Muhammad viewed women as akin to animals or pets. They are 'wards' of Moslem men. They are assets to be traded, sold, used [for sex, babies, housework], and they are inferior. Many are evil hence Muhammad's claim that 99% of hell's inhabitants are female. In Ibn Ishaq's 'Sirat Rasulallah', or a Sira about Muhammad, he quotes Muhammad's lecture just before his death in 632 AD on women:
"You have rights over your wives, and they have rights over you. You have the right that they should not defile your bed and that they should not behave with open unseemliness. If they do, God allows you to put them in separate rooms and to beat them, but not with severity. If they refrain from these things and obey you, they have right to their food and clothing with kindness. Lay injunctions on women kindly, for they are your wards having no control of their persons."
[Guillaume, A., “The Life of Muhammad”, Oxford, 1955, page 651]
Women are 'wards' and thus the mere property of men. Much like a cow or a dog. A man is entitled to feed the dog, and allow it to live, but the dog must serve the whims and fancies of the master. The cow likewise has 'rights' until it is slaughtered and consumed in accordance with the neolithic and quite savage process of halal. The Moslem definition of 'ward' means a person who has been legally placed under the care of a guardian or court, or a person who is under the protection and control of another. Muslim wives are placed under their husband’s control. Period.
Moslem theologians confirm this fact. The Muslim scholar Ali Dashti translates the fourth sentence from the above passage and comments:
Look after women kindly! They are prisoners, not having control of themselves at all". The passage's word in Arabic "awan" translated as "ward" or "prisoners" implies that women are in-between slave and free. In other words, because women are unable control their emotions, men are given authority over them.
Dashti, Ali, “23 Years: A Study in the Prophetic Career of Mohammad”, Mazda, Costa Mesa, CA, 1994
Like the Hadith, the Sira provide important details on wife beating. The quote above has been used many times by various writers. This is because Muhammad defined a woman’s social status as: 'They are prisoners, not having control of themselves at all', and allowed them to be beaten. Prisoners have some rights but not many. Women have some rights but not many. Their obligations to their master supersede any claim or right they might wish to attach to their lowly status.
Al Tabari was a Persian born Moslem theologian of the 9th century and one of the most important Shia commentators on the Koran and Islamic law. His works were used extensively by other Moslems to develop canonical Islamic law and jurisprudence. He wrote a detailed history of the Islamic world now translated into English as the History of al-Tabari. In this history we learn about the Moslem culture which negated the natural law rights of women.
“Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others”
This means that men are in charge of their wives in leadership and discipline, because they have bought them and must pay a dowry; they expend money on them; and they must provide for their daily needs. The Allah thing 'chose' or appointed men to dominate women in part because the man must care for the female and protect her.
Other Moslem commentators agree with al-Tabari' assessment and link the rights of men to beating and punishing wayward females which leads of course to dis-honor murders of youn Moslem girls who offend their male-folk:
'Men are the maintainers of women'
This means that the woman has to obey her man in all of what Allah has commanded her, this includes the kind treatment of his family, the protection of his money.
'The man is the maintainer of his wife by ordering her to obey Allah. If she refused; then he can beat her not severely.'
In other words men are the maintainers of women because the Allah thing or Muhammd [both are the same in the Koran] said so. This is a tautology of course.
'If a man hit his wife or wounded her, he is not to be charged, unless he kills her, then he shall be killed for murdering her.'
'Do not abandon your wives except in bed, and when you beat them, do not beat them severely'.
Ibn Kathir was a 14th century Syrian Sunni who like al-Tabari, was very influential in forming the Islamic codex and Sharia. It is interesting to read what he has to say about Sura 4:34 and the beating of women. Excerpts from his commentary on 4:34 follow. He describes in a lot of detail in his work 'Tafsir of Ibn Kathir', the placement of the female within Moslem society. Needless to say he simply reiterates the position of Muhammad and that of pagan Arab custom. The female is low on the social order – not much better than a pet. [from pages 50 through 53, bold mine].
"In this verse [Sura 4:34] Allah says that the man is the leader over the woman and is the one who disciplines her if she does wrong. 'Because Allah has made one of them excel the other', this is because men are better than women, and a man is better than a woman. 'Therefore, prophethood and great kingship were confined to men', as the Prophet said, ...'And because they spend from their means.' Here, Allah refers to the dowry and expenses, which Allah has prescribed in the Quran and Sunnah; and given a man is better than a woman, it is appropriate that he be her protector and maintainer, as Allah says: 'But men have a degree over them.' 2:228
Therefore, a woman should obey her husband in what Allah has commanded her with regards to his obedience and Allah’s obedience. She should be kind towards his family, protective of his wealth. The statement was also held by Muqatil, As-Sudiy and Adh-Dhahhak.......
'Therefore the righteous among women, are devoutly obedient' to their husbands. 'And guard in the husband’s absence' her honor and his wealth. 'What Allah orders them to guard.' This part of the verse means that the guarded is he whom Allah has guarded.
...'And beat them.' If they do not abstain from their disobedience through both advice and desertion. However, the beating should be dharbun ghayru nubrah, i.e. light, according to the Hadith narrated in Sahih Muslim, on the authority of Jabir, who had quoted the Prophet as saying in his farewell pilgrimage:
The above hardly sounds like an ode to female equality. Both Tabari and Kathir separated by 500 years are simply reconfirming what a 7th century Arabian cult presided over by Muhammad, and which itself was built on millennia of pagan male patriarchy said and did. This is hardly an enlightened or sophisticated investigation premised on natural law rights or even human compassion.
The poverty of Islam and its approach to the 'female problem' was best expressed by E.M. Wherry who was a 19th Christian scholar who studied Islam and compiled a 4-volume set of various commentaries on the Quran. He was able to identify the nexus of how the female is positioned in Islam and make some remarkable comments. Today Mr. Wherry would be tried for thought crimes. Wherry comments that [bold mine]:
“Men shall have the pre-eminence. The ground of the pre-eminence of man over woman is here said to be man’s natural superiority over woman. Women are an inferior class of human beings. "The advantages wherein God hath causes the one of them to excel the other" are said by the commentators to be "superior understanding and strength, and the other privileges of the male sex, e.g., ruling in church and state, warring for the faith, and receiving double portions of the estates of deceased ancestors (see Sale in loco). Men are the lords of the women, and women become the virtual slaves of the men. The holy, happy estate of Eve in Eden can never be even approximately secured for her daughters under Islam.
…The difference between the home-life of the Christian and that of the Muslim cannot be more clearly indicated than by a comparison of this verse with Gen. ii. 23, Eph. v. 28, and 1 Pet. iii. 7.”
How true. Wherry is correct. In the Koran and within Moslem culture the female is 'an inferior class of human beings'. They can be beaten, sold, sexed, married off, ordered and in a polygamous setting, humiliated. The poverty of Moslem culture is most evident in its antipathy towards the female.