Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Does the Bible Really Teach That
Men Must Avoid Women In Order To Avoid Hell?

Sam Shamoun

A Muslim greenhorn has decided to rehash an old Muslim argument that Revelation 14:4 teaches that men must avoid women in order to be saved, thereby drawing the conclusion that the Holy Bible dishonors women.

Here is the text in question:

“These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb.”

I have therefore decided to simply repost a modified version of my response to Osama Abdallah which suffices as an adequate reply to the desperate polemics of these shameless dawagandists.

Before we proceed to examine Revelation 14:4 in the context of the book itself, it will prove helpful to show what the Holy Bible teaches concerning the intrinsic value that women possess by virtue of being created in the image of God. We will then contrast that with Muhammad’s misogynistic views in order to get a greater appreciation of the dignity and honor which God bestowed on women according to the Holy Bible.

Here are some passages which gives us an idea of what the only true God thinks of women:

"Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry. But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. IN THE SAME WAY, the husband's body does not belong to him alone BUT ALSO TO HIS WIFE. Do not deprive each other except by MUTUAL consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control." 1 Corinthians 7:1-5

"Husbands, love your wives, JUST AS Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church - for we are members of his body. 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' This is a profound mystery - but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife AS HE LOVES HIMSELF, and the wife must respect her husband." Ephesians 5:25-33

“Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” Colossians 3:19

In these passages, the blessed Apostle Paul exhorts husbands not to deal harshly with their wives but to love them in the same way that Christ loved the Church, treating them as their own bodies. He also admonishes them not deny their women their conjugal rights since their bodies are not theirs but their wives.


"Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as HEIRS with you of the gracious gift of life, SO THAT NOTHING WILL HINDER YOUR PRAYERS.” 1 Peter 3:7

It is evident that when Peter says wives are the weaker vessels, he means this in relation to their physical makeup, since he clearly says that wives are heirs of the promise along with their husbands. In fact, Peter says that a husband’s prayers will be hindered, or rendered ineffective, if he fails to treat his wife with respect. Hence, loving and treating one’s wife kindly is an integral part of having one’s prayers heard!

The New Testament is merely echoing the Old Testament teaching that God created both men and women in his image and gave both of them the right to rule over his creation:

“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let THEM rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; MALE AND FEMALE He created them. God blessed THEM; and God said TO THEM, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’” Genesis 1:26-28

“This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created Adam, He made him in the likeness of God. He created THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and He blessed THEM and NAMED THEM Adam in the day when they were created.” Genesis 5:1-2

Let us now contrast these statements from God’s inspired Word with the teachings of the false god of Islam:

Your wives are as A TILTH unto you; so approach YOUR TILTH when or how ye will; but do some good act for your souls beforehand; and fear Allah. And know that ye are to meet Him (in the Hereafter), and give (these) good tidings to those who believe. S. 2:223

Fair in the eyes of men is the love of things THEY COVET: WOMEN and sons; Heaped-up hoards of gold and silver; horses branded (for blood and excellence); and (wealth of) cattle and well-tilled land. Such are the POSSESSIONS of this world's life; but with Allah is the best of the goals (to return to). S. 3:14

Men are superior to women on account of the qualities which God hath gifted the one above the other, and on account of the outlay they make from their substance for them. Virtuous women are obedient, careful, during the husband's absence, because God hath of them been careful. But chide those for whose refractoriness ye have cause to fear; remove them into beds apart, AND SCOURGE THEM: but if they are obedient to you then seek not occasion against them: verily, God is High, Great! S. 4:34 Rodwell

According to these passages, women are a man’s field which he can plow into any way he wants, and also property which he owns and rules over. Men are also said to be superior to women in intelligence and even have the right to beat their spouses whom they feel are becoming rebellious.

