Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Carrot and the Stick (Heaven, Hell and a Muslim)

The Carrot of Heaven
(Numerals denote Quranic Ayats)
The Stick of Hell

• Rivers of Milk and Wine, and honey (47.15)• Fruit and Meat (52.22)• Young male servants (52.24)• Dishes of Gold (43.71)• Women with big beautiful eyes (44.54)• Facing each other, Sitting on Thrones(37.44)• No headaches or tiredness (37.47)• Wear ornaments of pearl and gold, and clothes of silk (35.33)
• Blazing fire (48.13)
• Drinks of boiling water which cuts into the stomach (47.15)• Boiling fluid, dark and intensely cold (38.57)• A fruit which will boil the insides of the sinners, like boiling water (44.43-46)• Boiling water will be poured on the sinner’s head. (44.48)• Bound together in chains ( 14.49)• Their skins will be replaced when they are roasted in fire. (4.56)• They will eat fruits shaped like the devil, and then drink boiling water.(37.65-68)• Whips of Iron (22.21)

"I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own -- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotism." - Albert Einstein

Burning in hell forever : Islam's absurd punishment

Burning in hell forever: Islam's absurd punishment
"Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be a true system." - Thomas Paine

In Islam, burning in hell forever is a punishment given to disbeleivers; those who dont beleive in the quran:
Quran 4.14 : And whoso disobeyeth Allah and His messenger and transgresseth His limits, He will make him enter Fire, where he will dwell for ever; his will be a shameful doom.
If Allah said that a certain person will burn in hell forever, this is a lie. It is not possible for someone to burn in hell forever. Ask me why ? Here is the logic. I invite all Muslims to follow this ONE argument which I give here, and follow it step-by-step and tell me where I am wrong?
1) A human being is a finite being 2) Thus he can only commit a finite amount of sin in his entire life. The sin maybe a LOT, but it will NEVER be infinite sin. It would always be a certain definable quantity of sin.3) Burning in hell forever is an Infinite sin. 4) It is NOT fair to punish a finite amount of sin with Infinite punishment.5) Thus burning in hell forever is unfair and wrong.

Finite 'good' may be rewarded with infinite 'reward', and no one will object to that but to punish finite sin with infinite punishment is nothing but CRUELTY and insanity.

Why Allah cannot be a God

1) Quran shows no signs of being a divine book.This can be subdivided into:
a) There are no miracles in Quran, and thus no sign that men or man could not have created this book.
b) Instead, Quran has wrong science in it, and wrong moral ideas.
c) If Quran was truely from God, it would contain knowledge that we are not aware of yet. You think Quran has science? Read about the pre-Islamic scientific World and the wonderful scientists who were born before Islam came. If Quran wanted to convey science, why did it not convey all the science we know of? Instead, it conveyed either common sense, OR ideas stolen from Greek scientists. There is every reason I can give to tell you how Mohammed stole from Greeks. Remember, you do not have to be educated to hear a scientists knowledge from far-away lands, and lie to people around you to claim the scientific knowledge as "revealed" from God!Thus the claim that Mohammed was not educated and could not have known all this, is FALSE!

