Controversial verses in the Qur’an

In the name of Allāh,
the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Peace and Blessings of Allāh on Mohammad.
DEDICATED TO
Allāh–the Glorious and the High,
Lord of the worlds
AND TO
Mohammad–who brought the world
to our feet and eternity to our arms
*

    CONTROVERSIAL VERSES IN THE QUR’AN
WikiIslam, which is dedicated to leading Muslims astray into apostatising from Islam, lists what he calls the “Top 10 Controversial Verses In The Qur’an”:
-10 wife-beating 
-9 dismembering the thief 

-8 polygamy 

-7 marrying prepubescent girls 

-6 sex with female prisoners of war 

-5 Jews turned into apes 

-4 marry wife of adopted son 

-3 woman’s testimony half of a man’s 

-2 woman inherits half of what man inherits 
-1 fight non-Muslims 

Having no intelligent discourse to advance his belief -atheism- WikiIslam and his clique squanders invaluable, irreplaceable time trying to find non-existent fault in the Qur’an/Islam. 

WikiIslam’s controversial verse #10: wife-beating Qur’an 4:34).
ANSWER:
The wife has rights upon the husband and the husband has rights upon the wife. The wife has the right that the husband feed, clothe and house her, and treats her kindly. The husband has the right that the wife protects his property, preserves her chastity, and raise children in the best manners and education.
That husbands and wives are garments to the other–(Qur’an 2:187; to beautify, protect, comfort, and conceal each other’s faults- this alone shows that there is no indiscriminate beating of the wife.

Allāh says, “As to those women on whose part you fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance)”–(Qur’an 4:34. Fear of “disloyalty” would stem from an act contrary to mutual agreement, as marriage is).

Marriage is a sacred covenant (mithaaq, Quur’an 4:21). The wife (or husband) that does not fulfill her responsibility cannot expect to receive the benefit from the marriage. Such a wife is to leave the marriage.
In requiring the man to be patient and continue supporting her –and to even seek arbitration– while she abdicates her duty Islam is being tolerant with her, giving her time to reform, and trying to save the marriage.
These three steps required by Islam –admonishing her; avoiding her bed; and lightly beating her– which is a drawn-out process, highlights the wife’s stubbornness in reforming and observing her part of the marriage contract; all the while receiving the benefit of the contract.
Under such a strain to the man this light chastisement can hardly be deemed unjust or severe to the woman. She brought it onto herself. And to avoid it she could leave before it reaches the final stage.

A Muslim is not even allowed to hate his wife much more beat her–(Muslim Vol. 2, #3469).
Chastisement is only for the wayward wife, and only as a last resort (and only if the husband is not himself wayward, for women have rights similar to those against them–Qur’an 2:228). (That a wife, who is able to, can “beat” the wayward husband, the Prophet advises against this1 ).

This chastisement is not to be of a brutal nature. Muhammad Ali has noted, “The Prophet is reported to have said: “You have a right in the matter of your wives that they do not allow any-one whom you do not like to come into your houses; if they do this, chastise them in such a manner that it should not leave an impression. (Tirmidhi 10:11).” Thus very light chastisement was allowed only in extreme cases.”

The wife has the right to leave the husband if she fears cruelty from him–(Qur’an 4:128).
Significantly, chastisement of the wayward wife would seem almost impossible to be carried out. For, if the wife fears cruelty from her husband and/or if she is wont to be out of the marriage she can leave before the situation reaches the third stage of chastisement.    What would you do if you were faced with a recalcitrant spouse? Would you hold out the tolerance that Islam offers or would you straight away whop  or toss  or drag him/her to the marriage counsellor or divorce judge?

WikiIslam’s controversial verse #9: dismembering the thief Qur’an 5:38.
ANSWER:
(Notably: Judaism and Christianity also require dismemberment: “When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets: Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her”–Deut. 25:11-12).

In His Qur’an 5:38 Allah says: “And (as for) the man and the woman addicted to theft, cut off their hands as a punishment for what they have earned, an exemplary punishment from Allāh. And Allāh is Mighty, Wise”
While the critics dwell on this verse they ignore the following verse that offers the thief the opportunity to be spared this punishment by turning himself in to the authorities and repenting: “But whoever repents after his wrongdoing and reforms, Allāh will turn to him (mercifully). Surely Allāh is Forgiving, Merciful”–Qur’an 5:39).

Cutting off of the hand is dependent upon whether theft was because of hunger, for profit, or mischief. In the case of hunger there is to be no cutting off of the hand. In the case of the latter two, compensation or restitution may be effected before apprehended by the law. Muhammad Ali states, “cutting off of the hand is the maximum punishment.”

