How can Allah have a son when He has no wife?
25 Nov, 2007
The above question, which derives from a verse 6:101 in the Quran (see below), holds a clue to Mohammed’s imagination of the nature of Allah’s existence and His capabilities. It also exposes the Quran’s extraordinary lack of consistency and common sense. Like many other verses in the Quran, verse 6:101 suggests that by the time Mohammed released a verse, he may had forgotten completely about what he had released in earlier years, hence the remarkable contradictions. As a young Muslim, I used to read the above verse many times and noticed its appalling lack of common sense, but my suppressed Islamic brain couldn’t notice anything in it other than unequalled eloquence and linguistic miracle. Having left Islam, I now fully perceive how asinine the Quran could be.
Here is Hilali and Khan’s translation of the above verse:
Q.6:101. He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth. How can He have children when He has no wife? He created all things and He is the All-Knower of everything.
Hilali/Khan use the word wife as a translation to the Arabic word ‘sahiba’, which is the feminine for ‘friend’, in other words a ‘girlfriend’ or consort. However, the word girlfriend is considered an un-Islamic western concept that is too corrupt for a decent relationship between opposite sexes. The translators probably thought it would be better to avoid the use of the word ‘girlfriend’ in order not to show Allah promoting western culture and contemplating having an illegitimate child!
According to the above verse, Allah wonders how could some people believe that He could have a son without he first having sexual intercourse with the woman (girlfriend or consort) and then causing the woman to give birth to that son. To Mohammed, it is simple and straightforward because if a man wants to have a son, then he needs first to have a woman. Although such logic is only convincing to a person with a brain the size of an insect, yet Mohammed thought of it as the ultimate rebuttal to the Christians’ claims that God has a son.
It probably escaped Mohammed’s mind that, elsewhere in his Quran, he doesn’t stop talking about Allah’s impressive record of creations. According to the Quran, Allah’s portfolio included masterpieces like the creation of the angels, Adam and Eve as well as the seven skies and seven earths. So why did all that talent disappear when it came to the creation of His own child? How can we believe the excuse of ‘no wife, no child’ when Mohammed claimed in the Quran that when Allah wants something He only needs to say to it Be! and it is done? (Q. 2: 117 … When He decrees a matter, He only says to it: "Be!" - and it is.) This famous claim of ‘Kun Fayakun’ (Arabic for Be! And it is) is repeated not once but six more times in the Quran (3:47, 3:59, 16:40, 19:35, 36:82 and 40:68)?
The fading skills!
The Quran describes proudly and repeatedly how Allah created Adam from clay, a straightforward process that seemed to go smoothly. The creation of the second human, Adam’s wife, which the Quran describes briefly, seemed to be even more straightforward. However, based on the Quranic information, we have no idea how Allah created the first animals, but we assume it was so easy that Allah did not bother to describe it at all.
Thousands of years down the line, Allah decided to destroy all
the corrupt humans (and with them all animals!) and vowed make a
fresh start. That was the time when Allah ordered Noah to build his
ark and carry with him a pair of every animal species. Those pairs
functioned like the Adams and Eves of all animals. Muslims usually
think of the decision to save those pairs of animals as an essential
step to maintain wild life. We wonder, however, why Allah had to do
it that way when He could have maintained animal lives by just
saying the magic word Be!
Blowing into Mary!
The above verse is not the only indication in the Quran that Mohammed’s imagination of creation couldn’t go beyond the scenario of sexual intercourse, pregnancy and childbirth, which he applied to all, even to Allah!
The same theme appears in sura AlAnbiya where the Quran describes how Mary became pregnant. In verse 91 of surat Al Anbiya (21:91), the Quran reminds us of the story of Mary who protected her ‘farj’ (Arabic word, which means the genital opening between a woman’s legs, or vagina) until He blew into her from His spirit. Let us read this from surat AlAnbiya:
Q.21: 91. And (remember) she who guarded her chastity [Virgin Maryam (Mary)], We breathed into (the sleeves of) her (shirt or garment) [through Our Rûh Jibrael (Gabriel)], and We made her and her son ['Iesa (Jesus)] a sign for Al-'Alamin (the mankind and jinns).
