Wives Rather Than Mistresses (Polygamy necessity of the age)


  • bookcover

  • Wives Rather Than Mistresses (Polygamy necessity of the age)


  • Chapter Six

    THE APOSTLE’S WIVES

    As said before, the foes of Isalm have desperately been attempting, since Islam dawned on humanity up till now, to disparage, and call into serious question, Islam, using the plurality of wives the prophet married to try to deal Islam a fatal blow.

     

    They have always been claiming that the prophet was absolutely devoted to fully satisfying his lust by rolling in the bosoms of nine wives!! When this claim was initially made by Jews in Yathreb[1] ‑ which was later to be known as Madina after Hijra ‑ the Holy Quran has eloquently exposed their allegation as motivated only by envy for, and covetousness of, the prophet since the two prophets Dawood (David) and Soliman (Solomon), peace be upon them both, had been bestowed with a large Kingdom each and had had many more wives and captive female slaves than Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, had.

     

    Orientalists outside, as well as secularists and leftists inside, are still cheekily talking disparagingly about the prophet's lofty position and his purified sunna (traditions) out of malice towards this religion. However, Allah will be safeguarding His religion, despite their ill will, until Allah inherits the Earth and whoever is on it.

     

    Some others follow suit because they do not know why the prophet married so many women. Profound look at his impeccable biography will easily show that some of those marriages were primarily catering for human motivation, while some others were meant to reassure estranged hearts and souls as well as to lay the ground ready for the first seed of the blessed call for Islam. Moreover, the prophet, peace be upon him, had a natural right and desire to marry because he was a human being, rather than an angel. As we have said before, marriage has been set forth in the tenets of all of Allah's prophets (even in the tenet of those who did not ever marry like Jesus and Yahia (John the Baptist), peace be upon them both). None

    of the four gospels stipulated a ban on polygamy.[2]

     

    Let us begin with Khadija, the prophet's first wife. Khadija, the daughter of Khuwailed, may Allah be pleased with her, had, before Islam's advent, been married to Hend son of Nabbash of the Tamim tribe, whose epithet was Abu‑Hala. After his death, she married Ateeq son of Abed of the Makhzourn tribe.[3] Then Ateeq died as well.

     

    Khadija belonged to one of the Quraish tribe's loftiest households in terms of lineage. She had an enormous wealth, which she used in trade. She used to send some men, with her money on trade missions to Syria. When she heard of Muhammad's (peace be upon him) integrity, she sent for him and requested him to take her money on a trade mission to Syria, promising to pay him as twice as she used to pay others who performed the same task. Muhammad, peace be upon him, took her money for trade in Syria, accompanied by her boy slave Maysara. There, he traded, coming back to Mecca with a multifold profit far in excess of what others used to earn for Khadija during the same journey. Khadija as previously promised doubly paid him.

     

    Upon knowing from her boy slave, Maysara, about his miracles, peace be upon him, during the journey: a cloud shaded him and a clergyman telling Maysara that his fellow Muhammad would be the ultimate apostle to be sent by Allah, as heralded by previous holy books, Muhammad tickled her fancy more and more, and she presented herself to him for marriage through her female friend Nafeesa daughter of Umaya. Although Khadija was forty years old, the prophet agreed to marry her and was then at the age of twenty‑five.

    Khadija gave birth to all of Muhammad's children ‑boys and girls‑ except for his son Ibrahim, who was born later in his life by Mary, the Coptic female slave given as a gift to the prophet by Al‑Mukawkis, the religious leader of Egypt's Copts. The prophet, peace be upon him, never married any other woman until Khadija died at the age of sixty‑five, while he was only a little more than fifty years old.