d) A real God would not allow his important message to be taken in a wrong way:Quran is supposed to be an important message for humanity, rioght. If Quran was an important message to humanity from a real God, its Creator would have made SURE that the message would not be taken in a wrong way. The day is coming when more and more people are hating Islam. Assuming that Quran was from God, it is unfortunate to be born in such an era, where this important message of God is being hated so much.Would the real creator (if he exists) allow any of His dear creation to be born in a place where His message was being hated so much, and thus not receive the message in the correct context? Ofcourse not.The message of a Real God to his creation, would be very important and there would be NO one who would be able to tarnish the clean image of his message.We have sane people finding faults with Quran and talking about using it as toilet paper. Would a real God allow this to happen to his message?
Not if he thought his message was important!God wants to test us? For what? Are we the guineu pigs of the Universe? No, we're not! God doesnt even have any rights on us!
e) God would never declare his previous messages to be false, and only the latest one(Islam) to be true.A real God would NEVER say this:
"And if any believe not in Allah and His Messenger, We have prepared, for those who reject Allah, a Blazing Fire!" -Quran 48:13
This verse is clearly talking about Islam and not just any Messenger or religion. There is another verse which says that "no religion will be accepted of man except Islam". (3:85).
f) A real God would not violate our rights.
Besides the above reasons, there is another logical explanation of why Allah cannot be a God.Allah is a God who becomes offended if you abuse or disobey him. What kind of weak God is that?
Here is an explanation, of why:
1) God cannot be offended when man abuses him. 2) Allah cannot be a true god. I will present two approaches to prove this. First, I will prove by logical reasoning that Allah cannot be a God. Then, I will present an analogy to support my claim further.
2) Logical Reasoning
God is supposed to be an infinitely powerful being. It is not possible to have any power or influence over an infinitely powerful being. It is not possible to effect God in any way.I cannot make God angry, niether can I make him happy. If I could make God happy or angry, it would mean that I have some control over God's emotions. Thus, I would have some control over God. But such a God, whose emotions (anger) I can control, cannot be a God. When even a billion blackholes, which have the power to bend light, due to enormous gravitational attraction, cannot effect God, then can I, a 65 Kg man, effect God in any way? No.Now, let us study Allah, the God of Muslims. A muslim is told to worship Allah and praise him. Allah created man to worship him (Q:51.56). We know that Allah will punish all those who dont beleive in him Quran 48.13 "And if any believe not in Allah and His Messenger, We have prepared, for those who reject Allah, a Blazing Fire!" Thus, if Allah will punish anyone who does'nt beleive in him, he will also punish anyone who abuses him. But if Allah punishes anyone who abuses him, it means that Allah is offended when a human abuses him. This means that a human being can offend Allah, by either disobeying his orders, or abusing him. If a human can offend Allah, it means that the human being has control over Allah's emotions. A human being has control over Allah's anger and thus has partial control over Allah. But we know from our earlier discussion, that a being cannot be a God, if its emotions can be controlled by a human being.Note: Abusing another human is a different matter, because a human can be effected by abuse, since she/he is not infinitely powerful, as God is. It makes sense to say that if God existed, he would provide justice to all those who were abused in any way, and would give punishment to those who abused the humans. BUT, God would not be angry at the criminals. The role of a good judge is to provide justice, without being effected by hate or anger, induced by the criminal. If Allah can become angry due to a human abusing him, the rule of Allah being the strongest entity is violated. Conclusion: Allah, the God of Muslims, can not be a God. Now I will present an analogy to make this explanation more clear.
A guy whom we shall call 'X', is doing a study on social behaviors, decides to do an experiment. He wants to see the reaction of abuse on different types of people. He goes out on a street to meet people and chooses one guy whom he calls 'A'. X says some verbal abuse and racial remarks to 'A'. But 'A' is a cool-headed guy and does not mind the abuse. Instead, he thinks to himself, that this guy must be insane. 'A' does not let his anger grow and just looks on to 'X' with amusement and raises his eyebrows and then ignores ‘X’, thinking its nothing to be serious about. X notes down the reaction of 'A' in his research journal and walks away to find another guy, whom he calls 'B'. Now, ‘B’ is a hot headed guy, who can become angry on the smallest of things. ‘X’ calls him some verbal abuse along with racial remarks. ‘B’'s anger shoots up very quickly and his blood begins to boil. He starts abusing ‘X’ in return, making even bigger and more vulgar abuse to ‘X’, telling him to '#$^@ off'. ‘B’ starts coming near ‘X’ and it looks like hes ready to punch X in the face. Before ‘B’ can do that, ‘X’ runs away for his life and disappears. His study is complete. Which person, 'A' or 'B', has the greater character strength ? If you were to choose a leader for a group, who would you choose between 'A' and 'B' ? The vast majority of people would chose 'A' as the leader, who has more strong character, and has proven to be more resistant to attacks than ‘B’. Lets transfer this example to God’s. Suppose there are two God's. One of them is God ‘B’, who is a sensitive God and for him, its easy to become angry when a human abuses him. So down on the planet, there is a man who abuses God B. God B becomes angry and he plans to punish the human for what he did. The God plans to burn the human and give him all sorts of pain when he dies. The other God, called God A, is cool-headed and when He sees a human being abuse Him, He doesn't mind, because his ego is not so sensitive as that of God B. God A loves humans unconditionally and infinitely. When He sees the human abuse Him, he thinks to himself that this human might be crazy and he forgives that human. He knows that abuse doesn't effect him. He still loves the human, and he knows that a human cannot harm Him in any way. When the human will die, he will see for himself, how loving God is. So God A says to himself : “Nevermind, he's a human, my loved creation, it doesn’t matter to me if he believes in me or not. His belief or disbelief does not effect ME because I have infinite power over all things. I cannot be effected by even a million black holes, let alone a 65 kg 5’6” tall human, who will live only 70 years.” Which of the Gods, A or B, is more strong and loving ? Which of God do you think rules the universe? A large majority of the people would choose God 'A', the one who is not affected by human abuse or love and loves his creation infinitely. If Allah is infinite in power, he is infinite in strength of personal character. If Allah can become angry due to a human abusing him, the rule of Allah being the strongest entity is violated.
God, if exists, does not and cannot become angry when a human praises/abuses him. Thus, Allah, the god of Muslims, who can be offended by abuse, can NOT be a true god.
* * *
Abul Kasem


Mohammad, the founder of Islam saw that like previous 'prophets', he too could invent a religion and proclaim his thoughts to be from the 'Creator'. This would give him power over his relatively illiterate and dumb audience. One of the reason why he created Islam was that he wanted to control people and rule over them.
This is what Islam is in a nutshell - A collection of manipulative lies created by one of the most malicious men to have lived on Earth.
This clever system of lies (or Islam) capitalizes on (makes use of) several things.
1) Islam takes advantage of previous liars who pretended to be prophets of “God”. Every new 'liar' would try to find better ways to deceive the public. One of the earliest liar was the caveman who boasted about being able to talk to the Rain God. If everyone obeyed him, he would make sure Rain would fall on their crops. Mohammed the Liar was an advanced version of this caveman- like Windows XP, as compared to MS DOS.

