On Mary, Muhammad's Concubine

Sam Shamoun

A writer by the name of Umar has taken issue (*) with my response to two Muslims regarding Mariyah’s status, i.e. whether she was a slave or wife of Muhammad’s. What makes this particular rebuttal amusing is that the author essentially concedes that Muslim sources are contradictory regarding Mariyah’s exact status, a point which I acknowledged, but still decided to write a rebuttal anyway.

Umar begins his response with:

My Response:

Ali Sina is a liar, and an Islamophobe ( Note: later on in the Article Shamoun will agree that Sina is a liar :>) Now coming to Maryiah[sic] the Copt, its either she was just a servant, and not part of the Holy Prophet (S) household, or she was his wife. Shedding more light , an Islamic site says this:

"As for the Egyptian Mariyah, she was offered to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as a slave gift from Al-Muqawqis, the leader of the Copts, in return for the Prophet’s message calling them to Islam. Instead of taking her to serve in his household, he kindly settled her in a house of her own. She embraced Islam. Some sources say that she was freed and was one of the Mothers of the Believers. She bore the Prophet his son Ibrahim, who died early."

(Source: http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?cid=1123996016500&pagename=IslamOnline-English-AAbout_Islam/AskAboutIslamE/AskAboutIslamE)

I will further touch on these points, since its an intro, let me not make it TOO long,

He again says:

My Response:

Well about Mariyah being a maid, I already posted a scholars[sic] view, on Mariyah the Copt, and he agrees that "Some sources say she was freed". So, while some sources say she was freed, others will say she wasn't. So Sam will post the ones which will show she WASN'T freed.

After citing Muslim sources which agree that Mariyah was not Muhammad’s wife, the author writes:

My Response:

These are the sources which agree she was just a concubine.

And:

My Response:

More sources which agree with Sam that Mariyah was just a concubine.

 

My Response:

Now, the fun begins...

RESPONSE:

Since I never denied that there are sources which claim that Mariyah was Muhammad’s wife, this shows that Umar’s paper is nothing more than an exercise in futility. He is addressing a point that was never contested, so this is nothing more than a straw man and a red herring. After all, to cite more references stating that Mariyah was Muhammad’s wife does absolutely nothing to refute those other Muslim sources that I cited which contradict this position.

And the fun indeed begins, but not for Umar! (Note: later on we will expose Umar’s lie that I agreed with Sina being a liar).

My Response:

Now, here is where Sam shoots himself in the foot, he quotes Ibn Kathir. The fact is that Ibn Kathir in his book located here: http://www.islamic-paths.org/Home/English/Muhammad/Book/Wives/Chapter_12.htm#maria, dedicates ONE part of his book to Mariyah the Copt , and the name of the book is... Well , you guessed it , " Muhammads[sic] Life: The Wives of the Prophet Muhammad". Now coming to "IS SAID" and uncertainty, well don’t blame Ibn Kathir , since Muslims agree that some sources say she was freed, others don’t. But even if she wasn't freed, if she had a child with him, she would've have[sic] been freed:

Sheikh Muhammad Iqbal Nadvi, Imam of Calgary Mosque, Canada, and Former Professor at King Saud Univ., Saudi Arabia, answers:

This question is only of academic value now. It is most likely that people know about this issue theoretically, because some of the critics of Islam raise this question to attack Islam and its principles.

The situation of having concubines is related to several things: First, if the Islamic state exists. Second, if the Islamic state makes offers for other territories to join Islam or enter into treaties with them. Third, if those territories refuse all kinds of peace and amicable offers, or if they announce war. Fourth, during the time of war, both sides capture prisoners that are exchanged mutually, then there's no concubines. Fifth, if the prisoners have no possibility of being exchanged and they are kept under the conquered army, then the following things happen: Either they are killed, as what happened in Siberia, or they are put in prison where they are humiliated to death or the females are used as concubines.

Here it’s to be stressed that Islam has no double standards, and the situation of concubines is not a desirable option in Islam. If it happens, however, Islam solves it in a way akin to Islamic philosophy. That is, Islam deals with the issue on individual basis in the sense that the captives are distributed to Muslim individuals who can take care of them, teach them, and when they feel safe, free them. For this purpose, Islam related the freedom of slaves, with many Kaffarat (expiations) of sins.

Coming to your questions, there are two cases of concubine: one is a slave-girl living with a person as a maid only, in which case she will serve him, but he is not allowed to establish any sexual relationship with her. The other case is, if he decides to keep her as a partner, then he can establish a relationship with her, and then she will be freed as soon as she delivers any baby for him. Also, he will be the only person who has a relationship with her. This solution prevents any kind of prostitution, and at the same time, it finally leads towards the freedom of these concubines.