     

    Now, we have to rightfully wonder: if the prophet, peace be upon him, had lived up to the age of twenty‑five without marriage, if he was highly commended by all of Mecca's people as the honest man of integrity, if his chaste and sexual abstinence were exemplary ‑ as conceded by the most hardened, rancorous and hateful of Mecca's polytheists ‑, and if he later married Khadija, who was fifteen years his senior, and contented himself with her as an only wife even after she exceeded sixty years of age, if all these facts have been true, what lust is there they claim to have motivated his so many marriages

     

    The prophet, peace be upon him, was then in the prime of his youth and had not been preoccupied as yet with the heavy burdens of his blessed call for Islam. If he had been sweepingly lustful, as the foes of Islam claim, he would have married as many women as he could, as polygamy and taking concubines was a very common pre‑Islam practice, as said before,[4] without any limit.

    However, the prophet, peace be upon him, never so did. Is not this an evidence that he took many wives later for loftier reasons than merely satisfying his lust, though satisfying lust should not in itself be considered a shame?

     

    Still, there is one more point to explain, before moving to other wives, which is the fact that he always highly commended, and remained faithful to, Khadija after her death. Even after he had taken nine other wives, he was really furious whenever anybody ill‑mentioned her, even if it was Aisha. He used every possible occasion to sing Khadija's praises, citing her being very gracious to the great call for Islam. He never forgot her though she was the oldest of all those whom he married throughout his life and he later married younger ones who were, probably, more beautiful than she was.

     

    Is it fair enough to describe a husband as such as marrying primarily for lust!? Can such a spouse be so ill thought of while he was commended by Allah, the Exalted, as having "Great manners" ‑ Allah forbid.

     

    Now, we have to shed light on the circumstances under which the prophet, peace be upon him, married his second wife, Sawda daughter of Zamaa, may Allah be pleased with her. She was married, during the pre‑Islam period to Al‑Sakraan son of Amre son of Abd‑Shams, who was also her cousin. Having both embraced Islam in Mecca, they went out on the second emigration to Abyssinia. Having come back from Abyssinia, her husband died in Mecca and she became a widow. When she spent a period of four months and ten days after her husband's death ‑ as a Muslim wife should so spend after her husband's death without marriage to mak6 sure that she is not pregnant by de deceased husband ‑ the prophet, peace be upon him, sent for her and proposed marriage to her. Following the marriage she emigrated with him to Madina.

     

    She had grown older by the time the prophet proposed marriage to her. With their marriage getting older, she ceded her allotted time to another wife of the prophet, who was Aisha. Ceding her allotted time, she said to the prophet, as reported by one narrator, "Oh you the apostle of Allah, I swear by Allah that I don't crave for men any more (referring to the fact that she was old and was not lustful any longer) but I pray that I would be resurrected among your wives on the Day of Judgement". The prophet, peace be upon him, accepted her ceding her allotted time to Aisha and retained her as his wife until his death,[5]peace be upon him. So, can his marriage to another old lady, like Sawda, be taken as evidence that the prophet's (peace be upon him) polygamy was meant, as mongered by the foes of Islam, only for lust and craving for women!!? Or cannot it be better described as an act of consolation by him, peace be upon him, for a Muslim widow who had no one to provide for her, nor had she any wealth, youth or beauty that would have prompted anyone else to marry her?! By Allah, such an unyearned‑for marriage was among his burdens, peace be upon him, and a heavy duty his noble soul thought it was imperative to do. Who else would have consoled a bereaved widow? And who else would have helped anyone to his feet after having slipped, would have broken captivity or would have helped to forbear misfortunes? It was he, peace be upon him, who would do so, since it was he who was sent as a mercy to the entire mankind?

    Aisha, the daughter of his companion Abu‑Bakr AI‑Siddeeq, may Allah be pleased with them both, was the third wife of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. It was natural that a preacher be closely tied to the men who would later erect the lofty edifice of Islam and who would promote the call for Allah to the four comers of the globe. The best tie between the prophet, peace be upon him, and his senior companions was the sacred tie of marriage. Therefore, he, peace be upon him, married Aisha, who was then very young.

