The Instigator
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
Pro (for)
Losing
4 Points
The Contender
HPWKA
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

Was Muhammed a pedophile?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
HPWKA
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/1/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,634 times Debate No: 41514
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (19)
Votes (2)

 

iamanatheistandthisiswhy

Pro

This argument came up in a recent forum thread that Muhammad is not a pedophile according to the norms of the day. However Pedophilia is defined according to the standards we have today, so Muhammad does classify as a pedophile.

http://www.debate.org...

A similar correlation could be to say that Thomas Jefferson was not a slave owner, as when he was alive slavery was accepted. But the fact is according to today's standards he was a slave owner.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

My position is that Muhammad is a pedophile.
First round for acceptance.
HPWKA

Con

Just hammering out a few details before we begin in proper.

Pro must prove with relative certainty, that Muhammad was indeed a pedophile. Pedophile here, being defined as sexual relations with a pre-pubescent child.

I will be arguing that such concrete proof does not exist, as the sources that peg Muhammad as a pedophile are largely unreliable, and their like can be used to argue the opposite, that Muhammad was not a pedophile. So essentially, I am saying that there is no "hard-evidence", that can really prove Muhammad was a pedophile.

Again, thanks to Pro for his patience with my long response time.
Debate Round No. 1
iamanatheistandthisiswhy

Pro

Thanks to my opponent for accepting this debate.

Firstly, I think it is important to define a pedophile according to today's standards. I think the following definition is appropriate, and I am sure my opponent would agree:"a pedophile is an individual who fantasizes about, is sexually aroused by, or experiences sexual urges toward prepubescent children (generally <13 years) for a period of at least 6 months." This statement comes from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition. (1) This means that I have to only prove that Muhammad had sexual relations or sexual urges towards Aisha when she was prepubescent, below 13 years old. If he had sexual relations or urges towards her in these prepubescent years then we can conclude that Muhammad was a pedophile.

With this in mind where can we look for proof. The sources I will cite are the hadiths which report on the sayings and life of the prophets.

The first question is to consider was Muhammad attracted to Aisha. Remember sexual attraction is also considered as pedophilia,and this is what I want to address in this round of the debate. In the Sahih al-Bukhari we can see accounts that are attributed to Aisha where she tells what age she was engaged to get married as well as married to Muhammad. From the following we can see that Muhammad was sexually attracted to Aisha at the early age of 6. I mean if he was not why would he get married to her and take her into his house as a wife.
In Volume 5, Book 58, Number 234:(2)
"The Prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six (years)."
In Volume 5, Book 58, Number 236:(3)
"He stayed there for two years or so and then he married 'Aisha when she was a girl of six years of age."
In Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64:(4)
"that the Prophet married her when she was six years old"

Additionally in the Sahih Muslim the same age is getting attributed to Aisha when she was married and engaged to Muhammad. This is further evidence that he was a pedophile which can be confirmed by looking at the following references.
In Book 008, Number 3309:(5)
"A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house at the age of nine."
In Book 41,Number 4915:(6)
"The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) married me when I was seven or six."

Then lastly in the Sunan Abu Dawood we get information of when Muhammad started living with Aisha.
In Book 41, Number 4917:(7)
"When we came to Medina, the women came to me when I was playing on the swing, and my hair were up to my ears. They brought me, prepared me, and decorated me. Then they brought me to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) and he took up cohabitation with me, when I was nine."

In my opinion these stories suggest that Muhammad was sexually attracted towards Aisha, as he was married to her at a very young age. Whether that age was 6,7,8 or 9 is irrelevant as she was prepubescent. This means that as she was prepubescent, we can say Muhammad was a pedophile according to the definition of pedophilia given in the beginning of this argument.

I hand the debate back to my opponent for his rebuttals.

(1) http://focus.psychiatryonline.org...
(2) http://www.usc.edu...
(3) http://www.usc.edu...
(4) http://www.usc.edu...
(5) http://www.usc.edu...
(6) http://www.usc.edu...
(7) http://www.usc.edu...
HPWKA

Con

I accept my opponent’s definition of pedophilia, as well as his stated BOP.
My argument against Pro will revolve around two main points.

The first, is that Pro’s entire case rests on the testimonies of Hadith, and since Hadith are largely unreliable as accurate historical documents, then it is essentially impossible to concretely prove Muhammad was guilty of pedophilia.

The second, is that there are other Hadith/Accounts that indicate Aisha married Muhammad at a much later date, meaning Muhammad would not be a pedophile.

