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Monday, June 13, 2022

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Sura 4 or 'The Women' an excerpt from 'The Critical Quran' by Robert Spencer

The Koran is the problem.

by Ferdinand III

 Sura 4 translated into English is here (Translated by Yusuf Ali, a fanatical Muslim apologist, so there is no ‘mistranslations’ which so bemuse Muslimophiles when discussing problematic texts).

Sura 4 is called ‘The Women’.  Women are important in Muhammad’s cult to produce Ghazi (warriors) and to support the needs of a man.  Men can have up to 4 wives and innumerable sex slaves which they have taken by ‘their right hand’.  This phrase references slavery.  Women are viewed as inferior to men, often equated at ¼ to ½ the value of a Muslim man, can be beaten for not following the commands of the man, or the Qur’an or for ‘lewd behaviour such as talking to a strange man or leaving the house unaccompanied or insufficiently covered.  Women are fields to be tithed or used for procreation.  There is no expectation that women will be participants in society, education or general affairs.  Their subservience to men is clearly delineated in this and many other chapters.  But this is not all this chapter presents.  Odes to Jihad, supremacism and domination, dominate as well and are listed below at the end.

Excerpts from Robert Spencer’s book below and explanations on key verses within Sura 4.  This link can be used (or the link above) to read the translation of the verses which are not copied out in their entirety.  The commentary is against that specific verse (italics).

Summation, women are inferior.

Among these laws are two of the most notorious provisions of the Qur’an, the command to beat women from whom one “fears” disobedience (4:34), and the allowance of the sexual enslavement of infidel women (4:24). Like suras 2 and 3, it deals with a variety of subjects and includes the usual castigation of unbelievers, but it is generally more unified than they are and contains almost all of the Qur’an’s key legislation regarding women

John of Damascus on this chapter.

In his remarks about Islam written around 730, John of Damascus may refer to this sura. “This Muhammad,” he writes, “as it has been mentioned, composed many frivolous tales, to each of which he assigned a name, like the text (graphe) of the Woman, in which he clearly prescribes the taking of four wives and one thousand concubines, if it is possible.” This sura does indeed allow a man four wives as well as the use of slave girls, “those your right hand possesses” (4:3), as concubines, although it doesn’t specify they must be a thousand in number, or any particular number. That may simply be John indulging in a bit of polemical hyperbole or using a thousand to indicate a virtually unlimited number of concubines.

Verse 3. Polygamy, every independent woman’s dream it appears.

This verse is the basis for Islamic polygamy and the sexual enslavement of infidel women. Regarding polygamy, the Mishkat al-Masabih depicts Muhammad saying: “When a man has two wives and does not treat them equally he will come on the day of resurrection with a side hanging down.” But equality in such circumstances is in the eye of the beholder. Ibn Kathir says the requirement to “do justice” regarding one’s wives is not a major obstacle to having more than one wife, since treating them justly isn’t the same as treating them equally: “It is not obligatory to treat them equally, rather it is recommended. So if one does so, that is good, and if not, there is no harm on him.”

Verse 15. Women who are lewd are condemned to isolation.

Allah prescribes home imprisonment until death for women found guilty of “lewdness,” most commonly understood in this context as adultery as well as homosexual activity, on the testimony of four witnesses. According to Islamic law, these four witnesses must be male Muslims; women’s testimony is inadmissible in cases of a sexual nature, even in rape cases in which she is the victim.

Death by stoning for both men and women (though men are never stoned in Muhammadanism, just women).

However, the penalty of stoning does not appear in the Qur’an. A hadith attributed to Umar attempts to square its absence by invoking a tradition that Muhammad had prescribed this penalty: “I am afraid,” he said, “that after a long time has passed, people may say, ‘We do not find the Verses of the Rajam (stoning to death) in the Holy Book,’ and consequently they may go astray by leaving an obligation that Allah has revealed.” Umar affirmed: “Lo! I confirm that the penalty of Rajam be inflicted on him who commits illegal sexual intercourse, if he is already married and the crime is proved by witnesses or pregnancy or confession.” And he added that Muhammad “carried out the penalty of Rajam, and so did we after him.”

Verse 34.  Beat your wife.

Wife-beating exists in all cultures, but only in Islam does it enjoy divine sanction. Allah tells men to beat their disobedient wives after first warning them and then sending them to sleep in separate beds. This is, of course, an extremely controversial verse, but there is not a great deal of variation in how the primary translators of the Qur’an have rendered the salient word, waidriboohunna.

Verse 46. Jews are cursed by the Al Lah deity or moon idol Baal (sometimes referred to as the storm god in some cultures).

Allah has “cursed them for their unbelief,” that is, the Jews yet again. Says Ibn Kathir: “Allah states that the Jews, may Allah’s continued curse fall on them until the Day of Resurrection, have purchased the wrong path instead of guidance, and ignored what Allah sent down to His Messenger Muhammad. They also ignored the knowledge that they inherited from previous Prophets, about the description of Muhammad,

Verse 47. Jews are cursed as apes and pigs.

The Jews are called to accept Islam or face terrible punishment, including being cursed “as we cursed the Sabbath-breakers,” that is, being transformed into apes and pigs (2:63-65).

Verse 48. Allah will forgive anything except shirk or disbelief in Muhammad and the Al Lah idol (see 2:193, 4:31, and 6:21).

Verse 56. Eternal damnation of Christians and Jews for Shirk.

The exchange of new skins for old so that the damned can be freshly tortured assumes a physical hell where the bodies of the unbelievers are perpetually renewed so that they can be tortured again.

Verse 71.  Jihad.  Jihad all the time. 