     

    The fourth wife was Hafsa, the daughter of his other senior companion Omar son of Al‑Khattab. He married Hafsa partly as the previous marriage, namely because she was his companion's daughter, and partly to please Omar himself. Omar had offered his daughter in marriage to his companion Abu‑Bakr after his daughter's husband, Khanees son of Hudhafa of the Sahm tribe, died in action at the battle of Uhud.[6]    He and Hafsa had embraced Islam and emigrated to Madina, then he died upon the coming back of the prophet from the Uhud battle. Having spent four months and ten days after her husband's death, she was offered in marriage to Abu‑Bakr by her father Omar. Abu‑Bakr declined and Omar was upset. Omar had earlier done the same thing to Othman son of Affan, another senior companion of the prophet, but he declined, and Omar was also upset with him.

     

    Complaining them both to the prophet, peace be upon him, the prophet married her in order to please her father Omar. The prophet had also earlier honored Abu‑Bakr by marrying his daughter Aisha, as shown above. Abu‑Bakr declined to accept Hafsa as a wife when offered by Omar because he had heard the prophet, peace be upon him, mention that he would marry her. Abu‑Bakr would not disclose what he heard the prophet say. Anyway, Hafsa was not a beautiful lady, as Aisha or Safiyia, but she used to fast and pray at night a lot and loved Allah and his apostle.

     

    So, can his marriage to both Aisha and Hafsa be considered craving for women or satisfying one's lust? Or can it better considered a necessity for strengthening the call for Allah, pleasing his senior campaign and bolstering ties between the prophet and the senior men in charge of the nascent call for Islam? Was not it consoling a martyr's widow like Hafasa who was not such a beautiful or wealthy lady that would not have tempted anyone else to marry her. It was the prophet who was a mercy and boon offered by Allah to mankind.

     

    As for Zainab, the daughter of Khuzaima, whose epithet was "Umm Al‑Masakeen" (or Mother of the Poor), may Allah be pleased with her, she was the wife of his cousin Ubaida son of Al‑Hareth son of Abdul‑Muttaleb, may Allah be pleased with him. He fell in action as a martyr at the battle of Badr and left her with no one to provide for her. So, was it fair enough to reward a companion, who was also a martyred cousin, by leaving his widow alone?! Who else would have maintained a relation of one's kith and kin, rewarded a martyr and benevolently, advantageously and mercifully replaced him with his widow except for Muhammad, peace be upon him, the last of the prophets who was all throughout his life known as the candid and trustworthy!!? Can such a marriage be regarded as having been motivated by any sensual, or other, craving?! Or must not it be viewed as an additional burden on the prophet's shoulders?! However, she died, may Allah be pleased with her, only a few months after she married the prophet.

     

    Then the prophet, peace be upon him, married Umm‑Salama, may Allah be pleased with her. Named Hend daughter of Suhail son of Al‑Mughira of the Makhzoum tribe, she had been married before the prophet, peace be upon him, to his paternal cousin Abdullah son of Abdul‑Assad of the Makhzoum tribe. Her husband was wounded at the battle of Uhud, and one month later his wounds healed. He then went out on a short‑term, one‑month military offensive. Having come back, his wounds relapsed sending him to his death, may Allah be pleased with him. Abu‑Salama left behind Umm.‑Salama and a lot children.

     

    Having spent a period of four months and ten days after her husband's death, she received a marriage proposal from the prophet, peace be upon him. However, she declined, pleading that she was very jealous, old‑aged and having so many children. The prophet replied to her by saying "As for your cited jealousy, Allah will send it diminishing; as for your old age, I am older than you are; and as for your orphans, Allah and His apostle will be in charge of them".[7]    That is to say, Allah and His apostle will take care of her children. This was a reason for the prophet to have blessingly got married to her: to take care of orphans and be fully in charge of this revered female companion having been widowed. And ultimately, the marriage was also in honor of the deceased husband Abu‑Salama, who had fallen as a martyr, by taking care of his widow and children and maintaining good relations with one's kith and kin as his mother was a maternal aunt of the prophet. So what lust was there behind marrying a widow who was fifty‑plus years of age and taking care of her children?

