Thursday, July 31, 2008

"Compare Jesus" Part II- Jesus Outshines Mohammad

The founder of Islam, Muhammad (570-632 AD), had a marriage relationship he could brag about for both his faithfulness and his respect. His first wife was named Khadija, an exorbitantly wealthy woman fifteen years his senior. Khadija proposed marriage to Muhammad and their marriage played a big part in bringing status and leisure into Muhammad's life, allowing him the space to meditate and eventually hear from Allah.

But upon Khadija's death, Muhammad's behavior toward women took a turn for the worse. In the last ten years of his life, Muhammad entangled himself with women regularly. He married about woman a year until he died in 632. These women were from different faiths, often widows, some were attractive to him for their family's status, others for political statements, most, however, because they were absolutely gorgeous. At fifty-six, Muhammad visited his adopted son, Zaid. Walking inside he found his lovely daughter-in-law, Zainab, wearing little more than a sheer camisole. While deeply attracted Muhammad was obviously unable to marry her. Zaid soon after conveniently divorced Zainab, supposedly because he wanted out of the marriage. This allowed Muhammad free rein to satisfy his desire to “legitimately” marry her, an action Allah later sanctioned in a revelation (Qu’ran 33:37).
[1]

In those last ten years, Muhammad most prominent wife was Aisha, a woman several decades younger than him. Aisha married Muhammad when she was seven years old, but he permitted her to wait until the mature age of nine before bringing Aisha to his home and consummating their union. Aisha brought her toys with her when she moved in.[2] She soon became Muhammad’s favorite wife. Once when she was accused of inappropriate behavoir and deceit Allah was good enough to exonerate her of any guilt.[3]

William E. Phipps’ Muhammad and Jesus: A Comparison of the Prophets and Their Teachings while tolerant and careful to not accuse Muhammad cannot erase Muhammad’s statements in the Qu’ran, passages about wayward wives “those whose disobedience you suspect, admonish them and send them to separate beds and beat them” (Qu’ran 4:34); sexual conduct, “Wives are fields to seed as you please” (Qu’ran 2:223); women’s lack of self-control, “(Wives) are prisoners with you (husbands), having no control of their person”[4]; women’s desecration to prayer, “Prayers are annulled if a dog, donkey or a woman pass in front”[5]; women’s tendency to end up in hell, a place full of wives “who were ungrateful to their husbands, whose menstruation interferes with their religious duties and whose intelligence is deficient”. [6] In one of Muhammad’s sermons he goes so far to say, “Women are the snares of the devil . . . Put Women in an inferior position since God has done so.”[7]

Jesus also had female financial backers (Mark 15:40-41), but he never felt the need to marry them to secure their riches. Jesus protected women and widows not through polygamy, but through individual miracles (Mark 5:25-34), teaching (Matt. 11:21-27), interpretation of the Law’s meaning (Matt 5:27-28, 19:3-9) and praise for them, even if others considered them social outcasts, impoverished and undesirable (Mark 12:41-44).

[1] Muhammad (London: Oxford Press, 1964), pp. 156-57 as quoted in William E. Phipps, Muhammad and Jesus: A Comparison of the Prophets and Their Teachings (New York, NY: Continuum Publishing Company, 1996), 144.

[2] Mishkat 13, 3; Ehsan Yar-Shater, ed. The History of al-Tabari (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1990) vol. 9, p 131 as quoted in William E. Phipps, Muhammad and Jesus: A Comparison of the Prophets and Their Teachings (New York, NY: Continuum Publishing Company, 1996), 142.

[3]See Qu’ran 24:11-20 as quoted in William E. Phipps, Muhammad and Jesus: A Comparison of the Prophets and Their Teachings (New York, NY: Continuum Publishing Company, 1996), 138-143.

[4] Mishkat 26, 651 as quoted in William E. Phipps, Muhammad and Jesus: A Comparison of the Prophets and Their Teachings (New York, NY: Continuum Publishing Company, 1996), 140.

[5] Ibid, 111.

[6] Ibid, 148.

[7] Ibid, 149

4 comments:

Camaschick said...

Hi Jonalyn

I enjoy your blog and just started your book. I actually had seen and started to read it before it was released (a friend had it) but I didn't get to finish it then, so glad to finish it now!

I just finished a fascinating book, "Infidel" by Ayaan Hirsi Ali which chronicles her life as a Somalia Muslim woman. Her expereince and thoughts on life as a Muslim women are worth reading.

Jonalyn Grace Fincher said...

Hello Camaschick,
Thanks for commenting and letting me know you picked up Ruby Slippers. I'd love to hear what you think as you journey through it.

Thanks for the book recommendation, too!

Hannia said...

this is a lie!!!
none of these passages from the Quran r tru
i tink u shud chek ur sources
nd the holy Prophet(SAW) married hazrat zainab to prove that in islam an adopted son is not the same as a real son and therefore you can marry their ex-wives
also in the Quran it said "When Zain had dissolved (his marriage) we joined her in marriage to thee..."
so he did not marry her because of her beauty but because Allah had ordered him to!!
so plz stop postin lies

Jonalyn Grace Fincher said...

Hello Hania!
Thank you for posting your thoughts. I have to be clear with you, however, that everything I have posted about Muhammad does come from the the Qu'ran. I've quoted from my copy.

Also I've used biographies written by historians.

Chronologically Muhammad was attracted to Zainab before he received Allah's command to marry her. What have you read that indicates that he was not attracted to her until Allah's command?

Have you read any of my sources? I think you'd find that they treat Muhammad with respect and great concern for accuracy and historical integrity.

I'd be interested to know what you make of all these verses from the Qur'an. Do you think the Qur'an respects women as equally valuable to men? What verses make you think this?