Rant Back

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Slaves & Women

rebelle: Men all over the world twist the teachings of Islam to justify their actions of abusing their wives or ‘mistresses’. So you see we can’t really blame the religion. . Blame the men who perverted islam for their own ‘evil’ purposes and personal sexual gratification.




One example of Quranic verse manipulation does not mean every 'evil' thing every Muslim has done in reference to the Quran is a twisted interpretation.

For example. there are various mentions of slavery in the Quran, none of them in a disapproving manner.

"O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou hast paid their dowers, and whose whom thy right hand possesses out of the prisoners of war whom God has assigned thee."
- Verse 50, Surah Al Ahzab

"There is no blame (on these ladies if they appear) before their fathers or their sons, their brothers, or their brother's sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the (slaves) whom their right hands possess. And (ladies), fear God; for God is Witness to all things."
- Verse 55, Surah Al Ahzab

"And say to the believing women they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons. their brothers or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hand possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! turn ye all together towards God, that ye may attain Bliss."
- Verse 33, Surah Al Nur

I've given the verses from where it came from so that before you accuse me of quoting out of context, you can check the context for yourself. Or maybe you want to question the authenticity of the translation. For your convenience, I used this specific version:

The Holy Quran, Original Arabic Text with English Translation and Selected Commentaries, by Adullah Yusuf Ali (2000, Saba Islamic Media). It was printed in Malaysia, and has a stamp in front of it showing it is approved by 'Kementerian Dalam Negeri' (it does not tell if it's from Brunei or Malaysia). I've checked various tafsirs online, as I currently do not have several different versions of Quranic translations lying around, and they pretty much say the same thing.

So it's not something I pulled out of the internet from an atheist website. It's taken straight out of the Quran. I did not take quotes from hadith (not even from one as acknowledged as Bukhari) because, well, some people might argue they're not authentic or suspect in accuracy.

There's also the devaluing of women in the Quran:

"...And get two witnesses, out of your own men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her."
- Verse 282, Surah Al Baqarah

"God thus directs you as regards to your children's (inheritance); to the male, a portion equal to that of two females..."
- Verse 11, Surah Al Nisa

"If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hand possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice."
- Verse 3, Surah Al Nisa

"Truly man was created impatient. Fretful when evil touches him; and niggardly when good reaches him; Not so those devoted to prayer; Those who remain steadfast to their prayer ... And those who guard their chastity, Except with their wives and the (captives) whom their right hand possess - for (then) they are not to be blamed."
Verse 19-30, Surah Al Ma'arij

Apologists argue that it was a different time then. People in Muhammad's time were not subject to the same ethics or moral system we apply to ourselves today. So then, why are we still using the Quran to shape our morality? Doesn't that show morality is not something Allah showed us, but merely our own sense of what is right or what is wrong?

When we begin to cherry-pick verses and say that slaves are not acceptable anymore or that women can work and don't have to stay at home all the time, then we are contradicting the Quran's teachings. So the 'moderate' Muslim is caught in a weird place.

If one were to accept Quran as the true word of God and Muhammad was the last true prophet, then one would think the Quran is infallible. That would mean obeying it to the smallest detail. Yet we don't, because we know deep in our minds that many of the things in the Quran are morally suspect, ambiguous or even clearly wrong.

We don't stone adulterers. We don't cut off hands of thieves. We know these are harsh punishments.

And why would God, the omniscient one, not see this coming? Did God not see that morals and ethics would change in the next thousands of years? If the excuse is to 'ease' converts into the 'new' religion at the time, as people have argued, then it is quite inconsistent of God. Okay. So God writes (or reveals) a whole holy book meant to tell you how to live your life in staggering detail. Then God puts in a few bits just to 'ease' people into converting? And hey, it's not minor offences like not covering your hair or washing parts of your body before a prayer. It's about owning a slave and undermining women rights! That should probably be the first things on God's list if God was introduing a new religion to a merchant.

10 comments:

  1. Bismillah...

    Hello Jason... So I was a passer-by through your blog and I just had to comment...

    Anyway..

    "When we begin to cherry-pick verses and say that slaves are not acceptable anymore or that women can work and don't have to stay at home all the time, then we are contradicting the Quran's teachings. So the 'moderate' Muslim is caught in a weird place.

    If one were to accept Quran as the true word of God and Muhammad was the last true prophet, then one would think the Quran is infallible. That would mean obeying it to the smallest detail."

    Yes, it is true that today's world is modernizing.. What is relevant in culture today may not be relevant in the past culture, etc. Cultures have evolved. Having a slave is not acceptable in parts of today's world..But it was relevant back then..

    It is not to say that the Quranic teachings and sunnah Nabi Muhammad (pbuh) are outdated. We can't just look at a specific "mainstream" culture, the Quran and sunnah cover teachings for all cultures.

    Some of Prophet Muhammad's sayings in relation to slavery;

    "It is related by Abu Hurairah (R.A.) that Rasulullah (S.A.W.) said, 'Food and dress are the right of the slave and he should not be assigned to task which may be beyond his capacity.'

    This point constitutes the fundamental rights of slaves. So we are meant to treat them with mercy and kindness, as to any other human being.

