The Meaning of Mirt and Thawb

Since Muslim dawagandist Jalal Abularub has taken issue (*) with our claim (*) that his prophet wore women’s clothing, and since other dawagandists are under the mistaken assumption that Jalal has actually refuted our points:


September 6th 2007:

We also publish sheikh Jalal Abualrubs [sic] excellent rebuttal against missionary Sam Shamoun concerning his distorted perverted argument that the prophet Muhammad wore Aisha's clothes: Thaub and Mirt, Jalal completly [sic] crushes Shamoun down as well as refuting this argument which is being propagated by other perveted [sic] minded sick indiviuals [sic] as Sam Shamoun. (Source)


We have decided to address some of his blatant distortions and smokescreens in order to show that there is absolutely no substance behind any of his assertions. We admit that this will be a daunting task, not so much because Abualrub has raised any good arguments which are hard to refute, but because of his inability to write in a coherent and concise manner. As a quick perusal of his materials shows, Jalal writes long-winded articles that do not follow any logical pattern whatsoever. He often repeats the same point over and over again, seemingly to give the impression that he is actually addressing the point.    


His “response” to our article concerning Muhammad’s cross-dressing is no different, being another example of his shoddy style of writing and inability to communicate his point in a logically coherent manner. As a result, it was tedious work to sift through his smokescreens in order to get to the meat of his argument.


What makes his “rebuttal” rather amusing is that, despite his rants and raves against our assertions concerning Muhammad wearing women’s garments, Abularub had to admit that the words used in the hadith do refer to clothing. Note, for instance, what he writes concerning the terms thawb and kisaa:  


g.      Words like ‘Thaub’ and ‘Kisaa’, used to describe both REGULAR CLOTHES and un-sewn garments such as those used as blankets, are defined by the Context. (Emphasis ours)


It is interesting that Abualrub admits that these specific words can mean clothes as well as un-sewn garments, since an un-sewn garment doesn’t have to necessarily mean a blanket but can in fact refer to a woman’s garment much like a dress.


Moreover, the plural form of thawb appears in the following Quranic texts:


Lo! now they fold up their breasts that they may hide (their thoughts) from Him. At the very moment when they cover themselves with their clothing (thiyabahum), Allah knoweth that which they keep hidden and that which they proclaim. Lo! He is Aware of what is in the breasts (of men). S. 11:5 Pickthall

For them will be Gardens of Eternity; beneath them rivers will flow; they will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold, and they will wear green garments (thiyabin) of fine silk and heavy brocade: They will recline therein on raised thrones. How good the recompense! How beautiful a couch to recline on! 18:31 Y. Ali

Their garments (thiyabu) will be of fine green silk, and gold embroidery. They will be adorned with bracelets of silver, and their Lord will give them a pure drink. S. 76:21 Hilali-Khan 

These two opponents (believers and disbelievers) dispute with each other about their Lord; then as for those who disbelieve, garments (thiyabun) of fire will be cut out for them, boiling water will be poured down over their heads. S. 22:19 Hilali-Khan

O ye who believe! let those whom your right hands possess, and the (children) among you who have not come of age ask your permission (before they come to your presence), on three occasions: before morning prayer; the while ye doff your clothes (thiyabakum) for the noonday heat; and after the late-night prayer: these are your three times of undress: outside those times it is not wrong for you or for them to move about attending to each other: Thus does God make clear the Signs to you: for God is full of knowledge and wisdom… Such elderly women as are past the prospect of marriage, - there is no blame on them if they lay aside their (outer) garments (thiyabahunna), provided they make not a wanton display of their beauty: but it is best for them to be modest: and God is One Who sees and knows all things. S. 24:58, 60 Y. Ali

And verily! Every time I called unto them that You might forgive them, they thrust their fingers into their ears, covered themselves up with their garments (thiyabahum), and persisted (in their refusal), and magnified themselves in pride. S. 71:7 Hilali-Khan

And your garments (thiyabaka) purify! S. 74:4 Hilali-Khan


In all of the foregoing examples thawb clearly refers to clothing oneself with something, whether actual garments one wears or wearing something in a metaphorical sense such as being clothed in fire. 


Moreover, here is the definition of mirt according to Al-Mu’jam Al-Waseet (The Intercessory Dictionary), second edition, 1972, part 2, p. 864:


(Mirt)a dress from wool or cotton that is used as an Izar or a cover by a woman.


In light of the foregoing one would expect that Abularub would provide some kind of evidence from the context of the particular hadiths which we sourced to prove that these terms do not denote the fact that Muhammad was dressed in Aisha’s clothes. Yet, unfortunately for him, he failed to produce anything from the context which would indicate that Muhammad wasn’t wearing clothes but was simply covering himself with Aisha’s blankets.      


It gets worse for Abualrub. We now produce statements from Muslim authorities that not only admit that mirt and thawb do indeed refer to women’s clothing, but also acknowledge that the use of these very words in the specific hadiths which we cited definitely prove that Muhammad was in fact wearing women’s garments.

All parts that are in yellow, red, bold, capitalized and/or underlined will be from us.  



From Sahih Muslim, Hadith Number 4415

Volume Title, “From the virtues of the Companions.”

Chapter Title, “From the Virtues of Uthman Ibn Affan, May Allah be please with him.”


