Was Muhammad Really A Champion of Women’s Rights?

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MY COMMENTS CONCERN an article which appeared in the Friday, May 24th issue of the Anniston Star.

Specifically, I am referencing the FAITH section of the paper (i.e., Religion Roundtable) where local religionists respond to questions of faith, interpretation, and practice.

Mr. Muhammad Haq, cleric for the local Anniston Islamic Center wrote: “Prophet Muhammad was not only a champion of human rights (emphasis mine, mb)–including women, children…”

With the utmost kindness and respect to Mr. Haq, both history as well as Islam’s two most sacred books (the Qur’an and the Hadith), tell a very different story.

Consider:

FACT:  Muhammad engaged in wife-beating–with the authorization of the Qur’an.  The Hadith (which records the traditions or sayings of Muhammad and is second only to the rule of the Qur’an) says he hit his girl-bride, Aisha (who was between the ages of 6-9): “He (Muhammad) struck me (Aisha) on the chest which caused me pain” (Muslim no. 2127).  The Qur’an says, “If you fear highmindedness from your wives, remind them (of the teaching of Allah), then ignore them when you go to bed, then hit them (emphasis mind–mb).  If they obey you, you have no right to act against them” (Sura 4:34).  The Pickthall translation of the same passage says, ‘Men are in charge of women because Allah hath made the one to excel the other…  As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them (mb).

FACT:  Muhammad was a polygamist and treated his wives with disdain.  Hussein Haykal (popular Muslim biographer who authored The Life of Muhammad) says, “the wives of the Prophet went so far as to plot against their husband.”  Haykal then explains the motivation for their conspiratorial behavior.  “He (Muhammad) often ignored some of his wives, and avoided others on many occasions.”  Ironically, Muhammad supposedly received a revelation from God that a man could have no more than four wives at one time, but he himself had fifteen (cf. Sura 33:5).

FACT:  Muhammad claimed to have received a divine revelation which sanctioned him to marry Zainab, the divorced wife of his adopted son (Sura 33:37).  Oddly enough, the divorce was caused by the prophet’s own “admiration” for Zainab’s beauty.”

No, Muhammad was no champion of human rights, and certainly no champion of women’s rights in particular.

The sinless Christ (John 8:46) is the ONLY prophet who truly championed the role and rights of women (Gen. 2:18; Prov. 18:22; 31:10, 28; Gal. 3:28).

He alone deserves our allegiance (John 14:6).

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