1,001 Sayings and Deeds of the Prophet


Sayings and Deeds of the ProphetA Western reader of the Koran and the sayings of Muhammad can’t help but be shocked at the low esteem in which both Allah and His spokesman hold females.

Many women must have an even lower opinion of themselves, for how can you explain why they remain committed to Islam to the point of joining the ranks of suicide bombers, but also, particularly in the West, become believers of their own free will? Of course, this is assuming God and Muhammad are wrong in their assessment of their character and intellectual capabilities.

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:

Once Allah's Apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) of Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, "O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women)."

They asked, "Why is it so, O Allah's Apostle?"

He replied, "You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you."

The women asked, "O Allah's Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?"

He said, "Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?"

They replied in the affirmative.

He said, "This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn't it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?"

The women replied in the affirmative.

He said, "This is the deficiency in her religion."

Bukhari 6.301

A couple of hadiths where women are compared to domestic animals:

Masruq reported:

It was mentioned before Aisha that prayer is invalidated (in case of passing) of a dog, an ass and a woman (before the worshipper, when he is not screened).

Upon this Aisha said: You likened us to the asses and the dogs.

Sahih Muslim 4.1038

Aisha said [to Muhammad]: "You have made us equal to the dogs and the asses."

Sahih Muslim 4:1039

Ikrimah reported on the authority of Ibn Abbas, saying:

I think the Apostle of Allah said: "When one of you prays without a sutrah (a barrier), a dog, an ass, a pig, a Jew, a Magian, and a woman cut off his prayer, but it will suffice if they pass in front of him at a distance of over a stone's throw.”

Abu Dawud 2.0704

Would you care to face a husband who has compared you to a dog?

Narrated Aisha:

The things which annul the prayers were mentioned before me. They said, "Prayer is annulled by a dog, a donkey and a woman (if they pass in front of the praying people)."

I said, "You have made us (i.e. women) dogs. I saw the Prophet praying while I used to lie in my bed between him and the Qibla. Whenever I was in need of something, I would slip away for I disliked to face him."

Bukhari 9.490

As if being intellectually challenged was not enough, Muhammad further characterized women as ungrateful liars. The vast majority, he said, will burn in Hell for an eternity for not being beholden to the men who tightly control every facet of their often miserable existence.

Narrated Abdullah bin Abbas:

The sun eclipsed in the life-time of the Prophet (p.b.u.h). Allah's Apostle offered the eclipse prayer and stood for a long period equal to the period in which one could recite Surat-al-Baqara. Then he bowed for a long time and then stood up for a long period which was shorter than that of the first standing, then bowed again for a long time but for a shorter period than the first; then he prostrated twice and then stood up for a long period which was shorter than that of the first standing; then he bowed for a long time which was shorter than the previous one, and then he raised his head and stood up for a long period which was shorter than the first standing, then he bowed for a long time which was shorter than the first bowing, and then prostrated (twice) and finished the prayer. By then, the sun (eclipse) had cleared.

The Prophet then said, "The sun and the moon are two of the signs of Allah. They eclipse neither because of the death of somebody nor because of his life (i.e. birth). So when you see them, remember Allah."

The people say, "O Allah's Apostle! We saw you taking something from your place and then we saw you retreating."

The Prophet replied, "I saw Paradise and stretched my hands towards a bunch (of its fruits) and had I taken it, you would have eaten from it as long as the world remains. I also saw the Hell-fire and I had never seen such a horrible sight. I saw that most of the inhabitants were women."

The people asked, "O Allah's Apostle! Why is it so?"

The Prophet replied, "Because of their ungratefulness."

It was asked whether they are ungrateful to Allah.

The Prophet said, "They are ungrateful to their companions of life (husbands) and ungrateful to good deeds. If you are benevolent to one of them throughout the life and if she sees anything (undesirable) in you, she will say, 'I have never had any good from you.'"

Bukhari 18.161

A shorter version of the above:

Narrated Ibn Abbas:

The Prophet said: "I was shown the Hell-fire and that the majority of its dwellers were women who were ungrateful."

It was asked, "Do they disbelieve in Allah?" (or are they ungrateful to Allah?)

He replied, "They are ungrateful to their husbands and are ungrateful for the favors and the good (charitable deeds) done to them. "

Bukhari 2.28

Why should such ungrateful creatures be entitled to a portion of an inheritance equal to that of a brother?

Narrated Ibn Abbas:

(In the Pre-Islamic Period ) the children used to inherit all the property but the parents used to inherit only through a will. So Allah cancelled that which He liked to cancel and put decreed that the share of a son was to be twice the share of a daughter, and for the parents one-sixth for each one of them, or one third, and for the wife one-eighth or one-fourth, and for the husband one-half, or one-fourth.

