Thursday, March 3, 2011

Loonwatch and Defending Muhammad

Many websites dedicate themselves to the defense of Islam, a religion that seems to continually require defending. One site I've recently come across, Loonwatch, does this by attacking critics of Islam. Their title says it all; if you don't see things the way we do, you are crazy, incompetent, and a loon.

I've often thought that Muslims have a love-hate relationship with their Prophet and his Deity. It's like a relationship with someone who accepts no criticism, who always tries to make you feel that every problem in the relationship is your fault. Unable to criticize Muhammad, or even verbalize or discuss doubts and questions they might have about him, Muslims are forced to attack those who do.

I recently attended a church-related class taught by a woman who is a serious Christian. She related that during a moment of frustration the day before had she shouted out, "God, you suck!"

"Immediately," she continued, "I felt as if God responded to me, 'Good for you! I'm proud of you. You've finally reached the point where you tell me honestly how you feel!'"

A Muslimah reading the above would be shocked. "Astaghfir Allah, may God forgive me!" she would say. She would never dare even think, much less say, such a thing.

One of the most amazing suras of the Quran that emphasizes the dysfunctional relationship between Muhammad and his followers is Al Tahrim (Quran 66). I've told the story here, and won't repeat it again except to say that Muslim apologists in the West love to say Muhammad was upset with his wife Hafsah because she told Ayesha he had bad breath from eating honey. It was in Riyadh, where Muslims are much less concerned with presenting a white-washed version of the Prophet's life than their Western counterparts, that I learned the true story. At any rate, whether the issue was honey or Muhammad sleeping with Mary the Copt in Hafsah's own bedroom, the result was the same. Rather than accept any responsibility for his behavior he put all the blame on his young wives (Ayesha was still a teenager and Hafsah in her early twenties), threatening to divorce them and using his trump card that Allah would be really angry at them if they ever did this again. It is always the fault of the Muslim or the Muslimah, never the fault of the Prophet.

I was once in a group discussion where an associate I'll call Mansour was explaining to us the "true meaning" of Jihad. He gave us the usual line of how it means a peaceful struggle to achieve spirituality, and repeated the weak Hadith, so often used in the West, of Muhammad telling his warriors they had finished the lesser Jihad of battle to dedicate themselves to the greater Jihad of spirituality.

Mansour had no idea I knew the difference between a Sufi and a sunflower seed, and when he was finished I told him I'd never heard an Arabic-speaking Shaykh in the Middle East even mention that Hadith, because it was not authentic. I reminded him there are entire chapters of the authentic Hadith collections entitled Jihad and they refer without exception to the primary meaning of the word, which is effort put forward for the strengthening and conquest of Islam.

After the discussion was over, another Arabic-speaking colleague said to me, "Don't you know that Mansour was upset by what you said today? Why do you ask him those hard questions? Why don't you just let him be a happy Muslim!"

And so I say to the writers and readers of Loonwatch, "Baraka Allah fikum, wa uwafiq-kum fi Nasr Rasul Allah wal-Deen". May God bless you, and grant you success as you strive to achieve victory for the Prophet of Allah and his Religion. And may you continue to be happy, happy Muslims!"

123 comments:

Juniper in the Desert said...

Absolutely brilliant description of the acolytes of Mo and their moon god!

Shades of Gray said...

Well said, as always.  Unfortunately, I don't believe that most of the writers and readers of loonwatch are capable of or content with being happy Muslims.  They are so insecure about their faith and beliefs that even your well wishes will throw them into a frenzy of indignation. 

"Anger at queries about our beliefs is the body's warning signal: here lies unexamined and probably dangerous doctrinal baggage."
- Carl Sagan, Broca's Brain

Stephanie said...

I'm an ex muslim, originally a convert,leaving the faith after 7.5years. Obviously I have major issues with Islam which prompted my apostacy. However, I don't believe the billion Muslims on the planet are suddenly going to stop following their faith, the faith of their ancestors and the one many would go to the death to defend, just because some non Musllims point out obvious inconsistenies in the morality of the prophet and the problematic and troublesome verses of the Quran.

Rather, there are many Muslims today that seek to modernize Islam and look for more "progressive" interpretations of the Quran and some even want to throw out the hadith altogether. Many are saying there is much in the Quran that just doesn't apply to our modern lives. These aren't the loudest voices right now but they're there nonetheless.

While I found the "progressive" viewpoint to be dishonest in that I don't believe that's how Islam was originally practiced or intended to be practiced, I support the movement and see it important if not essential to the survival and modernization of Muslim societies. In short, it doesnt matter to me if Muhammad felt that the primary jihad was one of non-violence, it matters that a growing number of Muslims today believe that.

Having been a Muslim until very recently, and as I continue to be married to a Muslm man, I feel for Muslims that constantly have to defend their lifestyle and beliefs. Obviously, very few Muslims are actually violent nor follow violent ideologies and it's exhausting and extrememly polarizing to have to reiterate that point time and time again.

In short, I don't think it will be effective to constantly berate Islam and Muslims in such a militant way, rather, I think it will serve to further distance Muslims from the mainstream. In the meantime websites like Loonwatch exist because there are people that refuse to see that average Muslim and his lifestyle look very different than that of OBL which also happens to be the Islam which is described by Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller as the "true" Islam.

Dawood said...

I think you mean "Astaghfir Allah", first of all, as I've never seen or heard any word with the roots r f r, certainly not "yastarfir". If that's how you transliterate one of the most commonly said Islamic phrases then God help us all.

Also, your structure (beginning with 'y', for those who don't know Arabic) implies the masculine 3rd person, when you clearly said Muslimah (i.e. a female Muslim in the 1st person) in your post.

Maybe you should edit it and cover over your Arabic mistakes and continue with business as usual, without addressing a single point raised in the LW piece. That way no one will know any better.

Quotable Quotes: said...

Shades of Gray,
Thanks for your comment. I agree that writers and readers of Loonwatch will be thrown into "a frenzy of indignation". It will not be so much because of my "well wishes", but due to their realization I am suggesting they prefer to continue their unquestioning, noncritical approach to what they hold near and dear.

Quotable Quotes: said...

Stephanie,
Thanks for your comment, and I'm glad you found me. I would like to add your blog to the list of blogs I follow.
Let me throw out a number of ways in which I might disagree with what you said, and I invite your response (I've responded to some recent reader questions by turning them into posts of their own, and if you like you could do the same):
1. It almost sounds as if you are suggesting other Muslims are not as intelligent or courageous as you are - "I woke up and smelt the coffee, but they never will."
2. Many Muslims who eventually leave Muhammad behind became very angry when their beliefs were initially challenged. This anger was a good, not a bad, thing that got them thinking in a way they had never dared think before.
3. I don't think in terms of "a billion people leaving Islam", because change takes place one person at a time. Your story is one such example. My suggestion is that there are many others like you out there waiting to be challenged.
4. The problem facing moderate and reform-minded Muslims, as I see it, is their attempt to turn Muhammad and the Quran into something they never were. My suggestion is that as many non-fundamental Christian and non-orthodox Jews have simply left Moses behind, Muslims do the same with Muhammad.
5. Another problem with a moderate Islam, again as I see it, is that Muslims - at least those living in the Middle East - will always feel the sense of guilt that they are not really pleasing Allah. You hear it in the statements - "If I were more religious, I would wear the Hijab", or "I drink even though I know Allah does not want me to." My suggestion is that only by completely abandoning Muhammad can they be freed from this residual guilt.

Quotable Quotes: said...

Stephanie,
I read your most recent post after my above response to your comment, and it sounds as if you experienced the same thing I was talking about - the guilt about enjoying music. My suggestion is that the conclusion you reached makes more sense than trying to pretend - as a reformer would do - that Muhammad really would not object to Bach or Ani deFranco today.

Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight. After setting up a weak strawman, you don't even proceed to refute it? What the hell kind of rebuttal to Loon Watch is this supposed to be? Not to mention you glaring Arabic mistake.

Anonymous said...

Jesus (one of the Muslims prophets who was born of a virgin and did not die apparently) had once commented that "the truth will set you free."

Proverbs 6:16 says "There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him:
17 haughty eyes,a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil,
19 a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers"

Proverbs 25:6 "Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy."

If we just try to make others happy we may very likely destroy them and ourself; if we tell them truth in love we may see them free even at the cost of our own lifes.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry Stephanie, but you seem to be suffering from some sort of Stockholm Syndrome. You obviously at one point got duped into converting by some man, took your licks, and came to your senses. You are a braver woman than most, and your life is most assuredly in danger as long as you live.

I agree with what you said in that there are many, many "good" Muslims. However, in some strange defense of your former master, Islam, you fail to recognize what makes these people "good".

The "good" Muslims are the ones whose inherent humanity is conflicted with the Islamic texts and teachings which are filled with instructions to hate all nonbelievers. By finding distaste with the Quran, which is said to be the literal word of allah, they are actually disobedient Muslims, much like yourself. People inherently aren't at fault, nor are your perceived Islamic "misunderstanders". The Islamic texts and their rigidity and inability to be amended are the problem.

ChrisLA said...

I agree with Stephanie that it is unreasonable to expect Muslims to suddenly abandon their faith. Non-Muslims need to help Muslims replace their flawed ideology with one that is genuine. There is an excellent book that uses the texts of the Quran to prove that the claims of Christianity are not only true but offer mankind a loving God who can assure them that their sins are forgiven. Share this book with your Muslim friends: "Glad News! God Loves You My Muslim Friend," by Samy Tanagho. You may save a life.

Abdallah Muslim said...

Thanks Quotable for the compliment and your wishes, finally we get something good for muslims from your mouth, FINALLY…

Since 14 centuries, You eat and live and walk and worship your idols safely and freely among millions of muslims, and finally you wish something good for them..

YES, my friend the coming days and years will be different, as ALLAH promised us in Quran from victory to victory, and in the bible they will go from strength to strength, (read it in “The Valley of Bacca”.. http://debatewithachristian.blogspot.com/)

And what are you are seeing now, it’s a sign of Jesus arrival as we must be united first all in one army, and these are the first step, look how those men and women all pray before they protest in every country, they are all young and brave, they aren’t afraid from death in front of their eyes, because they know they will go to heaven, they are shooting them but still continuing, they won’t stop tell they reach their target, those are the most suitable to fight the Anti-Christ …

By the way Quotable, Anti-Christ is what you are waiting for and all who fight Islam like you, you will be happy when you saw him because he will lead an army from the 4 corners of the world to fight the muslims army, but fortunately for few days only and Jesus will come and finish your story for ever, hope you read it on the difference between true and false prophet on http://debatewithachristian.blogspot.com/

About criticizing our Prophet, since 15 centuries and you are still trying to get this step from muslims only, and you didn’t succeed and you will not succeed, you think as you destroyed the Religion of Jesus on the 4th century, you will be able to do the same for ISLAM, NO, Never!!!

ALLAH promised that you will waste time, efforts, your money, and you will not die till you see your failure in front of your eyes, just to die in sorrow and disgrace..

Only few those who left their Islam, who followed you to throw themselves in Hell, those of bad minds and bad souls, and don’t think we feel sorry about them, No, God already told us about them: Not to be sad, for them leaving Islam is better than staying in it, LIKE you, you may harm Islam or muslims more from inside than being fighting alone from outside and just few muslims hear about you..

About the story that you told, although I don’t think it will benefit you, as I told you before your brain is programmed to think badly in Islam and his prophet, so it’s not worthy, but maybe for someone else, it was a trick between 2 of his wives being jealous from a third one, and it was nothing about him, it shows how they loved him and each one fighting to get him more than other, but you can’t see the good thing ever, as I told you before if there is a woman or a fight in the story, you’ll transfer it to bad thing as usual…

I would like to say to the x-islamer: you didn’t know Islam ever, if anyone touches the sweetness of Islam faith; he will never leave it even if he has to be cut into 2 halves, or dropped in a boiling oil or Acid, but unfortunately you didn’t know it correctly.

Read this article” Why Islam is different” on
http://debatewithmuslim.blogspot.com/,
It may help you, if God wills..

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

The person using the "Anonymous" at March 4, 2011 9:05 AM complains that Staring at the View (SATV) hasn't refuted Loonwatch's article (presumably the one about Translating Jihad's allegedly "fraudulent" translation of the word nikah).

The article is "Translating-Jihad’s Completely Fraudulent Translations
Posted on 26 February 2011 by Danios By: Dawood (guest contributor) and Danios"

---------------------

I offer my response to that article, drawing attention to the various problems in it.

In their article, Dawood and Danios fail to demonstrate, with evidence that should be convincing to an objective third party, that their translation is correct and that Al Mutarjim’s is wrong. They are using their own alternative translation itself as evidence in support of their claims. The validity of their translation and interpretation has not been established, so their claims are unsupported.

