Women and the Koran

A Divine Bias

Women and the KoranFor Allah, the Hereafter is not very complicated; everything is pleasure or pain, with fire providing most of the pain and sex, most of the pleasure. God’s description of the pain unbelievers can expect is both graphic and crude. Not so with the pleasure that loyal believers can anticipate, both in the here-and-now and when they join Allah in Paradise.

His description of the pleasures that believing men will experience in heaven and on Earth is filled with the pornographic undertones of a Harlequin novel, with the exception that in God’s Earth-bound sex scenarios, it is the men whose repressed sexual yearnings are satisfied with the eventual conquest of the objects of their affection (if not, their contempt). In Allah’s uncomplicated Universe, sex is His way of rewarding Muslim men for their loyalty. In Paradise, the sex providers will be mainly wide-eyed, round-breasted maidens and houris.

Mu`adh reported God's Messenger as saying that no woman annoys her husband in this world without his wife among the large-eyed maidens saying, "You must not annoy him. God curse you! He is only a passing guest with you and is about to leave you to come to us (in Paradise)."

Tirmidi and Ibn Majah

44:54 Thus it will be; and we gave them wide-eyed houris in marriage.


55:70 Therein are beautiful virtuous maidens

55:72 Wide-eyed, cloistered in pavilions.


78:33 And round-breasted mates,

78:34 And a brim-full cup.


Scholars are all over the place as to the identity of these "virtuous maidens." Respected Islamic information site speculates that these maidens are probably “innocent girls who died immature and Allah will recreate them as young and beautiful women.” That is as good a farfetched explanation as any. As to the "wide-eyed houris", they are, according to convert and author Yahiya Emerick, "pleasure mates who are soulless and programmed to please believing men’s every carnal desire."


As it is for maidens and female facsimiles in Paradise, women in the here-and-now exist to serve men; for them, serving men is its own reward. When you find women and sex mentioned in the same verse, you will usually find Allah explaining how women are naturally drawn to men, that wanting to have sex with men is what they yearn for. This irrepressible longing to want to touch and be touched is why they must be restrained from their natural tendencies to seduce every man in sight and bring chaos to the orderly world of the Koran.

Narrated Abdullah bin Umar:

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

Bukhari 62.30

Narrated Usama bin Zaid:

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

Bukhari 62.33

Jabir reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) saw a woman, and so he came to his wife, Zaynab, as she was tanning a leather and had sexual intercourse with her. He then went to his Companions and told them: The woman advances and retires in the shape of a devil, so when one of you sees a woman, he should come to his wife, for that will repel what he feels in his heart.

Sahih Muslim 8.3240

In the Koran, it is females (married and unmarried) who lust after the naked male body and are almost always the sexual aggressor. They can also be expected to lie about sexual assault, for example, falsely accusing a man of attempted rape when, in reality, she initiated the act. From the story of Joseph in Egypt whose benefactor’s wife would have him sleep with her, by force, if necessary:

12:25 They raced to the door, and she ripped his shirt from behind. When they met her husband at the door, she said: “What is the penalty of one who intended evil for your wife except imprisonment or severe punishment?”

Exceptionally, God, when recounting this encounter, acknowledges that men can, on rare occasions, be the aggressors and describes how you can tell.

12:26 He (Joseph) said: “She sought to seduce me.” And a member of her household bore witness: “If his shirt was torn from the front, then she is telling the truth and he is a liar.

12:27 “But if his shirt is torn from behind, then she lies and he is one of the truthful.”

While admitting that men can, on occasion, be forceful in the pursuit of intimacy, Allah makes another generalization about women: that they are skilled in the art of deception. Notice the plural form of woman, “you women,“ in Verse 12:28.

12:28 When he (the husband) saw that his shirt was torn from behind, he said: “This is part of your guile, you women. Your guile is indeed very great.

It is less clear in Verse 12:29 whether God considers women, in general, as being sinners. The tone of the husband in admonishing his wife and the fact that he doesn’t refer to her by name or her relationship to him, e.g., “you, my wife” but as a member of a group, would suggest a certain contempt for her sex; such contempt as a sinner might elicit from a god.

12:29 “Joseph, overlook this matter; and you woman, ask forgiveness for your sin. You are indeed one of the sinners.”

When it comes to women and their sexual allure, God doesn’t give men much credit either. For Allah, the sight of a single strand of a woman’s hair can cause a man to experience a Pavlovian-like reaction, an uncontrollable urge to hump the owner then and there.

Women, like men, have been endowed with free will by their creator, so how does a god ensure that men get all the sex they desire in this world without taking away a woman’s right to choose?


