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Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun on "Women in the Bible - Part II"

By Abdullah Smith

[Part I] [Part II] [Part III] [Part IV] [Part V] [Part VI]

 

 

 

HE WROTE:

When one consults the Muslim authorities in relation to the story of Adam and Eve, we find them largely agreeing with the Biblical account:

(35) Tabari preserves a wealth of tafsir tradition going back to the earliest authorities on this science. He relates on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas, Ibn Mas'ud, and others of the Prophet's Companions that "Adam was lonely in Paradise, having no mate to keep him company. He went to sleep and when he awoke he found a woman beside him whom God created from his rib. He addressed her, saying, 'Who are you?' 'I am a woman,' she replied. 'Why were you created?' Adam asked. 'So that you may have companionship,' she said (Tabari, I, p. 513). There are traditions going back to the early authorities of tafsir such as Ibn 'Abbas asserting that God created Eve from Adam's rib, which he took from his left side. This information they claimed to have transmitted from the People of the Book, and more specifically the Jews. They differed, however, as to whether she was created before or after Adam was made to dwell in Paradise. Tabari also relates, concerning the name of Adam's spouse, "The angels, wishing to test Adam's knowledge, asked, 'What is her name, O Adam?' He answered, 'It is Hawa' [Eve]. They said, 'Why did you call her Hawa?' and he answered, 'Because she was created of a living thing'" (Tabari, I, p. 518). (Ayoub, p. 82; bold emphasis ours)

Notice the marked difference between the origin of Eve's name with that of the Holy Bible. Here, she is named Eve because she is created of a living thing (Adam putting himself above her, he is the source, she is only the recipient or result, deriving her life from his). Yet the Holy Bible states that her name was given as a result of her being the mother of all the living:

"The man called his wife's name Eve, BECAUSE she was the mother of all living." Genesis 3:20



RESPONSE:

 

We shall not discuss the commentaries because they are not based on the Quran and Sunnah; we only accept those sources as accurate. The tradition is false because the idea of woman originating from the “left rib” of Adam is based on the Talmud. The Talmud states that Eve was created from the “thirteenth rib” of Adam on the “left side”.

 

There is absolutely no reference in the Hadiths of Sahih Bukhari/Muslim that Eve was created from Adam’s “thirteenth rib” or the “left side”.

 

The only reason why Adam gave the name Eve was to predefine her sacred role to produce children. The name “Eve” itself does not mean “mother of all living”. In fact, the name actually means “life” or “living”.

Strong’s Number: 02332

Transliterated Word:

Chavvah 

Phonetic

khav-vaw'  

Definition: Servant, slave 

Eve = "life" or "living"

  1. the first woman, wife of Adam

(online Source)

 

 

The Bible also mentions Eve separately by name as the one responsible for leading mankind astray (2 Cor. 11:3, 1 Tim. 2:14). We don’t need further evidence to substantiate our point because Genesis provides enough facts to show that Eve is responsible for mankind’s corruption. She is the very first human being to disobey God. Amazingly, Eve is the one who converses with the serpent, proving that she is equally weak as she is brave:

 

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.' " (Genesis 3:1-3)

 

According to the Bible, Eve was only created to produce children, and to be Adam’s companion. God cursed Eve directly, Adam received a lighter punishment. The woman received a double curse, the pain of childbearing and the power of her husband.

 

The divine judgment speech begins with a curse on the serpent (based on an etiology of the serpent’s manner of locomotion) and a prediction of the enmity between the human and subhuman worlds. The curse of the woman involves the pain of childbearing, as the concomitant of the replacement of immortality (by eating of the tree of life) by progeny, and subordination to the man… The naming of the woman by the man in v. 20 (Eve; Heb. chawwah, “life”) underlines the new situation of dominion by the man over the woman (Harper’s Bible Commentary, p. 88)

 

There is no such decree in the Quran, both Adam and Eve was forgiven. It should be noted that man by nature has authority over woman, but the Bible teaches male domination is part of the woman’s curse!

 

 

http://www.answering-christianity.com/abdullah_smith/women_rebuttal_6.htm

 

 

 

HE WROTE:

Muslims complain that the ritual purification of a woman who conceives a baby girl is twice as long as that of a baby boy. Admittedly, this is a difficult passage. Yet, the text itself provides one of the reasons why a mother would be declared unclean only for seven days in the case of male children:

"Say to the Israelites: ‘A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during her monthly period. On the EIGHTH DAY the boy is to be circumcised.’" Leviticus 12:2-3

The length of uncleanness is interrupted by the command to circumcise the male boy on the eighth day. Being ceremonially unclean on the eighth day may have prohibited the mother from witnessing her own son’s circumcision.