Dismemberment is only for the incorrigible offender; and also on the value of the item. Further, using as precedent the case of the murderer who can be forgiven by his victim’s relations–(Qur’an 2:178; 4:92), thieves may also be forgiven by their victims. Thus the thief has two chances of being spared: by turning himself in and by coming to some terms with his victim.
Muhammad Ali has noted an incident whereby a slave was not dismembered because the slave’s master evidenced that he heard the Prophet say that “there was to be no cutting off of the hand in the case of theft of fruit”–(The Religion of Islam, p. 729).
Allāh God, enjoins charity. Muslim society is to be charitable; and the hungry are to ask assistance so that there should be no need for theft because of hunger.

How many honest men and women are there who would not like to sleep with windows open on sweltering summer nights, without having to fear about thieves and robbers coming into their homes?
How many law-abiding men and women are there who, after a day of toiling, would prefer to keep vigil at night against thieves, in sympathy for them, to spare their hands from being chopped off?

-WikiIslam’s controversial verse #8 polygamy Qur’an 4:3.
ANSWER:
This verse (Qur’an 4:3) which permits polygamy (maximum four wives) was revealed following the battle of Uhud, as Muhammad Ali notes, in which “70 men out of 700 Muslims had been slain, and this decimation had largely decreased the number of males, who, being the breadwinners, were the natural guardians and supporters of the females.”

Polygamy in Islam is an exception rather than the rule. It is only recommended as a remedial measure. It is a fact that females mature earlier than males -a report in the Toronto Star Tuesday November 7, 2000, under the heading Early puberty, low birth weight linked?, Section A18, by Lindsey Tanner of Associated Press, states that in the U.S. “it has been estimated that nearly half of black girls and 15 per cent of white ones start puberty by age 8”– and women live longer than men do; and the flames of war usually leave in its ashes many widows.
While some women may be financially independent, they have feminine needs, which can be met either in the unceremonious cot of concubinage or in the honorable bed of wifehood.

To prevent the moral decay of society, Islam allows a limited polygamy to alleviate the problem of female preponderancy.
Islam allows polygamy even though Allāh God knows that man is not capable of “impartiality.” This is so because the preservation of the moral standards of society is of higher importance than man’s inability to be impartial with his affections. (And it is morally and socially better that man live with this partiality in polygamy than in profligacy). (For more on this see 
Islam-polygamy).

WikiIslam’s controversial verse #7: marrying prepubescent girls (Qur’an 65:4).
ANSWER:
Allāh reveals in Qur’an 65:4: “Such of your women as have passed the age of monthly courses, for them the pre-scribed period (iddat), if you have any doubts, is three months, and for those who have no courses (it is the same): For those who carry (life within their wombs), their period is until they deliver their burdens: And for those who fear God, He will make their path easy” (Yusuf Ali)
Muhammad Ali translates: “And those of your women who despair of menstruation, if you have a doubt, their prescribed time is three months, and of those, too, who have not had their courses. And the pregnant women, their prescribed time is that they lay down their burden. And whoever keeps his duty to Allāh, He makes his affair easy for him.”

What needs to be pointed out is that this verse, in fact this entire section (65:1-7) is about divorce. “Iddat” is the period of waiting for a woman to know if she is pregnant.
There are three points in this verse, 65:4:

(i) women who have passed the age of menstruation
(ii) women who have not have their periods and are not certain if they are pregnant; thus they “despair of menstruation” because they are in the process of a divorce and have not yet have their courses (thinking they may be pregnant at a time when they are in a process of divorce). The ending of this verse (65:4) seems to make this explanation still clearer as it says, “And the pregnant women, their prescribed time is that they lay down their burden.”
(iii) women whose pregnancies are confirmed.

Since the three month waiting period is to determine whether conception has occurred or not, those who have not had their courses” could not refer to pre-pubescent girls because they could not become pregnant without having their courses, and thus it would be pointless for them to have a waiting period. Those who have not had their courses” could only refer to women who are uncertain if they are pregnant.  Thus, Qur’an 65:4 about women “who have not had their courses” –or who “despair of menstruation”– are women whose pregnancy are not confirmed and are uncertain if they are pregnant (they may have missed a period or are late in having it and therefore are not certain if they are pregnant). 

 To take the matter further. Maturity is the state when a person is “fully developed.” In the physical case of a woman it is when she has breasts, pubic hair, and menstruates. Thus a ten year old and even younger who has breasts, pubic hair, and menstruates is “mature” whereas a twenty-year old and older who is flat-chested, like some models, and who may even lack pubic hair and not even menstruate is not considered “mature” and may even be considered pre-pubescent. Thus according to critics of Islam the ten year-old can have sex but the twenty-year-old cannot have sex.

Since to be pre-pubescent is to be without breasts, pubic hair and period; thus the Qur’anic women “who have not had their courses” CANNOT be pre-pubescent girls; because by its very nature PRE-pubescent girls do NOT menstruate.
If these girls are pre-pubescent and are not developed and did not have their courses when they had sex why do they need a “waiting period” to know if they are pregnant when they cannot become pregnant without first having reached the stage of having their courses?

