Osama Abdallah and Temporary Marriage:
Muta, Prostitution, and many other things
On November 14 my response to Osamas challenge regarding Muta being a form of prostitution was published on Answering Islam. Very early on the next day, in substantially less than 24 hours, Osama posted a partial rebuttal to my paper.
Normal people would usually take time to first thoroughly read an individuals rebuttal in order to fully grasp the arguments being made, thereby providing a coherent and sound response. The very fact that Osamas reply appeared the next day should tip the readers as to the kind of argumentation and quality of rebuttal he was able to produce. Instead of focusing on the points being raised, Osama brought forth other issues not directly related to the challenge, which is nothing more than the logical fallacy of throwing out red herrings, and when he did try to rebut my point he badly misrepresented it thereby attacking a straw man.
For this rebuttal we have decided to follow along his rabbit trails and provide further refutation of his alleged response since it gives us another chance of presenting what the Holy Bible and the Quran really teach on these specific issues related to marriage and sex.
We start off by examining what Osama wrote regarding my explanation of Exodus 22:16-17:
This is actually worse than Muta. Because while Muta is temporary marriage (and it's no longer allowed today because Muslim men no longer travel for 100s and even 1000s of miles on foot to go fight battles or do peaceful missionary work ), and was a legal marriage with dowry pay for the woman and obligations upon the man to take care of her, this fornication act in the Bible is nothing but a shameful illegal sex.
And like I said in the AUDIO session, if the man sleeps with a non-virgin girls, such as a divorced woman, then there is no bride-price upon him. So fornication is quite open for non-virgins in your Bible! This only promotes having bastard children and getting infected with STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) and AIDS.
Also, the Muslim woman who get divorced must wait for 3 months until they can marry again:
"Divorced women shall wait concerning themselves for three monthly periods nor is it lawful for them to hide what Allah hath created in their wombs if they have faith in Allah and the Last Day.(The Noble Quran, 2:228)"
So even if the woman wants to turn into a prostitute, she can't, because she has to wait for three months until she can marry again. Otherwise, that would be fornication and fornication is severely punished in the Noble Quran:
"The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication,- flog each of them with a hundred stripes: Let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by God, if ye believe in God and the Last Day: and let a party of the Believers witness their punishment.(The Noble Quran, 24:2)"
Also, divorced women get maintenance from their former husbands:
"For divorced women Maintenance (should be provided) On a reasonable (scale). This is a duty On the righteous.(The Noble Quran, 2:241)"
So to say that the fornication of your Bible, that requires no money, is better than Muta is indeed a barrel of laughs!
This is hypocrisy #2 on Shamoun's part for again covering up for his bible by twisting the meanings and playing word-games.
First of all, we are glad that Osama realizes Sura 2:228 doesnt prohibit Muslim women from prostituting themselves through Muta. This shows some progress on the part of Osama.
Second, Osama thinks that by repeating the claim that Muta is temporary marriage this somehow disproves that it is a form of prostitution. Repeating something a number of times doesnt change the fact that temporary marriage is not marriage at all, but an assault on what true marriage is all about. The reality is that this practice is simply permitting sexually perverted men to degrade and abuse women in order to satisfy their lusts.
Third, Osama argues that the Bibles command in Exodus 22:16-17 is even worse than Muta since it permits or condones fornication. How is this command worse than, or even comparable to, Muta when the Bible is forcing the person to marry the woman with whom he has been intimate, which shows that a person CANNOT engage in premarital sex, whereas the latter permits a man to prostitute a woman for a fee and pass that off as marriage? If anything, it is Islam and Muhammads teaching that creates societies filled with "bastard children and getting infected with STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) and AIDS."
Fourth, Osama thinks that by citing verses which talk about a womans waiting period or maintenance he has proven that the Quran condemns divorcees from having sexual mates outside of marriage. He even cites Y. Alis version of Sura 24:2 without informing his readers of the controversy surrounding the precise meaning and application of this text within Islamic law. Here is the text with the Arabic words which Ali translated as "adultery or fornication" placed within parentheses:
The adulterer and the adulteress (Alzzaniyatu waalzzanee), scourge ye each one of them (with) a hundred stripes. And let not pity for the twain withhold you from obedience to Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of believers witness their punishment. Pickthall
Note how various translations render the text:
(As for) the fornicatress and the fornicator, Shakir
The fornicatress and the fornicator -- Arberry
The adulteress and the adulterer - Sher Ali
In English, adultery and fornication is not the same. So, the question remains: What exactly does this text refer to? Even consulting the Arabic text doesnt fully resolve the problem since that too leaves many questions unanswered. The reason has to do with the precise meaning of the Arabic word that is used in this particular context, zina, a word which has a broad range of definitions in relation to immoral sexual acts.
In fact, this text has perplexed Sunni scholars since there are so-called sound narrations that say that adulterers are to be stoned, not flogged, and in certain other traditions a person who is unmarried that has committed sexual immorality will be banished for a year.