Bukhari 60.102

Allah even changed the rules so that it is the father and his father's relative who inherits from a son, leaving nothing for the mother.

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "I am closer to the believers than their selves in this world and in the Hereafter, and if you like, you can read Allah's Statement: "The Prophet is closer to the believers than their own selves." (33.6) So, if a true believer dies and leaves behind some property, it will be for his inheritors (from the father's side), and if he leaves behind some debt to be paid or needy offspring, then they should come to me as I am the guardian of the deceased."

Bukhari 41.584

Muhammad's teenaged acquisition often had fun at the old man's expense. This may explain the following remarks concerning his legacy and is further evidence of an ingrained misogyny.

Narrated Usama bin Zaid:

The Prophet said, "After me I have not left any affliction more harmful to men than women."

Bukhari 62.33

Women as evil omens?

Narrated Abdullah bin 'Umar:

Allah's Apostle said, "Evil omen is in the women, the house and the horse."

Bukhari 62.30

Sex in the evening is out of the question if during the day you flogged your wife as you would a slave.

Narrated Abdullah bin Zam'a:

The Prophet said, "None of you should flog his wife as he flogs a slave and then have sexual intercourse with her in the last part of the day."

Bukhari 62.132

The same goes if you flogged her as you would a prized camel!

Narrated Abdullah bin Zam'a:

The Prophet forbade laughing at a person who passes wind, and said, "How does anyone of you beat his wife as he beats the stallion camel and then he may embrace (sleep with) her?"

Bukhari 73.68

If a woman fears a flogging or other form of cruelty it may be because her husband wants to divorce her but hates having to return her dowry. Maybe if she gives up her right to the only property a married woman owns, not only will he not beat her but he may also decide not to divorce her.

Narrated Aisha:

Regarding the explanation of the following verse: "If a wife fears cruelty or desertion on her husband's part." (4.128) A man may dislike his wife and intend to divorce her, so she says to him, "I give up my rights, so do not divorce me."

The above verse was revealed concerning such a case.

Bukhari 43.630

The type of woman Muhammad recommends believing men marry.

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "A woman is married for four things, i.e., her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her religion. So you should marry the religious woman (otherwise) you will be losers.

Bukhari 62.27

Men did not wear underwear under their Izars, a type of skirt made of "a long, light weight cloth that can be easily wrapped around the waist by tying two ends of the garment into a large knot". During prayer, we are told, men tied their Izars around their necks, probably to avoid soiling it during the prostrations, and risk exposing, if only briefly, their private parts to the women in the back. This would, of course, not have been a problem if women had been allowed to pray in front of the men.

Narrated Sahl:

The men used to pray with the Prophet with their Izars tied around their necks as boys used to do; therefore the Prophet told the women not to raise their heads till the men sat down straight (while praying).

Bukhari 8.358

Age, for a woman, does not improve her situation.

Narrated Ishaq:

Anas bin Malik said, "My grand-mother Mulaika invited Allah's Apostle for a meal which she herself had prepared. He ate from it and said, 'Get up! I will lead you in the prayer.'"

Anas added, "I took my Hasir, washed it with water as it had become dark because of long use and Allah's Apostle stood on it. The orphan (Damira or Ruh) and I aligned behind him and the old lady (Mulaika) stood behind us. Allah's Apostle led us in the prayer and offered two Rak'at and then left."

Bukhari 8.377

Women and girls are men's salvation when it comes to sex. Only a female can stop a male’s private parts from committing an indictable offence by marrying the owner before the parts developed an irresistible urge to copulate. This valuable service did not, and still does not earn them any respect in many parts of the world.

Narrated Alqama:

While I was walking with Abdullah he said, "We were in the company of the Prophet and he said, 'He who can afford to marry should marry, because it will help him refrain from looking at other women, and save his private parts from looking at other women, and save his private parts from committing illegal sexual relation; and he who cannot afford to marry is advised to fast, as fasting will diminish his sexual power.'"

Bukhari 31.129

In praise of some women:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "Avoid the seven great destructive sins."

The people enquired, "O Allah's Apostle! What are they?"

He said, "To join others in worship along with Allah, to practice sorcery, to kill the life which Allah has forbidden except for a just cause, (according to Islamic law), to eat up Riba (usury), to eat up an orphan's wealth, to give back to the enemy and fleeing from the battlefield at the time of fighting, and to accuse, chaste women, who never even think of anything touching chastity and are good believers.

Bukhari 51.28

One woman for whom Muhammad showed unequivocal admiration and respect, and whom he got the old fashion way, i.e., an arranged marriage, was his first wife Khadijah (also spelled Khadija).

Narrated Aisha:

I did not feel jealous of any of the wives of the Prophet as much as I did of Khadija though I did not see her, but the Prophet used to mention her very often, and whenever he slaughtered a sheep, he would cut its parts and send them to the women friends of Khadija.

