- Mohammad and Sex
By most civilized standards Mohammad seems to have been overly-interested in sex.
The betrothal and even marriage of female infants and children was not uncommon in the middle ages and this practice was not confined to the Arabian Peninsula. This was often a political move to cement relationships between political entities. About a month after his first wife’s (Khadija’s), death in April, 620, Mohammad was married to a mature woman, Sawda bint Zam'a, who was an early convert to Islam. A few years later, after he had gained more power and influence, he was thinking of divorcing her because she was “fat and very slow” (it is not perfectly clear what the term “slow” meant in this context). As Mohammad acquired more wives and concubines, they had the right to have him spend the night with each of them on a rotational basis. Apparently Sawda was not too “slow” to read the situation accurately because she offered to give up her turn with Mohammad and give it to Aisha (see below) if he would retain her as his wife. This agreement benefitted them both as it assured Sawda of a place to live while Mohammad got an extra turn with Aisha in every rotation.
At about the same time as Mohammad married Sawda, he was also betrothed to Aisha, the daughter of Abu Bakr who was a close friend and loyal supporter of Mohammad. She was married to him at the age of six or seven (the records are not absolutely clear). According to a later statement by Aisha herself, the marriage was consummated when she was nine.
Many in non-Islamic nations find Mohammad’s marriage to a child to be very offensive and feel that this was one of Mohammad’s more despicable actions. However, it has been legitimized within Islam where child marriages are still widely practiced today. Sharia law accepts and legitimizes child marriage. It should also be noted that many modern apologists for Islam have re-constructed history to assign revised ages to Aisha. Currently so-called experts in the issue have declared various ages at which Mohammad’s marriage to Aisha was consummated. These re-defined ages vary from her early teens up to 19 years. However, the older documentation within Islamic scripture is in general agreement with the ages mentioned above and that the marriage was consummated when Aisha was 9 years old (this was confirmed in hadith quoting Aisha herself). There are several passages when it is mentioned that Aisha had dolls that she played with when she wasn’t at Mohammad’s service.
Verses Mohammad delivered for the Koran allow Muslim men to have 4 wives. He, himself, had a total of 17 wives during his lifetime and he also had several concubines and sex-slaves. Although there is some discrepancy in the records, it appears he was married to 11 or 12 women at the time of his death. Several of the women he took as wives or concubines were the spoils of war and he had sex with them almost immediately after he killed their spouses or other family members. Why was this accepted by the Muslims in his day? Because Mohammad conveniently claimed a Koranic revelation (Surah 33:50) that gave him the right to have as many wives as he wanted.
Mohammad was a rapist. On at least two recorded occasions, Mohammed himself raped the wives of men his army had killed. This happened the same day as their husbands and children were killed. Mohammad apparently viewed women more as property than people. As a result, most of us have heard stories about the rape of female captives by radical Islamists and the harsh treatment of women in other ways. We have also heard about the harsh punishment for thieves, homosexuals and dissidents under Sharia law. These severe actions were all endorsed in one way or another by Mohammad – especially in the hadith and siras.
Some Islamic apologists insist that Mohammad did not actually rape the women he acquired after military campaigns but that they willingly came to his bed. None of us will ever know whether one or more of them resisted having sex with him after these battles and the deaths of her male relatives (fathers, brothers, husbands etc.). But in any modern court of law (except Islamic courts, of course) a woman that was faced with a similar situation would certainly be considered a rape victim. In ancient times, kings and other powerful men in many countries had multiple wives. Often this was to form political alliances. Sometimes it was simply because they wanted that many wives. However, Mohammad was somewhat unique in that he was quick to take any woman he wanted and that he was able to arrange for his god to “bless” unions that would be forbidden to other men.