Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

The Urine of a Boy VS the Urine of a Girl in Islam Pt. 2

Sam Shamoun

We continue from where we left off by turning the tables on Muslims.(1)

According to some of the supposed authentic narrations, Muhammad made a distinction between the urine of a baby girl versus that of a baby boy. Muhammad is reported to have commanded that a person should sprinkle water in the case that a nursing baby boy urinates on his/her clothes, whereas the urine of a baby girl must be washed off: 

"Ali narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: 'The urine of a baby boy should have water sprinkled upon it. The urine of a baby girl is to be washed off.' Says Qatadah, 'This refers to a male baby that has not yet begun to eat. If he already eats, then the garment is to be washed.'

This hadith is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah. In al-Fath, Ibn Hajar says its chain is sahih.

Sprinkling is sufficient as long as the boy is still nursing. If he eats solid food, his urine must be washed from the clothes and body. There is no disagreement on this latter point. Perhaps the reason for this exemption to the male baby's urine is that people have a tendency to carry their male babies around, and it would have been difficult to clean the clothes after their frequent urinations." (Fiqh us-Sunnah [American Trust Publications, Indianapolis Indiana 1991], Volume 1. Purification and Prayer, pp. 9-10; bold emphasis ours)

The explanation given above to explain the difference between the urine of a boy and girl doesn't work since infant girls are also carried around. So then why make such a distinction between them?

The answer is plain and simple. The reason Islam discriminates between the urine of boys and girls is because the Islamic sources emphatically teach that women are inferior to men, as we shall see shortly.

This next Muslim source, while commenting on similar narrations regarding the urine of male and female infants, was more honest since they admitted that is what Muhammad ordered and that in itself suffices as an explanation:

If it is said, What is the reason why the urine of a boy who is not eating food is sprinkled and not washed like the urine of a girl? The answer is that the reason is that this is what is enjoined in the Sunnah, and that is sufficient reason. Hence when 'Aa'ishah was asked why a woman has to make up fasts that were missed because of menstruation but she does not have to make up prayers missed for the same reason, she said, "That used to happen to us at the time of the Messenger, and we were commanded to make up the fasts and we were not commanded to make up the prayers."

Nevertheless, some scholars have tried to come up with the reason for that.

Some of them said: the reason for that is that it is easier, because usually the male is carried a lot, and people rejoice over him AND LOVE HIM MORE THAN THE FEMALE, and his urine comes out from a narrow opening, so when he urinates it spreads. Because he is carried a lot and washing his urine would be too difficult, so this concession was made.

They also said: his nourishment which is milk is soft, so when he starts to eat regular food it becomes necessary to wash his urine.

The apparent meaning of the words of our companions (the Hanbalis) is that differentiating between the urine of boys and girls is something that is prescribed in the Sunnah, so we follow it… Islam Q&A ( (Islam Q&A, Question #36877: The age at which a baby boy’s urine must be washed off; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Muhammad made a further differentiation between the birth of boys and girls in his prescription of sacrifices on their behalf:

Narrated Salman bin 'Amir Ad-Dabbi:
I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "'Aqiqa is to be offered for a (newly born) boy, so slaughter (an animal) for him, and relieve him of his suffering." (Note: It has been quoted in Fateh-Al-Bari that the MAJORITY of the Religious Scholars agrees to the Hadith narrated in Sahih At-Tirmizy that the Prophet was asked about Aqiqa and he ordered two sheep for a boy and ONE SHEEP FOR A GIRL AND THAT HIS TRADITION IS "SUNNA”.) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 66, Number 380)

Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-'As:
The Apostle of Allah was asked about the aqiqah. He replied: Allah does not like the breaking of ties (uquq), as though he disliked the name. And he said: If anyone has a child born to him and wishes to offer a sacrifice on its behalf, he may offer TWO resembling sheep FOR A BOY AND ONE FOR A GIRL. And he was asked about fara'. He replied: Fara' is right. If you leave it (i.e. let it grow till it becomes a healthy camel of one year or two years, then you give it to a widow or give it in the path of Allah for using it as a riding beast, it is better than slaughtering it at the age when its meat is stuck to its hair, and you turn over your milking vessel and annoy your she-camel. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 15, Number 2836)

The reason for such discrimination between the sexes is because of texts such as the following, which unashamedly place men above women in terms of dignity and value:

Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, AND SCOURGE THEM. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great. S. 4:34 Pickthall

Men are in charge of women because Allah has preferred the former over the latter, which is why men have the right to beat their wives whom they fear are going to rebel against their authority.

