictates after all what is the right age to marry? Who says that 18, 19 20 or 25 is the right one? Is it God or man?. It is not the religion that evolves but rather the societies and their customs

    And no I would not have sex with 12 year old woman, I do not need to do any of that because I am simply married and have children

    • Goolam Dawood

      This is not a matter of making the halaal, haraam. This is a matter of making the haraam (oppression), halaal. Its not difficult for religious authorities to attach strict conditions to these types of events to validate the nikaah.

      But more importantly, you are wrong about one important thing … At the present moment in time, highly educated Child Psychologists and Medical doctors can very easily measure the ability of children to marry. They can easily measure the effects of the trauma caused to child brides, the Islamic legality of the marriage (i.e. the presence of LAWFUL consent or the sanity of the parents), the monetary cost to the childs future and the appropriateness of the dowry etc. So its mistaken to say that noone really knows the appropriateness besides God.

      And your last comment is a little bizarre. I hope you made an error and were just responding emotionally. Should you marry a second wife, I hope you wouldn’t consider marrying a 12 year old just because it not explicitly impermissible.

      • Clara

        thank you Goolam for this:

        highly educated Child Psychologists and Medical doctors can very easily measure the ability of children to marry. They can easily measure the effects of the trauma caused to child brides, the Islamic legality of the marriage (i.e. the presence of LAWFUL consent or the sanity of the parents), the monetary cost to the childs future and the appropriateness of the dowry etc. So its mistaken to say that noone really knows the appropriateness besides God.

        not that i didn’t know about it but i would not be able to present relevant research quickly enough to prove my point. bottom line is that it is not rocket science to know and feel how a 12 year old can feel being married off to guys at least 4 times older than her. it’s not hard to imagine the damage that is done.

      • Ashraf

        Let me ask you this:
        Did our ancestors of the past have “child psychologists” to determine whether the marriage is “appropriate” or not?. If we are going by your own logic, then 95% of marriages are not “appropriate”. You are neglecting the cultural factors and the norms in every society when it comes to when a man or a woman are supposed to marry. Every society has its own rules and to suggest that there is one “rightful” standard is again very idiotic. Societies change all the time and those rules about age of marriage change constantly..so where is the line whre we can say this is the right age? and who determines it? and who gives them the authority to determine this age?

        And no I would not conisder having sex with a minor if I were not married. I would not have sex with any perosn I am not married to because I am simply a Muslim. Period

  15. Clara

    so the fact that it was the case 100 or 200 years ago makes it okay?

    no, it’s not beyond idiotic to say it’s unlawful cause it’s a basic human right to enter an intimate relationship when you are FULLY developed physically, emotionally and socially. when you can handle the responsibilities connected to child bearing and upbringing.
    if it’s inappropriate in your opinion what stops you from making it unlawful to prevent abuse coming from people who don’t see it as inappropriate?

    That’s what i said: world and people evolve and religion should too. Otherwise it becomes a relict of past which is being used to justify abuse. what was a social norm 1400 years ago is not a norm anymore unless some wholly book tells you it should be.

    I don’t want to read too much into your last sentence so correct me if I’m wrong. are you saying that you wouldn’t have sex with a 12 year old girl (not woman!) because you are married and have children? is that the only thing that stops you from having sex with a minor? please kindly clarify. thank you!

    • Ashraf

      Then what makes any marriage today “okay”? Based on whose standards?. And why would we use the man-made laws of today to judge marriage customs in the past?

      Different societies have had different standards throughout history. But overall, people of the past used to handle marital responsibilities much earlier than we are today. So what is your defense now?. Were they “more developed physically, emotionally and socially”?

      You are clearly mixing between tradition which people invent and the religion. We Muslims do not change what Allah and the prophet commanded. So the fundamentals of the religion are never modified. However we change our ways depending on time and place as long as they do not contradict with what the Qur’an and the sunnah teach. Imam Shafii was a prominent scholar of the past. His fatwas in Egypt were different from his same fatwas in Iraq because the societies and customs in both countries were different from each other. He did not however change the religion. That is why current scholars should take the differences in societies today into consideration when they issue their fatwas.

      No, my marriage is not the only thing that stops me from having sex with 12 years old girl. As I said I will never have sex with any person I am not married to because I am a Muslim

      • vicmck

        Just because you are a muslim that doesn’t stop you having sex with people outside of marriage…..it’s your respect, personal integrity and morals that stop that. We all know that virtually every bar you go to in some gulf countries are full of working girls being picked up by muslims……..so being muslim doesn’t stop many from partaking in sex outside of marriage.

      • Clara

        i get the impression that you read without understanding. you are ready for marriage and marital responsibilities when you are FULLY developed physically, emotionally and socially. It means that you can bear the responsibilities that come with marriage and adult life in general, including intimate relationships with another sex, child bearing etc. From research we know that women reach their maturity at certain level and men reach them at different level. We know that NOW.
        You say that my argument is beyond idiotic cause I judge what people did back in time by today’s standards. I think when you lose the argument is the moment when you somehow see it as okay to imitate Muhammad as if nothing changed, as if 1400 years didn’t pass at all (that’s my personal impression I got from your comments)! If I heard from scholars that marrying young was the case in Muhammad’s times (and such practice depended on survival) and that it’s a part of historical narrative, I would still feel uncomfortable knowing that but not as uncomfortable and disgusted as I am now when I hear that every single move, choice and decision is to be imitated INCLUDING marrying and having sexual relationship with girls! Cause that’s how they are called now. They are children, child brides who are not ready for sexual relationships!

        So yes, I am gonna apply my modern standards when someone tells me to welcome such practice with open hands because Muhammad did that 1400 years ago! I told you, today’s world is not 6th century arabia! Until Muslim world says that Muhammad’s marriage to 6 year old Aisha is a part of historical narrative and not to be imitated, I condemn such practice and those who can even conceive such idea in their heads!

        Question for you. Please explain to me the objective behind marrying Aisha so young when Muhammad had lived for 62 years. His first wife Khadijah lived around 65 years. You can hardly call it a short life expectancy? Why would a 40 year old man want to marry a 6 year old (he actually took fancy in her shortly after she was born)? Assuming that the hadith is true and there ARE people out there who will consider it as sunnah and will see nothing wrong with it. So it’s up to you and me to change that and stop abuse of underaged girls. Stop abuse that will traumatize them for life.

        “I never considered marrying a woman of that age. I wanted someone closer to my age (in 20′s). That was a personal preference. However, some people prefer to marry women who are much younger than them. I am not one of them” – what would you say to those who want to follow the example of Muhammed? you said that it’s inappropriate. what arguments would you use then? what worries me with your explanation is that you put it down to ‘preference’. You don’t say it’s simply wrong to have sex with a minor, but say it’s a preference… Does that mean that you give green light to those who have such preference? thanks!

        apologies for a long comment!

    • No where it is said that Just After marraige (Aysha R.A) had sex with Muhammad S.A.W

  16. Goolam Dawood

    The real problem here is the failure of the entire community to approach the shariah with conviction and intellectual integrity, while knowingly crying foul at the detestable actions that have been legitimised by manipulation of medieval scholarship.

    I don’t think people appreciate the concepts of liberty or childrens rights in Islam. As a result of undeveloped areas of our religious law that fail to contextualise the sunnah, we will be stuck depending on other legal and educational systems to sustain us. We are knowingly destroying the lives of children, lest we upset the religious authorities doctrinal sensibilities. And then we assume that’s OK with Allah SWT.

    Our religious sensibilities need a kick in the head!

  17. Clara

    @Ashraf

    “And no I would not conisder having sex with a minor if I were not married. I would not have sex with any perosn I am not married to because I am simply a Muslim. Period”

    Does that mean that if you were married to a 12 year old you would consider sex with her? does marriage to you legalize sex with minor? again, please kindly clarify. thanks!

    • Ashraf

      I never considered marrying a woman of that age. I wanted someone closer to my age (in 20’s). That was a personal preference. However, some people prefer to marry women who are much younger than them. I am not one of them

  18. Agata

    Dear readers:
    At what time a muslim child should be obliged to fast in Ramadan and pray 5 times a day? I will tell you – when he/she is 10 years old. Because this child must be a little bit mature to be able to do these things- however, in case of girls they do not need to be able to pray or fast – they only need to be able to be **** by an old pedophiles. sweet and logic.

  19. Saudi~LIBER~ALI

    Readers, (esp. muslim readers)

    I want to repeat a previously mentioned point that didn’t get enough attention from you.

    Some hadiths in albukhari were dismissed for being “illogical”. I don’t like to bring up this hadith again, but just to clarify my point.

    The hadith that says when a woman breastfeed an older person he becomes a mahram. This hadith is also in albukhari, and its class pretty much a SAHIH.

    But people don’t do that, not anywhere I know.

    Personally speaking, I like this hadith more marrying a child. I want to be a mahram for as many women as possible. Why did they cancel it?!

    And when some brave scholars like Al-Obaikan stood up for the deniers, people as well as scholars were outraged.

    Why were they outraged to that and not to marrying a 6 year old?

    Not even twelve, 6!

    Muslim scholars have a problem with the hadith when it is a sahih. Violating this rule once makes the whole sunnah, as well as islamic history, negotiable.