When I sometimes said to him, "(You treat Khadija in such a way) as if there is no woman on earth except Khadija", he would say, "Khadija was such-and-such, and from her I had children."

Bukhari 58.166

Aisha was one of only three women who reached a level of perfection that numerous men achieve as a matter of course.

Narrated Abu Musa:

Allah's Apostle said, "Many amongst men reached (the level of) perfection but none amongst the women reached this level except Asia, Pharaoh's wife, and Mary, the daughter of 'Imran.

And no doubt, the superiority of 'Aisha to other women is like the superiority of Tharid (i.e. a meat and bread dish) to other meals."

Bukhari 55.623

Women were trusted to look after their husband's properties, having none of their own, and to ride camels. That has to be more difficult than driving a car. 

Narrated Abu Huraira:

I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "Amongst all those women who ride camels (i.e. Arabs), the ladies of Quraish (the Prophet's tribe) are the best. They are merciful and kind to their off-spring and the best guardians of their husbands' properties."

Bukhari 55.643

Clapping is what women do.

Narrated Sahl bin Sa'd As-Sa'idi:

Allah's Apostle went to establish peace among Bani Amr bin Auf. In the meantime the time of prayer was due and the Mu'adh-dhin went to Abu Bakr and said, "Will you lead the prayer, so that I may pronounce the Iqama?"

Abu Bakr replied in the affirmative and led the prayer. Allah's Apostle came while the people were still praying and he entered the rows of the praying people till he stood in the (first row).

The people clapped their hands.

Abu Bakr never glanced sideways in his prayer but when the people continued clapping, Abu Bakr looked and saw Allah's Apostle.

Allah's Apostle beckoned him to stay at his place. Abu Bakr raised his hands and thanked Allah for that order of Allah's Apostle and then he retreated till he reached the first row. Allah's Apostle went forward and led the prayer.

When Allah's Apostle finished the prayer, he said, "O Abu Bakr! What prevented you from staying when I ordered you to do so?"

Abu Bakr replied, "How can Ibn Abi Quhafa (Abu Bakr) dare to lead the prayer in the presence of Allah's Apostle?"

Then Allah's Apostle said, "Why did you clap so much? If something happens to anyone during his prayer he should say Subhan Allah (Glorious is God). If he says so he will be attended to, for clapping is for women."

Bukhari 11.652

For some women clapping was out of the question.

Narrated Urwa bin Az-Zubair:

A woman committed theft in the Ghazwa (battle) of the Conquest (of Mecca) and she was taken to the Prophet who ordered her hand to be cut off.

Aisha said, "Her repentance was perfect and she was married (later) and used to come to me (after that) and I would present her needs to Allah's Apostle."

Bukhari 48.816

One of the ways Muhammad established harmony among the fair sex:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "O Muslim women! None of you should look down upon the gift sent by her she-neighbour even if it were the trotters of the sheep (fleshless part of legs)."

Bukhari 47.740

Prostitution by any other name:

Narrated Abdullah:

We used to participate in the holy wars carried on by the Prophet and we had no women (wives) with us. So we said (to the Prophet ). "Shall we castrate ourselves?"

But the Prophet forbade us to do that and thenceforth he allowed us to marry a woman (temporarily) by giving her even a garment, and then he recited: "O you who believe! Do not make unlawful the good things which Allah has made lawful for you."

Bukhari 60.139

During the war to establish Islam's dominance on the Arabian Peninsula, women who crossed into Muslim-held territory were not trusted, and were required to pledge their allegiance to Muhammad personally.

Narrated Urwa:

Aisha the wife of the Prophet, said, "Allah's Apostle used to examine the believing women who migrated to him in accordance with this Verse: 'O Prophet! When believing women come to you to take the oath of allegiance to you... Verily! Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.' (60:12)

Aisha said, "And if any of the believing women accepted the condition (assigned in the above-mentioned Verse), Allah's Apostle would say to her. "I have accepted your pledge of allegiance."

He would only say that, for, by Allah, his hand never touched, any lady during that pledge of allegiance. He did not receive their pledge except by saying, "I have accepted your pledge of allegiance for that."

Bukhari 60.414

What is it with women's fascination with bad boys?

Narrated Sahl bin Sad:

A lady came to the Prophet and declared that she had decided to offer herself to Allah and His Apostle.

The Prophet said, "I am not in need of women."

A man said (to the Prophet) "Please marry her to me."

The Prophet said (to him), "Give her a garment."

The man said, "I cannot afford it."

The Prophet said, "Give her anything, even if it were an iron ring."

The man apologized again.

The Prophet then asked him, "What do you know by heart of the Qur'an?"