And this is how another version renders that particular section of the verse:

“… And those you fear may be rebellious admonish; banish them to their couches, and beat them…” Arberry

Lest we be accused of distorting the meaning of the above passage, here is how some of Islam’s renowned scholars explained this text:

“… And summon to bear witness, the debt, two witnesses, men, mature Muslim free men; or if the two, witnesses, be not men, then one man and two women, to bear witness, such witnesses as you approve of, on account of their piety and probity; the number of women is because of the fact, so that if one of the two women errs, forgets the testimony, GIVEN THEIR LESSER ASTUTENESS AND ACCURACY; the other, the one remembering, will remind her (read fa-tudhakkira or fa-tudhkira), the one that has forgotten — the ‘reminding’ clause is the reason [for the choice of two women], that is to say, so that she may be reminded if she errs or strays into error, because this [forgetfulness] is the cause of it (a variant reading [for an, ‘that’] has the conditional in, ‘if’, with [the verb inflected as] tudhakkiru, ‘she will remind’, making it a new sentence, the response to which [follows])…” (Tafsir al-Jalalayn, Q. 2:282; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Men are in charge of, they have authority over, women, disciplining them and keeping them in check, because of that with which God has preferred the one over the other, that is, because God has given them the advantage over women, IN KNOWLEDGE, REASON, authority and otherwise, and because of what they expend, on them [the women], of their property. Therefore righteous women, among them, are obedient, to their husbands, guarding in the unseen, that is, [guarding] their private parts and otherwise during their spouses’ absence, because of what God has guarded, for them, when He enjoined their male spouses to look after them well. And those you fear may be rebellious, disobedient to you, when such signs appear, admonish them, make them fear God, and share not beds with them, retire to other beds if they manifest such disobedience, and strike them, but not violently, if they refuse to desist [from their rebellion] after leaving them [in separate beds]. If they then obey you, in what is desired from them, do not seek a way against them, a reason to strike them unjustly. God is ever High, Great, so beware of Him, lest He punish you for treating them unjustly. (Ibid, Q. 4:34; bold and capital emphasis ours)

“… And they (women) have rights) and inviolability with their husbands (similar to those) of their husbands (over them in kindness) in kind companionship and intercourse, (and men are a degree above them) in relation to the REASONING FACULTY, INHERITANCE, BLOOD MONEY, as WITNESSES in court and also that which they owe them in terms of expenditure and service.” (Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs, Q. 2:228; bold and capital emphasis ours)

“(Men are in charge of women) they are in charge of overseeing the proper conduct of women, (because Allah hath made the one of them) the men THROUGH REASON and the division of booty and estates (to excel the other) the women…” (Ibid, Q. 4:34; bold and capital emphasis ours)