    • Ashraf

      Aisha did not enter the house of the prophet until she was 9. As I sated earlier, a girl was considered a woman when she reached 9. Read back what Aisha herself said. Those customs were by that times standards. And since societies change, their rules change with them. What was permissible yesterday might become all of a sudden forbidden today and vise versa. And that is the whole point. You can not one take standard of a particular place and time and judge entire societies of all times !!. I do not know much about the details of the breast feeding hadith nor its authenticity. So I can not comment on it

    • Ashraf

      Here is a scholarly response about the breast-feeding hadith you are talking about. Read it in full as I did:

      http://infad.usim.edu.my/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=7804

      • Saudi~LIBER~ALI

        He thinks the hadith is right, but that it was a special case.

        Do you agree with that? How can that be a special case? Many people have male servants in their homes, and many relationships form because of this.

        They’re simply ignoring sunnah because they don’t like it, while acknowledging the hadith is right to keep the “holy” status of other hadiths.

      • Saudi~LIBER~ALI

        When you look deeply you’ll find hadith is not that “holy”, but traditions are.

        We worship traditions not god.

        By the way, you have made it very clear, at least to me, that it is a cultural issue that changes with place and time.

        However, I think its universally shared feeling among all people that you should marry who you want. In arranged marriages (and child-marriage is a special case) this, in general, does not happen.

  20. It’s very sad to see that people in this discussion are actually defending marriages and the subsequent rape of young girls. The father in Najran basically sold his child to an old pedophile for a new car! Anyone who is not outraged and who defends this father’s action “because it’s hadith” is not right in the head. Disgusting.

    • Ashraf

      We are not discussing the outrageous behavior of the father who exchanged his daughter for a car. We are discussing about the early marital age in societies past and present. You are missing the point

      • vicmck

        Can’t people discuss what they want? I agree with Susie – surely if the parents didn’t allow it, it couldn’t happen. The father’s behaviour is very much up for discussion……..how can any human knowlingly inflict that on a 12 year old girl let alone their own daughter. I have lived in the Gulf a long time and am still continously blown away by how inhuman some people behave.

      • Goolam Dawood

        Actuallly brother. We are not discussing the marital norms of Muslim society 200 years ago. We’re not even discussing the norms from 50 years ago. We are discussing the present day norms and the normative effects of this application of the Shariah. How it affects REAL lives in REAL time.

        We ALL know that social norms during those ages before anti-biotics, mechanisation of work, before class struggle and the opportunities/costs of industrialisation … were there for a reason. And yes we shouldn’t forget the basis for those traditions or what it says about our human behaviour.

        But the reality is that children in a modern society are generally (perhaps not always) serverely disadavantaged by being limited by such norms. In fact, our madhabs even contextualised these issues during their times. People were encouraged to marry their daughters/sons to partners who were of similar class, education, social standing, moral persuasions etc. … purely to protect each other from the abuses.

        I can appreciate your defensiveness. Western norms are being used to critique a non-western society. As soon as people are done critiquing this, they’ll move on to other areas of our law and social customs that they don’t undestand. But this article is also written by an Arab Muslim woman, about a real Muslim community and a real Muslim child. There are no ideological agendas or outside establishments bearing on her views.

        Recognise the difference and take a balanced stance. The article is about the now.

    • What about this for an idea: abolish dowries. Now lets see how many fathers would marry off their toddlers to a pedophile out of religious conviction.

  21. surely, above all religious creed the simple medical fact of the undeveloped cervix and the horrendous physical damage done to a child giving birth is enough. Who cares less about what anyone did in the past for ANY reason. See these links to inform yourselves:

    http://au.wrs.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGk2tnTrJM7DIAmigL5gt.;_ylu=X3oDMTBydHRjbmRzBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMwRjb2xvA3NrMQR2dGlkAw–/SIG=120kubr1g/EXP=1286840295/**http%3a//www.youtube.com/watch%3fv=aa0yowxdIg0

    http://www.merinews.com/article/unicef-22-of-maternal-deaths-in-india/156442.shtml

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-389469/The-illegal-child-brides-India.html

  22. 2 or 3 years ago, a columnist in Turkey who is known for his radical Islamist views was arrested for technically raping a girl of age 14 (or 13, just can’t remember). The guy was older than 70. And he tried to defend himself that it is OK to become intimate with her according to Islam.

    He is prison now and i hope he stays there for the rest of his life.

  23. I’ve read it in the morning. Made my stomack upset. I do recall a campaign by Wajiha Huwaider against child marriages. . Is she really the only one that tries to change the things here? I do hear and read the wast majority of Saudis oppose such marriages, raising voices to establish minimum legal age for marriage for girls at least 18, and still campaings after campaigns and the only thing is done “stating the age of a bride in the marriage contract”? Why it is so difficult to stop opression of children in Saudi Arabia?
    Rights watchdog steps up efforts to tackle child marriages
    And then we read:
    Kingdom to celebrate Human Rights Day

    Mahram system is so abused here – look even the grandfather, the oldest person tried to safe his grandchild – in vain.
    I am really sick of this everything. I feel ashamed, angry and helpless.

  24. sach

    this is islam in action. islam is a heaven for pedophiles. what more would u expect from a community that follows the foot steps of a pedophile?
    There is no dispute on the age of aisha when muhammed married her. She was 6. and when muhammed had sex with her she was 9. every islamic scolar agree to this.

    • Ashraf

      By accusing the prophet of being a pedophile, then:

      1- You are accusing Aisha’s parents who accepted this marriage of being pedophiles
      2- You are accusing the Jews and Christians, and even the pagan Arabs of being pedophiles for not objecting this marriage
      3- You are accusing all of Arabia at that time of practicing pedophilia for not objecting this type of marriage
      4- You are accusing all nations of that time of practicing pedophilia
      5- You are accusing prophets of God of pedophilia

      Conclusion:

      Your argument has no leg to stand on !

      • sach

        1. aisha’s parents did not accept it first. They out of blind faith in muhammed gave permission later.
        2, 3, 4 ,- marrying underage girls was a practice of that time but they never claimed to be prophets, a god sent men or the perfect man as u call him. It is hard to imagine an all time perfect man committing pedophilia. it justquestions whether he was really sent by god.
        5. there is NO evidence for god, No evidence for a messenger but a self proclaimed prophet. It is totaly OK to accuse a self proclaimed profet.

  25. sach

    it is hilarious that u ppl condemn this pedophile while praising another pedophile. get out of blind faith.

  26. Ahmed Fouad

    For HIM, HE has all choices to:
    1. Marry 1, 2, 3 or 4
    2. Have a “missiar” marriage,
    3. Marry with divorce-intent,
    4. Have a tourism marriage,
    5. Divorce to replace among his wives..
    6. Marry the youngest girl he can afford.. no matter of his age..
    and many other choices..

    SHE has also 3 choices:
    1. Stay virgin and unmarried,
    2. Accept what is been chosen for, or
    3. Face the following fate:

    I feel so much for our women..

  27. Ashraf

    vicmck,

    People choose whether to follow their religion or not. Those Muslims you speak of who pick up girls at bars are disobeying their religion. A Muslim is supposed to follow what Allah commands and avoid what He forbids. So you have the guide of life in front of you and it is entirely up to you to either follow or not. And I choose to follow because again…I am a Muslim and I am proud of being a Muslim !

  28. Ashraf

    Clara,

    I will make it short and not as long as yours. I don’t know how many times I have to repeat this but here it is again: Marrying women so young in the past was considered very normal practice among all nations – and not just the Arabs. Today we still have some of these practices in some societies. Now the question is: who is to determine when a man or a woman can marry?. People mature at different ages and you can’t find two persons who develop exactly the same even if they live in the same society. An outsider of a society might consider person A is still a child while an insider might not share that same view. If you want to use your modern standards to judge marriage customs, then we have the same right to judge your marriage customs by the past standards. I am not saying that I agree with marrying very young girls in this time and age – not because it is unlawful but because we have different norms today. But the problem is those norms are not shared by all societies. Some societies – even non-Islamic ones – still live by the those rules

    Prophet Mohammed married Aisha for a wisdom I do not expect you to comprehend. Aisha was the indisputably the best Islamic source for how the prophet lived and behaved in his home as a husband. She became one of the greatest narrators of hadith and continued to teach even the great companions about their religion. Had she not lived in his home since very young age, she would have never become one of the greatest Islamic teachers of all times !

    • Coolred38

      Ashraf….when or who gets to decide when a child is ready for marriage? You pointed to cultures or societies as having different opinions…what you didnt mention is the will of the child herself.

      How many of these 8 or 9 year olds are asking their father to find them a groom because they feel ready for marriage now? hmmmm?

      • Coolred38

        I might also add to your Aisha comment about her being the “greatest” in terms of passing on Islamic knowledge….couldn’t she have still obtained that level of knowledge without having sex with the prophet as part of the deal while she was still very young?

      • Ashraf

        Prophet Mohammed: “A matron should not be given in marriage except after consulting her; and a virgin should not be given in marriage except after her permission.” The people asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! How can we know her permission?” He said, “Her silence (indicates her permission).” (Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 67)

        Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: Barira’s husband was a slave called Mughith, as if I am seeing him now, going behind Barira and weeping with his tears flowing down his beard. The Prophet said to ‘Abbas, “O ‘Abbas ! are you not astonished at the love of Mughith for Barira and the hatred of Barira for Mughith?” The Prophet then said to Barira, “Why don’t you return to him?” She said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Do you order me to do so?” He said, “No, I only intercede for him.” She said, “I am not in need of him.” (Bukhari: Volume 7, Book 63, Number 206)

        Enough said

  29. Lee Xiang

    People like me are trying to educate themselves about the matter, and Ashraf answered other people’s questions and asked few occasions “who is to determine when a man or a woman can marry?”. Why nobody is answering this question? Pleeeeeeeeeeease. I need to know also. Thanks.