In fact, some of the commentators claim that Q. 4:34 was composed to justify the beating of wives:

(Men are in charge of women…) [4:34]. Said Muqatil: “This verse (Men are in charge of women…) was revealed about Sa‘d ibn al-Rabi‘, who was one of the leaders of the Helpers (nuqaba’), and his wife Habibah bint Zayd ibn Abi Zuhayr, both of whom from the Helpers. It happened Sa‘d hit his wife on the face because she rebelled against him. Then her father went with her to see the Prophet. He said to him: ‘I gave him my daughter in marriage and he slapped her’. The Prophet said: ‘Let her have retaliation against her husband’. As she was leaving with her father to execute retaliation, the Prophet called them and said: ‘Come back; Gabriel has come to me’, and Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse. The Messenger of Allah said: ‘We wanted something while Allah wanted something else, and that which Allah wants is good’. Retaliation was then suspended”. Sa‘id ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Zahid informed us> Zahir ibn Ahmad> Ahmad ibn al-Husayn ibn Junayd> Ziyad ibn Ayyub> Hushaym> Yunus ibn al-Hasan who reported that a man slapped his wife and she complained about him to the Prophet. Her family who went with her said: “O Messenger of Allah! So-and-so has slapped our girl”. The Prophet kept saying: “Retaliation! Retaliation! And there is no other judgement to be held”. But then this verse (Men are in charge of women…) was revealed and the Prophet said: “We wanted something and Allah wanted something else”. Abu Bakr al-Harithi informed us> Abu’l-Shaykh al-Hafiz> Abu Yahya al-Razi> Sahl al-‘Askari> ‘Ali ibn Hashim> Isma‘il> al-Hasan who said: “Around the time when the verse on retaliation was revealed amongst the Muslims, a man had slapped his wife. She went to the Prophet: ‘My husband has slapped me and I want retaliation’. So he said: ‘Let there be retaliation’. As he was still dealing with her, Allah, exalted is He, revealed (Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other…). Upon which the Prophet said: ‘We wanted something and my Lord wanted something different. O man, take your wife by the hand’ ”. ('Alī ibn Ahmad al-Wahidi, Asbab al-Nuzul; bold emphasis ours)

How ironic. Muhammad wanted to punish the man who beat his wife and yet his god wanted something else and “sent down” to his “messenger” a verse (Q. 4:34) informing him that men have the right to beat their women whom they suspect are being rebellious!

This explains why the hadiths claim that Allah’s “messenger” gave men permission to beat their wives:

Narrated Abdullah ibn AbuDhubab:
Iyas ibn Abdullah ibn AbuDhubab reported the Apostle of Allah as saying: Do not beat Allah's handmaidens, but when Umar came to the Apostle of Allah and said: Women have become emboldened towards their husbands, HE (the Prophet) GAVE PERMISSION TO BEAT THEM. Then many women came round the family of the Apostle of Allah complaining against their husbands. So the Apostle of Allah said: Many women have gone round Muhammad's family complaining against their husbands. They are not the best among you. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 11, Number 2141)

Narrated Umar ibn al-Khattab:

The Prophet said: A man will not be asked as to why he beat his wife. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 11, Number 2142)

In one situation a man hit his wife so hard that he left a green bruise on her body!

Narrated 'Ikrima:
Rifa'a divorced his wife whereupon 'AbdurRahman bin Az-Zubair Al-Qurazi married her. 'Aisha said that the lady (came), wearing a green veil (and complained to her (Aisha) of her husband and showed her a green spot on her skin caused by beating). It was the habit of ladies to support each other, so when Allah's Apostle came, 'Aisha said, "I have not seen any woman suffering AS MUCH AS THE BELIEVING WOMEN. Look! Her skin IS GREENER THAN HER CLOTHES!" When 'AbdurRahman heard that his wife had gone to the Prophet, he came with his two sons from another wife. She said, "By Allah! I have done no wrong to him but he is impotent and is as useless to me as this," holding and showing the fringe of her garment, 'Abdur-Rahman said, "By Allah, O Allah's Apostle! She has told a lie! I am very strong and can satisfy her but she is disobedient and wants to go back to Rifa'a." Allah's Apostle said, to her, "If that is your intention, then know that it is unlawful for you to remarry Rifa'a unless 'Abdur-Rahman has had sexual intercourse with you." Then the Prophet saw two boys with 'Abdur-Rahman and asked (him), "Are these your sons?" On that 'AbdurRahman said, "Yes." The Prophet said, "You claim what you claim (i.e. that he is impotent)? But by Allah, these boys resemble him as a crow resembles a crow," (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 72, Number 715; *)

Notice the physical abuse women endured at the hands of their husbands, and also notice how Muhammad failed to come to this woman’s defense. More importantly, notice the candid admission of Muhammad’s child bride Aisha concerning the abuse “believing” women were experiencing at the hands of Muslim men. She clearly testifies that Muslim women suffered worse than any other women!

