Mohammed and the woman who committed adultery

A woman came and said to Mohammed, “I have committed adultery, cleanse me.” But he sent her away. The next day she returned: “Do not send me away, I am pregnant!” Mohammed replied, “Go away until the child is born.” After the child had been born, she returned with the child and said, “This is the child I gave birth to.” Mohammed replied, “Go away and nurse the child until it is weaned.”

Once the child was weaned, she came to Mohammed. The child came holding a piece of bread in his hand. He was two years old, according to the time prescribed by the Koran for breastfeeding. The woman said, “Messenger of Allah, behold, I have weaned him, and he is eating solid food.” Mohammed gave the child to a Muslim and then pronounced the sentence, and the woman was buried up to her chest and stoned.”
(Saheeh Muslim, part 29, legal punishment)

This story, astonishingly, is commonly cited in Islamic teaching as a proof of Mohammed’s mercy!

Now compare the behaviour of Mohamed with that of Jesus.

Jesus and the woman caught committing adultery 

We read in the Gospel of John the story of the woman whom the Jews wanted to stone for adultery. Jesus was then in the temple and taught the crowd:

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”(Injil, John 8:1-11)

What wisdom in the response of Jesus, what justice, but above all what compassion, what mercy, what forgiveness! Read again how he addressed this woman, once all her accusers have gone and He is alone with her:

Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” (Injil, (John 8: 10-11)

Accused by all, she received forgiveness from Jesus, her Saviour.

What a difference, when the reactions of Jesus and Mohammed are compared! The mercy of Mohammed permits the woman to live just long enough to allow the child to be handed on to someone. The woman came to Mohammed to be cleansed, but ended up being killed! It is presented as a proof of the prophet’s mercy. That is how it seemed to me when I had no knowledge of Jesus’ attitude. Then I saw its absurdity and, above all, its unbelievable cruelty. The mercy and kindness of Jesus to sinners provides such a contrast to the merciless cruelty of Mohammed.

Jesus did not excuse her sin, but He forgave it.

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