Monkey Adultery – Join islam

Sahih Bukhari is considered the most revered collection of Sahih Hadith among traditional Muslims. Among these most “authentic” narrations, we see that ‘Amr bin Maimun claims the following account regarding a she-monkey being stoned for adultery.

Narrated `Amr bin Maimun: During the pre-lslamic period of ignorance I saw a she-monkey surrounded by a number of monkeys. They were all stoning it, because it had committed illegal sexual intercourse. I too, stoned it along with them.

حَدَّثَنَا نُعَيْمُ بْنُ حَمَّادٍ، حَدَّثَنَا هُشَيْمٌ، عَنْ حُصَيْنٍ، عَنْ عَمْرِو بْنِ مَيْمُونٍ، قَالَ رَأَيْتُ فِي الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ قِرْدَةً اجْتَمَعَ عَلَيْهَا قِرَدَةٌ قَدْ زَنَتْ، فَرَجَمُوهَا فَرَجَمْتُهَا مَعَهُمْ‏.‏

Sahih al-Bukhari 3849

So many questions come to mind from this narration. Do monkeys have the institution of marriage? How does a monkey commit adultery? Have any modern researchers ever witnessed monkeys stoning another monkey for committing adultery? Was this only how monkeys conducted themselves in the pre-Islamic days of ignorance? Did monkey culture change after the pre-Islamic days of ignorance?

Luckily, Abu Bakr al-Isma’ili, Abu Nu’aym al-Asbahani, and Ibn Asakir provide the most detailed version of this report. The renowned scholar Ibn Hajar wrote the most revered and widely acknowledged commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari, “Fath al-Bari,” provides us al-Is,ma’ili’s version:

Al-Isma’ili has related this story from another detailed perspective through the narration of Isa ibn Hattan from Amr ibn Maymun, who said, “I was in Yemen tending to my family’s sheep, and I was on a cliff when a male monkey came along with a female monkey. She laid her head on his hand. Then, a younger monkey came, enticed her, and she stealthily removed her hand from under the first monkey’s head and followed the younger one. They mated while I watched. Then, she returned and gently placed her hand under the cheek of the first monkey. He woke up startled, smelled her, and screamed. The other monkeys gathered around as he continued to scream and gesture towards her with his hand. The monkeys scattered in different directions and then brought back that monkey, whom I recognized. They dug a hole for the two of them and stoned them. Indeed, I witnessed stoning among creatures other than humans.”

وقد ساق الإسماعيلي هذه القصة من وجه آخر مطولة من طريق عيسى بن حطان عن عمرو بن ميمون قال كنت في اليمن في غنم لأهلي وانا على شرف فجاء قرد مع قردة فتوسد يدها فجاء قرد أصغر منه فغمزها فسلت يدها من تحت رأس القرد الأول سلا رقيقا وتبعته فوقع عليها وأنا أنظر ثم رجعت فجعلت تدخل يدها تحت خد الأول برفق فاستيقظ فزعا فشمها فصاح فاجتمعت القرود فجعل يصيح ويومئ إليها بيده فذهب القرود يمنة ويسرة فجاؤوا بذلك القرد أعرفه فحفروا لهما حفرة فرجموهما فلقد رأيت الرجم في غير بني آدم

Al-‘Asqalani, Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari, (Beirut: Dar al-Ma’rifa, 1379 AH) Vol.7, 160

Another interesting detail about this narration is the name of the supposed narrator of the monkey adultery: ‘Amr bin Maimun.” While this sounds like a typical name in Arabic, it is oddly strange that in Farsi, this name would be literally translated as “Commander son of a Monkey.” Knowing the Persian angst against the Muslims at that time and their history of fabricating Hadith out of despisement, it is quite a coincidence, given the name and the incident it supposedly reports, for it to be overlooked. But if one is a true, devoted Sunni, they know better than to question any of the narrations of their revered Bukhari, that if it is graded as Sahih, then it must be true.

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