 

RESPONSE:

 

Shamoun does not solve anything; the Bible expands the period of ceremonial uncleanliness for a daughter because of the woman’s inferiority. Logically, because Eve sinned and led mankind astray, the female descendants of Eve who’ll become mothers are forced to be unclean for an extra seven days. GOD himself establishes this law in Leviticus. 12:2, 5.

 

The question is why are women unclean for the preceding seven days before the circumcision on the eighth day? It seems the Biblical Law expands the period of ceremonial uncleanliness to last until the eighth day; the Bible often uses “seven” as a religious number. The period of uncleanliness is seven days because God created the earth in seven days, the Bible writers didn’t need to promulgate this law just because God created the earth in seven days. 

 

The period of purification is much longer for a daughter:

 

There was also a longer time appointed for their purifying; thirty-three days more (forty in all) if the birth were a male, and double that time if a female, v. 4, 5. During this time they were only separated from the sanctuary and forbidden to eat of the passover, or peace-offerings, or, if a priest’s wife, to eat of any thing that was holy to the Lord. Why the time of both those was double for a female to what it was for a male I can assign no reason but the will of the Law-maker;  (online Source)

 

The commentator admits that woman is unclean for seven days as the result of Eve’s curse.

 

“…and in remembrance of the curse upon the woman that was first in the transgression. That in sorrow (to which it is here further added in shame) she should bring forth children. [1]

 

Another commentator agrees that it was 81 days for a daughter:

 

Though the occasion was of a festive character, yet the sacrifices appointed were not a peace offering, but a burnt offering and sin offering, in order to impress the mind of the parent with recollections of the origin of sin, and that the child inherited a fallen and sinful nature. The offerings were to be presented the day after the period of her separation had ended--that is, forty-first for a boy, eighty-first for a girl. (Robert Jamieson, online Source)

 

The commentator agrees that seven days is the result of Eve’s curse:

 

The mother of a boy was ceremonially unclean for a week, at the end of which the child was circumcised (Gen 17:12, Rom 4:11-13); the mother of a girl for two weeks (Lev 12:5) --a stigma on the sex (1Ti 2:14, 15) for sin, [2]

 

Amazingly, women were still excluded from public ordinances after the period was over.

 

And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days; she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying be fulfilled. (Lev 12:4) [3]

 

Shamoun ignores Lev. 12:5 that say the mother is unclean for two weeks (fourteen days) for giving birth to a daughter!

If she gives birth to a daughter, for two weeks the woman will be unclean, as during her period. Then she must wait sixty-six days to be purified from her bleeding.

The scholar John Barton comments:

The first form of impurity for women listed in Leviticus is that of childbirth. If a woman bore a boy, she was unclean for 7 days, until the circumcision of the boy on the eighth day. For another 33 days she was not unclean as such (i.e. passing on uncleanness to others who had contact with her) but was not allowed to come into the sanctuary or touch any holy thing. These periods were doubled for the birth of a girl: 14 days and 66 days. (John Barton, The Oxford Bible Commentary, p. 100)

 

The Bible teaches the exact opposite of Shamoun’s delusion:

"If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as menservants do. (Exodus 21:7) 

When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening. (Leviticus 15:19) (my article)

Where is the equality of woman in these verses? The maidservant is not allowed to go like the menservants. Anyone who simply touches the woman is unclean till evening!

 

" 'If a man lies with a woman during her monthly period and has sexual relations with her, he has exposed the source of her flow, and she has also uncovered it. Both of them must be cut off from their people. (Lev 20:18)

 

Why is the woman punished? She didn’t do anything wrong!  The verse refers to the punishment of rape by the man.

 

 

 

HE WROTE:

The Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary provides another (possible) reason for the command in counterbalancing cultural influences:

"In many countries girls are less desired than boys. Thoughtless husbands might have taken better care of baby boys and their mothers; so a longer time at home might have been positive help for a mother with a baby girl. No difference is made in the temple ritual between the birth of a boy or a girl. The only difference is in the periods of uncleanness and seclusion." (Kenneth L. Barker & John R. Kohlenberger III, ed. Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary - Volume 1: Old Testament [Zondervan Publishing House; Grand Rapids, MI 1994], p. 139; bold emphasis ours)

 

RESPONSE:

Shamoun is struggling to explain why the period is longer for the birth of a daughter.