     

    As for Umm‑Habiba (Ramlah) daughter of Abu‑Sufyan son of Harb, may Allah be pleased with her, she has a story to be told in order to clarify the noble aim envisaged by this marriage. Umm‑Habiba was a wife of Ubaidullah son of Gahsh son of Khuzaimah. They left for Abyssinia on the second wave of emigration, which was ordered by the prophet, peace be upon him, to spare the early Muslim believers the brunt of infidels' coerciveness. There, Ubaidullah converted to polytheism and became a renegade ‑ Allah forbid ‑ while his wife Umm‑Habiba, may Allah be pleased with her, remained steadfastly holding on to her faith, despite alienation, forlornness and loneliness. However, she could not have gone back to Mecca, where her father was a hardened leader of the tribe of Quraish, who used to coercively deal with, most persecute, the apostle and his companions. If she had returned, she must have been prone to being suppressed out of her faith, in return. Therefore, she should have been honored, and compensated for a renegade deceased husband, by the prophet (her husband had died earlier in Abyssinia).

     

    So, Allah's apostle, who used to cure people's broken hearts and entertain those who are forlorn, sent to the Negus ‑ the Emperor of Abyssinia, who had embraced Islam ‑ ordering him to write out, on his behalf, his marriage contract to imm‑Habiba.

     

    The Negus did as ordered by the prophet and sent fully honored, to him in Madina after his hijra.

     

    Upon knowing of his daughter's marriage to the prophet, peace be upon him, Abu‑Sufyan was very much delighted and, rejoicingly, commended Muhammad as the best and most competent ever son‑in‑law. Abu‑Sufyan son of Harb said so although he was still an infidel and a foe of Islam. However, he candidly believed, as a father regardless of faith, that his daughter married humanity's greatest and noblest men.

     

    Allah's willing was that time was around again and it so took place that Abu‑Sufyan came to Madina to dissuade the prophet from conquering Mecca after infidels had breached peace with him. The infidels of Mecca had attacked and killed the prophet's allies of Khuzaa tribe in Mecca, the sanctuary of Allah, during a "Haram" or sacred month (one of four months during which fighting is prohibited by Islam).

     

    Feeling at a loss after the senior companions had declined to intercede for him with the prophet, peace be upon him, Abu‑Sufyan had to resort only to his daughter's house. Having arrived there, his daughter, much to his own surprise, furled her mattress from him most disgustingly. On seeing this he said to her, "By Allah, my daughter, I do not know you did not want me to touch the mattress?" Flatly, she replied by saying "It is because this is the prophet's, peace be upon him, and you are still a polytheist infidel".

     

    Good heavens! It was a faith as deeply rooted and unshakable in the heart of the prophet's wife as a mountain which made her so daringly face up to her father who generated her. The incidence provides a vivid example of how truthful and deep faith makes Allah and His apostle more beloved, to a true Muslim, than his mother, father, son and brother.

     

    After all, was the prophet, peace be upon him, required to let that great lady down to lose the right path having been torn between a renegade husband and a flagrant infidel father?! Who else than he, peace be upon him, would have rushed to honor and reward her for her steadfastness, patience and struggle for her faith and message?  And who else would have been more equal to the daughter of a Quraish noble man than the prophet, peace be upon him, who is the head of all ancestors and descendants to come until the Day of Judgement?!

     

    Now, we come to the story behind his marriage, peace be upon him, to Zainab daugher of Jahsh of the Assad tribe, may Allah be pleased with her, who was his cousin as she was the daughter of his paternal aunt Umayma daughter of Abdul‑Muttaleb son of Hashem. She thus belonged to one of Quraish's most thoroughbred noble and lofty households. She was also reported as having been charmingly beautiful.

     

    When the prophet, peace be upon him, sent someone to propose marriage to her, her family mistakenly thought that he wanted her for himself. Much to their surprise, he wanted to marry her off to Zayd son of Haritha.