Even if there are cases where girls become pregnant before experiencing their first periods this does not mean that they did not have breasts and pubic hair and was not of marriageable state. As noted above there are women in late teens and even later that do not have breasts and perhaps even pubic hair and may not even be menstruating, does this mean they cannot marry?

Muhammad Ali notes: “No particular age has been specified for marriage in the Islamic law —and there is none in the Bible either; according to one Christian quarter the Bible conveys that a girl is ready for sex when she reaches puberty, which could be as early as 7-8 years old: seeAisha & MohammadNGBA–; in fact, with the difference of climatic conditions, there would be a difference as to the marriageable age in different countries. But the Qur’an does speak of an age of marriage which it identifies with the age of majority: “And test the orphans until they reach the marriage (nikah). Then if you find in them maturity of intellect, make over to them their property, and consume it not extravagantly and hastily, against their growing up”–(Qur’an 4:6). Thus it will be seen that the age of marriage and the age of maturity of intellect are identified with full age or the age of majority.”2    

Muhammad Ali also notes: “it is wrong to identify women who have not had their courses with minors, for there may be cases in which a woman reaches the age of majority though she has not had her courses and it is with such exceptional cases that this verse deals. At any rate, there is no mention anywhere in the Qur’an or Tradition of minors being married or divorced. In Jurisprudence, however, the legality of the marriage of a minor when contracted by a lawful guardian is recognised.
Muhammad Ali also points out that “there is no case on record showing that the marriage of a minor through his or her guardian was allowed by the Prophet after details of the law were revealed to him at Madinah.”3

To restate. Women “who have not had their courses” could not refer to PRE-pubescent girls because having no courses they cannot become pregnant and thus have no need for a “waiting period” to determine if they are pregnant.
Those “who have not had their courses” could only refer to women whose pregnancy are not confirmed and are uncertain if they are pregnant; and to exceptional cases where a mature woman have not yet begin to menstruate.

It is the Bible -Judaism and Christianity- that allows sex with pre-pubescent girls (and as Christians say Jesus is God then this is what Jesus allowed):

“Then the Lord spake unto Moses, saying…And they warred against the Midianites, as the Lord commanded Moses, and they slew ALL THE MALES….
And they brought the
CAPTIVES and the prey and the spoil to Moses, and Eleazar…And Moses said unto them…Now therefore kill every MALE among the LITTLE ONES (of the captives), and kill EVERY WOMAN who hath known man by lying with him (to know which woman and girls were virgins Moses and/or the soldiers must have had to physically examine them), but ALL THE WOMEN CHILDREN, that have not known a man by lying with him (virgin girls) KEEP ALIVE FOR YOURSELVES
And the Lord spake unto to Moses, saying, Take the sum of the
PREY (BOOTY) that was taken, both of MAN and of beast, thou and Eleazar…And divide the PREY into two parts; between them that took the war upon them, who went out to battle, and between all the congregation And LEVY A TRIBUTE UNTO THE LORD….
And the
BOOTY, being the rest of the prey which the men of war had caught was:
-675,000 sheep,
-72,000 cattle,
-and 61,000 asses,
-and of
WOMEN that had not known man by lying with him (virgin girls), were 32,000.
And the half, which was the portion of them that went out to war (the soldiers), was 337,500 sheep; 36,000 cattle, 30,500 asses, and 16,000 persons (virgin girls.
And of the congregation’s half portion of these 16.000 virgin girls, 320 were given to the Levite priests, as “the Lord commanded Moses.”
And the
LORD’S TRIBUTE(of the (booty) was 675 sheep; 72 cattle; 61 donkeys; and 32 persons ….the men of war had taken SPOIL (BOOTY), EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF.”-(Numbers 31:1-53).

Unless and until he received Divine Revelation in a matter the Prophet Mohammad followed the Bible. Thus, if Mohammad’s followers engaged in marriages to pre-pubescent girls (and this would have been before Qur’anic revelation on the topic) they were only following what the Bible allows. Why then carp at the Qur’an/Islam/Mohammad ?
Once the Prophet received Divine revelation on a topic there was no going back to the past. The Qur’an supersedes all other sources of guidance.

WikiIslam’s controversial verse #6 sex with female prisoners of war (Qur’an 33:50).
ANSWER:
Qur’anic verses (4:3; 23:5-6; 33:50; 70:22-30) which speak about whom your right hands possess; this phrase relates to captives of war but it does not mean that the Muslim man can have sex with female captives outside of marriage. Slave girls are to be taken in marriage only.