Even if the daughter stayed at home longer, she couldn’t touch her mother!

" 'Or if a person (male or female) touches anything ceremonially unclean—whether the carcasses of unclean wild animals or of unclean livestock or of unclean creatures that move along the ground—even though he is unaware of it, he has become unclean and is guilty. (Levi 5:2)

Basically, the daughter can’t even touch her mother during this period, or else she would become unclean!

 

HE WROTE:

Furthermore, the context clearly shows that no implication of female inferiority can be inferred from the prolonged period of uncleanness:

"When the days of her purification for a son OR DAUGHTER are over, she is to bring to the priest at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting a year-old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a dove for a sin offering. He shall offer them before the LORD to make atonement for her, and then she will be ceremonially clean from her flow of blood. These are the regulations for the woman who gives birth to a boy OR A GIRL. If she cannot afford a lamb, she is to bring two doves or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. In this way the priest will make atonement for her, and she will be clean." Leviticus 12:6-8

Please observe that the sacrifices for male and female infants are identical, supporting the point that both infants, as well as all males and females in general, have equal value in the eyes of God. This conclusion becomes inescapable if one reads Leviticus in the overall context of the Pentateuch since, according to Genesis 1:26-27 and 5:1-2, the female is just as much an image-bearer of God as the male, a fact reiterated in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 11:11-12; Galatians 3:28). See part 1 for additional details.



RESPONSE:

 

First, we have refuted Genesis 1:26-27 and 5:1-2 as misquoted texts; the Bible never equates male and female:

 

http://www.answering-islam.com/abdullah_smith/women_rebuttal_1.htm

 

http://www.answering-islam.com/abdullah_smith/women_rebuttal_2.htm

 

http://www.answering-islam.com/abdullah_smith/genesis1_26.htm

 


Just because the sacrifices are “identical” doesn’t reverse the earlier passage of Leviticus 12 that daughters (women) are inferior.

 

The LORD said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites: 'A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during her monthly period. On the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised. Then the woman must wait thirty-three days to be purified from her bleeding. She must not touch anything sacred or go to the sanctuary until the days of her purification are over. If she gives birth to a daughter, for two weeks the woman will be unclean, as during her period. Then she must wait sixty-six days to be purified from her bleeding. (Leviticus 12:1-5)

 

Shamoun failed to explain why the period is extended for the daughter. The Biblical explanation is women are inferior (Lev. 21:9, Zech 5:6-7)!

 

The verses Psalms 40:6, 51:16: contradict Leviticus 12:6-8.

 

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. (Psalms 40:6)

 

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. (Psalms 51:16)

 

Contradicted by:

 

"When the days of her purification for a son or daughter are over, she is to bring to the priest at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting a year-old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a dove for a sin offering. (Leviticus 12:6)



HE WROTE:

Finally, the ceremonial laws regarding male and female infants are less difficult to accept than the following purification rite that Muhammad enjoined on Muslims:

"Ali narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: 'The urine of a baby boy should have water sprinkled upon it. The urine of a baby girl is to be washed off.' Says Qatadah, 'This refers to a male baby that has not yet begun to eat. If he already eats, then the garment is to be washed.'

This hadith is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah. In al-Fath, Ibn Hajar says its chain is sahih.

Sprinkling is sufficient as long as the boy is still nursing. If he eats solid food, his urine must be washed from the clothes and body. There is no disagreement on this latter point. Perhaps the reason for this exemption to the male baby's urine is that people have a tendency to carry their male babies around, and it would have been difficult to clean the clothes after their frequent urinations." (Fiqh us-Sunnah Volume 1 Purification and Prayer [American Trust Publications, Indianapolis Indiana 1991], pp. 9-10; bold emphasis ours)

The explanation given above doesn't work since infant girls are also carried around. So why the difference? We know why since the Quran says women are inferior to men (cf. this article).

The next Muslim site, while commenting on similar narrations regarding the urine of male and female infants, was more honest since they admitted:

If it is said, What is the reason why the urine of a boy who is not eating food is sprinkled and not washed like the urine of a girl? The answer is that the reason is that this is what is enjoined in the Sunnah, and that is sufficient reason. Hence when 'Aa'ishah was asked why a woman has to make up fasts that were missed because of menstruation but she does not have to make up prayers missed for the same reason, she said, "That used to happen to us at the time of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and we were commanded to make up the fasts and we were not commanded to make up the prayers."