The concept of free will or freedom to make your own choices is very narrowly defined in Islam. In practical terms, for believers, it means surrendering yourself to God or rejecting Him. Once you have surrendered your “will” to God, your free will is effectively extinguished. A verse to that effect:

31:22 Whoever surrenders his will to Allah while doing the right, has surely grasped the firmest handle. Unto Allah is the ultimate issue of all affairs.

Then there is Verse 33:36:

33:36 It is not up to any believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have passed a judgement, to have any choice in their affairs. Whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger have gone astray in a manifest manner.


What God giveth, God can take away and Allah, in a god-like way, leaves instructions with His Messenger that make it difficult, if not impossible, for women to deny men their sexual favours. Why would God have to do this if, as I claim, He believed women want to have sex all the time? Could Allah have been wrong in His assessment of women and, instead of admitting they are more complicated than He first imagined, piled on a complicated set of rules that would ensure His creations behaved the way He intended.

In Allah’s account of the creation of the first couple—the first man, actually—Eve is barely mentioned, and not by name. In fact, when it comes to women and girls, the only one mentioned by name in the entire Koran is Mary, mother of Jesus, and then mainly to emphasise that she was not the mother of a god.

God admits to putting some thought into Adam’s creation, a creation He is extremely proud of, and rightly so. Eve, however, appears to be an afterthought. She sort of appears out of the blue. Adam gets most of the attention whenever the couple is mentioned, including the following verses where we first meet the first couple.

2:34 And when We said to the angels; “Prostrate yourselves before Adam”, they all prostrated themselves except Iblis (Satan), who refused, out of pride and was one of the disbelievers.

2:35 Then we said: “O Adam, dwell in Paradise, you and your wife, and eat from it as much as you wish and wherever you wish, but do not approach this tree (meaning to not eat from it) or you will be unjust.

In Revelation 2:34, the proud Creator does not ask Satan to prostrate himself before the happy twosome, only before Adam. The sole reference to Eve is in the second verse and even then, God does not mention her by name, just as ‘the wife of Adam’. Allah not only cast the first couple out of Paradise but on at least two occasions admits to having made them enemies of one another.

2:36 But Satan caused them to fall down from it and be turned out of the bliss they had been in. And We said: “Go down [from Paradise to earth] being enemies one to the other. And you will have in the earth an abode and sustenance for a while.”


20:123 He (Allah) said: “Go down from it both of you, as enemies of one another; but should guidance from Me come to you, he who follows My Guidance will not go astray or suffer.

It is not clear if God ever forgave Eve for eating the fruit of the forbidden tree. If He did not, this would explain a great deal.

20:120 But the Devil whispered to him, saying “O Adam, shall I show you the Tree of Immortality and a kingdom which will never perish?”

20:121 And so they both (Adam and Eve) ate from it; whereupon their shameful parts were revealed to them and they started fastening upon themselves leaves of Paradise. Adam thus disobeyed his Lord and so went astray.

20:122 Then, his Lord favoured him, and so he relented towards him, and guided him.


2:37 Then Adam received words from his Lord, Who forgave him. He is indeed the All-Forgiving, the Merciful.

Could a male god[6] who shuns female companionship and is obviously enamoured with the male side of humankind be expected to know anything significant about the other half? Would any woman feel comfortable with such a god telling her what to do, what to wear, what men expect of her?

Would most women fear that such a god would harbour the same prejudices and insecurities as normal men when it comes to dealing with her sex? Would a god that understood women leave instructions that will make it difficult, if not impossible, for any believing woman to deny her husband her body under almost any circumstances? Would a god that understood women leave the impression that they crave sex all the time, and will have sex with any man, anywhere, any time?

If women are just one big, yearning sexual machine, then Allah is indeed All-Knowing. If they are more than that, then Allah is all wet and the God of the Koran doesn’t know women at all, therefore His advice is suspect. Being preoccupied with sex and knowing anything about sex are two different things—just ask the Pope.

As aforementioned, sex, for Allah, is a means to an end, weaponized to gain and reward the loyalty of men. Having come to the conclusion that men aspire to no higher ideal than fornicating to their heart’s content, He promises sex in spades, in this world and more so in the next, if they worship Him and only Him. Women’s loyalty, on the other hand, is assured by making men their overlords and in the process, providing His loyal, believing men with their fill of Earth-bound sex while awaiting its overabundance in heaven.

Why Muslim Men Are Always Right

Men will be men and gods will be gods, and both will show a bias towards their gender when dealing with the opposite sex. The Greeks and Romans probably meant to reduce this divine bias by honoring goddesses, while the Indians revered gods that combined both male and female attributes. Pre-Islamic Arabs worshipped goddesses, the most famous being al-Lat, al-Uzza and Manat. Depending on the favour in question, believers prayed to a god or goddess; for example, an aspiring mother might pray to the fertility goddess, Al-Lat.