Sura 4:3-4 allows the Muslim man to marry up to four wives: “MARRY such women as seem good to you, two, or three, or four; but if you fear that you will not do justice, then (marry) only one or that which your right hands possess. This is more proper that you may not do injustice. And give women their dowries as a free gift.”
Clearly, Muslims are instructed to MARRY either a free believing women or a war-captive; and to even give them “dowries.” This verse clearly sanctions marriage between Muslims and their female captives. This is made even clearer in verse 25 which states: “And whoever of you cannot afford to MARRY free believing women, (let him marry) such of your believing maidens as your right hands possess…So MARRY them with the permission of their MASTERS, and give them their dowries justly.”
Clearly, the charge that Islam allows Muslims to have illegal sex with their captives is baseless. In fact, the Prophet Mohammad taught: “The man shall have a double reward who has a slave-girl and he trains her in the best manner and he gives her the best education, then he sets her free and MARRIES her”–(Bokhari Vol. 4 #655; & 3:720).

Sura 23:5-6 says: “Successful indeed are the believers, who are humble in their prayers…And who restrain their sexual passions –except in the presence of their mates or those whom their right hands possess.” (Sura 70:22-30 says the same as 23:5-6).

The claim that these verses of Suras 23 and 70 being Makkan Suras allowed sex with slave women is also baseless. Whereas Suras 23 and 70 were revealed towards the end of the early Makkan period, Sura 17 which is of the mid early Makkan period requires Muslims to not even do the things (such as touching, amorous speech and intense/sultry gazing) that lead to zina (sexual intercourse between people who are not married to each other; and which includes both adultery and fornication).
Here is the verse (17:32): “And go not nigh to adultery/ fornication: for it is a shameful deed. And an evil, opening the road (to other evils),” and Sura 25 which is also of the same Makkan period says in verses 68 (speaking about those who will inherit paradise): “And they who call not upon another god with Allāh….nor commit adultery/fornication.”
These Suras (23, 70, 17 and 25) are of the Makkan period and it would be poor cerebration to surmise that Allāh would require abstention from illegal sex and also enjoin the commission of illegal sex. Muhammad Ali explains Qur’an 23:5-6:

Furuj, plural of farj, indicates the part of a person which it is indecent to expose(LL), particularly the pudenda. In this sense hifz al-farjmeans generally the observing of continence, or the restraining of sexual passions. The words au ma malakat aimanu-hum, of which a literal rendering is given in the translation, usually indicate slaves. It should be noted that this chapter is a Makkan revelation, and the conditions under which slave-girls could be taken as wives were given later at Madinah; see 4:25a. If the reference here is to sexual relations, the permission regarding those whom their right hands possess must be read subject to the conditions of 4:25. It may be added that slave-girls, when taken as wives, did not acquire the full status of a free wife, and hence they are spoken of distinctly. It may, however, be added that hifz al-farjin a wider sense means the covering of parts of the body which it is indecent to expose, and in this connection it must be borne in mind that according to Islamic rules of decency, the exposure of such parts of the body, as are generally exposed in ballrooms and theatres, is disallowed, but a certain degree of freedom is allowed to women in the   presence of their husbands and female servants and to men in the presence of their wives and male servants.” (Much like men showering together at a gym).

Allāh also enjoins:
“And marry not the idolatresses until they believe”–(Qur’an 2:221);
“And marry those among you who are single, and those who are fit among your male slaves and your female slaves”–(Qur’an 24:32).
And, as stated above, the Prophet Mohammad taught: “The man shall have a double reward who has a slave-girl and he trains her in the best manner and he gives her the best education, then he sets her free and marries her”–(Bokhari Vol. 4 #655; & 3:720).

Again, Allāh says: “Surely prayer keeps (one) away from indecency and evil”–(Qur’an 29:45); and adultery, whether with slave-girls or with the free, is indecency. To enjoin decency and allow concubinage is a contradiction.
It would be a contradiction of the most glaring kind for Allah to enjoin chastity and decency, to instruct us to come not near to adultery/fornication and still sanction “concubinage.”
And there are no contradictions in the Qur’an–(4:82).
Slave-girls are NOT the sexual property of their Muslim owners.

WikiIslam’s controversial verse #5 Jews turned into apes (Qur’an 2:65).
ANSWER:
Qur’an 2:65; 5:60; 7:166 state that Allāh turned Jews into apes and swine.
Qur’an 2:65: “And indeed you know those among you who violated the Sabbath, so We said to them: Be (as) apes, despised and hated.”
Jews were not turned into actual apes. Muhammad Ali comments:

“65a. The root meaning of sabt (from which Sabt, meaning Sabbath, is derived) is cutting off  (R). The Sabt or the Sabbath is so called because the Jews ceased thereon from work (T). The Jews and the Christians observed a particular day for religious worship, and they were forbidden to do any work on that day.…The commandments regarding the observance of the Sabbath by the Jews are manifold, but we find the Jews so persistently violating them that the later prophets openly reproved them for it (see next note).