The sad fact is that such physical and emotional abuse of women is the direct result of the Quran and Muhammad’s sunna which have legalized the mistreatment of females. As the late Iranian Muslim scholar Ali Dashti explained:

According to Tafsir ol-Jalalayn, the superiority of men lies in their greater intelligence, knowledge and administrative ability. Zamakhshari, Baydawi, and several other commentators go into more detail and construct metaphysical theories; they liken men's authority over women to that of rulers over subjects, and maintain that prophethood, prayer-leadership, and rulership are reserved for men because men are stronger, MORE INTELLIGENT, and more prudent

There is one passage, however, which apparently endorses a pre-Islamic Arab custom. This is the sentence at the end of the verse 38[34] permitting a husband to beat his wife: "And those women whose insubordination you fear, admonish them, then leave them alone in the beds, then beat them!" Men with their greater bodily strength have certainly resorted to this unjust and unchivalrous expedient since the earliest times, and they still do so in the twentieth century. Nevertheless its authorization by the law of Islam provides ammunition for critics.

Every community's laws reflect it life-style, customs, and morals. In addition to the testimony of verse 38[34] of sura 4, there is historical evidence that the Ancient Arabs considered the husband to be the owner of his wife and fully entitled to inflict pain on her. Abu Bakr's daughter Asma, who was the fourth wife of Zobayr b. ol-'Awwam (one of the Prophet's first ten converts and principle companions), is reported to have said, "Whenever Zobayr was angry with one of us, he used to beat her UNTIL THE STICK BROKE."

The Islamic law on this subject has at least the merit of gradation. First admonition, next cessation of intercourse, and only in the last resort violence should be used to make the wife obey. In the opinion of several commentators and lawyers, the beating should not be severe as to break a bone, because in that case the legal right to retaliation in kind and degree might be invoked. Zamakhshari, however, writes in his comment on the verse that "some authorities do no accept gradation of the punishment of the insubordinate wife but consider infliction of any of the three penalties to be permissible." This was of course the interpretation given to the words by fanatical Arab theologians such as Ebn Hanbal and Ebn Taymiya. Nevertheless, the meaning of the words is clear and moreover confirmed by what follows in verse 39[35]: "And if you fear a breach between the two, send an arbiter from his kinsfolk and an arbiter from her kinsfolk in case they desire reconciliation." (Dashti, 23 Years: A Study of the Prophetic Career of Mohammad [Mazda Publishers, Costa Mesa, CA 1994], pp. 114, 115-116; underline emphasis and comments within brackets ours)

Muhammad also taught that if he could he would have ordered women to prostrate to their husbands:

Narrated Qays ibn Sa'd:
I went to al-Hirah and saw them (the people) prostrating themselves before a satrap of theirs, so I said: The Apostle of Allah has most right to have prostration made before him. When I came to the Prophet, I said: I went to al-Hirah and saw them prostrating themselves before a satrap of theirs, but you have most right, Apostle of Allah, to have (people) prostrating themselves before you. He said: Tell me, if you were to pass my grave, would you prostrate yourself before it? I said: No. He then said: Do not do so. If I were to command anyone to make prostration before another I WOULD COMMAND WOMEN TO PROSTRATE THEMSELVES BEFORE THEIR HUSBANDS, because of the special right over them given to husbands by Allah. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 11, Number 2135: *)

He even claimed that angels curse the women who refuse to sleep with their husbands!

Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "If a man invites his wife to sleep with him and she refuses to come to him, then the angels send their curses on her till morning." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 121; *)

Women can also be taken captive and raped by Muslim thugs, even if these women happened to be married!

