Family Caricature in Islam
30 Aug, 2005
[This article is H-(Hadith) rated. Please do not read if your age is under 18.]
Sheikh Abdul Salam Mohammed Zoud bin Zayed Al Maktoum is a pious Muslim. He has a long beard, almost as long as his name. According to a Hadith, Allah has 99 names, inspired by religious conviction, Sheikh decided to produce 99 children. After marrying 60 times in his life, he was able to fulfill the goal. He also has 2 concubines, with sired children who are not included in the official "A" team of 99.
My mind's eye already sees some readers rolling their eyes, accusing me of hyperbole, but having 99 children is not a ludicrous idea for a Muslim man. King Ibn Saud, the first monarch of Saudi Arabia, had an undisclosed number of wives, some say the approx. 100. He also had 52 children of which 37 were sons. Even Osama Mean Laden, the contemporary hero of the Islamic world, has 53 brothers and sisters. So, in the age of Viagra, it's eminently possible that the character of my story can harvest 99 children. Now back to the story...
Our Sheikh is not only macho and testosteronic, he's ecological: he recycles his wives! According to Islamic laws, a Muslim man can only have four wives at a time. However, there is a way to get around this unfair and unnatural limitation. After all, a religious Muslim cannot be satisfied with only four wives. Quranic verse 004.020 dictates, "But if ye decide to take one wife in place of another, even if ye had given the latter a whole treasure for dower, take not the least bit of it back: Would ye take it by slander and manifest wrong?"
Muslim men are obliged to pay a dowry when they marry women. The verse in question simply allows a Muslim man to throw away his wife and write off the dowry that he paid as an operating cost. Sheikh cleverly used this technique and considered the dowry money as an in-the-bed overhead, in other words, as an entertainment cost.
Hassan, a grandson of Mohammad, had over seventy wives but he never crossed the limit of four. With lump-sum dowries, he'd marry a woman, enjoy her for a few days and then blithely divorce her. Some unholy folks might consider the former wife nothing more than a glorified prostitute, but rest assured, Islam is known for teaching family values!
Mohammad casually discouraged divorce in a Hadith, saying, "Divorce is the most hated of all lawful (halal) things in the sight of Allah." (Sunan Abu Dawud, no. 2178). I am not sure how a lawful dictation could be the most hated action! Naturally, those who wish to replace their wives are only doing the right thing according to verse 4.20, as explained earlier. What the heck was going through Mohammed's mind, or perhaps more accurately, HIS BLOODSTREAM, when Allah issued this verdict?
A Muslim husband can divorce his wife in a flash, even faster than it takes a cached webpage to load up! All he has to do, is say 'divorce' three times and the relationship is over. It is not so easy for a woman though, Mohammad yelled in a Hadith, "If any woman asks her husband for divorce without some strong reason, the odor of Paradise will be forbidden to her." (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 12, #2218)
Osama's father, Mohammed Laden had 11 wives, but never at the same time. He had three permanent wives and he used the fourth slot for short-termers. Osama's mother, Hamida, a beautiful Syrian lady filled in the fourth position on a temporary basis. Because of her status and short-term position, other wives and ex-wives called her 'slave' and Bin Laden the 'son of the slave'. (Bin Laden: Behind the mask of the Terrorist, Adam Robinson) Here we see Islamic family values 'in action.' Osama and the prophet of Islam have a lot in common - parental negligence and emotional deprivation... and sure enough, both became Franksteins.
The hero of our story, Mr. Sheikh, lives in a palace with most of his children. Jurists of Islam agree that after a divorce, mama gets custody over a male child until he is 7 years old and over a female child, until she is 9. Armed with such jurisprudence, Sheikh got almost all of his children back. Some of his sons have married and they are following the same trend as their father. Some daughters are also back in their papa's house because their husbands married again. Like father, like son-in-law!
Because of today's world policies, the Sheikh has a hard time finding slave women for quick purchase in open air markets. But when there's a will, there's a way and so special channels to satisfy his koranically sanctioned whims have been made available to him. Bad people steal or buy small children from poor Muslim countries and transport them to wealthy people like Sheikh Abdul Salam Mohammed Zoud bin Zayed Al Maktoum. The girls are sent directly to his harem. The boys are often treated like Bonsai trees, that is, starved, to keep their weight at minimum, whereupon they are used as camel jockeys. The lighter the jockey, the better his chances of winning the race.
Sheikh, the star of my story, is not doing anything wrong, in fact, he's striving to fulfill his Islamic obligations. After all, having sex with a slave woman is "Sunnah," which means following the example of Mohammad. In olden times, the ruler of Alexandria, Egypt politely refused to become a Muslim and sent two beautiful slave girls to Mohammad as a gift, a bribe to save his neck from the ever-swooping Islamic sword. Mohammad kept Mariya, the most beautiful one and gave her sister Sirin to his poet friend, Hassan ibn Thabit. Mo's slave woman Mariya gave birth to Ibrahim who died at infancy.