     

    Having been a slave in pre‑Islam times, Zayd, may Allah be pleased with him, had ended up as a slave under the candid and trustworthy prophet, Muhammad son of Abdullah, who fairly dealt with him. The prophet, peace be upon him, so affectionately and compassionately influenced him that Zayd preferred to stay with him for ever to going back with his father and uncle (having been in pursuit of him after being sold as a slave, his father and uncle finally found him with the prophet and came to take him back). At that point, the prophet asked them to stand witness that he was adopting Zayd as a son by saying, "Zayd is my son and we mutually inherit each other". His lineal father so consented.

     

    Although the prophet enfranchised and adopted Zayd (later Islam dismantled the adoption system resulting in Zayd regaining his name and freedom even before that) the family of Jahsh turned down the marriage proposal made by Zayd, claiming that their daughter, among other girls, belonged to a noble and dignified family and was most sought after by the best youth of Arabian Peninsula.

     

    However, Allah Exalted be He, so desired that this marriage should forgo ahead for a great wise reason, even a multitude of reasons. The most important of these reasons is being dismantling the common practice of boasting lineal descents in order to confirm, and send more deeply rooted, the eternal, immaculate and sage rule that "The most honored of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you", the most righteous ‑ rather than the wealthiest, the most thorough bred or noblest.

     

    On that occasion, Allah sent down His verse from the surah of "Al‑Ahzab", or clans, which reads, "It is not fitting for a believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His apostle to have any option about their decision. If any one disobeys Allah and His apostle, he is indeed on a clearly wrong path". As soon as the above verse had been sent down, Abdullah son of Jahsh and his sister Zainab, may Allah be pleased with them, acknowledged that the only option they have was to fully obey Allah and His apostle. So, Abdullah told his maternal cousin Muhammad, peace be upon him, "I will do whatever you order me". And so he, peace be upon him married her off to Zayd son of Haritha.

     

    Although the marriage was fully consummated, Zainab still turned her nose up at him, pleading that she was more thorough bred. So persistently had she been doing so, that Zayd, may Allah be pleased with him, could not endure her anymore. Complaining her to the prophet, he requested his consent to divorce her, on the grounds that he could not live with her any longer. The prophet, peace be upon him, ordered him to be pious enough, so fear Allah that he should retain her as his wife.

     

    In the meantime, Allah, Exalted be He, revealed to the prophet the future events that Jay in store with Allah: Zayd was to divorce Zainab, whom Allah would then marry off to His truthful prophet. The procedure as such, the prophet was further revealed to, would absolutely uproot the pre‑Islam practice of adoption. The more fair and righteous procedure, Allah told His prophet, is to call children by the names of their real fathers, rather than by the names of those adopting them. If Islam has, forever, forbidden a father to marry his daughter‑in‑law, the case is not so with an adopted son, as he is not a real son and should not so be.

     

    Allah, Exalted be He, sent down another verse of the surah of "A]‑Ahzab", or clans, marking the same occasion. The verse reads, "Behold! you did say to one who had received the grace of Allah and your favor: Retain your wife in your wedlock and fear Allah. But you did hide in your heart that which Allah was about to make manifest: You did fear people, but it is more fitting that you should fear Allah. Then when Zayd had dissolved (his marriage), with her, with the necessary (formality), We jointed her in marriage to you: In order that (in future) there may be no difficulty to the believers in marriage with the wives of their adopted sons when the latter have dissolved their marriage with them. And Allah's command must be fulfilled".

     

    The best interpretation of this verse ‑ (it is the best because it is the closest to the noble position of prophets, whose infallibility is unanimously agreed beyond any doubt) ‑ is provided by Imam Ali son of Al‑Hussain son of Ali son of Abu‑Taleb, whose epithet is Zainul‑abideen (which means the most devoted to worshipping), may Allah be pleased with him.

