If a perfect God truly exists, it would be expected for them to deliver a revelation that is also perfect from the very beginning.
However, if a human is responsible for claiming a divine revelation, it is likely to contain imperfections and human errors. Such a human-made revelation would require a process of trial and error to eliminate these flaws.
Furthermore, a human-made revelation is often influenced by the personal desires and wishes of the individual presenting it, reflecting worldly concerns rather than divine perfection.
Upon closer examination of the revelations in Islam, it becomes evident that they are far from perfect. They bear the imprint of human fallibility, the trial and error approach, and adherence to the worldly desires of Muhammad and the people in his circle.
One notable case that exemplifies this is the incident of Zihar.
During the era of ignorance in Arab society, there was a peculiar custom known as Zihar. If a man, in a fit of anger or unintentionally, compared his wife to his mother or her back to his mother's back, it was considered grounds for separation, akin to a divorce. It was really a foolish practice of the people of the time of ignorance.
Surprisingly, when Islam emerged, it continued to endorse this foolish tradition of Zihar.
One incident involves a companion of Muhammad who divorced his wife, Khuwaylah, through Zihar. Seeking justice, Khuwaylah approached Muhammad and expressed her grievances. However, Muhammad did not resolve her issue. Instead, against her wishes, he informed her that her husband had likened her to his mother, making him no longer her spouse but merely a cousin-brother. It is important to note that in Islam, once divorced, it is nearly impossible for a wife to remarry her husband unless she undergoes the degrading practice of Halala. Nonetheless, Zihar is even more stringent than Talaq (divorce), as it prevents the couple from reuniting even after Halala.
In response, Khuwaylah, the female companion, became furious and vehemently disagreed with Muhammad. She refused to leave and engaged in a dispute with him.
To resolve the situation and dismiss Khuwaylah, Muhammad conveniently claimed to receive a revelation from Allah. The revelation stated that Zihar had been abrogated, allowing Khuwaylah to reunite with her husband.
Certainly has Allah heard the speech of the one who argues with you, [O Muhammad], concerning her husband and directs her complaint to Allah. And Allah hears your dialogue; indeed, Allah is Hearing and Seeing. If any men among you divorce their wives by Zihar (calling them mothers), they cannot be their mothers: None can be their mothers except those who gave them birth. And in fact, they use words (both) iniquitous and false: but truly Allah is one that blots out (sins), and forgives (again and again). Those who call their wives their mothers then revoke what they had said, should free a slave before having physical contact (with them). This is to warn you, as God is aware of what you do. If one does not have the means (of doing so) then he should fast for two months continuously before he has physical contact; but anyone who is unable to do so, should feed sixty needy persons.
Divine revelation should inherently be flawless, without any need for trial and error.
It is perplexing that while Allah had previously revealed the commandments for normal marriage and divorce, the harmful practice of Zihar was still allowed to persist.
Why did Allah not prohibit Zihar, along with other foolish divorce practices like Ila, right from the beginning? If Allah is truly perfect, it would be expected that He would have prohibited it without delay.
Due to Allah's negligence in prohibiting it, this unfortunate woman had to engage in an ongoing dispute with Muhammad to seek its abrogation.
Prophet Muhammad's response is also puzzling. Despite the women's awareness that Zihar was an evil and foolish practice, Muhammad did not demonstrate the same understanding. He did not ask Allah to prohibit it, but instead repeatedly advised the woman to forget about her husband and move on.
If Allah, who is claimed to be 100% perfect, had not previously prohibited Zihar, He could have immediately abrogated it when the woman first requested it. However, it seems that Allah chose to observe the entire drama of the dispute between the woman and Muhammad, only revealing the solution when she persisted in her disagreement, enabling Muhammad to rid himself of her.
Even in these revealed verses, the alleged 100% perfect Allah displayed a lack of wisdom in handling this problem appropriately.
Before proceeding, please read about how Khuwayla secretly bore the burden of the penalty on her own, without her husband's knowledge.
Narrated Khuwaylah, daughter of Malik ibn Tha'labah:
My husband, Aws ibn as-Samit, pronounced the words: You are like my mother. So I came to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him), complaining to him about my husband.
The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) disputed with me and said: Remain dutiful to Allah; he is your cousin.
I continued (complaining) until the Qur'anic verse came down: "Allah hath heard the words of her who disputeth with thee concerning her husband…." till the prescription of expiation.
He then said: He should set free a slave. She said: He cannot afford it. He said: He should fast for two consecutive months. She said: Apostle of Allah, he is an old man; he cannot keep fasts. He said: He should feed sixty poor people. She said: He has nothing which he may give in alms. At that moment an araq (i.e. date-basket holding fifteen or sixteen sa's) was brought to him.
I said: I shall help him with another date-basked ('araq). He said: You have done well. Go and feed sixty poor people, and return to your cousin.
(Abu Dawud said) She paid the penalty secretly, without telling her husband.
(This tradition is "Sahih" i.e. authentic. Link)
Please take note:
- It is indeed peculiar and foolish that although the mistake of Zihar was committed by the husband, it was the poor woman who had to bear the penalty. Such a scenario raises questions about the nature of Divine Justice.
- Furthermore, why did Allah not completely eliminate the issue by entirely abrogating Zihar? In the non-Muslim world, we do not encounter any problems related to Zihar. So, why did Allah persist in addressing it through various penalties? It is worth noting that these penalties predominantly burden the woman alone.
Only the husband has the right to Zihar, while the woman has no right
A significant disparity exists when it comes to Zihar: only the husband has the right to invoke it, while the woman is deprived of this right.
This inconsistency highlights further double standards.
When a woman compares her husband to her father, she can do so repeatedly without any consequences, and the husband can continue their intimate relationship (refer to the detailed fatwa for more information).
If uttering the words of Zihar truly had any effect, it should impact both men and women equally. However, this is not the case. One can only question the notion of Divine Justice when only the words of men hold significance.
In reality, neither the words of men nor women hold any weight in this matter. It is simply a non-issue, born out of foolishness and ignorance rooted in outdated cultural practices. Unfortunately, the supposedly 100% perfect Allah failed to eliminate it. This suggests that Muhammad was not truly in contact with a divine entity in the heavens but rather formulated these revelations independently, leading to these human errors within the revelation.
Zihar vs marrying the wife of the Adopted son
Islam presents a perplexing contrast in its reasoning. On one hand, according to Islamic logic, if a man repeatedly refers to someone as his son, even after adopting him, that child cannot be considered a Mahram to the man's family. Consequently, a foster mother must be separated from her adopted son as soon as he reaches adulthood, resulting in the son being expelled from the household, as he could no longer stay under one roof with his foster mother.
On the other hand, Islam dictates that if a husband compares his wife to his mother, it leads to an immediate and permanent divorce. These contradictions epitomize double standards and reach the height of absurdity.
It is important to note that both Shia and Salafi (Wahhabi) Muslims accept the concept of Zihar (while it is in the Quran), despite rejecting the notion of three Talaqs (divorces) in one sitting. They take pride in this distinction while criticizing traditional Sunnis for allowing three Talaqs in one sitting.
However, we must inform these Shia and Salafi Muslims that their Quranic Zihar also occurs in a single sitting, similar to the concept of three Talaqs in one sitting. Therefore, their religious beliefs demonstrate inconsistency and lack logical coherence, and taking pride in it is inherently foolish.