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

This perverse verse is permitting Muslim men (including Muhammad himself) to rape married women which they have taken as booty. Tragically, this did not remain a mere abstraction but was readily put into practice by Muhammad’s blood thirsty jihadists:

Abu Sirma said to Abu Sa'id al Khadri: O Abu Sa'id, did you hear Allah's Messenger mentioning al-'azl? He said: Yes, and added: We went out with Allah's Messenger 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, 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; *)


Abu Said al-Khudri said: The apostle of Allah 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 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)

If that wasn’t bad enough, Muhammad went so far as to assert that women would form the majority of people in hell due to the fact that they are inferior in intelligence and are ungrateful to their husbands!

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:
Once Allah's Apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) on ‘Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, "O women! Give alms, as I have seen that THE MAJORITY of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women)." They asked, "Why is it so, O Allah's Apostle?" He replied, "You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion THAN YOU. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you." The women asked, "O Allah's Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?" He said, "Is not THE EVIDENCE OF TWO WOMEN EQUAL TO THE WITNESS OF ONE MAN?" They replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn't it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?" The women replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her religion." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 6, Number 301; *)

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:
The Prophet said, "Isn't the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?" The women said, "Yes." He said, "THIS IS BECAUSE OF THE DEFICIENCY OF A WOMAN’S MIND." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 48, Number 826; *)


Usama b. Zaid reported that Allah's Messenger said: I stood at the door of Paradise and I found that the overwhelming majority of those who entered therein was that of poor persons and the wealthy persons were detained to get into that. The denizens of Hell were commanded to get into Hell, and I stood upon the door of Fire and the majority amongst them who entered there was that of women. (Sahih Muslim, Book 036, Number 6596; *)

Ibn Abbas reported that Allah's Messenger said: I had a chance to look into the Paradise and I found that majority of the people was poor and I looked into the Fire and there I found the majority constituted by women. (Sahih Muslim, Book 036, Number 6597)

Imran b. Husain reported that Allah's Messenger said: Amongst the inmates of Paradise the women would form A MINORITY. (Sahih Muslim, Book 036, Number 6600)

Let us summarize the Islamic data regarding women:

  1. Women are a man’s tilth and possession.
  2. Men are superior to women due to their superior qualities.
  3. Disobedient wives can be beaten.
  4. According to Aisha, believing women suffered more than the other women.
  5. A husband beat his wife so badly that he left a green mark on her body. And yet Muhammad says nothing to the husband.
  6. Muhammad permitted emboldened wives to be beaten.
  7. Umar, the second Caliph, claims that a man shall not be asked the reason why he beat his wife.
  8. Muhammad would have ordered women to bow down and prostrate before their husbands.
  9. Angels curse women who refuse to accept her husband’s invitation to have sex. Evidently angels have nothing better to do than to curse women who do not satisfy their husbands' sexual cravings!
  10. Women can be taken captive and raped, even if they are still married.
  11. The majority of the people who burn in hell are woman due to the fact that they are intellectually and religiously deficient, as well as being ungrateful to their spouses.

In light of the foregoing, we challenge these Muslim dawagandists to produce a verse or hadith stating that angels also curse men who refuse to satisfy their wives' sexual cravings. If they are unable to do so, then they need to explain why their god gives such preferential treatment to men but not to women.

In fact, we challenge these shameless internet apologists to produce verses or statements from either the Quran or ahadith which state that:

  1. Husbands are to love their wives just as Allah loves the ummah. The only problem with this argument is that not even Allah loved his ummah as much as Jesus loved his Church. Allah never became man to die for the ummah in order to make it holy as Jesus did for the Church.
  2. Husbands are to love their wives as they love themselves and their own bodies.
  3. A husband’s body doesn’t belong to him only, but also belongs to his wife.
  4. A husband cannot deprive his wife of sexual pleasure and intimacy, except by mutual consent.
  5. A husband’s prayers are hindered if he mistreats his wife.

This again demonstrates how Islam's treatment of women pales in comparison to the treatment given to women in the Holy Bible, God's truly inspired Word.