Currently, the conditions mentioned above do not exist, so no one can have concubines nowadays. That is why I consider the issue of concubines to be only of academic value, meaning that you only know it theoretically, because some of the critics of Islam raise this question to attack Islam.

(Source: http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar/FatwaE/FatwaE&cid=1119503545776)

So either way, since she bore him Ibraheem, she would've been freed.

RESPONSE:

To see who shot what in who’s foot, let us quote once again what Ibn Kathir wrote both in the link provided by Umar (which we even quoted in our initial article):

Maria al-Qibtiyya (may Allah be pleased with her) IS SAID to have married the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and certainly everyone gave her the same title of respect as the Prophet's wives, 'Umm al Muminin' 'Mother of the Believers'.

And in his commentary:

<those (slaves) whom your right hand possesses whom Allah has given to you,> means, ‘the slave-girls whom you took from the war booty are also permitted to you.’ He owned Safiyyah and Juwayriyah, then he manumitted them and married them, AND HE OWNED Rayhanah bint Sham`un An-Nadariyyah AND MARIYAH AL-QIBTIYYAH, the mother of his son Ibrahim, upon him be peace; THEY WERE BOTH AMONG THE PRISONERS, may Allah be pleased with them. (Ibn Kathir’s Commentary on Sura 33:50; online edition)

These comments should make it evident that Ibn Kathir wasn’t stating that he believed Mariyah was Muhammad’s wife, but was reporting what some Muslims had said. If his comments on Sura 33:50 leave any room to doubt what Ibn Kathir believed about Mariyah’s status then the following statements from his biography on Muhammad should settle it:

Besides these, the Prophet HAD TWO CONCUBINES. The first was Mariyah Bintu Sham’un the Coptic, Umm Ibraheem. She was a present from Al-Muqawqis, the commander of Alexandria and Egypt, along with her sister Shereen, a horse named Mabur and a mare named Adduldul. The Prophet offered Shereen to Hassan Ibn Thabit and she gave birth to their son Abderahman. Mariyah died in the month of Muharram in year 16 A.H. and it was Omar Ibn Al-Khattab who assembled people for her funeral, performed Salat for her and buried her in Al-Baqee’. As for the second concubine, she was Rahanah Bintu ‘Amru, and it was said Bintu Zaid, he chose her among the captives from Bani Quraidha, and he later set her free to join her people. (The Seerah of Prophet of Muhammad (S.A.W.), abridged by Muhammad Ali Al-Halabi Al-Athari [Al-Firdous Ltd., London, 2001: First Edition], Part II, pp. 32-33: capital and underline emphasis ours)

The foregoing should make it abundantly certain that Ibn Kathir DID NOT believe that Mariyah was Muhammad’s wife.

Moreover, Umar exposes his fundamental ignorance of Islamic law regarding the status of a slave woman who gives birth to her master’s child (known as an umm walad, "mother of child"). He is not to be entirely blamed, though, since it is the sheikh that has misinformed him.

We will let Sunni writer G.F Haddad set him straight on this issue as he answers questions regarding slavery in Islam:

His and her desires, yes, but within certain parameters including rights. This will be detailed insha Allah. However, it seems that intercourse with slaves was probably considered a method of contraceptive sexual enjoyment through coitus interruptus (`azl), since the slave owner could practice `azl without prior permission from his slave mate while he could not do so with his free wife without prior permission from her. And if the contraception intended by this `azl failed and the slave woman still bore a child from her master, her child was automatically freed and obtained a son or daughter's rights including inheritance. In addition, the mother herself could no longer be sold and was freed upon the owner's death.

… Yes, the word concubine literally means bed-mate and applies to any female slave that shares the bed of her master. The man is liable to support any child of his and whatever need of its mother that is related to that liability. He is not obliged to marry her but is definitely held to the responsibilities of a father including inheritability whether the mother is a Muslim or not, her child being Muslim. Nor is she entitled to any inheritance unless he decides to marry her AND she is Muslim. Allah knows best.

And:

I read that the Prophet had a male child from his slave (Mariah). Why should a married man have sex with a salve woman? arent there limitaions to sexual desire?

Precisely, these limitations are those mentioned by the Qur'an.

Doesn't the slave have any rights?

Of course the slave has rights as we have already mentioned. In addition, in Islam, the slave even has rights to bring his or her owner before a law-court.

what happened to human rights in this whole scenario?

As we mentioned already, slavery and ransom were the alternatives to killing in war, but the slaves had to be fed and clothed with the same food and clothing as their owner, they could not be burdened with inhumane tasks, they could buy their freedoms, sue for their rights, and had other human rights that place Islamic ethics in the context of slavery above anything comparable in the ancient and modern worlds.

and when the slave gets pregnant there why doesnt the man have to marry her?