Unfortunately I don’t speak Arabic, and I suspect most readers of the English-language site Loonwatch don’t speak Arabic, either. I looked up the word nikah, and found that the word means sexual intercourse or marriage, or both. Dawood and Danios don’t address this in the article.

Al Mutarjid’s translation had the mufti saying “…we can take from this verse that it is permissible to have sexual intercourse with a prepubescent girl.”

Understanding what the mufti meant by a “permissible” “nikah” (sexual intercourse, marriage, or both) in the sentence in question seems to depend on the mufti’s understanding of the implications of verse 65:4, and on whether he believes 9 year old Aisha was “prepubescent” when Muhammad had sex with her. Both these elements which the mufti mentions—-verse 65:4 and Muhammad having sex with Aisha when she was 9—-are part of the immediate context of the sentence in question. Dawood and Danios do not discuss how these elements might be relevant to the issue of whether or not the mufti meant, in the sentence in question, that sexual intercourse with prepubescent girls was “permissible” according to Islamic scripture.

Dawood and Danios aren’t merely claiming that Al Mutarjim’s translation is false. They are claiming that he attempted to deceive readers. To show this, they would need evidence that he knew the “correct” translation, but decided to go with a “false” translation in order to trick readers. But they have not shown that his translation was false, so their accusation of deception is unsupported.

Their allegations about Al Mutarjim’s failure to provide the mufti’s concluding “admonition” and other elements of the fatwa also depend, for support, on the validity of the translation that they (or one of the two) provided. Again, that has not been established.

On a separate point, it is also worthy of note that, despite their allegations against Al Mutarjim, Dawood and Danios do not provide a translation of the full fatwa. Why not?

(I'll post the other half of my rebuttal next)

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

-continued from above

Even if we assume Dawood and Danios (D and D) have provided a correct translation, it does not follow that their claims about the fatwa are correct. That’s because their claims about the fatwa differ in important ways from their presented translation of the fatwa.

In Al Mutarjim’s translation, the mufti said that sexual intercourse with “prepubescent” girls was “permissible.” To counter this, D and D claimed that the mufti said “the exact opposite.”

The “exact opposite” of permissible is forbidden. D and D claim the mufti forbade sexual intercourse with prepubescent girls. But in their translation, the mufti himself doesn’t say that he forbids it. Rather, what the mufti says, in their translation, is that he “admonishes” against it out of concern that it could harm the girl. It is possible for some action to be permissible but admonished (or warned, advised, cautioned) against. It is possible that the mufti thinks it’s permissible according to Islamic scripture for a man to have sexual intercourse with his prepubescent wife, even if the mufti advises strongly against it due to concerns about harm to the girl. Admonishing against something is not the same as forbidding it.

The “exact opposite” of prepubescent is postpubescent. D and D repeatedly claim that the mufti forbade sexual intercourse until at least “after puberty,” clearly implying after puberty is complete (postpubescent). But in their translation, the mufti puts the advised or “admonished” minimum age at least “at puberty.” There’s a big difference between “at puberty” and “after puberty.” “At puberty” can mean any time within the several years of its duration, from its onset to its completion. At the beginning of puberty, the human female is a girl. By the end of it, she is, at least physically, a young woman.

In D and D’s translation, the mufti admonishes against marriage and sexual intercourse with prepubescent girls, for a variety of reasons. Here is the concluding paragraph they provide:
“In view of medical grounds, we admonish against marriage before puberty at the very least, because puberty is an intuitive sign which indicates that the body is ready for marital intercourse, and because humans at puberty reach an acceptable degree of social awareness that would help them in forming a family unit, especially since most applied laws in Islamic countries and non-Islamic countries prohibit marriage before the age of puberty or before the age of eighteen.”

The mufti does not admonish here for a minimum age limit of 18. (Likewise, D and D themselves wrote: “The IslamOnline mufti argues that puberty ought to be the absolute minimum age for sexual intercourse.” Note that this seems inconsistent with their repeated and emphatic “after puberty” claim). The mufti is admonishing here against sexual intercourse “before puberty at the very least,” but indicates that the sexual intercourse “at puberty” is acceptable. He does not say that human females must complete puberty before sexual intercourse. Yet D and D repeatedly say “after puberty.” Their own translation does not support their claim.

So here's what I suspect to be the case, based on an assessment of both Loonwatch and Al Mutarjim in this case:

The mufti's intended message was that marital sexual intercourse with prepubescent girls was permissible according to the Quran and Sunnah, but is strongly advised (admonished, warned) against due to possible harm to the girl. But he could not bring himself to forbid it, because the Quran and Muhammad seemed to allow it.

That's my take on the evidence at this point.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

My two previous posts just disappeared.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Let's try again...

Anonymous at March 4, 2011 9:05 AM wants a rebuttal to Loonwatch's article--probably this:
"Translating-Jihad’s Completely Fraudulent Translations
Posted on 26 February 2011 by Danios By: Dawood (guest contributor) and Danios"
-

In their article, Dawood and Danios fail to demonstrate, with evidence that should be convincing to an objective third party, that their translation is correct and that Al Mutarjim’s is wrong. They are using their own alternative translation itself as evidence in support of their claims. The validity of their translation and interpretation has not been established, so their claims are unsupported.

Unfortunately I don’t speak Arabic, and I suspect most readers of this English-language site don’t speak Arabic, either. I looked up the word nikah, and found that the word means sexual intercourse or marriage, or both. Dawood and Danios don’t address this in the article.

Al Mutarjid’s translation had the mufti saying “…we can take from this verse that it is permissible to have sexual intercourse with a prepubescent girl.”

Understanding what the mufti meant by a “permissible” “nikah” (sexual intercourse, marriage, or both) in the sentence in question seems to depend on the mufti’s understanding of the implications of verse 65:4, and on whether he believes 9 year old Aisha was “prepubescent” at the time Muhammad had sex with her. Both these elements which the mufti mentions—verse 65:4 and Muhammad having sex with Aisha when she was 9—are part of the immediate context of the sentence in question. Dawood and Danios do not discuss how these elements might be relevant to the issue of whether or not the mufti meant, in the sentence in question, that sexual intercourse with prepubescent girls was “permissible” according to Islamic scripture.

Dawood and Danios aren’t merely claiming that Al Mutarjim’s translation is false. They are claiming that he attempted to deceive readers. To show this, they would need evidence that he knew the “correct” translation, but decided to go with a “false” translation in order to trick readers. But they have not shown that his translation was false, so their accusation of deception is unsupported.

Their allegations about Al Mutarjim’s failure to provide the mufti’s concluding “admonition” and other elements of the fatwa also depend, for support, on the validity of the translation that they (or one of the two) provided.

Despite their allegations against Al Mutarjim, Dawood and Danios do not provide a translation of the full fatwa.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

...continuing the above

Even if we assume Dawood and Danios (D and D) have provided a correct translation, it does not follow that their claims about the fatwa are correct. That’s because their claims about the fatwa differ in important ways from their presented translation of the fatwa.

In Al Mutarjim’s translation, the mufti said that sexual intercourse with “prepubescent” girls was “permissible.” To counter this, D and D claimed that the mufti said “the exact opposite.”

The “exact opposite” of permissible is forbidden. D and D claim the mufti forbade sexual intercourse with prepubescent girls. But in their translation, the mufti himself doesn’t say that he forbids it. Rather, what the mufti says, in their translation, is that he “admonishes” against it out of concern that it could harm the girl. It is possible for some action to be permissible but admonished (or warned, advised, cautioned) against. It is possible that the mufti thinks it’s permissible according to Islamic scripture for a man to have sexual intercourse with his prepubescent wife, even if the mufti advises strongly against it due to concerns about harm to the girl. Admonishing against something is not the same as forbidding it.

The “exact opposite” of prepubescent is postpubescent. D and D repeatedly claim that the mufti forbade sexual intercourse until at least “after puberty,” clearly implying after puberty is complete (postpubescent). But in their translation, the mufti puts the advised or “admonished” minimum age at least “at puberty.” There’s a big difference between “at puberty” and “after puberty.” “At puberty” can mean any time within the several years of its duration, from its onset to its completion. At the beginning of puberty, the human female is a girl. By the end of it, she is, at least physically, a young woman.

In D and D’s translation, the mufti admonishes against marriage and sexual intercourse with prepubescent girls, for a variety of reasons. Here is the concluding paragraph they provide:
“In view of medical grounds, we admonish against marriage before puberty at the very least, because puberty is an intuitive sign which indicates that the body is ready for marital intercourse, and because humans at puberty reach an acceptable degree of social awareness that would help them in forming a family unit, especially since most applied laws in Islamic countries and non-Islamic countries prohibit marriage before the age of puberty or before the age of eighteen.”

The mufti does not admonish here for a minimum age limit of 18. (Likewise, D and D themselves wrote: “The IslamOnline mufti argues that puberty ought to be the absolute minimum age for sexual intercourse.” Note that this seems inconsistent with their repeated and emphatic “after puberty” claim). The mufti is admonishing here against sexual intercourse “before puberty at the very least,” but indicates that the sexual intercourse “at puberty” is acceptable. He does not say that human females must complete puberty before sexual intercourse. Yet D and D repeatedly say “after puberty.” Their own translation does not support their claim.

At this point, I suspect that the mufti meant that marital sexual intercourse with prepubescent girls was permissible according to scripture and Muhammad, but is to be warned or admonished against due to possible harm to the girl. It's permissible, but not advisable.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Again, my posts keep disappearing.

Quotable Quotes: said...

Anonymous2,
Sorry...I don't delete comments, I promise!

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Let's try again. I initially tried to post in response to the "Anonymous" who posted at March 4, 2011 9:05 AM.

Re the request for a rebuttal to Loonwatch's article:

"Translating-Jihad’s Completely Fraudulent Translations
Posted on 26 February 2011 by Danios
By: Dawood (guest contributor) and Danios"


My Response Part 1

In their article, Dawood and Danios fail to demonstrate, with evidence that should be convincing to an objective third party, that their translation is correct and that Al Mutarjim’s is wrong. They are using their own alternative translation itself as evidence in support of their claims. The validity of their translation and interpretation has not been established, so their claims are unsupported.

Unfortunately I don’t speak Arabic, and I suspect most readers of this English-language site don’t speak Arabic, either. I looked up the word nikah, and found that the word means sexual intercourse or marriage, or both. Dawood and Danios don’t address this in the article.

Al Mutarjid’s translation had the mufti saying “…we can take from this verse that it is permissible to have sexual intercourse with a prepubescent girl.”

Understanding what the mufti meant by a “permissible” “nikah” (sexual intercourse, marriage, or both) in the sentence in question seems to depend on the mufti’s understanding of the implications of verse 65:4, and on whether he believes 9 year old Aisha was “prepubescent” at the time Muhammad had sex with her. Both these elements which the mufti mentions—verse 65:4 and Muhammad having sex with Aisha when she was 9—are part of the immediate context of the sentence in question. Dawood and Danios do not discuss how these elements might be relevant to the issue of whether or not the mufti meant, in the sentence in question, that sexual intercourse with prepubescent girls was “permissible” according to Islamic scripture.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

[Please excuse the typo "Mutarjid," which should say "Mutarjim," in my previous post.]


My Response, Part 2

Dawood and Danios aren’t merely claiming that Al Mutarjim’s translation is false. They are claiming that he attempted to deceive readers. To show this, they would need evidence that he knew the “correct” translation, but decided to go with a “false” translation in order to trick readers. But they have not shown that his translation was false, so their accusation of deception is unsupported.

Their allegations about Al Mutarjim’s failure to provide the mufti’s concluding “admonition” and other elements of the fatwa also depend, for support, on the validity of the translation that they (or one of the two) provided. Despite their allegations against Al Mutarjim, Dawood and Danios do not provide a translation of the full fatwa.

Even if we assume Dawood and Danios (D and D) have provided a correct translation, it does not follow that their claims about the fatwa are correct. That’s because their claims about the fatwa differ in important ways from their presented translation of the fatwa.

In Al Mutarjim’s translation, the mufti said that sexual intercourse with “prepubescent” girls was “permissible.” To counter this, D and D claimed that the mufti said “the exact opposite.”

The “exact opposite” of permissible is forbidden. D and D claim the mufti forbade sexual intercourse with prepubescent girls. But in their translation, the mufti himself doesn’t say that he forbids it. Rather, what the mufti says, in their translation, is that he “admonishes” against it out of concern that it could harm the girl. It is possible for some action to be permissible but admonished (or warned, advised, cautioned) against. It is possible that the mufti thinks it’s permissible according to Islamic scripture for a man to have sexual intercourse with his prepubescent wife, even if the mufti advises strongly against it due to concerns about harm to the girl. Admonishing against something is not the same as forbidding it.