Therefore, at BEST, we have no credible evidence that proves Muhammad was a pedophile, and at WORST, we have conflicting accounts. Neither scenario would allow Pro to satisfy his BOP, and win this debate. I elaborate on my first main points below.

Though the subject is quite extensive, I’ll give a brief rundown of why modern historians consider Hadith inaccurate and unreliable. If anyone wants a more extensive description, check this link. http://www.free-minds.org...

The first issue scholars have with Hadith, is that they weren’t collected or referenced until nearly 200 years after Muhammad’s death, meaning the original source (Muhammad) and the alleged “trusted” narrators (the companions), were all dead, along with their children and close relatives/associates. This is compounded by the fact that most of these Hadith weren’t written down, but recited orally, as Muhammad discouraged the Hadith practice, and the first four Caliph’s (Muslim leaders after Muhammad), forbade and destroyed Hadith collections.

The second issue, is that the business of producing falsified Hadith for personal/political gain exploded after Muhammad’s death. While false narratives attributed to Muhammad were always prevalent during his life, its quite suspicious that this practice became an industry after his death, during the period where “Sahih” Hadith collections appeared. The early Caliph’s like Umar destroyed Hadith collections partly because of the large amounts of forgeries being circulated. During the later Abbasid and Umayyad Caliphates, rulers shamelessly contracted scribes to forge Hadith, in order to legitimize the way they ruled ther kingdom.

The third issue is with the compilers of Hadith themselves (Bukhari/Muslim/etc). They used extremely subjective criteria to deem certain Hadith “weak” or “strong”, like gauging the ”honesty” of a source that they either knew nothing about, or had been dead for 200 years, with no written records. They were also observed to be quite biased, in who they took Hadith from, and why. Lastly, they collected Hadith from a pool of hundreds of thousands, from hundreds of narrators. It is quite literally impossible for the compilers to “validate” even a fraction of these narrations, and based on the many internal contradictions in Hadith, its clear this is the case.

My second argument is that by using suspect Hadith/Accounts, the likes of which Pro used, I can argue that Muhammad was NOT a pedophile. I’ll post one here, and a link. http://www.muslim.org...

“In the time before Islam, Abu Bakr married two women. The first was Fatila daughter of Abdul Uzza, from whom Abdullah and Asma were born. Then he married Umm Ruman, from whom Abdur Rahman and Aisha were born. These four were born before Islam.” –Tabari

Using these accounts by classical historians and Hadith collectors, its revealed that Aisha was born before Islam (the Call/first Hijra, which would make her age of marriage roughly 14, and her marriage consummation (sex with Muhammad) roughly 19. This is not pedophilia.

In closing, Hadith are borderline useless as historical accounts, and due to their inaccuracies, we can even using conflicting Hadith to argue the opposite of what another one may claim. Therefore, Pro simply cannot satisfy his BOP in any meaningful way.
Debate Round No. 2
iamanatheistandthisiswhy

Pro

I thank my opponent for the interesting rebuttals.

Firstly my opponent has said the Hadith are not to be accepted as they are largely unreliable and inaccurate historical documents. I believe this argument can be countered as it leads to bigger problems for my opponent if he is a Muslim. If we are to dismiss the Hadith as historically inaccurate and unreliable, then we have to completely reject the Hadith for everything from this point forward. This creates problems for Islamic law and Islam truth in general, so I will gladly throw the Haidth out of all further arguments in this debate.(1,2) However, then my opponent surely has to realize then that Islam is just a fairytale. If Islam is just a fairytale, then all the tales about Muhammad, Allah and the Koran have further no historical/scientific backing and I will gladly lose the debate.

However, before we throw out the Hadith, my opponent needs to clarify to everyone reading this debate. That Islam is a fairytale, Allah is an illusion and Muhammad was not a prophet. I ask that my opponent addresses this very important issue in his rebuttal.

Secondly my opponent pointed out there are Hadith that indicate Aisha was married to Muhammad at a much older age than the defined less than 13 years which would make Muhammad a pedophile. However, there are other sources from which we can find the age of Aisha. The Persian historian Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari also recorded the age of Aisha as 10 when she got married to Muhammad, although this is different to the 7-9 reported in the Hadith it still makes Muhammad a pedophile.(3) Now it should be noted that Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari is a historian that is accepted to be historically accurate.(4) So without the Hadith,we still end up with an age that would classify Muhammad as a pedophile, and so I believe this proves my point.

Its also interesting, that while my opponent is willing to reject the Hadith. That Muslims around the world (who accept the Hadith and Islam) are still split as to how old Aisha was when she got married.(5, 6) I think it is relevant to point out I have not even talked about the age at which Aisha had sex with Muhamed. However I don't believe it is necessary to prove the point of pedophilia according to the definition.