He replied, "I know such-and-such portion of the Qur'an (by heart)."

The Prophet said, "Then I marry her to you for that much of the Qur'an which you know by heart."

Bukhari 61.547

The most important clause in a marriage contract:

Narrated Uqba:

The Prophet said: "The stipulations most entitled to be abided by are those with which you are given the right to enjoy the (women's) private parts (i.e. the stipulations of the marriage contract)."

Bukhari 62.81

Something a bride should not ask her husband to do on her wedding day.

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "It is not lawful for a woman (at the time of wedding) to ask for the divorce of her sister (i.e. the other wife of her would-be husband) in order to have everything for herself, for she will take only what has been written for her."

Bukhari 62.82

A wife should not touch another woman that way, even at the request of her husband.

Narrated Abdullah bin Mas'ud:

The Prophet said, "A woman should not look at or touch another woman to describe her to her husband in such a way as if he was actually looking at her."

Bukhari 62.167

Pity the poor believing woman who marries an impotent man.

Narrated Ikrima:

Rifa'a divorced his wife whereupon Abdur-Rahman bin Az-Zubair Al-Qurazi married her.

Aisha said that the lady (came), wearing a green veil (and complained to her (Aisha) of her husband and showed her a green spot on her skin caused by beating).

It was the habit of ladies to support each other, so when Allah's Apostle came, Aisha said, "I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women. Look! Her skin is greener than her clothes!"

When Abdur-Rahman heard that his wife had gone to the Prophet, he came with his two sons from another wife.

She said, "By Allah! I have done no wrong to him but he is impotent and is as useless to me as this," holding and showing the fringe of her garment.

Abdur-Rahman said, "By Allah, O Allah's Apostle! She has told a lie! I am very strong and can satisfy her but she is disobedient and wants to go back to Rifa'a."

Allah's Apostle said, to her, "If that is your intention, then know that it is unlawful for you to remarry Rifa'a unless Abdur-Rahman has had sexual intercourse with you."

Then the Prophet saw two boys with Abdur-Rahman and asked (him), "Are these your sons?"

On that Abdur-Rahman said, "Yes."

The Prophet said, "You claim what you claim (i.e.. that he is impotent)? But by Allah, these boys resemble him as a crow resembles a crow,"

Bukhari 72.715

Thinking of losing weight? Better get your husband's permission.

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "A woman should not fast (optional fasts) except with her husband's permission if he is at home (staying with her)."

Bukhari 62.120

On mourning for a husband:

Narrated Um-Atiya:

We were forbidden to mourn for a dead person for more than three days except in the case of a husband for whom mourning was allowed for four months and ten days. (During that time) we were not allowed to put kohl (eye powder) in our eyes or to use perfumes or to put on colored clothes except a dress made of Asb (a kind of Yemen cloth, very coarse and rough). We were allowed very light perfumes at the time of taking a bath after menses and also we were forbidden to go with the funeral procession.

Bukhari 6.310

Women sully men simply by being intimate with them, which is why a man needs to take a bath after sexual intercourse, to return to a state of purity whereby Allah will accept his prayers and supplications.

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "When a man sits in between the four parts of a woman and did the sexual intercourse with her, bath becomes compulsory."

Bukhari 5.290

The wealthy, those not made rich by booty obviously, may have to wait at the door of Paradise but will get in eventually; that will not be case for most women, mothers mostly, who will spend eternity on fire in Hell.

Usama b. Zaid reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: "I stood at the door of Paradise and I found that the overwhelming majority of those who entered therein was that of poor persons and the wealthy persons were detained to get into that. The denizens of Hell were commanded to get into Hell, and I stood upon the door of Fire and the majority amongst them who entered there was that of women."

Sahih Muslim 36.6596

Ibn Abbas reported that Allah's Messenger said:

I had a chance to look into paradise and I found that [the] majority of the people was poor and I looked into the Fire and there I found the majority constituted by women.

Bukhari 62.126


Misogyny (hatred of or hostility towards women) is perhaps too strong a term, yet a prejudicial view of women is perhaps not strong enough when describing Muhammad’s attitude towards women; an attitude largely shared by His Mentor.

Prudish men are known to be both attracted and repelled by the sex act, a trait often shared with misogynous males. For both stereotypes, a woman is both an object of desire and of contempt. The kind of contempt clearly evident in the hadiths where God's self-proclaimed spokesperson gratuitously and publically denigrates women.

Could this prudish middle-aged man’s struggle between contempt and desire for the dozens of mostly young females he secluded within his household be responsible for the double standard in Islamic law, of which what he said and did, along with the Koran, are part and parcel? Did contempt win out, which is why women are in a class by themselves, the lowest class, a class whose members will make up the vast majority of Hell’s unfortunates?