January 12, 2009
Father Zakaria Botros on “The perverse sexual habits of the Prophet”
Life TV’s Father Zakaria Botros recently ran a show dedicated to discussing the question of morality and how it is—or should be—one of the hallmarks of “prophethood.” At the start, he posed the focal question of the show: “Was Muhammad the prophet a moral man—the most upright man, worthy of being emulated by the world?”
He opened the show by relying on an Ibn Taymiyya quote, which evaluated the signs of prophethood. Taymiyya asserted that there are many false-prophets, such as Musailima “the Liar,” a contemporary of Muhammad. Taymiyya concluded that many of these so-called prophets are, in fact, “possessed,” and that the only way to determine the authenticity of any prophet is by examining his biography (sira) and deeds, and see if he be found worthy of the title.
Being that this is the first of several episodes devoted to examining the concepts of morality and prophethood (with the notion that the former reinforces the latter), the theme for this particular episode was “purity” (tahara): “Was Muhammad a ‘pure’ man?”—in this context, a question concerning his sexual mores (or lack thereof).
After the preliminaries, Botros looked at the camera and gave a stern warning: “This episode is for adults only! I am going to discuss many things that make me blush for shame, so please: have the women and children leave the room.”
He then asked Muslims watching to keep in mind the question “Is this the prophet I follow?” as he delineated some of Muhammad’s sexual habits.
First, from the Koran, Botros read verses unequivocally stating that Muhammad is the paragon of all virtue and morality, such as “And most surely you [Muhammad] conform (yourself) to sublime morality [68: 4].” He further quoted the ulema, such as Ibn Kathir, all insisting that Muhammad was the “Noblest of all humanity, and the greatest of prophets.”
Botros and his ex-Muslim cohost—the priest had insisted that it be a man for this particular show, lest he be too ashamed to delineate Muhammad’s sexual habits—discussed Koran 4:3, which “limits” a Muslim’s wives to four, plus “what your right hands possess,” that is, slave-girls.
That was apparently not good enough for Muhammad, asserted Botros; an entire verse had to be “revealed” justifying more women for him (Koran 33:50). In fact, Father Botros has carefully compiled a list of all the women—66 are known—to have had sexual relations with Muhammad.
Botros said that was only normal: according to Sirat Al-Halabi, Muhammad can have a woman no matter what, even against her will; and if Muhammad desired a married woman, her husband would have had to divorce her. According to Ibn Sa’ad, who wrote another authoritative biographical account of Muhammad, “The prophet did not die till all women were permitted him” (see Kitab Al Tabaqat Al Kubra, v.8, 194).
The co-host, rather abruptly, interjected – “What of all those rumors that Muhammad exhibited homosexual tendencies?”
Botros dropped his face in his hands and mumbled, “So you still insist we discuss that?” The co-host was adamant, saying it was for Muslims’ own good to know everything.
Thus Botros, after profusely apologizing to his Muslim viewers, saying how embarrassing this was for him, declared: “Look! We’re merely readers here, bringing up what we have read in Islam’s own books! If Muslims don’t like it, they should go and burn these books.”
The first anecdote discussed by the priest revolved around a hadith that, while some ulema say is “weak,” is, nonetheless according to Botros, present in 44 Islamic books—including some highly respected collections, such as Sunan Bayhaqi and Al Halabi.
According to this hadith, a man named Zahir, who used to declare that “the prophet loves me,” said that one day Muhammad crept unawares behind him and put him in a bear-hug. Zahir, alarmed, yelled, “Get off me!” After turning his head and discovering that it was Muhammad, he stopped struggling and proceeded to “push his back into the prophet’s chest—prayers and blessings upon him.”
Another curious hadith contained in Sunan Bayhaqi and which traces to Sunan Abu Dawud (one of the six canonical hadith collections), has Muhammad lifting up his shirt for a man who proceeded to kiss his entire torso, “from his bellybutton to his armpits.”
Botros looked casually at the camera and said, “Imagine if the sheikh of Al Azhar [nearest Muslim equivalent to the pope] went around lifting his shirt for men to kiss his torso” (he proceeded to make smacking kissing noises, for effect).
Said the co-host: “Surely there’s more?”
Botros: “Indeed there is. No less than 20 Islamic sources—such as the hadiths of Ahmad bin Hanbal—relay that Muhammad used to suck on the tongues of boys and girls”…
[Stay tuned for part II of “The perverse sexual habits of the Prophet”]