     

    Shedding light on this verse, he said, "Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, had earlier received revelation to the effect that Zayd would divorce Zainab and Allah would marry him off to her. So, when Zayd complained to the prophet, peace be upon him, that his wife, Zainab, had been harmfully disobedient to him and that he planned to divorce her, the prophet, peace be upon him, said to him by way of politely advising him (Be fearful of Allah and retain your wife), although he, peace be upon him, had known in advance that Zayd would divorce her and he would be replacing him as her husband. It was exactly this knowledge, as referred to by the verse that the prophet hid in his heart. The prophet, peace be upon him, desisted from ordering him to divorce her on account of his knowledge beforehand that he himself would marry her, fearing the detriment that could have been done to him by polytheists and hypocrites if he had married Zainab in place of his former slave'Zayd in case he ordered him to divorce her. Therefore, Allah spoke to the prophet, peace be upon him, reproachfully for unduly fearing people's gossip when embarking upon something which Allah permitted him to do, as exhibited by telling Zayd to retain his wife, although he had known beforehand that he would divorce her. Allah, Exalted be He, told him that it is Allah who is worthy of being feared under all circumstances".

     

    Our jurists, may Allah have mercy upon them all, said, describing the above‑cited interpretation by Zainul‑abiddin "This verse of the Quran has been best elucidated as such. This elucidation (as provided by Zainul‑abiddin) has been the one deemed as most appropriate by the Holy Quran interpreters and well‑established scholars who do not accept any historical incidents unless they thoroughly verify them. On top of those ulema (eminent scholars) are AI‑Zuhry, Bakr son of Al‑Alaa Al‑Qushairy, Abu‑Bakr son of Al‑Arabi as well as others".[8]

     

    Imam Ibn‑Katheer, may Allah be pleased with him, has adamantly refused to acknowledge as authentic any other historical accounts ‑ cited in the context of elucidating its verse ‑ which runs on a collision course with the infallibility, and the lofty position, of the prophet, branding such accounts as concocted ones which lack authenticity both in terms of the chain of narrators and in terms of the text itself.[9]

     

    Commenting on these unwitting historical accounts, which elucidates Allah's saying to His prophet "And you did hide in your heart that which Allah was about to make manifest, you did fear people, but it is more fitting that you should fear Allah" as dropping a hint at the fact that Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, fancied Zainab, Al‑Imarn Al‑Qurtubi said that such an alleged claim can be made only by someone who is either unwitting about the prophet's ‑ peace be upon him ‑ infallibility or by one who is playing down his well‑deserved esteem and respectability.

     

    Al‑Hakeem Al‑~irmidhy said in his book, titled "Nwader Al‑Usul" (which means the most sought‑after of religion fundamentals), "Ali son of Al‑Hussain delved deeper into his highly‑treasured knowledge in order to come up with this elucidation of the verse which is as glittering brilliantly as a highly‑refined gem. This is because Allah talked to Muhammad reproachfully only as He, Exalted be He, had told him that Zainab would be added up to your wives; so why must you (Muhammad) have told Zayd to retain his wife, seriously taking into account people's gossip lest they should say: Muhammad has married his daughter‑in‑low, while (It is more fitting to fear Allah, rather than anybody else)?"

     

    Al‑Nahas quoted some scholars as saying "This is not a sin having been committed by the prophet, peace be upon him, as he was not ordered to repent or ask Allah's forgiveness thereof Whereas an act can be regarded as not sinful, it cannot be accepted because other acts would have been better. The apostle, peace be upon him, hid in his heart an act which he was going to do later, so that he might not tempt people out of faith".[10]

     

    In a nutshell, the prophet married Zainab daughter of Jahsh after Zayd son of Haritha, as ordered by Allah had divorced her. Then it was Allah who out rightly married her off to His prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, to dismantle ‑ once and for all ‑ the system of adoption and so that fathers may not feel awkward to marry the former wives of this adopted sons, who are not really their own sons. Zainab was the prophet's paternal cousin ‑ her mother being his father's sister ‑ and it was he who was in charge of her bringing up; if he himself had desired to marry her, he would have out rightly married her, rather than having married her off to Zayd initially.