Narrated by Abdel Malik ibn Shu’aib ibn Laith Ibn Sa’ad, narrated by his father, narrated by his grandfather, narrated by Ukail ibn Khalid, narrated by ibn Shihab, narrated by Yahya ibn Sa’id ibn al-Aas who narrated that Aisha, the wife of the prophet, and Uthman related to him that Abu Bakr requested permission from the prophet to enter when the prophet was lying down on Aisha’s bed WEARING HER GARMENT (mirt). So the prophet gave permission to Abu Bakr to enter while he (Muhammad) was in that state and Abu Bakr finished what he needed and left. Later, Umar came and requested permission to enter and the prophet gave him permission to enter while he (Muhammad) was in that state. So Umar finished what he needed and left. Later, Uthman requested permission to enter to the prophet, so Muhammad sat up and told Aisha, “TAKE ALL THE CLOTHING THAT BELONGS TO YOU.”


So Aisha did as the prophet requested and left. Afterwards, Aisha asked the prophet, “O prophet! Why is it that I didn’t see you anxious when Abu Bakr or Umar came like you were when Uthman came in?”


The prophet replied, “Uthman is a bashful man, and I feared that if I gave him permission to enter in the state that I was in, he would not have finished what he came for.”


The Explanation of Sahih Muslim by Al-Nawawi


His saying “wearing HER garment (mirt).


It is pronounced as “mirt” with a diacritical mark underneath that “m”. It is a cloak made out of wool. Al-Khalil said that it is A ROBE made out of wool or cotton or the like. Ibn al-A’raby and Abu Zaid said that it is A LOINCLOTH, a waist wrap (izar).





‏حدثنا ‏ ‏عبد الملك بن شعيب بن الليث بن سعد ‏ ‏حدثني ‏ ‏أبي ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏جدي ‏ ‏حدثني ‏ ‏عقيل بن خالد ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏ابن شهاب ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏يحيى بن سعيد بن العاص ‏ ‏أن ‏ ‏سعيد بن العاص ‏ ‏أخبره ‏ ‏أن ‏ ‏عائشة زوج النبي ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏وعثمان ‏ ‏حدثاه ‏‏أن ‏ ‏أبا بكر ‏ ‏استأذن على رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏وهو مضطجع على فراشه لابس ‏ ‏مرط ‏ ‏عائشة ‏ ‏فأذن ‏ ‏لأبي بكر ‏ ‏وهو كذلك فقضى إليه حاجته ثم انصرف ثم استأذن ‏ ‏عمر ‏ ‏فأذن له وهو على تلك الحال فقضى إليه حاجته ثم انصرف قال ‏ ‏عثمان ‏ ‏ثم استأذنت عليه فجلس وقال ‏ ‏لعائشة ‏ ‏اجمعي عليك ثيابك فقضيت إليه حاجتي ثم انصرفت فقالت ‏ ‏عائشة ‏ ‏يا رسول الله مالي لم أرك ‏ ‏فزعت ‏ ‏لأبي بكر ‏ ‏وعمر ‏ ‏رضي الله عنهما ‏ ‏كما ‏ ‏فزعت ‏ ‏لعثمان ‏ ‏قال رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏إن ‏ ‏عثمان ‏ ‏رجل حيي وإني خشيت إن أذنت له على تلك الحال أن لا يبلغ إلي في حاجته.

صحيح مسلم .. كتاب فضائل الصحابة .. باب من فضائل عثمان بن عفان رضي الله عنه



Note: In his haste to “refute” me Abualrub once more ends up confirming my point. In response to this same narration Abualrub again admits that thawb means clothing:


f. There are numerous Hadeeths in Bukhari (such as Hadeeth No. 352) and Muslim (such as Hadeeth No. 538) wherein different people are reported to have ‘Jama`a `Alaihi Thiyabah’, i.e., ‘wrapped himself well with his CLOTHES’, or, ‘straightened his CLOTHES to look more formal in appearance’.  In, `Aun al-Ma`bud, there is this definition for ‘Akhadhta bi-Talbibi Fulan’: when you wrap (‘Ijma`’ or hold) the Thaub that one is wearing [in your hands] and pull him by the Thaub (in today’s expressions ‘pull him by THE COLLAR towards you’).’  Similarly, saying that one has ‘Jama`a `Alaihi Thiyabah’ does not mean that one is collecting his clothes, but rather, one is wrapping himself well with his CLOTHES.  In his explanation on Sunan an-Nasaii, as-Sindi said that ‘Jumi`at’ [means] ‘wrapped well’, so that one’s body is not exposed. (Bold emphasis ours)


Thanks to Abualrub we can safely assume that Muhammad was indeed wrapping himself with Aisha’s clothes!




All of the following references were taken from, specifically It should be stated that this is a tremendous Islamic resource tool for both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.


From Sahih Muslim, Volume One, The Book of Prayer, V

Chapter of the Objection between the hands of Praying

Narrated by Abu Bakir ibn Abi Shebah and Zuhair ibn Jarb, Zuhair said: it was narrated by Waki’, narrated by Talha ibn Yahya, narrated by Ubaid Allah ibn Abdallah who said that he heard Aisha say:

The Prophet used to pray at night while I was beside him and I had my period. I had a mirt on me, a part of which was also on him, on his side.

Commentary: (mirt) Mirt ARE WOMEN’S COVERINGS (aksia’). The plural is muroot. Ibn al-Athir said: It is made out of wool or perhaps silk or something else.


صحيح مسلم. - للإمام مسلم
الجزء الأول >> 4 - كتاب الصلاة >> (51) باب الاعتراض بين يدي المصلي

274 - (514) حدثنا أبو بكر بن أبي شيبة وزهير بن جرب. قال زهير: حدثنا وكيع. حدثنا طلحة بن يحيى عن عبيدالله بن عبدالله. قال: سمعته عن عائشة؛ قالت:
كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يصلي من الليل وأنا إلى جنبه. وأنا حائض. وعلى
مرط. وعليه بعضه إلى جنبه.
[ش (
مرط) المرط من أكسية النساء. والجمع مروط. قال ابن الأثير: ويكون من صوف، وربما كان من حز أو غيره].  



