Some Tidbits About the Islamic Prophet’s Wives and Concubines

November 8, 2009 at 12:05 am | Posted in Women in Islam | Leave a comment
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A relative, concerned I’m going to hell, sent me an Arabic presentation in which I read the usual platitudes and excuses for why a holy man would have so many women during his lifetime. He asked me to consider the presentation with an ‘open mind’.

I provided responses to him, and I am sharing here.

Many Muslims will be shocked over what I will write now. But these facts are irrefutable and are backed by Islamic sources.

May I ask what difference it will make if I responded to this? Even if I showed that he had the most evil intentions, Muslims will tell me, “It’s okay, he’s a prophet of god and he can do what he wants. It is not for us to decide what’s good or bad.”

To a Muslim, I am ‘open minded’ if I agree with Islamic views. If not then I am ‘dumb, deaf and blind’ – summun bukmun 3umyun [Quran 2:18]. If I agree I am smart. If I disagree I am brainwashed and stupid and deserve to die.

How can a Muslim think with an open mind when he is told that if he changes his religion, he will die? Why would confident Muslims do it? Do math teachers kill students who say 1 + 1 = 3, or just laugh at them?

It is pointless and a waste of time.

I decided later to respond briefly:

In short:

– I will not judge a leader by when he was weak, but when he was in power. So his relationship with Khadija is irrelevant. It can also be interpreted in other ways. For example, she was very wealthy and Muhammad never worked when he married her – he was just dwelling in the caves. So we can also say he just took advantage of her. Another theory is that he never had a true motherly figure in his life. Remember he was dumped in the desert as a child to be taken care of by murdi’aat [wet nurses] – and his mother passed away when he was a child. So he may have married an older woman for a motherly relation. Another theory is that Khadija was a codependent and he was a narcissist. But who cares what one does when he was not in power?

– Sawda is an interesting story. Yes she was old. But he wanted to divorce her. She said she wanted to stay and begged. so he agreed on one condition: She give up her sex nights for Aisha. This is what Al Nisaa v 128 was referring to:

وَإِنِ ٱمۡرَأَةٌ خَافَتۡ مِنۢ بَعۡلِهَا نُشُوزًا أَوۡ إِعۡرَاضً۬ا فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيۡہِمَآ أَن يُصۡلِحَا بَيۡنَہُمَا صُلۡحً۬اۚ وَٱلصُّلۡحُ خَيۡرٌ۬ۗ وَأُحۡضِرَتِ ٱلۡأَنفُسُ ٱلشُّحَّۚ وَإِن تُحۡسِنُواْ وَتَتَّقُواْ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ خَبِيرً۬ا (١٢٨)

[And if a woman fears from her husband contempt or evasion, there is no sin upon them if they make terms of settlement between them – and settlement is best. And present in [human] souls is stinginess. But if you do good and fear Allah – then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.” – Quran 4:128]

– I don’t know what to say about Aisha. I already sent you hadiths showing she was clearly shocked by Muhammad’s first time and she was not baaligha [had not reached puberty]. Repeat rape victims develop Stockholm syndrome and so can end up standing by the side of their rapists. So it may be true that she remained his wife and seemed ok with the whole thing.

– Hafsa was young. He married her in her early twenties. Interestingly, he once tricked her and had her leave her house so he can sleep with Mariya in her bed. When she found out, he promised to never do it again if she did not tell any of his wives. She did tell them and a biiiiiig fight happened with them. There is a lot of interesting drama when trying to balance with 12 women.

The only way the fight was resolved was through new verses in Al Tahreem:

يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلنَّبِىُّ لِمَ تُحَرِّمُ مَآ أَحَلَّ ٱللَّهُ لَكَۖ تَبۡتَغِى مَرۡضَاتَ أَزۡوَٲجِكَۚ وَٱللَّهُ غَفُورٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ۬ (١) قَدۡ فَرَضَ ٱللَّهُ لَكُمۡ تَحِلَّةَ أَيۡمَـٰنِكُمۡۚ وَٱللَّهُ مَوۡلَٮٰكُمۡۖ وَهُوَ ٱلۡعَلِيمُ ٱلۡحَكِيمُ (٢) وَإِذۡ أَسَرَّ ٱلنَّبِىُّ إِلَىٰ بَعۡضِ أَزۡوَٲجِهِۦ حَدِيثً۬ا فَلَمَّا نَبَّأَتۡ بِهِۦ وَأَظۡهَرَهُ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيۡهِ عَرَّفَ بَعۡضَهُ ۥ وَأَعۡرَضَ عَنۢ بَعۡضٍ۬ۖ فَلَمَّا نَبَّأَهَا بِهِۦ قَالَتۡ مَنۡ أَنۢبَأَكَ هَـٰذَاۖ قَالَ نَبَّأَنِىَ ٱلۡعَلِيمُ ٱلۡخَبِيرُ (٣) إِن تَتُوبَآ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ فَقَدۡ صَغَتۡ قُلُوبُكُمَاۖ وَإِن تَظَـٰهَرَا عَلَيۡهِ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ هُوَ مَوۡلَٮٰهُ وَجِبۡرِيلُ وَصَـٰلِحُ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَۖ وَٱلۡمَلَـٰٓٮِٕڪَةُ بَعۡدَ ذَٲلِكَ ظَهِيرٌ (٤) عَسَىٰ رَبُّهُ ۥۤ إِن طَلَّقَكُنَّ أَن يُبۡدِلَهُ ۥۤ أَزۡوَٲجًا خَيۡرً۬ا مِّنكُنَّ مُسۡلِمَـٰتٍ۬ مُّؤۡمِنَـٰتٍ۬ قَـٰنِتَـٰتٍ۬ تَـٰٓٮِٕبَـٰتٍ عَـٰبِدَٲتٍ۬ سَـٰٓٮِٕحَـٰتٍ۬ ثَيِّبَـٰتٍ۬ وَأَبۡكَارً۬ا (٥)

[“O Prophet! Why holdest thou to be forbidden that which Allah has made lawful to thee? Thou seekest to please thy consorts. But Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. Allah has already ordained for you, (O men), the dissolution of your oaths (in some cases): and Allah is your Protector, and He is Full of Knowledge and Wisdom. When the Prophet disclosed a matter in confidence to one of his consorts, and she then divulged it (to another), and Allah made it known to him, he confirmed part thereof and repudiated a part. Then when he told her thereof, she said, “Who told thee this? “He said, “He told me Who knows and is well-acquainted (with all things).” If ye two turn in repentance to Him, your hearts are indeed so inclined; But if ye back up each other against him, truly Allah is his Protector, and Gabriel, and (every) righteous one among those who believe,- and furthermore, the angels – will back (him) up. It may be, if he divorced you (all), that Allah will give him in exchange consorts better than you,- who submit (their wills), who believe, who are devout, who turn to Allah in repentance, who worship (in humility), who travel (for Faith) and fast,- previously married or virgins.” Quran 66:1-5]

– Zaynab bint Jahsh was the wife of his adopted son. Technically, she was his daughter in law. He once saw her undressed and had sexual feelings toward her. So Zayd felt embarrassed and divorced her for him to marry her.

– Juwairiyah was 20 when he married her after he had killed her husband. What woman in her right mind would have wanted to marry her husband’s killer?

– Mariyah the Copt was a slave woman – a concubine. (In fact if you examine his relationship with her, you will know she had a boyfriend and that Ibrahim was likely not Muhammad’s son – he had all these wives all his life and he could not have a baby except from his slave woman? This explains why he was saying women are ungrateful when he was burying his ‘son’. He’s angry she slept with someone else.)

– I told you about Safiyya. She was only 17 and he was more than 40 years older than her. He had killed her father and burned her husband’s chest and then killed him. He took over her entire tribe. We Muslims are very proud of this and we keep saying, that ‘khaybar khaybar ya yahood, jaishu muhammad sawfa ya3ood’. [“Khaybar Khaybar O Jews, the army of Muhammad shall return.”‘]

Safiya was actually at first taken by another man, but Muhammad covered her up to indicate she is his.

Would it make sense to you that a 17 year old woman would marry a 60 year old Israeli who raided their home, killed the men, stole their money, and took her sisters away as mulk al yameen [right hand posessions]? Where is the Muslim’s ‘open mind’ about all this? Or are we only good at blaming everyone else?

– Rayhana was a slave girl – in fact mulk al yameen [right hand posession]. She was taken after he butchered her tribe – Quraytha.


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