We present some of these narrations and citations in order help the readers see what we mean by the confusion and questions which this text raises. The late Muhammad Asad said regarding the meaning of zina:
The term zina signifies voluntary sexual intercourse between a man and a woman not married to one another, irrespective of whether one or both of them are married to other persons or not: hence, it does not - in contrast with the usage prevalent in most Western languages - differentiate between the concepts of "adultery" (i.e., sexual intercourse of married man with a woman other than his wife, or of a married woman with a man other than her husband) and "fornication" (i.e., sexual intercourse between two unmarried persons). For the sake of simplicity I am rendering zina throughout as "adultery", and the person guilty of it as "adulterer" or "adulteress", respectively. (Source)
Sunni scholar Ibn Kathir noted:
<The Zaniyah and the Zani, flog each of them with a hundred stripes.> This honorable Ayah contains the ruling on the law of retaliation for the person who commits illegal sex, and details of the punishment. Such a person will either be unmarried, meaning that he has never been married, or he will be married, meaning that he has had intercourse within the bounds of a lawful marriage, and he is free, adult and of sound mind. As for the virgin who is unwedded, the prescribed punishment is one hundred stripes, as stated in this Ayah. In addition to this he is to be banished from his homeland for one year, as was recorded in the Two Sahihs from Abu Hurayrah and Zayd bin Khalid Al-Juhani in the Hadith about the two bedouins who came to the Messenger of Allah. One of them said, "O Messenger of Allah, this son of mine was employed by this man, and committed Zina with his wife. I paid a ransom with him on behalf of my son one hundred sheep and a slave-girl, but when I asked the people of knowledge, they said that my son should be given one hundred stripes and banished for a year, and that this man's wife should be stoned to death." The Messenger of Allah said
<By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, I will judge between you both according to the Book of Allah. Take back the slave-girl and sheep, and your son is to be given one hundred stripes and banished for one year. O Unays -- he said to a man from the tribe of Aslam -- go to this man's wife, and if she confesses, then stone her to death.>
Unays went to her and she confessed, so he stoned her to death. This indicates that if the person who is guilty of illegal sex is a virgin and unmarried, he should be banished in addition to being given one hundred stripes. But if married, meaning he has had intercourse within the bounds of lawful marriage, and he is free, adult and of sound mind, then he should be stoned to death. Imam Malik recorded that `Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, stood up and praised and glorified Allah, then he said; "O people! Allah sent Muhammad with the truth, and revealed to him the Book. One of the things that was revealed to him was the Ayah of stoning to death, which we have recited and understood. The Messenger of Allah carried out the punishment of stoning and after him we did so, but I am afraid that as time goes by, some will say that they did not find the Ayah of stoning in the Book of Allah, and they will go astray because they abandoned one of the obligations revealed by Allah. Stoning is something that is prescribed in the Book of Allah for the person -- man or woman -- who commits illegal sex, if he or she is married, if decisive evidence is produced, or if pregnancy results from that, or if they confess to it." It was also recorded in the Two Sahihs in the lengthy Hadith of Malik, from which we have quoted briefly only the portion that is relevant to the current discussion. (Source; bold and underlines emphasis ours)
Even Yusuf Ali, whom Osama cited, says:
Zina includes sexual intercourse between a man and a woman not married to each other. It therefore applies both to adultery (which implies that one or both parties are married to a person or persons other than the ones concerned) and to fornication, which in its strict signification, implies that both parties are unmarried. The law of marriage and divorce is made easy in Islam, so that there may be the less temptation for intercourse outside well-defined incidents of marriage. This makes for greater self-respect for both man and woman. Other sex offences are also punishable, but this Section applies strictly to Zina as above defined. Although Zina covers both fornication and adultery, in the opinion of Muslim jurists, the punishment laid down here applies only to unmarried persons. As for married persons, their punishment, according to the Sunna of the Prophet (peace be upon him), IS STONING TO DEATH. (Ali, The Holy Quran: Text and Commentary; ALIM CD-ROM Version; bold, underline, and capital emphasis ours)
And regarding this text:
If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, Take the evidence of four (Reliable) witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them, or God ordain for them some (other) way. S. 4:15 Y. Ali
Ali also wrote:
Keep them in prison until some definite order is received. Those who take the crime to be adultery or fornication construe this definite order ("some other way") to mean some definite pronouncement by the Prophet under inspiration; this was the punishment of flogging under xxiv. 2, for fornication, and stoning to death under the Prophets directives for adultery. (Ibid.; bold and underline emphasis ours)
The late Muslim scholar Sayyid Abu Ala Mawdudi noted:
(xxii) Jurists hold different views on the question of what punishment is meted out to those men and women who are convicted of unlawful sexual intercourse. The following is a summary of the leading jurists main opinions.
Punishment for Married Men and Women Convicted of Unlawful Sexual Intercourse
Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Daud al-Zahiri and Ishaq ibn Rahawayh are of the opinion that they should first be lashed a hundred times and then be stoned to death. All other jurists, however, think that stoning to death should be their only punishment, i.e. the two punishments cannot be combined.
Punishment for Unmarried Persons Guilty of Unlawful Sexual Intercourse
According to Shafii, Ahmad, Ishaq, Daud al-Zahiri, Sufyan al-Thawri, Ibn Abi Layla, Ishaq ibn Rahawayh, and Hasan ibn Salih, the punishment is a hundred lashes and one years banishment for both the man and the woman.
According to Malik and Awzai, however, the man is to be lashed a hundred times and banished for a year while the woman is to be subjected to only one punishment, namely a hundred lashes. (All the jurists are the opinion that banishment in this context denotes that the culprit be driven away from his town to such a distance that it makes it incumbent on him to shorten the Prayer. However, Zayd ibn Ali and Jafar al-Sadiq are of the opinion that imprisonment serves the purpose of banishment.)