From Fateh Al-Bari, Explanation of Sahih al-Bukhari by Imam Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani

Volume Two, The Book of Prayer Times, Chapter of Dawn Prayer


The hadith: Narrated by Yahya bin Bukir, narrated by al-Laith, narrated by Ukail ibn Shihab, narrated by Urwah ibn Zubair narrated by Aisha who said: There were believing women who used to attend with the prophet the dawn (fajr) prayer, covered (multafi’at) in their muroot. Then they used to return to their houses after concluding their prayer, unrecognized by anyone. His saying multafi’at has previously been explained. Murooot is plural of mirt with a diacritical mark below the ‘mim’ letter. It is a striped garment made of silk or wool or something else. It was said that the name mirt applies only if it is green AND WORN BY WOMEN ONLY, but this is answered by saying a mirt made of black hair.



فتح الباري، شرح صحيح البخاري، الإصدار 2.05 - للإمام ابن حجر العسقلاني
المجلد الثاني >> كتاب مواقيت الصلاة >> باب وَقْتِ الْفَجْرِ

الحديث: حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ بُكَيْرٍ قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا اللَّيْثُ عَنْ عُقَيْلٍ عَنْ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ قَالَ أَخْبَرَنِي عُرْوَةُ بْنُ الزُّبَيْرِ أَنَّ عَائِشَةَ أَخْبَرَتْهُ قَالَتْ كُنَّ نِسَاءُ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَشْهَدْنَ مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ صَلَاةَ الْفَجْرِ مُتَلَفِّعَاتٍ بِمُرُوطِهِنَّ ثُمَّ يَنْقَلِبْنَ إِلَى بُيُوتِهِنَّ حِينَ يَقْضِينَ الصَّلَاةَ لَا يَعْرِفُهُنَّ أَحَدٌ مِنْ الْغَلَسِ
قوله: (متلفعات) تقدم شرحه، (والمروط) جمع
مرط بكسر الميم وهو كساء معلم من خز أو صوف أو غير ذلك، وقيل لا يسمى مرطا إلا إذا كان أخضر ولا يلبسه إلا النساء، وهو مردود بقوله مرط من شعر أسود.



From Sahih Muslim

Volume Three, Book of Clothing and Adornment,

Chapter of Modesty in Clothing


Narrated by Aisha who said:

The Prophet went out on a certain day at noon and ON HIM was a mirt that was murahal made of black hair.


Commentary: Mirt is a kisa’ which is a garment that is sometimes made out of wool and sometimes out of hair or cotton or silk. Al-Khatabi said: It is a covering (kisa’) that is girded with.

Al-Nudair said: It is only a cloak, WORN BY WOMEN ONLY and is green in color. This hadith is responded to.

Murhal means it has the image of walking camels. Al-Khatabi said: the murhal is something that is striped.



صحيح مسلم. - للإمام مسلم
الجزء الثالث >> 37 - كتاب اللباس والزينة >> 6 - باب: التواضع في اللباس، والاقتصار على الغليظ منه واليسير، في اللباس والفراش وغيرهما، وجواز لبس الثوب الشعر، وما فيه أعلام

--مزيد-- عن عائشة. قالت:
خرج النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ذات غداة، وعليه
مرط مرحل من شعر أسود.
[ش (
مرط) المرط كساء)  كِسَاء: رِدَاء، لِبَاس، ثَوْب(  يكون تارة من صوف وتارة من شعر أو كتان أو خز. قال الخطابي: هو كساء يؤتزر به. وقال النضر: لا يكون المرط إلا درعا، ولا يلبسه إلا النساء، ولا يكون إلا أخضر. وهذا الحديث يرد عليه.
(مرحل) معناه عليه صورة رحال الإبل. قال الخطابي: المرحل الذي فيه خطوط].





From the Musnad of Imam Shafi’i – Arranged by al-Sindi

Volume One, Chapter One – The time of Prayer


It was narrated by Malik ibn Uns, narrated by Yahya ibn Sa’id al-Ansari, narrated by Umra bint Abdul-Rahman, narrated by Aisha who said:


When the Prophet was about to pray the morning prayer, the women would depart covered (multafi’at) IN THEIR MUROOT. Muroot is plural of mirt with a diacritical mark below the “Mim” letter. IT IS A WOMAN’S COVERING that is made out of wool or perhaps silk or something else. Multafi’at in their muroot means that they were covered and lifa’ with a diacritical mark below (the first letter) which is a garment that covers the entire body.


سند الإمام الشافعي. - ترتيب السندي
الجزء الأول. >> الباب الأول في مواقيت الصلاة

46 - (أخبرنا) : مالك بن أنس، عن يَحْيَ بن سَعِيدٍ الانصاري، عن عُمْرة بنتِ عبد الرحمن، عن عائشة رضي اللَّه عنها قالت:
كان رسول اللَّه صلى اللَّه عليه وسلم لَيُصلي الصبح فَيَنْصرفْنَ النساء مُتَلفِّعات بِمُرُوطهن (المروط جمع
مرط بكسر الميم كساء المرأة يكون من صوف وربما كان من خز وغيره وكن متلفعات بمروطهن أي باكستيهن واللفاع بالكسر ثوب يغطى به الجسد كله كساء كان أو غيره وتلفع بالثوب اشتمل به والغلس: ظلمة آخر الليل إذا اختلطت بضوء الصباح والنساء بيان أو بدل من ضمير النسوة في كن والمراد من الحديث وقت صلاة الرسول الصبح) لا يُعْرَفْن من الغَلَس.