65b. Mjd explains this in the following words: They were not transformed or metamorphosed; it is only a parable which Allah has set forth for them, the like of what He has set forth in likening them to asses (62:5), i.e., their hearts were transformed, not that they were metamorphosed into apes (IJ). The verse that follows (which reads : “So We made them an example to those who witnessed it and those who came after it and an admonition to those who guard against evil”) lends support to this explanation as a monkey could not afford a lesson to the generations that came after the metamorphosis had taken place. R observes in explaining this verse: It is said that He rather made them morally like apes. Compare also 5:60: “they are those whom Allah has cursed and upon whom He brought His wrath and of whom He made apes and swine, and who serve the devil. These are in a worse plight and further astray from the straight path”. This description of the same people clearly shows that it is men who imitate apes and swine that are meant. See also 4:47: “Or (We shall) curse them as We cursed the Sabbath-breakers”. Now, in the case of the Holy Prophet’s opponents from among the Jews, who are referred to in the words, We shall curse them, there was no metamorphosis, but here it is stated that the same curse must overtake them as overtook the Sabbath-breakers. A reference to Deut. 28 will show that the curses which Moses prophesied for them meant their being scattered among the nations of the earth, and this was the fate which overtook the Prophet’s enemies from among the Jews. Qiradah is the plural of qird, meaning an ape, and among the Arabs the ape is a proverbially incontinent animal, they say more incontinent than an ape (LL). Turning to the Bible, we find that the Israelites became apes, in all the senses in which that word is used in the Arabic language, by violating the Divine commandments: “Thou hast despised Mine holy things, and hast profaned My Sabbaths. In thee are men that carry tales to shed blood: and in thee they eat upon the mountains; in the midst of thee they commit lewdness. In thee have they discovered their father’s nakedness: in thee have they humbled her that was set apart for pollution. And one hath committed abomination with his neighbour’s wife; and another hath lewdly defiled his daughter-in-law; and another in thee hath humbled his sister, his father’s daughter…And I will scatter thee among the heathen and disperse thee in the countries” (Ezek. 22:8–15).”

And Qur’an 5:60 states: “Say: Shall I inform you of those worse than this in retribution from Allāh? They are those whom Allāh has cursed and upon whom He brought His wrath and of whom He made apes and swine, and who serve the devil. These are in a worse plight and further astray from the straight path.”
And Muhammad Ali comments:

“Those who are spoken of as having been made apes and swine are the Jews. See 2:65b as explaining the significance of these words. It is remarkable that, though the people spoken of here are in both places the same, they are on one occasion called simply apes and on the other apes and swine. In addition, the same people are here spoken of as serving the devil. The concluding words that the people who were thus made apes and swine and the servants of the devil are “in a worse plight and further astray from the straight path”, are conclusive as establishing the fact that they were still men, because apes and swine could not be said to be straying from the straight path. The next verse makes this plainer, for these very apes and swine are there described as coming to the Messenger with unbelief and going away with unbelief.”
And this next verse as MA notes states: “And when they come to you, they say, We believe, and surely they come in unbelief and they go forth in it. And Allāh knows best what they conceal.”

Jews, after seeing the nine miracles by Moses; being liberated from Pharaoh’s bondage; having received manna and quail for sustenance; and placed in the land promised to their forefathers; for them to be “stiff-necked,” “rebellious,” “treacherous;” kill prophets of God, (and even kill the “Son of God” and God Himself, as Christian’s say Jesus is God), some may advance that God, whether we call Him Allah or Yahweh, relegating Jews as metaphorical “apes” is only a slap on the wrist.
And considering that others, as the Bible says, fared a harsher penalty for committing much less:

-“And he (Elisha) went up from thence to Bethel…there came forth LITTLE CHILDREN…and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up thou BALD HEAD…And he (Elisha) turned back, and looked at them, and CURSED them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth TWO SHE BEARS out of the wood, and TARE FORTY AND TWO CHILDREN of them”–(2 Kings 2:22-24).

–“They (Jeshurun and his children) have moved me (God) to jealousy with that which is not God…I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend mine arrows upon them…I will also send the TEETH OF BEASTS upon them, with the POISON OF SERPENTS of the dust. The sword without, and terror within, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of gray hairs”–(Deut. 32: 15-25).

-“But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you”–(Deut. 22:20-21).

WikiIslam’s controversial verse #4 marry wife of adopted son (Qur’an 33:4).

ANSWER:
Zainab, who was the cousin of the Prophet Mohammad, was the wife of Zaid, the adopted son of the Prophet-(Bokhari Vol. 5, #335).

