Editor’s note: The following was written for RaymondIbrahim.com by an anonymous American teacher living in the Muslim world
Following the posting of my article on Little Lama, the five year old girl whose father, after brutally torturing, raping and killing her, was exonerated thanks to Islamic law, I received an email from a friend who had a question regarding my statement, “Islam, values women to the same degree as a camel”. He especially wondered whether or not it was written in the Koran or in some other Islamic sacred text that camels are equal to women.
Sadly for Muslim women around the world, there clearly are references that compare them to camels or other animals. For example, in a small booklet titled “Fortress of the Muslim” that was given to me by a co-worker, I found an invocation that classifies women as purchased animals and equates them to camels.
For those unfamiliar with the “Fortress of the Muslim”, it is a collection of 267 invocations that were extracted from the Koran and the Hadith and compiled by Sa’id bin Al-Qahtani, an Islamic scholar and student of Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bin Baz, the former Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia. Each invocation states what a Muslim should say depending on what he is doing or experiencing. For example, invocation 9 deals with “What to say when undressing” while 166 and 167 are “Invocations for when the wind blows”.
The invocation that is of interest to this article is number 191, which is based on Hadith Abu Dawud (2155), and reads as follow,
The groom’s invocation and what he says upon purchasing an animal
When any of you marries a woman or purchases a maid-servant then let him say:
191. Allaahumma ‘innee ‘as’aluka khayrahaa wa khayra majabaltahaa ‘alayhi wa ‘a’oothu bika min sharrihaa wa sharri maajabaltahaa ‘alayhi.
O Allah, I ask You for the goodness of her and the goodness upon which You have created her, and I seek refuge in You from the evil of her and from the evil upon which You have created her.
If you purchase a camel then take hold of the top of its hump and say the same.
Reference: Abu Dawud 2/248 and Ibn Majah 1/617. See also Al-Albani, Sahih Ibn Majah 1/324.
The first point that must be emphasized when analyzing this invocation is that it is written solely for men. There is no invocation for what a bride should say, nor is it written that the term “groom” should be changed to “bride”, in the event a bride purchases an animal.
Second, the “animals” to be purchased by the groom are women, maid-servants (women or girls), and lastly (but not less importantly) camels.
Finally, women and camels are grouped together into a single invocation where the groom, upon purchasing either one of these “animals”, asks Allah for the goodness of each and protection from the evil of each upon which He created them. There is no discrimination between women and camels regarding the wording of the invocation.
The only difference I noticed between acquiring a woman or a camel is that the groom, when purchasing a camel, is required to take hold of the top of its hump before reciting the invocation. (I have a feeling many women are relieved to have been left out of this requirement).
Sadly, invocation 191 is not the only written text in Islam that equals women to camels or other animals. Raymond Ibrahim wrote two telling articles (Egypt: Women Herded and Tied Like Camels? and Islam on Cows, Horses, Camels and Women) that include other examples of this disgraceful view of women (such as referring to them as she-camels).
So, the answer to my friend’s question is a big YES. There are different passages in the Islamic sacred texts that value women to the same degree as a camel (or another animal).
To conclude, I sincerely believe that most Muslim men value the women in their lives more than camels, but for how long will this be the case as “Islam’s Protestant Reformation” takes hold in Islamic countries and spreads throughout the world?