The ‘Prophet’ on Rape

Over the past few years we have regularly seen Western media outlets ‘covering’ for Islam by attempting to show that so-called ‘radical groups’ are somehow ‘Un-Islamic’. One of the most common claims made in this regard was that the members of ISIS, Al-Shabab, Boko Haram etc. cannot be good Muslims as they regularly engage in the rape of women captured during their actions.

Astounding as it may seem, however, such actions receive direct divine sanction in the Qur’an and Islamic traditions.

The two most trusted sources of Islamic traditions (ahadith) Sahih Muslim and Sahih Bukhari both relate an incident where some Muslim fighters were raping captive women (whom they intended to sell for ransom) while taking care to observe ‘coitus interruptus’ (the withdrawal of the penis before the moment of climax). They came to Muhammad to ask him whether this was lawful: His answer was staggering in its callousness and its implications for later Muslim conduct during war: “It does not matter if you do not do it (withdraw before climaxing), for every soul that is to be born up to the Day of Resurrection will be born.” (Sahih Muslim 3371, see also Sahih Bukhari 34:176:2229)

Muhammad’s reaction beggars belief. Instead of furiously commanding them to stop such vile conduct and taking the women into his protection, Muhammad (the ‘perfect example’, Qur’an 33:21) cheerfully instructs his followers to do to the women whatever they desired!

To make matters even worse, Muslim tradition states that the following verse of the Qur’an was revealed precisely to ease the qualms of Muslim warriors about having sex with enslaved captives: “Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess” (Qur’an 4:24) So according to the word of Allah if “your right hand possesses” a woman, sex with her is totally lawful even if she is married to someone else. This is something of a theme in the Qur’an with four verses in total assuring Muslims that sex with captives is lawful while there are no verses mandating the number of daily prayers (Muslims have to turn to the hadiths for this)!

Perhaps we’ve been looking for the ‘War on Women’ in all the wrong places?

For more on some of the uncomfortable questions that should be asked about the core teachings and truth claims of Islam, see my book: “Questioning Islam – Tough Questions and Honest Answers About the Muslim Religion

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