    • Saudi~LIBER~ALI

      Who is to determine? People.

      Islam didn’t say much about when a man or woman can marry.

      Unless..

      If you want to take albukhari’s hadith as a reference, the prophet married a 6 year old (with her permission ofcourse).

      I can’t see why people don’t marry (or sell) a two-year old girl, nothing against that in the hadith anyway. Her parents can teach her to say “yes” if needed.

      The hadith can’t cover all the evil humans can come up with.

      • Lee Xiang

        Sarcasm is not a good human expression. Islam said enough about marriage. If people don’t follow them then they will pay in this life or next. You’re right in one thing Hadith can’t cover all the evil that humans can do but evil-doers know what will happen trust me on this. I believe in God so this girl, all other grown women that are abused, any oppressed human being and even those that sarcastically talk about other people’s prophets will get their rights because God said so. Thank you.

  30. Ashraf

    vicmck,

    You are more attacking this practice because of the young age of this girl rather than the fact that her father exchanged her for a car! Most of the comments here are not pertinent to her father’s selfish behavior. Most of the comments are directed toward attacking the concept of marriage when reaching puberty instead of a certain age

  31. Plamen

    as for Aishah – there is several sahih hadeets saying how old she was , when she started the marital cohabitation with the Prophet.
    If you discard those hadeeths, can be she (Aishah) trusted as the hadith narrator?
    so much for those people saying that she was older.
    so or you save your prophet or you save your sunnah. you cannot have it both ways.

  32. Clara

    @Ashraf

    who is to decide when a man/woman should marry? i stated that at least three times in my above comments. NOW we have knowledge to say safely at what age physical development ends (especially for a woman to be able to safely deliver a baby). Take physical development as a starting point. But we both know that to give birth to a child is not enough, you also have to bring the kid up (At this point you should ponder a little on why back in time so many women died in childbirth). For that you need much more than just physical maturity. Of course you have to allow for variations between individuals. So I base my judgement on the above.
    It also takes just a little bit of common sense or imagination to figure it out rather than blindly following what someone did 1400 years ago!
    Please kindly explain what you base your judgement on, how do you determine the right age for marriage and starting an intimate relationship with opposite sex?

    Uhh and also you assume that a 6 (in case of Aisha) or 12 year old girl is capable of making a fully informed decision with regard to marriage?

    I also understand that it can the other way round and a 12 year old boy is fully capable to financially support the entire family and look after his wife/wives and children yes?
    For some strange reason I don’t hear about cases like that.

    You ignored my last paragraph and I’d be grateful if you replied:
    “I never considered marrying a woman of that age. I wanted someone closer to my age (in 20′s). That was a personal preference. However, some people prefer to marry women who are much younger than them. I am not one of them” – what would you say to those who want to follow the example of Muhammed? you said that it’s inappropriate. what arguments would you use then? what worries me with your explanation is that you put it down to ‘preference’. You don’t say it’s simply wrong to have sex with a minor, but say it’s a preference… Does that mean that you give green light to those who have such preference?

    and final question! you say: “Aisha was the indisputably the best Islamic source for how the prophet lived and behaved in his home as a husband.”. if she is such a great narrator of the hadiths why is the hadith narrated by herself about her age being proved as untrue? as the person above said: can she be trusted with other narrations?
    thanks!

    • Saudi~LIBER~ALI

      Typically there is a ‘chain’ of narrations, since hadith books were compiled like 200 yrs after the death of the prophet. When a hadith is narrated by Aisha it simply means that she is last of these tellers.

    • Ashraf

      Clara,

      Societies of the past required people living in them to take life responsibilities much much earlier than today. Do you know that a 16-year old companion called Osama ibn Zaid led a whole army? Can you imagine a 16-year old doing the same thing today? Factors back then are different in many ways than factors today including those affecting physical and emotional aspects of the individual. I said numerous times that societies in the past had customs and norms that are alot different than they are today, and I said I do not agree with marrying so young women as 12 or 13 today because of the change of those norms and factors. Today most adults are lazy and do not take the responsibilities of life seriously as they were back then. But there are always exceptions in every society. That is why you will still see people marrying very young today. Who are we to prevent them from taking that decision?. If you want to dictate when a person should marry, then you are technically making yourself as a god telling people what they should do and what they should not do. Allowing people to marry at 18 is a western law. It is not shared by all societies. We Muslims become responsible for what we do and held accountable for our actions by our Creator when we reach puberty regardless of age…even if we reached that stage at 10 or 11. Now you will say why? and I will reply because Allah said so. I hope I made myself clear.

      As about Aisha, you need to understand that hadith is a huge science and most hadiths have long chain of narrators before the report reaches the prophet. Aisha is the first one to report and there are many other narrators after her who are validated by the scholars of hadith to verify their authenticity and truthfulness. That is why you have sahih, hasan, muttafaq alaih, daeef, and mawdoo. Anybody could claim that the prophet said something and the narrator was person A. That is why you have scholars who validate it is true. This is a HUGE science and does not deal with only one reporter except in very rare cases

      • Clara

        we established that societies back in time were different etc etc. i don’t understand why you are repeating yourself.

        i also understand that you take as an initial point the start of puberty. you know that puberty doesn’t happen overnight right? So it’s the start of the puberty that you take as indication by allah that a girl is ready for marital responsibilities and everything that comes with it. and a 12 year old boy for that matter is fully capable of making a living and being responsible for himself.

        Since you live in a muslim community could you please kindly explain to me why I only hear about girls being married off to old men? i don’t hear dramatic stories about young boys who after reaching puberty are responsible financially for the wife and children.

        you keep avoiding my question or maybe i can’t read between the lines but i really would like to know your opinion. as i understood, when a child reaches puberty, he/she is ready for marriage. in modern days, you say it’s inappropriate. why do you think it’s inappropriate? what makes you think it’s inappropriate now? according to your logic, after reaching puberty it’s all okay. what would you say to those who simply want to follow the sunnah of muhammad (please see link below and forward to 5:40 for father’s explanation)

        i’ll repeat myself: what would you say to those who want to follow the example of Muhammed? you said that it’s inappropriate. what arguments would you use then? what worries me with your explanation is that you put it down to ‘preference’. You don’t say it’s simply wrong to have sex with a minor, but say it’s a preference… Does that mean that you give green light to those who have such preference?

        please explain as clearly as possible. i would like a straight answer.

        with regard to the hadiths. if the one that says about her age has been proved untrue, why are people still referring to it? why is it still in the collection of the hadiths? why are prominent islamic scholars setting it as an example? you can’t have it both ways i’m afraid!

        thanks for answering my questions!

      • Sara

        Ashraf,

        Am I to understand that if a 9 year old girl remains silent when she is asked to marry a 4o year old man then she has given her fully informed consent to marry?

        What if she is afraid of here father or mother or sees no way out because she is a child, what then?

        Regardless of whether you believe in Islam or not. A society needs laws to protect it’s most vulnerable because as humans over millenia have proven not all of us are able to govern ourselves.

        Young girls who rely on their family for support and protection are considered vulnerable. To say the only rule needed to prove her consent is for her to remain silent when she is asked whether she wants to marry is to leave the door open for severe abuse of young girls.

        Do you think that Islam as the peaceful, caring religion you believe in would care about those girls rights more or the rights of the older men who want to marry them? I am talking of this day and age when we have control over our lives and laws and not centuries past.

  33. ringpoche

    It’s sad that muslims are taught/indoctrinated into believing that Islam is the absolute truth given directly from Allah, and the hadith and prophets sunnah etc are beyond questioning. It’s led directly to the sort of situation described in this post. Muslims all over the world have locked their brains away in a drawer marked ‘Dangerous item – do not use’.

    Really, guys, it’s time to open that drawer that use the organ. It’s far more dangerous unused than used.

    • Lee Xiang

      It sad you feel that way about Muslims. Thank you.

    • Clara

      I think what’s more disturbing and dangerous is the superiority and self-righteousness that muslims (and the rest of ‘believers’ as well) are characterized by.
      not to mention how divisive religions are…

  34. listener

    It will always be hard to praise a tree that bears rotten fruit.

  35. Ashraf

    Clara,

    You don’t get the point. The west is setting the standard for when to marry. We are not obliged to follow it as no society is obliged to allow marriage as soon as reaching puberty. Becoming responsible for your actions when reaching that stage does not necessarily mean you have to marry now. I am not avoiding your question. You just don’t want to get it. I am saying it is inappropriate is some societies. But it is none of anybody’s business to enforce one standard upon all societies. You only want to allow marriage after 18? That is your choice. But you can’t expect everyone to follow your ways. You keep saying “minors” and you keep forgetting they are “minors” according to you. But for many others, they are not.

    As about the hadith, majority of scholars do not agree that the age was untrue. And you still do not get it here as well. I said there are sahih, hasan, muttafaq alaih, daeef, and mawdoo. Understand what these terms mean and who define them and in what books they are explained, then come and argue. Enough said.

    • Clara

      I think I get what you’re trying to say far too well and it doesn’t sit well with me at all!

      by saying: “I am saying it is inappropriate is some societies. But it is none of anybody’s business to enforce one standard upon all societies. ” you are giving huge wiggle room to those who will abuse children, or more specifically little girls.
      It worries me that you don’t use your brain or common sense to assess what’s right, but simply take what was revealed 1400 years ago as the ultimate truth, which it is not.

