The Heart's Witness Against Muhammad: Zaynab and Marriage of Convenience
First, a revelation (aya) to dispose of the adopted son problem:
"Allah . . . . has not made your adopted sons your [true] sons. That is [merely] your saying by your mouths, but Allah says the truth, and He guides to the [right] way." (Qur'an 33:4)
Thus, Allah abrogated any custom regarding adoption. From thenceforward, adoption was not allowed in Islam. This nullified the adopted son and daughter-in-law problem. From thence, Zayd was no longer known as Zayd bin Muhammad, but as Zayd bin Haritha.
Second, a revelation was needed to dispose of any suggestion that the marriage to Zaynab was motivated by lust. Instead, through Allah's own "revelation" we have the assurance that this divorce-and-re-marriage was made in heaven, and for the express purpose of setting a legal precedent. In other words, rather implausibly the "revelation" proposed that the marriage was for the common good of Islam and Muhammad was just the collateral beneficiary.
"And [remember, O Muhammad], when you said to the one on whom Allah bestowed favor and you bestowed favor, 'Keep your wife and fear Allah,' while you concealed within yourself that which Allah is to disclose. And you feared the people, while Allah has more right that you fear Him. So when Zayd had no longer any need for her, we married her to you in order that there not be upon the believers any discomfort concerning the wives of their adopted sons when they no longer have need of them. And ever is the command of Allah accomplished." (Qur'an 33:37)
Third, to overcome the four-wife problem without forcing Muhammad to divorce one of his wives so as to allow for his marriage to Zaynab, a further revelation was needed. And so a "revelation" was conveniently received that increased the number of wives that Muhammad could have relative to all other Muslims so as to relieve the "discomfort" to Muhammad of having to restrain himself to four wives:
"O Prophet, indeed We have made lawful to you your wives to whom you have given their due compensation and those your right hand possesses from what Allah has returned to you [of captives] and the daughters of your paternal uncles and the daughters of your paternal aunts and the daughters of your maternal uncles and the daughters of your maternal aunts who emigrated with you and a believing woman if she gives herself to the Prophet [and] if the Prophet wishes to marry her, [this is] only for you, excluding the [other] believers. We certainly know what We have made obligatory upon them concerning their wives and those their right hands possess, [but this is for you] in order that there will be upon you no discomfort. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful. . . . ." (Qur'an 33:50)
It is remarkable that Muhammad's followers fell for such obvious self-indulgence and self-justifications presented as revealed truths from the God who made the universe. It is simply inconceivable that the God who is the author of the natural moral law, including the natural laws regarding marriage and family life, would so flippantly disregard that natural law, enjoin a divorce, grant a man the right to a fifth wife abrogating his supposed prior positive edict, order the marriage of a father in law to his daughter in law and first cousin, and prohibit wholly salutary customs (such as adoption), all for the purposes of easing the sexual "discomfort" of his supposed prophet for whom four wives and a handful of concubines was not enough.
No. This incident is not something that may be flippantly disposed of with the constant refrain that Allah and his prophet know best, Allahu wa rasuluhu a'lam. Divine and prophetic positivism cannot undo the natural law. While Allah and his alleged prophet may know what is best for the alleged prophet, that is, what is expedient, they do not seem to know what is best simpliciter, that is, what is good. At least not in this instance.
(The author has written a book entitled The Heart's Witness Against Muhammad: Why the Natural Law Proves Muhammad False wherein Muhammad's teachings and actions are compared to the natural moral law.)
Andrew M. Greenwell is an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas, practicing in Corpus Christi, Texas. He is married with three children. He maintains a blog entirely devoted to the natural law called Lex Christianorum. You can contact Andrew at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Muhammad, Zaynab, natural law, Islam, Muslim morality, Andrew M Greenwell, Esq.
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