From the Musnad of Imam Shafi’i – Arranged by al-Sindi

Volume One, Chapter One – The time of Prayer


It was narrated by Sufyan, narrated by Abi Is`haq, narrated by Abdallah ibn Shadad, narrated by Maymuna the wife of the prophet who said:

The Prophet USED TO PRAY IN A MIRT, part of which was on him AND PART WAS ON ME when I was menstruating’. Mirt, with a diacritical mark (kasra) below the first letter then a sukoon below the second letter is a covering made of wool or silk or cotton that is girded with AND A WOMAN WRAPS HERSELF WITH IT. In the (Arabic) tongue Mirt is any garment that is not sown. In the end, the prophet, peace be upon him, used to pray IN HIS WOMEN’S MUROOT meaning their wraps … what is understood from these texts is that a mirt is a garment that is not sown THAT A WOMAN WRAPS HERSELF IN and it can be girded with. Since it is wrapped, the fact that one end of it is on one person and the other end is on another person is possible if it is long enough. The type (of mirt) in the hadith is of this type, that is why it is possible to cover both of them



مسند الإمام الشافعي. - ترتيب السندي
الجزء الأول. >> الباب الثالث في شروط الصلاة

188- (أخبرنا) : سفيان، عن أبي اسحاق، عن عبد اللّه بن شداد، عن ميمونة زوج النبي صلى اللَّه عليه وسلم، قالت:
كانَ رَسُولُ النبي اللَّه عليه وسلم يُصَلِّي في مِرْطٍ بَعْضُهُ عَلَيْه وَعَلَيَّ بَعْضُهُ وأنا حَائضٌ (المرط بكسر فسكون: كساء من صوف أو خز أو كتان يؤتزر به وتتلفع به المرأة اه مصباح بأضافة من اللسان وفي اللسان أيضا المرط كل ثوب غير مخيط وفي النهاية أنه النبي صلى اللَّه عليه وسلم كان يصلي في مروط نسائه أي
أكسيتهن وانه صلى اللَّه عليه وسلم كان يغاس بال  فينصرف النساء متلفعات بمروطهن ما يعرفن من الغلس اهـ والذي يفهم من هذه النصوص أن المرط ثوب غير مخيط تتلفع به المرأة ويؤتزر به وان في الأماكن مادام غير مخيط ومن جنس ما يتلفع به أن يكون طرفه على شخص وطرفه الثاني على شخص آخر إذا كان طويلا والذي في الحديث من هذا النوع الطويل ولهذا أمكن أن يشملهما وكونها حائضا لا يمنع صحة الصلاة فيه مادام لم يصله دم الحيض ومعلوم أن مدار صحة الصلاة على ستر العورة وطهارة الثوب وهما متحققان في الحديث) ".



From the Tongue of the Arabs (Lisan al-Arab) by Ibn Al-Manthour al-Ifriki

Volume Seven, The letter ‘Ta’, Section of the Letter ‘Mim’


In the Hadith (the prophet used to pray in his women’s muroot) meaning their coverings. The singular is mirt made of wool, or perhaps silk or something else and it can be girded with… Mirt is any garment that is not sown.



لسان العرب، الإصدار 2.02 - لابن المنظور الإفريقي.
المجلد السابع >> (ط) >> حرف الطاء المهملة >> فصل الميم

وفي الحديث: ((أَنه -صلّى اللّه عليه وسلّم- كان يصلي في مرُوط نسائه)).
أَي: أَكْسِيَتِهنّ؛ الواحد مِرْط يكون من صوف، وربما كان من خز أَو غيره يؤتَزر به.
وفي الحديث: ((أَن النبي -صلّى اللّه عليه وسلّم- كان يُغَلِّس بالفجر فينصرف النساء مُتَلَفِّعات بمرُوطهنّ ما يُعرفْن من الغَلَس)).
(ج/ص: 7/402)
وقال الحكم الخُضْري:
تَساهَمَ ثَوْباها ففي الدِّرْعِ رَأْدةٌ، * وفي المِرْطِ لَفّاوانِ، رِدْفُهما عَبْلُ
قوله: تساهم أَي: تَقارَعَ.
والمِرْط: كل
ثوب غير مَخِيط




From Fateh al-Bari, Explanation of Sahih al-Bukhari by Imam Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani

Volume One, The Book of Prayer, Chapter of Women Prayer Clothing


The hadith: Narrated by Abu Al-Yamam, narrated by Shuayb, narrated by Al-Zuhri, narrated by Urwah, narrated by Aisha who said: The prophet, peace be upon him, used to pray the dawn (fajr) prayer and there were women from among the believers who used to attend, covered (multafi’at) in their muroot. Then they used to return to their houses, unrecognized by anyone.


Commentary: … (Multafi’at) Al-Asma’i said that talafu’ is to cover one’s entire body with a garment. In the commentary of Maut’i by Ibn Habib talafu’ is only done when the head is covered but talafuf is done with the head exposed. Muroot is plural of mirt with a diacritical mark (kasra) below the first letter. It is a garment made of silk or wool or something else.


Al-Nudair ibn Shamil narrated that it (mirt) IS SPECIFIC TO WOMEN’S CLOTHING.