      So I resign myself, I said what I wanted to say. I think I made myself clear but maybe my english failed me and i didn’t get my message across.
      maybe others can put it in a better way cause I’m done.

    • There is nothing West about the age 18. Like you yourself said in another post, children used to be married off at 12, 13 in the West. But through long scientific research (which is still going on), it was discovered that the human body is still growing in early teens and start to plateau at around 17, 18. Of course you can’t have a law that says the minimum age of marriage is 17 or 18. You have to have specific age to make the law more objective.

  36. sach

    the worst thing that can happen to a human is to be born as a woman in saudi arab, afganistan or any shariah implemented country

    • Ashraf

      The worst thing is to follow your own ego and desires and never follow The One who created us

      • Clara

        and that’s how atrocities of this world were committed.

        as far as i know you can’t prove to me that God exist cause so far no one came back from dead to tell us what happens after we die.
        and i cannot disprove that God doesn’t exist for the same reasons. So you are making a mistake by following to the letter sth that might later appear to be man made (which i think was man made anyway).

      • ringpoche

        Oh please. Western society would destroy itself if everyone just followed their own ego and desires. Life and family and society doesn’t let them get away with that. Everyone has difficulties, struggles, has to make sacrifices and let go of some/many of their dreams and desires.

        “Follow the One who created us?”

        Assuming we were created by this “One”, muslim men can follow the sunnah of the prophet and still follow their own egos and desires. Like that old bloke who just got himself a 13 year old girl. And can still get 3 more little girls to marry him. And with this abuse and greed he would still be following his religion, “the One who created us”. Disgraceful.

        Muslims seem to be under the delusion that to be religious means having to be deprived of the things that bring you joy. Well, not so much deprivation for the men. Mainly for the women. And that deprivation mainly consists of oppression. Suppressing the talents and gifts and desires and human rights of individuals, and denying opportunities because some hadith states that Allah hates such a thing.

        Personally, I find it hard to reconcile such a demanding and easily enraged Creator with the same Creator that may be responsible for such things as – forming the moons around Saturn; the giant spiral galaxies like the Milky Way, and the big nose and belly of the proboscis monkey. No, whatever created all these wonders of nature is not the God that you worship. Definitely not. So the question is, which God or god are you actually worshipping? And is he worth it? Well, just by dint of this news story alone, I’d say, NO!

      • sach

        after all u re following an ego of a man who lived 1400 years ago. actually u ppl are trapped in his ego still…
        cant u understand this so called prophet created this religion for his own needs.

        1. he wants to marry a 6 yr old girl, then allah sends a revealation through him giving permission to marry that innocent child

        2. the prophet sees his daughter in law being naked in her room and has feelings for her. then allah sends a revealation that adoption is not accepted by allah. then zaineb is not her daughter inlaw anymore so he can marry her.

        cant u identify a pattern?
        he always get a revealation that is favorable to his desires. after all what are u’r proofs that he is truly sent by god.
        Theres no evidence for a god and the prophet is a hoax

    • Goolam Dawood

      The worst thing I think is to be born to people who do not love you or who have no capacity for love.

    • Sach, completely agreed. Even a pedophile is much safer in Saudi Arabia than a woman

  37. Ashraf

    Claraو

    If I tell you a beautiful building made itself by itself, you will certainly think I am crazy. But if I tell you that this magnificent universe we are witnessing was made by a Creator, you will not accept that?. You westerners will never understand us no matter what explanations we give you. We Muslims are obliged to follow and submit to what Allah commanded us. Otherwise, we would be Muslims by name only. You don’t want to follow Allah..that is your choice. So at the end you have your religion, faith or whatever and we have ours

    • sach

      have u ever heard of evolution? i dont think saudi education sys provides a good education on evoution. i suggest u to learn abt these things.
      just because a building has a builder, we cant say there is a creator for humans, animals…

    • Alicia

      Ashraf,
      remember it can’t be a western vs muslim thing. Anyone can be a Muslim. But you know that : ) as evidenced by other posts. I think you an others err by making this an issue of whether Islam permits young marriage. This is not the issue and such conversations get sidetracked into who’s following God and who’s not according to what age they believe marriage is acceptable at. At issue in these cases are men who are clearly not following the sunnah. They are marrying girls against their will and their parents, usually the father, is stealing the dowry that belongs to the girl and what the authorities ought to do to stop it. By the sunnah and the Quran this is haram. Why does it continue? The police are out in force to make sure women don’t have sequins on their abayas, where are the police to be sure women have their rights! When my husband an I married the Imams we consulted were so concerned about my stipulating my rights in the contract they had to have private meetings with my husband to be sure he understood what he was getting into! Not one wanted to make sure my rights were satisfied! As a mature woman I can fight on my own behalf when others act against my rights, a girl who is subject to her father often cannot do so. Now, neither can a young boy, however, in the case of early marriage the results for girls are much more of a disaster; girls and babies die more frequently in childbirth before true physical maturity, The fact that girls are dying from having sex should also be instructive. God calls us to use out intellect; the standard of onset of periods for female maturity is clearly wrong, the onset of menstruation is the beginning of maturity not the end. Why is it used as the standard worldwide? It is easier. As you can see, every other standard is subject to a slippery slope. But that doesn’t mean other standards are not better. Now, a question for islam might be, What is the greater harm; legally raising the age of marriage and forbidding something that is permitted or permitting this abuse of women and girls that results in corruption of society and the death of girls and children thus permitting that which is forbidden? Isn’t the greater harm the latter? So far the arguments I have heard to permit 9 -12 year olds to marry is 1. they have a right to and 2. they will be having sex otherwise and it is better to prevent corruption. This is clearly bunk. What 9-12 year old girls are asking to marry and being forbidden to do so? Is there a rash of 9-12 year old muslim girls having illicit sex? if it is better to prevent corruption than I think this gives weight to the argument that it is better to forbid early marriage, which is not stopping any known corruption, than to permit men to sell their daughters under the guise of piety which is a clear and known corruption.

  38. Ashraf

    ringpoche,

    You are a fool if you think Islam oppresses women, Islam liberated women when almost all the other cultures were treating them like bought and sold slaves !. There are numerous verses and hadiths that honor women and command Muslims to treat them with kindness. The prophet said that the best amongst men are the those who are best toward their wives. And the prophet said that paradise itself is at the mother’s feet. Show me any other religion that is similar to this. And you are the deluded one for thinking oppressing women and humiliating them is ever encouraged in Islam

    • Clara

      oh please, don’t give this glossy image of islam and women in islam cause it’s simply untrue.
      You are being biased and not presenting the entire picture.
      Just from the top of my head…
      Why don’t you talk about chapter 4 sura 34 and how a husband can discipline his wife?

      women are considered unclean during their menses.

      and what happens if a woman cannot have children? oh, yes! she can go to heaven if her husband is pleased with her… yes…

      And my all time favourite: women in islam get to keep all the earnings (if they are allowed to work in the first place). They don’t have to contribute to the household expenses at all. That’s all fine and dandy while you married but in case of divorce? wanna talk about divorce in islam vs divorce according to modern countries standards?

      And my fav from last sermon of Muhammad:

      “O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under God’s trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste.”

      I’ve become cynical but it seems to me that as long as you are obedient, you are entitled to food and clothes (in moderation of course as one of hadiths mentions; you wouldn’t want to put too much strain on you husband).

      Uh and if i’m not mistaken, Maliki school defines dowry as a payment for sexual access. It really doesn’t sound as women can be sold and bought as chattel, does it?

      • Ashraf

        Answering all of your points requires pages. And believe me Islam has all the answers to your claim. I will just point to some of your lies: Women are not considered “unclean” when they are in their menstruation periods. It is just sexual intercourse that is not allowed during this time. And why is it forbidden to marry another woman if the wife can not have children? Having children is a human need and no society can survive without it. Oh I forgot that you already have this “Muslim demographics” nightmare!. And what you presented from the Prophet’s sermon is aclear proof that we are commanded to treat women with kindness. A husband is obliged to provide food and shelter for his wife and family while a wife is not obliged to do so. But yes…you don’t like this either. No wonder marriage is dying so fast in the west. Don’t you realize it that you are contradicting yourself?.

      • Goolam Dawood

        Its not a matter of giving a glossy image. Given the option our women retain their Islamic identity. Our most educated (Western and Islamic) practising Muslimah sisters, also happen to be Muslimahs of conviction, also happen to revere the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad.

        Its hard to relate to people who can’t see any good in a system of beliefs practised by 1.5 billion people and whose women are not just oppressed battered stereotypes from a sex and the city movie. Fact is, that you people don’t care about the truth, can’t balance the your views with verified facts … because you are engaged in an ideological battle with your “enemies”, rather than a pursuit for truth with your contemporaries.

        Its also patently hypocritical to judge by modern standards and discard medieval reasoning (practical and sincere at the time), yet use that same medieval reasoning to “discredit” modern events.. which are completely unrelated. That’s the level of intellectual engagement Muslims must face from dogmatic westerners while we’re trying to deal with real issues of womens rights.

    • sach

      1. polygamy
      2. marriage of under age girls
      3. FGM
      4. discriminative inheritance laws
      5. the words of a woman is worth half of that of a man in a court
      6. the worth of a woman is a half that of a man (ex: saudi blood money)
      7. has to stay inside a tent when evr she has to go outside even in extreme hot whether
      8. cant go outside without a male relative

      yeah islam treats women well!!!

      actually in the pre islamic arabia women were better off. women became slaves and treated like slaves after islam.

