Muhammad was not only a Pedophile (marry Aisha when she was 6), but he was hungry for more sex! On one hand he forbid Muslims from having premarital sex, then figured he’d make the guys happy by saying only they could marry up to 4 women, probably because he did the same…
Wow. I can’t believe this popped up in my dash. First of all, the Qur’an is written in archaic Arabic (Arabic peppered with many words of Aramaic). I have found English translations on the section of women that vary from: if your wife does not have sex with you, you may kick her out of your home, to if your wife is not pleased by you in bed, she may kick you out of bed (and home). Same exact passage. Different translation. Recent translations of the famous 70 virgins passage has been translated to 70 grapes (that could produce wine). Translation is a fickle thing. You are at the mercy of your translators interpretation of the Qur’an.
Second, there are two interpretations of the passage on marrying four wives. Partly due to where you cut off the ayah. The passage in my Qur’an is “Marry women who are lawful for you two, three, or four; but if you fear you cannot treat so many with equity, marry only one.” I, personally, have always taken this as a rhetorical device wherein you tell someone they may have four wives, if you treat them equally. Considering people can’t seem to treat their children equally, how on earth would they treat their wives so? The Qur’an was a spoken document that was hastily written down after the death of Muhammad (it has been documented as being fully compiled within 50-70 years of his death. Far quicker than say, the Torah or the Bible was).
Third, the idea of the founder of Islam as clearly marrying because he was sex hungry, and not, because he was head of a powerful Meccan tribe and forging political alliances is deeply Orientalizing. Those sex hungry Arabs with their harems of women! They are indecent! They are immoral! No European leader of faith would behave in this way! Does the idea of a man having multiple wives that he owns as property upset me, as a feminist? Absolutely. Does the political marriage of a six year old girl upset me? Yes. Was this the political idiom within which the classical and medieval world operated? Absolutely. Young christian girls, the earliest I have read of is age 10, were also married, often by proxy. This does not mean that the marriages were consummated. This does not justify a horrendous practice. But I cannot undo that in this time, across many world cultures, women and young girls were property. In Europe, during the Renaissance, that beautiful time of history where learning prevailed and classical knowledge began to re-flourish, age 14 was considered the age of consent. Young girls aged 12-14, an age we would now consider illegal and would fall under pedophilia, were considered old enough to consummate their marriage with 30+ year old men across Europe, including the birthplace of the renaissance— Florence. This is a horrendous world-wide practice, not specifically a Muslim one.
And finally, Muslims follow the hadith of Muhammad— his deeds (there are contentions among which to follow and which are “true” which I won’t get into here). So that passage that forgives Muhammad his wives? That’s so people would not follow his lead and marry as many women as he did, which again, I always understood in a political context, in order to preserve the original ayah which uses a rhetorical device to limit wives to one.
As a modern Muslim, there are so many problems I find with the Qur’an. But when you take a religious text literally, and from a translation at that, you are behaving no better than a fundamentalist. I read my holy book and try to think about what it means to me now, in this century. It could mean that women are meant to inherit less property than men, if I take those passages literally. Or it could mean that women had a guaranteed protected right to property and divorce in Islam when Christian women wouldn’t for another eleven centuries.
Particularly if you don’t believe in a higher power, you should be able to contextualize religious texts in their social, political, and historical setting. Modern ideas on what marriage is are radically different from what a classical and medieval marriage was. Frankly, I think our shift is a good one. Marriage as a means to enjoyable sex (at least for men) is a concept that sprung up around the protestant reformation. Marriage did and does still have a huge reflection on class. For the masses in medieval christian Europe, marriage was of an “if you must, but celibacy is better” function. But for the ruling classes, marriage was a necessity for forging alliances, transferring political power, and building in safety nets (you’re less likely to go to war with someone if they’ve married your daughter. This is partly because they could easily hurt your daughter, partly because she is there to curry favors for you, and partly because you were supposed to want to see your grandchildren bear a title or property). This is some game of thrones level shit. It’s not difficult to understand.
I’m so disappointed in you, John.
Mae lays it down like so much of a boss, I just had to have this on my blog.
Four hundred for you, Mae.
What are you taking about? Ignoring reality, changing scripture to one’s liking, and accusing others of not really understanding it are common techniques used by Muslims as a means to defend their archaic nonsense! Any sane human being can see right through the never ending misogyny of the Quran, except one who is diseases by it! Religion truly does poison everything!
Whoa there buddy, easy with the ad hominem attacks and 4th-grade Sunday school level critical analysis.
Fox News called, they want their lead analyst back.
Me every winter