May I also point out that the verse that my opponent quoted about the age of Aisha should now also be rejected as the Hadith are meant to be dismissed. Like I said before, if my opponent discards Islam as a religion I will gladly lose this debate.

I hand the debate back to my opponent.

(1) http://www.onislam.net...
(2) http://islamiclearningmaterials.com...
(3) D. A. Spellberg, Politics, Gender, and the Islamic Past: the Legacy of A'isha bint Abi Bakr, Columbia University Press, 1994, p. 40
(4) http://www.cis-ca.org...
(5) http://islamgreatreligion.wordpress.com...
(6) http://www.islamicity.com...
HPWKA

Con

"If Islam is just a fairytale, then all the tales about Muhammad, Allah and the Koran have further
no historical/scientific backing and I will gladly lose the debate."


Okay, Islam is just a fairy-tale, you lose.

"The Persian historian Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari also recorded the age of Aisha as 10 when she got married to Muhammad"

Al-Tabari's "History of Prophets and Kings"
which is the book you refer to, is essentially a collection of Hadith, nothing more. The introduction to his text reads, "Let the reader be aware that whatever I mention in my book is relied on the news thatwere narrated by some men. I had attributed these stories to their narrators, without inferring anything from their incidents" The accounts found in Al-Tabari's work are in no way more reliable then the earlier Hadith's you quoted.

"I think it is relevant to point out I have not even talked about the age at which Aisha had sex with Muhammad.However I don't believe it is necessary to prove the point of pedophilia according to the definition."

For you to win this debate, its absolutely necessary that you prove Muhammad had sexual thoughts or interactions with a pre-pubescent Aisha. You have not been able to do so, both because the sources you use aren't credible, and because those same sources contradict each other.

"May I also point out that the verse that my opponent quoted about the age of Aisha should now also be rejected as the Hadith are meant to be dismissed."

The Hadith I referenced depicting Aisha's age as 14-19 at the time of marriage/sex, wasn't meant to be taken as a historical fact, but meant to show that the Hadith portray conflicting accounts of Aisha's age.

I think this debate is pretty much over, unless Pro has any final thoughts.







Debate Round No. 3
iamanatheistandthisiswhy

Pro

Thanks to my opponent for a fantastic debate which I will gladly concede. I however would like to make some closing statements as to what this loss means with respect to this debate and Islam in general.

As an atheist I believe that their is no God, and there is no rational basis fro any belief in a god. By throwing out the Hadith as a historical source as my opponent has done (and I gladly accept that), we together have effectively destroyed the myth of Islam,Muhammad and Allah. It follows that the been a Muslim is a completely irrational position to hold, as the Hadith and other history's which I mentioned are critical to the truth of the Koran.

We have eradicated one of the so called major religions, as we have shown that it is all a fairytale like all the other major religions.

I think my opponent would agree, that the only way to believe what is written in the Koran is to take the Hadith as fact as well. This then leads to the fact that Muhammad is a pedophile. However, if Muhammad's existence was all a made up (as there is no historical fact for his existence) then I agree he is not a pedophile. I think I can say this with reason as Muhammad was illiterate, so anything in the Koran was written by others and fails the test set by my opponent.

Again thanks to my opponent for a stimulating debate and logical conclusions.
HPWKA

Con

"Hadith and other history's which I mentioned are critical to the truth of the Koran."

I don't know about the "truth" of the Quran, but Pro should be aware that the Hadith and Quran are two separate entities, both in terms of their role in Islam, and how they were collected. The Quran isn't really dependent on Hadith, as one of its key claims is its ability to be a stand-alone rulebook.

"We have eradicated one of the so called major religions, as we have shown that it is all a fairytale like all the other major religions. "

I think you are being a bit too generous to us. We have simply shown that their is no concrete proof incriminating Muhammad as a pedophile.

"I think my opponent would agree, that the only way to believe what is written in the Koran is to take the Hadith as fact as well."

Your opponent does not agree, and does not see the Quran and Hadith as intrinsically bound.

"However, if Muhammad's existence was all a made up (as there is no historical fact for his existence)"

I detest using absolutes, but we can be absolutely certain Muhammad existed as a person. There is zero doubt. The accounts of his deeds collected/written hundreds of years after his death, is a separate case.

"anything in the Koran was written by others and fails the test set by my opponent"

It seems you didn't understand my argument at all. Hadith aren't historically worthless because they weren't written by Muhammad, but because most of them weren't even written down and collected until 200 years after his death, coincidentally at a time when forging Hadith for political gain, was becoming an industry.