Abu Hanifah and his disciples, especially Abu Yusuf, Zufar and Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani are of the opinion that the hadd punishment for unlawful sexual intercourse for both males and females is a hundred lashes, and that alone. If any punishment is added to that prescription, such as imprisonment or banishment, then this is tazir rather than hadd. The judge may look at each case on the basis of its merit and if he finds that the culprit is a highly immoral person, or that the amorous relations between the two parties convicted of unlawful sexual intercourse are unusually strong, then the judge may add to the hadd punishment as he finds necessary, such as with banishment or imprisonment.
Hadd is the prescribed punishment that must be awarded to those who deserve to receive that punishment if the required evidence is available. Tazir, on the other hand, is a punishment which is not specifically provided for in the Law neither its kind nor its quantity. It is made more or less severe depending on the merits of each case which may be determined by the court.
Jurists have supported these variant opinions by adducing different traditions on the question. These are as follows:
A tradition has been narrated by Ubadah ibn Samit (see Muslim, Abu Daud, Ibn Majah, Tirmidhi and Ahmad ibn Hanbal) according to which the Prophet (peace be on him) said: Take it from me. Take it from me. God prescribed the ruling for the woman who is guilty of unlawful sexual intercourse. For unlawful sexual intercourse committed by an unmarried man or an unmarried woman the punishment is one hundred lashes and one year of banishment, while the punishment for married man and a married woman is a hundred lashes and stoning.
Although this hadith HAS COME DOWN THROUGH A SOUND CHAIN OF NARRATORS, there are nevertheless many sound traditions which prove that the hadith was never applied either in the days of the Prophet (peace be on him) or of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs. Furthermore, no jurist has issued any ruling which accords with this tradition. What is, however, beyond doubt is that Islamic Law distinguishes between those who are married and those who are not when awarding punishment for zina. An unmarried man who engages in unlawful sexual intercourse with a married or unmarried woman will be awarded the same punishment, regardless of the marital status of his partner. Likewise, if a married commits unlawful sexual intercourse with a woman he will be awarded the same act. The same applies to the woman who is guilty of this offence. If she is married she will be awarded the same punishment regardless of whether the male partner to the act is married or not.
Among the Rightly-Guided Caliphs only Ali combined the two punishments in a case. This incident was reported by Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Bukhari on the authority of Amr Shabi. A woman named Shurahah confessed that she had become pregnant as a result of unlawful sexual intercourse. Ali had her lashed on a Thursday and stoned to death on a Friday, saying that he had inflicted the former punishment in accordance with the Quran and the latter in accordance with the Prophets Sunnah This is the only incident where the two punishments were combined.
According to a tradition narrated by Jabir ibn Abd Allah, a person committed unlawful sexual intercourse and the Prophet (peace be on him) awarded him only lashes. It later transpired that the man was married whereupon the Prophet (peace be upon him) had him stoned to death We have already narrated several traditions which show that in the case of unmarried women the Prophet (peace be upon him) awarded only the punishment of lashing. This is evident from the example of a man who raped a woman while she was on her way to Prayers as it is of the man who confessed to the crime whereas the woman denied it
When we consider all these traditions together it becomes evident that the opinion of Abu Hanifah and his disciples is the most sound. If a person commits unlawful sexual intercourse after marrying (ihsan), the only prescribed punishment for this offence is stoning to death, whereas if the person commits this act before marrying, the only prescribed punishment is a hundred lashes. These two punishments were never combined right from the time of the Prophet (peace be on him) until the time of Uthman. As for combining lashing with exile, we find that on some occasions this did happen but not to others. (Mawdudi, Towards Understanding the Quran: English Version of Tafhim al-Quran, translated and edited by Zafar Ishaq Ansari [The Islamic Foundation, Leicestershire, United Kingdom, 1998], Volume VI, Surahs 22-24, fn. 2, pp. 173-175; bold and capital emphasis ours)
Quite a bit of confusion. Clearly, these conflicting opinions and teachings arose from the fact that the Quran itself is incoherent and incomplete.
Since Osama has been appealing to the hadith literature he cannot then simply reject these sources as unreliable. These traditions regarding the banishment of fornicators or stoning of adulterers come from collections deemed Sahih (sound, without dispute as to their authenticity) by his own Sunni scholars. Recall that these are the very same sources he tried to unsuccessfully use to prove that Muta has been abrogated.
And this, in turn, leads me to my next point. Osama has again begged the question and assumed what he has yet to prove. He has assumed that the word zina prohibits certain sexual acts, specifically prostitution called Muta, but doesnt bother proving his position. As we said in our previous rebuttal to Osama, which he basically chose to ignore, the Quran doesnt condemn all vile sexual acts since in certain instances it permits even adultery and rape:
Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess: Thus hath God ordained (Prohibitions) against you: Except for these, all others are lawful, provided ye seek (them in marriage) with gifts from your property, - desiring chastity, not lust, seeing that ye derive benefit from them, give them their dowers (at least) as prescribed; but if, after a dower is prescribed, agree Mutually (to vary it), there is no blame on you, and God is All-knowing, All-wise. S. 4:24 Y. Ali
Here the Quran is permitting Muslim men to rape married captive women, a fact made explicit by the hadith literature and Islamic scholarship such as Ibn Kathir:
<except those whom your right hands possess>
except those women whom you acquire through war, for you are allowed such women after making sure they are not pregnant.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Said Al-Khudri said, "We captured some women from the area of Awtas who were already married, and we disliked having sexual relations with them because they already had husbands. So, we asked the Prophet about this matter, and this Ayah was revealed
<Also (forbidden are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess>.
