Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Muslim Marriage

A continued look at the Muslim Book of Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah).

A book which is a compilation of allegedly authentic sayings (Sahih hadiths) of Mohammed.  Sayings which are deemed Allah-inspired.   Sayings which are devoutly observed by the vast majority of Muslims.

There are some sayings that mention “curse”, 

Book 008, Number 3366:
Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) said: When a woman spends the night away from the bed of her husband, the angels curse her until morning. This hadith has been narrated through the same chain of transmitters (with a slight variation):" He said: Until she comes back."

And some sayings that mention ‘stoning a fornicator’,

Book 008, Number 3437:
Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The child is to be attributed to one on whose bed he is born, and for a fornicator there is stoning.

But there is one saying  that I would like to address in particular.  One that is far more fascinating. One that actually mentions “sin”,

Book 008, Number 3453:
'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: I felt jealous of the women who offered themselves to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and said: Then when Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, revealed this:" You may defer any one of them you wish, and take to yourself any you wish; and if you desire any you have set aside (no sin is chargeable to you)" (xxxiii. 51), I ('A'isha.) said: It seems to me that your Lord hastens to satisfy your desire.

So, here we have A’isha (one of Mohammed’s wives) showing her virtuous jealousy.  Of A’isha being offended when Mohammed revealed to her… his new-found permission to ‘have and to hold’ whichever wife he wanted- whenever he darn-well pleased.  And of A’isha whining in response, ‘Oh, that’s so conveeenient for you, Mo’honey!’.  When previously his wives were all expected to wait for their turn.

Yet A’isha was consoled that she remained his favorite wife.  Grateful that he wasn’t depriving her as much as the other wives.  And grateful that another wife (‘fat and frigid’) had deferred her turn to her. 

However, this new-found permission was quite in violation of what Mohammed likely knew of Jewish law.  What he likely knew of this ancient law from the Jewish Torah.  Which were Old Testament books which Mohammed endorsed in the Qur’an. And quite possibly knew from the New Testament- which he largely held in contempt.

Jewish law found in the Torah just following the Ten Commandments.  And law just preceding a large list of capital offenses.  Law commanding (Exodus 21:10) that the “conjugal rights of a wife must not be diminished”. Yet allegedly this law was now abrogated and no longer a “sin”… for Mohammed!

Which brings us back to A’ishas question, ‘Was this law abrogated’?  And was it ‘especially abrogated for  Mohammed?’  Well… maybe in Muslim scriptures.
Yet we don’t see any exemptions being made in the Judeo-Christian scriptures.  Not for any laws.  Not for any prophets, priests or kings.   

To the contrary, we see numerous examples of the grief that violation of this law causes. 

A primary example can be seen in the ‘Father of the Faith’/Abraham.  Whose wife-induced polygamy caused tremendous strife.  Polygamy which caused a “wild donkey of a man” (Ishmael) to be born.  A man who “will live to the east of all his brothers” (Isaac/Israel).  A man whose “hand will be against everyone” (Genesis 16:12).  

So why would this ‘father of a different faith’/Mohammed think that he was being granted an exemption for his polygamy?  Something that the Jewish faith considered as “treacherous”, as “unfaithfulness”, as “sin”?

Well, it is claimed  that Mohammed was granted this exemption in order to build  ‘international relations’.  Yet as you can see at that link- many of those relations were clearly not of international nature.  Not all that productive.  And not all that reproductive either.

But turned out to be predictably destructive relationships.  Relationships that were condemned in the Torah and condemned by Jesus as well (Matthew 19:5). 

Condemned when Jesus re-affirmed the principle that “a man shall be joined to his wife”.  And re-affirmed the precept that the “TWO shall become one flesh”.  Not of THREE or FOUR (or even more for an allegedly exempt Mohammed) becoming one flesh… but only “TWO” (Genesis 2:24).

A principle that Mohammed certainly appreciated.  But a precept that Mohammed most certainly didn’t.  
A precept that a very “desirous” Mohammed shirked.   And oddly, a godly precept from a type of monotheism that Mohammed condemned as “Shirk”.

A type of monotheism that said, “Let US make humankind in OUR image, after OUR likeness” (Genesis 1:26).   A plural monotheism that even the Jewish Torah reluctantly recognized.   And a trinitarian monotheism that Mohammed held in capital contempt

Yet why was this monogamous marriage precept godly?  

Well, because it was derived from a godly precedent.   A precedent revealed of the very nature of God.  Of His own monogamous nature.  And His own monogamous marriage.  The very nature of His glorious monogamous marriage existing in Heaven.  

 A monogamous marriage that He will share with His faithful.  If they are faithful to Him alone

A sharing for a bride who simply refuses to be deprived.  A sharing for a bride who simply refuses to wait for her turn.  A sharing for a truly thirsty bride.  A sharing that is FREE!


And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let the one who hears say: "Come!" And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wants it take the water of life free of charge.
 (Rev 22:17 NET)

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