     

    Late Sheikh Muhammad el‑Ghazali has urged strongly to invalidate what hypocrites said in interpretation of this verse. He said, "They claim that it was a fancy for Zainab which the prophet, peace be upon him, hid in his heart and for which he feared gossiping people, rather than Allah. That is to say that Allah, allegedly, reproached him for not making public this fancy love!! We are thus rightfully wondering just for the sake of argument: is it in line with good morals when a man is in love with a woman that he should make this love public, much to her disgrace in Muslim society, especially if he is so emotionally perverse to be in love with someone else's wife!?? Can a man who has fallen in love with someone else's wife and has thus hidden this love in his heart be reproached by Allah?! Would he have been in a good light if he had written love poems to immortalize his love to her?!! This would have been an act of recklessness and stupidity!

     

    And it is exactly this foolishness which some fools deem fitting to apply to the interpretation of the Holy Quran!!

     

    Allah would not reproach anyone for concealing in one's heart a reckless and unfulfilled love. However, what the prophet really hid in his heart was a fear of a potential harm that, he thought, would have been done to him by this marriage imposed on him by Allah, reluctance to enforce Allah's orders thereof as well as a fear of people ill gossiping about him upon seeing a system of adoption ‑they had long been acquainted with ‑ dismantling.

     

    Allah, Exalted be He, sent His prophet fully realizing that His divine orders cannot be put on the back bumer because of laboring under a certain delusion, and that, in view of a divine order, he should have inevitably yielded as ancestral messengers would do. Allah has revealed ;the 38th and 39th verses of "Al‑Alizab", or clans, surah following the previously mentioned verse to underscore this meaning. The 38th and 39th verses of "Al‑Ahzab" read as follows:

     

    (There can be no difficulty to the Prophet in what Allah has indicated to him as a duty.  It was the practice of Allah among those of old that have passed away. And the command of Allah is a decree determined. It is the practice of those who preach the message of Allah, and fear Him, and fear none but Allah. And enough is Allah to call men to account)".

     

    Sheikh Muhammad Al‑Ghazali further says, "You never hearten anyone by saying: fear nobody except Allah, when he is about to commit a sin. You only hearten him by saying so when he is about to embark on a major virtuous act which contravenes inherited traditions. All of those verses have made it obvious that Allah never encouraged His apostle to be further indulged in love with a woman, but rather encouraged him to invalidate a bad tradition commonly in practice by his people, who even wanted him to comply with.

     

    Therefore, Allah, Exalted be He, says in the immediately following verse, dismantling the entire system of adoption, (Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the apostle of Allah, and the last of the prophets: And Allah has full knowledge of all things)".

     

    As for Safiyya daughter of Huyayy son of Akhtab whose father (Huyayy son of Akhtab) was the leader of Jews ‑ she was captured by Muslims after conquering Khaibar after her father, brother and husband had been killed in battle. To have mercy upon her, the apostle, peace be upon him, asked her to opt for one of two things: either to release and enfranchise her, letting her reunite with her tribe ‑ if she so wished to remain a Jew ‑ or to accept his proposal of marriage in case she decided to convert to Islam. She replied by saying, "0 messenger of Allah, I have fancied Islam and believed in you, even before you made such an offer to me. Having called on me to have one option than the other, namely to remain as an infidel or to embrace Islam, I am hereby making it public that Allah and His apostle are more beloved to me than being disenfranchised and let walk free to my people". As a result of the above statement, Allah messenger married her, making the very act of redeeming and releasing the mahr (portion) due to her on marriage.[11]

     

    The daughter of the chief of the Jews must, obviously, have been married off only to someone who is superior to her own father in social rank. So, it was Prophet Muhammad alone, peace be upon him, who was so far superior to her father's position that he was able to marry her ‑ as he is the chief and head of all mankind. However, it would not have stood to reason to let that submissive lady ‑ after having "Ten rolling in superiority, sublimity and affluence ‑ marry just anybody who would have mistreated her or beaten her on the face.