The “exact opposite” of prepubescent is postpubescent. D and D repeatedly claim that the mufti forbade sexual intercourse until at least “after puberty,” clearly implying after puberty is complete (postpubescent). But in their translation, the mufti puts the advised or “admonished” minimum age at least “at puberty.” There’s a big difference between “at puberty” and “after puberty.” “At puberty” can mean any time within the several years of its duration, from its onset to its completion. At the beginning of puberty, the human female is a girl. By the end of it, she is, at least physically, a young woman.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

My response Part 2

Dawood and Danios aren’t merely claiming that Al Mutarjim’s translation is false. They are claiming that he attempted to deceive readers. To show this, they would need evidence that he knew the “correct” translation, but decided to go with a “false” translation in order to trick readers. But they have not shown that his translation was false, so their accusation of deception is unsupported.

Their allegations about Al Mutarjim’s failure to provide the mufti’s concluding “admonition” and other elements of the fatwa also depend, for support, on the validity of the translation that they (or one of the two) provided. Despite their allegations against Al Mutarjim, Dawood and Danios do not provide a translation of the full fatwa.

Even if we assume Dawood and Danios (D and D) have provided a correct translation, it does not follow that their claims about the fatwa are correct. That’s because their claims about the fatwa differ in important ways from their presented translation of the fatwa.

In Al Mutarjim’s translation, the mufti said that sexual intercourse with “prepubescent” girls was “permissible.” To counter this, D and D claimed that the mufti said “the exact opposite.”

The “exact opposite” of permissible is forbidden. D and D claim the mufti forbade sexual intercourse with prepubescent girls. But in their translation, the mufti himself doesn’t say that he forbids it. Rather, what the mufti says, in their translation, is that he “admonishes” against it out of concern that it could harm the girl. It is possible for some action to be permissible but admonished (or warned, advised, cautioned) against. It is possible that the mufti thinks it’s permissible according to Islamic scripture for a man to have sexual intercourse with his prepubescent wife, even if the mufti advises strongly against it due to concerns about harm to the girl. Admonishing against something is not the same as forbidding it.

The “exact opposite” of prepubescent is postpubescent. D and D repeatedly claim that the mufti forbade sexual intercourse until at least “after puberty,” clearly implying after puberty is complete (postpubescent). But in their translation, the mufti puts the advised or “admonished” minimum age at least “at puberty.” There’s a big difference between “at puberty” and “after puberty.” “At puberty” can mean any time within the several years of its duration, from its onset to its completion. At the beginning of puberty, the human female is a girl. By the end of it, she is, at least physically, a young woman.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Quotable,

I believe you, of course. There's obviously some technical problem.

I've tried several times now to post a response to the "Anonymous" who posted at March 4, 2011 9:05 AM, including my rebuttal to Loonwatch's article on the nikah translation. There are obviously some technical problems, perhaps with Blogger, perhaps with my computer software...who knows. I've posted sections of the rebuttal that are small enough in size not to exceed the number of characters limit.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Let's try again. I initially tried to post in response to the "Anonymous" who posted at March 4, 2011 9:05 AM.

Re the request for a rebuttal to Loonwatch's article:

"Translating-Jihad’s Completely Fraudulent Translations
Posted on 26 February 2011 by Danios
By: Dawood (guest contributor) and Danios"

My response, Part 1

In their article, Dawood and Danios fail to demonstrate, with evidence that should be convincing to an objective third party, that their translation is correct and that Al Mutarjim’s is wrong. They are using their own alternative translation itself as evidence in support of their claims. The validity of their translation and interpretation has not been established, so their claims are unsupported.

Unfortunately I don’t speak Arabic, and I suspect most readers of this English-language site don’t speak Arabic, either. I looked up the word nikah, and found that the word means sexual intercourse or marriage, or both. Dawood and Danios don’t address this in the article.

Al Mutarjim’s translation had the mufti saying “…we can take from this verse that it is permissible to have sexual intercourse with a prepubescent girl.”

Understanding what the mufti meant by a “permissible” “nikah” (sexual intercourse, marriage, or both) in the sentence in question seems to depend on the mufti’s understanding of the implications of verse 65:4, and on whether he believes 9 year old Aisha was “prepubescent” at the time Muhammad had sex with her. Both these elements which the mufti mentions—verse 65:4 and Muhammad having sex with Aisha when she was 9—are part of the immediate context of the sentence in question. Dawood and Danios do not discuss how these elements might be relevant to the issue of whether or not the mufti meant, in the sentence in question, that sexual intercourse with prepubescent girls was “permissible” according to Islamic scripture.

Dawood and Danios aren’t merely claiming that Al Mutarjim’s translation is false. They are claiming that he attempted to deceive readers. To show this, they would need evidence that he knew the “correct” translation, but decided to go with a “false” translation in order to trick readers. But they have not shown that his translation was false, so their accusation of deception is unsupported.

Their allegations about Al Mutarjim’s failure to provide the mufti’s concluding “admonition” and other elements of the fatwa also depend, for support, on the validity of the translation that they (or one of the two) provided.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

For some technical reason, when I try to copy-paste my comments from my Word file into the comment window here, and it is posted ("saved" in this blog's comment section), it does not remain on after I close out of my browser and return (I've tried both Firefox and IE).

Next I will type in an abbreviated point-form summary of my rebuttal to the Loonwatch article on Translating-Jihad's translation of the word nikah.

Anonymous said...

Dawood and Danios, in their article at Loonwatch, provide an alternative translation of parts of a fatwa that had been translated from Arabic by Al Mutarjim. Al Mutarjim presented a translation of part of the fatwa, in which he rendered the mufti's as follows: "...we can take from this verse that it is permissible to have sexual intercourse with a prepubescent girl..."

Dawood and Danios (D and D) claim that the word "nikah," rendered by Al Mutarjim as "sexual intercourse," should be translated there as "betrothal/marriage." They claim that their translation is correct, and that Al Mutarjim's is wrong.

-D and D provide no evidence to support their claim that their translation is correct, and that Al Mutarjim's is wrong.

-D and D seem to assume that the mere fact that they have provided an alternative translation is itself evidence that theirs is correct and Al Mutarjim's is false. Whatever they assume, though, the fact remains that, in terms of evidence, they have presented nothing else in support of their argument except their own translation.

-their own translation is of uncertain status in terms of its validity or accuracy, and their own translation skills, if they have any, as rated by independent authorities, are unknown.

-D and D gloss over, and do not explicitly even mention, that the word "nikah" can mean sexual intercourse, marriage, or can connote both meanings.

(to be continued)

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)
(continued from above)

-in the translated sentence in question, the mufti refers to the "verse" (Qur'an 65:4) as implying that "nikah" with a "prepubescent" girl is "permissible." In the same paragraph, the mufti states that Muhammad married Aisha when she was 6 and had sex with her when she was 9 years of age. These aspects of Al Mutarjim's translation of the surrounding paragraph were not contested by Dawood and Danios. D and D do not even discuss the implications of the Quran and Sunnah in this case being relevant to understanding what the mufti meant by "nikah" being "permissible" with a "prepubescent" girl.

-D and D aren't merely claiming that Al Mutarjim's translation is false, or inaccurate, or misleading. They are claiming that his translation was deceptive. They are, therefore, claiming that Al Mutarjim knew the "correct" translation, but decided to publish a false translation in order to trick readers. Yet the provide no evidence for this. Indeed, they provide no evidence that Al Mutarjim's translation is false.

-D and D allege that Al Mutarjim "hid" other material in the fatwa that shows that the mufti was "admonishing" against sexual intercourse with prepubescent girls. Again, this claim depends on the validity of D's and D's own translation, which is not established objectively or independently.

(to be continued)

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

(continued)

-even if the reader of the Loonwatch article in question assumes that Dawood's and Danios' translation of the parts of the fatwa they present is valid, it does not follow that what they say about the fatwa is valid. That's because what they say about the fatwa differs in important ways from what their own translation of it says.

-In Al Mutarjim’s translation, the mufti said that sexual intercourse with “prepubescent” girls was “permissible.” To counter this, D and D claimed that the mufti said “the exact opposite.”

-The “exact opposite” of permissible is forbidden. D and D claim the mufti forbade sexual intercourse with prepubescent girls. But in their translation, the mufti himself doesn’t say that he forbids it. Rather, what the mufti says, in their translation, is that he “admonishes” against it out of concern that it could harm the girl. It is possible for some action to be permissible but admonished (or warned, advised, cautioned) against. It is possible that the mufti thinks it’s permissible according to Islamic scripture for a man to have sexual intercourse with his prepubescent wife, even if the mufti advises strongly against it due to concerns about harm to the girl. Admonishing against something is not the same as forbidding it.

-The “exact opposite” of prepubescent is postpubescent. D and D repeatedly claim that the mufti forbade sexual intercourse until at least “after puberty,” clearly implying after puberty is complete (postpubescent). But in their translation, the mufti puts the advised or “admonished” minimum age at least “at puberty.” There’s a big difference between “at puberty” and “after puberty.” “At puberty” can mean any time within the several years of its duration, from its onset to its completion. At the beginning of puberty, the human female is a girl. By the end of it, she is, at least physically, a young woman.

(to be continued)

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

(continued)

-In D and D’s translation, the mufti admonishes against marriage and sexual intercourse with prepubescent girls, for a variety of reasons. Here is the concluding paragraph they provide:
"In view of medical grounds, we admonish against marriage before puberty at the very least, because puberty is an intuitive sign which indicates that the body is ready for marital intercourse, and because humans at puberty reach an acceptable degree of social awareness that would help them in forming a family unit, especially since most applied laws in Islamic countries and non-Islamic countries prohibit marriage before the age of puberty or before the age of eighteen."

-The mufti does not admonish here for a minimum age limit of 18. (Likewise, D and D themselves wrote: “The IslamOnline mufti argues that puberty ought to be the absolute minimum age for sexual intercourse.” Note that this seems inconsistent with their repeated and emphatic “after puberty” claim). The mufti is admonishing here against sexual intercourse “before puberty at the very least,” but indicates that the sexual intercourse “at puberty” is acceptable. He does not say that human females must complete puberty before sexual intercourse. Yet D and D repeatedly say “after puberty.” Their own translation does not support their claim.

Based on the evidence presented thus far by Dawood and Danios in their article, I think it is reasonable to suspect the following to be the case:

-The mufti was claiming, in light of Quran 65:4 and Muhammad's example of having sex with Aisha when she was 9 (as reported in Bukhari, and which the mufti seems to believe), that according to scripture and Muhammad's example, it is "permissible" for a man to have sexual intercourse with his prepubescent wife. The mufti is claiming that while this is permissible, it is recommended against, due to serious concerns about harm to the girl. In other words, according to the mufti, it's permissible, but strongly ill advised.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

(continued)

-Even if we assume D's and D's translation of the excluded portions is correct, it does not follow that their claims about the fatwa are correct. That's because their claims about what the fatwa says differ in important ways from their translation of it.

-In Al Mutarjim's translation, the mufti said that sexual intercourse with "prepubescent" girls was "permissible" (in light of verse 65:4 and Muhammad's conduct). In their counter-claim, D and D claimed that the mufti said "the exact opposite."

-the "exact opposite" of "permissible" is forbidden. D and D claim that the mufti forbade sexual intercourse with prepubescent girls. But in their translation, the mufti himself doesn't say that he forbids it. Rather, what the mufti says, in their translation, is that he "admonishes" against it out of concern that it could harm the girl. It is possible for some action to be permissible but admonished against (or warned, advised, cautioned, recommended against). It is possible that the mufti thinks it's permissible according to Islamic scripture for a man to have sexual intercourse with a prepubescent wife, even if the mufti advises strongly against it due to concerns about harm to the girl. Admonishing against something is not the same as forbidding it.

-the "exact opposite" of prepubescent is postpubescent. D and D repeatedly claim that the mufti forbade sexual intercourse until at least "after puberty," clearly implying after puberty is complete (postpubescent). But in their translation, the mufti puts the advised or "admonished" minmum age at least "at puberty." There's a big difference between "at puberty" and "after puberty." "At puberty" can mean any time within the several years of its duration, from its onset to its completion. At the beginning of puberty is a girl and by the end of it is, at least physically, a young woman.
March 5, 2011 11:45 AM

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Here we go again. My posts are not remaining up.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

(continued)

-Even if we assume D's and D's translation of the excluded portions is correct, it does not follow that their claims about the fatwa are correct. That's because their claims about what the fatwa says differ in important ways from their translation of it.

-In Al Mutarjim's translation, the mufti said that sexual intercourse with "prepubescent" girls was "permissible" (in light of verse 65:4 and Muhammad's conduct). In their counter-claim, D and D claimed that the mufti said "the exact opposite."

-the "exact opposite" of "permissible" is forbidden. D and D claim that the mufti forbade sexual intercourse with prepubescent girls. But in their translation, the mufti himself doesn't say that he forbids it. Rather, what the mufti says, in their translation, is that he "admonishes" against it out of concern that it could harm the girl. It is possible for some action to be permissible but admonished against (or warned, advised, cautioned, recommended against). It is possible that the mufti thinks it's permissible according to Islamic scripture for a man to have sexual intercourse with a prepubescent wife, even if the mufti advises strongly against it due to concerns about harm to the girl. Admonishing against something is not the same as forbidding it.