Nevertheless, some scholars have tried to come up with the reason for that.

Some of them said: the reason for that is that it is easier, because usually the male is carried a lot, and people rejoice over him AND LOVE HIM MORE THAN THE FEMALE, and his urine comes out from a narrow opening, so when he urinates it spreads. Because he is carried a lot and washing his urine would be too difficult, so this concession was made.

They also said: his nourishment which is milk is soft, so when he starts to eat regular food it becomes necessary to wash his urine.

The apparent meaning of the words of our companions (the Hanbalis) is that differentiating between the urine of boys and girls is something that is prescribed in the Sunnah, so we follow it ...

Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) (Question #36877: The age at which a baby boy’s urine must be washed off; capital and underline emphasis ours)

 


RESPONSE:

There is a very good explanation for the Hadith. According to Molana Emraan Vawda, when a male urinates, his organ is such that the urine only concentrates in one place, so it’s easy to just sprinkle the water and clean it. But in the case of a girl, the urine does not concentrate in one place only, thus soiling a larger portion of the cloth, so according to tahaarat (purification), it is safer to wash it. So that's why you have to wash a baby girl's urine and not a baby boy's.

This ruling only applies if the baby boy does not eat any solid food. Once he eats solid food then his urine is to be washed off. (Source) If there truly was discrimination then this ruling would have applied for all times and not just for that particular time. The reason and wisdom behind it is unknown as scholars said and only tried to guess the reason why. If the wisdom is unknown then how can someone say that this was meant to degrade females?

 

HE WROTE:

Muhammad made a further differentiation between boys and girls in his precription of sacrifices on their behalf:

Narrated Salman bin 'Amir Ad-Dabbi:
I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "'Aqiqa is to be offered for a (newly born) boy, so slaughter (an animal) for him, and relieve him of his suffering." (Note: It has been quoted in Fateh-Al-Bari that the MAJORITY of the Religious Scholars agrees to the Hadith narrated in Sahih At-Tirmizy that the Prophet was asked about Aqiqa and he ordered two sheep for a boy and ONE SHEEP FOR A GIRL AND THAT HIS TRADITION "SUNNA".) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 66, Number 380)

Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-'As:
The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) was asked about the aqiqah. He replied: Allah does not like the breaking of ties (uquq), as though he disliked the name. And he said: If anyone has a child born to him and wishes to offer a sacrifice on its behalf, he may offer TWO resembling sheep FOR A BOY AND ONE FOR A GIRL. And he was asked about fara'. He replied: Fara' is right. If you leave it (i.e. let it grow till it becomes a healthy camel of one year or two years, then you give it to a widow or give it in the path of Allah for using it as a riding beast, it is better than slaughtering it at the age when its meat is stuck to its hair, and you turn over your milking vessel and annoy your she-camel. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 15, Number 2836)

Perhaps there is a Muslim out there who would like to make an attempt to answer why the urine of male babies should be sprinkled in contrast to the washing of the urine of female babies, and why the sacrifical offering made for baby boys is dfferent from that of girls.

 

RESPONSE:

As for the slaughtering of one sheep for a female and two for a boy, well this is only recommended and not compulsory. There is actually a narration from Ikrimah that Ibn Abbas said that two sheep should be sacrificed for each (male and female). There are no rules or restrictions regarding this. (Source) and (Source) There were even times in which the Prophet ordered one sheep for a boy:

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas:

The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) sacrificed a ram for both al-Hasan and al-Husayn each (Allah be pleased with them). (Abu Dawud,) Chapter: Aqiqah

 

 

Maybe the reason why the Prophet ordered two sheep for a male to be sacrificed is because the male is more valuable in the sense that he is going to grow up and work hard and earn money for himself and the family, while the woman would not have to do all this and would have her family taking care of her.

 

Even if stubborn Shamoun wants to persist and say that this still gives the male more rights over the woman. Then fine, no problem. Because in Islam we don't believe that men and women have equal rights, we believe that their rights are equally balanced. (See this)

 

The Prophet had a habit of differentiating the male and female...