Here begins an extended exhortation to the believers to go forth courageously to jihad warfare. Ibn Kathir explains: “Allah commands His faithful servants to take precautions against their enemies, by being prepared with the necessary weapons and supplies, and increasing the number of troops fighting in His cause.”80

Verse 74. The Ghazi or warrior goes to heaven.

This promise that a warrior will be rewarded “whether he is killed or victorious” constitutes a great deal of the reason why Muslim armies have fought with such tenacity throughout history. The warrior of jihad cannot lose: if he gains victory, he can help himself to the possessions (and the women) of those whom he has defeated (see 4:24 and sura 8). If he is killed, he gains paradise.

Verse 76. Jihad by any means possible.

There is no moral gray area in jihad warfare; the believers fight for Allah, while the unbelievers fight for Satan. Osama bin Laden began his October 6, 2002, letter to the American people with two Qur’an quotations, this verse and 22:39.81 On taghut, see 2:256.

Verse 84. Great rewards for Jihadis.

In a hadith, Muhammad is reported as saying there are immense rewards in store for those who wage jihad: “In Jannah [paradise] there are a hundred grades which Allah has prepared for those who fight in His Cause [mujahidin]; and the distance between any two of those grades is like the distance between the heaven and the earth.”

Verse 89.  Death for apostasy or cowardice in Jihad.

This verse is a foundation for Islam’s death penalty for apostasy. Al-Wahidi explains that “a group of people initially accompanied the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, to Uhud but then turned back and returned to Medina. The Muslims were divided in their opinions about them. Some of them were of the opinion that they should be killed while others thought they should be spared, and so this verse was revealed,” which directs that those who join the Muslims and then leave them should be killed.

Verse 95. Jihad is material not spiritual.

This verse provides a clear refutation of those who maintain that the Qur’an’s vision of jihad is primarily spiritual. If one must wage jihad with one’s wealth and one’s life, and those who do so are on a higher level than those who stay home, then clearly what is envisioned is participation in warfare, not a struggle to better oneself.

Verse 100.  Conquering through emigration.

Here the Qur’an states the cardinal importance of “emigration for the cause of Allah,” that is, moving to a new land with the intention of bringing Islam to it. See also 4:66 and 4:89.

Verse 104.  Unrelenting torment and punishment for Jews and Christians.

The Tafsir Anwarul Bayan explains: “While the disbelievers (kuffar) will be subjected to the unending torment and distress in the abysses of Hell, the Muslims shall be rejoicing in the bliss and comforts of Heaven (Jannah), without the slightest worries and concerns. The disbelievers (kuffar) cannot aspire for these stages as these are promised exclusively to the Muslims. For this reason the Muslims have a much stronger incentive to fight and should do so with greater zest and zeal.”

Verse 124.  Paradise is only for Muslims.

Paradise is promised to the true believers, both male and female, but while it is filled with the virginal houris, the women of paradise, for men (see 44:54), it is not described for women.

Verse 137. Kill apostates.

Allah will not forgive those who leave Islam twice. A hadith has Muhammad strengthening this: “If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him.”

Verse 159. Jesus will return and Muslimify the globe.

According to a hadith put in Muhammad’s mouth, “The Hour will not be established until the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends amongst you as a just ruler, he will break the cross, kill the pigs, and abolish the Jizya tax.” That is, he will abolish the subservient dhimmi status of the non-Muslims and Islamize the world: “During his time, Allah will destroy all religions except Islam and Allah will destroy Al-Masih Ad-Dajjal (the False Messiah).”

Verse 171.  Christ is not divine (but in verse 159 he somehow will return and perform miracles and establish Muhammadanism across the globe…..)

Allah warns Christians to remember that Jesus was a created being and not to say “Three,” that is, not to say God is a Trinity. Ibn Kathir echoes the Qur’an itself (5:116) in saying that the Christians elevated Jesus “and his mother to be gods with Allah”; the actual Christian Trinity of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is not envisioned in the Qur’an. It is “far removed from his transcendent majesty that he should have a son” because having a son would imply that he is insufficient for his tasks and needs a helper, but Allah “is sufficient.”

Verse 175. Muslim men can marry ‘good’ women who are not Muslim, but Muslim women may not do the same (this is part of the demographic Jihad).

Muslim men are permitted to marry “the virtuous women of the believers and the virtuous women of those who received the book before you.” The Qur’an says nothing about Muslim women being permitted to marry men from the people of the book; this is prohibited in Islamic law as part of the subjugated status of the dhimmis, the “protected people,” in Islam. Traditionally a man takes his wife into his own household but not vice versa. The prohibition of Muslim women marrying non-Muslim men, and the allowance of Muslim men marrying non-Muslim women, means that the Islamic community will always be in a position to grow, while the non-Muslim community declines.

There is plenty more which could be listed but the themes are obvious including inter-alia:

  • 1.     Jihad and its rewards to Ghazi including heaven and virgins
  • 2.     Sex slavery of Infidel women
  • 3.     Spiritual, material, physical ownership of wives and women by Muslim men
  • 4.     Hatred of Jews and Christians
  • 5.     Paradise for pious Muslims after death
  • 6.     Death for leaving the cult (apostasy)
  • 7.     Negation of Christ’s divinity
  • 8.     Claiming that Christ was really a Muslim and the Trinity an example of Shirk or unbelief
  • 9.     Death and hellfire for any who engage in Shirk
  • 10. Muslims must conquer non-Muslim states through emigration and demography

This chapter is not religious or about faith.  It is a document demanding subservience, the management of women, the use of women to produce Ghazi, the necessity to wage Jihad war, the demonisation of Jews and Christians, and the command to subjugate non-Muslims.

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