2) Islam makes use of mankind’s : - age old fear of fire: The (Un)Holy Quran keeps repeating threats of Hellfire to anyone who doesnt obey Allah, the false God.
- desire to live an eternal life after they have died (the survival instinct)
- desire to beleive in a God, who will listen to their problems, and provide justice to them if they have been violated in any way. Beleif in a God reassures mankind that there is someone who is powerful, responsible and 'good' who will take care of them, now in this life, and then in the 'afterlife'.
- men’s almost insatiable desire for sex - by promising beleiving men to be rewarded with beautiful women in paradise. (Quran 44:54)
3) Islam makes use of man's high vulnerability to develop low self-esteem and their tendency to keep it in the system. The low self-esteem can be created by abuse in younger years, and is almost always passed on to next generations. Islam is a system that further degrades Humans and pushes them down the low self-esteem trap by: a) telling the beleiver that they have no right to live life their own way, and are only infact, a slave of Allah, who they must obey in order to avoid Hellfire.
b) giving lesser self-esteem to women (advising a man to beat his wife[Quran 4:34], lesser testimonial rights [Quran 4:11], covering up in a veil as if she can only be a sex object [various hadith and quran] etc.). Women with low self-esteem will raise children who have low self-esteem as well. Once low self-esteem enters a family system, its hard to build it up, because nature shows that Destruction is easy, while Contruction is hard and takes more time.
Islam: A plague
Islam is the worst plague to have hit humanity. The Bubonic plague physically killed 25 million people in Europe in the 1300's. Islam is a more serious illness, which has mentally infected about 1 billion people and continues to effect the rest of the 5 billion population of Earth. The religion is very destructive and dangerous, and threatens peace on Earth. Read how Islam relates directly to terrorism.

"Despite its bluster, Islam is extremely vulnerable, as darkness is to light." - Ali Sina (former Muslim from Iran)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Muhammed was an Arab man, who lived 1400 years ago.
To realize his desire to rule over people, and satisfy his above-average sexual desires, he lied to everyone that he was receiving revelations from God.
Comparing to his surrounding people who were immoral enough to bury their infant daughers, he was a relatively clever guy, intelligent, but evil to the core. Studying Islam almost makes one think Mohammed was the devil himself which he kept talking of.
From a muslim perspective, Mohammed was a kind truthful man, and the true last prophet of God. Read the Quran and Hadith and decide for yourself.
This is all there is to him. He was an evil liar and a violent man with a larger than usual sexual appetite. He was a pedophile, because when he was 54 years old, he married a 9 year old little girl. He was old enough to be her grandfather.
If Mohammed was truelly a prophet, he would have set better examples.If Allah was a true god, he would know that Mohammed would be called a pedophile in the future. How could Allah allow his last messenger to be called a pedophile in the future? Was it necessary for Mohammed to have married a 9 year old little girl and result in being called a pedophile later on?
Character defects like these and many other factors, such as the absence of miracles in Quran disqualify Mohammed as being the last messenger of God.

Hadith (also known as Sunnah/Sunnat)

As in almost all religions, Mohammed was greatly revered by his followers. They wanted to live their life like he did. So when Mohammed was living, people noted and remembered what he did, and said. These stories and reports are called the Hadith (pronounced 'Hadees').In most cases, the stories were true. There are reports of some hadith being fabricated (sites: *1, *2, *3) for political gain, but most hadith are true and beleived by most Muslims. Some of them have been incorporated into Islamic laws (Shariah), such as cutting of hands, stoning to death, half inferitance and testimonial rights of women, violation of women's rights such as compulsory veiliing, ban on driving, requirement of 4 witnesses in event of a woman being raped, etc.
Once I was in a mosque, when I was a muslim, and they told me, that the 'sunnat' way of sleeping was on your right side. Similarly, other hadith tell us about ways to do other things in life. Most of them dont make sense and often preach wrong moral ideas. Some do, but again, the clever Mohammed included good things in Islam to catch people's attention. If Islam was 100% evil, it would not have so many followers as it does today. An example of hadith not making sense is rubbing ourselves with an odd number of stones after we've attended a nature call.
Hadith that make sense talk about being good to your neighbour (Do we need a prophet to tell us this?). Other sensible stuff in Hadith is derived from common sense and other religions.
Many hadith teach wrong moral ideas, An example of one of the most violent ones is to order to kill anyone who has left Islam. Numerous hadith encourage hatred and violence against non-Muslims.
So this is hadith in a nutshell and we hope we have clarified enough in as short concise manner as possible. If you need more clarification, please dont hesitate to contact us. We'll answer your questions and include them in the FAQ section.
There is a growing number of Muslims who dont beleive in Hadith. Eventually, Muslims will let go of Quran as well and become apostates just like us.
There are some hadith which call for our killing, and this is what concerns apostates most. Mohammed knew apostates of Islam could easily shake up people's beleifs. For this reason, he ordered to kill us, as demonstrated in the following hadith:
"Whoever changes his religion, kill him."[Bukhari, Hakim, Ibn Abi Shaybah, Tabarani]
A web site which reports on what has actually happened to apostates in muslim countries is give here:

Wednesday, April 4, 2007


To Muslims, Quran is a holy book, revealed directly to Mohammed through the angel Gibrael. To them, it the absolute truth, the last message to mankind from the Creator of this Universe.
In reality, Quran is a creation of Mohammed's mind and includes collections of stories, brainwashing techniques, general common sense and morals, and some "scientific" statements. All these elements were either common sense, were borrowed from other religions and sources, or were invented by Mohammed.A good study of what Mohammed borrowed from other sources, can be studied at the Answering Islam site.
The reason why Quran is not divine, is that, it contains many defects, contradictions, wrong morals and incorrect science, and on top of it, all this has been copied from other sources.All of Quran's scientific miracles have been refuted many times, such as on the Faith Freedom International website.
Had "Allah" been a true God, He would have made the Quran infinitely strong in such a way that any human being, no matter how hard he/she tried, would never be able to point out any defect in it.Instead, today, Islam is the World's most hatred and criticised religion, and Quran is being called the "manual of Terrorism".
So, could Quran truely be the "last" message to mankind by the Creator of this wonderful Universe?Common sense replies with a firm negative.
As a summary of what the Quran actually is all about: - In most of the verses, Quran keeps praising Allah the non-existent God. When you read the Quran, almost every now and then you'll see familiar verses like 'And Allah is merciful, forgiving' (SURE he is).
- It gives many threats of Hellfire, as well as gives promises of Heaven- this is to entice the believer into action, using this simple push/pull strategy which is used by other religions as well but not to the extent which is used in Islam.
- Quran contains orders for Muslims, how they should live their lives. Not all aspects of life are covered, an example being masterbation, or using your friends login information to access confidential information on company computers.
- Quran contains events and stories of the past. They were mostly copied from other religions. Check here for detailed information on this.
- Quran contains a sprinking of 'scientific' statements, which tried to impress the illiterate reader 1400 years ago. That was the era in which the Sun and the Moon were thought to go around the Earth. Today we know these 'scientific statements' to actually contain wrong science, as well as stuff copied from other religions and scientists of those time. An example is the idea of sperm being generated in the Backbone[Quran 86:6]. This idea was proposed by Greek scientists, and copied by Mohammed. If we had copyright laws 1400 years ago, Mohammed would have been jailed for copyright infringement and there would be no Islam today. Sadly, it was the era in which people buried their infant daughters and thus he took advantage of the fact that people around him were inhuman Arabs with *no* moral sense. Thus, Quran has *little* moral sense, when comparing to universal standards.
If the Quran was 100% bad, it would die out quickly. For this reason, Mohammed included some good things in Quran, so good people would support the Quran and keep Islam alive. At the same, terrorists act out on the bad teachings of Quran, resulting in global terrorism whose painful effects have been and are being experienced by everyone. It is these bad teachings of Quran that have jeapordized the Global peace process. One of the many excellent articles which illustrates this point while citing evidence from Quran, can be read here on the FFI web site.
Islamic terrorism will continue to injure mankind and create misery on Earth, until Islam ceases to exist.