 

Taken from http://www.islamonline.net/english/Science/2002/03/article4.shtml 

 

Boys need:

1- Nurturing parents or caregivers:

"The urine of a female[(child] should be washed and the urine of a male [child] should be sprinkled over until the age of eating" (Hadith).

From the time a child is a baby Muslims are given instructions as to how to deal with male and female children in a different manner. Michael Gurian says that in some cultures specific rituals are even created to emphasize the difference between boys and girls. In the Muslim culture two sheep are slaughtered for a boy and one for a girl, boys inherit more than girls and custody of a male child is usually handed over to the father earlier in boys than in girls.

Pediatrician and parent-infant specialist Barry T. Brazelton states that it is natural for boys to be more attached to their mothers until age seven at which time the "main task of raising the son should be handed over to the father." He states that in many cultures there are rituals to mark this point in a boy's life - the point where the boy moves from the "safety" of the mother's arms out into the "real world" of the father's experiences. Some cultures even refer to this as the boy's "second birth" (Gurian, p.89). Experts recommend that at this time boys in the family should spend more of their time with their father, and/or other male mentors and relatives rather than female ones. Ignoring this time of passage can cause delayed development and unnatural development in some boys. Gurian recommends that even if the boy does not have a father at this age that a male mentor should be chosen for the boy to spend time with each week.
 

We even have a hadith from the Prophet in which he says... 

Abu Hurayrah (RAA) reported that the Prophet (PBUH) said:

"Whoever has three daughters, and shelters them, bearing their joys and sorrows with patience, Allah (SWT) will admit him to Paradise by virtue of his compassion towards them." A man asked, "What if he has only two, O Messenger of Allah?" He said, "Even if they are only two." Another man asked, "What if he has only one, O Messenger of Allah?" He said, "Even if he has only one." 

  (Reported by Ahmad, 2/335 and al-Hakim, 4/176, Kitab al-birr wa'l-silah. He said: its isnad is sahih, Source)

So does that mean that the Prophet was degrading boys? No. The Prophet would emphasize different rights for each gender according to their nature. Here we see that the Prophet emphasized that daughters be taken good care of because they need the protection. The Prophet probably emphasized that baby boys get two sheep slaughtered to celebrate the fact that this boy will grow up and work hard to make up for it while the woman cannot. The wisdom is unknown and we can only guess. However, if the wisdom is unknown no one has a right to say that this is degrading to the woman. 

If used to be a custom that people used to bury their baby girls because they were ashamed of having one and only wanted baby boys. Islam condemns this...

And when the girl-child that was buried alive is asked. For what sin she was slain, (Al-Quran 81:8-9)

To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He wills (and plans). He bestows (children) male or female according to His Will (and Plan), (Al-Quran 42:49)

 

Let’s see what the Bible says about the value of men and women…

The LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'If anyone makes a special vow to dedicate persons to the LORD by giving equivalent values, set the value of a male between the ages of twenty and sixty at fifty shekels of silver, according to the sanctuary shekel; and if it is a female, set her value at thirty shekels. If it is a person between the ages of five and twenty, set the value of a male at twenty shekels and of a female at ten shekels. If it is a person between one month and five years, set the value of a male at five shekels of silver and that of a female at three shekels of silver. If it is a person sixty years old or more, set the value of a male at fifteen shekels and of a female at ten shekels. If anyone making the vow is too poor to pay the specified amount, he is to present the person to the priest, who will set the value for him according to what the man making the vow can afford. (Leviticus 27:1-8)

The commentary states this:

Bible Commentary, Dr. Constable's Notes on Leviticus, page 105 A vow was a promise to give oneself or one's possessions to God so He would bestow some blessing or because He had already bestowed a blessing. People made vows to do something or not do something. Vows were normally temporary. When a person wanted to get back what he had vowed to God he had to pay a certain price to the sanctuary to buy back what he had given to God. This constituted redeeming what the person had vowed.

1. Vows concerning persons 27:1-8

The amount of money that a person had to pay at the end of a vow in which he pledged a person depended on the age and sex of the individual. Some people were worth more in this respect than others.   (source)

The females were then less esteemed

http://eword.gospelcom.net/comments/leviticus/mh/leviticus27.htm


Continuing on with Part III.

 

 

 

 

 

Rebuttals, and exposing the lies of the Answering Islam team section.

Rebuttals to Sam Shamoun's Articles section.

Women in Islam and the Bible.

Abdullah Smith's Rebuttals section.


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