      • Saudi~LIBER~ALI

        Islam treats women well.

        I don’t understand What you don’t like about the last sermon. You don’t like “be good to your women”? “spend on your women”? Or don’t you like how he reminds men about who stays home when they’re out?

        Collecting dowry is a way for knowing how serious a man is about marriage. It shows independence and it a reason to take marriage seriously by the people involved. I don’t know anyone defining dowry the way you mentioned, it sounds like defining marriage as a legal contract to **** (which is also true).

        Marriage to minors – which is the original topic here – is not encouraged in islam, but allowed. Fortunately, most people in KSA think it should be banned.

      • Clara

        @Ashraf

        I know that we are deviating from the original topic and apologies to Saudiwoman, who provides a platform for discussion, for hijacking the post.

        If it requires pages don’t write them here but please do point me in the ‘right’ direction, to the ‘right’ sources.

        To counter your reply briefly. In Islam a woman during her menses cannot pray, touch the Quran or fast until she HAS PURIFIED herself.
        There is a hadith by Muhammad saying that women are deficient in their religion because they can’t pray or fast during their menses.

        About children. I agree with you to a certain extent. there are a lot of couples in the ‘west’ who cannot have children and i imagine it must be extremely hard for the relationship. however, one simply doesn’t go and get a divorce and another wife who is fertile this time. To me you kind of made a ‘vessel’ from a woman to bear children and if she can’t then you just get another one. what happens to partnership, intimacy, being together and supporting each other through bad times, LOVE? What about adoption? There are so many children who need parents… I have to look into it but i guess that adoption is not allowed in islam or is discouraged for some reason.

        And the sermon says IF. “If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness.”. It’s a conditional agreement.
        “And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste.”
        Unchastity – fine cause i believe in loyalty in marriage. But again, it’s a man’s right to approve or disapprove who she is friends with. Yep, a man is a master and ruler of the house and his wife. The Quran says that as well in chapter 4:34. Wife obedience is a huge thing in islam.

      • Goolam Dawood

        Its ideological, semi-literate pundits like yourself who are actually aggravating our Muslims societies and turning them against real human rights advocates. Often they confuse your dogma and ignorance for the real need to progress our society. Read a book sometime dude.

    • ringpoche

      Sigh. The argument that Islam liberated women is just as stale as last week’s toast, and equally inedible.

      The simple fact is that Islam is the worst thing that happened to women. Ever. You’re obviously blind to this glaringly obvious fact. It’s pointless to argue with you.

      So many other muslim men are in total denial, just like you. And so the misery, abuse and oppression of muslim women continues unabated.

      • Goolam Dawood

        The simple fact is that you’re blatantly ignorant about the feminist movement.. its causes, basis and its effects. You know nothing about the treatment of women in China, Hindu India, Traditional Africa, South American slums etc. Many times you ignore the important influence of communism, class struggle, non-racialism and anti-western anti-colonial discontent that brought about these positive changes in your society in the first place.

        Often people like you also ignore that the western porn industry is one of the most dehumanising industries in the world. It takes young women, often teens, preys on them with drugs and has destroyed tens of thousands of womens lives. Its your own value system that also bring your citizens to Africa, Eastern Europe and the Far East for child prostitutes. Its your own myopia that doesn’t see exploitation of immigrant nannies, or child labour (for your beneifts) as exploitation of womens rights at all.

        And that basic double standard, coupled with a servere ignorance of history that forfeits your opinion of outside societies and demeans our own efforts to progress on our own terms.

    • ringpoche

      Sure, your prophet may have said to treat women with kindness, while he actually had – how many – 11? 13? women on the go at one time. How dehumanising, to collect women the way you might collect cars. Or camels, since it’s the 7th century desert we’re talking about.

    • ringpoche

      Sure, your prophet may have said to treat women with kindness, while he actually had – how many – 11? 13? women on the go at one time. How dehumanising, to collect women the way you might collect cars. Or camels, since it’s the 7th century desert we’re talking about.

      And giving men permission to thump their wives – not oppressing or humiliating? What do you call it then? Do tell.

      • ringpoche

        Oops – sorry for the mistaken postings above. They were supposed to be a reply to something ‘Ashraf’ had said earlier. Wish I had an edit/delete button.
        @ Goolam Dawood
        What a load of absolute nonsense! I have been deeply interested in the feminist movement for many, many years and am very well informed about it, thank you. And I am also very aware of the bad treatment of women in all those other parts of the world, too. Sure, women are treated like sh*t the world over. Nonetheless, Islam still stands out as the one of the worst of all worlds for women. Everything in the Koran and hadith as well as muslim culture is slated against a muslim woman ever reaching her potential. I could write pages and pages and pages of examples taken from the Koran, the hadith, and the sunnah of the prophet, and from real life examples taken from the muslim world but I really can’t be bothered. You’ll still think Islam is doesn’t abuse women, even in the face of all the evidence.

        Pornography is thriving because there is a market for it – sex sells, and guess who’s buying?! Do a bit of research, and you will find muslim countries are very fond indeed of on-line porn.

        As for the immigrant nannies – it’s the Arabs – rich Gulf Arabs in particular who horrifically mistreat and abuse their immigrant nannies. Just look at the recent story of the Saudis who hammered 24 nails into their Sri Lankan maid because she couldn’t act exactly as they wanted her to. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/aug/26/saudi-couple-sri-lankan-maid-nails

        Such nanny-abuse stories from the muslim world are common-place, but much rarer amongst Westerners, most of whom can’t afford even a poor immigrant nanny.

        And no my value system does not lead to sex trafficking of child prostitutes from developing countries. Again you are talking absolute nonsense. I believe in humanitarianism and humanism, gender equality, human rights, fair trade and sustainable development, as does much/most of Western society.

        Anyway, all this is beside the point. Of course there is a complex history behind the rise of Western civilization, and I’m not condoning the many abuses that took place. But it was the Enlightenment that was responsible for the best of the developments in science, medicine, technology, knowledge and understanding. Men (and women) using rationality, logic and scientific inquiry to determine how to better the state of their civilization.

        I wish you and the rest of the muslim world well in trying to improve things ‘on your own terms’ but the dead hand of Islam will ensure that any true improvements will be minimal. Until major parts of your religion are discarded, and 50% of your population treated as full and equal human beings, progress is impossible.

      • Ashraf

        I doubt you ever knew that most of whom the prophet married were widows, and I doubt you ever knew that none of his wives ever complained about any mistreatment by him either during his life or after his death. The prophet (peace be upon him) was the greatest example of kindness and mercy toward his wives. You are just full of hate and won’t bother for a second to read for yourself how he treated them

      • Goolam Dawood

        REAL feminists on this blog and others, who also happen to be deeply sincere practising Muslims, don’t conceive Islam or the Prophet Muhammad SAW or even Feminism, quite the way a vaguely the “concerned” Islamophobes do.

        Women abuse is an acultural issue. It happens in every country, across every culture, religion, race and creed. The presence of liberal rights helps but does not eliminate this unfortunate reality of human society.

        Feminism as a movement to eradicate gender injustice has only been active for a hundred years in Western society. While the facts point to Islam being a deeply feminist religion as attested by our thinkers and clergy from the dawn of our religion. Read a little and give up the bigotry.

        Strange that you being “interested” in the feminist movement, don’t seem to open your eyes to the 600 women who are killed everyday in the United States by their partners. You’re making excuses for a porn industry that’s known to exploit women and teenagers with drugs, hold them hostage (kidnapping too), and discards people hagged and diseased after their useful life.

        You also come up with the patently false fact that Muslim nations are the largest consumers of porn. So you lie on top of channeling your anti-islamic hatred on a deeply important issue to us Muslims.

        http://www.safefamilies.org/sfStats.php
        http://www.themodernreligion.com/women/w_comparison_full.htm
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_feminism

      • ringpoche

        @ Ashraf

        Yes I know all about the prophets widow ladies. I was taught all about it from birth, brainwashed like every muslim child is.

        So why do widows need to be ‘rescued’ by marriage? If your prophet was such a great feminist, then the ‘solution’ to a widow would be to empower her to work and earn her own income, or be given financial aid. Not treat her like some helpless infant who can’t cope with life as a single woman. And how about the fact that some of these women became widows thanks to Muhammed or his men murdering their husbands?

        And then there were the concubines, and daughter-in-law he took a fancy to….etc.

        Being treated well is something normal people do to each other. It’s not remarkable. It doesn’t negate the terrible gender inequality that is set up when one man marries/ keeps concubines up to 11 at one time. It reduces women to commodities, bought and kept in batches the way you’d buy sheep. There is no possibility of an equal relationship between two human beings.

      • ringpoche

        @ Goolam Dawood.

        Read my post again please. I did not ignore that women are mistreated all over the world in every culture. Yes, all over the world women are killed every day by their partners. That’s because men are violent creatures. That’s why giving men Divine sanction to beat their wives is especially abhorrent. Can you not see that this is so?! Drawing attention to this is not Islamophobia, it is a call to recognize and overturn injustice and violence towards women! And I know all about the context and the contradictions to the verse – nonetheless it still exists and shows a poisonous attitude to women.