Allah reveals in His Qur’an 33:4: “Allah has not made for any man two hearts within him; nor has He made your wives whose backs you liken to the backs of your mothers as your mothers, nor has He made those whom you assert to be your sons your real sons; these are the words of your mouths; and Allah speaks the truth and He guides to the way.”
This verse is not about Allāh allowing Mohammad to marry Zainab, the divorced wife of his adopted son, Zaid. Muhammad Ali explains:

“This passage abolishes two customs of the days of ignorance. The first of these is what is called zihar ormuzahirah. The word is derived from zahr, meaning back, and zihar consisted in a man saying to his wife thou art to me as the back of my mother (LL). No sooner were the words pronounced than the relation between husband and wife ended as by a divorce, but the woman was not at liberty to leave the husband’s house and marry elsewhere. She remained in the same house, as a deserted wife. The other custom was that of regarding the adopted son as if he were a real son. This passage abolishes both customs on the same ground; a wife cannot be a real mother, nor a stranger a real son.
The subject of zihar is fully discussed in the first section of the 58th chapter.”

What is “controversial” about Mohammad (or any man) marrying the divorced wife of his adopted son? Abraham husband his half-sister, Sarah–(Gen. 20:11-12); and Lot built two nations with his two daughters –(Genesis 19:30-38).
The Bible allows cousin marriages-(Numbers 36:1-13). And regal history is pregnant with cousin-marriages, including British monarchy (see http://listverse.com/2014/11/26/10-royal-families-riddled-with-incest/).
For Mohammad’s marriage to Zainab see Zainab scandal).

It is worth noting here that Islam does not prohibit adoption. The only stipulation is that adopted children be named after their fathers:
“Call them by (the names of) their fathers; this is more equitable with Allāh; but if you know not their fathers, then they are your brethren in faith and your friends. And there is no blame on you in that wherein you make a mistake, but (you are answerable for) that which your hearts purpose. And Allāh is ever Forgiving, Merciful” –(Qur’an 33:5).
This requirement to call adopted children by the names of their fathers when possible is not without merit.
Children have the right to know their biological parents; in which event they may be entitled to inheritance from their parents.
Not knowing their parents they may end up marrying their own brother or sister. Also, depending on the age of their parents when they were placed for adoption, children may end up marrying their own father or mother.
Moreover, Islam requires honoring mothers especially and holding on to family ties–(Qur’an 4:1); this can only be done if children know their biological mothers. Even in societies that practiced a “closed” file adoption, people who adopt tell children that they were adopted; and there are children who try to find their birth parents, and vice versa.
The Islamic system makes this process easy. In fact, regardless of the reason they were placed for adoption, adopted children may be more at ease at having two “known” sets of parents.

Keeping an adopted child ignorant of his parentage could have a devastating effect on the child, and even on the adoptive parents, in the event that the child should find out from outside source(s) that he was adopted.
He might go through the rest of his life resentful of his adoptive parents because of not being told, and aching to know who his biological parents are/were and the reason he were placed for adoption.
As noted, the Prophet Mohammad adopted Zaid –(Bokhari Vol. 5, #335).

WikiIslam’s controversial verse #3 woman’s testimony half of a man’s (Qur’an 2:282).
ANSWER:
Allāh enjoins in His Qur’an 2:282: “O you who believe, when you contract a debt for a fixed time, write it down…But if he who owes the debt is unsound in understanding or weak, or (if) he is not able to dictate himself, let his guardian dictate with fairness. And call to witness from among your men two witnesses; but if there are not two men, then one man and two women…so that if one of the two errs, the one may remind the other.”

A woman’s testimony is half that of a man’s only in the area of business, as the verse clearly states, as business transactions were dominated by men. In advanced societies where women also are involved in business dealings such a practice is not required.
However, this does not mean that the Qur’anic injunction is obsolete. There are (and will always be) societies the world over where women are not familiar with business dealings where this Qur’anic injunction may be applicable.

A woman’s testimony cannot be half of that of the man’s in every area of life, for as pointed out in Qur’an 24:6-9, (in the matter of the wife’s suspected infidelity) the testimony of the wife, supersedes that of the husband’s:
“And those who accuse their wives and have no witnesses except themselves, let one of them testify four times, bearing Allāh to witness, that he is of those who speak the truth. And the fifth (time) that the curse of Allāh be on him, if he is of those who lie. And it shall avert the chastisement from her, if she testify four times, bearing Allāh to witness, that he is of those who lie. And the fifth (time) that the wrath of Allāh to be on her, if he is of those who speak the truth.”

While the man’s testimony is “one-fifth” that of the woman’s, no court would dare to assert that a man’s testimony in all matters is inferior to that of the wife’s, or that the testimony of a man is “worth half” (or “one-fifth,” as per the verse) that of a woman’s. And, notably, a woman’s chastity is a more sensitive matter than a business transaction.

In summary, if it be claimed that the woman is worth half that of a man, then it can be claimed that a man is worth a fifth of a woman.

