What the Koran Says, Part 3

What the Koran Says about Women

Note:  the following is not necessarily comprehensive

WOMEN ARE WORTH HALF A MAN

  • [2.282] . . . . Call to witness two witnesses of your men, if the two are not men, then a man and two women from the witnesses whom you approve; so that if one of the two errs, one of them will remind the other.
  • [4.11] Allah charges you concerning your children, for a male like the share of two females. . . .
  • [4.176] . . . if a person dies, having no children, but he has a sister, she shall receive half of what he leaves, and he is her heir if she has no children.  If there are two sisters, they shall receive two-thirds of what he leaves, if there are siblings, men and women, for a male like the share of two females.  Allah clarifies to you, lest you go astray, Allah is Knowledgeable of everything.

WOMEN HAVE LIMITED RIGHTS

  • [2.240] Those who die and leave wives behind should bequeath to them a year’s maintenance without causing them to leave their homes; but if they leave, no blame shall be attached to you in what they do with themselves kindly.  Allah is Mighty and Wise.
    [2.241] Provision should be made for divorced women with kindness. That is a right on the cautious.
  • [4.11] Allah charges you concerning your children, for a male like the share of two females.  If they are women, above two, they shall have two thirds of what he left, but if she is one, then to her a half.  While for his parents, to each one of the two a sixth of what he left, if he has a child.  But if he has no child and his heirs are his parents, his mother shall have a third.  If he has siblings, to his mother a sixth after any bequest he had bequeathed, or any debt. Your fathers and your children, you do not know which of them is nearer in benefit to you. This is an obligation from Allah. Surely, Allah is the Knower, the Wise.
    [4.12] For you half of what your wives leave if they have no child.  If they have a child, a quarter of what they leave shall be yours after any bequest she had bequeathed, or any debt. And for them (the females) they shall inherit one quarter of what you leave if you have no child.  If you have a child, they shall inherit one eighth, after any bequest you had bequeathed, or any debt.  If a man or a woman have no direct heirs, but have a brother or a sister, to each of the two a sixth. If they are more than that, they shall equally share the third, after any bequest that he had bequeathed or any debt without harm.  This is an obligation from Allah.  He is the Knower, the Clement.

WOMEN DEFILE A MAN FOR WORSHIP

  • [4.43] Believers, do not come close to prayer when you are drunk, until you know what you are saying, nor when you are in a state of impurity, unless you are crossing through the way (prayer area) until you have bathed yourselves.  If you are ill or on a journey, or if any of you comes from the toilet or you have touched women, and you cannot find water, so touch pure dust and wipe your faces and your hands.  Allah is the Pardoner, the Forgiver.
  • [5.6] Believers, when you rise to pray wash your faces and your hands as far as the elbow, and wipe your heads and (wash) your feet to the ankle.  If you are in a state of impurity, cleanse yourselves.  But if you are sick or traveling, or, if when you have just relieved yourselves or had intercourse with women and you cannot find water, touch the clean surface of the earth and rub your hands and faces with it.  Allah does not wish to burden you, He seeks only to purify you and to complete His Favor to you in order that you may thank.

WOMEN ARE FOR MEN’S BENEFIT

  • [2.223] Women are your planting place (for children); come then to your planting place as you please and forward (good deeds) for your souls, and fear Allah.  And know that you shall meet Him.  Give glad tidings to the believers.
  • [3.14] Decorated for people are the desires of women, offspring, and of heaped up piles of gold and silver, of pedigree horses, cattle, and sown fields. These are the enjoyments of the worldly life, but with Allah is the best return.
    [3.15] Say:  ‘Shall I tell you of a better thing than that? For the cautious with their Lord, theirs shall be Gardens underneath which rivers flow, where they shall live for ever, and purified spouses, and pleasure from Allah.  ‘Allah is watching over His worshipers.

CHASTITY

  • [24.30] Say to the believers they should lower their gaze and guard their private parts that is purer for them.  Allah is Aware of the things they do.
    [24.31] And say to the believing women, that they lower their gaze cast down their eyes and guard their chastity, and do not reveal their adornment except that which is outward (face and hands); and let them draw their veils over their neck, and not reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husbands’ fathers, or their sons, or their husbands’ sons, or their brothers, or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or what their right hands own, or such male attendants having no sexual desire, or children who have not yet attained knowledge of women’s private parts; nor let them stamp their feet, so that their hidden ornament is known. And, O believers turn to Allah all together, in order that you prosper.