She and her child do obtain other rights as already mentioned but this is not one of them. (Haddad, Sex with slaves and women's rights; online source; bold and underline emphasis ours)

According to the above source a slave isn’t set free just because she gives birth, only the child is free. She only became free when her master died, a position which is supported by the following Islamic narrations:

Section: Idda of an Umm Walad when Her Master Dies

Yahya related to me from Malik that Yahya ibn Said said that he had heard al-Qasim ibn Muhammad say that Zayd ibn Abd al-Malik separated some men and their wives who were slave-girls who had borne children to men who had died, because they had married them after one or two menstrual periods. He separated them until they had done an idda of four months and ten days. Al-Qasim ibn Muhammad said, "Glory be to Allah! Allah says in His Book, 'Those of you who die, leaving wives, THEY ARE NOT WIVES.’" (Malik’s Muwatta, Book 29, Number 29.30.91)

Since umm walads are not wives they do not have to observe the iddah, or waiting period, prescribed by the Quran for widows.

108 Yahya related to me from Malik that he had heard that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, visited Umm Salama while she was in mourning for Abu Salama and she had put aloes on her eyes. He said, "What is this, Umm Salama?" She said, "It is only aloes, Messenger of Allah." He said, "Put it on at night and wipe it off in the daytime."

Malik said, "The mourning of a young girl who has not yet had a menstrual period takes the same form as the mourning of one who has had a period. She avoids what a mature woman avoids if her husband dies."

Malik said, "A slave-girl mourns her husband when he dies for two months and five nights like her idda."

Malik said, "An umm walad does not have to mourn when her master dies, and a slave-girl does not have to mourn when her master dies. Mourning is for those with husbands." (Malik’s Muwatta, Book 29, Number 29.33.108)

Since an umm walad wasn’t married to the father of her child she wasn’t required to mourn his death. This next narration says that an umm walad only goes free when her master dies:

Section: Freeing Slaves who are Umm Walad and a General Chapter on Freeing

Malik related to me from Nafi from Abdullah ibn Umar that Umar ibn al-Khattab said, "If a slave-girl gives birth to a child by her master, he must not sell her, give her away, or bequeath her. He enjoys her and when he dies she is free." (Malik’s Muwatta, Book 38, Number 38.5.6)

The foregoing presupposes that a man wasn’t required to marry a concubine that had mothered his child, but could continue to keep her as a slave until he died. Basically this means that Mariyah didn’t automatically become free when she birthed Muhammad’s son, and could still be kept as his slave until he died. Yet even after he died Mariyah was still not free to remarry since the Quran prohibited any man from marrying or sleeping with Muhammad’s women:

O you who believe! do not enter the houses of the Prophet unless permission is given to you for a meal, not waiting for its cooking being finished -- but when you are invited, enter, and when you have taken the food, then disperse -- not seeking to listen to talk; surely this gives the Prophet trouble, but he forbears from you, and Allah does not forbear from the truth And when you ask of them any goods, ask of them from behind a curtain; this is purer for your hearts and (for) their hearts; and it does not behoove you that you should give trouble to the Apostle of Allah, nor that you should marry his wives after him ever; surely this is grievous in the sight of Allah. S. 33:53 Shakir

Although the text says wives, this would also include his female slaves since no Muslim would dare sleep with women whom their prophet had been sexually intimate with.

Moreover, it seems that all these Muslim sources that listed Mariyah as Muhammad’s slave despite knowing full well that she had given birth to his son were quite ignorant in comparison to Umar and his source!

All Umar has managed to prove by quoting this modern Muslim sheikh is that Muslim sources are confused and contradictory, and can’t get their facts straight. Worse still, Umar has provided additional evidence proving that Muhammad was inconsistent and didn’t follow his own rules, since he didn’t set Mariyah free after giving birth to his son! (Assuming, of course, that all these Muslim sources are correct that she remained a slave, a point that Umar has yet to refute).

Finally, EVEN IF Muhammad had set her free at some later time he still slept with her while she was a slave for a considerable time. He did not marry her and then have intercourse with her, but FIRST had intercourse with her without being properly married. The original claim was that Muhammad slept with a maid. And that is true, even if Muhammad changed the matter of her status later on. However, reading the Muslim sources carefully, it seems that he never set her free while alive, but she only became free after his death. Yet, what did that freedom mean if she was not able to marry and have a family?

