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How To Answer Tough Questions Online?

Questioner

Muhammad

Reply Date

Mar 20, 2019

Question

Assalamualaikum, In recent times, Islam is being targeted negatively by a lot of people. As you may know it, Islamophobia. Sometimes when I see some posts against Islam and mostly about Muhammad's (SAW) marriage with Aysha (RA) Peace be upon them, and also about hijab, I feel angry but helpless because no matter how I answer I feel silenced by their counter arguments. When they say Muhammad (SAW) had married a 9 year old girl, etc, That Muslims make their women hide under the veil and torture them if they don't, I don't believe that though. But how to silence them? I'm not an expert in Quranic knowledge either, like I can't quote a Ayah immediately to argue. What would be the best way to silence them?

Consultant

Answer


How To Answer Tough Questions Online?

Short Answer: We are living in an age when the engines of Islamophobia are working overtime to blow out the light of Islam if they can. But Allah Almighty has promised: {They aim to extinguish God’s light with their utterances: but God has willed to spread His light in all its fullness, however hateful this may be to all who deny the truth […]} (Quran 61:8)

………….

Salam Brother,

Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

We are living in an age when the engines of Islamophobia are working overtime to blow out the light of Islam if they can. But Allah Almighty has promised:

{They aim to extinguish God’s light with their utterances: but God has willed to spread His light in all its fullness, however hateful this may be to all who deny the truth […]} (Quran 61:8) 

If we try to convince critics whose sole intention is to malign Islam, we may fail as they will never open their mind to admit a valid argument against them.

But if the critics are sincere people who wish to know the truth of the matter, we can have a fair and meaningful discussion with them.

As for the question on the Prophet’s marriage with Aisha: First the critics should acknowledge the fact that they should be wary before being judgmental about a custom or practice of old times existing in a social milieu remote from our time, place, and culture.

Hence, to criticize a cultural practice of the Prophet’s Arabia by superimposing the Western value system on it is absurd.

Muslims believe that all significant actions of the Prophet – like his marriages – were done as Allah Almighty directed him. So, his marriage with Aisha was not the result of a casual infatuation for her.

In this connection, it is of utmost importance to note that Aisha was a very diligent and learned lady who served as an exponent and scholar of Islam for a long period after the death of the Prophet.

She came into the Prophet’s house at a time when a really intelligent person with personal contact with the Prophet was needed to record and elucidate the Prophet’s teachings, particularly related to family life.

It is a historical fact that Aisha as the wife of the Prophet rendered immense service to the cause of Islam by expounding the Prophet’s teachings and providing corrective guidelines even to his great companions. This fact underscores the great significance of the Prophet’s marriage to Aisha.

One may note that the Qureish leaders never tired of criticizing the Prophet at different levels, because according to them he tried to subvert their religion by preaching Islam. But they never found fault with his polygyny (i.e marrying more than one woman); nor did they find anything wrong with his marriage to Aisha.

That is to say, his contemporary critics did not find anything out of the normal in those two matters.

Secondly, before Abu Bakr, the father of Aisha, became a Muslim, a person named Jubair ibn Mut’am had proposed to Aisha – which means that according to the prevailing social norms, Aisha was considered mature enough for marriage at the time.

And there were several cases in that society (even in Western society at that time) where young girls were married to much older persons, even to men as old as their grandfather. And it is a matter of differing views among scholars at what age Aisha moved to the Prophet’s house to live with him.

Thirdly, it was a lady named Khawalh bint Hakim who suggested that the marriage between the Prophet and Aisha will strengthen the relationship between the Prophet and Abu Bakr. And the Prophet was following the cue, since he wished to be close to his companion Abu Bakr.

Even during the time before he undertook his God-given mission, he never showed any sign of being a lustful person. There is no record whatsoever of the Prophet indulging in any kind of sexual misadventures either before he started preaching Islam or after.

His first marriage took place when he was twenty five and it was with a widow of forty years, named Khadijah. He lived with her until her death twenty five years later. Then he married another widow named Sawdah who possessed no appealing qualities, and she was his only wife for four years, when he married Aisha at the suggestion of Khawla bint Hakim.

Islam-bashers have nothing much to discredit the greatest benefactor of mankind and the Way of Life he has taught: they would tarnish the Messenger in order to tarnish the Message. Then they try this flimsy pretext, with which they want to denigrate the Prophet.

Also one may check out the sexual morality (probably of the critics themselves) followed in the Western countries of today and see if maybe these critics are not acting hypocritically.

The word “hijab” from the Islamic point of view, means a “partition” or “separation” between men and women. The objective of this separation is protection; protection not only for women, but also for men from lewdness or indecency.  

Islam advocates modesty in women to free them from being seen as mere sex objects and to instill into them the dignity of self-respecting, self-confident individuals.

And hijab is not a means of torturing women. Religious men (as well as religious women) can only preach the virtues of hijab. They cannot force women to wear them, since no one has the right to use force in matters of religion. Practice of hijab is and should be the natural outcome of the religious conviction of a Muslim lady.

Not only the Quran, but the Bible too insists on women covering their body properly. And all sensible people would support the idea that women should wear decent dress. The only difference of opinion then is about the nature of the dress, as to how much should the dress cover or reveal.  

The implied motive behind the male critics of hijab is probably a prurient desire to see women in scanty dress. This may even be a cunning maneuver by selfish men to exploit women under the guise of “freedom for women”.

The foregoing, shows that Islam is justified in giving the instruction to women about hijab. The main objectives for this are: first to protect women’s chastity and raise her status and dignity in society; and second, to encourage men to respect and honor them.

Thus the purpose of the hijab is to safeguard women from being treated as a mere saleable commodity for the illicit pleasure of men.

And Allah knows best.

(From Ask About Islam archives)

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

How Do We Know Islam Is The Truth?

 

Muslim Women Speak Out on Hijab

Aisha’s Marriage in Focus




About Professor Shahul Hameed

Professor Shahul Hameed is an Islamic consultant. He also held the position of the President of the Kerala Islamic Mission, Calicut, India. He is the author of three books on Islam published in the Malayalam language. His books are on comparative religion, the status of women, and science and human values.


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