        You quoted the figures of women killed by their men in the US as 600 per day. Laugh out loud! Man, get your statistics right!!! That would make a total of 219 000 women killed by their partners every year!! The official statistics for the US of TOTAL homicides are of around 18 000 per year, and 32 000 suicides per year.

        http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/NVDRS/index.html

        Approximately 1 in 3 homicides of women is by their partner. This is thought to be about 1500 US women every year. Not 219 000!! And you know how I got these statistics? Because government bodies accurately record, catalogue and publish the causes of deaths of their citizens. Unlike in many muslim countries, who do not keep accurate records of such things (especially not the ‘honour’ killings of women, often by their closest family). Women are not considered sufficiently important, and muslims like to conceal all the abuse of women that happens in their societies.

        I do not at all excuse sex trafficking. But because the porn industry is so lucrative, there is also a very large number of porn ‘stars’ who voluntarily participate, for the huge financial rewards. Still, I find the enormous success of the porn industry, and all its misery and exploitation and degradation to be one of the saddest things about the 21st century. And no, I certainly didn’t accuse muslim nations of being the most frequent users of porn. Just that the porn industry exists because of the commercial rewards from the millions of customers – and muslims, as paying customers of online porn are included in this. Muslims are no different from the rest of the world in their interest in porn.

  39. Clara

    Ashraf I said that neither of us can prove that God exists or doesn’t exist. I don’t want to get into scientific debate because I know too little, still reading upon evolution in details.

    But I accept your stand for a moment for the sake of argument. So everything, including humans, was created by God. Can you tell me who created God? As far as i am aware all holly books say that there was nothing, there was darkness etc etc and God created the universe. Who created God? where did God come from? How he/she came into being?

    Can’t you see that you are following to the letter sth that was ‘divinely’ revealed 1400 years ago without adjusting it to ever evolving life? i think that God should have thought about some more universal truths cause as you rightly pinpointed societies were and are different. Yes, Quran was given to people of the desert (no offense here!) and to me it seems very area specific. And as we know, not everyone lives in the desert.
    You can believe in whatever you want as long as it doesn’t cause abuse to those who are vulnerable like children and women in certain cases. And as you proved in your comments you give those who will abuse it quite a loophole.

    • Ashraf

      I think we are beginning to deviate from the topic of this discussion. But to answer your question about who created God. The answer is none. If you want to assume someone created Him. then that means He is created not the creator, and that also means there is a creator for Him, and then there is a creator of the creator of the creator and so on. At the end, there can’t be but one creator for all of those creators;i.e only One for all of the creations. So in short, if someone was a creation by someone, then He can not be the creator. Give it a rest, this complex and sophisticated universe could have never been created from pure chance

      • Clara

        okay. according to you God wasn’t created. you are of course entitled to your own opinion.
        tell me how God came into being then. if he/she wasn’t created. I am all ears. what? did he/she puffed him/herself into being? just like that?
        please shed some light on this matter cause the question has been bugging me for quite a while now.

        and please don’t brush me off with a phrase: give it a rest. this complex and sophisticated universe could have never been created from pure chance.
        it might be enough for you to live this life but i need more than that and i’m sure you won’t let me down. thanks!

  40. sach

    ashraff give me proofs that muhammed is truly a god sent man.

  41. Mary

    Clara, Hi.
    About God being created, I know that this is something where Islam and Christianity are in agreement. God always was and always will be. God is who always existed and who caused the rest of the universe to exist in an act of creation. Being the creator, He could not create Himself. How could such a thing be? There is no answer. One either has the faith to believe this or not.

  42. Clara

    Mary,

    thank you very much for your answer. I think you nailed it. You either believe it or not. So it’s a matter of personal belief but it’s not a FACT. And it should not be presented as one.

    • Alicia

      It is a matter of fact whether God exists and whether God has always existed because it is a claim about the world, however, it is a fact of which the evidence is hard to come by and we are not in agreement as to what counts as evidence, thus we are not in agreement regarding it as we are about, say, whales living in the ocean.

      • Clara

        Alicia: a fact is a piece of information that is known to be true. If you can’t support your claims with evidence, then it is not a fact.

        you are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

      • Alicia

        Clara, both of our definitions are substantiated by dictionaries. So the trouble with arguing people may not use statements regarding the existence of God in their reasoning because it “isn’t a fact” (meaning that it isn’t agreed upon) is that saying so also insinuates that it is a fiction of one’s imagination and not a statement about reality. I hear this a lot and I think it shuts down the dialogue. Rather we should say we don’t accept the premise as true. Then we leave open the possibility of accepting the premise provisionally and seeing if the other person’s reasons would be acceptable if God did exist.

    • Goolam Dawood

      Most of your debate against the treatment of women in Muslim society isn’t factual either. But its also unbalanced or unrelated to the topic at hand. You also blatantly deny that its sincere Muslim/Islamic feminists who are tackling the issue. How do you tackle women abuse in your own society?

      • Clara

        I’m sorry what’s not factual about a girl being married of to an old guy?

        Did you hear me denying the existence of Muslim/Islamic feminists? I don’t recall saying anything like that.

        I take an issue with bad treatment of women which is justified in the holy book. That’s the only issue I have.
        Domestic abuse exists everywhere in the world. I never said it doesn’t. To me, it is simply plain wrong. In my society, abused women are offered help (both financial and psychological) AND the offender is persecuted one way or the other.

      • Goolam Dawood

        Unfortunately Clara, if you were to read your own posts once in a while, abstract arguments about the existence of God, completely biased anti-Islamic diatribe (bias implies ignoring evidence), half quoted or ignored Quraanic ayats and hadeeth (relating to other issues no less) and this infantile need to ignore any valid points Muslims make in favour of Islam … NONE of that has anything to do with the fact of this childs oppression.

  43. Goolam Dawood

    Inevitably this discussion ended where it started for each person. With their personal ideological view. Often arguing against certain issues, people are secretly arguing for their own establishment. In fact, this issue of the child marriages has nothing to do with peoples personal convictions about God or religion. So lets not go there.

    And yes, societies do advance in ways that makes previously unacceptable things acceptable, and previously acceptable things unacceptable. There are no better examples of this than in our own Islamic history, where our own leaders and activists went agains the dogma of orthodox schools. And the orthodox schools have evolved. Womens rights have taken a servere knock in our communities, and we owe it to our deen and the convictions of our Islamic beliefs to rectify the situation.

    People who are anti-Muslims deviate from the topics to attack the Prophet SAW or Muslims societies. Often they make broad generalisations about our communities or misinterpret history (often not understanding their own!). Lets not feed into the same ethics, by staying on topic for the sake of the Muslim Ummah itself.

    We will find beneficial amongst westereners who are equally critical of bigots in their own societies. And lets face it, the womens rights situation in the US is not as rosy as it sounds. Neither is the womens right situation any better in those traditional societies that were radically secularised. As a a South African I see the effects on womens rights, by neo-liberal policies in societies that had valuable social norms that must suddenly be abandoned. Rape, child trafficking, prostitution, child rape are especially high in segments of our country that have no traditional culture to underpin their advancement.

    But that does NOT take away from our responsibilities to these children. Our grandparents were organised. The elders were respected and their decisions were respected. Tribal laws operated on logic and the people made decisions using their own locally developed systems of intelligence. And they worked. But we can’t apply the same rules when those same institutions do not even exist.

  44. Agata

    Hi, There is a prove that God exists – please read something about the energy of the Universe. However, I dont think that its religion is only Islam

  45. Clara

    @Goolam Dawood

    well, I have two Iranian female friends who are apostates of Islam. They lived in Iran, travelled around Middle East and they would not come back to Islam because of the way women are perceived and treated.

    when you make a claim that most Muslim women retain their religion please give a link to a source.

    I have never said that there is nothing good in islam. But it aggravates me when someone says that islam doesn’t oppress women AT ALL and there is nothing in the quran, hadiths, sunnah that is negative.
    You can choose not to see these parts and cherry pick but you can’t deny that these verses are there and they are being acted upon.

    How can any woman in their right senses say that islam considers women equal to men when they read chapter 4 surah 34? Please explain it to me cause it’s been far too long and I still don’t have an answer. Is that what you call equality when a husband can discipline his wife with a fist? Don’t forget it’s a god-given right, not to be disputed.
    Yes, Muhammad said: treat your women nicely. But does it outweigh the heaviness of the verse above?
    You know very well that sheikhs teach young men how to beat up their wives and this verse IS being acted upon.

    Please show me the facts so I can balance my views. So that I can see that domestic abuse is okay and I should accept it. Please show me I’m wrong about what i wrote above.

    I was so close to convert to Islam but guess what? Digging deeper and deeper will leave you with a huge intellectual dissonance. How these allegedly educated, intelligent women are able to reconcile it, I have no clue. But please tell me if you know.
    I’m sorry but I don’t think this is what God wants or ever wanted. do you?

    I always say that I’m more than happy to change my opinions if presented with logical arguments or facts. I would be happy to hear those from you. thank you🙂

    • Goolam Dawood

      As a matter of fact, my entire family, social circle and community is full of women who are educated Muslim deeply spiritual women, living full and active lives in society and in private. But its clear by now, that your true offense is not at the abuse of the girl child. You are offended by the fact that girl children are growing up Muslim, that women are converting to Islam, and women find Islam meritorious to themselves.

      Believe it or not, the acceptability of evidence is not whether you sanctify it! So maybe your inability to reconcile others womens choices is not a shortcoming in them?!?!?

      Secondly, I don’t care much for your strawman arguments. You ignore the opinions of noted Muslim social activists at every level as well as the concern of practicing Muslim women. You quote one Quraanic ayat, intentionally and out of context, and ignore the plethora of information to the contrary.