-the "exact opposite" of prepubescent is postpubescent. D and D repeatedly claim that the mufti forbade sexual intercourse until at least "after puberty," clearly implying after puberty is complete (postpubescent). But in their translation, the mufti puts the advised or "admonished" minmum age at least "at puberty." There's a big difference between "at puberty" and "after puberty." "At puberty" can mean any time within the several years of its duration, from its onset to its completion. At the beginning of puberty is a girl and by the end of it is, at least physically, a young woman.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

(continued)

-In D and D’s translation, the mufti admonishes against marriage and sexual intercourse with prepubescent girls, for a variety of reasons. Here is the concluding paragraph they provide:
"In view of medical grounds, we admonish against marriage before puberty at the very least, because puberty is an intuitive sign which indicates that the body is ready for marital intercourse, and because humans at puberty reach an acceptable degree of social awareness that would help them in forming a family unit, especially since most applied laws in Islamic countries and non-Islamic countries prohibit marriage before the age of puberty or before the age of eighteen."

-The mufti does not admonish here for a minimum age limit of 18. (Likewise, D and D themselves wrote: “The IslamOnline mufti argues that puberty ought to be the absolute minimum age for sexual intercourse.” Note that this seems inconsistent with their repeated and emphatic “after puberty” claim). The mufti is admonishing here against sexual intercourse “before puberty at the very least,” but indicates that the sexual intercourse “at puberty” is acceptable. He does not say that human females must complete puberty before sexual intercourse. Yet D and D repeatedly say “after puberty.” Their own translation does not support their claim.

-A plausible interpretation of the partial translations provided by both sides of this debate is that the mufti was giving an opinion as follows:
The mufti thinks that scripture (e.g., Quran 65:4) and Muhammad's conduct (in having sex with Aisha when she was 9 years old) means that sexual intercourse with prepubescent girls is permissible in theory, but, in light of concerns about harm to the girl, is admonished against. In short, in the mufti's opinion, it is permissible, but admonished against.

Quotable Quotes: said...

Anonymnous 2,
Your posts are almost as long those of Abdallah Muslim, but to me make much more sense. Although I'm sure Abdallah will have a equally lengthy reply, along with warnings of the hellfire awaiting you.

Here's another way of looking at it:

Q- Is there EVER any justification for a man beating his wife?
A - No! (Quran notwithstanding)

Q- Is there EVER any justification for a man to have sex with a nine-year-old child?
A - No! Muhammad notwithstanding).

Abdallah Muslim said...

Quotable my friend,

Although I am depressed from you a lot, and honestly have no hope, but nobody knows his or other fate except ALLAH, he created us and he only knows our destinies…

So, if I answer your both questions in very scientific and logical way, will you be brave and save yourself and your wife and your children from “HELL FIRE” and accept ISLAM?

Or it will be just a waste of time?

Don’t answer me immediately, think for 24 hours and I will be waiting..

------------------------

Sorry Quotable, but I have to remind you about HELLFIRE always, maybe you wake up finally, before it starts burning you and there is no way back..

Really if I were in your place (god forbidden) and I am not sure where I’ll go, I won’t sleep at night before knowing the truth, I will not bit on my soul and my children souls ever, but I don’t know how do you sleep in peaceزز

If you just ask your God before you sleep: “Show me the right way, he will show you, if YOU truly want the truth” ..

---------------------

There is nice article about HELL FIRE, read it on:

The Story of Creation (2) – Space Temperature, and the Mystery behind “La Supernovas” …
http://debatewithatheist.blogspot.com/

Honestly, not truly nice..

Anonymous said...

Quotable,

My apologies for the length. I was going to do a brief summary, but changed my mind. I would have posted at Loonwatch, but I have reason not to trust them.

I suspect the technical problem I was having here had something to do with the formatting of the text in MS Word. When I cleared the formatting before copy-pasting, it seemed to work.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

There is one other point I think worth mentioning about Dawood's and Danios' article on "nikah" of child brides, besides the translation issue.

D and D claim that the problem of "child marriage" is not a "Muslim-only" problem. True; but the translated fatwa in question dealt with the issue of mature men marrying and having intercourse with prepubescent girls in Islam. Yet the "child marriage" statistics that D and D cite

-deal with all marriages to girls who are under age 18 (thus a 17 year-old and a 9 year-old are both simply "children" in this scheme)

-don't specify whether the marriages involve first sexual contact or intercourse before, during, or after puberty

-don't specify the respective age categories of the bride and groom

-don't directly and clearly show which religion is most associated with the practice in question

D's and D's statistics simply don't provide the information relevant to the question at hand.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

There is one other point I think worth mentioning about Dawood's and Danios' article on "nikah" of child brides, besides the translation issue.

D and D claim that the problem of "child marriage" is not a "Muslim-only" problem. True; but the translated fatwa in question dealt with the issue of mature men marrying and having intercourse with prepubescent girls in Islam. Yet the "child marriage" statistics that D and D cite

-deal with all marriages to girls who are under age 18 (thus a 17 year-old and a 9 year-old are both simply "children" in this scheme)

-don't specify whether the marriages involve first sexual contact or intercourse before, during, or after puberty

-don't specify the respective age categories of the bride and groom

-don't directly and clearly show which religion is most associated with the practice in question

D's and D's statistics simply don't provide the information relevant to the question at hand.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

...and, pursuant to the above, note that the percentage of the world's population that is Muslim is about 22%, according the PEW in 2010. Do Muslims account for significantly more than 22% of the type of marriage involving intercourse between a prepubescent girl and an adult male? (We can ask the same question except with respect to pubescent girls). This would be relevant to the issue at hand.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Another technical note: I think the problem of my posts disappearing may have had something to do with the "enable third party cookies" option on my browser. My earlier hypothesis about formatting may not have been correct. Anyways, I normally don't enable third party cookies, but, after having the "disappearance" problem here, I now do so when I post here, and now my comments seem to stay up.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Dawood on the Loonwatch thread about the nikah translation is claiming that SATV is blocking his posts. I am therefore going to post Dawood's comment. I hope Dawood doesn't mind. (I believe, based on my own experience, that SATV isn't blocking posts, but rather there is some technical problem, like the one I've been having).

"Dawood Says:
March 5th, 2011 at 11:42 pm
Jack: Their not allowing my comments on their site severely limits any response to their inane assertions. The irony being that ‘Quotable Quotes’ proclaimed that he did not delete/edit any comments, yet the one clearly posted under my own name and linking Loonwatch did not get through the filter (I have a screen grab).

“Nikah” means sexual intercourse only if using Google translate as your Arabic “source”… which again shows their standard of Arabic ability. No reliable authority (emphasis on reliable) in the language connects “nikah” to sexual intercourse. I have consulted Lane’s Arabic Lexicon (the de-facto standard in Classical Arabic, pub. circa 1865-95 in 8 volumes), Hava’s Arabic-English Dictionary (pub. circa 1899), Hans Wehr (de-facto standard for Modern Standard Arabic, Al-Mu’jam al-Wasit (a well-respected Arabic-Arabic dictionary) and other resources, and all connect anything from the trilateral root n k h to marriage only. Lane is especially clear on the fact that it doesn’t refer to sexual intercourse – even in the pre-Islamic period. There is absolutely no mention of sexual intercourse whatsoever in any of them. I will post screen-shots if required, and if I can figure out how to attach them to comments.

The only recourse they may have is that the verb “nakaha” (نكح) (not “nikah” (نكاح) – for those who don’t speak Arabic, please look – there is another letter added which entirely shifts the meaning; it is no longer a verb) might be used colloquially in some dialects to mean sex with one’s spouse. Although personally, I have never heard it once.
Regardless of this, Al-Mutarajjam was translating a fatwa. A fatwa is an Islamic legal opinion, and fatwas are always written in formal (in this case Islamic) ‘legalese’, as most legal pronouncements are in all languages. This being the case, Islamic ‘legalese’ uses “nikah” to refer only to the marriage/marriage contract. The Mufti himself uses at least 2 terms in his fatwa to denote sexual intercourse, and neither of these are connected in any way to the root n k h. One is “yadkhul ‘alayha” (يدخل عليها lit. he enters into her), and the other is the term “wata’” (وطئ) (which literally means to mount).

There “rebuttal” by an anonymous commenter on SATV also has a number of other problems, which I will address if I have time. But once again, they are attempting to shift the discussion from the original topic – which was Al-Mutarajjam’s lack of Arabic ability and duplicity in cutting the fatwa for his own purposes – to the content of the fatwa itself which is an entirely different issue altogether (and not something I would imagine any Loonwatch readers would agree with anyway)."

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

I just tried to post another comment containing a quote of Dawood. It appeared, then disappeared after I closed out and came back in. I had third party cookies enabled.

Quotable, are you sure the problem is not due to some technical issue at your end?

Quotable Quotes: said...

Anonymous "Straw Man",
Pleae explain what you meant, because I missed it. - what is the "weak straw man" I erected. Perhaps if I knew what it was, I might know how I was supposed to refute it.

I assume my "glaring Arabic mistake" was your assumption that I do not know the difference between a "ra" and a "ghayn". I used the "r" because English-speakers have problems with the common "gh" and would be unsure how to pronoune "yastaghfir". For the same reason I often transliterate "ayn" as "a" and not "'a" and use a "s" for both "seen" and "sad".

Anonymous said...

I quote, from the New Encyclopedia of Islam, which is available online:

NIKAH

Literally the act of sexual intercourse, nikah is the term by
which marriage is referred to in the Qur'an. Islamic law
defines nikah as a civil contract whose main function is to
render sexual relations between a man and woman licit. Any
sexual relations outside the nikah contract constitute the
crime of zina (illicit sexual relations) and are subject to
punishment. In practice, nikah is enacted in a ceremony
intertwined with religious symbolism and rituals such as the
recitation of al-Fatiha, the first verse of the Qur'an, usually performed by religious functionaries, although Islamic law does not positively prescribe any service.

See also Marriage.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bousquet, Georges Henry. "La Conception du Nikah selon
les Docteurs de la Loi Muslamane." Revue Algerienne.
(1948): 63-74.

El Alami, Dawoud. Marriage Contract in Islamic Law. London:
Graham & Trotman, 1992.

Maghniyyah, Muhammad Jawad. Marriage According to Eive
Schools of Islamic Law. Tehran: Department of Translitera-
tion and Publication, Islamic Culture and Relations Organi-
zation, 1997.

Ziba Mir-Hosseini

-
End of quote

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

p.s. I'm the one who just posted the quote from the New Encyclopedia.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

More on nikah, from

Voices of Islam: Voices of life : family, home, and society
By Vincent J. Cornell

From Chapter 3, Marriage in Islam, by Nargis Virani
P. 59

“Allowable sexual relations in the Quran are designated by the term nikah, which connotes both marriage and intercourse…”

“TERMS FOR MARRIAGE IN ISLAM
Among Muslims, the most commonly used term for marriage is nikah, which literally means “sexual intercourse.” As a legal term, nikah denotes the situation resulting from a contract entered into by a Muslim man and a Muslim woman, which legitimizes cohabitation and sexual intercourse between the signers of the contract in the eyes of God and their co-religionists.”

p. 60 [...] “In Muslim countries where Arabic language and culture predominate, marriage is referred to as zawaj, literally, “pairing.””

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

The following excerpts suggest that there are differences of opinion among scholars as to what nikah means and how it should be defined. (Judging from Dawood's and Danios' presentation, I would have not have realized this).

Law of Desire: Temporary Marriage in Shi’i Islam
By Shahla Haeri

page 34

“In the tradition of his predecessors, Jabiri-Arablu, a contemporary scholar, after giving several interpretations of the term nikah, concludes that “nikah is a contract for the ownership, tamlik, of the use of [the] vagina” (1983, 175).”

“Citing Sahib-I Javahir, Murata writes: “For the Sunnis nikah means intercourse, and since marriage implies intercourse, then the word nikah has been used in the contract” (1974, 2). In contrast, Murata continues, Raghib maintains, “Intercourse is not the meaning of nikah because of its shamefulness, qubh, but that it is used as an analogy for that [intercourse]. Therefore the real meaning of nikah is ‘aqd, contract” (see also Jabiri-Arablu 1983, 174-75; Farah 1984, 14; “Nikah” 1927, 912).