Next, the author now thinks he has me but in reality he has only helped to further expose just how chaotic and contradictory the Quran and the sources of Islam truly are:

My Response:

Now, watch this missionary tactic, first Sam quotes Ibn Kathirs[sic] commentary, for Sura 33 Ayat no 50. But lets ask Sam why he didn’t[sic] quote the commentary for Ayat no 52? Heres[sic] why :

"More than one of the scholars, such as Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, Ibn Zayd, Ibn Jarir and others stated that this Ayah was revealed as a reward to the wives of the Prophet expressing Allah's pleasure with them for their excellent decision in choosing Allah and His Messenger and the Home of the Hereafter, when the Messenger of Allah, gave them the choice, as we have stated above. When they chose the Messenger of Allah their reward was that Allah restricted him to these wives, and forbade him to marry anyone else or to change them for other wives, even if he was attracted by their beauty -- apart from slave-girls and prisoners of war, with regard to whom there was no sin on him. Then Allah lifted the restriction stated in this Ayah and permitted him to marry more women, but he did not marry anyone else, so that the favor of the Messenger of Allah towards them would be clear. Imam Ahmad recorded that `A'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said: "The Messenger of Allah did not die until Allah permitted (marriage to other) women for him.'' It was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i in their Sunans. On the other hand, others said that what was meant by the Ayah "

(Source: http://www.tafsir.com/default.asp?sid=33&tid=41988)

Ibn Kathir also says:

"(nor to change them for other wives even though their beauty attracts you, ) He was forbidden to marry more women, even if he were to divorce any of them and wanted replace her with another, except for those whom his right hand possessed (slave women)."

So this will silence Sam on his interpretation.

RESPONSE:

Speaking presumptuously, Umar doesn’t realize that this severely embarrasses Muhammad. Not only have I actually quoted in my articles what Ibn Kathir said regarding Sura 33:52 being abrogated, I even used this to expose Muhammad’s inconsistency and the corrupt nature of the Quran. I had written in response to one Muslim writer:

What is even more astonishing is that S. 33:50 was revealed before 33:52 and yet the earlier verse canceled a verse that came later! The late Iranian Muslim scholar Ali Dashti writes:

"In Zamakhshari's opinion, ‘A’esha’s words show that verse 52 was abrogated by custom and by verse 49 (‘O Prophet, We have made lawful for you …’). But an abrogating verse ought to come after the abrogated one. Nevertheless Soyuti, in his treatise on Qor’anic problems entitled ol-Etqan, maintains that in this case the earlier verse abrogated the later one." (Ali Dashti, 23 Years: A Study of the Prophetic Career of Mohammad, Mazda Pub; ISBN: 1568590296, p. 128; bold emphasis ours)

Talk about confusion! (Source)

Since Umar wanted some fun we will now give him plenty of it! The following Christian source notes that there are two places where the abrogated verses come before the verses that they abrogate!

The Abrogative Before the Abrogated

Strangely enough, we find two incidents in the Quran where the abrogative comes before the abrogated. Sura al-Baqara 2:234, "Such of you as die and leave behind them wives, they [the wives] shall wait, keeping themselves apart, four months and ten days," …

Abrogated Sura al-Baqara 2:240, which says: "Those of you who die and leave widows should bequeath for their widows a year’s maintenance and residence if they leave." …

The second case is Sura al-Ahzab 33:50: "O Prophet, We have made lawful to you your wives…and those whom your right hand possesses…and daughters of your paternal uncles…and any believing woman if she give herself to the Prophet and the Prophet desire to ask her in marriage." …

According to Muslim theologians, this verse abrogated Sura al-Ahzab 33:52, which says: "Thereafter women are not lawful [for] you, neither for you to take other wives in exchange for them, though their beauty please you." …

Strangely enough, Muslim theologians placed the nasikh before the mansukh. Ibn al-Arabi said: "A peculiar thing about the mansukh is what the Quran says in Sura al-A‘raf 7:199: ‘Take the abundance, and bid to what is honourable, and turn away from the ignorant.’ The first and the third parts of this verse are abrogated, while its middle is not. Another strange verse is Suras 5:105: ‘Guard your own souls [an abrogated part]; if you follow guidance, no hurt can come to you [the abrogative part]’" (Al-Itqan by al-Suyuti; chapter on the abrogative and the abrogated verses). (True Guidance: An Introduction to Quranic Studies [Light of Life P.O. Box 13, A-9503, Villach, Austria, 1981], part 4, pp. 89-90)

Commenting on Indian Muslim scholar Shah Wali Allah's verdict that there are only five abrogated verses, the late Maulana Muhammad Ali of the Ahmadiyya sect wrote:

(4) 33 : 52: "It is not allowed to thee to take women after this." This is said to have been abrogated by a verse which was apparently revealed before it: "O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives" (33 : 50). As stated before a verse cannot be abrogated by one revealed before it. Apparently what happened was this. When 4 : 3 was revealed, limiting the number of wives to four, should exceptional circumstances require, the Prophet was told not to divorce the excess number, and this was effected by 33 : 50; but at the same time he was told not to take any woman in marriage after that, and this was done by 33 : 52. (Ali, The Religion of Islam [The Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at Islam (Lahore) U.S.A., Eighth Edition 2005], p. 34; bold emphasis ours)

It is little wonder that the following writer could incredulously ask:

1) The abrogator precedes the abrogated

In part 3, p. 69 the Suyuti remarks,

"In the Qur’an there is no abrogator (verse) without being preceded by an abrogated (verse) except in two verses, and some added a third one, while others added a fourth verse" (Al Itqan).