WikiIslam’s controversial verse #2: woman inherits half of what man inherits (Qur’an 4:11).
ANSWER:
That a woman’s inheritance is half that of a man’s–(Qur’an 4:11, 177). Even though a woman may have wealth and even have greater wealth than her husband, Allāh God designates men to be the maintainers of women–(Qur’an 4:34).
It is for this reason that men are allowed double the share of inheritance than women. For, whereas a wife can at any stage, and for any reason, quit her job and decides to stay home and be maintained by her husband, a husband cannot quit his job and intend for his wife to maintain him.
The burden of support lies on the husband. (Even in secular society wives, generally, seem to enjoy this benefit of voluntary employment).

WikiIslam’s controversial verse #1: fight non-Muslims (Qur’an 9:29; 9:5).
ANSWER:
Qur’an 9:5 and 9:29 are probably the two most over-abused verses in the Qur’an that critics use in their vain attempt to prove that Islam is violent/evil. 

Qur’an 9:5 states:
So when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters, wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush. But if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free. Surely Allåh is Forgiving, Merciful.”
Muslims were fully justified to pursue, besiege etc; and slay the enemies wherever they were found. One does not allow enemies bent on annihilating him the opportunity to regroup and even fortify their efforts against him. Not even modern nations allow this.
In completely routing the enemies Muslims had, in the words of Muhammad Ali, “the sanction of civilized warfare, ancient as well as modern.”

However, “Slay the idolaters wherever you find them,” does not refer to all idolaters.
Muhammad Ali explains:

“The clear exception of the last verse (9:4) shows that by the idolaters here are meant, not all idolaters or polytheists wherever they may be found in the world, not even all idolaters of Arabia, but only those idolatrous tribes of Arabia assembled at the pilgrimage who had at first made agreements with the Muslims and then violated them.
The exception here has given rise to much misconception. It is thought that it offers to the disbelievers the alternative of the sword or the Qur’an. Nothing is farther from the truth. The injunction contained in the first part of the verse establishes the fact that the whole verse relates to certain idolatrous Arab tribes who had broken their engagements with the Muslims, and who had now been apprised of a similar repudiation by the Muslims. The order to kill them and to make them prisoners and to besiege them and ambush them amounts clearly to an order to fight against them, as it is in war only that all these things are made lawful. They had so often broken their word that they could no more be trusted.….The subject is further clarified in the next verse and the following section.” (And the next verse says: “And if anyone of the idolaters seek thy protection, protect him till he hears the word of Allah, then convey him to his place of safety. This is because they are a people who know not” (9:6).
“This verse leaves no doubt that the Prophet was never ordered to kill anyone on account of his religion. “You shall give him a safe conduct that he may return home again securely in case he shall not think fit to embrace Muhammadanism” (Sale).” (Comm.1033-1035).

As shown in the next topic the Prophet’s duty was only to deliver the message of the Qur’an not to enforce it.

Regarding Qur’an 9:29: “”Fight those who believe not in Allåh, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which Allåh and His Messenger have forbidden, nor follow the Religion of Truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgement of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.”
Muahammad Ali explains:

“The last word on the wars with the idolaters of Arabia having been said, this verse introduces the subject of fighting with the followers of the Book. Though the Jews had for a long time assisted the idolatrous Arabians in their struggle to uproot Islam, the great Christian power, the Roman Empire, had only just mobilized its forces for the subjection of the new religion, and the Tabuk expedition followed, which constitutes the subject-matter of a large portion of what follows in this chapter. As the object of this Christian power was simply the subjection of the Muslims, the words in which their final vanquishment by the Muslims is spoken of are different from those dealing with the final vanquishment of the idolatrous Arabians. The Qur’an neither required that the idolaters should be compelled to accept Islam, nor was it in any way its object to bring the Christians into subjection. On the other hand, the idolaters wanted to suppress Islam by the sword, and the Christians first moved themselves to bring Muslim Arabia under subjection. The fate of each was, therefore, according to what it intended for the Muslims. The word jizyah is derived from jaza, meaning he gave satisfaction, and means, according to LL, the tax that is taken from the free non-Muslim subjects of the Muslim Government whereby they ratify the compact that ensures them protection; or, according to AH, because it is a compensation for the protection which is guaranteed them, the non-Muslim subjects being free from military service.

The phrase ‘an yad-in has been explained variously. The word yad (lit., hand) stands for power or superiority, the use of the hand being the real source of the superiority of man over all other animals, and the apparent meaning of the phrase is in acknowledgement of your superiority in protecting their lives, etc. (AH). It may also be added that the permission to fight, as given to the Muslims, is subject to the condition that the enemy should first take up the sword, Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you (2:190). The Holy Prophet never overstepped this limit, nor did his followers. He fought against the Arabs when they took up the sword to destroy the Muslims, and he led an expedition against the Christians when the Roman Empire first mobilized its forces with the object of subjugating the Muslims. And so scrupulous was he that, when he found that the enemy had not yet taken the initiative, he did not attack the Roman Empire, but returned without fighting. Later on, however, the Roman Empire, like the Persians, helped the enemies of Islam and fomented trouble against the newly established Muslim Kingdom, as a result of which both these empires came into conflict with the Muslims and, notwithstanding the fact that both the Persians and the Romans were very powerful nations with unlimited resources and strong military organizations, and that they both tried at one and the same time to subjugate Islam, the result was what is predicted here in clear words — they were both reduced to a state of subjection by an insignificant nation like the Arabs.”