“The ambivalence regarding classification of the definition of the contract of marriage is underscored by the confusion surrounding the definition of the term nikah itself. Emphasizing its literal meaning, some have interpreted it as intercourse, vaty.4 Others, stressing its contractual and obligational aspects, have referred to it as an ‘aqd, a contract
“Noting the diversity of opinions [...]”
“Likewise, Imami defines nikah as a “legal relationship, created between a man and a woman as a result of a contract that permits them to enjoy each other sexually” (1971, 4:268)”

Ed. note: The latter is a definition adopted for the Iranian case, to include temporary marriage along with other marriages.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Excerpts from this next source, available through Google Books, raise serious doubts about Dawood's and Danios' repeated denials about the word nikah. Indeed, the reality is more complex, and the opinions more diverse, than their presentation suggested:

Law of Desire: Temporary Marriage in Shi’i Islam
By Shahla Haeri

page 34
“In the tradition of his predecessors, Jabiri-Arablu, a contemporary scholar, after giving several interpretations of the term nikah, concludes that “nikah is a contract for the ownership, tamlik, of the use of [the] vagina” (1983, 175).”

“Citing Sahib-I Javahir, Murata writes: “For the Sunnis nikah means intercourse, and since marriage implies intercourse, then the word nikah has been used in the contract” (1974, 2). In contrast, Murata continues, Raghib maintains, “Intercourse is not the meaning of nikah because of its shamefulness, qubh, but that it is used as an analogy for that [intercourse]. Therefore the real meaning of nikah is ‘aqd, contract” (see also Jabiri-Arablu 1983, 174-75; Farah 1984, 14; “Nikah” 1927, 912).

“The ambivalence regarding classification of the definition of the contract of marriage is underscored by the confusion surrounding the definition of the term nikah itself. Emphasizing its literal meaning, some have interpreted it as intercourse, vaty.4 Others, stressing its contractual and obligational aspects, have referred to it as an ‘aqd, a contract
“Noting the diversity of opinions [...]”
“Likewise, Imami defines nikah as a “legal relationship, created between a man and a woman as a result of a contract that permits them to enjoy each other sexually” (1971, 4:268)”

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

I'm still having problems with posts disappearing.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Dawood in a recent comment in the Loonwatch thread about the translation of nikah, claims:

"“Nikah” means sexual intercourse only if using Google translate as your Arabic “source”... which again shows their standard of Arabic ability."

Readers of this thread will note that nikah is defined as sexual intercourse and marriage in the two sources I quoted above. I have several more. I don't speak Arabic, but I do recognize when Dawood's statements are clearly shown false by scholarly sources.

I won't believe what Dawood says about the other sources he lists until he provides quotes from them saying that nikah does not mean or connote sexual intercourse. I suspect he will not be able to do that. But that's what his case against Al Mutarjim requires.

As for Arabic ability, as I said, I don't even speak Arabic. I'd much rather see Al Mutarjim or SATV step up and address these claims. But what Dawood says in English doesn't stand up. I'm just citing scholarly examples that directly refute what he is saying.

Dawood said...

If you actually read your sources, they do not define "nikah" as sexual intercourse at all; they all state that it literally means such and such, but in the context of Islam it refers exclusively to marriage.

Even the famous legal scholar Joseph Schacht in the Encyclopaedia of Islam gives us a hint as to why your sources say such things:

"Marriage (properly, sexual intercourse, but already in the Kur'an used exclusively of the
contract of marriage..." (emphasis mine) Encyclopaedia of Islam 2, 8:26 ["Nikah"]

Other sources also concur with this, e.g. Motzki:

"Marriage between a man and a woman is called nikah. In most cases, the verb nakaha, “to marry,” is used to denote men marrying women, but in one case, also women marrying men. Giving a woman away in marriage is ankaha when there is mention of a father or guardian (see GUARDIANSHIP ), zawwaja when God is mentioned."

Motzki also notes the term's connection to sexual intercourse:

"In the Qur'an, marriage is, first of all, the favored institution for legitimate sexual intercourse between a man and woman"
See, Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an 2, 3:276 ["Marriage and Divorce"]

And when we look in the established Arabic-English dictionaries and also an established Arabic-Arabic dictionary this bears it out:

Al-Marwid, p. 1190 on the root "nakaha" and words from it, such as "nikah", where it notes that it is synonymous with "zawwaj", or being married.

Hans Wehr, p. 997, again on words from "nakaha" meaning only to marry.

Hava, p. 789, who notes that the primary meaning is marriage, although being a classical dictionary, also notes that a subsidiary meaning may be intercourse, though overwhelmingly, the meaning is marriage.

Lane's Lexicon, p. 2848 (Vol. 8), where he notes that the main meaning is marriage and the "tropical meaning" (i.e. pre-Islamic or non-normative meaning), especially connected to pre-Islamic Arabic usage, was intercourse. He also notes that it is only used in the Qur'an in the sense of marriage.

Al-Mu'jam al-Wasit, p. 951 only defines "nakaha" and "nikah" in relation to marriage.

So it's the case of Islam taking an existing pre-Islamic term and modifying its meaning into something more "respectful" of the family unit.

As screen-shots cannot be uploaded in comments, I will have to do so on Loonwatch in order to answer these inane assertions regarding the Arabic text and the other issues, which I just noticed above.

Dawood said...

Oh, and there should be no "2" after Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an citation in my post above.

Also, the SATV site owner himself (or someone posing as him) clearly stated on Loonwatch that

"I believe that much of your response to Translating-Jihad was also quite good. I won’t speak for him, but I agreed with much of your grammatical analysis. Where I disagree is your assumption that people critical of Islam deliberately mistranslate Arabic."

Abdallah Muslim said...

So my friend Quotable,

Seems very difficult decision!!

Listen to this it may help you to take your decision, please listen to it all..

http://audio.islamweb.net/audio/listenbox.php?audioid=188141&type=wma

الله يهديك , آمين

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

I've read my sources carefully, and I've read carefully what you wrote. My sources say that nikah means sexual intercourse, or marriage, or both. You seem to have difficulty with this basic fact.

I have no problem with you and Danios claiming that nikah means marriage. The problem arises because you are (a) denying that nikah can mean sexual intercourse, (b) failed to explain to readers the controversy among scholars over the meaning of nikah, (c) accused Al Mutarjim of deception.

Even when the word marriage is used for nikah in the sentence in question, it implies a contract involving permission for sexual intercourse. Or perhaps you think nikah refers to a platonic relationship?

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Dawood,

It seems, as I suspected, that you cannot produce an authoritative reference that says that nikah does not mean sexual intercourse. This is a big problem for you, because even your own sources that mention this do mention sexual intercourse. From what you quote and cite, it is pretty much as I suspected: nikah refers to the contract giving permission for sexual intercourse, i.e., marriage in Islam.

From what I've read, although there are different types of marriage in Islam, nikah normally refers to a contract that involves permission for sexual intercourse. It was misleading, at best, for you and Danios to write the original article without discussing, in it, what we are only now discussing way down at the end of old comments threads.

It was misleading for you and Danios to say "after puberty," when your own translation said "at puberty."

It was misleading for you and Danios to say "forbid," when your own translation said "admonish against."

Some readers may have not noticed these distinctions.

I will note once again that you have still not given us any objective evidence for your, or Danios', level of Arabic ability.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Dawood,

You claim that nikah in the Quran refers exclusively to the contract of marriage, as if this does not imply sexual intercourse. I find that odd.

In any case, my source for E.J. Brill's First Encyclopaedia of Islam 1913-1936 By M. Th Houtsma
says this on p. 912, “NIKAH (A.), marriage (properly: sexual intercourse, but already in the Kur’an used exclusively for the contract). Here we deal with marriage as a legal institution; for marriage customs see ‘URS. [...]”

At no point does the author say that nikah normally refers to a contract for a platonic relationship. Nikah would normally mean a contract that permits sexual intercourse.

I also note that my quote differs from yours. I'm not sure why that is the case, perhaps there were different printings and some changes were made. Anyways, I don't think that's important to the point here.

Also, the fuller quote from my "Voices of Islam" reference does clearly indicate that the contract in the Quran implies both marriage and sexual intercourse:

Voices of Islam: Voices of life : family, home, and society
By Vincent J. Cornell

From Chapter 3, Marriage in Islam, by Nargis Virani
P. 59

"Allowable sexual relations in the Quran are designated by the term nikah, which connotes both marriage and intercourse (Qur’an 2:221, 230, 232, 235, 237; 4:3, 6, 22, 25, 127; 24:3, 23, 33, 60; 28:27; 33:49, 50, 53). Marriage prevents sexual frustration and the temptation to sin (Qur’an 24:32)."

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:

Maybe this will clarify the mixup: Nikah in Arabic means marriage contract which ALLOWS sexual intercourse now that the couple are bound by the sanctity of marriage. Before the couple are married (as is discussed in the topic of prepubescent girls) it means marriage contract, and not intercourse and the word Wat' (وطء) is used for intercourse to signify the difference. That is why in your source of the Islamic encyclopedia, it says that the word itself means sexual intercourse, but then it makes it clear that Islamic Law defines it as a civil contract. The key word here is Islamic Law which does NOT define the word nikah itself as anything other than marriage contract. And in Islamic Law, and in Arab and Muslim culture, especially in ancient times, marriage and sexual intercourse do not always happen at the same time. To this day, people get married (marriage contract) and don't even begin living under the same roof or having intercourse until months later and some cases a year or two later.

What is important in this issue is that Islamic Law makes it clear that it is permissible to marry (contract) a prepubescent girl, but NOT permissible to have intercourse with her until she can bear it (i.e. older and reaches puberty). In the case of puberty, it differs from each culture and environment. Girls in the middle east for example reach puberty way earlier than Europpean girls which is an established fact.

I have also noticed that some of you refer to the prophet's marriage to Aisha...if sexual intercourse with a child is permissible, then why did he wait, and not have intercourse with her when he married her at 6 years of age?

If you are speaking of Islam and not Arab culture, then you must abide by the definition of Islamic Law for nikah, and no where will you find it meaning sexual intercourse. Even in Arabic culture, and in colloquial every day language, nikah means the actual marriage contract and other words are used for sexual intercourse.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Excerpts from the following book raise serious doubts about Dawood's knowledge of Islamic law, and his simplistic and narrow idea of what nikah means:

Law of desire: temporary marriage in Shi'i Iran (1989) Syracuse University Press, Syracuse, New York
By Shahla Haeri

Page 30

An Islamic marriage is defined as “that type of contract, ‘aqd, which gives ownership, tamlik, over intercourse, vaty, not like buying a slave girl whose ownership entitles her master a right to intercourse” (Hilli SI, 428).”

Chapter Permanent Marriage: Nikah

page 33-34

“Throughout the centuries, virtually unchanging language is used to define the Shi’i institution of marriage. Hilli (SI, 428), the thirteenth-century scholar, defines a contract of marriage as “that type of contract which ensures domination over the vagina, buz’, without ownership, milkiyyat,” as in the case of a slave girl.1 Hilli’s ambivalence regarding similarities between a contract of sale and of marriage is underscored by yet another of his definitions of nikah. On the one hand, he suggests that “marriage is a kind of ownership” (517), but on the other, he argues, an ‘aqd [marriage] and ownership, milkiyyat, do not mix” (446), meaning that a man may have intercourse with his own slave girl but he may not marry her—unless he first sets her free.2 He can, however, marry another man’s slave girl. Note that Hilli’s distinction is not between the existence or lack of ownership, but between what I call a “complete ownership,” as in the case of owning a slave girl, and a “partial ownership,” as in the case of a contract of marriage. Although legally this injunction makes it unlawful for a man to own his wife completely, it allows him to own part of his wife’s body and, consequently, the right to control her activities. In the tradition of his predecessors, Jabiri-Arablu, a contemporary scholar, after giving several interpretations of the term nikah, concludes that “nikah is a contract for the ownership, tamlik, of the use of [the] vagina” (1983, 175).”
“[…] Hilli…writes that nikah is a “sort of ownership” and that it is “similar to the [contract of] sale,” on the other hand he emphasizes that “the purpose of the exchange of the vagina, mu’avizih-i buz’, is reproduction and recreation, and not just financial exchange” […]
“The ambivalence regarding classification of the definition of the contract of marriage is underscored by the confusion surrounding the definition of the term nikah itself. Emphasizing its literal meaning, some have interpreted it as intercourse, vaty.4 Others, stressing its contractual and obligational aspects, have referred to it as an ‘aqd, a contract. Citing Sahib-I Javahir, Murata writes: “For the Sunnis nikah means intercourse, and since marriage implies intercourse, then the word nikah has been used in the contract” (1974, 2). In contrast, Murata continues, Raghib maintains, “Intercourse is not the meaning of nikah because of its shamefulness, qubh, but that it is used as an analogy for that [intercourse]. Therefore the real meaning of nikah is ‘aqd, contract” (see also Jabiri-Arablu 1983, 174-75; Farah 1984, 14; “Nikah” 1927, 912).”
[…] “Noting the diversity of opinions, Langarudi, a contemporary Iranian Shi’i scholar […] argues [...] “intercourse is the raison d’etre of marriage” (5)
“Likewise, Imami defines nikah as a “legal relationship, created between a man and a woman as a result of a contract that permits them to enjoy each other sexually” (1971, 4:268)”

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Excerpts from the following book raise serious doubts about Dawood's knowledge of Islamic law, and his simplistic and narrow idea of what nikah means:

Law of desire: temporary marriage in Shi'i Iran (1989) Syracuse University Press, Syracuse, New York
By Shahla Haeri

Page 30

An Islamic marriage is defined as “that type of contract, ‘aqd, which gives ownership, tamlik, over intercourse, vaty, not like buying a slave girl whose ownership entitles her master a right to intercourse” (Hilli SI, 428).”

