The several marriages of the Prophet...


#1

Islamists among orientalists have been critical of the Prophet’s private life on three accounts:

1.That his marriages were quite numerous.
2.That he married Aishah when she was only ten or eleven years old.
3.That he married Zaynab bint jahsh, a divorcee of his adopted son, Zayd Ibn Harithah.

The bonds of marriage helped to consolidate the Prophets social and political position in Madinah. And again, some of his marriages were the means the Prophet used to accommodate and provide for families, which had lost their providers because of either Hijrah(s) or of Jihad wars. The argument that self-indulgence was the motive behind these marriages is plainly (aside from being false and disgraceful) absurd and preposterous.

As to the several marriages of the Prophet, polygamy was customary among the Arabs, and the Semitic peoples in general in those times. Among many prophets and Apostles of ancient tribes of Israelites and Hebrews, polygamous marriages were widespread. Some of those Prophets of the Old Testaments were reported to have married tens of wives. However, an examination of the circumstances and manner in which the Prophet practiced polygamy shows that sexual appetite was never the dominant factor.

  1. With the exception of Aishah, all the women whom he married were widows or divorcees.

  2. A number of those women were quite advanced in age.

  3. A number of Prophet’s marriages were obviously prompted by motives of compassion.

  4. Sawdah bint Zam’ah:
    She migrated twice to Abyssinia. Her husband was one of the pioneering Muslims who, after his return from Abyssinia, died in Makkah. Marrying her was a way of honoring her sacrifice, and early Hijrah to Abyssinia. It was also a way of consoling and providing for her.

  5. Ramlah:
    She was the daughter of Abu Sufyan, the archenemy of the Prophet and the leader of the Quraysh opposition. Ramlah became a Muslim, despite the attitude of her father consequence. Then her husband, who was a Christian before he converted to Islam, reverted to Christianity, divorced her and deserted her with his little baby in her arms. Thus she was indeed in a very difficult situation living out these moments in a strange land, thousands of miles from her hometown, Makkah.

  6. Maymunah:
    She gave herself to the Prophet and whished to be his wife. He honored her wish, accepting her as a wife, and she was devoted to him.

  7. Safiyah:
    The Prophet married her out of sympathy for her plight, her Jewish father having been killed in the Khaybar battle. She had no one to care for her.

  8. Hafsah:
    The Prophet married her out of regard for her father, who was his aide and minister and enjoyed his love and appreciation for services rendered to the cause of Islam, Hafsah was not particularly young or attractive. But she was deeply religious, steadfast in prayer and fasting. When she became a widow, her father Umar, tried unsuccessfully to persuade some of his close friends and brothers in Islam to marry her. The noble hearted Prophet was moved by the anguish of his close aide and friend ‘Umar and offered to marry her himself.

  9. Umm Salamah:
    Her husband was seriously wounded in the Battle of Uhud, and died as a martyr a month afterwards. The Prophet married her, in his fatherly compassion for her numerous children and to honour her as well. Initially she politely declined his marriage offer, apologizing that she would be too senior to him, being so advanced in age, and with so many children. As, however, the Prophet insisted, the marriage did take place.

  10. Zaynab:
    The Prophet married Zaynab, who had been married to Zayd, his adopted son. Critics have dramatized the Prophet’s marriage to Zaynab in the most obnoxious way. When the life became untenable between Zayad and Zaynab, they were divorced. The Prophet was then commanded by the Qur’an to marry her, so as to abrogate an outmoded custom that fathers of adopted sons many not marry the divorcees of their adopted sons.

From the Muslim point of view, the whole affair was divinely ordained. The Holy Qur’an itself supports this view. In a noble revelation, directly referring to the episodes of Zaynab, God Almightly said:

“When you say to him, upon whom Allah has bestowed His favours, and you have also favoured, keep your wife to yourself; and fear Allah. And you conceal in you heart what Allah is to make public, and you fear that people but Allah is more worthy to be feared by you. And after Zayd had ceased (relations) with her (by divorcing her) we gave her to you in marriage, so that there may be no sin for the believers, in respect of (marrying the former) wives of their adopted sons, after the latter have ceased (relations) with them.” The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 33, Verse 37

To be cont…


#2

Cont…

  1. Khadijah:
    In summing up, it may be said that the only ‘ordinary’ marriage the Prophet ever enjoyed was that with Khadijah. She was 15 years his senior. She died after remaining with him for more than 20 years. The Prophet cherished her memory all his life. All his other marriages were urged by some or other necessities.

