In domestic life the conduct of Muhammad, with one grave exception, was exemplary. As a husband his fondness and devotion were entire, bordering at times upon jealousy. At the age of twenty-five he married a widow forty years old, and during her lifetime, for twenty-five years, he was a faithful husband to her alone. Yet it is remarkable that during this period were composed most of those passages of the Quran in which the black-eyed Houries reserved for believers in Paradise, are depicted in such glowing colours. Shortly after the death of Khadija, the Prophet married again; but it was not till the mature age of fifty-four that he made the dangerous trial of polygamy, by taking Ayesha, yet a child, as the rival of Sauda. In his fifty-sixth year he married Haphsa; and the following year, in two succeeding months, Zeinab bint Khozeima and Omm Salma. But his desires were not satisfied by the range of a harem already in advance of Arab custom, and more numerous than was permitted to any of his followers.

A few months after his nuptials with Zeinab and Omm Salma, the charms of a second Zeinab suddenly met his eyes. She was the wife of Zeid, his adopted son and close friend. He was unable to smother his desire and, by the divine command married her. In the same year he married a seventh wife, and also took a concubine. And at last, when he was sixty years of age, no fewer than three new wives, besides Mary the Coptic slave, were within the space of seven months added to his already well-filled harem. The bare recital of these facts may justify the saying of Ibn Abbas: ’Verily the chiefest among Muslims (meaning Muhammad) was the foremost of them in his passion for women.’


> “Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said that Gabriel said, “Here is Khadija coming to you with a dish of food or a tumbler containing something to drink. Convey to her a greeting from her Lord (Allah) and give her the glad tidings that she will have a palace in Paradise built of Qasab wherein there will be neither any noise nor any fatigue’. (Bukhari Volume 9, Book 93, Number 588)

> “Number 576: Narrated ‘Aisha: I never felt so jealous of any woman as I felt of Khadija, for Allah ordered him (the Prophet ) to give Khadija the glad tidings of a palace in Paradise (for her) fatigue (trouble).” (Bukhari Volume 9, Book 93, Number 576)


The equal circuit with his wives

> ” Narrated Qatada: Anas bin Malik said, “The Prophet used to visit all his wives in a round, during the day and night and they were eleven in number.” I asked Anas, “Had the Prophet the strength for it?” Anas replied, “We used to say that the Prophet was given the strength of thirty (men).” And Sa’id said on the authority of Qatada that Anas had told him about nine wives only (not eleven). (Bukhari Volume 1, Book 5, Number 268)

> “Narrated Muhammad bin Al-Muntathir: on the authority of his father  …………….. ‘Aisha said, “I scented Allah’s Apostle and he went round (had sexual intercourse with) all his wives, and in the morning he was Muhrim (after taking a bath).” (Bukhari Volume 1, Book 5, Number 270)


The number of Muhammad’s wives

< “Narrated Qatada:Anas went to the Prophet with barley bread having some dissolved fat on it. The Prophet had mortgaged his armour to a Jew in Medina and took from him some barley for his family. Anas heard him saying, “The household of Muhammad did not possess even a single Sa of wheat or food grains for the evening meal, although he has nine wives to look after.” (Bukhari Volume 3, Book 34, Number 283)

> “Narrated ‘Ata: He presented ourselves along with Ibn ‘Abbas at the funeral procession of Maimuna at a place called Sarif. Ibn ‘Abbas said, “This is the wife of the Prophet so when you lift her bier, do not jerk it or shake it much, but walk smoothly because the Prophet had nine wives and he used to observe the night turns with eight of them, and for one of them there was no night turn.” (Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 5)

> “Narrated Anas: The Prophet used to go round (have sexual relations with) all his wives in one night, and he had nine wives. (Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 6)

> “Narrated Said bin Jubair: Ibn ‘Abbas asked me, “Are you married?” I replied, “No.” He said, “Marry, for the best person of this (Muslim) nation (i.e., Muhammad) of all other Muslims, had the largest number of wives.” (Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 7)