As usual, the above translation is completely deceptive. The word ‘her chastity’ was used as a translation to the Arabic word ‘farjaha’, which is far from true. The Arabic root word ‘farj’ means the female genital organ (vagina to be precise), and is used many times in the Quran to mean just that. Less commonly, the Quran also associated the word with males, in which case it refers to the male’s genital organs, or penises. In all cases the word ‘farj’ is a dirty Arabic word that is not expected to be found in decent Arabic writings. This word, ‘farj’, is not normally used among Arabs during a decent conversation. The Arabs refer to a woman with chastity by using words like ‘afifa’ or ‘sharifa’, with no need at all to refer to her genital organ.
The deceptive translation is also evident in using the word ‘breathed into’ as a translation to the Arabic word ‘nafakhna feeha’, which means ‘we blew into her …’. The Quran meant to say ‘into her genital organ/ vagina’, but the translators talk about sleeves and shirts! I suppose if we ask the translators why did they bring the clothing issue here, their answer would be that the blowing process happened discretely without having to uncover her!
A more appropriate translation of the above verse would be: ‘and
she who guarded her genitals, We breathed into her from our
The Quran refers to the same story in surat Al Tahreem (66:12), but uses the Arabic words ‘nafakhna feehy’ instead of nafakhna feeha, leaving no room at all for changing the meaning. Nafakhna feehy means ‘we blew into her organ’ which clarifies where the blowing process happened. The correct wording for Q.66: 12 would have been: ‘And Maryam, the daughter of Imran who guarded her genitals; and We blew in it from our spirit’.
Despite such clarity, the translators insist on bringing
irrelevant and redundant issues of sleeves, shirts and garments to
the verse. Let us read this verse as translated by Hilali and Khan:
Q.66: 12. And Maryam (Mary), the daughter of 'Imran who guarded her chastity; and We breathed into (the sleeve of her shirt or her garment) through Our Rûh i.e. (Gabriel), ….
Verse 17 from surat Maryam (19:17) describes the events that lead
to Mary’s pregnancy. It started when Mary was on her own in a
secluded place; then Gabriel, Allah’s famous spokesman, suddenly
appeared in front of her in the form of a perfect man. Gabriel made
no secret of his mission- he was there to blow special air ( Allah’s
seed or soul) into her vagina that would make her pregnant.
Verse 17:19 reads thus:
Q.19: 17. She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them; then We sent to her Our Ruh [angel Jibrael (Gabriel)], and he appeared before her in the form of a man in all respects.
How embarrassing! One can imagine Mary’s shock in the sudden appearance of a stranger in front of her, especially when she had never been with a man before. If this was supposed to be a practical joke then it was not funny, Mary must have been scared to death because of this!
Intimacy between a man and a woman’s genitalia is considered to be sexual activity. Such intimacy can be in the form of penetrative sex, touching or kissing. Blowing air into a woman’s vagina (might even be oral sex, such as cunnilingus), although very rare, surely fits into that category.
If it was only a matter of blowing air, then why Gabriel was sent in the form of a man? Why not in the form of a woman, which would have been less shocking to Mary? Any woman would be more willing to allow another woman to blow into her genitalia rather than a man.
The Quran doesn’t give any details as to how the procedure of blowing was carried out. Muslims generally believe that she consented and felt happy and privileged to carry such a special child (of Allah via Gabriel). However, a careful reading of surat Maryam (surat19) may suggest otherwise.
Let us read 19:23:
Q.19: 23. And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a date-palm. She said: "Would that I had died before this, and had been forgotten and out of sight!"
Verse 19: 23 describes Mary’s feelings when the moment of truth came, and she was about to give birth to her child. Apparently she was overwhelmed by a sense of shame and wished if she were dead before this happened.
Wouldn’t it have been easier if only Allah just pronounced His magic word Be? Couldn’t Allah allow Mary to have a painless childbirth?
Mumin Salih is a Middle Eastern ex-Muslim.