A Comparative View on Women

The role and status of women in all of the major faiths has become an important and often heated issue for today’s society. For many, religion is an important aspect of their lives and plays a leading part in their thought processes, decisions and way of life. This applies to men and women. Increasingly, women are enquiring about their position, role and importance in their respective faiths. Many want to look back to the original doctrine and see what has been said about them.
This article will review the beliefs held by both Islam and Sikhism, with specific attention focusing on the Holy Quran and Guru Granth Sahib Ji. The issues have been sectioned off for ease of read.
An important point to raise is whether a Religion considers women capable of achieving salvation, a realization of God or the highest spiritual realm. On this matter, both Islam and Sikhism profess that a woman can reach salvation.
‘For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast, for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah's praise, for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward.’ (Holy Quran 33:35)
As long as the woman is willing to achieve the virtues stated, she is capable of receiving God’s great reward. In the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, it is emphasized that it is the human birth that is important and that the light of God rests equally in us all.
‘In all beings is the Lord pervasive, The Lord pervades all forms male and female’ (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, pg. 605)
By looking within through meditation on God’s name can women realize God. Sikhism does not distinguish between the sexes in this matter. Both can obtain salvation by following the Guru. Often, woman is considered evil and a hindrance to man’s spirituality. The Guru rejects this. In Current Thoughts On Sikhism Alice Basarke states ‘the first Guru put woman on a par with man. … woman was not a hindrance to man, but a partner in serving God and seeking salvation’.
Both faiths consider education very important. It is the key to anyone’s success. It is personal development. In Women in the Quran and the Sunna, Prof. Abdur Rahman I. Doi states ‘The Prophet (pbuh) said: "Seeking knowledge is a mandate for every Muslim (male and female)." This includes knowledge of the Qur'an and the Hadith as well as other knowledge. Men and women both have the capacity for learning and understanding.’ The faith places a great importance on knowledge.
Similarly, Sikhism places great importance on knowledge. Guru Amar Das, the third Sikh Guru, set up many schools amongst his disciples for education. Many of these schools still survive today. True knowledge about divinity can be obtained through the Guru.
‘All divine knowledge and contemplation is obtained through the Guru’. Guru Granth Sahib Ji, pg. 831
Education for all is essential. All must aim to be the best they can be. Fifty-two of the Sikh missionaries sent out by the third Guru were women. In The Role and Status of Sikh Women Dr Mohinder Kaur Gill states ‘Guru Amar Das was convinced that no teachings can take roots until and unless they are accepted by women folk’.
Hereditary rights
Islam preserves some hereditary rights for women. This was, at the time, an important advancement, economically, for Muslim women. The Holy Quran states:
‘Allah (thus) directs you As regards your children’s (Inheritance). A portion equal to that of two females; if only daughters, two or more, Their share is two-thirds of the inheritance. If only one, her share is a half.’ (Holy Quran 4:11)
The laws concerning hereditary rights for Muslim women are quite detailed. Generally, but not always, the male takes a double share of the woman. The reason is that there is a distinguished difference between the role to be played by men and women, thus giving the man a larger portion.
Hereditary rights have never been an issue in Sikhism. Sikh women have full rights to contest any hereditary claim. No restrictions can be found in the Sikh Rehat Maryada (Code of Sikh Conduct). There is nothing to state otherwise. In Women’s Property Rights - A Sikh Perspective, Prof. Dalip Singh states ‘Since all Children, both male and female are equal in all respects, the property of the father is equally divisible amongst the children; women married and unmarried, have equal share along with the male progeny’. Thus, all claimants are entitled to an equal share regardless of their gender.
Gender Equality
With reference to equality amongst the sexes, the Holy Quran states,
‘Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, Because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means.’ (Holy Quran, 4:34)
Consequently, men are considered superior to women. The reasoning is that the role of men is different from that of women, thus dictating their superiority. Men support women. Their role in society is considered more important. The commentator Razi claims,
‘Man is more perfect than the woman in creation, and intelligence, and in the religious sphere, such as the suitability to be a judge, and a leader in worship. Also, the testimony of the man is twice that of the woman. So that whoever is given great responsibilities must be given correspondingly great privileges. As the woman is deficient in intelligence and of great lust, if she is given much money, much corruption will be the result.’ Further support to this view can be found in the Hadith (Ibn Kathir, Commenting on Q. 4:34, this Hadith is also reported by Abu Dawood and al-Nisa'I and Ibn Magah.), the second most important book for Muslims.
Commenting on a section of the Hadith relating to women in The Place of Women in Pure Islam, M. Rafiqul-Haqq and P. Newton claim ‘The authenticity of the above Hadith is undisputed. It is reported by the two most reliable collections of Hadith; Bukhari and Muslim. The agreement of Bukhari and Muslim on its authenticity makes it (mutafaqun 'alayhi) 'agreed upon', which is the highest degree of authenticity. The above Hadith has been accepted and used by eminent scholars, such as Ghazali, Ibn al-'Arabi, Razi, Suyouti, Qortobi, Nawawi, and Ibn Kathir, in their writings’.
Sikhism takes a different approach in discussing gender equality. Like Islam, Sikhism considers men and women to be different by virtue of their gender. However, this difference does not imply superiority of one sex over the other. Men and women are equal under the eyes of God. They have equality, and more importantly, equal opportunity. No position in Sikhism is reserved solely for men. Women can take part in prayers and serve as Granthis. Sikh women can also take part in any political role they feel fit to accommodate. Concerning the denigration of women, the Guru Granth Sahib Ji clearly states,