  2. Aishah:
    His marriage to Aishah was motivated by dreams, which were shown to him in two or three nights. In those dreams, he saw the Archangel Gabriel descending with her picture and saying: “ This is you wife, in this life and in the world to come. Marry her, because she has some qualities of Khadijah. Since Aishah was but a little girl, the Prophet said to himself, “ If those dreams were from God, this marriage would take place”.

Had it been the case that he was sexually overactive, this would have become more apparent in his early manhood, not after he had passed the age of fifty. Marriage bonds were used by the Prophet to improve and strengthen his relationships with his people. By using this means, which was familiar to them, it was possible for that message to be heard by every clan and tribe in the vast Arabian Peninsula. The bonds of marriage helped also to consolidate his social and political position in Madinah. And again, some of his marriages were the means the Prophet used to accommodate and provide for families, which had lost their providers because of either Hijrah(s) or of Jihad wars. The argument that self-indulgence was the motive behind these marriages is plainly (aside from being false and disgraceful) absurd and preposterous.


#3

What ‘necessities’?

As if there were no other ways open to God’s favoured prophet of making peace with his enemies, providing for women or widows or showing respect to his friends than marriage to these women.

As for his Jewish wife, if I remember correctly he played a part in the very same slaughter of her relatives, if he’d sincerely cared for or about her why did he destroy them?

And as for marrying his son’s divorced wife - it is a repulsive and incestuous custom, I don’t care if he thought he was so commanded by the Quran. Even animals know better than to breed within their own families.


#4
  1. Safiyah:
    The Prophet married her out of sympathy for her plight, her Jewish father having been killed in the Khaybar battle. She had no one to care for her.

You’ll find that this is not so. It was Muhammad and his band of merry bandits who killed Safiya’s father and other males relatives. Muhammad also ordered Safiya’s husband Kinana al-Rabi to be tortured and killed.

“Kinana al-Rabi, who had the custody of the treasure of Banu Nadir, was brought to the apostle who asked him about it. He denied that he knew where it was. A Jew came (Tabari says “was brought”), to the apostle and said that he had seen Kinana going round a certain ruin every morning early. When the apostle said to Kinana, “Do you know that if we find you have it I shall kill you?” He said “Yes”. The apostle gave orders that the ruin was to be excavated and some of the treasure was found. When he asked him about the rest he refused to produce it, so the apostle gave orders to al-Zubayr Al-Awwam, “Torture him until you extract what he has.” So he kindled a fire with flint and steel on his chest until he was nearly dead. Then the apostle delivered him to Muhammad b. Maslama and he struck off his head, in revenge for his brother Mahmud.” Sirat Rasulallah pg. 515. A. Guillaume as “The Life of Muhammad”

Safiya then became the property of Dihya Qalbi. When Muhammad saw Safiya’s beauty he exchanged 7 female captives for her. Then within the next few days, he bedded her on the way back to Mecca. His ‘marriage’ to her consisted of him putting on a small feast the next day.

There was no altruism in the entire sordid tale.


#5
  1. Zaynab:
    The Prophet married Zaynab, who had been married to Zayd, his adopted son. Critics have dramatized the Prophet’s marriage to Zaynab in the most obnoxious way. When the life became untenable between Zayad and Zaynab, they were divorced. The Prophet was then commanded by the Qur’an to marry her, so as to abrogate an outmoded custom that fathers of adopted sons many not marry the divorcees of their adopted sons.

The hadiths and sira say that when Muhammad went to visit Zayd he happened to see Zaynab in a state of undress and his passion for her grew.

Zayd, seeing Muhammad’s ardour for his wife, decided to divorce her so Muhammad could fulfill his desire for Zaynab.