      I’m not going to debate the entire theory of Islamic feminism, the method of Quraanic interpretation or the real context of womens rights. I’m not going to bring your entire personal history into this or discuss converts to Islam or apostates. THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT! You don’t want us to reconcile our traditions with modernity, don’t want us to engage conservatives with knowledge and good intentions. Because meaningful and progressive discussion by Muslims in the cause of Islamic society is offensive to the hateful.

      http://www.themodernreligion.com/women/dv-4-34-shafaat.html
      Go Discuss 4;34 with this person and don’t compound the childs grief with your ignorance about the way the world is and your Islamophobia.

      • Saudi~LIBER~ALI

        Well said Goolam, that is indeed what she wants.

        “You know very well that sheikhs teach young men how to beat up their wives and this verse IS being acted upon.” << wtf?

      • Goolam Dawood

        I mean how can we even defend this? Thats the same as saying that the Catholic church is teaching their priests how to sodomise little boys. That’s the same as saying that the American military is teaching its soldiers how sodomise and torture detainees … wait a minute😉

      • Clara

        I never said that it’s up to me to me to decide whether sth is right or wrong. The fact that I can’t reconcile certain things in my head doesn’t mean that it’s other people’s fault. Why do you take away from me the opportunity to ask how they conceptualize it? Yes, it’s unacceptable to me, yes i treat it personal, but I still want to ask what makes it acceptable to them! That’s not a crime!

        I spoke to only 3 women, converts to islam for about 15-20 years, and they don’t know what to do with this verse. After so many years they didn’t come to terms with it.

        I’m actually disappointed that you didn’t send me a link to an apologetic explanation of this verse that says that it doesn’t actually mean ‘beat them’ but ‘leave them’.
        And from the discussion with you looks like i’ve got my moral system completely upside down because I strongly believe that in a marital relationship no one of the spouses has the right to physically abuse the other (not even in a symbolical way which still implies that the person being disciplined is not equal to the one that disciplines). I know, so bad of me to think this way!

        “THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT! You don’t want us to reconcile our traditions with modernity, don’t want us to engage conservatives with knowledge and good intentions.” – seriously… I have far more important things going on than what you think is my hidden agenda. But i’m not gonna sit quietly when you picture this glossy image of islam which is not true.

        And by saying that I’m done with this conversation.

      • Goolam Dawood

        @Clara “But i’m not gonna sit quietly when you picture this glossy image of islam which is not true.”

        It doesn’t surprise me at all Clara, that you would choose this particular post to “conceptualise”, what is already your formed/solid opinion about the religion. Particularly because you’re not the first dogmatic western literalist I’ve come across who purposefully sabotage unrelated discussions or ignores the objectives of our topics. The internet being the large forum that it is, provides thousands of opportunities to discuss your specific concerns, where its actually the topic under discussion.

        I’m disappointed you didn’t bother reading the whole 4:34 article either. Not so much a hidden agenda, is as I’ve said, just a thinly veiled anti-Islamic dogma. As Sara has sad, a childs life is at risk, and as Muslims we take Islamic objection to it. Shafaat objects to it Islamically. The founding Imaams of our madhabs/orders/codes/school instruct that the poetic beat does not literally mean “BEAT”. You should have engaged with the text and the many other calls to equality and mutual affection. Maybe even engage with Shafaat!

        You critique us, when you’re the most hypocritical global citizens. Empowered with rights but you can’t even incarcerate known war criminals who walk freely in your countries. Yet you freely judge people in some foreign nation/religion that have done nothing to you while willingly ignoring what those same people are saying?!?! I bet when you find out that American soldiers have raped Muslim women, you just carry on “but the child marriages”.

        I wish people like you spent more time tracking down and charging the documented war crimes of your establishments, the known murderers/oppressors in your multi-nationals, the arms traders who peddle misery. You would save more Muslim girls lives that way.

    • ringpoche

      Before any woman thinks of converting to Islam, first educate yourselves about what the lives of convert women can be like, in particular convert wives. (Since convert women are urged to marry as soon as poss). There is a really fascinating blog that has a long section of muslim wives’ stories, told by themselves.

      http://ofglitnir.wordpress.com/2010/09/21/we-were-wives-michelle-khadijah/

      It’s the blog of a former muslim convert, and it’s an amazing read. Apart from the most recent posts which are by guest bloggers and IMHO really don’t suit this blog site, it is a very authoritative look at the inside of some muslim marriages, from a woman’s perspective.

  46. Sara

    @ recent posters

    This post is not discussing the basic tenets and beliefs of Islam or Islamic feminism. That is not a battle that can be won now or ever for either side.

    The fact is this issue is about the ramifications of allowing young girls to marry based on flimsy consent arguments. A solution needs to be implemented and it can’t be by attacking Islam, talking about Islamic feminism or assuming that peoples belief systems are uniquely different and disjoint because they are of different religions.

    Very few people will argue that a 9 year old girl forced to marry a 40 year old man in the year 2010 is a good thing. So how do we stop this from happening? It is not by saying Islam should be eradicated or by ponting fingers at the West.

    • sach

      if u want to protect the human rights of girls or women in an islamic country u have to discuss the islamic treatment of women. criminalising peodophilia is itself an attack against islam. imagine if saudi makes pedophilia illegal, prophet muhammed, the person u call as the MOST PERFECT MAN becomes a criminal.
      if u truly want to raise the status of muslim women, u have to admit prophet muhammed was NOT perfect at all. He had weaknesses (a lot).

      • i am trying to stay away from this discussion as much as i can, trying to respect what everybody says. but your words sach, are the most stupid thing i have read under this title. just enlightmen me how a man who lived more than a thousand years ago can be criminal because of a law made today. just don’t right for the sake of writing something unless you really don’t have anything to contribute intelligent.

      • THE HOLY SINNER.

        Criminals, were the ones who came full throttle after the Jesus. Criminals were the ones who on more than once occasion changed the Holy Scriptures. Criminals were the ones who invented the reigion of Jesus 350 years after his going away. Criminals are the ones who inspite of being educated, lack enlightenment. Criminals are the ones who have a biased mind and cannot accept facts, instead distort facts to suit their easy living. Criminals are the ones who are ok with the highest numbers of illegal child pregnancies in their countries and lack the courage of doing anything about it. Criminals are those lie and cheat themselves and then expect the whole world to follow suit. Criminals are those who lack the respect for human lives, who can be dissuaded from being sensible, simply because they are too stoned.

        Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him) is the only one perfect human being created by the only one Creator. Anyone manipulating any teaching of practice of Muhammad (PBUH) is as doomed as the one who says anything about him, without knowing anything about him.

      • sach

        sorry if i challenged u’r childhood indoctrination. and sorry if it hurts u, but truth hurts! what i say is Muhammed is not a perfect man! if u want to say Muhammed was a perefect man then he has to be perfect under all circumstances and at all times. If his acts fall under the category of crimes even in todays world, question arises, Is he truly a god sent man.

        it is not only the marriage to Aisha. he had multiple wives, killed his opponents, he actually beheaded members of jewish tribes himself. If u want i’ll give ya references. He gave the right to hit women. this is not what i expect from an all time perfect man.

        if u really want to eleviate the lives of muslim women in kSA or all around the world, u have to question muhammed’s life.

        Another thing, ppl in muhammed’s time did marry young. but most of the time ppl of both the gender marry young. Not a very old man with a little girl. Aisha’s father himself did not accept muhammed’s offer first. that itself shows old men marrying kids was not a norm.

        it is this unquestioned faith in muslims that has created many problems today including the appaling state of women in muslim countries.

      • sach

        actually muhammed was a very vey bad man, far from being the perfect man.

  47. “just don’t right for the sake of writing something”
    right => write. sorry for the typo.

  48. Jahn

    Evidently the super moral, non-consumerist Saudis feel that if it was good enough for the prophet, it should be good enough for 21st century Saudis. That dowry money comes in handy for not buying things.

    When will the populace rise up against such criminality? Perhaps in another 1400 years? In the west these parents and anyone connected with pedophilia would end up in prison!

    • Goolam Dawood

      I take it the outrage of the Saudi Muslims here, or the Saudis from that specific community is of no consequence to your opinion?

  49. Ashraf

    sach,

    You have your religion and I have mine. Believe in whatever you want. It is your life afterall

    • sach

      does that mean u cant prove that muhammed is truly a god sent messenger.
      i dont care what u beleive in, but i care of the following,

      1. i am a woman and i have every right to question islam bcos of its treatment of womne
      2. the planet i live in has many problems because of this ideology of the self proclaimed prophet.
      3. saudi oil money are spent on radicalizing the muslims in the other part of the world and spreading wahabism.

      so i have every right to question islam.

      u said “u hav u’r rligion i hv mine”, but saudi authorities do not give the right for non muslims to practice their religion. Even if u enter the country with a crosss or a bible thay are taken away.

      • Goolam Dawood

        How many times must it be said? Its obvious that practicing/knowledgeable Muslim people, as well as informed academics have a different perspective of the life of the Prophet Muhammad SAW. In fact, Muslims are using the same tradition to prove that abuse an child marriages are in fact not permissible. I left a link above for your perusal that discusses the “beating”/scolding verse, just to prove that you’re selectively reading one phrase out of paragraphs of scripture. That’s like reading one line out of an execution law to reflect on the body of a nations constitution.

