Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Muhammad and Wife Beating:


Sam Shamoun

We arrive at the final part of our discussion.

It seems that Aisha wasn’t the only prepubescent girl that Muhammad had eyes for, and whom he intended to physically strike.

In the following narrations we have a situation where Muhammad came in upon a prepubescent who was with her wet nurse, and asks her to give herself to him. Note Muhammad’s reaction when she refuses to do so on the grounds that she was royalty and he was nothing more than a peasant:

Narrated Abu Usaid:

We went out with the Prophet to a garden called Ash-Shaut till we reached two walls between which we sat down. The Prophet said, "Sit here," and went in (the garden). The Jauniyya (a lady from Bani Jaun) had been brought and lodged in a house in a date-palm garden in the home of Umaima bint An- Nu`man bin Sharahil, and her wet nurse was with her. When the Prophet entered upon her, he said to her, "Give me yourself (in marriage) as a gift." She said, "Can a princess give herself in marriage to an ordinary man?" The Prophet raised his hand to pat her so that she might become tranquil. She said, "I seek refuge with Allah from you." He said, "You have sought refuge with One Who gives refuge. Then the Prophet came out to us and said, "O Abu Usaid! Give her two white linen dresses to wear and let her go back to her family." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 63, Hadith 182)

And here is another English version of the above ahadith:

4956. It is related that Abu Usayd said, "We went out with the Prophet until we reached a walled garden called ash-Shawt and we went to two walls and sat down between them. The Prophet said, 'Sit here,' and went in. The Jawniyya woman had been brought and lodged in a house in the date palms of Umayma bint an-Nu'man ibn Sharahil. She had with her wet-nurse who was her governess. When the Messenger of Allah came to her, he said, 'Give yourself to me.' She replied, 'Can a queen give herself to a peasant?' He stretched his hand to her to calm her and she said, 'I seek refuge with Allah from you!' He said, 'You have sought refuge with the Refuge.' Then he came out to us and said, 'Abu Usayd, give her two long white linen garments and take her back to her family.'"

4957. It is related from Sahl and Abu Usayd, "The Prophet married Umayma bint Sharahil. When she was brought to him, he stretched his hand to her and she seemed to dislike that. Therefore he commanded Abu Usayma to prepare her and give her two white linen garments."

This is reported from Sahl ibn Sa'd. (Aisha Bewly, The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari, Chapter 71. Book of Divorce; bold and italicized emphasis ours)

It is quite evident from the context that Muhammad raised his hand in order to strike her (not stroke her) for her “rude” and “insulting” comments. He obviously wasn’t intending to give her a mere pat on the back. Rather, it seems that for Muhammad, striking women with his hand was a sure way to get them to become tranquil (more like docile!) so as to make them do whatever he so desired.

More importantly, what does this say about the character of a man who finds prepubescent girls attractive and desirable for sex?