Complaints amongst the wives

> “Narrated ‘Aisha: The people used to send gifts to the Prophet on the day of my turn. Um Salama said: “My companions (the wives of the Prophet other than Aisha) gathered and they complained about it. So I informed the Prophet about it on their behalf, but he remained silent. (Bukhari Volume 3, Book 47, Number 754)

> “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.” (Bukhari Volume 3, Book 47, Number 755)

Perfect equality not achievable amongst wives – jealousy

< “Narrated ‘Aisha: Sada bint Zam’a gave up her turn to me (‘Aisha), and so the Prophet used to give me (‘Aisha) both my day and the day of Sada; – Notation from the Quran :  ‘You will never be able to do perfect justice between your wives …. ’ (4:129 -130) (Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 139)

< “Narrated ‘Aisha: Allah’s Apostle was fond of honey and sweet edible things and (it was his habit) that after finishing the ‘Asr prayer he would visit his wives and stay with one of them at that time. Once he went to Hafsa, the daughter of ‘Umar and stayed with her more than usual. I got jealous and asked the reason for that ………………..  (Bukhari Volume 7, Book 63, Number 193)

> “Narrated Anas: Zaid bin Haritha came to the Prophet complaining about his wife. The Prophet kept on saying (to him), “Be afraid of Allah and keep your wife.” Aisha said, “If Allah’s Apostle were to conceal anything (of the Quran he would have concealed this Verse.” Zainab used to boast before the wives of the Prophet and used to say, “You were given in marriage by your families, while I was married (to the Prophet) by Allah from over seven Heavens.” (Volume 9, Book 93, Number 516)


Muhammad’s favourite – ‘Aisha

>”Narrated ‘Ursa: The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with ‘Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death). (Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 88)

> “Narrated ‘Aisha: that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death). (Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64)

> “Narrated ‘Aisha : I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Suppose you landed in a valley where there is a tree of which something has been eaten and then you found trees of which nothing has been eaten, of which tree would you let your camel graze?” He said, “(I will let my camel graze) of the one of which nothing has been eaten before.” (The sub-narrator added: ‘Aisha meant that Allah’s Apostle had not married a virgin besides herself. (Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 14)

> “Narrated ‘Ursa: The Prophet asked Abu Bakr for ‘Aisha’s hand in marriage. Abu Bakr said “But I am your brother.” The Prophet said, “You are my brother in Allah’s religion and His Book, but she (Aisha) is lawful for me to marry.” (Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 18)

> “Number 805: Narrated Urwa bin Al-Musayyab, Alqama bin Waqqas and Ubaidullah bin Abdullah: About the story of ‘Aisha and their narrations were similar attesting each other, when the liars said what they invented about ‘Aisha, and the Divine Inspiration was delayed, Allah’s Apostle sent for ‘Ali and Usama to consult them in divorcing his wife (i.e. ‘Aisha). Usama said, “Keep your wife, as we know nothing about her except good.” Buraira said, “I cannot accuse her of any defect except that she is still a young girl who sleeps, neglecting her family’s dough which the domestic goats come to eat (i.e. she was too simpleminded to deceive her husband).” (Bukhari Volume 3, Book 48, Number 805)


