Has anyone noticed that God modifies religion because men have hissy fits?

Men: My wife won’t let me come at her from the back. I like that sex position! If this isn’t permissible I am LEAVING ISLAM!
Solution: Alright, alright, you can enter her from the back–just don’t leave Islam and return to the obscene lifestyle you had before… You know, the one where you’d bury your infant daughters alive.
*verse making this sex position permissible is delivered*
Men: War? But how will I survive without sex for all these months? I’LL BE AWAY FROM MY WIFE AND I HAVE SEXUAL NEEEEDZ!!!
Solution: …Fine, you can have sex with other women while you’re at war, and it won’t count as adultery. But your wife can still totally divorce you.
*verse allowing men to have consensual sex with captives is delivered*
Men: Why does the Prophet get four wives? I WANT FOUR WIVES!
Solution: Okay… up to four wives for a man who can treat each of them equally. But only if you can treat them each equally! And only if they are widows who need your financial support! Also, if your first wife doesn’t like it, she can divorce you. For any reason, actually.
*verse allowing this is delivered*
Men: Women are so impatient. They complain all the time. And they try to change Islam!
Dear God,
I cannot bring myself to make the same threats they did, the first male converts, because I could never ever leave Islam–I can’t even think of leaving without feeling disgusted at the idea of being so petty, or imagine it at all–and I could never stop loving You or believing in You. But I will complain to You. Because that apparently is the fatal error that the women before me made–neglecting to complain enough to You or become frequently angry with You. Can You hear me, God? I’m sorry they were so patient and actually heeded Your word no matter what. I’m sorry they weren’t petty enough to attempt to argue with their Creator. I’m sorry they were willing to make sacrifices so that their frivolous men would accept the Divine Doctrine of their Lord.
*a minute later*
I understand that they were too grateful to You to complain. You freed them, after all, from the unspeakable evils men would commit upon them. Comparatively, their lives were a thousand times better. A million times better. I also realize that the way You’ve written the Qur’an, we are still protected in our rights, because You’ve placed strict limits and conditions on Your declarations according to situation. And that makes all the sense in the world.
You’re not the one hypocritically telling me to be patient. I’m sorry I was angry.


Update: This is an except from Zu hu ra‘s blog (she’s fierce check her out), yet another example of patriarchy destroying women through modification of tradition and history:

It’s clear that Ghazzali interprets even hadith that support women’s rights through the lens of misogyny. For example he tells this story:

“When the son of Umar quoted the words of the Prophet, ‘Do not prevent the bondwoman of God from going to the mosques of God,’ one of his sons replied, ‘Yes, by God, we will prevent them.’ So he struck him and was irate with him, saying, ‘You will hear me say the Prophet of God said, ‘Do not prevent [them],’ and you say, ‘Yes [we will]?'” (101)

Muslim feminists quote this story in order to show that it is sunna for women to pray in the mosque. But Ghazzali reframes it this way:

“He dared to disagree because he knew that times had changed, and the father was angry with him for openly expressing disagreement without giving the reason.” (101)

This enables him to argue that, “The Prophet permitted women to go to the mosques; the appropriate thing now, however, is to prevent them [from doing so], except for the old ones.” (100)

[emphasis mine]

But wait, I thought Muslim feminists were sinning by pointing out that there are restrictions and conditions in Islam that vary according to situation? But when men do it, it’s like totally okay. Because, Muslim men are like tewtally scholars who can make no incorrect interpretation.

After men managed to destroy Islamic civilization, they continue to twist the words of the Prophet to accommodate for their own insecurities–the exact same thing that led to the downfall of the Empire. And who do they blame instead? For that, and for earthquakes and tsunamis and every natural disaster? Women. “Scantily” dressed women. And gay people. And anyone else but them.

17 thoughts on “Has anyone noticed that God modifies religion because men have hissy fits?

  1. This just occurred to me! Although, you did mention something similiar in your "God negotiates" post, where you talk about how God reduced the number of required daily prayers at Moses's request.

  2. There is the case where women complained that the Qur'an was not addressing them and then verses were realized that addressed both men and women.Do you really think that God revealed new verses because men were complaining? I can't help but wonder if there wasn't a human hand in those verses.