Then the Suyuti recorded these verses. We tell him that even if there is only one verse (not four) this matter is incomprehensible and unacceptable. Why should an abrogating verse (with which Muslims are to comply) precede the abrogated verse? How would an abrogating verse abolish something which is not yet in existence, then later, the abrogated verse is revealed and recorded in the Qur’an? Why should it be recorded if it is already abrogated? (Behind The Veil, Chapter Ten, "The Abrogator and Abrogated Qur’anic Verses"; online edition)

More importantly, Umar doesn’t know how his position helps soundly refute and expose his own colleagues and fellow writers. Maybe Umar can now convince Osama Abdallah that Sura 33:52 has been abrogated and should therefore refrain from using it to disprove the practice of Muta:

Also in regards to Muta in Islam, Allah almighty clearly forbid it in the noble Quran. Let us look at noble verse chapter 33 verse 52… There are a few important points to notice in this noble verse. First, Allah almighty ordered prophet Muhammad to make marriage permanent. When he told him "it is not lawful for thee to marry women after this, nor to change them for other wives", this clearly makes marriage a permanent marriage. Also, temporary marriage or marriage that is destined for divorce intentionally is not permitted. Also, irresponsible divorce is not allowed in the noble verse. Notice when Allah almighty told the prophet "nor to change them for other wives, even though their beauty attract thee, except any thy right hand should possess", which is the slave girls that he owned. Basically God almighty is telling the prophet, or allowing him, that he can have sex with his right hand possessions. But as far as free women he is not allowed to divorce his current wives for unjust reasons, and he is not allowed to marry women after this. So the bottom line of marriage in Islam, the way God almighty sees it and prefers it, is that marriage is not to be destined for divorce unless there are good reasons, justified reasons. And temporary marriage violates the spirit and the sacredness of marriage in Islam because it is a marriage that is destined for divorce, intentionally destined for divorce. So whether a man allures a woman and marries her, he lies to her and he marries her by telling her that, you know, this is going to be a permanent marriage, and then divorces her a day or a week after that, or whether the couple agreed to marry for, say, an hour or a day and then divorce, all of this is strictly forbidden according to God almighty, and the way God almighty sees marriage and wants marriage in noble verse 33:52. People can play games but they cannot play games on God almighty. That’s the moral and the bottom line of noble verse 33:52. (audio source)

In his recent "response" to me (here), Osama writes no less than four times:

"It is not lawful for thee (to marry more) women after this, nor to change them [divorce them that is] for (other) wives, even though their beauty attract thee, except any thy right hand should possess (as handmaidens): and God doth watch over all things.  (The Noble Quran, 33:52)"

"If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, Marry women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then ONLY ONE, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice.  (The Noble Quran, 4:3)"

There are few points to notice in these two Noble Verses:

1-  Allah Almighty did not leave any room for Muslim men and women to marry and divorce as they pleases, because marriages that are destined for divorce are clearly and strictly forbidden according to Noble Verse 33:52"It is not lawful for thee (to marry more) women after this, nor to change them [divorce them that is] for (other wives)...." clearly proves this.

2-   Irresponsible divorce is not allowed.

3-  Also for those men that are already married, they are highly encouraged to only marry ONE WIFE, in Noble Verse 4:3.

4-  Temporary marriage by an already married person is an unfair and unjust marriage, because:

The man would be playing favoritism between the wives.

He would be exploiting the temporary wives while keeping the permanent ones.

Him marrying and divorcing some women while permanently keeping others is clear favoritism and injustice between the wives.

5-  In the light of all of the points above, we can clearly see that Noble Verses 33:53 [sic] and 4:3 clearly prohibit men from exploiting their lust and desire toward women.

Who knows, maybe he can also help Bassam Zawadi see his gross error of trying to use Sura 33:52 to refute Craig Winn:

Craig Winn said:

56: Qur’an 33:51 "You may have whomever you desire; there is no blame."

  My Response:

It truly is unbelievable how Craig Winn misquotes to deceive people. He is quoting this verse so out of context in order to show that Allah said it is okay for Prophet Muhammad to have any woman that he pleases.