deathbed maxresdefaultThe scandal involving ‘Aisha

> “Narrated Aisha: (the wife of the Prophet) “Whenever Allah’s Apostle intended to go on a journey, he would draw lots amongst his wives and would take with him the one upon whom the lot fell. During a Ghazwa of his, he drew lots amongst us and the lot fell upon me, and I proceeded with him after Allah had decreed the use of the veil by women. I was carried in a Howdah (on the camel) and dismounted while still in it. When Allah’s Apostle was through with his Ghazwa and returned home, and we approached the city of Medina, Allah’s Apostle ordered us to proceed at night. When the order of setting off was given, I walked till I was past the army to answer the call of nature. After finishing I returned (to the camp) to depart (with the others) and suddenly realized that my necklace over my chest was missing. So, I returned to look for it and was delayed because of that. The people who used to carry me on the camel, came to my Howdah and put it on the back of the camel, thinking that I was in it, as, at that time, women were light in weight, and thin and lean, and did not use to eat much. So, those people did not feel the difference in the heaviness of the Howdah while lifting it, and they put it over the camel. At that time I was a young lady. They set the camel moving and proceeded on. I found my necklace after the army had gone, and came to their camp to find nobody. So, I went to the place where I used to stay, thinking that they would discover my absence and come back in my search. While in that state, I felt sleepy and slept.  Safwan bin Mu’attal As-Sulami Adh-Dhakwani was behind the army and reached my abode in the morning. When he saw a sleeping person, he came to me, and he used to see me before veiling. So, I got up when I heard him saying, “We are for Allah, and we will return to Him.” He made his camel kneel down. He got down from his camel, and put his leg on the front legs of the camel and then I rode and sat over it. Safwan set out walking, leading the camel by the rope till we reached the army who had halted to take rest at midday……………    (some people accused me falsely) and the leader of the false accusers was ‘Abdullah bin Ubai bin Salul. After that we returned to Medina, and I became ill for one month while the people were spreading the forged statements of the false accusers. I was feeling during my ailment as if I were not receiving the usual kindness from the Prophet which I used to receive from him when I got sick. But he would come, greet and say, ‘How is that (girl)?’ I did not know anything of what was going on till I recovered from my ailment …………………..

………..   and I went to my parents and asked my mother, ‘What are the people talking about?’ She said, ‘O my daughter! Don’t worry much about this matter. By Allah, never is there a charming woman loved by her husband who has other wives, but the women would forge false news about her ………………….  Then I turned to the other side of my bed hoping that Allah would prove my innocence. By Allah I never thought that Allah would reveal Divine Inspiration in my case, as I considered myself too inferior to be talked of in the Holy Quran. I had hoped that Allah’s Apostle might have a dream in which Allah would prove my innocence. By Allah, Allah’s Apostle had not got up and nobody had left the house before the Divine Inspiration came to Allah’s Apostle. So, there overtook him the same state which used to overtake him, (when he used to have, on being inspired divinely). He was sweating so much so that the drops of the sweat were dropping like pearls though it was a (cold) wintry day. When that state of Allah’s Apostle was over, he was smiling and the first word he said, ‘Aisha! Thank Allah, for Allah has declared your innocence.’ My mother told me to go to Allah’s Apostle . I replied, ‘By Allah I will not go to him and will not thank but Allah.’ So Allah revealed: “Verily! They who spread the slander are a gang among you . . .” (24.11) …………………….. Aisha further added “Zainab was competing with me (in her beauty and the Prophet’s love), yet Allah protected her (from being malicious), for she had piety.” ((Bukhari Volume 3, Book 48, Number 829)


Wives chosen by lot for journeys

> “Narrated Aisha: Whenever Allah’s Apostle wanted to go on a journey, he would draw lots as to which of his wives would accompany him. He would take her whose name came out. He used to fix for each of them a day and a night. But Sauda bint Zam’a gave up her (turn) day and night to ‘Aisha, the wife of the Prophet in order to seek the pleasure of Allah’s Apostle (by that action). (Bukhari Volume 3, Book 47, Number 766)

Slave girls in conquest

> “Narrated ‘Abdul ‘Aziz: Anas said, ‘When Allah’s Apostle invaded Khaibar ……… , he said, ‘Allahu Akbar! Khaibar is ruined ……….. ……… We conquered Khaibar, took the captives, and the booty was collected. Dihya came and said, ‘O Allah’s Prophet! Give me a slave girl from the captives.’ The Prophet said, ‘Go and take any slave girl.’ He took Safiya bint Huyai. A man came to the Prophet and said, ‘O Allah’s Apostles! You gave Safiya bint Huyai to Dihya and she is the chief mistress of the tribes of Quraiza and An-Nadir and she befits none but you.’ So the Prophet said, ‘Bring him along with her.’

So Dihya came with her and when the Prophet saw her, he said to Dihya, ‘Take any slave girl other than her from the captives.’ Anas added: The Prophet then manumitted her and married her.” (Bukhari Volume 1, Book 8, Number 367)

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