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Rebuttal to James M. Arlandson's Article:

"Plowing fields" and marrying little girls in the Quran




This Article is located at: http://www../Authors/Arlandson/women_fields.htm


He Wrote:

"Plowing fields" and marrying little girls in the Quran

James M. Arlandson

You may have heard the claim that Muhammad married a little girl. Is this only a false rumor?

Shortly after Ayatollah Khomeini’s revolution in Iran (1979), he lowered the marriage age for girls from eighteen years old down to nine years old. Why would these devout Muslims do such a thing? Did they stray from original Islamic ideals?

Furthermore, we all know that seventh-century Arabia was patriarchal, so it stands to reason that the Quran would reflect its surrounding culture. How does this patriarchy show up in the Quran?

However, devout Muslims believe that the Quran is universal; that is, it is good for all of humanity at all times, since Allah, the god of the world, sent it down through Gabriel to his favorite prophet. So why wouldn’t traditional Islamic societies endorse this patriarchy as really being universal?

To answer all of these questions, the revealed Quran speaks of two unpleasant (but allegedly universal) truths about women.

The goal in this article is to analyze ALL of Islam, not simply to put it down.


My Response:

I don't believe that Aisha was a little girl when she was married to the Holy Prophet (S), I dont believe she was 6 years old. There is much confusion about her age. But I personally dont believe she was 6 or 7, Please read this excellent article, I dont want to post all the information, since it will make the article unnecessarily long:



He Wrote:

1. A husband has sex with his wife, as a plow goes into a field.

The Quran in Sura (Chapter) 2:223 says:

Your women are your fields, so go into your fields whichever way you like . . . . (MAS Abdel Haleem, The Qur’an, Oxford UP, 2004)

For the historical and literary contexts of Sura 2, readers should go here.

We should make no mistake about this verse. It includes sexual positions. In a footnote to this verse, Haleem says that Muslims in Medina heard from the Jews that "a child born from a woman approached from behind would have a squint."

The hadith are the reports of Muhammad’s words and actions outside of the Quran. The two most reliable hadith collectors and editors are Bukhari (d. 870), Muslim (d. 875). The hadith often explain a passage in the Quran.

Since the following hadith are explicit, the readers are invited to click here and read for themselves, at their own discretion: Muslim nos. 3363-3365.

The next hadith is a little more discreet than the ones in Muslim.

... Nafi added regarding the verse [2:223]:--"So go to your tilth when or how you will" Ibn 'Umar said, "It means one should approach his wife in ..." (Bukhari)

The following hadith explains a little more fully the meaning of the previous one:

Jews used to say: "If one has sexual intercourse with his wife from the back, then she will deliver a squint-eyed child." So this Verse was revealed: "Your wives are a tilth unto you; so go to your tilth when or how you will." (2.223) (Bukhari)

Sayyid Abul A’La Maududi is a highly respected traditional commentator on the Quran (The Meaning of the Qur’an, 6 vols.). He tries to smooth over the jarring metaphor by extending it to a farmer at work in his field.

Says Maududi:

Allah has not created women merely for the enjoyment and entertainment of men. The relation between the two is as serious an affair as that of a farmer and his field. The farmer does not go into his field merely for recreation and enjoyment but for cultivations to get produce from it. In the same way, a man should go to his wife to produce children. Allah’s law, however, is not concerned with the method of cultivation but with the demand that man should go to the field and not elsewhere and to his own field and for production. (vol. 1, p. 162, note 241).

It is difficult to know where to begin in critiquing this extended metaphor. First, the comparison has the man as a farmer and the woman as a dirt field. This still puts women down. Second, it is positive that Maududi limits a farmer’s "field" to his own because this prohibits cross-pollination or seed-mixing (adultery) with another farmer’s "field." Third, the farmer may "cultivate" his "field" in any way he likes. Says Maududi: "Allah’s law, however, is not concerned with the method of cultivation" . . . (emphasis added). This means a farmer / husband may choose his sexual method. But the metaphor breaks down because surely a farmer did not have that many methods to plow a field and plant his seeds in seventh-century Arabia, did he? Also, why doesn’t the field get to choose?

To carry on the passive field metaphor, we should have no doubt that early Islam assumes that a man controls his wife’s body. She must have sex when he wants, or angels will curse her.