Consequently, we had sexual relations with these women." This is the wording collected by AT-Tirmidhi, An-Nasai, Ibn Jarir and Muslim in his Sahih. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) Volume 2, Parts 3, 4 & 5 (Surat Al-Baqarah, Verse 253, to Surat An-Nisa, Verse 147), abridged by a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Houston, New York, Lahore; First edition, March 2000], p. 422; bold emphasis ours)
Hadith compiler Abu Dawud recorded something similar:
Abu Said al-Khudri said: The apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) sent a military expedition to Awtas on the occasion of the battle of Hunain. They met their enemy and fought with them. They defeated them and took them captives. Some of the Companions of the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) were reluctant to have intercourse with the female captives in the presence of their husbands who were unbelievers. So Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Quranic verse, And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess. That is to say, they are lawful for them when they complete their waiting period. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Volume 2, Number 2150)
Furthermore, the Quran permits men to have sex with (and rape) their female slaves without having to marry them:
If you fear that you will not act justly towards the orphans, marry such women as seem good to you, two, three, four; but if you fear you will not be equitable, then only one, or what your right hands own; so it is likelier you will not be partial. S. 4:3 Arberry
Here is what Ibn Kathir says about the above text:
<But if you fear that you will not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one or what your right hands possess.> The Ayah commands, if you fear that you will not be able to do justice between your wives by marrying more than one, then marry only one wife, or satisfy yourself with only female captives, for it is not obligatory to treat them equally, rather it is recommended. So if one does so, that is good, and if not, there is no harm on him. (Source; bold and underline emphasis ours)
Other references that condone sleeping with female captives include:
Who abstain from sex, Except with those joined to them in the marriage bond, or (the captives) whom their right hands possess, - for (in their case) they are free from blame, S. 23:5-6 Y. Ali
O Prophet! surely We have made lawful to you your wives whom you have given their dowries, and those whom your right hand possesses out of those whom Allah has given to you as prisoners of war, and the daughters of your paternal uncles and the daughters of your paternal aunts, and the daughters of your maternal uncles and the daughters of your maternal aunts who fled with you; and a believing woman if she gave herself to the Prophet, if the Prophet desired to marry her -- specially for you, not for the (rest of) believers; We know what We have ordained for them concerning their wives and those whom their right hands possess in order that no blame may attach to you; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. S. 33:50 Shakir
And those who guard their private parts, except from their wives and from those whom their right hands possess; such indeed, are not to blame; S. 70:29-30 Shakir
Imam Muslim shows us how captive women were treated:
Abu Sirma said to Abu Sa'id al Khadri (Allah he pleased with him): O Abu Sa'id, did you hear Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) mentioning al-'azl? He said: Yes, and added: We went out with Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) on the expedition to the Bi'l-Mustaliq and took captive some excellent Arab women; and we desired them, for we were suffering from the absence of our wives, (but at the same time) we also desired ransom for them. So we decided to have sexual intercourse with them but by observing 'azl (Withdrawing the male sexual organ before emission of semen to avoid conception). But we said: We are doing an act whereas Allah's Messenger is amongst us; why not ask him? So we asked Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him), and he said: It does not matter if you do not do it, for every soul that is to be born up to the Day of Resurrection will be born. (Sahih Muslim, Book 008, Number 3371)
The Quran is obviously allowing Muslim men to engage in premarital sex and sexual relations without requiring them to get married!
Even more, the consent of these women is never once made an issue in these discussions. Muslim warriors have the right to have sex with captive women simply because they are captives or slaves and the men therefore own them and have power over them. This means we are talking not only about intercourse without being married, but also rape in most cases, i.e. forced intercourse against the will of the woman! It is rape certainly in the case when the Muslims had just killed the husbands of these women, or when their husbands were still alive and captives along with their wives. Nobody with a sound mind would assume that these women desired to have sex with those men who had just killed their husbands or members of their wider family, destroyed and plundered their homes, and took them captive.
This is very much unlike Gods true Word, the Holy Bible, which forbids men to rape their captive women, and demands that the men marry these women if they want to have sex with them:
"When you go forth to war against your enemies, and the LORD your God gives them into your hands, and you take them captive, and see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you have desire for her and would take her for yourself as wife, then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head and pare her nails. And she shall put off her captive's garb, and shall remain in your house and bewail her father and her mother a full month; after that you may go in to her, and be her husband, and she shall be your wife. Then, if you have no delight in her, you shall let her go where she will; but you shall not sell her for money, you shall not treat her as a slave, since you have humiliated her." Deuteronomy 21:10-14
Hence, Osamas god permits adultery, fornication, rape, and doesnt require Muslims to get married before they can have sex! These references show that, as far as Islam is concerned, not every vile and filthy sexual act is considered fornication.
The Quran also fails to specifically mention or condemn lesbianism or bestiality, and we will have more to say about them a little later.
What all this means is that Osama cannot merely opine that a specific sexual act is fornication without showing this with explicit statements from the Quran. In other words, he cannot ipso facto assert or repeat his position that certain sexual practices come under the category of zina but needs to prove that the Quran classifies these acts as such by citing verses proving it. In case Osama fails to get the point we are making we will allow the Muslim scholar Mawdudi help him understand:
(viii) Muslim jurists ARE AT VARIANCE with one another as regards what constitutes zina (unlawful sexual intercourse). According to Hanafi scholars, it consists of a mans frontal sexual intercourse with a woman to whom he is neither married, nor whom is his slave-girl, nor about whom there is any reasonable ground for him to assume that she is his wife or slave-girl. This definition of zina EXCLUDES sodomy as well as sexual intercourse with animals. It is ONLY sexual intercourse in the vagina of a woman which is reckoned as zina provided it is not done with legal title or under the misunderstanding that one is entitled to it.