"Again thanks to my opponent for a stimulating debate and logical conclusions"

Likewise. Pro had excellent conduct and rational argument throughout.







Debate Round No. 4
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
It's a concession, thus little need to read anything extra before voting. Plus reading a source not included in the debate rounds would only poison the well.
Posted by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 3 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
Think voters should read this forum before voting. :)
http://www.debate.org...
Posted by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 3 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
@ Ragnar I agree, however the argument is that the Hadith are the historical facts about Muhammad. All other documents about Muhammad are based on these Hadith. So in essence with no Hadith I think we can conclude Muhammed never existed. That's why I have created a new debate with the opponent accepting the truth of the Hadith.
Posted by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
If religions are just fairytales or not, is a separate matter from declaring influential historical figures to be. Under such standards for dismissing the past existence of human beings, what standard would be good enough to prove someone existed? Then how many dead presidents would even live up to it.
Posted by neptune1bond 3 years ago
neptune1bond
@iamanatheistandthisiswhy. I definitely thank you for taking the time to recreate the debate. I look forward to seeing it argued.
Posted by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 3 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
http://www.debate.org...

Link to the new debate, if it materializes.
Posted by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 3 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
@ neptune1bond. I agree, that would have been better, but as an atheist I think showing religion to be fairy tales is always a win. I will recreate the debate and let you know.
Posted by neptune1bond 3 years ago
neptune1bond
What a disappointment this was for me! The conclusions that were arrived at are about as useful as it would be for two Christians to debate on the subject of atheism:

Christian 1 (pro):I argue that atheism is evil heresy perpetuated by Satan!
Christian 2 (con):I can't argue with that logic, looks like I'll have to concede...
Christian 1:Through this debate I have therefor proved that atheism is pure foolishness and evil and therefor choosing to be an atheist means that you deserve eternal damnation and suffering! Yay!
Christian 2:Huzzah!

Obviously such a debate would have little value (intellectual or otherwise), proves nothing, and is only interesting in a absurdly humorous way. I think that the only ethical thing is for the creator of this debate to recreate it but state in round 1 that both parties must argue from an assumption that the Quran and other accepted Islamic texts are true. Either that or at least that his opponent must believe in the Quran and the accompanying religion and that the debate will not be about the validity of the religion itself. He should then post the link in these comments so that we can see the actual stated subject debated.
Posted by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 3 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
@Ragnar Thanks for the vote :) Too often interesting debates go unvoted so I appreciate it.

@ HPWKA. Don't worry about Yay842s vote, he just voted to give equal points regardless of reading. I would have reported it if it swung in either of our favour.
Posted by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
Here is as far as I got in formatting a RFD, prior to pro's concession. The only remaining issue would be sources, which would be petty to overly care about given it's a concession.

-------------RFD (pre-concession)-------------------
Ok this one is not as clear cut as I assumed it would be...

From con's source "The Holy Quran is unquestionably the Divine Book of Islam. However, Muslims with some exceptions regard the Hadith as Islam"s second essential source. The Hadith and related literature[1] has greatly influenced Muslim beliefs and practices."
From another we learn "Maulana Muhammad Ali was the first Islamic scholar directly to challenge the notion that Aisha was aged six and nine, respectively, at the time of her nikah and consummation of marriage" in the 1920's or 1930's. Thus prior to that it may have been heresy to accuse him of not being a pedophile (this is a faith whose members in modern times, will riot if people draw pictures of him). The author of that quote found evidence to suggest she was ten at the time of the wedding (making him only suspect by pro's definition, but clear by con's definition... granted con did agree to use pro's, to which is a mark of favorable conduct from him). Gah concession!
-----END----

I probably would have left arguments tied, given con conduct, and I don't know about sources (they would have needed more in depth consideration).
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
iamanatheistandthisiswhyHPWKATied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: CONCESSION (pre concession RFD in comments): "If Islam is just a fairytale, then all the tales about Muhammad, Allah and the Koran have further no historical/scientific backing and I will gladly lose the debate." ... Clear cut concession, which does not hurt con, as con's case was not proving the validity of Islam; merely an attempt to disprove the likelihood that the prophet was a pedophile (that he was a pedophile, was uncontested until the 1920's; given the violence over drawings of him, accusing him of not being a pedophile was likely a very risky move back then; thus I have deep respect for that brave author).
Vote Placed by yay842 3 years ago
yay842
iamanatheistandthisiswhyHPWKATied
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Total points awarded:33 
Reasons for voting decision: because I cant read :P