فتح الباري، شرح صحيح البخاري، الإصدار 2.05 - للإمام ابن حجر العسقلاني
المجلد الأول >> كِتَاب الصَّلَاةِ >> باب فِي كَمْ تُصَلِّي الْمَرْأَةُ فِي الثِّيَابِ

الحديث: حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو الْيَمَانِ قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا شُعَيْبٌ عَنْ الزُّهْرِيِّ قَالَ أَخْبَرَنِي عُرْوَةُ أَنَّ عَائِشَةَ قَالَتْ لَقَدْ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يُصَلِّي الْفَجْرَ فَيَشْهَدُ مَعَهُ نِسَاءٌ مِنْ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ مُتَلَفِّعَاتٍ فِي مُرُوطِهِنَّ ثُمَّ يَرْجِعْنَ إِلَى بُيُوتِهِنَّ مَا يَعْرِفُهُنَّ أَحَدٌ
الشرح: قوله: (أن عائشة قالت: لقد) اللام في لقد جواب قسم محذوف.
قوله: (متلفعات) قال الأصمعي: التلفع أن تشتمل بالثوب حتى تجلل به جسدك، وفي شرح الموطأ لابن حبيب: التلفع لا يكون إلا بتغطية الرأس، والتلفف يكون بتغطية الرأس وكشفه، و (المروط) جمع
مرط بكسر أوله، كساء من خز أو صوف أو غيره.
وعن النضر بن شميل ما يقتضى أنه خاص بلبس النساء.
وقد اعترض على استدلال المصنف به على جواز صلاة المرأة في الثوب الواحد بأن الالتفاع المذكور يحتمل أن يكون فوق ثياب أخرى.
والجواب عنه أنه تمسك بأن الأصل عدم الزيادة على ما ذكر، على أنه لم يصرح بشيء إلا أن اختياره يؤخذ في العادة من الآثار التي يودعها في الترجمة.

قوله: (ما يعرفهن أحد) زاد في المواقيت " من الغلس " وهو يعين أحد الاحتمالين: هل عدم المعرفة بهن لبقاء الظلمة أو لمبالغتهن في التغطية؟ وسيأتي الكلام على بقية مباحثه في المواقيت إن شاء الله





It is clear from the foregoing Muslim authorities that Muhammad did in fact wear women’s clothing.


In the appendix we will provide additional Islamic references concerning the meaning of the terms thawb and mirt.


With this in the background we now proceed to address some of Abualrub’s false analogies as well as his accusations that we somehow mistranslated the Arabic.





Addressing Abualrub’s False Analogies

Teaching a Muslim Shaykh a valuable lesson in translation and meaning of words 


In order to avoid having to admit that his prophet dressed in women’s garments Abualrub decides to reference some narratives which he somehow thinks disproves our case. He states: 


f.        The Arabs also use ‘Kisaa’, ‘Qateefah’ and ‘Shamlah’ to mean blanket.  Here is an example where ‘Kisaa’ is used to mean ‘Li`haf (or, blanket)’.  Imam A`hmad collected a Hadeeth (2441), graded by Shaikh A`hmad Shakir as authentic from the grade Hasan, wherein is reported that Abdullah Ibn Abbas said that he visited his maternal aunt, Maimunah, the Prophet’s Wife, and she took a Kisaa, which she folded, and threw a Namruqah (a pillow) on it, then threw another Kisaa on top of it and went Fee it (i.e. under the upper Kisaa, which she used as a blanket while using the other Kisaa as a mat).  When the Prophet, peace be upon him, came, he covered himself with an Izar (i.e., waste garment), took off his Thaub (here it means ‘long shirt’) and went into bed with her in her Li`haf (i.e., Kisaa).


One quick point here. Abualrub again agrees that words such as izar and thawb refer to apparel, specifically to a person’s waist garment and long shirt.


Abualrub then challenges me to show him where fee means wearing:


Note: Shamoun translated ‘Fee’ as ‘wearing’…

1.      Note: The various narrations for this Hadeeth stated that the Prophet, peace be upon him, was Fee (which Shamoun translated as ‘wearing’) the Thaub, Li`haf, or Mirt of Aishah; this is the same Hadeeth, but with different descriptions of the same term.


2.      None of the narrations for this Hadeeth said that the Prophet was ‘wearing’ his wife’s ‘clothes’, i.e. as one wears a dress or a shirt; no Muslim scholar ever uttered this ludicrous notion or understood from this Hadeeth that the Prophet wore women’s clothing.  I challenge Shamoun to prove otherwise.


Once again:


a.      Shamoun, who translated ‘Fee’ as ‘wearing’, is hereby challenged to bring any proof that in this Hadeeth, ‘Fee’ means ‘wearing’.  ‘Fee’ has a host of meanings, such as ‘in; under; on; above; inside, within, etc.’ Read the rest of the article for evidence.  I should note here, though, that had ‘Fee’ in the Hadeeth Shamoun corrupted meant ‘wearing’, then, the narration of the same Hadeeth by Imam Muslim (4427) would mean that both the Prophet and Aishah were wearing her Thaub.  That would be one huge Thaub!


It is rather apparent that Abualrub is getting quite desperate at this point. He is correct that fee does mean “in” but fails to see how his admission serves to refute his slanders and false accusations against us.


It never dawned on Abualrub that to say that Muhammad was fee the thawb basically means that he was wearing the thawb. After all, if one happens to be IN his/her clothes then s/he must actually be wearing his/her clothes! Or does Abualrub really believe that you can be in your clothes without actually wearing them?  


