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Islam Reviewed


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Islam has much to say about the status of women. The Koran is said to
have so exalted women that a whole sura, Sura an-Nisa, is named after
them. But the real question is this: what exactly does that sura teach?

The sura in Ayat 3 i.e. Sura 4:3, permits Muslims to marry as many as
four wives at one time and a man may divorce them ("if need be") and
marry a whole new set of wives at random. Christians believe that God
could have created a host of wives for Adam if polygamy had been in
God's original plan. But He only gave Adam one wife, and Eve became
"the mother of all living" (Genesis 2:22; Matthew 19:4-6; 1 Corinthians

While there is a ceiling on the number of wives a Muslim can
have at one time, there is no limit on the number of concubines he
may accumulate (Sura 4:24 cf. Sura 33:50). It seems that the
economic position of a man determines the number of concubines he
may have. The appropriate definition of concubinism  is  legalized
adultery and prostitution. Adultery is defined as a married person
having sexual intercourse with someone other than his wife, while a
concubine is a woman not married to a man but living with him as if
she were his wife. In the light of the Bible, a man that keeps concu-
bines is an adulterer while women in that position are but whores

1 The Bible goes on to say: Gen 2:24 "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his
mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." Note that wife
is stated in the singular, it is not wives. A man becomes one flesh with one wife.
God hates divorce for any reason: Mal 2:14-16 "Because the LORD hath been
witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt
treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant . . . There-
fore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his
youth.  For  the  LORD,  the  God  of  Israel,  saith  that  he  hateth  divorce:  for  one
covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed
to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously."

 Islam Reviewed    55

and prostitutes. Yet Islam and Allah condone these gross immorali-

Are you still wondering why Islam is opposing the Bible? If Islam is
not a system of inequality and partiality, why does it not permit women
to be married to four men at a time and allow them to have as many
male concubines as they wish? If adultery can be legalized for men, why
isn't it legalized for women as well? After all, what is good for the gander
should also be good for the goose. I know however, that men, being
what they are, would never accept such an arrangement. I would be
filled with indignation if another man used my wife. Women feel the
same way, even if they do not express it.

A  Muslim can refuse to have relations with his wives if they
misbehave (no thanks to the chain of concubines he is entitled to keep).
A man can physically beat his wives if rebellion persists (Sura 4:34). A
women guilty of lewdness (adultery) is to be locked up in prison until
she dies  (Sura 4:15), while a man, guilty of the same offence, just has
to repent to regain his freedom. (Sura 4:16).

Legal Status of Women

A husband and wife together give direction and purpose to their family.
However, in Islam, the wife is not even close to being an equal partner
with her husband. He is a demigod in the house, who holds all rights and
authority in his hands. The children are legally his.

He does meet the needs of his family , but is required to tell them
nothing about his financial condition.  The wife is not necessarily a
lifetime companion with equal rights, but is looked upon as a "guinea
pig" for sexual experimentation or as a baby mill.

There are exceptions of course, where noble and sensitive Muslims
open up to the influence of worldwide human rights campaigners or
where some astute wives exert control over their husbands. Christendom

1 Prophet Moses recorded in the Ten Commandments: Exo 20:14 "Thou shalt not
commit adultery." Commandments against fornication and adultery are repeated
again and again throughout the Bible, for instance: 1 Cor 6:18 "Flee fornication.
Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication
sinneth against his own body." Fornication is defined as having sexual intercourse
with anyone other than your own wife.

 56   Islam Reviewed

has also influenced Arab customs to some degree. But in general, it is
clear that Islam is a man's world. Women must stay in the background.
 In a law court, the testimony of a man is equal to that of  two
women. If a family inheritance is involved, a female beneficiary always
receives less than a male. In fact, the Koran directs:  "To the male a
portion equal to that of two females" (Sura 4:11; 4:176).

The Koran beautifully sums up women's status in Surat al-Baqara:
"your wives are as tilth (farmland) unto you; so approach your tilth
when or how ye will." (Sura 2:223). To say that wives must be passive
partners is an understatement. According to the Koran they are like
farmlands or landed properties while the husbands are husbandmen. As
farmlands have no will of their own, in Islam, neither do wives.

American or Western ladies who are driven by hormones to marry
Muslim immigrants should count the cost before jumping into such an
arrangement. So-called "infidel" women who, in the heat of the moment,
have married Muslim men, now regret that decision at leisure.

Does Koran recognize the prophethood of women?

The Bible recognizes the fact that it is the spirit and not the sex that
counts in the service of God hence  the Bible gives room for women
prophets (prophetesses), women teachers and evangelists, just as men.
We learned from Exodus 15:20, that Miriam, the sister of Moses and
Aaron, was a prophetess. The Koran, while teaching that Moses and
Aaron were prophets, refuses  to  recognize Miriam as a prophetess
because Islam cannot imagine a woman occupying the office of a
prophet. The Bible again recognized Anna, daughter of Phanuel as a
prophetess (Luke 1:36).1

Just as Abraham was singled out for his faith (Genesis 15:6 cf. Rom.
4:3), so also his wife (Sarah) was commended among women for her

 2 Editor's Note: In the New Testament era, there are scriptural limits on when a
woman may minister. If Christian brethren are present she is to remain quiet and
be in submission. "But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over
the man, but to be in silence" (Ti 2:11-12). That command is reinforced by "Let
your women keep silent in the churches. (i.e., when the church meets as a mixed
gender body of believers, 1Co 14:34). This injunction is not placed on women
because of inequality before the throne of grace, but that the type of Christ and the
Church may not be broken (Eph 5:21-32 cf. 1Co 11:2-6). See E. Skolfield, Demons
in the Church (Fort Myers, FL, Fish House, 1993)

 Islam Reviewed    57

obedience (1 Peter 3:6). The Bible is full of women activists, Queen
Esther being an example (read the Bible book of Esther). There were
many others: Tabitha or Dorcas (Acts 9:36); Lydia (Acts 16:14-15);
Phoebe, the deaconess (Roman 16:1). The list is endless, in short the
Bible goes to a great length to make no spiritual distinction between man
and woman. We are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).  It is this
spirit of equality that allows women to worship in the same church
alongside their male counterparts.

In this part of the world, Muslim women are not permitted to pray
in the same mosque along side men. When a renowned Islamic scholar
vowed some time ago that he would not live to see a women president
of this nation, he was merely displaying the Islamic spirit. In Pakistan, a
general outcry greeted the election of Mrs. Benazir Bhutto (later ousted
by referendum), but she was only being treated in accordance with the
Islamic view of a woman's status. Maybe Allah will create a separate
Aljana for women.

I truly sympathize with Muslim women. There is no way for them to
get free of their servitude as long as they remain in Islam. Of a fact,
Islamic law and family ties make it more difficult for Muslim women to
shake off their shackles than in any other society on earth. However,
there is hope for you when you turn to Christ. His blood can melt away
all the chains of oppression and bondage.

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