By contrast, Shafii jurists define zina as follows: Unlawful sexual intercourse (zina) consists of the act of penetration of a persons private part into the private part of another provided that it is unlawful to do so but to which people are instinctly inclined.
According to the Malikis, zina consists in having sexual intercourse, either vaginal or anal, be it with a man or a woman, when one does not have the right to do so, and when there is no ground to assume that one has such a right. According to the last two schools, zina also covers sodomy.
The fact of the matter is that the latter two definitions DO NOT CONFORM with the well-known definition of zina and the Quran always uses a term in its widely familiar meaning. Should a particular word be employed as a special term, the Quran itself explains its connotation. There is, however, nothing in the above verse [24:2] to indicate that the word zina is used for some special rather than its ordinary meaning. Hence, the word should be taken in its general, widely-known sense. In other words, it should be deemed to stand ONLY for what is normally considered as unlawful sexual intercourse between a man and a woman. Other forms of sexual perversion, therefore, lie beyond the scope of this above definition. Moreover, it is common knowledge that there was some difference of opinion among the Prophets Companions regarding the punishment that ought to be meted out to those guilty of sodomy. Had sodomy been considered a part of zina, there would have been no reason for any disagreement among the Companions on this question. (Mawdudi, Volume VI, fn. 2, pp. 159-160; bold, capital emphasis and statements within brackets ours)
To summarize: According to Mawdudi, homosexual acts (men with men, women with women), anal sex, or intercourse with animals ARE NOT ZINA, and thus not covered by this verse of the Quran, even though Mawdudi would probably include these in what he calls "other forms of sexual perversion".
In order to distinguish these sexual acts from what is discussed next, we will call them "unnatural sexual acts". Again, unnatural sexual acts are not covered by the term zina.
This same scholar candidly admits that most "natural sexual acts", i.e. sexual foreplay such as fondling a woman and lying naked with her, DO NOT fall under the category of zina! Islam only recognizes an act of zina when a mans penis penetrates a womans sexual organ:
(ix) Legally speaking, a mans mere penetration of his penis into a womans vagina, provided it is unlawful for him to do so, is enough to constitute zina and make him liable for punishment. Full penetration of the penis or having full sexual intercourse are not the necessary constituents of zina. However, if the penetration of a mans penis does not take place, the mere fact that a man and woman are found lying on the same bed, or that they are engaged in love-play, or are found in a nude position, none of these suffice to convict them of zina. If a man and a woman are found in such compromising positions, the Shariah does not prescribe that they be subjected to a medical examination so as to determine whether sexual intercourse actually took place, and to punish them if it is so established. Those who are found in such shamelessly compromising positions would, however, be subjected to the punishment that might be decided upon by the qadi, depending upon the circumstances of each particular case. It is also possible that the Shura of an Islamic State might determine the punishment meted out in such cases. However, if it is decided that the punishment consists of flogging, this may not exceed ten lashes. This is because of a hadith in which it is specified that a person may not be subjected to more than ten lashes in cases which do not involve hadd punishment
Conversely, if someone is not caught committing such an objectionable act [i.e. one which is short of zina] but voluntarily confesses the same from a feeling of remorse, it suffices to exhort him to repent. It is narrated by Abd Allah ibn Masud that someone came and confessed that he had everything possible with a woman in the countryside short of sexual intercourse. So saying, he offered himself for punishment in the manner that was considered appropriate. In response, Umar said to him: When God has concealed what you had done, you should not have made it public. The Prophet (peace be upon him) remained quiet all along and the person departed. He then called for him and recited the following Quranic verse: And establish the Prayer at the two ends of the day and in the first hours of the night. Indeed the good deeds drive away the evil deeds. Someone asked whether this ruling was meant specifically for that person alone. To this the Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: No, it is a general ruling. (Ibid., pp. 160-161)
This story of a man being forgiven for committing indecent physical acts with a woman is also found in the hadith collection of Al-Imam Abu Zakariya Yahya bin Sharaf An-Nawawi Ad-Dimashqi, titled Riyad as-Salihin (The Meadows of the Righteous):
434. Ibn Mas'ud reported that a man received a kiss from a woman and went to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and told him and then Allah Almighty sent down, "Establish the prayers at each end of the day and in the first part of the night. Good actions eradicate bad actions." (11:114) The man said, "Is this for me, Messenger of Allah?" He said, "It is for all my community." [Agreed upon]
435. Anas said, "A man came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, 'O Messenger of Allah, I have incurred a hadd-punishment, so carry it out on me.' It was time for the prayer, so he prayed with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. When the prayer was finished, he said, 'O Messenger of Allah, I have incurred a hadd-punishment, so carry out the prescription of Allah on me.' He said, "Were you present at the prayer with us?" He said, "Yes." He said, "You have been forgiven." [Agreed upon] (51. Chapter: On Hope; online source)
Note the implication of the above statements. Not only does the Quran fail to address the issue of persons not legally married to each other engaging in sexual foreplay, the punishment of such individuals is left to the whims and fancies of Muslim jurists, a clear indication of the incomplete nature of the Quran despite its claims to the contrary:
Shall I seek a judge other than Allah, when He it is Who has sent down to you the Book FULLY EXPLAINED? ... S. 6:114 M.M. Ali
In their histories there is certainly a lesson for men of understanding. It is not a narrative which could be forged, but a verification of what is before it and a distinct explanation of all things and a guide and a mercy to a people who believe. S. 12:111 Shakir
Moreover, Muhammads response to the person who had done everything possible with a woman with the exception of intercourse leaves the door wide open for men to do everything they like with a woman, short of intercourse, and simply repent afterwards. Nothing more than a couple of prayers will be required of them.
