Rapes by Moslem Troops
So much for the violation of conventions deemed sacred by the conscience of that time. But there were also violations of laws of humanity itself. We have heard with shuddering of the wholesale rapes during the present campaign: what will the public think, and what will Woking say, when it is known that troops composed of the first Mohammedan saints and martyrs and commanded by Mohammed in person, committed rape on the field on at least one occasion and under peculiarly shocking circumstances? The occassion was after the overthrow of the Bani Mustaliq at the wells of Marasi', when many of the two hundred captured women of the tribe (expressly said to be free women and not slaves, kara'im al 'Arab Halabi ii 296) were raped by Mohammed's men with his full consent10! There can be no doubt about the facts; they are narrated by all the most reputed of the Traditionalists, and by at least two of the historians11: so much so that a certain point in the Shari'a itself is settled by reference to the incident12. The violated wives had actually still to be bought back by their husbands. We refrain from translating the passage in full, for the simple reason that it is really unprintable. The prejudiced Muir and other Christian historians (until "Caetini"!) have.... kept silent on the incident! Let not their generosity however be now represented as a silent verdict on their part that the incident is spurious. The authority is far too strong, as we saw. And who would have invented such things? And even supposing the incident is spurious, it was and is accepted by Islam as absolute truth, — except of course when Christians are in the neighborhood.
Nor was this an isolated incident. The very fact that on at lest two occasions, Khaybar13 and Hunain14, Mohammed had to regulate what might be done with women taken on the field shows this sufficiently. It was at Hunain that he definitely enacted, against the scruples of some of his followers, that capture on the field ipso facto dissolved previous (heathen) marriages (see Koran iv 22); and that married wives (not merely virgins and slave-girls), their husbands being living and most likely present, might be passed to the immediate15 use of their conquerors, provided that certain precautions were taken against pregnancy. Are we to add these prescriptions to the universal "morals of war"?