This hadith says:

The Prophet said, "If a man invites his wife to sleep with him and she refuses to come to him, then the angels send their curses on her till morning." (Bukhari; see also these two parallel hadiths: Muslim nos. 3367 and 3368)

To skeptical Westerners, this hadith appears curious, especially being cursed by angels. But to a devout Muslim woman living when the hadith was first spoken and then possibly spread around in the Muslim community, it is no laughing matter. The announcement of a curse falling on her is heavy social pressure. Why wouldn’t she comply with her husband’s demand, if she is a simple believer?

To judge from Sura 2:223, is Islam really the most advanced and the greatest religion ever to come on this planet? It does not help womankind and women’s rights.

So who qualifies as a "field"?

In the Allah-inspired Quran, little prepubescent girls qualify.


My Response:

Here is further understanding of Sura Al-Baqara Ayat no: 223,

It is lawful for you to go in unto your wives during the night preceding the (day's) fast: they are as a garment for you, and you are as a garment for them. God is aware that you would have deprived yourselves of this right, and so He has turned unto you in His mercy and removed this hardship from you. Now, then, you may lie with them skin to skin, and avail yourselves to that which God has ordained for you.(Qur’an 2:187)

(NOTE: Anal Sex IS NOT allowed in Islam, so Sura Al-Baqara although it says to approach your wife anyway you like, anal sex IS NOT allowed!!,

"Narrated Abdullah Ibn Abbas: Ibn Umar misunderstood (the Qur'anic verse, "So come to your tilth however you will")--may Allah forgive him. The fact is that this clan of the Ansar, who were idolaters, lived in the company of the Jews who were the people of the Book. They (the Ansar) accepted their superiority over themselves in respect of knowledge, and they followed most of their actions. The people of the Book (i.e. the Jews) used to have intercourse with their women on one side alone (i.e. lying on their backs). This was the most concealing position for (the vagina of) the women. This clan of the Ansar adopted this practice from them. But this tribe of the Quraysh used to uncover their women completely, and seek pleasure with them from in front and behind and laying them on their backs.

When the muhajirun (the immigrants) came to Medina, a man married a woman of the Ansar. He began to do the same kind of action with her, but she disliked it, and said to him: We were approached on one side (i.e. lying on the back); do it so, otherwise keep away from me. This matter of theirs spread widely, and it reached the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him).

So Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Qur'anic verse: 'Your wives are a tilth to you, so come to your tilth however you will,' i.e. from in front, from behind or lying on the back. But this verse meant the place of the delivery of the child, i.e. the vagina. (Sunan Abu-Dawud, Book 11, Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Number 2159)"


But returning to James Arlandson, the fact is that the Holy Quran isnt being sexist regarding Sura Al-Baqara Ayat no 223, infact the verse has been mis-understood, and made to look one-sided since the Holy Quran also says:

It is lawful for you to go in unto your wives during the night preceding the (day's) fast: they are as a garment for you, and you are as a garment for them. God is aware that you would have deprived yourselves of this right, and so He has turned unto you in His mercy and removed this hardship from you. Now, then, you may lie with them skin to skin, and avail yourselves to that which God has ordained for you.(Qur’an 2:187)

As to the hadith, we will use common sense. The verse doesnt say "if a man invites his wife to have sex with her", so when James Arlandson said:" She must have sex when he wants, or angels will curse her " , wihle the hadith says:

The Prophet said, "If a man invites his wife to sleep with him and she refuses to come to him, then the angels send their curses on her till morning." (Bukhari; see also these two parallel hadiths: Muslim nos. 3367 and 3368)

Lets label this " Missionary at his best".


He Wrote:

2. The Quran permits men to marry prepubescent girls.

In the context of divorcing wives, the Quran in Sura 65:1, 4 says:

65:1 O Prophet, when you (and the believers) divorce women, divorce them for their prescribed waiting-period and count the waiting-period accurately . . . 4 And if you are in doubt about those of your women who have despaired of menstruation, (you should know that) their waiting period is three months, and the same applies to those who have not menstruated as yet. As for pregnant women, their period ends when they have delivered their burden. (Maududi, ibid., vol. 5, pp. 599 and 617, emphasis added)

For Maududi’s analysis of the historical and literary contexts of Sura 65, readers may go here.