In other words it is Islam, not the Holy Bible, which opens the door for fondling, kissing, sexual foreplay between the sexes without this being considered fornication. In fact, according to this definition the former President Bill Clinton was correct when he claimed that he didnt really have sex with Monica Lewinsky since technically they only had oral sex!
Therefore, Sura 24:2 does not prove Osamas case since zina doesnt refer to all types of sexual acts, but has a more restricted sense which leads me to ask the following question:
WHAT EXACTLY IS THE FORNICATION, ZINA, THAT THIS VERSE IS PROHIBITING? WE KNOW IT CANT BE ALL FORMS OF RAPE AND ADULTERY SINCE SURA 4:24 PERMITS RAPING AND SLEEPING WITH MARRIED CAPTIVES. WE KNOW THAT IT CANT BE REFERRING TO ALL KINDS OF PREMARITAL SEX OR SEXUAL RELATIONS OUTSIDE OF THE CONFINES OF MARRIAGE, SINCE THE QURAN EVEN PERMTIS THIS IN SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES AS WE JUST SAW. SO CAN YOU PLEASE TELL US WHAT EXACTLY DOES FORNICATION MEAN HERE?
Very funny indeed. Despite the ample proofs that I provided above and throughout my AUDIO session regarding Islam clearly making it virtually impossible for prostitution to exist in the society, all of this does not mean a thing to him. But his bible openly allowing non-virgins and even virgins to have sex without marriage, and not requiring any monetary punishment for sleeping with non-virgin women is not legalized prostitution to him.
"That's what makes it legalized prostitution"
Here, in perfect conformity with the Sunna of his prophet, Osama blatantly lies and distorts what the Bible truly teaches. He says that the Bible OPENLY ALLOWS for non-virgins and virgins to have sex without marriage. In other words, Osama is claiming that the Holy Bible expressly permits this, which means he can find a reference stating this explicitly. So here is our challenge:
PLEASE PRODUCE THAT REFERENCE, OR PASSAGES, WHICH OPENLY SAY THAT NON-VIRGINS AND VIRGINS CAN HAVE SEX WITHOUT BEING MARRIED WITH GOD APPROVING IT. SHOW US A CITATION WHERE GOD SAYS THAT WOMEN CAN IN FACT HAVE SEX OUTSIDE THE CONFINES OF MARRIAGE WITHOUT BEING PUNISHED FOR IT.
We omit some of Osamas mantras and nonsense in order to tackle his next lies:
By the way, according to Islam, I can not covet my friend's sister or any woman:
"Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: And God is well acquainted with all that they do.(The Noble Quran, 24:30)"
"And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands' fathers, or their sons or their husbands' sons, or their brothers or their brothers' sons or sisters' sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigour, or children who know naught of women's nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed.(The Noble Quran, 24:31)"
In the Middle East:
In the Middle Eastern culture, if my sister's girl friend(s) enter the house, then I am obligated to get out, or lock myself quietly in my room, until they leave!
Also, if a woman enters the house without her man, then either all men must leave the house, or get locked in their rooms, except for the young male children.
Ask the Arab-Christians if you think I am exaggerating!
Notice"...that will make for greater purity for them..." This is what Allah Almighty Wants in order for Muslims to keep a Pure Society. Definitely no covets and no sexual arousing.
I am certain that the reader clearly sees how ludicrous Sam Shamoun is.
This is hypocrisy #3 on Shamoun's part for again covering up for his bible by twisting the meanings and playing word-games.
What do Arabic culture or women lowering their gaze have to with:
The answer? Absolutely nothing. All this simply proves is that Osama has nothing better to say except to bring up irrelevant points which are nothing more than red herrings and smokescreens.
In this next section Osama ends up proving my case and refuting himself without even realizing it:
ActuallyTitus 1:15 applies to you, because you are the one with the hypocrisy here; not me.
"Osama complained that the Holy Bible prescribes no physical discipline such as flogging for fornicators, or for those who engage in premarital sex, like that found in the Quran. The answer is rather simple, why should there be a specific punishment for this sin?"
Sexual coveting, AIDS, STDs, pregnancy, destruction of morals, destruction of chastity in the society, and a billion other reasons that I can't think of right now.
All of these do not mean a thing to you?
With this rebuttal the reader can see that Titus 1:15 applies to Osama more so than anyone else. More importantly, Osama attacks a straw man here since he obviously couldnt refute my point. Where did I say that all these issues meant nothing to me, or that the Holy Bible didnt care about these things? I simply said that God is not required to punish every sin by inflicting some form of physical pain such as flogging. God has different ways in which he deals with specific sins, such as causing people to suffer sexually transmitted diseases for living an immoral lifestyle:
"For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving IN THEIR OWN PERSONS the due penalty for their error." Romans 1:26-27 RSV
Paul says that those who commit sexual immorality, unnatural acts etc., are punished in their own persons, implying that sexually transmitted diseases are one of the ways in which God punishes unnatural, immoral behavior. So much for Osamas straw man.
He then says:
But when a priest's daughter sins, ooooh, she must get burnt with fire:
"And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.(From the NIV Bible, Leviticus 21:9)"
So if a priest's non-virgin (or virgin) daughter commits fornication, thenshe gets burnt with fire.
But any normal non-virgin can have as much sex as possible! It doesn't matter!