"From the woman is our birth, in the woman's womb are we shaped; To the woman we are engaged, to the woman we are wedded; The woman is our friend and from woman is the family; Through the woman are the bonds of the world; Why call woman evil who gives birth to the world’s leaders? From the woman is the woman, without woman there is none". (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, pp. 473)
The question posed by the Guru to mankind is ‘Why call her evil?’. The Guru calls the woman a vessel through which all life comes to this world. This is an unique role given to her by God. Further, concerning identity, the Guru considers the woman to be a Princess, giving her the Surname Kaur. This is reserved solely for women and frees them from having to take their husband’s name when marrying.
Importance of the Woman’s view
The Holy Quran has this statement concerning the importance of a woman’s views,
‘And if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses. So that if one of them errs, the other can remind her’. (The Holy Quran, 2:282)
When there is a requirement for witnesses on a transaction and one of two men is unavailable, then two women can take the role of one man. This is to ensure that if one of them makes a mistake, the other woman can correct her. Discussing this in Why Two Women Witnesses ??, Shamshad M Khan claims ‘As for women we are aware of the cyclical psychological strains that she has to encounter. The symptoms during early pregnancy, the ante-natal and post-natal depressions, the phenomenon of menopause, the physiological and psychological problems faced after miscarriage. It is under these situations that women can experience psychological strains giving rise to depression, lack of concentration, slow mindedness and SHORT TERM MEMORY LOSS’ (capitals from original) . Thus, her physical make up, in other words her menstrual cycle, makes her weaker in dealing with legal matters and can affect her decision making. In The Status of Woman in Islam, Hammuda Abdul-Ati, PH.D gives a different reason for the requirement of two women witnesses, ‘… woman as a rule, is not so experienced in practical life as man. This lack of experience may cause a loss to any party in a given contract. So the law requires that at least two women should bear witness with one man. If a woman of the witness forgets something, the other one would remind her. Or if she makes an error, due to lack of experience, the other would help to correct her. This is a precautionary measure to guarantee honest transactions and proper dealings between people’. Thus, the lack of experience deems it necessary to have two women witnesses and only one male witness.
The question of considering the woman as inadequate in taking the role of a witness equally with any man has never been in question in Sikhism. When a matter requires addressing a Sikh can approach the Panj Pyaras for a decision. Any member of the Panj Pyaras can be a woman. Thus, her ability to perform her duties as a Sikh, regardless of her menstruation, is not doubted. Woman has been created by God and cannot be considered inferior.
‘Women and men, all by God are created, All this is God’s play. Says Nanak, All thy creation is good, Holy’. (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, pg 304)
God’s creation is considered holy. There is no suggestion of inferiority amongst the role women can play. Neither is her intelligence doubted. Between humans there is only one distinction made. In Current thoughts in Sikhism, Dr Gurnam Kaur expounds ‘All human beings are equal from birth. There are only two classes of human beings (man or woman) viz., manmukh and gurmukh. Those who follow the path of the Guru, obey the will of God, the divine ordinance are called gurmukhs, and those who follow the path of their own mind, act according to their ego running away from the Guru, the Shabad (the word), are manmukhs (egoists)’.
Opportunity to Pray
Islam allows women to be exempt from certain prayers. It is also preferred if women pray at home, rather than coming to the mosque, although they are not totally rejected from the Mosque. They have to abide by some laws when in prayer. Amongst the various opinions it can generally be stated that it is makrooh (not permissible) for a good-looking woman to go to the mosque, either for jum`ah or for any other prayer, even if she wears plain (undecorated) clothes. It is permissible (not makrooh) for an elderly woman to go, but she must wear plain (non-fancy) clothes. The woman should obtain permission from a male guardian (whether father, husband or otherwise). The main issue arising from the woman’s presence in a mosque is her ability to cause lustful thoughts for a praying man. In fact, any Muslim man traveling to a mosque is more fortunate if he avoids contact with any woman. If such contact does occur, he is required to purify himself. The Holy Quran states,
‘O you who believe! Approach not prayers In a state of intoxication, Until you can understand all you say, Nor in a state of ceremonial impurity, Except when you are passing by (through the Mosque), Until after washing Your whole body, If you are ill, or on a journey, or one of you comes from the privy, or you have been in contact with women, and you find no water, then take for yourselves clean sand, and rub therewith your faces and hands, For Allah does blot out sins and forgive again and again’ (Holy Quran 4:43)
The purification required if contact is made with women is also mentioned in Surah 5:6. Even if a woman is to attend prayers, she must place herself in specific areas to avoid disrupting the prayers of men. According to the Hadith (Reported by Muslim) the best rows (in prayer) for men are the first (front) ones, and the worst for them are the last ones, while for women it is the opposite. Further, the Hadith (reported by Muslim) states: ‘Oh assembly of women! Do not raise your heads (from ruku/sujud) until after the men have done so’. This will avoid any lustful thoughts. In fact, the following Hadith, which is considered Hassan, agreed upon, indicates, ‘A woman is closest to God’s face, if she is found in the core of her house. And the prayer of the woman in the house is better than her prayer in the mosque’ (Ihy'a 'Uloum ed-Din by Ghazali, Dar al-Kotob al-'Elmeyah, Beirut, Vol II, Kitab Adab al-Nikah, p.65. Reported by Tirmizi as a true and good Ahadith)
In Sikhism, the aim is to rid the soul of sins and realize God by the Guru’s guidance. Once this is achieved, and God can be realized from within, the inner character becomes absorbed and strengthened by God. Thus, it is not the woman who is to be blamed for any sins that occur in men when they see her, but in the men who still allow lust to dominate their maan, mind.
‘Vain are the eyes which behold the beauty of another’s wife’ (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, pg. 269).