POLYGAMY

  • [4.3] If you fear that you cannot act justly towards the orphans, then marry such women as seem good to you; two, three, four of them.  But if you fear that you cannot do justice, then one only, or, those you possess.  It is likelier then that you will not be partial.
  • [4.128] If a woman fears hatred or aversion from her husband there is no fault in them if the couple set things right between them, for reconciliation is better.  Avarice attends the souls, but if you do what is good and are cautious, surely, Allah is Aware of what you do.
    [4.129] You will not be able to be just between your women, even though you are eager.  Do not be altogether partial so that you leave her as if she were suspended.  If you reform and are cautious, Allah is the Forgiver, the Merciful.
    [4.130] But if they separate, Allah will enrich each of them out from His Vastness. He is the Embracer, the Wise.

MUHAMMAD ALLOWED TO MULTIPLY WIVES

  • [33.37] . . . . And when Zayd had accomplished what he would of her (divorce), We gave her to you (Prophet Muhammad) in marriage, so that there is no fault in believers concerning (marriage to) the former spouse of their foster children if they divorced them.  The decree of Allah must be done.
    [33.38] No fault shall be attached to the Prophet for doing what Allah has obligated for him. Such was the way of Allah with those who passed away before the decree of Allah is a decree determined.
  • [33.50] O Prophet, We have made lawful to you the wives to whom you have given dowries and those whom your right hand possesses, of whatever spoils of war that Allah has given you; and the daughters of your paternal uncles and paternal aunts, and of your paternal and maternal aunts who migrated with you; and any believing woman who gives herself to the Prophet, if the Prophet wishes to take her in marriage.  This is only for you and not any other believer.  We know the duties We have imposed on them concerning their wives and those whom their right hand possesses, so that there should be no fault in you. Allah is the Forgiving and Merciful.
    [33.51] You may defer any of them (your wives) if you please and invite any of them if you please.  If you seek any you have put aside there is no fault in you. So that it is likelier they will be comforted, and not sorrow, and every one of them will be pleased, and all are pleased with what you give them.  Allah knows what is in your hearts.  Allah is the Knower, the Clement.
    [33.52] It shall be unlawful for you to take more wives or to exchange your present wives for other women, though their beauty pleases you, except those whom your right hand possesses.  Allah is watchful over everything.

PUNISHMENT OF WOMEN BY MEN

  • [4.15] If any of your women commit indecency, call in four witnesses from among yourselves against them, if they testify, confine them to their houses till death overtakes them or till Allah makes for them a way.
    [4.16] If two among you commit it punish them both.  If they repent and make amends, leave them alone. Allah is the Relenter, the Merciful.
  • [4.34] Men are the maintainers (in charge) of women for that Allah has preferred in bounty one of them over another, and for that they have spent of their wealth.  Righteous women are obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah has guarded. Those from whom you fear rebelliousness, admonish them and desert them in the bed and smack them (without harshness).  Then, if they obey you, do not look for any way against them.  Allah is High, Great.

