Islamic Fatwa: Husbands Should Abandon Wives to Rapists in Self-Interest

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum and a CBN News contributor. He is the author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). 


YasserBorhamiIslam permits Muslim husbands to abandon their wives to rapists in order to save their own lives—so says Dr. Yassir al-Burhami, vice president of Egypt’s Salafi party, the nation’s premiere Islamist party since the Muslim Brotherhood was banned.

Burhami’s fatwa, or Islamic decree, is not altogether surprising. Earlier the Salafi sheikh said that, although a Muslim man may marry non-Muslim women, specifically Christians and Jews, he must hate them—and show them that he hates them—because they are “infidels” (even as he enjoys them sexually).

Indeed, the many fatwas of Dr. Burhami, a pediatrician by training, include banning Muslim cab and bus drivers from transporting Coptic Christian priests to their churches, which he depicted as “more forbidden than taking someone to a liquor bar”; permitting marriage to minor girls; banning Mother’s Day—“even if it saddens your mother”—as a Western innovation; and insisting that Muslims cannot apostatize from Islam—a phenomenon often in the news.

Now in his most recent fatwa—that husbands are permitted to forsake their sexually-assaulted wives in self-interest—Burhami relies on qiyas, or analogy, based on the rulings of a prominent twelfth century jurist: according to Imam ‘Azz bin Abdul Salaam, a Muslim should abandon his possessions to robbers if so doing would safeguard his life.

Based on this logic, Burhami analogizes that the Muslim husband should abandon his wife if defending her jeopardizes his life—as she is just another possession that can easily be replaced.

In the words of a critical Arabic op-ed titled “Manhood according to Burhami!” and written by one Amani Majed, a Muslim woman:

So that which applies to abandoning one’s possessions to thieves and fleeing in fear of one’s life, applies—in Burhami’s view, sorry to say—to one’s wife and daughter.  So if the wife is ever exposed to rape, she is seen as a possession.  The husband is to abandon her to the rapists and escape with his life.  And why not?  For if he loses his possessions, he will replace them; and if his wife is raped, he will marry another, even if she remains alive!

The op-ed goes on to consider the ramifications of Burhami’s logic should every Muslim man follow it: if a policeman patrolling the streets sees a woman—a stranger, not his wife or daughter—being gang-raped, should he intervene, as his job entails, and risk his own person, or should he think only of himself and flee?  Should the Egyptian soldier stand his ground and defend his nation against invaders, or should he flee to preserve his own life?

Three observations:

First: Salafis like Burhami, who try to pattern their lives as literally as possible after Islam’s prophet Muhammad and his original companions—hence the ubiquitous beards and white robes—deserve attention for they are a treasure trove of information on literal Islam.  It’s always the Salafi-minded Muslims who evoke and uphold any number of things deemed absurd or evil in a Western context—from trying to enforce a canonical hadith that compels women to breastfeed adult men (ironically, to protect their “chastity”), to drinking camel urine for good health, to calling for the destruction of all churches.

Of course, even this honesty is contingent on Muslim capability and advantage.  Thus Dr. Burhami himself once said that peace treaties with Israel and other infidels should be respected—that is, until Muslims are capable of reneging and going on a successful offensive.

Still, Salafis are much more frank and honest than other, less overt Islamists, namely the two-faced Muslim Brotherhood, which, now that it has been overthrown in Egypt, has shown its true face—terrorism—causing it to be banned in Egypt.

Second: To be sure, many Muslims—perhaps the majority—reject Burhami’s latest “cowardly husband” fatwa, in agreement with the aforementioned op-ed.  The problem, however, and as usual, is that while they agree that such behavior is unbecoming of a husband, in the realm of Islamic jurisprudence, it is difficult to argue with the Salafi cleric’s logic.  He used qiyas, a legitimate tool of jurisprudence; and the imam whose logic he analogized is widely recognized as an authority in Sunni Islam.

Moreover and despite the sneering tone of the op-ed, women are, in fact, often depicted as little more than chattel for men in Islamic scriptures.

This is the fundamental problem facing all moderate Muslims: despite what they like to believe and due to a variety of historical and epistemological factors, they are heavily influenced by Western thinking—protecting women and the weak in general, or chivalry, is a Christian “innovation”—so whenever they come up against Islamic teachings they cannot fathom, they collectively behave as if such teachings don’t really mean what they mean.

Yet the Salafis know exactly what they mean.

Third: This latest fatwa exemplifies the lure of Salafism.  This brand of literal Islam does not offer anything profound or spiritually satisfying, but it does offer divine sanctioning for unabashed egoism—in this case, forsaking one’s wife to rape in self-interest.