(Men are in charge of women…) [4:34]. Said Muqatil: “This verse (Men are in charge of women…) was revealed about Sa‘d ibn al-Rabi‘, who was one of the leaders of the Helpers (nuqaba’), and his wife Habibah bint Zayd ibn Abi Zuhayr, both of whom from the Helpers. It happened Sa‘d hit his wife on the face because she rebelled against him. Then her father went with her to see the Prophet. He said to him: ‘I gave him my daughter in marriage and he slapped her’. The Prophet said: ‘Let her have retaliation against her husband’. As she was leaving with her father to execute retaliation, the Prophet called them and said: ‘Come back; Gabriel has come to me’, and Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse. The Messenger of Allah said: ‘We wanted something while Allah wanted something else, and that which Allah wants is good’. Retaliation was then suspended”. Sa‘id ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Zahid informed us> Zahir ibn Ahmad> Ahmad ibn al-Husayn ibn Junayd> Ziyad ibn Ayyub> Hushaym> Yunus ibn al-Hasan who reported that a man slapped his wife and she complained about him to the Prophet. Her family who went with her said: “O Messenger of Allah! So-and-so has slapped our girl”. The Prophet kept saying: “Retaliation! Retaliation! And there is no other judgement to be held”. But then this verse (Men are in charge of women…) was revealed and the Prophet said: “We wanted something and Allah wanted something else”. Abu Bakr al-Harithi informed us> Abu’l-Shaykh al-Hafiz> Abu Yahya al-Razi> Sahl al-‘Askari> ‘Ali ibn Hashim> Isma‘il> al-Hasan who said: “Around the time when the verse on retaliation was revealed amongst the Muslims, a man had slapped his wife. She went to the Prophet: ‘My husband has slapped me and I want retaliation’. So he said: ‘Let there be retaliation’. As he was still dealing with her, Allah, exalted is He, revealed (Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other…). Upon which the Prophet said: ‘We wanted something and my Lord wanted something different. O man, take your wife by the hand’ ”. ('Alī ibn Ahmad al-Wahidi, Asbab al-Nuzul, Q. 4:34; bold emphasis ours)

It is interesting to see how Muhammad wanted to enact justice on the husbands who beat their wives, which was a noble and virtuous thing for him to do, and yet Allah made sure to intervene in order to prevent him from doing so, thereby giving men the right to beat and abuse their spouses! 

Moreover, the hadiths testify that Muslim women were treated worse and suffered more than any other women:

Narrated 'Ikrima:
Rifa'a divorced his wife whereupon 'AbdurRahman bin Az-Zubair Al-Qurazi married her. 'Aisha said that the lady (came), wearing a green veil (and complained to her (Aisha) of her husband and showed her a green spot on her skin caused by beating). It was the habit of ladies to support each other, so when Allah's Apostle came, 'Aisha said, "I have not seen any woman suffering AS MUCH AS THE BELIEVING WOMEN. Look! Her skin IS GREENER THAN HER CLOTHES!" When 'AbdurRahman heard that his wife had gone to the Prophet, he came with his two sons from another wife. She said, "By Allah! I have done no wrong to him but he is impotent and is as useless to me as this," holding and showing the fringe of her garment, 'Abdur-Rahman said, "By Allah, O Allah's Apostle! She has told a lie! I am very strong and can satisfy her but she is disobedient and wants to go back to Rifa'a." Allah's Apostle said, to her, "If that is your intention, then know that it is unlawful for you to remarry Rifa'a unless 'Abdur-Rahman has had sexual intercourse with you." Then the Prophet saw two boys with 'Abdur-Rahman and asked (him), "Are these your sons?" On that 'AbdurRahman said, "Yes." The Prophet said, "You claim what you claim (i.e. that he is impotent)? But by Allah, these boys resemble him as a crow resembles a crow," (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Number 715)

Here is a situation where a woman had been hit so hard by her husband that it left a green bruise on her body, with Muhammad doing absolutely nothing to rebuke or discipline the man.

The reason why Muhammad did nothing to the husband is because the Quran testifies that men are superior to women and considerably more intelligent:

Divorced women must wait for themselves three courses; and it is not lawful to them that they hide what God has created in their wombs, if they believe in God and in the last day. Their husbands will do better to take them back in that (case) if they wish for reconciliation; for, the same is due to them as from them; but the men should have precedence over them. God is mighty and wise. S. 2:228 Palmer

Notice how the following version renders the last part of the verse:

“… Women shall with justice have rights similar to those exercised against them, although men have a status above women…” N. J. Dawood

The following verses state that the inheritance and witness of man is equivalent to that of two women:

“… And get two witnesses out of your own men. And if there are not two men (available), then a man and two women, such as you agree for witnesses, so that if one of them (two women) errs, the other can remind her…” S. 2:282 Hilali-Khan

“Allah commands you as regards your children's (inheritance); to the male, a portion equal to that of two females…” S. 4:11 Hilali-Khan

“… if there are brothers and sisters, the male will have twice the share of the female…” S. 4:176 Hilali-Khan

There is no need for us to explain why the testimony and inheritance of a woman is half of that of a man, since Muhammad and his followers do a fine of job of explaining it for us:

  • Origin of Menstruation

Menstruation first began with Hawwa' (Eve) when Adam disobeyed his Lord and ate from the tree from which He had forbidden him to eat. So Allaah decreed menstruation for Hawwa' as a consequence because she had encouraged him to do that.