DIVORCE

  • [2.228] Divorced women shall wait by themselves for three periods.  It is unlawful for them, if they believe in Allah and the Last Day, to hide what He has created in their wombs, in which case their husbands would have a better right to restore them should they desire reconciliation.  And for them similar to what is due from them with kindness.  But men have a degree above them.  Allah is Mighty and Wise.
  • [4.20] If you wish to take a wife in the place of another wife, and you have given to one a Qintar (98,841.6 lbs.) so do not take from it anything.  What, will you take it by way of calumny and a clear sin!
    [4.21] How can you take it back when you have reached one another (sexually) and they have taken from you a strong covenant!
  • [66.5] It may be that if he divorces you his Lord will give him in your place better wives than yourselves, women who have surrendered, believing, obedient, penitent worshippers and given to fasting; who were (previously) married, and virgins too.
  • [2.229] Divorce is twice, then an honorable keeping or allowed to go with kindness.  It is unlawful for you to take from them anything you have given them, unless both fear that they will not be able to keep within the Bounds of Allah; in which case it shall be no offense for either of them if she ransom herself. These are the Bounds of Allah; do not transgress them.  Those who transgress the Bounds of Allah are harmdoers.
    [2.230] If he divorces her (for the third time), she shall not be lawful to him after that until she has wed (not for the purpose of remarrying her former husband) another spouse and then if he divorces her it shall be no offense for either of them to return to each other, if they think that they can keep within the Bounds of Allah.  Those are the Bounds of Allah. He makes them plain to people who know.
    [2.231] When you have divorced women and they have reached the end of their waiting period, either keep them in kindness or let them go with kindness.  But you shall not keep them, being harmful, in order to transgress.  Whoever does this wrongs himself.  Do not take the verses of Allah in mockery.  Remember the favor of Allah upon you, and what He sent down to you from the Book and Wisdom to exhort you. Fear Allah and know that He has knowledge of everything.
    [2.232] When you divorce women, and they have reached their term, do not restrain them from marrying their (future) husbands, when they have agreed together with kindness.  That is an exhortation for whosoever of you believes in Allah and the Last Day.  That is cleaner and purer for you. Allah knows, and you do not know.
    [2.236] It shall be no offense for you to divorce your wives as long as you have not touched them or obligated a right for them. Provide for them with fairness; the rich according to his means, and the restricted according to his.  A right on the good-doers.
    [2.237] If you divorce them before you have touched them but after their dowry has been determined, give them half of what you determined, unless they pardon, or he pardons in whose hand is the marriage knot.  And if you pardon it is nearer to warding off (evil). Do not forget the generosity between each other.  Allah is the Seer of what you do.
  • [33.49] Believers, if you marry believing women and divorce them before the marriage is consummated, you have no period to count against them. Provide for them and release them kindly.

ADULTERY FORBIDDEN BUT WITH SLAVES ANYTHING GOES

  • [4.24] And (forbidden to you) are married women, except those whom your right hand owns.  Such Allah has written for you.  Lawful to you beyond all that, is that you can seek using your wealth in marriage and not fornication.  So whatever you have enjoyed from them give them their obligated wage.  And there is no fault in you in what ever you mutually agree after the obligation.  Allah is the Knower, the Wise.
    [4.25] If any one of you do not have the affluence to be able marry free believing women, (let him marry) from among the believing women that your right hand owns.  Allah knows best your belief, you are from each other.  Marry them with the permission of their people and give them their wages (dowry) honorably being women in marriage and chaste, not taking lovers.  If, after marriage they commit adultery, they shall be liable to half the punishment of a married (free) woman.  That is for those of you who fear fornication, but it is better for you to be patient.  Allah is the Forgiver, the Most Merciful.
  • In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Most Merciful
    [23.1] Prosperous are the believers,
    [23.2] who are humble in their prayers;
    [23.3] who turn away from idle talk;
    [23.4] who give charity,
    [23.5] who guard their privates,
    [23.6] except with their wives and what their right hand possess, and then they are not blamed.
  • [33.50] O Prophet, We have made lawful to you the wives to whom you have given dowries and those whom your right hand possesses, of whatever spoils of war that Allah has given you; and the daughters of your paternal uncles and paternal aunts, and of your paternal and maternal aunts who migrated with you; and any believing woman who gives herself to the Prophet, if the Prophet wishes to take her in marriage.  This is only for you and not any other believer.  We know the duties We have imposed on them concerning their wives and those whom their right hand possesses, so that there should be no fault in you.  Allah is the Forgiving and Merciful.
    [33.52] It shall be unlawful for you to take more wives or to exchange your present wives for other women, though their beauty pleases you, except those whom your right hand possesses. Allah is watchful over everything.
  • [70.27] and go in fear of the punishment of their Lord,
    [70.28] for none is secure from the punishment of their Lord,
    [70.29] who guard their privates
    [70.30] except from their wives and what their right hands own, for these they are not blameworthy.