Maududi correctly interprets the plain meaning of verse 4:

Therefore, making mention of the waiting-period for girls who have not yet menstruated, clearly proves that it is not only permissible to give away the girl at this age but it is 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. (Maududi, vol. 5, p. 620, note 13, emphasis added)

So the fathers of prepubescent girls may give them away, and their new husbands may consummate their marriage with them. Maududi also rebukes Muslims who deny that this verse is valid. At least he is being consistent. According to traditional Islam, Allah speaks universal truths for all places and all times. If Islam ever spread completely around the world, no one should be surprised if Quran-believing Muslims would lower the marriage age of girls to nine years old.

This is precisely what happened in Iran after the religious revolution of Ayatollah Khomeini. A girl’s marriage age was lowered to nine years.

Why should this surprise us? After all, Muhammad was betrothed to Aisha when she was six years old, and he consummated their union when she was only nine.

The hadith says of her age:

. . . [T]hen he [Muhammad] wrote the marriage (wedding) contract with Aishah when she was a girl of six years of age, and he consumed [sic, consummated] that marriage when she was nine years old. (Bukhari; once the readers click on this link, they should please read the parallel hadith below this one.)

The Ayatollah Khomeini followed his prophet carefully. He married a girl of ten years old, and encouraged other men to do likewise, saying that fathers should give their daughters away before their first period:

. . . the Ayatollah himself married a ten-year-old girl when he was twenty-eight? Did she[the Khomeini supporter] know that Khomeini called marriage to a girl before her first menstrual period "a divine blessing," and advised the faithful: "Do your best to ensure that your daughters do not see their first blood in your house"?

The following hadith proves beyond doubt that Muhammad pursued Aisha when she was six years old. Abu Bakr is Muhammad right-hand Companion and the father of little Aisha.

The Prophet asked Abu Bakr for Aisha’s hand in marriage. Abu Bakr said "But I am your brother." The Prophet said, "You are my brother in Allah's religion and His Book, but she (Aisha) is lawful for me to marry." (Bukhari)

This hadith show spiritual manipulation. Abu Bakr hesitates to give his daughter away because he believes that he is the brother of Muhammad—they are both mature men, after all. The prophet clarifies for him that they are spiritual brothers, not blood brothers, so Abu Bakr’s little girl is lawful for Muhammad to marry. This sort of sexual hunger is wrong in all places and all times. If a modern Muslim were to argue that we should take this marriage in its seventh-century historical context, then that is a step in the right direction. However, why wouldn’t the Allah-inspired prophet receive a message from on high to lead the way past this dubious custom? Instead, he mentions the Quran as proving that he and Abu Bakr are spiritual brothers. Why doesn’t the Quran say that marrying little girls is haram (forbidden)?

Maybe Muhammad, his book, and his religion would have been evaluated more positively if he had been a pioneer in leading his community to a higher place than bad customs. But this is wishful thinking. Muhammad was too earth-bound.

Aisha herself recounts this next hadith concerning the moments leading up to the first sexual encounter between fifty-plus-year-old Muhammad and this nine-year-old girl. She was playing on her swing set with her girlfriends when she got the call.

. . . [M]y mother, Um Ruman, came to me while I was playing in a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me, and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She caught me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. I was breathless then, and when my breathing became all right, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said, "Best wishes and Allah's Blessing and a good luck." Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah's Apostle came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of age. (Bukhari)

The hadith is very revealing. It also has the ring of authenticity. Its imagery comes across clearly. A little girl is playing on her swing set with her girlfriends. Her mother comes out and calls to her. The little girl dashes to where her mother is standing. Running is natural for a child. She is out of breath. She regains her breath. Her mother washes her face—as all mothers do to their playful children. Little Aisha probably got the dirt from too much play. Some female "handlers" got her ready for the wedding. Then the little girl’s mother hands her over to elder Muhammad so that they can have sex. Would little Aisha be confused while Muhammad was committing this act on her?

Is this really the last and the best prophet for all humankind?

Further, Muhammad endorses marrying little virgins for the extra thrill it gives a grown man.

Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah:

When I got married, Allah’s Apostle said to me, "What type of lady have you married?" I replied, "I have married a matron." He said, "Why, don’t you have a liking for the virgins and for fondling them?" Jabir also said: Allah's Apostle said, ‘Why didn't you marry a young girl so that you might play with her and she with you?’ (Bukhari; see parallel hadiths here and here on this unpleasant topic.)