It was narrated that Ibn 'Abbaas said: When Adam ate from the tree from which he had been forbidden to eat, Adam said: "My Lord, Hawwa' made the idea seem good to me." He said: "I have decreed that she will not carry a child except with hardship and she will not give birth except with hardship, and she will bleed twice each month; this is for you and your daughters."[1]

But Ibn Mas'ood narrated something that contradicts that. He said:

Men and women of the Children of Israel used to pray together, and a woman would have a lover, and she would wear something to make her look taller for her lover, so menstruation was decreed for them (as a punishment).[2]

This report implies that menstruation started among the Children of Israel.

Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar reconciled between the two reports by saying:[3]

"They may be reconciled by suggesting that what was sent upon the women of the Children of Israel was lengthening of the menses, which was a punishment for them, it was not the beginning of menstruation.”

I say: This is a good reconciliation between the reports, which is supported by the Hadeeth of the Mother of the Believers 'Aishah who said: We went out with no intention but to perform Hajj, and when I was in Sarifa my menses came. The Messenger of Allaah entered upon me and I was weeping. He said, "What is the matter with you? Are you menstruating?” I said, "Yes." He said…

“This is something that Allaah has decreed for the daughters of Adam. Do everything that the pilgrims do except circumambulating the House.”[1]

This Hadeeth indicates that all women are faced with that, so it is not just a trial for the women of the Children of Israel. Al-Bukhaari included it in his Saheeh in a chapter which he called, "How menstruation began, and the words of the Prophet: 'This is something that Allaah has decreed for the daughters of Adam.' Some of them said that menstruation was first sent upon the Children of Israel, but the Hadeeth of the Prophet is more comprehensive." i.e. the Hadeeth of the Prophet is more comprehensive and includes all women. It is as if what Ibn Mas'ood mentioned is his own opinion, which is to be rejected because it goes against the Marfoo' report (i.e., that which is attributed to the Prophet), or else it applies to a specific attribute (of menses as experience by the women of the Children of Israel). This is the view of Ibn Hajar. (Important Lessons for Muslim Women, Compiled by 'Amr Abdul-Mun'im Saleem [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, First Edition: March 2005], Lesson 1. Menstruation: a linguistic definition, How menstruation begins, pp. 97-99; bold emphasis ours)

[1] Narrated by Ibn Al-Mundhir in Al-Awsat, 2/201, with a Saheeh Isnaad. Classed as Saheeh by Al-Haafiz in Al-Fath, 1/477.

[2] Narrated by 'Abd Al-Razzaq (3/149), with a Saheeh Isnaad as Al-Haafiz said.

[3] Fath Al-Baari, 1/477. (Ibid, p. 98; bold emphasis ours)

[1] Narrated by Al-Bukhaari, 1/112; Muslim, 783; Al-Nasaa'i, 1/153; Ibn Maajah, 2963; via Sufyaan ibn 'Uyaynah, from 'Abdul-Rahmaan ibn Al-Qaasim, from his father, from 'A'ishah. (Ibid, p. 99)


According to Yunus - Ibn Wahb - Ibn Zayd (commenting on God's word: "And he whispered"): Satan whispered to Eve about the tree and succeeded in taking her to it; then he made it seem good to Adam. He continued. When Adam felt a need for her and called her, she said: No! unless you go there. When he went, she said again: No! unless you eat from this tree. He continued. They both ate from it, and their secret parts became apparent to them. He continued. Adam then went about in Paradise in flight. His Lord called out to him: Adam, is it from Me that you are fleeing? Adam replied: No, my Lord, but I feel shame before You. When God asked what had caused his trouble, he replied: Eve, my Lord. Whereupon God said: Now it is My obligation to make her bleed once every month, as she made this tree bleed. I ALSO MAKE HER STUPID, although I had created her intelligent (halimah), and must make her suffer pregnancy and birth with difficulty, although I made it easy for her to be pregnant and give birth. Ibn Zayd said: Were it not for the affliction that affected Eve, the women of this world would not menstruate, AND THEY WOULD BE INTELLIGENT and, when pregnant, give birth easily. (The History of Al-Tabari: General Introduction and From the Creation to the Flood, translated by Franz Rosenthal [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany 1989], Volume 1, pp. 280-281; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Allah deliberately made women stupid and cursed them with menstruation for the sin committed by Eve.(2)