Justifying egoism is not limited to preserving the self but also gratifying it—especially in the context of jihad.  One can go on and on about the other Salafi fatwas permitting rape, incest, and prostitution for those fighting to empower Islam.  Even renowned heroes like Khalid bin al-Walid—the “Sword of Allah”—celebrated in the Muslim world for his jihadi conquests, was, from a less hagiographic perspective, little more than a mass murdering, sadistic rapist.

More generally, Salafi-minded Muslims believe that all non-Muslims can be deceived, cheated, robbed, exploited, enslaved and/or killed—all in the self-interest of the Muslim, seen as one with the self-interest of Islam.

Why do they believe this?  Because from a Salafi point of view, all free non-Muslim “infidels” who do not submit to Islamic law, or Sharia—Americans and Europeans for example—are natural born enemies, or harbis, and thus free game.

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  • Dyer’s Eve

    Is there nothing those cowards won’t stoop to?

    • Fudge

      No. They are insane and evil to the core. If it’s evil, they promote it. Rape, torture, bestiality, necrophilia, pedophilia, cannibalism, mass murder, if it’s evil, they are doing it and loving it. Wonder why mothers day is forbidden, but not cell phones and guns. Wasn’t no frakkin pisslamic that invented those.

  • http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/ Jason P

    Burhami has no ego, no thoughts of his own. He submits to Islam and blindly follows his dead leader, some guy named Mohammad.

  • cxt

    In a sick way its really a kind of genius—turning actions that most people would find abhorrent and turning them into religiously positive and religiously encouraged actions.

    Take the worst impulse’s in humans and instead of trying to mitigate and control and stop them. Instead you ENCOURGE them…….aimed at non-Muslims, Muslims that think differently, Muslims that are not Muslim-enough for you etc.

  • Rick

    Islam does not offer anything profound or
    spiritually satisfying, but it does offer divine sanctioning for unabashed egoism—

    You forgot to mention, in addition to egoism, utter cowardice, self love above
    the love of family and sheer fear of anything that might cause the Islamist
    male to behave in a civilized or ethical manor.

    I would not want this pediatrician taking care of my children.

  • mackykam

    The problem with Islam? It lacks morality.

  • Jakareh

    Islam is psychopathy made virtuous.

  • SoCalMike

    Drop a drone mounted missile on this guy for the benefit of humanity.
    And to think he actually has standing in what some call a culture.

  • CowboyUp

    What I find most telling about this fatwa is the acknowledgement that for them, females are merely property.

    I wonder what the Parkinson’s rate is among salafist imams.

  • Americana

    Let’s alter this text just a bit to reflect the insanity of these populist preachers trying to up their Muslimness to rock star level…. “Indeed, the many fatwas of Dr. Burhami, PEDESTRIAN by training…”

    ((Indeed, the many fatwas of Dr. Burhami, a pediatrician by training, include banning Muslim cab and bus drivers from transporting Coptic Christian priests…))

  • joshuasweet

    sounds about right bravely defend your family is not part of it children are fair game for sexual acts and if your wife is going to be raped your to run away so brave so honorable.

  • daniel

    When Nehemiah was troubled by the threats of those who conspired against Jerusalem, he said to the men of Jerusalem, “…do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses” (Neh. 2:14).

    Muslims are cowards if they don’t protect their women. Real men of God protect their families. A real man loves his wife the way Christ loves his bride.

  • Nonie Darwish

    The Twisted world of Muslim Male culture that kills women for honor, but can give them to rapists for self protection!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Americana

      Yes, ultra darn bizarre that these imams feel they’ve got to publicize good advice through religious fatwas!!!! After all, this **iS** what happens when a couple is taken captive by a murderer w/a weapon. Look at how many instances we’ve had in the U.S. where a couple has been stalked by a sexual killer who ties up the BF/H and then rapes the woman?

  • HamBaconEggs
  • Fudge

    Yet he doesn’t seem to get that there is only pisslam. No moderate, no extremist, no “misunderstood”, just pisslam. And it is pure evil.

  • Hktony

    Islam is more than wacky it’s a suicide religion for everyone around including itself.

  • Joseph Flannagan

    How dirty are the mosques in Egypt ? . I notice that all the fanatics from that country have a big dirty mark on their foreheads presumably garnered while praying in unsanitary and soiled mosques . Just wondering !.

  • Fritz Kohlhaas

    Salafi = Psychopath!

  • Anantha Pad

    Unfortunately only the extremists and other political elements are organized and have a say in islamic society. So the silent majority can only look on in horror and slowly learn to live with it.

    OK