The Quranic verse when read with understanding and context is that Allah (swt) is telling Muhammad (pbuh) that he can choose to marry or divorce whomever he pleases from his wives. However read the next verse and see what it says

It is not allowed thee to take (other) women henceforth, nor that thou shouldst change them for other wives even though their beauty pleased thee, save those whom thy right hand possesseth. And Allah is ever Watcher over all things.

SO THE REASON WHY THE PROPHET WAS ALLOWED TO PICK AND CHOOSE BETWEEN HIS CURRENT WIVES IN VERSE 51 IS BECAUSE HE WAS GOING TO END UP WITH THEM UNTIL THE DAY HE DIES (A RESTRICTION ALLAH PUT ON HIM IN VERSE 52) BUT US MUSLIMS ARE ALLOWED TO DIVORCE AND GET REMARRIED AS WE ARE PLEASED (only if it truly calls for it).

Also read http://www.answering-christianity.com/womanizer.htm

(Zawadi, The Deception of Craig Winn Revealed; source)

So we have Umar refuting two of his colleagues that write for the same Muslim website.

In light of this, we need to ask which position does the writers of Answering Christianity want their readers to embrace? Should they agree with Osama and Zawadi that Sura 33:52 has not been abrogated, thus refuting Umar? Or should they embrace Umar’s position that the verse has been abrogated, thus refuting Osama and Zawadi and vindicating both Winn and myself?

We will let the three of them decide.

But this isn’t the only time where Umar contradicts his colleagues, specifically Osama. In fact in this example both Zawadi and Umar are at odds with Osama. Osama in several articles provides the names of Muhammad’s wives:

http://www.answering-christianity.com/wives.htm
http://www.answering-christianity.com/islam_polygamy.htm

It is stated in the second link that:

The Holy ProphetB.A.P.U.H took eleven women into matrimonial bondage at different times in different places under different circumstances. A brief account of his marriages and its background is presented here. Some of these details will be a repetition but it could not be avoided.

Here are the names of the eleven wives as they appear in the article:

  1. Khadijah.
  2. Saudha bint Zumha.
  3. Ayesha bint Abu Bakr.
  4. Hafsah bint Umar.
  5. Zainab bin Khizeemah.
  6. Ume-Salma bint Abi Umayyah.
  7. Zainab bint Hajush.
  8. Javairia bint Haris.
  9. Ume-Habibah bint Abu Sufyan.
  10. Safia bint Haye.
  11. Maimoona bint Haris.

What is notably missing from this list (at least until 27 January 2006, the time of publication of this article), as well as the one listed in the first link, is the mention of Mariyah the Copt, which presupposes that Osama doesn’t believe that she was a wife of Muhammad. After all, why would Osama cite links and references mentioning all of Muhammad’s wives by name, and yet do not list Mariyah as being one of them, if he didn’t agree with these sources?

Umar continues:

(NOTE: According to Maududi, this Sura was revealed in A.H. 5, but according to Yusuf Ali , some ayats in this Sura, mainly Ayat 52 was revealed in A.H. 7, which is the year Mariyah was presented to the Holy Prophet:

"This was revealed in A.H. 7. After that the Prophet did not marry again except the handmaiden Mary the Copt, who was sent as a present by the Christian Muqauqas of Egypt. She became the mother of Ibrahim, who died in his infancy.

(Source: The Quran: Text translation and Commentary by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Footnote#3754)

RESPONSE:

First, by referring to Ali’s dating to challenge Maududi’s chronology Umar has again managed to show just how confused and contradictory Islamic scholarship really is over issues such as the precise dating of the Quran.

Second, we highlight the quote from Ali to show Umar what he obviously failed to see:

"This was revealed in A.H. 7. AFTER THAT the Prophet did not marry again EXCEPT THE HANDMAIDEN Mary the Copt, who was sent as a present by the Christian Muqauqas of Egypt. She became the mother of Ibrahim, who died in his infancy.