With that out of the way, we can now focus on the meaning of Revelation 14:4. A careful examination of the entire chapter of Revelation 14 demonstrates that the text is referring to spiritual fornication and has nothing to do with actual women per se:

"Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads. And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless. Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth - to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.’ A second angel followed and said, ‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine OF HER ADULTERIES.’ A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: ‘If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.’ This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus." Revelation 14:1-12

The inspired author specifically mentions the nations who partook of the adulteries of the false apostate world system RIGHT AFTER mentioning the 144,000 who had refrained from defiling themselves with women! Therefore, the claim that 14:4 is referring to adultery and fornication is actually correct. Yet, the adultery spoken of here is spiritual in nature, i.e. idolatry and false religious worship.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown’s Critical and Explanatory Commentary on the Whole Bible states:

4. virgins - spiritually (Matthew 25:1); in contrast to the apostate Church, Babylon (Revelation 14:8), spiritually "a harlot" (Revelation 17:1-5, Isaiah 1:21; contrast 2 Corinthians 11:2, Ephesians 5:25-27). Their not being defiled with women means they were not led astray from Christian faithfulness by the tempters who jointly constitute the spiritual "harlot."

The chapter preceding Revelation 14, as well as that which immediately follows it, supports this interpretation:

"And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast. Men worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, ‘Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?’ The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast - all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns LIKE A LAMB, but he spoke like a dragon. He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666." Revelation 13:1-8, 11-17

It is not a coincidence that Revelation 13 and 14 are juxtaposed. It is quite evident that John intended to contrast the true believers of Revelation 14 that followed the true Lamb by not defiling themselves with the false worship of the beast, from those in chapter 13 who worshiped the beast and were deceived by the false lamb.


"One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, ‘Come, I will show you the punishment THE GREAT PROSTITUTE, who sits on many waters. With her the kings of the earth COMMITTED ADULTERY and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine OF HER ADULTERIES.’ Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a desert. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. This title was written on her forehead: MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished. Then the angel said to me: ‘Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns. The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come. This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while. The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction. The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings-and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.’ Then the angel said to me, ‘The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God's words are fulfilled. The woman you saw is THE GREAT CITY that rules over the kings of the earth.’" Revelation 17:1-18

The idea being conveyed here is similar to that stated by the blessed apostle Paul:

"I hope you will put up with a little of my foolishness; but you are already doing that. I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough." 2 Corinthians 11:1-4

The 144,000, much like chaste virgins, remained faithful to their espoused husband by refusing to embrace a false religious system spearheaded by the great harlot. This leads us to our second point, namely that Revelation also uses the symbol of a woman in a positive sense to describe redeemed believers:

"A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: A WOMAN clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet AND A CROWN of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days ... When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach. Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring-those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus." Revelation 12:1-6, 13-17

"Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: ‘Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.’ (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) Then the angel said to me, ‘Write: "Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!"’ And he added, ‘These are the true words of God.’" Revelation 19:6-9

"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband… But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars - their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death. One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, ‘Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.’ And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.’" Revelation 21:1-2, 8-14

The heavenly Jerusalem is also called the mother of all true believers, and is the very dwelling place of those who have been made perfect forever:

"For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. His son by the slave woman was born in the ordinary way; but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise. These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother." Galatians 4:22-26

"But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel." Hebrews 12:22-24

We conclude by quoting NT commentator G.K. Beale’s commentary on Revelation 14:4 since he does a masterful job of refuting the desperate polemics of those who would distort this text in order to make it sound as if the Holy Bible degrades and dishonors women.

Speaking of the characteristics of the 144,000, Beale notes:

First, they are those who "who were not polluted by women, for they are virgins." The meaning of "polluted" and "virgins" has been hotly debated.

Literal Views. Some see in "virgins" a literal reference to a group of celibate Christian men or to celibate Christian men and women (cf. Matt. 19:12). One problem with these literal views is that nowhere else does Scripture view sexual relations within the bond of marriage as sinful. Furthermore, if the 144,000 is a symbol for the entire people of God, that would mean that John required celibacy for the whole church, which is improbable.