    "Abu Mas’ood (R.A.) narrates that 'Once I was beating my slave when I heard a voice behind – (saying)” Oh Abu Mas’ood! Remember that Allah has a greater power and authority over you than you have over the poor slave” I turned around and saw that it was the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) whereupon I said “Oh Prophet of Allah – he is now free for the sake of Allah (I have set him free).” The Prophet (S.A.W.) observed that “Be informed that had you not done so (i.e. set him free) you would be consumed in the fire of Hell!' "

    Rebelle "Men all over the world twist the teachings of Islam to justify their actions of abusing their wives or ‘mistresses’. So you see we can’t really blame the religion. . Blame the men who perverted islam for their own ‘evil’ purposes and personal sexual gratification."

    She is trying to say that men do overlook the authentic teachings of Islam as a way to manipulate women.

    Remember that women are meant to be loved and protected in Islam.

    "Prophet Muhammad says : '...The best among you are those who behave best towards their wives'

    (Tirmidhi)

    And also, in Islam,men are considered to be 'responsible' leaders for the women in their lives. Fathers, husbands, older brothers are going to be held accountable in the Hereafter for the misdeeds and evil doing by the women in their lives. They will be questioned whether they have done enough in attempts at guiding their women. So it is the job and duties of men to guide them both emotionally and spiritually, take care of them - not hurt them for their sexual gratification.

    And about polygamy - as according to the Quran, it is only acceptable when the men is able to be just and fair. Polygamy is introduced as a way to protect women.

    Watch this - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBbkn5j1Vto something to think about ;)

    Islam has a very wide scope. It is not only limited to only covering your hair, following the restrictions without understanding the 'hikmah' of the Quranic teachings- when you study Islam carefully, one will realize that it has covered the rights for the individual, whole of humankind, for both the past and modern world.

    God has ordered us to use our wisdom when it comes to applying and spreading Islamic teachings.

    "Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching"- An-Nahl,Verse 125

    Okay. Salam.

    ReplyDelete
  2. And well, you're losing the battle anyway. Islam is the fastest growing religion in today's world.

    Real muslims everywhere are fighting against the misrepresentation of Islam in many parts of the media.

    I sincerely hope Allah will guide you to the right path. Okay, last comment.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'll address the second comment first, since it takes less effort to reply to.

    Even though I've said it myself because at the time I thought it was true, it turns out Islam is not the fastest growing religion in today's world.

    Between 19990 to 2000, around 865,558 people converted to Islam each year. So by numbers, Islam is not the fastest growing.

    Between 1989 and 1998, the number of Muslims in Europe increased by more than 100%, but this is shown to be mostly because of immigration from Islamic nations, therefore it does not affect the total number of Muslims in the world.

    What about by percentage?

    As it turns out, between 19990 and 2000, in the USA Islam is actually ninth in the rankings of growth by percentage (109%). Some religions with higher percentages are Sikhism (338%), those of the New Age variety (240%), Hinduism (237%) and Buddhism (170%). Interestingly, even non-religious or secular affiliations (110%) outrank Islam.

    Does that mean Hinduism or Christianity is more right than Islam? Of course not. Truth does not come from the sheer number of people believing it.

    I'll address the first comment as soon as I possible.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Addition:

    Between 19990 to 2000, around 865,558 people converted to Islam each year. In the same period, 2,883,011 converted to Christianity each year. So by numbers, Islam is not the fastest growing.

    Sorry, I wrote a draft of it first to make it easier to check out the facts. Then had to type it in again because for some reason Blogger refused to let me paste from the clipboard.

    ReplyDelete
  5. "Truth does not come from the sheer number of people believing it." Yeah in that sentence, you're right. Truth cannot be measured by only statistics. Maybe I should've rephrased my words..

    Just to let you know, in terms of propaganda, Muslims nowadays are fighting (not violently) for the rights against misrepresentation of our religion in the media (i.e. TV and internet, etc, etc)


    I still believe that women are more respected and protected in Islam, and when we use wisdom as given to us by Allah, instead of just being biased and narrow minded, Islamic teachings can be applied and spread even to the world today. I respect your space to have your own beliefs, and thank you for not lashing out on me for starting a 'debate' (though maybe it won't be a super long one, because im sure we both have other things to do too lol)

    And remember..

    "Let there be no compulsion in religion.." Al Baqarah, Versw 256

    Peace :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. And here's another link (Not mine)

    http://www.ashadu.com/women.html

    ReplyDelete
  7. Btw, you're an Atheist and you're so against religion and God. So let me ask you just a simple question...

    What is your purpose in life? Why do you think you are here?

    P/S I'm not discriminating Atheists as a whole. I do realize there are certain atheists with their own moral systems and all.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Not everybody needs a purpose in life. Having no direction is not a bad thing. It just means we have the freedom to choose what we feel is right and wrong. To do what we think is good for us as a being, and to enjoy what's out there.

    I'm happy living without being directed. I'd rather live like this.

    I don't think I'm here for any particular reason.

    ReplyDelete
  9. http://muslim-responses.com/islam_on_slavery_/islam_on_slavery_

    (Not mine)

    ReplyDelete
  10. "Right hand possession" are the human-captives of war who lived as slaves among Muslims in the PAST. And war/combat - only considered acceptable in self defense against oppression or people who fight us for our faith.

    ReplyDelete