Ali clearly says that Muhammad married Mariyah AFTER THE COMMAND HAD BEEN GIVEN WHICH PROHIBITED HIM FROM TAKING ANY MORE WIVES! Thus, Ali’s quote ends up proving my point and exposes Muhammad as a sinner who willfully broke the commands of his Lord. Umar may have no problem with his prophet being a willful lawbreaker, deliberately going against the instructions of his own god, in light of the fact that on several occasions Muhammad was rebuked severely for sinning:

God pardon thee! Why gavest thou them leave, till it was clear to thee which of them spoke the truth, and thou knewest the liars? S. 9:43 Arberry

So be thou patient; surely God's promise is true. And ask forgiveness for thy sin, and proclaim the praise of thy Lord at evening and dawn. S. 40:55 Arberry

Know thou therefore that there is no god but God, and ask forgiveness for thy sin, and for the believers, men and women. God knows your going to and fro, and your lodging. S. 47:19 Arberry

Surely We have given thee a manifest victory, that God may forgive thee thy former and thy latter sins, and complete His blessing upon thee, and guide thee on a straight path, S. 48:1-2 Arberry

He frowned and turned away that the blind man came to him. And what should teach thee? Perchance he would cleanse him, or yet remember, and the Reminder profit him. But the self-sufficient, to him thou attendest though it is not thy concern, if he does not cleanse himself. And he who comes to thee eagerly and fearfully, to him thou payest no heed. S. 80:1-10

Muhammad Asad, although placing the date of this passage at roughly 7 A.H., agrees that this reference prohibited Muhammad from taking any more wives and was not abrogated:

Some commentators (e.g., Tabari) assume that this restriction relates to the four categories of women enumerated in verse 50 above: it is, however, much more probable that it is a prohibition barring the Prophet from marrying any woman in addition to those to whom he was already married (Baghawi, Zamakhshari). Some of the earliest, most outstanding authorities on the Quran, like Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, Ibn Zayd (all of them cited by Ibn Kathir), or Al-Hasan al-Basri (quoted by Tabari in his commentary on verses 28-29), link this prohibition of further marriages with the choice between the charms of worldly life and the good of the hereafter with which the wives of the Prophet were confronted on the strength of verses 28-29, and their emphatic option for "God and His Apostle" (cf. note on verse 29 above). All those early authorities describe the revelation of verse 52 and the assurance which it was meant to convey to the wives of the Prophet - as God’s reward, in this world, of their faith and fidelity. Since it is inconceivable that the Prophet could have disregarded the categorical injunction, "No [other] women shall henceforth be lawful to thee", the passage in question cannot have been revealed earlier than the year 7 H., that is, the year in which the conquest of Khaybar and the Prophet’s marriage with Safiyyah - his last marriage - took place. Consequently, verses 28-29 (with which, as we have seen, verse 52 is closely connected) must have been revealed at that later period, and not, as some commentators think, in the year 5 H. (i.e., at the time of the Prophet’s marriage with Zaynab). (Online edition; bold and underline emphasis ours)

Thus, if Ali is correct (and Umar obviously believes he is since he quoted him with approval) then Muhammad violated the express orders of his lord to not take any more wives. The only way for Umar to avoid admitting Muhammad was a willful sinner is by coming to the conclusion that Mariyah was not his wife, but his slave.

He now turns his attention to my comments on Ali Sina being mistaken:

Now here is the most hilarious part of this article:

"Mr. Sina stands vindicated at least in regards to her status as a maid, even though he mistakenly assumed that she was Hafsah’s maid"

Did he mistakenly do it, or intentionally?? So as you can see, Sam agrees Ali is "mistaken" or how I like to put it, a liar.

RESPONSE:

What is most hilarious is the author’s confusion and inability to understand the point being made. Notice what I said at the top:

Is Sina really lying? Could it be that Sina WAS PERHAPS MISTAKEN? Maybe he read a source that erroneously claimed that Mariyah was Hafsa’s maid and failed to verify it? This doesn’t excuse Sina but only shows that he is fallible like the rest of us, and much like these Muslims as we shall see.

As I stated Sina may have quoted a source which was mistaken even though Sina didn’t know any better. To be mistaken doesn’t make one a liar. A person can write something intentionally, believing it to be true, and yet it turns out that the individual was wrong. So it isn’t either/or scenario, either Sina wrote it intentionally or he was mistaken. It can be a both/and situation, that Sina intentionally wrote this statement because he believed it was correct and yet it turns out he was mistaken.

Umar then mentions the following alleged comments of the Muqawqis on his sending Mary and her sister to Muhammad as gifts:

In response to Maududi, here is proof, which shows Mariyah wasn't just a slave:

" To Muhammad Ibn 'Abdullah from Muqaudis, the chief of Qibt. Peace to you. I have read your letter and have noted the contents. I knew this much that a prophet was to come. But I had expected him to appear in Syria. I have extended an honourable welcome to your messenger and am sending two girls who are higly[sic] respected among the Qibtis (Egyptians) and I offer as a present some cloth and a mule to ride on."

(Sirat Un Nabi, p.153 Vol.II)

This was the reply to the Prophet's letter given by Muqauqis, BUT what I want you to note is where he says "two girls who are higly[sic] respected among the Qibtis". Here the author of this wonderful book, comments:

" We have translated the word "Jariyah" in the original sense meaning girl. In Arabic it may be used for a slave girl as well. Historians have on this account declarled[sic] Mariya to have been a slave girl. But the words used by the Potiphar about these girls are ' Who are higly respected among the Qibtis or Egyptians". These are not the words that may possibly be applied to slave girls."