     

    This course of events, visualized as such, is supported by a historical account narrated by Dehya of the Kalb tribe, may Allah be pleased with him, who said to the prophet, "Give me a female slave of those captured from Jews". The prophet, peace be upon him, replied by saying "Go and take for yourself a female slave". Upon taking Safyya as his female slave, the prophet's companions saw her and said to the prophet, peace be upon him, "0 Allah's apostle, she is the chief lady of the two Jewish tribes of the Quraizas and the Nadeers. In her capacity as such, it is more fitting then that it is you, Allah's apostle, who should marry her"[12]

     

    The prophet, peace be upon him, was prompted to marry Juwairiya on similar grounds. Named Juwairiya daughter of AI‑Harith son of Dirar, she was the daughter of the leader of AI‑Mustalaqs, who fought Muslims and was so curshingly defeated by them that his tribe were teetering on the brink of absolute annihilation for submission for ever.

     

    Consequently, hundreds of the people of Al‑Mustalaq were taken captives as slaves, including lady Juwairiya daugher of Al‑Harith. Upon having been taken captive, Juwairiya went to the prophet saying, " I am Juwairiya, the daughter of Al‑Harith, who is the chief of his people. You must have known what has befallen me (referring to captivity and ensuing submission). I have fallen within Thabit son of Qais's portion of slaves and booty; being my master, he got me to sign a deed that I will be released upon paying nine ounces (of gold), so help me in paying the needed money".

     

    Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said to her, "Do you like something better?". She inquired what that thing was and he replied by saying "I ransom you off and marry you (if you so agree)?". She said "Yes, apostle of Allah, I do agree and accept you as husband". The prophet, peace be upon him, said, "I am, hereby, accepting you as wife". He then walked out to his companions and told them about the good tidings. Upon knowing this, his companions could not stand having the prophet's in‑lows in captivity (referring to her tribe of Mustalaqs) and rushed to release any of them who happened to have been in captivity until no one was left captive.

     

    Commenting on the marriage, Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said "By marrying Juwairiya off to the prophet, peace be upon him, one hundred households have been disenfranchised. Accordingly, I know of no other woman who has ever been so felicitous to her people".[13]    All of her people later embraced Islam and even became righteous Muslims.[14]

    Hence, that marriage was a highly felicitous to Islam and Muslims from all facets, rather than intended for taking many more wives as believed by the unwitty and disseminated by hypocrites and orientalists!!

    If it had been a desire, on the part of the prophet (peace be upon him), for having as many beautiful (women as possible, Allah would not have forbidden him later to marry any more wives after the said one, in which case the apostle would have married and divorced at will. However, at the time of his death, the prophet, peace be upon him, was survived by nine wives, with two of his wives Khadija and Zainab the daughter of Khuzaima, having died during his life time.

    How excellent a husband and a companion he was, as aptly heralded by Allah, Exalted be He, as "We sent you only as a mercy to all creatures".

     

    [1] Refer to the introduction of this book.

     

    [2] Refer to chapter one, "Polygamy Before Islam".

    [3] "Al‑Tabaqat Al‑Qubra" (or Generations of the Prophet's Companions)

     

    [4] Refer to chapter one, "Polygamy Before Islam".

     

    [5] "Al‑Tabapt AI‑Qubra", by Ibn‑Saad.

     

    [6] Usdul‑Ghaba, "volume two".

     

    [7] "Tabaqat", by Ibn‑Saad.

     

    [8] The Interpretation by Imam Al‑Qurtubi, volume eight, the surah of Al‑Ahzab.

    [9] The "Interpretation of the Great Quran", by Ibn‑Katheer, volume three.

     

    [10] The interpetation of the Quran, by Al‑Qurtubi.

     

    [11] "Al‑Tabaqat" or "The Generations of Prophet's Companions" by Ibn‑Saad.

     

    [12] "Usdul‑Ghaba", volume seven, by Ibn Al‑Atheer.

     

    [13] "Usdul‑Ghaba", volume seven.

    [14] The "Biography of the Prophet", by Ibn‑Hisham.

     

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