Chapter Permanent Marriage: Nikah

page 33-34

“Throughout the centuries, virtually unchanging language is used to define the Shi’i institution of marriage. Hilli (SI, 428), the thirteenth-century scholar, defines a contract of marriage as “that type of contract which ensures domination over the vagina, buz’, without ownership, milkiyyat,” as in the case of a slave girl.1 Hilli’s ambivalence regarding similarities between a contract of sale and of marriage is underscored by yet another of his definitions of nikah. On the one hand, he suggests that “marriage is a kind of ownership” (517), but on the other, he argues, an ‘aqd [marriage] and ownership, milkiyyat, do not mix” (446), meaning that a man may have intercourse with his own slave girl but he may not marry her—unless he first sets her free.2 He can, however, marry another man’s slave girl. Note that Hilli’s distinction is not between the existence or lack of ownership, but between what I call a “complete ownership,” as in the case of owning a slave girl, and a “partial ownership,” as in the case of a contract of marriage. Although legally this injunction makes it unlawful for a man to own his wife completely, it allows him to own part of his wife’s body and, consequently, the right to control her activities. In the tradition of his predecessors, Jabiri-Arablu, a contemporary scholar, after giving several interpretations of the term nikah, concludes that “nikah is a contract for the ownership, tamlik, of the use of [the] vagina” (1983, 175)."

(excerpts to be continued)

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

I've tried to post the rest of the excerpts, but again the post keeps disappearing. I'll try again later.

John said...

I made comments on 3 recent Loonwatch blogs (on a FBI 1980 - 2005 terrorist attack report, comparison of Muhammed with Moses & comparison of Orange co protest with busing of black school children to white schools in the '60s). I phrased my comment politely but stated that I thought the Loonwatch article were either inaccurate or didn't support their case - giving reasons (for example: while 94% of attacks defined as terrorist may be by non-Muslims, but a quick glance at the report Loonwatch refers to shows 94% of all deaths & injuries were cause by Muslims attacks - not very good statistics for their cause). They weren't posted, some other comments that were very negative towards loonwatch were posted. Looks to me like they are scared to engage in rational debate. Is there a site debunking the Loonwatch articles?

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

(excerpts continued)

“[…] Hilli…writes that nikah is a “sort of ownership” and that it is “similar to the [contract of] sale,” on the other hand he emphasizes that “the purpose of the exchange of the vagina, mu’avizih-i buz’, is reproduction and recreation, and not just financial exchange” […]
“The ambivalence regarding classification of the definition of the contract of marriage is underscored by the confusion surrounding the definition of the term nikah itself. Emphasizing its literal meaning, some have interpreted it as intercourse, vaty.4 Others, stressing its contractual and obligational aspects, have referred to it as an ‘aqd, a contract. Citing Sahib-I Javahir, Murata writes: “For the Sunnis nikah means intercourse, and since marriage implies intercourse, then the word nikah has been used in the contract” (1974, 2). In contrast, Murata continues, Raghib maintains, “Intercourse is not the meaning of nikah because of its shamefulness, qubh, but that it is used as an analogy for that [intercourse]. Therefore the real meaning of nikah is ‘aqd, contract” (see also Jabiri-Arablu 1983, 174-75; Farah 1984, 14; “Nikah” 1927, 912).”
[…] “Noting the diversity of opinions, Langarudi, a contemporary Iranian Shi’i scholar […] argues [...] “intercourse is the raison d’etre of marriage” (5)
“Likewise, Imami defines nikah as a “legal relationship, created between a man and a woman as a result of a contract that permits them to enjoy each other sexually” (1971, 4:268)”

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Hey John,

I had the same experience on Loonwatch a long time ago. I posted a substantive response politely arguing against what the author claimed and pointing out problems in his article. They never published my comment, even though they allowed other peoples' comments through which were mostly positive.

I've also seen where Danios has gone in an altered peoples' posts, inserting words and statements to make it look like the person said the opposite of what he actually said or to make himself look bad. Danios also posted a false picture, and made up a false quote in one of his article on Translating Jihad, in order to falsely portray al Mutarjim.

Dawood is merely biased and an apologist who is using whatever Arabic skills he has to try to portray Islam in a positive light. Danios and some of the others though are extremely vicious and routinely engage in deception.

I'd love to see a site that focuses on substantive rebuttals to Loonwatch's articles that pertain to Islamic doctrine, but the closest thing to it that I've seen thus far is SATV's own few blog posts addressing this issue.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Correction/clarification to this statement:
"I've also seen where Danios has gone in an altered peoples' posts, inserting words and statements to make it look like the person [the commenter] said the opposite of what he [the commenter] actually said or to make himself [the commenter] look bad."

Apologies for the butchery of the language. I was in a hurry.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

-continuing excerpts from Haeri

“[…] Hilli…writes that nikah is a “sort of ownership” and that it is “similar to the [contract of] sale,” on the other hand he emphasizes that “the purpose of the exchange of the vagina, mu’avizih-i buz’, is reproduction and recreation, and not just financial exchange” […]
“The ambivalence regarding classification of the definition of the contract of marriage is underscored by the confusion surrounding the definition of the term nikah itself. Emphasizing its literal meaning, some have interpreted it as intercourse, vaty.4 Others, stressing its contractual and obligational aspects, have referred to it as an ‘aqd, a contract. Citing Sahib-I Javahir, Murata writes: “For the Sunnis nikah means intercourse, and since marriage implies intercourse, then the word nikah has been used in the contract” (1974, 2). In contrast, Murata continues, Raghib maintains, “Intercourse is not the meaning of nikah because of its shamefulness, qubh, but that it is used as an analogy for that [intercourse]. Therefore the real meaning of nikah is ‘aqd, contract” (see also Jabiri-Arablu 1983, 174-75; Farah 1984, 14; “Nikah” 1927, 912).”
[…] “Noting the diversity of opinions, Langarudi, a contemporary Iranian Shi’i scholar […] argues [...] “intercourse is the raison d’etre of marriage” (5)
“Likewise, Imami defines nikah as a “legal relationship, created between a man and a woman as a result of a contract that permits them to enjoy each other sexually” (1971, 4:268)”

Nadir said...

I had a similar experience on loonwatch.  I posted a  critique of their approach in rebutting al-mutarjim's translation, essentially saying I thought their points were good but invalidated to a degree by their tone and black and white philosophy (either you agree wholeheartedly, or your a racist Nazi right-wing nutcase).  However, my comments weren't very well received, and Danios implied that because I didn't agree with his approach I should go hang out with a white supremacist, despite that I had complimented his language ability and expressed that I study Arabic because I love the language, history, culture, and people of the Middle East.  Another commenter (Nassir) even made fun of my Arabic name!  How's that for tolerance and multi-culturalism?

Recognizing a complete failure of Danios' ability to empathize with some of the frustrations we all face from time to time when studying a foreign language, it occurred to me that the reason Danios avoided my compliments and responded only with hostility to my responses might be that perhaps Danios doesn't speak Arabic at all.  When I asked Danios if he spoke Arabic, he didn't respond - but several of the commentators jumped in immediately suggesting that I am one of several other posters (as well as al-mutarjim himself) infiltrating loonwatch in an effort to divide them.

Since Danios never responded, I don't know if he speaks Arabic or not - but I have a feeling that, if he did, he would have responded.  So how would that be for fraudulent and misleading, if the primary author of the article (Dawood being the "guest" contributor) criticizing al-mutarjim's transliteration doesn't even speak the language in question?

Later Dawood (who seemed to be the only person who responded with anything other than outright hostility toward me for my opinion) posted a comment on loonwatch about Observant Observer's "mistake" in transliterating "astaghfir" and I pointed out that he was doing exactly what observant observer said loonwatch would do - point out errors in an effort to discredit the author while suspiciously avoiding the authors points and questions.  Dawood at this point joined the chorus, saying that even if he addressed these questions I'd only come back with something in return, as he had seen me do on that and other threads (except that was the only thread I had ever commented on).  Having nothing more to talk about, I left the conversation.

So according to loonwatch, if you aren't one of the people who fall near lockstep in line with what they think and how they present it, you are a "loon".  Way to make friends and influence people, loonwatch!

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Here is Maududi's commentary (available online at englishtafsir) on verse 65:4, the "verse" mentioned in the controversial sentence from the mufti's fatwa:

Note 13 (for verse 65:4). "Here, one should bear in mind the fact that according to the explanations given in the Qur'an the question of the waiting period arises in respect of the women with whom marriage may have been consummated, for there is no waiting-period in case divorce is pronounced before the consummation of marriage. (Al-Ahzab: 49). Therefore, making mention of the waiting-period for the girls who have not yet menstruated, clearly proves that it is not only permissible to give away the girl in marriage at this age but it is also permissible for the husband to consummate marriage with her. Now, obviously no Muslim has the right to forbid a thing which the Qur'an has held as permissible."

That's why I think the mufti used the word nikah there in the fatwa currently under discussion. He wanted to use the word nikah because it conveys the idea of a marriage contract involving sexual intercourse. This verse on the rules for divorce, referring to the waiting period ('iddah) before which a woman or girl can remarry, specifically refers to a three month 'iddah. The three month 'iddah is used when there has been a consummation, or an assumed consummation, of the marriage. If there has been no consummation of the marriage, then there is no 'iddah. In other words, this verse not only assumes that a prepubescent girl (who does not yet have menstrual courses) has been married, but it assumes that she has been subjected to some kind of sexual contact by her husband.

So the mufti says "we can take from this verse..."

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

From Bewley...

The Risala of 'Abdullah ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani (310/922 - 386/996) A Treatise on Maliki Fiqh (Including commentary from ath-Thamr ad-Dani by al-Azhari)

Excerpt (quoted as it appears at Bewley):

Chapter 32: On marriage, divorce, remarriage, 'Dhihar'-repudiation, vows of celibacy within marriage, mutual cursing (li'an), 'Khul'-'divorce, and suckling

[These are eight things. The first, marriage, is the root and rest are consequences. Each has a linguistic meaning and usage which we will mention in its proper place. Marriage (nikah) linguistically means intercourse and is used as a metaphor for the contract. In technical usage, it is actual for the contract and metaphorical for intercourse. It is used in custom to mean to mean intercourse as the Almighty says, "Until she marries a husband other than him," (2:230) and so it is known from this that nakaha is used for intercourse between any man and woman. Marriage in the sense of intercourse is only permitted in the Shari'a by one of two matters: the contract of marriage or ownership by the words of the Almighty, "those who guard their private parts – except from their wives or those they own as slaves, in which case they are not blameworthy." (23:5-6)

End of excerpt

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Dawood seems to be misrepresenting what Lane's Lexicon says about n-k-h. Here's what Dawood said about Lane's Lexicon and the other sources he cited late in the Loonwatch comment thread about the translation of nikah and the n-k-h root:

"all connect anything from the trilateral root n k h to marriage only. Lane is especially clear on the fact that it doesn’t refer to sexual intercourse – even in the pre-Islamic period. There is absolutely no mention of sexual intercourse whatsoever in any of them."

Got that?

Here's what Dawood said, some time later, in the present commend thread at SATV:

"Lane's Lexicon, p. 2848 (Vol. 8), where he notes that the main meaning is marriage and the "tropical meaning" (i.e. pre-Islamic or non-normative meaning), especially connected to pre-Islamic Arabic usage, was intercourse. He also notes that it is only used in the Qur'an in the sense of marriage."

Note the shift from saying there is no mention at all to an admission about the "tropical" and/or "Pre-Islamic meaning.

I've now had the chance to read that n-k-h section of Lane's Lexicon (online), and I think Dawood has misread it.

What Lane seems to be saying is that there are differences of opinion in whether it signifies coitus, coitus without marriage, coitus with marriage; and Lane notes that it is disputed in some cases whether its use is proper or tropical, for either coitus or marriage. He does indicate that it refers to marriage. However, nowhere does he claim that such a marriage would be without coitus.

In addition, for another phrase, he indicates an apparent meaning of coitus. The example is "A man who marries much, or often" which Lane describes as "[app. meaning vehement in coitus]"

SATV or other Arabic speakers could make better sense of that section of Lane's Lexicon (which is freely available on the web) than I have. But from what I've been able to glean from it, Dawood is being inconsistent, and incorrect, in what he's said about it thus far.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

I just posted a rebuttal showing that Dawood is incorrect and inconsistent in what he's said about Lane's Lexicon and the n-k-h root. It didn't appear; the problem of disappearing posts continues. Anyways, I've read that section of Lane's Lexicon and I'm quite sure that Dawood has misrepresented it in his second statement and was flat out wrong in his first statement about it.