Allah and His Messenger changed all that. Why? Why did they create what some would call “the men’s religion,” one that objectifies women and gives men ownership rights? Allah, you could say, was a “real man’s” god. He went out of His way to ensure believing men were sexually satisfied, and for most men, that is a good thing. Many believing women seem to be satisfied with this arrangement as well.

Why would what appears to be a majority of believing women be satisfied with a god giving men complete control over their sexual, home, and public life, including denying them the right not to have children or refuse sex, whether it be for pleasure or procreation? Is this the Stockholm syndrome on steroids? The believing woman, having been a prisoner for so long, learns to cherish her captivity, her divinely appointed male guardian and to fear the words of a vengeful God who says that is the way it must be lest she spend an eternity burning in Hell.

Many questions remain. Did Muhammad feel threatened by women? Does God feel threatened by women? Was the Prophet looking to Allah for more than help with his love life? Did God’s Messenger nurture some deep-seated resentment? Did they believe pre-Islamic women were becoming too full-of-themselves, too independent, and had to be brought down a peg or two, to be put in their place?

Muhammad owed his success as a merchant to an older woman who hired the good-looking, allegedly illiterate young man to lead her caravans and later, bankrolled his operations. Did he resent the fact that it was a woman who helped him get started, probably kept him in business, and later, spent her wealth in support of his ministry? It was this same successful manager-turned-wife who re-assured her husband that God was speaking to him, not Satan or some other godless creature, when he began having visions.

Gheorghiu, author of La vie de Mahomet, tells the touching story of how, when Muhammad had a vision in his home and was unsure if it was Satan or an angel, his wife Khadijah proved it was an angel. She told her husband to get undressed and she did the same, then they embraced. Do you still see him, she asked? No! said God’s new Messenger. Then it must have been an angel, she said, because an angel would not have remained to witness a couple’s embrace.

Why would a man who had married such a bright, successful woman as Khadijah, the woman to whose intelligence, financial and moral support he owed much of his success, accept Allah’s conclusion that women were not as smart as men, that women had trouble doing simple arithmetic and had poor memories? Why did Khadijah’s husband not at least tell God, when he received the following revelation, that based upon his experience with Khadijah, women were not dummies. Revelation 2:282 instructs the believer, among other things, on the number of witnesses required to legitimize the contracting of debt by the mentally or physically handicapped.

2:282 O believers, when you contract a debt for a fixed period, write it down. Let a scribe write it for you with fairness. No scribe should decline to write as Allah has taught him. So let him then write and let the debtor dictate[7]. He should fear his Lord and not diminish the debt in the least. If the debtor is feeble-minded or week or ignorant, then let his guardian dictate with fairness. And call to witness two witnesses of your men; if not two men, then one man and two women from such witnesses you approve of, so that if one of them (the two women) fails to remember, the other will remind her. The witnesses should not decline [to testify] when they are called upon [to do so]. So do not be averse to writing down the debt, be it small or large, as well as when it is due. This is more equitable in Allah’s sight; more suitable for testimony and less likely to rouse your doubts. If it is an instant transaction among yourselves (involving no debt); then it is no offence if you do not write it down. And let there be witnesses when you sell one to another; but neither the scribe nor the witness should be harmed, because if you do that, it is an act of transgression. Fear Allah; Allah teaches you. He has knowledge of everything.

If Revelation 2:282 had been interpreted as God asserting that women were not good at business, this would have been the lesser of two evils. Unfortunately, it has been interpreted as meaning that women require more witnesses in court proceedings that have nothing to do with commercial or financial transactions, including accusations of adultery or sexual assault.

God is not satisfied with just claiming that women are bad at math and can’t remember details as well as men. For Allah, men are superior in all matters by at least one degree—whatever a degree measures. He emphasizes this rule when He instructs women on how long to wait after divorce before being seen in the company of men, and what the couple can or cannot do during this waiting period.

2:228 Divorced women should keep away from men for three menstrual periods. And it is not lawful for them to conceal that which Allah has created in their wombs, if they truly believe in Allah and the Last Day. Their husbands have the right in the meantime to take them back, should they seek reconciliation; and women have rights equal to what is incumbent upon them according to what is just, although men are one degree above them (what is meant here is that the men have a superior authority). Allah is Mighty, Wise.

For all practical purposes, Verse 2:228 decrees that if there is any disagreement between a man and a woman, the man’s view shall prevail.


[6] Islamic scholars have argued that Allah is a sexless being and has no gender. The use of the pronoun “He” is made necessary when referring to Allah in the third person because Arabic has no word for ‘it’.

[7] On the road and no bookkeeper to be found?

2:283 If you are travelling and cannot find a scribe, a security should be taken. But if you trust one another, then let him who is entrusted deliver the security and fear Allah his Lord. Do not withhold the testimony. He who withholds it has a sinful heart. Allah has knowledge of what you do.