Muhammad was at first reticent. As the Quran states,“you concealed in your soul what Allah would bring to light, and you feared men,”

This shows that Muhammad had something unsavory to conceal in his soul for which he feared men.

When Zayd divorced Zaynab, he told Zayd to go to Zaynab to solicit her hand in marriage. Zaynab then told Zayd that she would give no answer without a sign from Allah.

Then lo and behold, Allah sent down a revelation to Muhammad telling him it is all right to marry Zaynab for the “noble” purpose of differentiating between natural and adopted sons. (see Sahih Muslim 8:3330).

Thus, the sahih hadith shows that the Muslims apologetic cannot be true. Muhammad was not commanded to marry Zaynab because of some silly reason. He made up the verse because Zaynab would not say yes to his proposal without a verse from Allah.

And for his lust for Zaynab, adoptions have been prohibited in Islam.


#6

As for Aisha, he ‘married’ her when she was only 6 years old and ‘consummated the marriage by having sex with her’ when she was 9 years old.

9 years old.

Still playing with dolls.

Referred to herself as an immature little girl or a young girl of tender age or immature age when she was 13 to 14 years old.

Referred to as a little girl (not yet reached the age of puberty) when she was living with Muhammad sometime after he had consummated the marriage and brought her to live with him in his mosque/house.

Dreamt of marrying her when she was still in swaddling clothes. Muhammad said, 'I saw you in dreams three times. The angel brought you to me and you were clad in white silk. He (the angel) said that it was your consort and he (angel) showed me by opening your face. You are just like that…" Sahih Muslim, Vol.2, p. 285.

There are some modern conflicting and contradictory and untruthful apologetics about Aisha’s age by Muslims too embarrassed by the fact of her young age. However, the most authoritative sources - i.e. the sahih hadiths are all consistent that she was only 9 years old when Muhammad bedded her.


#7
  1. Sawdah bint Zam’ah:
    She migrated twice to Abyssinia. Her husband was one of the pioneering Muslims who, after his return from Abyssinia, died in Makkah. Marrying her was a way of honoring her sacrifice, and early Hijrah to Abyssinia. It was also a way of consoling and providing for her.

When Muhammad’s first wife Khatidja died, Muhammad found himself unable to take care of himself. So a marriage broker proposed that he marry a matron to take care of him. She offered Sawdah - an unattractive woman whose husband had died during the emigration to Abyssinia.

Since Muhammad was poor and of low social standing at the time, she was all he could get. So he agreed to marry her and she looked after him and his little children - Fatimah Zahra and 3 other girls (whom the Sunnis maintain were his stepdaughters).

However, when Muhammad became a successful bandit warlord he accumulated wives and sex slaves such that he no longer felt the need to keep Saudah and he wanted to divorce her on the grounds of her unattractiveness. She pleaded with him to be permitted to remain his wife - whereupon she relinquished all wifely claims on him in all but name.

Due to his charity and generosity, he agreed and she remain his wife though only in name.

Thus was the great altruism displayed by Muhammad - to use a woman for selfish aims and then wanting to cast her aside when he had younger, more attractive flesh with which to sate his appetite. Truly Allah is merciful, compassionate.


#8
  1. Hafsah:
    The Prophet married her out of regard for her father, who was his aide and minister and enjoyed his love and appreciation for services rendered to the cause of Islam, Hafsah was not particularly young or attractive. But she was deeply religious, steadfast in prayer and fasting. When she became a widow, her father Umar, tried unsuccessfully to persuade some of his close friends and brothers in Islam to marry her. The noble hearted Prophet was moved by the anguish of his close aide and friend ‘Umar and offered to marry her himself.

Apparently, Hafsa’s father wanted to marry her off to Uthman and Abu Bakr, Muhammad’s close companions. However, Abu Bakr declined KNOWING THAT MUHAMMAD DESIRED HER. So Hafsa’s father married her off to Muhammad instead.

It might be a stretch to say that '“The noble hearted Prophet was moved by the anguish of his close aide and friend ‘Umar and offered to marry her himself” since Abu Bakr admitted he would have married Hafsa except he knew Muhammad wanted her.

Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 55:
Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar : 'Umar bin Al-Khattab said, "When Hafsa bint 'Umar became a widow after the death of (her husband) Khunais bin Hudhafa As-Sahmi who had been one of the companions of the Prophet, and he died at Medina. I went to 'Uthman bin ‘Affan and presented Hafsa (for marriage) to him. He said, "I will think it over.’ I waited for a few days, then he met me and said, ‘It seems that it is not possible for me to marry at present.’ " 'Umar further said, “I met Abu Bakr As-Siddique and said to him, 'If you wish, I will marry my daughter Hafsa to you.” Abu Bakr kept quiet and did not say anything to me in reply. I became more angry with him than with 'Uthman. I waited for a few days and then Allah’s Apostle asked for her hand, and I gave her in marriage to him. Afterwards I met Abu Bakr who said, ‘Perhaps you became angry with me when you presented Hafsa to me and I did not give you a reply?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ Abu Bakr said, ‘Nothing stopped me to respond to your offer except that I knew that Allah’s Apostle had mentioned her, and I never wanted to let out the secret of Allah’s Apostle. And if Allah’s Apostle had refused her, I would have accepted her.’ "


#9

There is also Juwayriyyah bint al-Harith bin Abi Birar bin Habib, daughter of the chief of the Bani Mustaliq.

Muhammad and his band of merry cut-throats attacked the Bani Mustaliq - a Jewish tribe living about a hundred miles from Medina and not previously known to be a threat. After killing most or all of the men and taking the women and children prisoners, the Muslims divided up the women. Muhammad’s share of the booty was 1 fifth of all the women - whom he divided among his followers.

Juwayriyya fell to the lot of Thabit Ibn Qais. Her husband was killed during the raid. She was very beautiful. Thabit ibn Qais wanted nine ounces of gold for her. As she didn’t want to end up as somebody’s sex slave, Juwayriyya asked Muhammad to help free her - which he agreed on condition that she marry him. Seeing she had no choice - either become the wife of the bandit chief or the sex-slave of one of his followers, she chose the former since she was a status-conscious princess.


#10

In spite of the claims that Muhammad was not driven by lust and he only married women to help them or to forge alliances with potentially hostile tribes, he also made proposals to several Muslim women who neither needed his help nor were of importance in the forging of alliances.

These include:
Women Muhammad proposed to but did not marry:

Al-Kilabiyya: She was called Fatima Bint al-Dhahhak or Amra Bint Yazid al-Kilabiyya.(1) Narrators gave contradictory stories about the reason why Muhammad left her. In a tradition by A´isha we read the following, "When she was brought in to him after marriage, he approached her, and she said, 'I take refuge with God from you.' The Messenger of God said, 'You have taken refuge with the Great One; go back to your family.' "(2) Some claim that Muhammad left her due to vitiligo alba (a mild leprosy),(3) and some said that she lost her mind after she refused him.(4) Asma´ Bint al-Numan al-Kindiyya: Ibn Abbas narrated: "The Messenger of God married Asma´ Bint al-Numan, and she was the most beautiful and elegant woman of her time. When the Messenger of God began to marry foreign women,A´isha said, ‘His attention is now so drawn to the foreign ones that they nearly turned his face away from us.’ When the wives of the Prophet saw Asma´, they envied her and said to her, ‘If you want to have favour with him, take refuge with God from him as soon as he enters upon you.’ So when he entered, took away the veil, and stretched out his hand to her, she said, ‘I take refuge with God from you.’ He replied, ‘Go back to your family.’ "(5) Abu Usaid narrated: “The Messenger of God married a woman from Baljun, and ordered me to bring her. I brought her and stationed her in al-Shawt behind a blade of a henna flower in a square house. I came to the Prophet and said to him, ‘I have brought your wife to you.’ He went out on foot and I walked with him. When he reached her, he fell down on her to kiss her (the Messenger of God used to lean to the back and then kiss), so she said to him, ‘I take refuge with God from you.’(6) Muhammad was told that she was deceived and that she was quite young, but he never took her back.”(7)
light-of-life.com/eng/reveal/r5405et7.htm


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