Any woman is permitted to enter a Gurdwara, and is accepted in all prayers and recitations of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji. No area is made exempt. She is an integral part of the Sadh Sangat (True congregation) and is capable of joining anyone in praising God, whether it be through Gurbani recitation, Naam Simran or Kirtan (devotional singing). The only restriction placed is that the woman should not enter the Gurdwara wearing a veil over her face. The Sikh Rehat Maryada clearly states that women should not cover their faces with veils,
‘It is not proper for a Sikh woman to wear a veil or keep her face hidden by veil or cover’ (Sikh Rehat Maryada, Article XVI, s).
Guru Amar Das had refused an audience with a Hindu queen until she had removed her veil. In Women in Religion Kanwaljit Kaur- Singh writes ‘the purdah (veil) system suppressed the personality of women and reflected their inferior status’. Of course, Sikh men cannot wear veils either.
Restrictions on clothes
Islam has some very specific codes which address the way a woman should dress,
‘And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except To their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hand possess, or male attendants free of sexual desires, or small children who have no carnal knowledge of women. And that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments’. (Holy Quran, 24:31)
Thus, the dress code concerns the display of beauty. A woman should not allow men to see her beauty and become sexually aroused. Hammuda Abdul-Ati claims ‘The Muslim woman is always associated with an old tradition known as the "veil". It is Islamic that the woman should beautify herself with the veil of honor, dignity, chastity, purity and integrity. She should refrain from all deeds and gestures that might stir the passions of people other than her legitimate husband or cause evil suspicion of her morality. She is warned not to display her charms or expose her physical attractions before strangers. The veil which she must put on is one that can save her soul from weakness, her mind from indulgence, her eyes from lustful looks, and her personality from demoralization. Islam is most concerned with the integrity of woman, with the safeguarding of her morals and morale and with the protection of her character and personality’.
Sikhism, besides commanding that women do not wear the veil, makes a simple, yet very important, statement concerning dress code. This applies to all Sikhs, regardless of gender.
‘Friend, all other wear ruins happiness, the wear that to the limbs is torment, and with foul thinking fills the mind’ (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, pg. 16)
Thus, the individual Sikh knows what types of clothes fill the mind with evil thoughts and are commanded not to wear these. This applies to all Sikhs. Aside from this, all Sikhs are to wear their articles of faith, the five K’s. This applies to men and women. For women this is quite unique. For the first time in history, women were expected to defend themselves and others with their Kirpans. They were not expected to remain dependent on men for physical protection. The Guru expected women to be Saints and Soldiers, Sant-Sipahi. The psychological effect this has on women is astounding. They are commanded to face up to their independence.
A faith’s view on menstruation is a good indicator on its tolerance towards women. It gives a very clear insight into the views held on women, the birth process and respect for the woman’s body. The Holy Quran makes the following statement on menstruation.
‘They ask thee concerning women’s courses Say: they are a hurt and a pollution: So keep away from women in their courses, and do not approach them until They are clean. But when they have purified themselves, Ye may approach them As ordained for you by Allah For Allah loves those who keep themselves pure and clean.’ (Holy Quran 2:222)
Menstruation is considered a hurt and pollutant (The actual term used is Azan). A man is instructed to avoid her, and she herself cannot take part in fasting nor prayers during her menstrual cycle. Men are forbidden from having sex with women during their menstruation, but in Surah 2:223, they are encouraged to approach their wives for sex whenever the desire occurs.
‘Your wives are as a field unto you, So approach your field When or how ye will.’ (Holy Quran 2:223)
Men have sexual rights over their wives and any slave girls they possess. The following Hadith expands on this by claiming,
‘The prophet of Allah said: When a man calls his wife to satisfy his desire, let her come to him though she is occupied at the oven’ Mishkat al-Masabih, Book I, Section 'Duties of husband and wife', Hadith No. 61.
These rights do not apply to women. The woman is actually cursed if she refuses sex with her husband.
‘The messenger of Allah said: Whenever a man calls his wife to his bed and she refuses, and then he passes the night in an angry mood, the angels curse her till she gets up at dawn’ Mishkat al-Masabih, Book I, Section 'Duties of husband and wife', Hadith No. 54.
In Sikhism, the menstrual cycle is not considered a pollutant. Certainly, it can have a physical and physiological effect on the woman. Nonetheless, this is not considered a hindrance to her wanting to pray or accomplish her religious duties fully. The Guru makes it very clear that the menstrual cycle is a God given process. The blood of a woman is required for the creation of any human being.
‘By coming together of mother and father are we created, By union of the mother's blood and the father's semen is the body made. To the Lord is the creature devoted, when hanging head downwards in the womb; He whom he contemplates, for him provides.’ (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, pg. 1013).
The requirement of the Mothers’ blood is fundamental for life. Thus, the menstrual cycle is certainly an essential and God given biological process. In other faiths blood is considered a pollutant. However, the Guru rejects such superstitious ideas. Those who are impure from within are the truly impure ones.
‘Should cloth be reckoned impure if blood-stained, How may minds of such be deemed pure, As blood of mankind suck? Says Nanak : With a pure heart and tongue God's Name you utter : All else is worldly show, and false deeds.’ (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, pg. 140).
Meditating on Gods’ name is of importance. Whether your clothes are blood stained or not (including clothes stained from menstrual blood) is not of spiritual importance. Thus, there are no restrictions placed on a woman during her menstruation. She is free to visit the Gurdwara, take part in prayers and do Seva. In The feminine principle in the Sikh vision of the transcendent Nikky Guninder Kaur-Singh writes ‘The denigration of the female body “expressed in many cultural and religious taboos surrounding menstruation and child-Birth” is absent in the Sikh worldview. … Guru Nanak openly chides those who attribute pollution to women because of menstruation’.