Moreover, didn’t he himself admit that,


7.      Arabic is far more sophisticated and complex than any other language.  Arabs use various words to mean the same thing AND HAVE VARIOUS MEANINGS FOR THE SAME WORD. This is a good example to the depth of this wonderful language, and here is the unequivocal proof: (Emphasis ours)


And also said that words can be used in a figurative sense?


b.      Imam Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, author of the explanation of Sahih al-Bukhari entitled, Fat`h-ul-Bari, wrote that, “’Min Tuli ma Lubisat’, indicates that sitting on something is called ‘Lubs (i.e., wearing [as a figure of speech])’. This Hadeeth was used as evidence that mere sitting on silk garments [for men] is disallowed, because of the general implication of [the Prophet’s Hadeeth] forbidding wearing silk [for men].’”





a.          Ahmad’s narration for the same Hadeeth by Muslim that Shamoun corrupted contains these words: “I was with him ‘Fee Mirt-in Wa`hid (under one blanket)’ and explains Muslim’s narration ‘Labisun Mirta Aishah (‘wearing’ Aishah’s Mirt)’.  The Prophet, peace be upon him, was with his wife, Aishah, under her blanket.  The two narrations for this Hadeeth collected here report the very same incident.  ‘Labisun’ in the first narration by Muslim IS A FIGURE OF SPEECH as clearly explained by the second narration by Ahmad. (Emphasis ours)


Notice that a word that means to sit on something is a figure of speech for wearing!


So if words such as the above can be used in a figurative sense then why can’t fee be understood in the same way as well? Why can’t a person translate fee figuratively to mean wearing especially when the context is referring to Muhammad being fee the clothes of his wife?


Moreover, Abualrub contradicts himself. Does it mean “sitting ON something” (first paragraph above) or “sitting UNDER something”? Ahmad (second paragraph) seems to say that they were “under her blanket” i.e. sitting (on whatever) but covered by the same blanket, i.e. sitting UNDER Aishah’s mirt.


To further highlight Abualrub’s inconsistency, it should be remembered that he is a Salafi Muslim. As a Salafi Abualrub erroneously believes that his (false) god is above the heavens, and yet his own (false) scripture contradicts his beliefs since it says that Allah is FEE/IN heaven, not above it:


Do ye feel secure that He Who is in (fee) heaven will not cause you to be swallowed up by the earth when it shakes (as in an earthquake)? Or do ye feel secure that He Who is in (fee) Heaven will not send against you a violent tornado (with showers of stones), so that ye shall know how (terrible) was My warning? S. 67:16-17 Y. Ali


Yet Abualrub’s scholars did not hesitate to (mis)translate the preposition to mean over in order to force the Quran to agree with Salafi theology:


Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven (Allah)… Or do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven (Allah)…? Hilali-Khan


If Abualrub is going to be consistent shouldn’t he change his view and admit that he is wrong for believing that Allah is above the heavens? Or will he claim that the term fee can have a variety of meanings depending upon the context, and it is the context that will determine its specific definition? But if he does take this stance wouldn’t this merely expose his inconsistency and deliberate distortion of the facts? Wouldn’t this further imply that he deceived his readers into thinking that we somehow mistranslated the Arabic?


For more on the location of Jalal’s deity we suggest reading the following: 1, 2.


It is evident that Abualrub is begging the question at this point since he has erroneously assumed that these hadiths cannot be saying that Muhammad was wearing Aisha’s clothes and therefore proves that fee cannot be translated as wearing.


This may explain why he constantly brings up irrelevant narratives such as the following:


2.      Lubs (as in ‘Labisun’)’ is used IN VARIOUS CONTEXTS, as explained by this Hadeeth.  Al-Bukhari (367) and Muslim (1053) collected a Hadeeth from Anas Ibn Malik, who said, “My grandmother Mulaikah invited Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him, for a meal which she herself had prepared. He ate from it and said, 'Get up! I will lead you in the prayer.' I took my Hasir, washed it with water as it had become dark Min Tuli ma Lubisat and Allah's Prophet stood on it…[and] led us in the prayer." 


a.      Note:Hasir’ means, ‘woven mat’.  Until today, I have never heard of anyone wearing a woven mat as one wears a shirt.  Unless, that is, Shamoun and Katz do wear woven mats, which will not surprise me if it happened. (Emphasis ours)


Abualrub must have forgotten what he himself wrote concerning deriving the meaning from the context. Since the context of the above narrative is different from the reports that speak of Muhammad wearing Aisha’s clothing how does the foregoing suffice as an example in support of Abualrub’s position?  


As if this couldn’t get any worse, Abualrub gets ingenious and tries to cite a narration from Musnad Ahmad which says that Aisha was “was with him fee mirt-in wa`hid (under one blanket),’” in order to interpret mirt as blanket! He mistakenly assumes that since the narration of Musnad Ahmad says that Muhammad and his child bride were wearing her mirt this somehow proves that this cannot be referring to her clothes.


What makes this all the more amazing is that, in trying to refute me, Abualrub once more ends up providing support for my position:


d.     Note what the Prophet, peace be upon him, said in the Hadeeth Shamoun corrupted, “Ijma`ii `Alaiki Thiyabaki”, i.e., ‘Wrap yourself well WITH YOUR CLOTHES’, and how Shamoun translated it, “TAKE ALL THE CLOTHING THAT BELONGS TO YOU.”  Shamoun’s version insinuates that when Uthman came, the Prophet took off Aishah’s dress, told her to take her dress back and collect ALL THE CLOTHING THAT BELONGED TO her, because Uthman did not like to see men wearing women’s clothes or to see clothes scattered all over.  Meanwhile, Abu Bakr and Umar did not seem to mind seeing their Prophet wearing a woman’s dress, if anyone believes Shamoun’s sick logic that is.  No doubt, if there is a bid to a contract with dishonor, then, Shamoun will qualify to be the front runner to win it.