Neither does this verse more generally refer to those, whether married or unmarried, who have abstained only from literal sexual immorality. Closer to the intended idea, though still too literal, is Carrington’s proposal that the notion concerns Christians who abstained from the sexual rites connected with the pagan temples and idolatry (though he remains open to a more figurative understanding)…

In the final analysis, it is preferable to understand parthenoi ("virgins") as a metaphor of all true saints who have not compromised in various ways with the world because they have remained loyal as a virgin bride to her betrothed (as in 19:7-9; 21:2; 2 Cor. 11:2). Of course, this must be the case if the conclusion already reached above is correct that the 144,000 represent all true believers. Satake notes that in the only other places in the text where saints surround Christ (7:9, 17; 19:8-9), it is always the whole redeemed community that does so. Additionally, if the 144,000 is a figurative number for completeness, why should not the mention of "virgins" also be figurative in like manner? Brutsch agrees, though he mentions the possibility that a literal group of virgins could be mentioned as metonymous for the whole redeemed community. That Jerusalem and the picture of a "prepared bride" are both figurative for the entire church in 21:2 enforces an all-inclusive symbolic interpretation of the "virgins" here.

This figurative view is enforced even further by the fact that not only is Jerusalem as a bride based on the OT (see on 21:2) but "virgin" is repeatedly applied to the nation of Israel in the OT ("virgin of Israel" and similar phrases in 2 Kgs. 19:21; Isa. 37:22; Jer. 14:17; 18:13; 31:4, 13, 21; Lam. 1:15; 2:13; Amos 5:2). The Hebrew for "virgin" in the majority of passages is rendered in the LXX by parthenos. Possibly even in the background is Jeremiah 31, where the same word is used three times for Israel’s future purity in a context in which Israel’s restoration is predicated with themes similar to those of Rev. 14:1-4: (1) Israel is to "sing aloud" about its salvation (Jer. 31:7) and (2) "shout for joy on the height of Zion" (v 12), where they will be with God (v 6); (3) they have been saved as a "remnant" (v 7); (4) they are God’s "firstborn" (v 9; see below on the association of "firstborn" with "firstfruits"). That at least the broad background of Israel as "virgin" may well be in mind is further suggested by the fact that behind the notion of "defilement" in Rev. 14:4 is OT Israel’s defilement with idolatry (see below) and that the same notion is ready at hand in 14:8-11. Additionally, "virgin" as a veiled allusion to the new Israel in 14:4 fits admirably with the temptation to commit immorality with national Babylon, which is also figurative in context (14:8).

Parthenoi is masculine to conform to the preceding houtoi and hoi egorasmenoi, which themselves may have been changed from a feminine "144,000" because in the OT the representatives of the twelve tribes of Israel were men (1QSa 2.11-17 says that Ps. 2:7 will be fulfilled when the Messiah comes to Qumran and the male "heads" of the "tribes of Israel sit before him"). Parthenoi could also be masculine as part of a picture of those have not had (figurative) illegitimate intercourse with "the great harlot" (17:1). "Babylon the Great … who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality" (14:8). Also included is the idea of abstaining from imperial and regional idolatries. That the metaphorical description of Babylon as a harlot is developed further in 14:8, right after 14:1-4, and in 17:1-5 shows that the portrayal of virgin saints is also figurative. The harlot metaphor in 14:8 is a development of the immoral "women" (gunaikon) of v 4 with whom Christian virgins have not been defiled. The two metaphors of an immoral "woman" (gune) and "harlot" (porne) are repeatedly equated in 17:1-9, 15-18 in continuation of the pictures in 14:4, 8. Alford argues against this connection on the basis that gune is plural in 14:4 and singular in ch. 17, but this disregards the corporate nature of images in Revelation (e.g., gune in 12:1; 19:7; and 21:9 is certainly corporate) and the description in 17:5 of the Babylonian woman as "the mother of harlots." (Beale, The New International Greek Testament Commentary - The Book of Revelation [Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. & Paternoster Press, 1999], pp. 738-740; bold emphasis ours)

We would like to conclude by reminding these shameless Muslim dawagandists of the following saying, “people living in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” Unfortunately for them, Islam’s glass house came crashing down centuries ago when the Lord Jesus left the tomb empty and ascended into heaven to sit enthroned at the Father’s right hand as King of kings and Lord of lords. Since that time, he is bringing all his enemies under his feet, including all the false religious systems such as Islam that seek to deceive people away from the truth of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ:

“then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. But when He says, ‘All things are put in subjection,’ it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.” 1 Corinthians 15:24-28

Hence, it is inevitable that Islam crumbles and shatters before the glorious and majestic feet of the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s beloved Son:

“For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11