  3. I've heard of that case, but it's the only one.And yes, I honestly do. I believe that God is truly this kind. And I fully doubt that there is a human hand in any of the verses of the Qur'an. God vowed that the Qur'an would be protected from this until Judgment Day unlike previous religious texts because it is the last. Men can erase history, modify tradition, and reframe hadith to accommodate for their insecurities, but they can't change the Qur'an. They can interpret it incorrectly, refuse to see the logic of other interpretations, but they cannot change it.

  4. I am having a difficult time with this post. Not as well informed with these verses as you are, I have some questions creeping in my head that I would like to research.Men in those days did have severe hissy fits. Was religion really modified because of them? Was the said sex position prohibited intially and then allowed after the hissy fit? I don't know the answer to that question. I would consider it a modification if that answer was yes. If the answer is no, could we consider the said verse as an addition? Actually can we even consider it an addition if the said postion was ok anyway since it was not specifically prohibited? Besides I have always believed that Islam is pro-sex. If a Muslim wife is not interested in sex regardless of the position, Islam does not obligate her to involve herself in the act. I know you are not implying that but I had to say it. Can you tell I struggle with your sarcasm sometimes? :).I am not at all aware of the verse allowing men to have consensual sex with captives. I should really look at it. Any suggestions on where to research?The four wives verse explained to me has always been about addressing prostitution rather than allowing men to marry four times. The men died in wars changing the gender ratio of an already small Muslim popultation. Women having no economic prospects at the time were in a bind with prostitution as the only option. This was a compromise which is irrelevant in this day since women have more career options.Maybe the men's hissy fits, while plenty in number and dramatics, were irrelevant anyway?

  5. @Humayun Yes, we all know that women can still do things (like divorce) if she has does not desire any of this. As a matter of fact, I mentioned that in the post. Relax. =) For the sex position, the man and woman were arguing over whether he should be allowed to take it (there was a rumor that it would borne cross-eyed children) and the entire community became involved. God revealed to the Prophet the verse making it permissible then, but only after the men were so stressed about their wives having this authority that they were actually threatening to leave Islam. But the point is that verses of the Qur'an were not all revealed at once. They were delivered when situations arose and when people had questions. If God modified religion for us, it's a good thing. I just had an issue with the fact that the men were… *tries to be kind* well, you know.The verses allowing men to have sex with captives come up in numerous places in the Qur'an, as the "women whom your right hand possesses." I've already addressed polygamy here–you can find it under the tab labeled "Quranic verses and misconceptions"–and concluded that God did not make it permissible in this century, but that's the first time I've heard anyone say it applied because women were taking up prostitution to support themselves. If your urge to point out all the things you did in your comment was due to a desire to protect the religion itself, you really have no need. Islam will never be attacked here, only the men who attempt to corrupt it. Don't let my sarcasm make you anxious. ;)

  6. I understand your perspective and agree with your valid criticism of the men in that society. I just don't see it as a modification of religion. To me its a modification of that society's culture, values and norms but not religion. Cross-eyed children and related rumors existed before Islam not because of it. Religion modified that society but not itself. I have never believed that you attack Islam nor doubt your knowledge of the Quranic verses. You do a pretty bang up job of protecting it and are more informed about it than I am. I just have this habit of disagreeing with people sometimes and you have your sarcasm (which I am beginning to enjoy. I chuckled when I read "*tries to be kind*"). Can we say we are even? =)

  7. Oh I know those rumors existed before Islam. But the men protesting had nothing to do with whether or not the child would be born cross-eyed–I merely pointed it out to suggest that might be the reason the woman refused. Their protest really had everything to do with power. And since things like this are written in the Qur'an, I do see it as God giving men what they ask for. Perhaps our disagreement comes from the word "modification" which implies that this wouldn't have been permissible before. What I mean by modification (in the case of the sex position) is that this verse allowing this position was revealed after the men acted as though they would leave the religion. But even as God made it more clearly permissible, the rights of women were still protected, as all that verse really says is "have sex however you want" and not "you must have sex the way your husband says you should." (At the time the men simply interpreted it as addressing them to have sex however they want, temporarily putting the matter to rest.) And that is important.And the multiple wives is something that would not have been permissible if it weren't for the desires of men. You are free of course to disagree with me [disagreement is healthy! =)] But God clearly preferred monogamy, and didn't reveal verses allowing polygamy until there were complaints. And that, to me, is a modification of religion by God.God, it seems, was making sure that they were comfortable with the new religion. And it is perfectly wonderful that God would answer our prayers. It just seemed that it was the men who complained the most, for the most benign things. The changes made from the pre-Islamic lifestyle were really, really drastic, and the men were riled up believing they were losing power. As Zuhura pointed out, the women (I think it was Umm Salama in particular) once complained directly to God about the Qur'an only addressing men and their demands were met also and the Qur'an began to address women. Most of the time, the women fought only with the men, possibly because they felt it would be inappropriate to argue with God, or because they were too grateful to do so.I'm fine with saying we're even, since I can also see how you would interpret it as a modification of their cultural practices. =) But it is set in religious text, and that makes it religion–or else we would be able to argue that other practices (such as zakat) are merely cultural suggestions and not religious obligations. (Although that is different in saying that we sin if we do not give charity, so yes, I can still see your point.) The men viewed the verse as giving them a religious right to up to 4 wives (with all due restrictions.)