e.      In Arabic, ‘Khudh’ is ‘take’, ‘Ijma`’, in this context, is ‘wrap’, and ‘`Alaik’ means ‘on you’.  If we use Shamoun’s “take all the clothing that belongs to you”, it would actually mean that her clothes were scattered all around and he wanted her to tidy up the room.  Uthman was a shy man, he only felt comfortable when those in his attendance were formal IN THEIR CLOTHING regardless if the room was tidy or not.  Imam Muslim (4414) narrated that Aishah said, “Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him, was lying in bed in my room WITH THIS THIGH UNCOVERED when Abu Bakr sought permission to get in...and he conversed in the same very state (the Prophet's thigh uncovered). Then 'Umar sought permission and it was given to him and he conversed in that very state. Then 'Uthman sought permission…and Allah's Messenger sat down and set right HIS CLOTHES.”  Aishah said, “Abu Bakr entered and you did not stir and did not observe much care (in arranging YOUR CLOTHES), then 'Umar entered and you did not stir and did not arrange YOUR CLOTHES, then 'Uthman entered and you got up and set YOUR CLOTHES right.”  He said, “Should I not show modesty to one to whom even the Angels show modesty.(Blue capital emphasis ours)


Note that he once again doesn’t deny that thawb means clothes, but merely denies that the word ijma means “take” (but even here he is careful to qualify his statement since he says “in this context”!).


There are basically two main responses to this evasion tactic of appealing to the narration of Ahmad. First, this specific report doesn’t clarify the narrative from Muslim, but simply shows that Muslims were rather humiliated and embarrassed with Muhammad wearing women’s clothing. They decided to therefore change the wording in order to hide this fact.  


Second, Abualrub conveniently assumes that interpreting Sahih Muslim in light of Musnad Ahmad establishes what he thinks is the interpretation of the narratives. Yet the phrase fee mirt-in wa`hid doesn’t necessarily deny that Muhammad wore Aisha’s dress. This would only suggest that the meaning of mirt in Ahmad’s narration is that the two were under the same blanket, but that doesn’t tell us whether this meaning necessarily transfers over to Muslim’s report. After all, one can legitimately understand from the hadith of Muslim that Muhammad was dressed in Aisha’s apparel as he lay under her blanket.


Besides, the part of Ahmad that Abualrub quoted doesn’t say that they were in Aisha’s mirt, but that they were in or under one, whereas Muslim specifically states that Muhammad was wearing Aisha’s mirt. The difference in the wording can be taken as support for our interpretation, e.g. Aisha and Muhammad sat under one blanket as he wore his wife’s dress.     


More importantly, Jalal fails to realize (or conveniently overlooked this fact) that a woman’s mirt can be wrapped around a person. Here, once again, is a Muslim reference which was quoted earlier:





From the Musnad of Imam Shafi’i – Arranged by al-Sindi

Volume One, Chapter One – The time of Prayer


"what is understood from these texts is that a mirt is a garment that is not sown THAT A WOMAN WRAPS HERSELF IN and it can be girded with. Since it is wrapped, THE FACT THAT ONE END OF IT IS ON ONE PERSON AND THE OTHER END IS ON ANOTHER PERSON IS POSSIBLE IF IT IS LONG ENOUGH. The type (of mirt) in the hadith is of this type, THAT IS WHY IT IS POSSIBLE TO COVER BOTH OF THEM…”


Al-Katabi said: the murhal is something that is striped.

An unsown striped kisa’a (mirt, thawb) worn ONLY BY WOMEN as used.

Al-Nudair said: It is only a cloak, worn by women ONLY and is green in color.





A mirt that is worn is a woman’s garment which she can wrap herself in. In light of this, one can legitimately understand fee mirt-in wa’hid to mean that Aisha and Muhammad wrapped themselves in a woman’s garment.


Hence, whatever the case may be the narratives we cited which refer to Muhammad wearing his wives’ mirt, thawb etc. cannot be overthrown by one single report from Musnad Ahmad (a report which itself can be interpreted to mean that Aisha’s garment was long enough for both of them to wrap themselves in).


Finally, if Muhammad had no hesitation to leave his thigh uncovered in the presence of Abu Bakr and Umar, something which he did not do in the presence of Uthman, then why should it be difficult for Abualrub to imagine that he would have no shame wearing his wife’s dress in the presence of his fathers-in-law?


So much for Jalal’s “rebuttal.”




Muhammad’s Failure as a Husband

How Abualrub’s deity discriminated against the mothers of the believers



In the hustle and bustle of trying to expose us “deceptive missionaries” Abualrub overlooked the one fact which clearly stands out from all of this. Muhammad justified his willful neglect of his wives and his preferential treatment of Aisha by claiming that revelations only came down to him when he was in her clothes:


Narrated ‘Urwa from ‘Aisha:
The wives of Allah's Apostle were in two groups. One group consisted of 'Aisha, Hafsa, Safiyya and Sauda; and the other group consisted of Um Salama and the other wives of Allah's Apostle. The Muslims knew that Allah’s Apostle loved ‘Aisha, so if any of them had a gift and wished to give to Allah's Apostle, he would delay it, till Allah’s Apostle had come to ‘Aisha's home and then he would send his gift to Allah’s Apostle in her home. The group of Um Salama discussed the matter together and decided that Um Salama should request Allah's Apostle to tell the people to send their gifts to him in whatever wife’s house he was. Um Salama told Allah’s Apostle of what they had said, but he did not reply. Then they (those wives) asked Um Salama about it. She said, “He did not say anything to me.” They asked her to talk to him again. She talked to him again when she met him on her day, but he gave no reply. When they asked her, she replied that he had given no reply. They said to her, “Talk to him till he gives you a reply.” When it was her turn, she talked to him again. He then said to her, “Do not hurt me regarding Aisha, AS THE DIVINE INSPIRATIONS DO NOT COME TO ME ON ANY OF THE BEDS EXCEPT THAT OF AISHA.” On that Um Salama said, “I repent to Allah for hurting you.” Then the group of Um Salama called
Fatima, the daughter of Allah’s Apostle and sent her to Allah’s Apostle to say to him, “Your wives request to treat them and the daughter of Abu Bakr ON EQUAL TERMS.” Then Fatima conveyed the message to him. The Prophet said, "O my daughter! Don’t you love whom I love?" She replied in the affirmative and returned and told them of the situation. They requested her to go to him again but she refused. They then sent Zainab bint Jahsh who went to him AND USED HARSH WORDS SAYING, “Your wives request you TO TREAT THEM and the daughter of Ibn Abu Quhafa ON EQUAL TERMS.” On that she raised her voice AND ABUSED ‘Aisha TO HER FACE so much so that Allah’s Apostle looked at ‘Aisha to see whether she would retort. ‘Aisha started replying to Zainab till she silenced her. The Prophet then looked at ‘Aisha and said, “She is really the daughter of Abu Bakr.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 47, Number 755)