        So its quite important that you need to know that WE KNOW you’re just another dogmatic westerner (likely a christian) who doesn’t care about the lives of little Muslim girls anywhere. WE KNOW you don’t even have the basic modicum of respect for us to stick to a topic. WE KNOW that the only objective of your “discussion” on this topic is to heap attack after attack on our personal religious beliefs/figures … none of which are under discussion here. WE KNOW you don’t care for centuries of our own experiences and opinions and complex legal tradition.

        BUT .. I have a very good idea for all of you on an anti-Islam tirade. If you are willing to contact me with basic details, I will get you in touch with Muslims in your area, possibly an Imam at a local masjid, and you can meet them and witness the travesty of our violent abusive religion first hand. Ask them about their families and their lives etc. and then you can see our hatred in action.

        I think this can be a good opportunity for you. By meeting ordinary Muslims, you can decide whether your bigger enemy is in the outside/foreign Muslim cultures, or in your own governments folly and abuses of human rights. Any South Africans are welcome to call me personally!🙂

      • sach

        @Goolam Dawood
        thanks for u’r offer, bt no thjanks. there was a time that i used to think muslims are misunderstood and islam is not that bad at all. well then i had the chance to read more abt islam and then i could understand muslims actions. u assume me to be a westerner and a christian. that itself shows that u’ve not read my comments well. In several places i rejected the existence of a god. i was not even born a christian. i too find it equally stupid just like islam. if u want to have a talk with me on islam pls gimme u’r email.

        About Muhammed, u said muslims have adifferent perspective on the life of muhammed. So u have a different perspective on a man who abused an underage girl, murderd his opponents, beheaded jews. Ok. lets say the police arrested a murderer who was a person i knew who claimed that he has divine revelations. but can i stop the police from arresting him bcos i have a different perspective abot him. can I? A murderer is a murderer no matter who he is. what really happened is muhammed used allah to satisfy his needs.

        about beating
        i cudnt find u’r link. so pls paste it again. Under any context if muhammed allows men to beat women, it is WRONG.
        About women
        I care about the women in arab countries as well bcos i am a woman. i just cant understand how alittle girl child can be sold into marriage. If there is anybody who doesnt care abt arab women are mostly muslim men. Otherwise we do not have to talk abt hese things. Whenever such a thing occurs, u will find many muslims commenting “this is not islam, islam doesnt condone those things”. But they never try to do something concrete to prevent those things. it is not about the women they care it is about islam. But i congratulate u on one thing. i feel like u truly care for thewomen in arab. but still u fail to understand where the root of the problem lies.

  50. Issam

    Hello Clara

    “I always say that I’m more than happy to change my opinions if presented with logical arguments or facts. I would be happy to hear those from you. thank you”

    I would love to answer any questions you have about Islam. I can give you my e-mail if you want to chat in a more focused and organized setting. What do you think?

    Regards,

  51. Issam

    Guys please ignore those haters like sach, ringpoche etc… who resort to hadiths (Medieval forgeries) and medieval interpretations of Quran to demonize Islam. They are irrational and do not want to understand Islam.

    • ringpoche

      Once again we see that no muslim can accept any criticism of the koran or the prophet muhammed. I understand Islam perfectly well! I was born and brought up in a traditional muslim family, and experienced all the usual stuff that muslim children are force-fed, ie went to koran school, taught all the prayers, fasting, hajj etc, etc, learnt and recited Arabic every day, learnt all about the life of the prophet, the hadiths etc etc …..Man it was so damned boring. Unlike most other muslims, I questioned Islam, and found it to be ethically unsound, contradictory and deeply misogynistic. But most of all though, and especially when compared with other religions like buddhism or Christianity, I found Islam to be spiritually barren. Oh, and I also never like the prophet Muhammed.

      And according to Islam, ‘the religion of peace’, I should be murdered for my apostasy. Nice!

      • Issam

        I do not care about your previous experiences because I do not know whether you are telling the truth or not. What is relevant here is that you do not understand Islam and your post is evidence of this.

        Muslims do ask questions about their religion. There are many Muslims who believe Islam rationally and not just because they were brought up in a Muslim family. I am one of those Muslims.

        Muslims do accept criticism, but they do not accept hate and prejudice, neither do they have to.

        I believe Islam is ethicaly sound, consistent and supports Gender equality. I also believe that Islam is more spiritual than both Buddhism or Christianity. There is a ton of literature of Sufism and Islamic spirituality. I can recommend some books to you if you want.

        There is no punishment for rejecting Islam. The Holy Quran says: “There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path.” [2:256]

        “And say: “The truth is from your Lord.” Then whosoever wills, let him believe, and whosoever wills, let him disbelieve.” [18:29]

        “To you be your religion, and to me my religion (Islamic Monotheism).” [109:6]

        Regards,

      • Goolam Dawood

        I think you just hate that people have been quite tolerant and reasonable in their discussion. Despite antagonising people, and veering far from the topic (that is quite meaningful to Muslims), you’ve received nothing but rational discussion and even the odd attempt to educate you. True tolerance must imply some form of respect after all…whether for the topic at hand, or to actually consider others peoples facts, or even to just stop flooding the forum with flood after flood of insults.

        Comparative religion implies you’ve actually read the Quraan and Bible by the way. That you are capable of looking beyond one line and seeing the whole message.

        http://www.islamtomorrow.com/articles/Bible_vs_Quran.asp

        You and other critics have proven unable to participate in a mutual discussion. Instead you ignore the entire topic, selectively handpick phrases, misrepresent incidents and ignore large swathes of contradictory information, including the informed opinions of Muslims on this blog!

    • sach

      u said ” who resort to hadiths (Medieval forgeries) and medieval interpretations of Quran ” just like u’r islamic scholars? but theres a difference we despise them. how can u say this is hate speech, we are quoting frm the islamic hadiths, read muhammed’s bio graphy again disgusting!

      when we tell that to u ppl u cant tolerate any criticicms. Without any critical thinking u ppl accept whatever is in u’r holy books. The problem with the muslims specially in SA is they have never heard of anything that critices islam, evryday they are indoctricnated, “quran is the word of god …”. Until the day u ppl accept the problems in u’r religion and the character of u’r prophet the women and the girls will continue to suffer……..

      • Issam

        “just like u’r islamic scholars?”

        “Islamic” scholars are not unanimous on anything. You just quote whatever suits your agenda to hate on Islam.

        “how can u say this is hate speech, we are quoting frm the islamic hadiths, read muhammed’s bio graphy again disgusting!”

        I read them and I do not believe a word of what is written in them. If you want to know Prophet Muhammad’s biography then read the Quran.

        “when we tell that to u ppl u cant tolerate any criticicms. Without any critical thinking u ppl accept whatever is in u’r holy books.”

        Nonsense. We tolerate objective criticism not hateful criticism. No other religious community tolerates hate speech.

        “The problem with the muslims specially in SA is they have never heard of anything that critices islam, evryday they are indoctricnated, “quran is the word of god …”.”

        Nonsense. Everyday Muslims in North America and Europe have to tolerate ignorant and arrogant fascists who say that Islam is not a religion, that it is a “political ideology”, and that it is a “death cult”. No other religious community could tolerate such a thing.

        “Until the day u ppl accept the problems in u’r religion and the character of u’r prophet the women and the girls will continue to suffer……..”

        There are no problems in our religion, but there are many problems with many members of our community. These same problems also exist, to a more or lesser extent, in other religious communities.

        Women and girls will no longer suffer when we empower and emancipate them. It is happening but will take time.

  52. Agata

    ok, I have a question to Issam and all that want to educate me about Islam. Imagine you are a techar – you have 2 classes of +/- 20 students each. You need to teach them reading, however you use 2 different methods for each class, I mean in one of the classes you prepare different tasks than in the other. Then, after some time you make a test, exactly the same, for both classes. The result is surprising – in one of the classes the majority failed and the difference with the other group is clearly visible. Why? What is the reason for this amazing result, if you are such a just teacher? a) one of the teaching methods is incorrect
    b) you are not so just with one of the groups
    c) the students from one of the groups are clearly more stupid than the children from the other group.
    Choose the correct answer and then tell me why Muhammad said that there are more women in the hell than men, if God treats them both genders equally and the ‘test’ is also the same. thank you – because of this problem I did not become a Muslim, maybe somebody here knows the answer. I am not sarcastic, I really want to know.

    • Issam

      Hello sister Agata and thanks for your sincere question.

      The Holy Quran does not say that there are more women in Hell than men. Verse after verse the Holy Quran says that anybody can go to Paradise with belief and good deeds: “Lo! those who believe (in that which is revealed unto thee, Muhammad), and those who are Jews, and Christians, and Sabaeans whoever believeth in Allah and the Last Day and doeth right surely their reward is with their Lord, and there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve.” [2:62]. This is just one example. As you see there is no discrimination whatsoever.

      Prophet Muhammad could not have said that there are more women in Hell than men, because that is against the Holy Quran. This is just a fake Hadith

      Regards and God bless you.

  53. Agata

    thank you – this is as I understand your opinion, right? Where does it oficially state this hadith is not true? Please kindly tell me. thank you

    • Issam

      Hello Agata

      We know a Hadith is not true when:
      1. It contradicts, or is not supported by, the Quran
      or
      2. It was written many many years after the death of Prophet Muhammad.

      All Hadiths fall under #2, and many of them fall under #1 too.

      If you have any inquiries or questions about Islam, they should be based on the Quran only.

      I would be more than happy to answer any further questions you may have.

      God bless you
      Regards,

  54. sach

    @issam
    if u want i can have a debate with u on islam, muhammed and status of women in islam. gimme u’r email. if ya willing to.

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