And lest a Muslim object to these narrations on the grounds that they do not come from their prophet, here is what Muhammad himself is reported to have said:

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:
Once Allah's Apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) on ‘Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, "O women! Give alms, as I have seen that THE MAJORITY of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women)." They asked, "Why is it so, O Allah's Apostle?" He replied, "You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion THAN YOU. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you." The women asked, "O Allah's Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?" He said, "Is not THE EVIDENCE OF TWO WOMEN EQUAL TO THE WITNESS OF ONE MAN?" They replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn't it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?" The women replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her religion." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 6, Number 301; see also Volume 2, Book 24, Number 541)


Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:
The Prophet said, "Isn't the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?" The women said, "Yes." He said, "THIS IS BECAUSE OF THE DEFICIENCY OF A WOMAN’S MIND." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 48, Number 826)

Muhammad implicitly makes reference to Q. 2:282 regarding the testimony of two women being equivalent to one man to prove that women are intellectually inferior to men. Muhammad not only believed that women were basically stupid, being less intelligent and religious than men, and who have also been cursed with menstruation, he even thought that women made up the majority of the inhabitants of hell!

The foregoing clearly establishes that Islam does not view women as being essentially equal with men, having the same inherent value and dignity as the Holy Bible teaches. Rather, the sources of Islam conclusively prove that Muhammad and his deity thought that women were morally and intellectually inferior creatures, and the property of men who could be physically disciplined by their husbands if need be.

To conclude in the words of the Muslim taqiyyist whom we are responding to:

So there you have it folks! The urine of a girl makes you more impure than the urine of a boy, and the birth of a daughter requires the sacrifice of only one sheep in contrast to that of a boy.

Perhaps there is a Muslim out there who would like to make an attempt to answer why the urine of male babies should be sprinkled in contrast to the washing of the urine of female babies, and why the sacrificial offering made for baby boys is different from that of girls.


(1) We are aware that aim of the Muslim neophyte in producing this short attack on the teaching of Leviticus was to show Christians what would happen if their same criticisms against Islam were applied to their respective Scriptures. The problem with this approach is that a fair and careful reading of the entire message of the Holy Bible conclusively establishes that women are given the same respect and honor that men receive, and are viewed as being equal with men in terms of glory, essence, and value. Thus, whatever the point of Leviticus 12 happens to be, its teaching cannot be distorted to establish that the Biblical authors viewed women as being inferior to men in terms of their inherent worth and dignity. However, such is not the case with the teachings of Islam since the data proves that Muhammad viewed women as being beneath men not only in terms of status, but also in respect to intelligence, morality and dignity. As such, the dawagandists criticism is misplaced and is nothing more than a false comparison since the Biblical stance on women is worlds apart from the Islamic point of view. It is comparison apples with pineapples, a contrast between day (the Biblical teaching) and night (the Islamic position).

(2) Interestingly, nowhere will one find the Holy Bible teaching that menstruation is a curse that came from God upon women due to Eve’s disobedience. Muslims will have to blame their prophet for this belief, which he may have gotten from some of the Jews and Christians that may have also erroneously believed the same thing. If so then this would simply be another gross misreading of the Holy Bible since the Scriptures provide no support for such a view. After all, even the Quran acknowledges that there were specific Jews (and perhaps Christians) who were guilty of perverting the message of the Bible by their (mis)interpretation of the inspired Scriptures:

And verily, among them is a party who distort the Book with their tongues (as they read), so that you may think it is from the Book, but it is not from the Book, and they say: "This is from Allah," but it is not from Allah; and they speak a lie against Allah while they know it. S. 3:78 Hilali-Khan

This teaching regarding menses would be a clear example of such blatant Scripture twisting “with their tongues.”