The wives demanded equal time and attention and how does Muhammad respond? Does he make an effort to correct his blatant mistreatment of his wives? No, instead of doing the right thing he claims that his deity only gives him divine revelations when he is in bed with Aisha! Imagine that, Muhammad blames his god for discriminating against his wives!(1)


Even Aisha noticed how Muhammad’s deity came running to gratify his messenger’s desires:


Narrated Aisha:
I used to look down upon those ladies who had given themselves to Allah’s Apostle and I used to say, “Can a lady give herself (to a man)?” But when Allah revealed: “You (O Muhammad) can postpone (the turn of) whom you will of them (your wives), and you may receive any of them whom you will; and there is no blame on you if you invite one whose turn you have set aside (temporarily).” (33.51) I said (to the Prophet), “I feel that your Lord hastens in fulfilling your wishes and desires.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 311)


Doesn’t this show that Muhammad had no shame and did not hesitate to blame everything on his deity? And yet this is the same man that Abualrub wants to foist upon the world as a mercy and a prophet.


{Sidenote: the Salafi translator of Sahih Bukhari, Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, has conveniently decided to translate the Arabic as “beds” which disagrees with the following translation:


He said to her, “Do not injure me regarding 'A'isha. The revelation does not come to me when I am in the GARMENT of any woman except 'A'isha.” (Aisha Bewley, The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari, Chapter 52. Book of Setting Free, VII: The one who gave a gift to his friend aiming for a time when he was with one of his wives rather than another; source)


Who knows, maybe Jalal will now try to convince us that words such as mirt and thawb can also mean bed, even though he has been arguing for the meaning blanket! Since when did a blanket become a bed?}



Concluding Remarks


The preceding traditions not only highlight Muhammad’s failure as a husband, since he discriminated between his wives by exhibiting more love for one particular spouse, but they also show that he was fond of wearing women’s clothing, specifically the dress of his favorite wife Aisha! 


Muhammad even tried to justify the amount of time he spent with Aisha by claiming that Allah inspired him while in her garments, but not the clothes of the other wives!  


Moreover, we posted the views of authentic Muslim sources admitting that the terms such as mirt and thawb do refer to women’s garments, providing substantiation that the hadiths are indeed stating that Muhammad wore the clothes of his wives. In other words, Muhammad put on women’s clothing according to the Islamic sources, and thereby comes under the condemnation of the Torah which rebukes any man who wears women’s dresses and vice-versa.           


Thus, the more one examines Muhammad’s life in light of God’s true Word, the Holy Bible, the more evident it becomes that he was not a true prophet at all.


It is ironic that Abualrub concludes his “response” by alluding to 1 Kings 22 in order to accuse us of deception. He must have forgotten that according to his (false) prophet and (false) book his god is the greatest liar and deceiver of them all (1, 2, 3) who allows Muslims like Abualrub to lie through their teeth to disbelievers with impunity (1, 2).


It seems that Abualrub thought he was reading about his false god when he read 1 Kings 22, which explains his confusion concerning what that text really says. For a response to Abualrub’s gross misunderstanding of the context of 1 Kings 22 we recommend this article.


Appendix: Further References



(1) There is another rather unflattering interpretation, one which Jalal will definitely not be too fond of. The Quran calls the woman “the garment” of a man in the context of a discussion about sexual intercourse:  
Permitted to you, on the night of the fasts, is the approach to your wives. They are your GARMENTS (libasun) and ye are their garments (libasun). God knoweth what ye used to do secretly among yourselves; but He turned to you and forgave you; so now associate with them, and seek what God Hath ordained for you, and eat and drink, until the white thread of dawn appear to you distinct from its black thread; then complete your fast Till the night appears; but do not associate with your wives while ye are in retreat in the mosques. Those are Limits (set by) God: Approach not nigh thereto. Thus doth God make clear His Signs to men: that they may learn self-restraint. S. 2:187 Yusuf Ali
  Here is another version:
It is made lawful for you to have sexual relations with your wives on the night of As-Saum (the fasts). They are Libas [i.e. body cover, or screen, or Sakan, (i.e. you enjoy the pleasure of living with her - as in Verse 7:189) Tafsir At-Tabari], for you and you are the same for them… Hilali-Khan
Could it be that those narrations where Muhammad says that he didn’t receive revelations in the garment of any women except Aisha is meant to be understood in a euphemistic sense, i.e. that revelation only came to him while he was having sexual intercourse with her?

In other words, when Muhammad spoke of wearing his wife's garment did he actually mean that that he used his woman as a garment, e.g. his wife was his garment in the sense that he was having sex with her? Should we understand the terms thawb and mirt in that sense, in the same sense that libas is used in Q. 2:187? After all, when Muhammad was at Aisha’s house he would obviously be having sex with her. If so, does Jalal want Christians to really believe and accept such a man as a prophet, one who claimed that his god only sent down inspiration upon him when he was sleeping with his child bride?

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