Does Islam Encourage the Rape of Children?
The Sharia or Islamic law, contrary to what I suspect many assume, is a very logical system. It is logical to the extreme, and it is definitely not mostly a bunch of bearded misogynous old men sitting in judgment and making it up as they go along – far from it.
Islamic Law, like its Western counterpart, Common Law, is based on legislated rules and precedents. Under the Sharia, Allah is the legislator and the example and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad are the precedents (for the most part).
A general principal of the Sharia is that the punishment should fit the crime and like most legal traditions, the harshness of the punishment is a good indication of the seriousness of the offence, but in this instance, not in the eye of men but in the eye of God. For example, sex outside marriage, whether it be consensual or coerced, under Islamic law is punishable by stoning to death.
Allah, in the Koran, is constantly boasting about His Compassion and Islamic Law reflects this Compassion that is particular to Allah and Islam. It is a Compassion that is all about avoiding the Punishment. Allah's Compassion can be defined as having had the kindness to give mankind the rules which it must follow if it is to avoid His Punishment.
A father who takes precautions so that his daughters don't run afoul of Allah's rules is being compassionate towards them because he is saving them from a painful humiliating death in the here-and-now, and an even more painful agonizing life in the Hereafter on fire for an eternity in Allah's Hell.
Allah and His Messenger believe that females, as soon as they reached puberty, experience an irrepressible urges to have sex and will try to seduce any man within reach to satisfy this insatiable desire. The best way to protect them from themselves, from having sex outside of marriage because of this irresistible urge to copulate, is to marry them off before they reached puberty.
The Ayatollah Khomeini, in his monumental collection of commentaries on Islamic jurisprudence and morality, the Tahrirolvasyleh, wrote that fathers will be rewarded with a guaranteed place in heaven for the compassion they showed their daughters by ensuring they don't run afoul of Allah's rules about sex outside marriage by marrying them off before they begin experiencing those irrepressible sexual urges.
It is better in the eyes of God if a girl started menstruating in the home of her husband instead of that of her father and that any father marrying his daughter so young will have a permanent place in heaven.
Khomeini’s recommendation was based on a solid precedent – he had the example of the Prophet's marriage to a nine year old girl by the name of Aisha, the daughter of his good friend and successor Abu Bakr.
In one hadith collected by Imam Muslim, Aisha revealed she was married to the Prophet when she was six years old:
Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house when I was nine years old.
Sahih Muslim 8.3310
Bukhari, whose every account of what the Prophet said and did is considered the absolute truth and a legal precedent, is unequivocal as to the age of Aisha when the fifty-something Prophet took her virginity.
The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death).
Aisha’s own recollection of the blessed event in Barnaby Rogerson's The Prophet Muhammad, A Biography:
On the morning of her marriage Aisha remembered being taken from her seesaw to be made ready … The ritual of marriage was simple; she shared a bowl of milk with Muhammad before they went to bed.
Al-Tabari [839 - 923] is considered the greatest Muslim historian for producing what the vast majority of Muslim scholars agree "is the most important universal history produced in the world of Islam." In 38 volumes he tells the story of the world from Adam and Eve down to 915 A.D. Following is what he wrote about Aisha's recollection of her wedding day:
My mother came to me while I was being swung on a swing between two branches and got me down. My nurse took over and wiped my face with some water and started leading me. When I was at the door she stopped so I could catch my breath. I was brought in while Muhammad was sitting on a bed in our house. My mother made me sit on his lap. The other men and women got up and left. The Prophet consummated his marriage with me in my house when I was nine years old. Neither a camel nor a sheep was slaughtered on behalf of me.
In her book The Caged Virgin (Simon & Shuster, 2006), Ayaan Hirsi Ali writes that Aisha’s father pleaded with the Prophet to wait until his daughter reached adulthood before marrying her.
Her father said: ‘Please wait until she has reached adulthood.' But Muhammad did not want to wait. So what do you thing happens? He receives a message from Allah that Aisha must prepare herself for Muhammad … By our Western standards Muhammad is a perverse man
In May 2006, the Iranian Parliament voted to make it compulsory for girls under the age of 15 and boys under 18 to have court approval to get married.
This vote was quashed by the Guardian Council which is responsible for ensuring that any law passed by Parliament is compatible with Islam. It overruled the Parliamentarians because of the Prophet's example, the over-riding precedent, and re-affirmed the right of men to take children as young as nine years old as wives.
Consent is what differentiates rape from consensual sex. Can a nine year old girl forcibly married to a man old enough to be her father or grand-father actually consent to an act with which she can only be vaguely familiar? What if her ignorance of what is being asked of her leaves her speechless?
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "A matron should not be given in marriage except after consulting her; and a virgin should not be given in marriage except after her permission."
The people asked, "O Allah's Apostle! How can we know her permission?"
He said, "Her silence (indicates her permission)."
Aisha knew from experience that this was a specious justification for having your way with a child.
I said, "O Allah's Apostle! A virgin feels shy."
He said, "Her consent is (expressed by) her silence."
Sex with children in Western jurisprudence is considered rape. Under Islamic law, if the child is married it is not rape for Allah said a wife cannot refuse her husband's request for intercourse.
2:223 Your women are tillage for you. So get to your tillage whenever you like…
This may be what Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff meant when she told an audience who had come to hear her views on Islam that “Muslims rape children because of their religion.”
The strongest evidence of this practice can be found in sub-Sahara Africa where Islam is making the greatest advances and where we are now seeing an extraordinary increase in a condition called vesicovaginal fistula or VVF where the inflicted experience "the continuous involuntary discharge of urine into the vaginal vault."
In Nigeria's Islamist north, for example, according to Modern Ghana's web newsmagazine (ModernGhana.com) “thousands of underage child-wives are abandoned by their pedophile husbands when these little girls develop VVF and dribble urine - a complication of obstructed labour during underage child birth.”
The Trial of Elisabeth S
J... kindly gave me your e-mail address and suggested that I contact you with respect to my court case involving "defamation of religion" and "incitement to religious hatred".
I was wondering if you could help out if my lawyers and I need some background information. J... mentioned you wrote a book [Pain, Pleasure and Prejudice] that might be helpful. I would very much appreciate all the help I can get for this upcoming trial.
Thank you in advance.
Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, Austria (writer agreed to my posting her full name)
There is also no substance to the accusation that Ms. Sabaditsch-Wolff, by revealing that “Mohammed enjoyed contact with children”, defamed Islam and incited religious hatred.
Aisha herself in her recollections of her childhood as one of the wives of the fifty-something Prophet confirms that her husband enjoyed her company and the company of other children who joined her to play with her dolls.
Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin:
When the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) arrived after the expedition to Tabuk or Khaybar (the narrator is doubtful), the draught raised an end of a curtain which was hung in front of her store-room, revealing some dolls which belonged to her.
He asked: What is this?
She replied: My dolls.
Among them he saw a horse with wings made of rags, and asked: What is this I see among them?
She replied: A horse.
He asked: What is this that it has on it?
She replied: Two wings.
He asked: A horse with two wings?
She replied: Have you not heard that Solomon had horses with wings?
She said: Thereupon the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) laughed so heartily that I could see his molar teeth.
Abu Dawud 41.4914
I used to play with the dolls in the presence of the Prophet, and my girl friends also used to play with me.
When Allah's Apostle used to enter (my dwelling place) they used to hide themselves, but the Prophet would call them to join and play with me. (The playing with the dolls and similar images is forbidden, but it was allowed for Aisha at that time, as she was a little girl, not yet reached the age of puberty.)