I don't know, should I count this as another hypocrisy by Shamoun? Yeahhhh let's do it :-).
This is hypocrisy #4 on Shamoun's part for again covering up for his bible by twisting the meanings and playing word-games.
It is truly a mystery that Osama thinks that this passage supports his case against me. He lies about unmarried non-virgins and virgins having as much sex as they want, since he has confused the Quran with Gods true Word. After all it is the Quran, as well specific Islamic narrations, which would allow unmarried virgins and non-virgin women to have sex for money and yet pass that off as temporary marriage!
What is most interesting about this passage that Osama cited is that the word for harlot here is zanah, which is the Hebrew equivalent of the Arabic word zina! Osama pretty much shot himself in the foot when he quoted Leviticus 21:9 since he wanted to prove that the Quran condemns sexual acts such as prostitution, lesbianism etc. on the basis that it uses the term zina. And yet even though the Bible uses the Hebrew equivalent of this Arabic word Osama still demands that we provide explicit references to prove that Gods true Word condemns specific acts by name.
But unfortunately for Osama, the Holy Bible, unlike his Quran, does explicitly condemn prostitution, and not just in reference to a priests daughter, but also in relation to others:
"Do not profane your daughter by making her a harlot, lest the land fall into harlotry and the land become full of wickedness." Leviticus 19:29
Again, unlike the Quran, the Bible doesnt leave us guessing as to what God views as harlotry, but provides a list of acts condemned by God as prostitution. The Holy Bible expressly states that harlotry, or prostitution, takes various forms such as engaging in sex without being married:
"If any man takes a wife, and goes in to her, and then spurns her, and charges her with shameful conduct, and brings an evil name upon her, saying, I took this woman, and when I came near her, I did not find in her the tokens of virginity, then the father of the young woman and her mother shall take and bring out the tokens of her virginity to the elders of the city in the gate; and the father of the young woman shall say to the elders, I gave my daughter to this man to wife, and he spurns her; and lo, he has made shameful charges against her, saying, I did not find in your daughter the tokens of virginity. And yet these are the tokens of my daughters virginity. And they shall spread the garment before the elders of the city. Then the elders of that city shall take the man and whip him; and they shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver, and give them to the father of the young woman, because he has brought an evil name upon a virgin of Israel; and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days. But if the thing is true, that the tokens of virginity were not found in the young woman, then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her fathers house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones, because she has wrought folly in Israel by playing the harlot in her fathers house; so you shall purge the evil from the midst of you." Deuteronomy 22:13-21
Can Gods disapproval of pre-marital sex be any clearer? What more does Osama need?
A woman who pretended to be a virgin and then married a man was to be killed, since this was prostitution according to the Holy Bible. This is why God commanded the man who slept with a maiden to marry her and pay the bride price, in order to spare her from death for not being a virgin in case she marries later on:
"If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found, then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her; he may not put her away all his days." Deuteronomy 22:28-29; cf. Exodus 22:16-17
Now if the father refused to accept the man then he was to still receive the bride price since this would mean that the man had married the woman by sleeping with her.
Harlotry also refers to shrine prostitutes, men or women who engage in sexual immorality as part of pagan worship:
"There shall be no cult prostitute of the daughters of Israel, neither shall there be a cult prostitute of the sons of Israel. You shall not bring the hire of a harlot, or the wages of a dog, into the house of the LORD your God in payment for any vow; for both of these are an abomination to the LORD your God." Deuteronomy 23:17-18
Zanah is even applied to idolatry, that worshiping false gods is an act of spiritual prostitution or fornication:
"You shall tear down their altars, and break their pillars, and cut down their Ashe'rim (for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and when they play the harlot after their gods and sacrifice to their gods and one invites you, you eat of his sacrifice, and you take of their daughters for your sons, and their daughters play the harlot after their gods and make your sons play the harlot after their gods. You shall make for yourself no molten gods." Exodus 34:13-17
In fact, unlawful divorce and remarriage is classified as adultery which is a form of zanah (Greek porneia):
"It was also said, Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce. But I say to you that every one who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity (porneias), makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery." Matthew 5:31-32
We will shortly have more to say about the Greek word porneia. Osama writes:
Just as I thought, you fell right threw the trap!
Ladies and gentlemen notice this hypocrite's absurdity and hypocrisy here. Out of his entire bible, he brings us quotes from a dubious and doubtful self-proclaimed prophet, named Paul, who came between 2,000 to 3,000 years after the Law of Moses!
Many Christian theologians believe that Paul is a liar! They reject his books and teachings. But going along with Shamoun, let us accept Paul into the Bible.
What Shamoun is telling us here is that for 2,000 to 3,000 years, the Bible followers had absolutely no prohibition for fornication!
The fact that Shamoun only relied on the dubious Paul clearly and irrefutably proves that Shamoun is the real liar here who is twisting and playing games.
I guess Osama forgot what his challenge was to me, so I need to repeat it one more time with added emphasis:
Where IN THE BIBLE are non-virgin girls forbidden from having sex with their boyfriends?
Osama never restricted his challenge to the OT scriptures, or to the writings of Moses. He expressly asked for a passage from the Bible. Now are Pauls writings found in the Bible? Yes. And doesnt quoting Paul satisfy Osamas challenge to show him from the Bible where non-virgins are forbidden from engaging in sex with their boyfriends? Yes it does, so Osamas challenge has been met and has been thoroughly refuted.