So as I said, I will post the sources which agree she was the Prophet[sic] (S) wife, and most likely she was. So Sam Shamoun when you laugh at Bahagia, and me and Brother Bassam Zawadi, just note that the joke is on you!

RESPONSE:

It has been obvious (at least to us) throughout this rebuttal that Umar doesn’t realize how his gross misunderstanding and misapplication of his own sources once again expose the chaos and confusion that exists among Muslim scholars and Islamic sources. To quote a source that challenges Maududi doesn’t prove that the latter was wrong, but only proves that Muslims are a confused bunch!

Moreover, Umar wants to infer from the above that Mariyah wasn’t a slave due to the exalted language used to describe her and her sister. In so doing, he only exposes his low view and disdain of slaves since his comments presuppose that there is nothing highly respectable about being a slave! This slip by Umar implies that Mariyah could not be highly respected if she were a slave, which presupposes that slaves are low in class and dignity! Why can’t one be a highly regarded slave, a slave known for his or her outstanding qualities and piety, as for example Muhammad’s adopted son Zaid ibn Haritha who use to be Khadijah’s slave that showed outstanding virtue and devotion to Muhammad? In fact, it was because of his devotion to Muhammad that the latter adopted him as a son.

More importantly, this means that all the Muslim scholars and sources which we cited obviously missed the boat since they didn’t see, or were too ignorant to realize, that the Muqawqis’ words clearly refute their position that Mariyah was Muhammad’s slave! For instance, Maududi who knew of the Muqawqis sending Mariyah and her sister to Muhammad as a token of his fidelity must have failed to grasp the significance of such a gesture since he emphatically denied that Muhammad ever married her:

(1) The woman who came into his possession from among the slave-girls granted by Allah. According to this the Holy Prophet selected for himself Hadrat Raihanah from among the prisoners of war taken at the raid against the Banu Quraizah. Hadrat Juwairiyyah from among the prisoners of war taken at the raid against the Bani al-Mustaliq, Hadrat Safiyyah out of the prisoners captured at Khaiber, and Hadrat Mariah the Copt who was presented by Maqauqis of Egypt. Out of these he set three of them free and married them, but had conjugal relations with Mariah on the ground of her being his slave-girl. In her case THERE IS NO PROOF that the Holy Prophet set her free and married her. (Maududi, The Meaning of the Qur’an, English rendered by the Late Ch. Muhammad Akbar, edited by A.A. Kamal, M.A. [Islamic Publications (Pvt.) Ltd., Lahore Pakistan, 4th edition, August 2003], Volume IV, fn. 88, p. 124; bold and capital emphasis ours)

In other words, we are essentially trying to show by all this that there is absolutely nothing conclusive in the words cited by Umar’s source to disprove that Mariyah was a slave, apart from Umar’s gross misunderstanding of Muqawqis’ statements which leads him to think that there is.

All this basically demonstrates is that Umar is picking at straws at this point and is desperately trying to find ways to deny what many of his own Islamic sources admit:

Mariyah was a slave of Muhammad’s!

Let us summarize Umar’s gross errors which helped to expose not just himself, but his colleagues as well:

  1. Umar writes a response citing references to show that Mariyah was Muhammad’s wife, as if this somehow is relevant in refuting my article even though I never denied that there were sources stating this point. In fact, my article was written to balance out the one sided Muslim presentations of Bahagia and Zawadi who chose to focus only on those sources affirming Mariyah’s status as a wife. Therefore, Umar's response is nothing more than a red herring, a straw man.
  2. Umar’s citations have only managed to prove that Islamic literature and scholarship are chaotic and contradictory since they can’t even get the facts of Muhammad’s life and relationships correct!
  3. Umar calls into question my use of a specific verse, namely Sura 33:52, to show that if Muhammad had married Mariyah then he was in clear violation of Allah’s orders, on the grounds that this prohibition was abrogated. Yet he forgot to mention that not all Muslims believe that the text in question has been abrogated, and that two of his colleagues used this very text in their polemics against both Craig Winn (www.prophetofdoom.net) and myself!
  4. Both Umar and another writer, Bassam Zawadi, contradict Osama since they believe Mariyah was one of the wives, whereas Osama cites links that do not. Talk about mass confusion!

So Umar, since you approached this as a matter of having fun, we must conclude that your paper only managed to put the laugh on Bahagia, Osama, Zawadi, and on yourself. I must say the joke is really on you and your colleagues!


The discussion continues.

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