THE TEMPORARY MARRIAGE LOOPHOLE

According to Muslim sources, “temporary marriage,” Nikah Mut’ah, is “a fixed-time arrangement between a man and a woman that dissolves once the duration expires.”  Even Muhammad is believed to have used this principle to justify prostitution (Hadith Muslim 8:3252).  Today, Sunni Muslims consider the practice to be limited to a certain time and a place, such as within Muhammad’s lifetime, while the Shia freely allow it.

  • [4.24] And those of whom ye seek content (by marrying them), give unto them their portions as a duty.  And there is no sin for you in what ye do by mutual agreement after the duty (hath been done).
  • [5.87] O you who believe!  Do not forbid (yourselves) the good things which Allah has made lawful for you and do not exceed the limits; surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits”

An Internet video purports to contain (if one may trust the translation) the first-hand testimony of an Iranian cleric that the Ayatollah Khomeini applied the concept of temporary marriage to his own sexual abuse of a childOther sources argue that the concept of temporary marriage constitutes a misunderstanding of the pertinent Koran verses.

In contrast to the prostitution loophole, the Koran elsewhere says,

  • [24.33] Let those who do not find the means to marry be abstinent until Allah enriches them of His bounty.  Those your right hand owns who seek their freedom, make a contract with them accordingly if you know some good in them, and give them from the wealth of Allah that He has given you.  Do not force your slave-girls into prostitution in order to seek worldly gain for they wish to preserve their chastity.  Whosoever compels them, surely Allah, after their being compelled, is the Forgiver (to the girls), the Most Merciful.

THE PROMISE OF BEING GIVEN VIRGINS IN PARADISE

  • [37.40] But for the sincere worshipers of Allah,
    [37.41] there is waiting for them a known provision;
    [37.42] fruits. And they are receivers of generosity
    [37.43] in the Gardens of Delight,
    [37.44] sitting face to face upon couches,
    [37.48] And with them will be maidens (houris) who restrain their wide glances
    [37.49] as if they were hidden pearls.
  • [38.50] the Gardens of Eden whose gates shall be open to them,
    [38.51] in which they will recline, and call for abundant fruit and drink therein.
    [38.52] And with them will be maidens of equal age with modest gaze.
    [38.53] ‘This is what you are promised on the Day of Recompense,
    [38.54] this is Our unending provision.’
  • [44.40] The Day of Decision is the appointed time for all.
    [44.51] Indeed, for those who feared (Allah) is a secure place
    [44.52] amidst gardens and fountains,
    [44.53] dressed in silks and brocade, set face to face.
    [44.54] As such, We shall wed them to wide-eyed houris (the virgins of Paradise).
    [44.55] There in security, they will call for every kind of fruit.
    [44.56] There they shall not taste death, except the first death, and He will shield them from the punishment of Hell,
    [44.57] as a bounty from your Lord.  That will be the mighty triumph.
  • [52.17] But in the Gardens the righteous shall live in bliss,
    [52.18] rejoicing in all their Lord has given them, and their Lord will guard them against the punishment of Hell.
    [52.19] (It will be said):  ‘Eat and drink with a good appetite because of that which you did.’
    [52.20] (They shall be) reclining on couches ranged in rows and We shall wed them to houris (virgins of Paradise) with large wide eyes.
  • [55.56] Therein are maidens who restrain their glances, whom neither human nor jinn have touched before.
    [55.72] Maidens (of Paradise, Houris) in cloistered cool pavilions.
  • [56.1] When the Event (the resurrection) comes
    [56.16] they shall recline, facing each other,
    [56.17] (and there) shall wait on them immortal youths
    [56.18] with goblets and ewers, and a cup from a spring
    [56.22] And wide-eyed houris
    [56.23] like hidden pearls,
    [56.24] a recompense for all that they did.
    [56.35] Indeed We formed them (the houris and all believing women),
    [56.36] and made them virgins,
    [56.37] chaste, loving companions of the same age
    [56.38] for the Companions of the Right
  • [78.31] But, for the cautious a place of prosperity,
    [78.32] and gardens and vineyards,
    [78.33] curvaceous (virgins), of equal age
    [78.34] and an overflowing cup.

© 2010 Paul A. Hughes

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