Abdallah Muslim said...

Dear Anonymous

Please pick a nick name for you to sign your posts below and to know what to call you: Ahmad, Ali, etc..

My friend,

You pasted almost half dictionary to translate one word only, but do you think if they see that you are right they will be convinced ?

I really feel that such people who fight Islam every day and their hearts full of hatred that if God ALLAH himself and prophet Muhammad and Jesus PUBT, talked to them and seeing them directly and give them choice whether to believe that:

ALLAH is the only God, Muhammad as the messenger of God, and Jesus is a messenger of God and NOT son of GOD,

Or

They will go the Hell, seeing it just next to them, and feel its flames and heat and hearing its horrible voice and guardians ..

I mostly sure that they will prefer to jump in hell and NOT to believe …

They prefer to be burned and NOT to believe…

Really very strange creations…

So, don’t be sad for them..

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Dawood seems to be misrepresenting what Lane's Lexicon says about n-k-h. Here's what Dawood said about Lane's Lexicon and the other sources he cited late in the Loonwatch comment thread about the translation of nikah and the n-k-h root:

"all connect anything from the trilateral root n k h to marriage only. Lane is especially clear on the fact that it doesn’t refer to sexual intercourse – even in the pre-Islamic period. There is absolutely no mention of sexual intercourse whatsoever in any of them."

Got that?

Here's what Dawood said, some time later, in the present commend thread at SATV:

"Lane's Lexicon, p. 2848 (Vol. 8), where he notes that the main meaning is marriage and the "tropical meaning" (i.e. pre-Islamic or non-normative meaning), especially connected to pre-Islamic Arabic usage, was intercourse. He also notes that it is only used in the Qur'an in the sense of marriage."

Note the shift from saying there is no mention at all to an admission about the "tropical" and/or "Pre-Islamic" meanings.

I've now had the chance to read that n-k-h section of Lane's Lexicon (online), and I think Dawood has misread it.

What Lane seems to be saying is that there are differences of opinion in whether it signifies coitus, coitus without marriage, coitus with marriage; and Lane notes that it is disputed whether its use is proper or tropical, for either coitus or marriage. He does indicate that it refers to marriage. However, nowhere does he claim that such a marriage would be without coitus.

In addition, for another phrase, he indicates an apparent meaning of coitus. The example is "A man who marries much, or often" which Lane describes as "[app. meaning vehement in coitus]"

SATV or other Arabic speakers could make better sense of that section of Lane's Lexicon than I have. But from what I've been able to glean from it, Dawood is being inconsistent, and incorrect, in what he's said about it thus far.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Abdallah Muslim,

1. Please provide evidence that hell exists.

2. Please provide a moral argument as to why you think it is right to burn people and torture them because of differences of opinion about a religion.

Abdallah Muslim said...

Dear Anonymous (2)

Please you too pick a nick name, if possible..

My friend,

Your questions are very easy and already answered them many times before and I will paste them again:

1- Hell really exists, even scientists were able to catch its brightness and measured it and see its breath, but they didn’t know that what they are looking at is from hell, please read it on the following:
http://debatewithatheist.blogspot.com/2011/02/story-of-creation-2-space-temperature.html

If you didn’t understand any scientific detail, please ask me and I will help, no problem..

2- Second, why burning people because of different religions: I just posted it today to Stephanie and I will post to you again below, but first you have to know the following:

There is only one religion, and religion is a way to reach God, so how many ways you must follow in your opinion??
Between you and God, as between 2 points, only 1 straight line can be drawn, then It’s only ONE way !!
the others are all from the devil..

Please read the following to understand it more : “WHY Islam is different?” on
http://debatewithmuslim.blogspot.com/

Abdallah Muslim said...

The reply I sent today is the following:

Dear Stephanie,

I used to such debates with Atheists and all of them have the same argument: WHY he created us like that and will tortured us?
Knowing that this question, shows the conflict inside their brain and soul, they all believe in God from inside, but trying to justify not worshiping him, that he is unjust, which is NOT true ever..

The reason is simple:
Look around you and see this wonderful world that is created for you and for all humans, and look to yourself, what he created in you that is completely perfect system, that with all world resources if they want to make a finger like human finger they can’t..

So, perfect body in a perfect World done by your God, and after that you turn your back and whether say that other creature like Jesus, or holy cow, or rat or elephant is your God !!
And if being Atheist, you turn your back and say that’s there is no God to all this Great Universe and it was created by itself!!!

Then you are the one that is unjust and you will be treated the same on the Day of Judgment, you’ll be resurrected as blind and neglected too,

Please read:
"But whosoever turns away from My Reminder verily, for him is a life of hardship, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection." (124)
He will say:"O my Lord! Why have you raised me up blind, while I had sight (before)." (125)
(Allâh) will say: "Like this, Our Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) came unto you, but you disregarded them (i.e. you left them, did not think deeply in them, and you turned away from them), and so this Day, you will be neglected." (126) [Ta-ha]

------------------------------------
To know that ALLAH is your God and the only Creator, you must know that:
ALLAH means “AL-ILAH” which is “The-God” there is no other meaning, and it comes from Aramaic language, “Alaha” and it’s the same word used by Jesus when talking about God, it’s the same “God Father” that is used in the new testament, it’s the same: “Elohim” mentioned in the Old testament, it only means the God the creator.

Listen to it by yourself in Aramaic language in the movie “Passion of Christ”:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RbVt8Us8aY

To be sure more, Quoted from: Hebrew/Aramaic word for God?

[In Hebrew: From there we also find two more words אלוה ("Eloah") and אלוהים ("Elohim" sometimes spelled אלהים) whose origins are a bit cloudy, but most scholars believe that they descend from the same root as El. Eloah is singular where Elohim is grammatically plural,]
[In Aramaic the root for God is "אלה" (Elah), but in the Emphatic state it is אלהא (Alaha). Depending on dialect, the vowels could pretty much be anything (Elaha, Eloho, Aloho, Alaha)]

And to be sure that “ALLAH” is the Creator of the whole universe, hope you can read the 3 parts of “Story of Creation” on the following blog:
http://debatewithatheist.blogspot.com/

And, if you are still confused whether to worship your God, or a Cow, or an elephant, or golden statue, or a man on a cross, read the following: “WHY Islam is different?” hope it will help you:
http://debatewithmuslim.blogspot.com/

Nadir said...

Abdallah Muslim: Your nonsensical ramblings about hell are not debatable. Your fire and brimstone fear tactics may have worked as a tool for converting simpler people in a simpler time, but we've entered an age of reason where it's going to take more than street-corner dooms-day shouting and threats of eternal suffering to be taken seriously. Might be time to try another tactic if you have one.

Abdallah Muslim said...

Dear Nadir,

My friend, before you read my answers please read the questions or comments before, I commented 5 times above:

- 1st comment with quotable about the Anti-Christ and those fighting Islam.
- 2nd comment with quotable too why he doesn’t accept Islam, mocking that I will reply with long essay mentioning the Hell fire, (which I did as reply to him of course).
- 3rd comment with quotable too, just advising him to listen to something.
- 4th comment with anonymous, to stop pasting dictionary and mentioning hellfire was example to show how who those who fight Islam are so stubborn, and it’s not the main subject.
- 5th & 6th comments, was a reply to anonymous (2), and he or she asked about a proof that Hell exists and why burning people, so I have to reply about that for sure.

Hope this clear for you and not a scare tactic that I am using, but it’s installed inside infidels’ brains, they feel it and they are almost sure they are going there, don’t you see it on their movies every time they kill each other, they say: Go to HELL, as if its primary option for them !!!

For us Muslims, when seeing anyone is dying, we say :”Say Shehada, don’t be afraid, be confident, you will go to a forgiving God, and greet our prophet when you see him, and our old fathers when you see them too”..

Even after burring them, every time, we visit their graves, we greet them and we tell them our news and tell them to greet each others, and we know that they see each others, and be happy when seeing us, even they be proud when someone see his son or daughter visiting him and praying to him, he will say to his neighbors: look how my son comes to me and ask forgiveness from God to me.

Even in Heaven, someone keep raising from place to higher place, he asks, WHY I am been raised and my work is stopped already since long time after my death, Angels will answer him: this because of your son is still praying for you and doing good deeds in your name (like giving money to poor and say this on behalf my father or mother, so God forgives them).

We, Muslims, dream in heavens and for seeing our God directly there, and be merciful and forgiving for us, and seeing all prophets and pious people there in heaven, of course with all our families and all our old parents ages of ages before, and children and grand grand children who may come after us, we will be happy and spend ages and ages just to know our ascendants and descendants there in Heaven, and what happen with them and how they spent their lives, this kind of exciting life that we are looking for and believe me we don’t think in Hell as YOU think about it.

Regards,

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

In an earlier post in this thread (March 7, 2011 12:03 PM), I noted the difference between my quote and Dawood's quote of what ostensibly appeared to be from the same source, perhaps with a different printing. Here's another who is apparently quoted the same ultimate source, but reaches a different interpretation:

20. “It’s name, ‘aqd al-nikah, literally means the contract of coitus, see Schact (1932b: 912)
Marriage on trial: Islamic family law in Iran and Morocco
By Ziba Mir-Hosseini

I've rechecked my E.J. Brill source, and indeed it does just end the statement in parentheses as "contract"; whereas Dawood is quoting "contract of marriage". If it just says "contract," it could mean either contract of coitus, or contract of marriage.

Not that this is a major issue now: There is already enough evidence in this thread and a later one that nikah means sexual intercourse or a contract for the permission to have sexual intercourse.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

I just noticed a minor error in one of my descriptions of Lane's entry for the n-k-h root:

"What Lane seems to be saying is that there are differences of opinion in whether it signifies coitus, coitus without marriage, coitus with marriage;"

That last item should be marriage without coitus. It goes without saying that normally marriage is a marriage with coitus.

Lane notes, in what appears to be a description for the n k h word for "he marries," that Ibn Faris ("IF") "and others say, that it signifies coitus; and coitus without marriage; and marriage without coitus". Lane in that part is talking about the different uses of the word and the different opinions on the uses.

Although marriage is normally intended to include coitus, it may happen that a marriage takes place but a divorce may occur without the marriage ever having been consummated, e.g., see Quran 33:49. But when the mufti in the fatwa translated by Al Mutarjim uses the word "nikah" in reference to 65:4, the mufti is talking about a marriage where consummation has occurred or is assumed to have occurred.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

To the "Anonymous" who posted at March 7, 2011 12:06 PM.

You wrote:
"[...]some of you refer to the prophet's marriage to Aisha...if sexual intercourse with a child is permissible, then why did he wait, and not have intercourse with her when he married her at 6 years of age?"

In the fatwa in question, the mufti indicates that he believes Muhammad had sex with Aisha when she was 9 years of age. Is a 9 year old not a child?

You ignore verse 65:4. The "verse" which the mufti cites assumes that sexual intercourse and marriage have already taken place with a prepubescent girl.

You wrote:
"[...]Islamic Law which does NOT define the word nikah itself as anything other than marriage contract."

Wrong, and misleading. See above evidence in this thread and in SATV's "Missing the Forest for the Trees" thread.

You wrote:
"[...] Islamic Law makes it clear that it is permissible to marry (contract) a prepubescent girl, but NOT permissible to have intercourse with her until she can bear it (i.e. older and reaches puberty)."

The mufti in the fatwa does not actually forbid sexual intercourse or sexual contact with a prepubescent girl. He rather advises or admonishes against it.

As for "bear[ing] it," Muhammad's example has led some to believe the girl can "bear it" at 9 years of age. (Otherwise, why would the wise and good Muhammad, guided by Allah, do such a thing? The mufti in question does appear to be one of those people who believe this.

There are indeed different opinions on this issue in Islamic law. However, the issue here is over the translation of a particular fatwa of a mufti in light of the Quran and Muhammad. Dawood and Danios have misrepresented it.

Anonymous said...

To the "Anonymous" who posted at March 7, 2011 12:06 PM.

You wrote:
"[...]some of you refer to the prophet's marriage to Aisha...if sexual intercourse with a child is permissible, then why did he wait, and not have intercourse with her when he married her at 6 years of age?"

In the fatwa in question, the mufti indicates that he believes Muhammad had sex with Aisha when she was 9 years of age. Is a 9 year old not a child?

You ignore verse 65:4. The "verse" which the mufti cites assumes that sexual intercourse and marriage have already taken place with a prepubescent girl.

You wrote:
"[...]Islamic Law which does NOT define the word nikah itself as anything other than marriage contract."