Whereas striving with the “sword” is necessary to overcome aggression, occupation and oppression, striving with the Qur’an is known as the “great” Jihad –Jihad kabiran, (Qur’an 25:52).
That the Prophet’s duty was only to deliver the Message of the Qur’an and NOT enforce it is cemented in the following verses from Allāh:

-“thou art not one to compel them. So remind by means of the Qur’an him who fears My warning”–(Qur’an 50:45).
-“And if thy Lord had pleased, all those who are in the earth would have believed, all of them. Wilt thou then force men till they are believers?”–(Qur’an 10:99); -“And say: Truth is from your Lord; so let him who please believe, and let him who please disbelieve”–(Qur’an 18:29);
-“There is no compulsion in religion”–(2:256);
-And obey Allāh and obey the Messenger; but if you turn away. the duty of Our Messenger is only to DELIVER (the message) clearly”–(Qur’an 64:12; also 3:19; 5:92, 99; 13:7, 40; 16:82; 24:54; 29:18; 46:35).

Allah also says: “And fight with them until there is no more persecution, and all religions are for Allah”–(Qur’an 8:39). This verse makes it clear that fighting is only to be engaged in until there is no more persecution. When the enemies desisted from their persecution of Muslims, Muslims were to stop fighting. “The state of religious liberty which Islam aimed at is put tersely in the two opening statements–there is no more persecution and all religions are for Allah.” (M. Ali comm.).

As noted above, Muslims were only allowed to fight a defensive war to end persecution-(Qur’an 8:39). In fact, Islam is such a peaceful religion that Muslims are to make peace even in the face of possible deception by the enemy:
“And if they incline to peace, incline thou also to it…And if they intend to deceive thee, then surely Allah is sufficient for thee…” “So if they withdraw from you and fight you not and offer you peace, then Allah allows you no way against them”–(Qur’an 8:61-62; 4:90). 
Muslims could not lay down their arms and “incline to peace” if Islam had required the annihilation of all non-Muslims.
   Islam is the “abode of peace”–(Qur’an 10:25).

For over twenty gruelling years Mohammad was persecuted, besieged, target of assassination attempt, forced into exile, pursued, and warred on. Yet upon his triumph over his inveterate enemies he forgave them:
“It is related that the Prophet took hold of the two sides of the gate of the Ka’ba on the day of the conquest of Makkah and said to the Quraish: How do you think I should treat you? They said: We hope for good, a noble brother and the son of a noble brother. Then he said: I say as my brother Joseph said: “No reproof be against you this day” (Rz).”
No inquisition. No incrimination. No confession. No rancor. Only lofty words of benevolence and nobility–“No reproof be against you this day.”4
It is doubtful that Mohammad would have forgiven these disbelievers if Allah/Islam had required that all disbelievers, and everywhere, be killed.

Unlike nations that are transgressors, oppressors, occupiers and aggressors and yet seek to crush their victims (and even fly half way around the world to kill those who are considered a mere threat to them), Mohammad was no transgressor no oppressor no occupier no aggressor; and his enemies were in his yard.
Whatever measures Mohammad took to safeguard himself and followers from extermination Mohammad was fully justified. No honest critic or individual would state otherwise.
The only sword that Islam wields is the sword of truth and justice.

“THEY (Muhummed’s critics) SEE FIRE INSTEAD OF LIGHT, UGLINESS INSTEAD OF GOOD. THEY DISTORT AND PRESENT EVERY GOOD QUALITY AS A GREAT VICE. IT REFLECTS THEIR OWN DEPRAVITY…THE CRITICS ARE BLIND. THEY CANNOT SEE THAT THE ONLY ‘SWORD’ MUHAMMAD WIELDED WAS THE SWORD OF MERCY, COMPASSION, FRIENDSHIP AND FORGIVENESS –THE SWORD THAT CONQUERS ENEMIES AND PURIFIES THEIR  HEARTS. HIS SWORD WAS SHARPER THAN THE SWORD OF STEEL.” 5


NOTES

1. Al-Hakim, cited in, Mubarak Ali, The Muslim Handbook, p. 288.
2. The Religion Of Islam, p. 600.
3. Ibid; p. 601.
4. “No reproof be against you this day” -(Qur’an 12:92) were spoken by Joseph to his brothers who had cast him into a well and told their father that a wolf had devoured him.
5. Pandit Gyanandra Dev Sharma Shastri, at a meeting in Gorakhpur, [India]. 1928. Quoted in Ahmed Deedat, Muhummed The Greatest, p. 37. (Emphasis added).
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