Finally, Aisha herself describes how Muhammad and she would have ill-timed sexual encounters, taking baths together:

Narrated Aisha:

The Prophet and I used to take a bath from a single pot while we were Junub. During the menses, he used to order me to put on an Izar (dress worn below the waist) and used to fondle me. While in Itikaf, he used to bring his head near me and I would wash it while I used to be in my periods (menses). (Bukhari)

To repeat, according to Sura 65:4 and Muhammad’s example, is he and his Quran really the best and the greatest prophet and book to lead humankind? The answer to this rhetorical question is clear to those of us whose minds have not been clouded by a lifetime of devotion to Islam: no, they are not the greatest and the best.


My Response:

Now, this issue regarding marriage with girls who hasn't reached puberty yet is an issue of MUCH debate between Muslim Scholars. In this section of the article, I will divide it into the :

1) Favoring View

2) Opposing View (Which I honestly favor, since it makes more sense)

Now lets start with the Favoring View:


Dr. Husam Al-Din Ibn Musa `Afana, professor of Fiqh and the Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence at the University of Jerusalem, Palestine states:

"There is much fuss about the issue of early marriage with many calls to delay the age of marriage. Here I wish to start with some texts that encourage Muslims to hasten marriage. Almighty Allah says: "And marry such of you as are solitary and the pious of your slaves and maid servants. If they be poor, Allah will enrich them of His bounty. Allah is of ample means, Aware." (An-Nur: 32) Almighty Allah also says: "marry of the women, who seem good to you, two or three or four" (An-Nisaa’: 3) The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said: "O young people! Who of you is able to marry, let him marry, for this will help him lower his gaze and preserve his chastity. As for him who is unable to marry, let him fast for this will help him stop the (evil) desires." Also in a hadith, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "…and I marry women. So, whoever abstains from following my example does not belong to me."


Sheikh `Atiyya Saqr, former Head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, adds:

"In the first volume of my Muslim Family Encyclopedia, I noted that early laws showed no care to determine the age of marriage. Roman Emperor Justinian was the first one to set the age of marriage for females at 12 years and 14 for males. After the advent of Christianity in Europe, such a law was no longer followed. Mary Stewart married Henry VIII when she was only six. Early marriages were predominant in some Eastern countries and are still carried out in places like India.

Islam does not specify a certain minimal age for marriage; rather, it placed a certain age for shouldering religious obligations in general. This age is the age of puberty, either by natural sign (the ability to ejaculate semen for a boy and menstruation for a girl) or by reaching the age of 15 lunar years. However, reaching this age is not necessary for validating the marriage contract, for it is up to the guardians to conduct marriages before [the bride or groom or both] have reached this age.

In spite of the fact that there is no specific age for marriage in Islam, it is preferred to make it early so as to protect young people, both males and females, from deviation. However, this may lead in certain cases to placing some hardship on the shoulders of the parties involved due to the financial and other responsibilities entailed by marriage. Based on this understanding, I think that enacting some laws to specify the age of marriage, as done by some governments, is a good step. However, these governments should take into consideration all the circumstances relating to the subject and specific to the society. Obeying the ruler in following such laws is surely an obligation so long as they bring about benefit to the whole society. Almighty Allah says: "O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger and those of you who are in authority; and if ye have a dispute concerning any matter, refer it to Allah and the Messenger if ye are (in truth) believers in Allah and the Last Day. That is better and more seemly in the end." (An-Nisaa’: 59)"

Based on the above fatwas, it can be said that the issue of enacting laws specifying the age of marriage is governed by the public interest of the Muslim society taking into consideration the Shari`ah-based objectives in this regard."

Islam doesn't have a problem with early marriage, for it is up to the parents to decide if their kids should marry or not. But if they are married a young age the marriage should be consummated AFTER the age of puberty, since the Prophet (S) consummated his marriage after Aisha reached puberty.

Opposing View

Islam Doesnt support early marriages, and here's why:

1) The Holy Quran ties marriage to adulthood and physical as well as mental maturity:

[004:006] Make trial of orphans until they reach the age of marriage; if then ye find sound judgment in them, release their property to them; but consume it not wastefully, nor in haste against their growing up. If the guardian is well-off, Let him claim no remuneration, but if he is poor, let him have for himself what is just and reasonable. When ye release their property to them, take witnesses in their presence: But all-sufficient is God in taking account.