Wrong, and misleading. See above evidence in this thread and in SATV's "Missing the Forest for the Trees" thread.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

(continuing my above reply to the above mentioned Anonymous)

You wrote:
"[...] Islamic Law makes it clear that it is permissible to marry (contract) a prepubescent girl, but NOT permissible to have intercourse with her until she can bear it (i.e. older and reaches puberty)."

The mufti in the fatwa does not actually forbid sexual intercourse or sexual contact with a prepubescent girl. He rather advises or admonishes against it.

As for "bear[ing] it," Muhammad's example has led some to believe the girl can "bear it" at 9 years of age. (Otherwise, why would the wise and good Muhammad, guided by Allah, do such a thing? The mufti in question does appear to be one of those people who believe this.

There are indeed different opinions on this issue in Islamic law. However, the issue here is over the translation of a particular fatwa of a mufti in light of not merely Islamic law in isolation but in light of the Quran and Muhammad. Dawood and Danios have misrepresented it.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

(continuing from above)

"In the case of puberty, it differs from each culture and environment. Girls in the middle east for example reach puberty way earlier than Europpean girls which is an established fact."

You present no evidence to support this claim. Anyways, even in the very rare case of a 9 year old girl who had started puberty, completion of puberty takes several years. There may be rare instances where an individual reaches the onset of puberty at an early age such as 9, but it is the completion of puberty (late teens, e.g., 18) which the mufti should be recommending as the minimum age limit. His belief in the Quran and conduct of Muhammad inhibits him from making a proper recommendation. (Not that anyone should have to listen to muftis on such subjects, but that's another topic).

“Even in Arabic culture, and in colloquial every day language, nikah means the actual marriage contract and other words are used for sexual intercourse.”

No one is disputing that nikah means marriage, or the marriage contract. The problem is that you (and Dawood) are denying that it can mean sexual intercourse or the contract permitting sexual intercourse. SATV and my sources indicate that nikah can refer to sexual intercourse. The fact that other words can refer to sexual intercourse is no more relevant here than the fact that other words can be used for marriage.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

(continuing from above)

"In the case of puberty, it differs from each culture and environment. Girls in the middle east for example reach puberty way earlier than Europpean girls which is an established fact."

You present no evidence to support this claim. Anyways, even in the very rare case of a 9 year old girl who had started puberty, completion of puberty takes several years. There may be rare instances where an individual reaches the onset of puberty at an early age such as 9, but it is the completion of puberty (late teens, e.g., 18) which the mufti should be recommending as the minimum age limit. His belief in the Quran and conduct of Muhammad inhibits him from making a proper recommendation. (Not that anyone should have to listen to muftis on such subjects, but that's another topic).

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

(completing the above reply)

“Even in Arabic culture, and in colloquial every day language, nikah means the actual marriage contract and other words are used for sexual intercourse.”

No one is disputing that nikah means marriage, or the marriage contract. The problem is that you (and Dawood) are denying that it can mean sexual intercourse or the contract permitting sexual intercourse. My sources indicate that nikah can refer to sexual intercourse, even in everyday language. Popular pro-Islam websites that mention marriage mention that nikah can mean sexual intercourse. The fact that other words can refer to sexual intercourse is no more relevant here than the fact that other words can be used for marriage.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

(completing the above)

“Even in Arabic culture, and in colloquial every day language, nikah means the actual marriage contract and other words are used for sexual intercourse.”

No one is disputing that nikah means marriage, or the marriage contract. The problem is that you (and Dawood) are denying that it can mean sexual intercourse or the contract permitting sexual intercourse. My sources indicate that nikah can refer to sexual intercourse, even in everyday language. The fact that other words can refer to sexual intercourse is no more relevant here than the fact that other words can be used for marriage.

Anonymous said...

Dear Stephanie,

I truly appreciate the courage and will it took for you to step away from mo and the utter nonsense he spewed in his time.
That having been said, I think there should be a differing perspective when you look at islam and muslim. 1 is an ideology, the other, a person.
Looking down on, hurting or judging another human being goes against the face of the loving God i follow, but taking a stand against an ideology that has hate as it's core is following His example.
Forgive me if the opinion above hurts any feelings, but there is a line that cannot be crossed. Love the man, hate the ideas that make the man an animal.

abdallah muslim..
if you were so sure of your convictions and you truly believe the lies of mo...
I feel sorry for you.
you have fallen into an age old trap and lack the insight to see it.
pity..

Abdallah Muslim said...

Dear My Friend,

If you mean, Prophet Muhammad, YES WE BELIEVEEEEE

And we are happy and proud to believe in him and following him, and we thank God DAY and NIGHT from making us among his followers before asking him, and before searching for him…

About feeling pity, believe me, you need it more than me, you don’t know what will happen to you and you don’t know what to do, and how painful the destiny that is waiting for you (if u didn’t believe), this is a real pity..

I was listening to Quran, when I saw your comment, and I just discovered some new meaning in the following verses that when People of HELL are going to be thrown to HELL, they ask to return back to Earth, but they couldn’t ..

The Earth is already destroyed, and the whole universe is vanished and there is nothing left to return to, and ALLAH will not create the Earth for you again that you return back to become a believer..

What they will do then?? They will ask for a last wish !!

Imagine what such wish will be before throwing them into HELL.

Please read it in the following:..

And (make mention of) the day when the enemies of Allah are gathered unto the Fire, they are driven on (19)
Till, when they reach it, their ears and their eyes and their skins testify against them as to what they used to do. (20)
And they will say to their skins, "Why do you testify against us?" They will say: "Allâh has caused us to speak," — He causes all things to speak, and He created you the first time, and to Him you are made to return." (21)
And you have not been hiding yourselves (in the world), lest your ears, and your eyes, and your skins should testify against you, but you thought that Allâh knew not much of what you were doing. (22)
And that thought of yours which you thought about your Lord, has brought you to destruction, and you have become (this Day) of those utterly lost! (23)
Then, if they bear the torment patiently, then the Fire is the home for them, and if they seek to please Allâh, yet they are not of those who will ever be allowed to please Allâh. (24)
And We have assigned them (devils) intimate companions (in this world), who have made fair-seeming to them, what was before them (evil deeds which they were doing in the present worldly life and disbelief in the Reckoning and the Resurrection) and what was behind them (denial of the matters in the coming life of the Hereafter as regards punishment or reward). And the Word (i.e. the torment) is justified against them as it was justified against those who were among the previous generations of jinn and men that had passed away before them. Indeed they (all) were the losers. (25)
And those who disbelieve say: "Listen not to this Qur'ân, and make noise in the midst of its (recitation) that you may overcome." (26)
But surely, We shall cause those who disbelieve to taste a severe torment, and certainly, We shall requite them the worst of what they used to do. (27)
That is the recompense of the enemies of Allâh: the Fire. Therein will be for them the eternal home, a (deserving) recompense for that they used to deny Our Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.). (28)
And those who disbelieve will say: "Our Lord! Show us those among jinn and men who led us astray, that we may crush them under our feet so that they become the lowest." (29)

The last wish is in verse 29, they want at least to revenge from those who led them astray!! To put them under their feet in HELL, to keep crushing them day and night for ever !!

Listen to it in Arabic, you may feel, who knows...

http://audio.islamweb.net/audio/listenbox.php?audioid=188162

John Lamoreaux said...

An interesting discussion....

My thanks to the masked translator for his work. If you'd like some more modern rulings on this subject, I've a got file cabinet full.

#

Dawood, I may be misunderstanding you on the point, but I don't think Lane's lexicon can be said to support the view that the word nikah means only (or primarily) marriage.

One has to have a bit of Latin to read the entry in Lane. As often, he puts the more 'physical' senses of words in the obscurity of a learned language.

Lane is explicit, though: the root sense of the word is 'inivit feminam' (to penetrate or go into a woman), whence metaphorical meanings ranging from 'to marry', 'to take in marriage', and 'to contract a marriage'.

Lane then notes that the medieval lexicographers couldn't decide what the meaning of the term was: coitus (sex), coitus without marriage, marriage without coitus.

Lane then observes that the medievals couldn't even figure out which was the metaphor and which the proper sense (i.e., screw her or make an honest woman out of her).

Lane goes on to cite some proverbial expressions to prove his point, that the basic sense of the term must have been close to 'enter' or 'penetrate'.

#

Ultimately, Lane's not much relevant to the present discussion. He died in the midst of the letter qaf, and for later letters all we have are his notes. This entry is better than most, but it still clearly unfinished.

And besides, Lane's lexicon is just a translation of medieval lexicons, and those texts were more prescriptive than descriptive.

#

If we look at some of the other major resources we find both senses in ALL of the major texts. (Wehr and Hava etc. are fine dictionaries, but they are dictionaries of modern Standard Arabic.)

Kaz.-Bib. gives (I translate from his French): to pierce; to cohabit with a woman (synonymous with wata' or have sex with), said of males taking a woman and used of both people and animals; to contract a marriage.

Dozy's supplement to Lane adds a few new idioms, all seemingly de-verbal:

-- nakkah and nikkih => one who really, really likes nikah, that is, one who either has a whole lot of sex or who marries a whole lot of woman.

-- nakih al-yad => lit. the guy who does nikah with his hand, which is to say, he masturbates.

-- mankahah => a prostitute

Steingass' Persian Lexicon is often great for capturing the sense of Arabic terms at the time they entered Persian.

He gives: marriage, dowry, intercourse, marriage contract.

The came ambiguities are found throughout the classical fiqh tradition. It's a notorious problem.

As for modern spoken Arabic, I don't have too many dictionaries of the dialects. My upper-register texts for Egyptian and Syrian dialect give both senses, though (screw and marry). In my own experience, the term is often used in a quite vulgar sense.

#

As for the evidence of other Semitic languages, as far as I can tell, the root NKH is found only in Arabic. The lack of cognates is a bit odd, as such terms tend to change quite slowly.

I might also add that it's rare to have roots ending in ha'. Which makes me think we may be dealing with a form derived from an original bi-radical root. Perhaps also seen in NYK. Just a suspicion, though.

#

Cheers all,

> jcl

John Lamoreaux said...

As for the classical Muslim legal tradition, that's another matter entirely.

The question of whether it is permissible for an older man to have sex with little girl is complicated. There is also disagreement between the Sunni schools. Moreover, there's been a whole lot of change in modern states, where family law is derived from the classical tradition.

The basics are pretty clear, though:

-- Fathers (but usually only fathers, not other guardians, should he die, e.g.) can contract marriages for their daughters at any age, even as infants.

-- If the female has never been married before or sometimes if she is not yet in her majority, it is usually thought sufficient if she doesn't object to the marriage, silence being taken as consent.

-- It is usually discouraged that the little girl be given over to her contracted spouse until such time as she is physically ready for sexual intercourse.

-- What age would this be? Sometimes, it was defined as 9 years of age; sometimes, as majority. More often, as being physically capable of having intercourse and being sexually appealing to the man and of such an age as others like her are having sexual intercourse.

-- The man is not required to support a freeborn girl until he has istimta' or access to the sexual enjoyment of her. If she is a slave, though, he is required to provide maintenance.

-- There was occasionally debate as to whether a man could enjoy the little girl in ways other than sexual intercourse. My sense is that have sex with the little girl. That is to say, it is recommended that the girl stay subject to the control of her guardian until she is physically able actually to have sexual intercourse and provide istimta'. One shouldn't let her go, even if the man promises not to touch her.

-- The fiqh texts are almost always concerned with older men and younger girls, and not the other way around. Even so, I don't think there's any reason an older woman couldn't marry a little boy. In fact, it might even make more sense biologically, as it will not result in things like anal fistulas and the tearing the vaginal tissue -- a terrible problem for child brides the world over.

#

We can be fairly confident that the average age of menarche in pre-modern societies was in the mid-teens, but it would have varied widely with levels of nutrition, birth weight, and general health. One sees 13-17 cited fairly often in the literature. Today, there's not as much variation in industrialized societies, and the average age is much lower, usually around 12.5.

#

At any rate, whether it is sex with children aged nine, or a twelve year old who happens to menstruate, it's still illegal in the United States. We give it funny names like child rape or paedophilia. The same holds for all other civilized countries these days. And this includes, now, the vast majority of Muslim countries. While there are still a few nutters who would like to see a return to the good ole days, they are now rightly dismissed as insane Saudi clerics, bone-headed fundamentalists, or perverts who get their rocks off having sex with kids. And I don't care what god revealed this to them, it's still right for them to go to jail for a very long time. The same holds for their parents, should they facilitate the crime. So too, their priests, Rabbis, or imams, should they encourage or facilitate the crime in any way.

> jcl

Justin said...

These loon watch people smear conservatives and anyone who loves traditional society, THAT is why LoonWatch exists to do the Alinsky tradition of ridiculing an opponent to make them look foolish and win.

That's all the far-left and far-right knows with pissing contests like LoonWatch and Pam Geller and Robert Spencer than create extremists like Breivik.

Keep up the good work, morons!

Thank you!
Hope your pissing contest turns out well!

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