More importantly, I didnt simply limit my case to Pauls writings since I quoted the OT Scriptures to show that divorced persons can only engage in sex by getting remarried. Here, again, is the reference I used:
"When a man takes a wife and marries her, if then she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a bill of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, and she departs out of his house, and if she goes and becomes another man's wife, and the latter husband dislikes her and writes her a bill of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies, who took her to be his wife, then her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the LORD, and you shall not bring guilt upon the land which the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance." Deuteronomy 24:1-4
I stated that the above reference presupposes that divorcees are to remarry if they desire to engage in sexual activity, otherwise they will be viewed as committing harlotry, fornication. My exegesis bears out in light of Gods own application of this command to Israels apostasy:
"If a man divorces his wife and she goes from him and becomes another man's wife, will he return to her? Would not that land be greatly polluted? You have played the harlot with many lovers; and would you return to me? says the LORD. Lift up your eyes to the bare heights, and see! Where have you not been lain with? By the waysides you have sat awaiting lovers like an Arab in the wilderness. You have polluted the land with your vile harlotry. Therefore the showers have been withheld, and the spring rain has not come; yet you have a harlot's brow, you refuse to be ashamed. Have you not just now called to me, "My father, thou art the friend of my youth -- will he be angry for ever, will he be indignant to the end?" Behold, you have spoken, but you have done all the evil that you could. The LORD said to me in the days of King Josi'ah: Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, how she went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and there played the harlot? And I thought, "After she has done all this she will return to me"; but she did not return, and her false sister Judah saw it. She saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce; yet her false sister Judah did not fear, but she too went and played the harlot. Because harlotry was so light to her, she polluted the land, committing adultery with stone and tree." Jeremiah 3:1-9
Notice that God references Deuteronomy 24:1-4 regarding a man not remarrying his former wife if she has married someone else. And:
"They shall eat, but not be satisfied; they shall play the harlot, but not multiply; because they have forsaken the LORD to cherish harlotry. Wine and new wine take away the understanding. My people inquire of a thing of wood, and their staff gives them oracles. For a spirit of harlotry has led them astray, and they have left their God to play the harlot. They sacrifice on the tops of the mountains, and make offerings upon the hills, under oak, poplar, and terebinth, because their shade is good. Therefore your daughters play the harlot, and your brides commit adultery. I will not punish your daughters when they play the harlot, nor your brides when they commit adultery; for the men themselves go aside with harlots, and sacrifice with cult prostitutes, and a people without understanding shall come to ruin. Though you play the harlot, O Israel, let not Judah become guilty. Enter not into Gilgal, nor go up to Beth-a'ven, and swear not, As the LORD lives. Like a stubborn heifer, Israel is stubborn; can the LORD now feed them like a lamb in a broad pasture? E'phraim is joined to idols, let him alone. A band of drunkards, they give themselves to harlotry; they love shame more than their glory. A wind has wrapped them in its wings, and they shall be ashamed because of their altars." Hosea 4:10-19
After God divorces Israel because of her adultery she goes on to commit harlotry with her many lovers. This shows that, a) adultery is evil and, b) sleeping with men outside of the confines of marriage is harlotry. We find this reiterated in the story of Hosea and Gomer:
"The word of the LORD that came to Hose'a the son of Be-e'ri, in the days of Uzzi'ah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezeki'ah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jerobo'am the son of Jo'ash, king of Israel. When the LORD first spoke through Hose'a, the LORD said to Hose'a, Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry and have children of harlotry, for the land commits great harlotry by forsaking the LORD. So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Dibla'im, and she conceived and bore him a son." Hosea 1:1-3
"And the LORD said to me, Go again, love a woman who is beloved of a paramour and is an adulteress; even as the LORD loves the people of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins. So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley. And I said to her, You must dwell as mine for many days; you shall not play the harlot, or belong to another man; so will I also be to you." Hosea 3:1-3
God commands Hosea to marry a harlot as a way of illustrating Gods marriage with Israel who acted as a spiritual harlot. God later commands Hosea to take his wife back even after she had left him to pursue her harlotry, again as an illustration of God taking Israel back in spite of her spiritual harlotry and adultery, as well as an act of pure mercy and grace. This again illustrates the fact that to engage in sexual activity outside of the confines of marriage, whether before marriage or after being divorced or separated, is evil in Gods sight.
Now Osama says that I fell through the trap, but doesnt realize how this backfires against him since it implicates both himself and his prophet. The only way that Osamas challenge could have been a trap is if he didnt really mean for me to prove my case from the entirety of the Bible, but only from the books of Moses or the OT scriptures. What this basically implies is that Osama deliberately lied since he never intended for me to use the entire Bible, but only specific sections from it, and yet he deliberately withheld this piece of information in order to trap me. In other words, Osama was being deceptive and used cunning in order to mislead both his listening audience and myself since his intention never was to receive an answer but only to trap me by withholding important information.
In reality what he has now done is to expose how evil and wicked his religion is since it allows him to use lies and deceptions to achieve his goal. Osama is being a good Muslim at this point since the Quran says that Allah is the best deceiver and schemer of them all, even permitting Muslims such as Osama to lie and scheme in order to deceive people into believing in Muhammad. Way to go Osama! You sure make Allah proud with your tactics.
For more on Allah being a liar and allowing Muslims to lie please consult the following articles:
The foregoing exposes Osamas slander and lie that unmarried non-virgin women could have unlimited sex with Gods approval. We again need to repeat the point that Osama has confused what the Quran teaches with what Gods true Word teaches.
Continue with Part Two of our rebuttal.
Rebuttals to Answering-Christianity
Articles by Sam Shamoun
Answering Islam Home Page