2) The Quran says that marriage is a solemn covenant, which both husband and wife make together :

[004:021] And how could ye take it when ye have gone in unto each other, and they have Taken from you a solemn covenant?

So if we combine 1 and 2, we get this: The Holy Quran says that the "age of marriage" is the age when people is able to make a solemn covenant, not ANY age, but the age where you can make sound judgement. Also:

1) The Quran in Sura Talaaq Ayat no :4 which reads:

[065:004] Such of your women as have passed the age of monthly courses, for them the prescribed period, if ye have any doubts, is three months, and for those who have no courses (it is the same): for those who carry (life within their wombs), their period is until they deliver their burdens: and for those who fear God, He will make their path easy.

This Ayat is actually referring to women who even though has passed puberty, still dont have their menses or/and women who at one point did have menses but due to psychological or physiological reasons, have stopped menstruating before menopause.

For a further discussion on this topic , please visit : http://www.galaxydastak.com/cgi-bin/forum/webbbs_config.pl?read=314123119131946

Honestly, I favor the opposing view, since it makes more sense, and it uses the Holy Quran to back up its claims. (Please Note: If there is a commentator of the Holy Quran who uses Sura Talaaq Ayat no 4 to support marriage with daughters, please keep in mind its a mistake in COMMENTARY not in QURAN)

As to the age of Aisha, I honestly dont believe she was 9, for more information regarding her age in marriage , Please visit: http://www.understanding-islam.net/related/text.asp?type=question&qid=375

As to the hadith posted by James Arlandson, let us keep in mind that authenticity matters, and judging by the Quranic Ayats I posted in the opposing view section, it doesnt seem fit to say that the Prophet (S) actually said that, infact Mulla 'Ali al-Qari says in his book Al-Maudu'at elaborates on certain criteria for judging authenticity of a Hadith, interestingly enough he says that if a Hadith contradicts the Holy Quran, then you know what happens--- it is rejected.

(Source: Sirat-Un-Nabi by Allama Shibli Nu'Mani, p. 43-44, Volume 1)

The Second interpretation giving to the second hadith posted by Arlandson is ridiculous! He states:" Finally, Aisha herself describes how Muhammad and she would have ill-timed sexual encounters, taking baths together ".

Let us ask ourselves, is there a problem if Husband and wife bathe together?????!!!!! I personally think since this missionary is blinded with so much hatred towards Islam, that he has problem with common sense and making soud judgement.



He Wrote:


One way of escape from all of this unpleasantness that liberal Muslims look for is to attribute these two verses to seventh-century Arabia. These were the attitudes and customs back then, so how can we blame Muhammad and the early Muslims? This is a step in the right direction. Not only liberal Muslims, but all of them must get away from Muhammad’s example and many verses in the Quran.

However, many devout, Quran-believing Muslims, especially those who occupy places of political and legal power, understand what this escape means. They would have to leave behind many passages in the Quran (besides Suras 2:223 and 65:4), and many, many passages in the hadith. But how can they? Their sacred texts are inviolable, especially the Quran. Many regard Muhammad as sinlessly perfect, despite the plain evidence. The hierarchy in many Islamic countries cannot leave Muhammad and the Quran behind, not to mention the hadith. To do so would be to deny pure Islam. What good is it without them?

The only hope is for secular revolutions to erupt throughout the Islamic world, like the one in Turkey after World War I. Clear-thinking Muslims must throw off the hyper-religious oppressors and move away from Muhammad and the Quran.

Can and would they do this? Let’s not hold our breath.


My Response:

James Arlandson has been soundly refuted.... But just before we close this article, let us show Arlandson the REAL pedophilia in his Bibles:

Num 31:17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.

Num 31:18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves

(Source: http://www.blueletterbible.org/tmp_dir/popup/1132276549-6977.html#16)

Also let us look at:

Exd 21:7 And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do

The Hebrew word used is:

'amah (aw-maw'); Noun Feminine, Strong #: 519

maid-servant, female slave, maid, handmaid, concubine

of humility (fig.)

So in the Bible, in the Old Testament, all the women (children) who DIDNT a man by lying with him, were to be kept alive for themselves. Also we are told a father can sell his daugher to be a slave. I suggest Arlandson reads the following:



So James Arlandson has miserably failed to prove his point, all he did was raise old issues and try to make them sound new.

I pray to ALLAH ALMIGHTY that James Arlandson becomes a Muslim INSHA'ALLAH







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