  8. I agree with your assessment of the men and the criticism of the reasons behind their hissy fits and threats. You are also right about the fact that our disagreement arises from the term modification and the assumption that these situations were prohibited before the verses. I believe we understand each other's perspective on the postion verse. However, I would like to share something that I did not earlier which makes me feel strongly about this verse in particular. Maybe its an issue with my perception, but it sounds like God caved into pressure from those men. I know that your point is that God modified religion ( I still say God modified society =)) because God is generous and not because God caved into pressure but I have difficulty with the threat part for the reason mentioned above. I would like to add that I consider the threat to be irrelevant because I don't know if the position was not permissible before the verse. Men just made that assumption on their own and started making threats. I agree that the protest was about power but God did not give them something they asked for by giving them this power. To me God clarified with this verse that men and women have a choice (yes as a result of a hissy fit by the men) which they thought they didn't before the verse. The intent of the verse was not to give men power even though they incorrectly thought it did because as you mention the rights of the women were protected. I cannot hold the verse responsbile for its incorrect interpretation by the men.I agree that God prefers monogamy over polygamy but preference does not indicate prohibition. It indicates that we have a choice and even if we choose something that is not preferred we are not penalized with negative marks as long as the related restrictions with the choice are followed. My point is that I cannot say polygamy was allowed only after the verse because I do not know if it was prohibited before. The men just assumed it was. The fact that the verse was a response to a hissy fit indicates that God is great and generous and listens to our prayers as you pointed out. Having said that, I also do not believe that God would favor the desires of men over women because of a hissy fit. Although the timing of the verse after the hissy fit may imply that; but in my opinion this verse was to address the societal issues existing at the time as I mentioned earlier.I agree that these verses are set in religious text but they do not contradict or modify other verses that came before them. It seems like we would have to agree to disagree regarding these two verses =).I have to concede to your argument regarding the captives verse. It seems like adultery was prohibited before and then allowed for men at war. I still have not researched it because of a busy work schedule but as soon as I get the chance I will learn more about it.

  9. But it only makes sense that polygamy was prohibited before, because if it weren't, women would be allowed to practice polyandry. Instead God specifically allowed polygamy, but said nothing of polyandry, and it remains that polyandry is forbidden–which implies that more than two people in a marriage was forbidden by default.

  10. I have a better argument (because I myself do not buy the one I gave–that's why I believe that Muslim women are allowed to marry Christian and Jewish men, even though scholars use that reasoning to conclude that we cannot): Muhammad (P) was not allowed to marry Aisha until Khadijah died; even though there was a consensus that he would, he waited. This was before polygyny was allowed and does indeed prove that it had been forbidden.

  11. His decision to wait could be a personal choice and can be regarded as sunnat but I am not sure it indicates prohibition. Unless there are some specific verses in the Quran that prohibit polygamy (polyandry and polygyny) and then allow only polygyny after the specific verse in question, I have a difficult time considering this as a modification of religion.

  12. In today's world, polyandry can't be a valid option same way polygyny isn't a valid option as you have clearly argued in another post.Was it ever allowed? I don't really know because no one ever asked for a clarification, probably because of the patriarchial society. Islam considers men and women as equals. If it was ok for men with restrictions, why can't it be ok for women with the same restrictions?

  13. Woah!!! Do you guys really hate Islam that much? my my my :)) Keep on doing this job of "sarcastically" and "hideously/deceptively" using Islam to spew your own deepest hatred to your own selves. I'd however prefer to stay a "proud Muslim… na na nna nna!


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