Women and the Koran

The Satanic Verses

Women and the KoranPre-Islamic Arabs worshipped three goddesses, al-Lat, al-Uzza, and Manat whom they believed to be the daughters of the moon god "al-Ilah" (Allah). Pre-Islamic Arabs had no problems with a spiritual existence that included gods and goddesses. The Prophet's tribe, the Quraysh, used to chant, as they circumambulated the Ka'ba:

 Al-Lat, and al-Uzza and Manat, the third, the other; indeed these are exalted gharaniq (cranes); let us hope for their intercession.

F. E. Peters, The Hajj, p 3-41

The Meccans, when the Prophet showed up with his army, gave up without a fight after he assured them that Allah, in two revelations, had informed him that He had no objections to the Meccans continuing to worship al-Lat, al-Uzza, and Manat after they became Muslims. These revelations are what are known as the Satanic Verses.

These are the exalted cranes (al-Lat, al-Uzza, and Manat)

Whose intercession [with Allah] is to be hoped for.

The next day, after he had complete control of their city, the Prophet told the Meccans that it was all the devil’s doing; that Satan had intruded on his conversations with God the previous night, and that in the morning Allah had set him straight and al-Lat, al-Uzza, and Manat were history and the verses Muhammad had received the previous night were stricken from the Koran.

22:52 We have not sent a Messenger or Prophet before you but when he recited the Devil would intrude into his recitation. Yet Allah annuls what the Devil had cast. Then Allah establishes His Revelations. Allah is All-Knowing and Wise.

How could the Devil do that? Because Allah let him, for His usual somewhat convoluted reasons!

22:53: So as to make what Satan casts a temptation to those in whose hearts there is a sickness, and to those whose hearts are hard. The wrongdoers are indeed in profound discord!

22:54 And so that those who have been given the knowledge might understand that it is the truth from your Lord and so believe in it. Then their hearts will submit to it. Allah will certainly guide the believers to a straight path.

Even if it was His doing i.e. God allowed the devil to intrude on His conversations, Allah is incensed that anyone would associate Him with females whether they be goddesses, daughters, even angels.

53:19 Have you, then, seen al-Lat and al-‘Uzza?

53:20 And Manat, the third one, the other?

53:21 Do you have the male and He has the female?

53:22 That indeed is an unjust division.

53:23 These are mere names you and your fathers have named, for which Allah did not send down any authority. They only follow conjecture and what the souls desire; yet Guidance has come to them from their Lord.

53:24 Or will man have whatever he wishes?


16:57 And they ascribe to Allah daughters [glory be to Him!], but to themselves what they desire (sons).

16:58 And if the birth of a daughter is announced to any of them, his face turns black, and he is enraged.

16:59 He hides from the people on account of the evil news broken to him; should he keep it in humiliation or bury it in the ground? Evil is what they judge!

16:60 As for those who do not believe in the Hereafter, theirs is the evil exemplar; but Allah’s is the sublime exemplar. He is the Almighty, the Wise.

16:61 Were Allah to take mankind to task for their wrongdoing, He would not leave upon it (the earth) a single creature; but He reprieves them until an appointed term. Then, when their term comes, they will not delay nor advance it a single hour.

16:62 And they ascribe to Allah what they themselves dislike (daughters). Their tongues utter the lie that theirs will be the best reward. There is no doubt that the Fire awaits them, and that they will be left [there].

Verse 17:40, which follows, is doubly confusing since angels have no gender, although they do take the male form, minus the genitalia, to facilitate communications with humans.

17:39 That is part of what your Lord has revealed to you of wisdom. Do not set up with Allah another god, or else you will be cast in Hell, despised and rejected.

17:40 Has your Lord, then, favoured you with sons and taken to Himself females from among the angels? Surely, you are uttering a monstrous thing.

If you do not believe in the Hereafter you are an unbeliever; and only an unbeliever would give angels female names knowing Allah’s low opinion of the fair sex and His high regard for His angels.

53:25 For to Allah belongs the last and the first life.

53:26 How many an angel is there in heavens whose intercession avails nothing, except after Allah gives leave to whoever He wishes and is well-pleased with.

53:27 Those who do not believe in the Hereafter will surely give the angels the names of females.

53:28 Yet, they have no knowledge thereof. They only follow conjecture, but conjecture avails nothing regarding truth.

53:29 So turn away from him who has given up Our Reminder and only desire the present life.

53:30 That is their attainment in knowledge. Your Lord indeed knows better those who have strayed from His Path, and He knows better those who are well-guided.

For one brief shining moment, because of the alleged intervention by Satan, God had female partners. Just imagine what Islam would have been like if Allah had acknowledged needing the company of females, whether they be goddesses or mortals. With females for company would Allah have been such a vengeful god, so easily irritated, so quick to kill and terrorize? I don’t think so.

Had God acknowledged that daughters were just as valuable as sons instead of being insulted that some would attribute themselves sons and to Him females, would women in many countries where the Koran is the law be so harshly treated. Probably not.

The denial of the existence of al-Lat, al-Uzza, and Manat marked the end of the Arab civilization of which historian Robert Montagne wrote (my translation) “I am not aware in the entire history of civilisation of a more gracious, more loving, more vibrant society than that of the Arabs before Islam.”