Imagine life chez M. Sheikh. His Olympic sized brood is living in a barrack and Sheikh is visiting one wife after the other, slipping from one room to the next with 'semen dribbling from his male organ'. I apologize to the fainthearted for the indecent language, but it's verbatim from a Hadith (Sahih Bukhari, V3, B44, N683:). Please note I only borrowed the language and not the context. We must acquaint ourselves with the secrets contained in the sacred books of Islam.
Allah is very wise. When you have an army of wives, what could be more natural than discipline problems? To facilitate law and order, Allah ordered Muslims in verse 4.34 to feel free to beat their wives. Mr. Sheikh has a collection of sticks that he does not hesitate to use when required. He uses the small sticks on his wives and the sturdier ones on his slave women, as clearly ordered by Mohammed, "--..and do not beat your wife as you beat your slave-girl" (Sunan Abu-Dawud Book 1, Number 0142.)
Though a moderate Muslim would claim that Sheikh's lifestyle is Unislamic, his story illustrates an actual picture of an actual Islamic family. The moderates would credit Islam for those decent Muslim families who maintain normal lives and who barely follow Islamic laws.
Family bonding is not the monopoly of Muslims. Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, non-religious people and even the Mafia understand the importance of family values. Actually, no other group can beat the Mafia. Their sense of unity and dedication to the family deserves special commendation. Most of the Asian countries strive to uphold family values. The Hindus of India are faithful to their families and their devotion to them is no less than that of the Muslims.
Mohammad claimed in Sahih Bukhari (The book of belief), "None of you will have faith till he loves ME more than his father, his children and all mankind". His statement not only shows narcissism but it influences Muslims to ignore their families and love Mohammad, which most religious Muslims do. Now there is no difference between loving Mohammad and loving Genghis Khan. We certainly cannot expect high moral values from a person who is in love with any of those two historical figures.
It's not only Mohammad, even his shadowy friend Allah suffered from narcissism. In verse, 63.9, Allah orders believers not to be distracted by children when performing Allah's duty, which of course is nothing but blind worship in order to spread Islam by hook or by crook. In verse, 64:14-15, he also considers wives and children as enemies in this regard. Allah warned Muslims to avoid the temptation of worldly life and dedicate themselves to Allah's cause. So, Allah's alleged afterlife takes precedence over the family... not a bright proposition to promote family values.
Emphasis on family values derives from tradition and culture, and has nothing to do with religion. Even though western countries have a higher divorce rate, they too maintain families and enjoy the benefits of relationships. It's a common claim of Muslims that western societies are rotten because they promote free mixing and that they are wont to live together without marriage. Sadly they fail to see the difference between the intercourse of mutually consenting adults and the raping of a slave women or a man having sex with four women just because he married them after pronouncing a nuptial "spell." Many suffer from the misconception that all westerners are porno stars or given to playing bedroom games on the street.
The reality is, thousands and thousands of families visit Disneyland. They don't mind standing hours and hours on line to share a thrill and a smile with their kids. Parents play with their children in parks or accompany them on field trips. Above all, they don't keep more than one wife or girlfriend at a time. 'The Little House on the Prairie', a famous 1980's TV series that illustrated a dedicated American family, is still a favorite show among a great many people.
I am not defending western society. They do have problems - a high divorce rate deprives children of sharing the same parents. Oftentimes, Hollywood movies and irresponsible medias put indecent scenes under everybody's nose in the name of freedom of speech. They mix up R-rated and PG-13 movies for no reason. Yet the advantage of freedom outshines the demerits. Women are free to escape male domination. The women of Islamic countries instead, live under their parents' supervision when young, under their husbands' mercy after coming of age (which can still be shockingly young), only to become totally dependant on their children's' mercy when old or in case of widowhood.
One Muslim debater asked, "Did not your family use ISLAM, spelled as I-S-L-A-M, to teach you decency when you were just a youth?" This guy owes me a new keyboard. The sudden outburst of laughter made me spill a whole cup of coffee on my keyboard and I had to buy a new one.
The embarrassing book of Islam known as the Quran does not talk about family values. However, it encourages obeying and showing kindness to parents in some of the verses such as, 2:83, 31:14, 46:15 and 17:23-24, but it does not talk about planned parenthood, as a matter of fact Mohammad ordered his followers to produce as many children as they could, so that they can outnumber other religions. It must be disturbing for a child of Mr. Sheikh to share parental love with 98 siblings, four stepmothers and two hush-hush slave mothers. Who knows what kind of family values he/she would learn other than becoming a suicide bomber!
Some apologists, swollen with pride, hail family values and quote verse 16:80 where Mohammad commented: "And Allah hath given you in your house an abode-". We know it very well - "Home sweet home" is applicable to everyone. Even birds fly back to their nests in the afternoon. I never understood how this particular verse relates to family values! Just another desperate attempt to prove something out of nothing.
Does Islam teach family values? Don't make me laugh again! Is hot coffee good for keyboards?