Marriage and spousal relationships
The relationship between a husband and wife in Islam has to be considered with reference to Surah 4:34, mentioned in part earlier. The roles of men and women are considered different to the extent that men have superiority over women. They are more equal than woman as they are the maintainers of women.
‘And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable; But men have a degree over them’ (Holy Quran 2:228)
Due to the difference in gender, women have less rights than men. Some rights are reserved for women to ensure they are not abused. The rights concerning divorce are such examples. As for polygamy, women may only marry one partner at a time. However, men can marry up to four times, as long as they can treat each wife equally. Further, they may keep as many slave girls as is required, but must not ill treat them.
‘And if you fear that you cannot act equitably towards orphans, then marry such women as seem good to you, two and three and four; but if you fear that you will not do justice (between them), then (marry) only one or what your right hands possess; this is more proper, that you may not deviate from the right course.’ (Holy Quran, 4:3)
However, the Quran also makes it evident that it can be very difficult to treat each wife equally,
‘You are never able to do justice between wives, Even if it is your ardent desire:’ (Holy Quran, 4:129)
Further, men are also permitted to marry those woman who become captives during a Jihad (holy war).
‘Also (prohibited are) Women already married, Except those Whom your right hands possess’ (Holy Quran, 4:24)
The term right hands possess refers to those who have been captured. Their previous marriage counts for nothing. So does their reluctance to have sex with their captors.
‘But force not your maids to have sex when they desire chastity, in order that you may make gains in the goods of this life. But if anyone forces them, yet after such compulsion, Is God forgiving, merciful to them’ (Holy Quran, 24:33)
On the whole, the superiority of men in marriage and towards their women slaves and maids outweighs the rights the women possess. If a husband feels his wife is overbearing in character, then he is permitted to beat her.
‘the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.’ (Holy Quran, 4:34)
The beating of women is permitted. The Hadith makes it clear that a woman can never fulfill the rights a Husband has over her. He is her maintainer.
‘If a woman offered one of her breasts to be cooked and the other to be roasted, she still will fall short of fulfilling her obligations to her husband. And besides that if she disobeys her husband even for a twinkling of an eye, she would be thrown in the lowest part of Hell, except she repents and turns back.’ Tuffaha, Ahmad Zaky, Al-Mar'ah wal- Islam, Dar al-Kitab al-Lubnani, Beirut, first edition, 1985, p. 176. It is also quoted in Al-Musanaf by Abu Bakr Ahmad Ibn 'Abd Allah Ibn Mousa Al-Kanadi who lived 557H., vol. 1 part 2, p. 255.
‘If blood, suppuration, and pus, were to pour from the husband's nose and the wife licked it with her tongue, she would still never be able to fulfil his rights over her.’ Imam Suyouti, the Muslim scholar.
Sikhism takes a different view concerning the relationship between a Husband and wife. Marriage is considered a part of the spiritual journey to realize God. It is not considered a hindrance to the Human’s goal to realize God within. The Guru reveals:
‘They are not said to be Husband and Wife who merely sit together, Rather they alone are called Husband and Wife, Who have one soul in two bodies.’ (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, pg. 788.)
In Sikhism, the marriage ceremony is referred to as the Anand Karaj. Anand means Bliss and Karaj means something one does. Marriage is the uniting of two souls. It is an important step on the path of spirituality. The responsibility of the householder is considered spiritual. The Guru rejects the idea of renunciation and celibacy as being religiously necessary. The union of man and woman is an important part of the individual’s spiritual journey. The Guru promotes the householder’s way of life. Everything can be achieved in family life. There is no need to renounce the world. Concerning her standing with man, Bhai Gurdas, a Sikh during the 16th Century, reveals:
‘Woman is one half of the complete personality of man, and is entitled to share secular and spiritual knowledge equally’ (Gurdas ji Var 5, Pauri 16:59 )
Thus, there is no notion of the woman being considered inferior to her husband. Concerning their fidelity towards each other, Bhai Kahan Singh in his famous monograph Gurmat Martand, states that at the time of marriage the virtues of Patti Brata (Absolute fidelity to Husband) are to be impressed upon the bride and, equally, the same virtue of Istri Brata (Absolute fidelity to Wife) is to be emphatically emphasized upon the bridegroom. These oaths are to be made by the couple in the Sangat (Holy congregation). Whereas Islam permits beatings when a wife is found to be overbearing, Sikhism takes a more conciliatory view. Concerning marital problems, the Guru reveals:
‘Should brass, gold or iron be broken, The smith in fire fuses it together. Should the husband with the wife have break of relations, Through progeny are their bonds forged again. The ruler when making a demand, By a levy is placated. The hungry by food are satisfied. With rain and inundating rivers is famine lifted. In love, through sweet speech comes reunion. Denial of religious scriptures with truthfulness is healed. The dead to the world by righteousness are tied. These in the world be the means of reconciliation. The stubborn fool by a blow on the face alone will be set right. Thus does Nanak affirm: At the Court Divine comes recognition by Divine laudation.’ (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, pg. 143)
The Guru acknowledges that a marriage can become broken. However, there is a positive approach to such situations. Through their children the couple can find love again. Through love can they overcome difficulties, and not through beatings.
Islam considers men and women to be equal, but gives men more rights. This is due to the role given to them as men. They maintain women. Obedient women are more likely to receive the rewards of God. Thus, the balance concerning equal opportunities favors men to women.
Sikhism considers there to be a difference between men and women, but rejects any notion that this difference entails men being superior. Women, both spiritually and secularly, are equal to men. They have equal opportunity to realize God.