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Wives of Muhammad
The Prophet is closer to the believers than their selves, and his wives are (as) their mothers.
Muhammad's life is traditionally delineated as two epochs: pre-hijra (emigration) in Mecca, a city in northern Arabia, from the year 570 to 622, and post-hijra in Medina, from 622 until his death in 632. All but two of his marriages were contracted after the Hijra (migration to Medina). The verse's interpretation mandated that Muslims were forbidden to marry Muhammad's widows and should regard them as they would their own mothers.
During his life Muhammad married eleven or thirteen women depending upon the differing accounts of who were his wives.
In Arabian culture, marriage was generally contracted in accordance with the larger needs of the tribe and was based on the need to form alliances within the tribe and with other tribes. Virginity at the time of marriage was emphasized as a tribal honor. Watt states that all of Muhammad's marriages had the political aspect of strengthening friendly relationships and were based on the Arabian custom. Esposito points out that some of Muhammad's marriages were aimed at providing a livelihood for widows. Francis Edwards Peters says that it is hard to make generalizations about Muhammad's marriages: many of them were political, some compassionate, and some perhaps affairs of the heart.
Khadijah bint Khuwaylid
At age 25, Muhammad wed his employer, the 40 year old merchant Khadijah. The marriage, his first, would be both happy and monogamous; Muhammad would rely on Khadijah in many ways, until her death 25 years later. They had two sons, Qasim and Abd-Allah (nicknamed al Tahir and al Tayyib), and four daughters -Zainab, Ruqaiya, Umm Kulthum and Fatimah. There is a dispute over the paternity of Khadijah's daughters, as Shia scholars view them as the product of previous marriages. During their marriage, Khadija purchased the slave Zayd ibn Harithah at Muhammad's request -who then adopted the young man as his son.
Hijra (Migration) to Medina
See also hijra.
Married to Sawda bint Zama
The death of Khadija left Muhammad lonely, and, before he left for Medina, it was suggested to him that he marry Sawda bint Zama, who had suffered many hardships after she became a Muslim. Muhammad married her in Shawwal, when she was about 55 years old, in the tenth year of Prophethood, after the death of Khadijah. Prior to that, she was married to a paternal cousin of hers named As-Sakran bin ‘Amr. At about the same period, Aisha (daughter of his close friend Abu Bakr) was betrothed to Muhammad. Aisha was initially betrothed to Jubayr ibn Mut'im, a Muslim whose father, though pagan, was friendly to the Muslims. When Khawla bint Hakim suggested that Muhammad marry Aisha after the death of Muhammad's first wife (Khadijah bint Khuwaylid), the previous agreement regarding marriage of Aisha with ibn Mut'im was put aside by common consent.
As life became unbearabely lonely for him, Muhammad migrated to Medina. Because of Meccan attempts at his life Muhammad traveled only with Abu Bakr and the rest of his family traveled in stages. His wife Sawda and his daughters Fatimah and Umm Kulthum traveled with Zayd ibn Harithah, while his other wife Aisha travelled with her brother ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abi Bakr. Regarding his other daughters: Zainab's husband prevented her from migrating, and Ruqayyah was with her husband Uthman Ibn Affan in Abyssinia and migrated much later.
Married to Aisha
Aisha was six or seven years old when betrothed to Muhammad. She stayed in her parents' home until the age of nine, when the marriage was consummated in Medina. Both Aisha and Sawda, his two wives, were given apartments adjoined to the Al-Masjid al-Nabawi mosque. Muhammad wished to divorce Sawda, who offered to give her turn of Muhammad's conjugal visit to Aisha to prevent this.
Widows of the war with Mecca
Married to Hafsa and Zaynab
During the Muslim war with Mecca, many men were killed leaving behind widows and orphans. Hafsa bint Umar, daughter of Umar (‘Umar bin Al-Khattab), was widowed at battle of Badr when her husband Khunais ibn Hudhaifa was killed in action. Muhammad married her in 3 A.H./625 C.E. Zaynab bint Khuzayma was also widowed at the battle of Badr. She was the wife of 'Ubaydah b. al-Hārith, a faithful Muslim and from the tribe of al-Muttalib, for which Muhammad had special responsibility. When her husband died, Muhammad aiming to provide for her, married her 4 A.H. She was nicknamed Umm Al-Masakeen (roughly translates as the mother of the poor), because of her kindness and charity.
Close to Aisha's age, both Hafsa and Zaynab were welcomed into the household. Sawda, who was much older, extended her motherly benevolence to the younger women. Aisha and Hafsa had a lasting relationship. As for Zaynab, however, she fell ill and died eight months after her marriage.
Married to Umm Salama Hind and Raihanah
The death of Zaynab coincided with the that of Abu Salamah, a devoted Muslim, as a result of his wounds from the Battle of Uhud. Abu Salamah's widow, Umm Salama Hind bint Abi Umayya also a devoted Muslim, had none but her young children. Her plight reportedly saddened the Muslims, and after her iddah some Muslims proposed marriage to her; but she declined. When Muhammad proposed her marriage, she was reluctant for three reasons: she claimed to suffer from jealousy and pointed out the prospect of an unsuccessful marriage, her old age, and her young family that needed support. But Muhammad replied that he would pray to God to free her from jealousy, that he too was of old age, and that her family was like his family . She married Muhammad. In 626, Raihanah bint Zaid, entered Muhammad's household as a widow, as her husband had been executed along with the men of Banu Qurayza. The sources regarding his status differ, but she eventually converted to Islam and was married by Muhammad.
After Muhammad's final battle against his Meccan enemies, he diverted his attention to stopping the Banu Mustaliq's raid on Medina. During this skirmish, Medinan dissidents, begrudging Muhammad's influence, attempted to attack him in the more sensitive areas of his life, including his marriage to Zaynab bint Jahsh, and an incident in which Aisha left her camp to search her lost necklace, and returned with a Companion of Muhammad.
Zaynab bint Jahsh
Zaynab bint Jahsh was Muhammad's cousin, being the daughter of one of his father's sisters. In Medina, Muhammad arranged Zaynab's marriage, a widow, to Zayd ibn Harithah. Zaynab disapproved of the marriage and her brothers rejected it, because according to Ibn Sa'd, she was of aristocratic lineage and Zayd was a former slave. Muhammad, however, was determined to establish the legitimacy and right to equal treatment of the adopted, Caesar E. Farah states. Watt however states that it is not clear why Zaynab was unwilling to marry Zayd as Zayd was held in a high place in Muhammad's esteem. Watt discusses the following two possibilities: being an ambitious woman, she was already hoping to marry Muhammad; and the other she may have been wanting to marry someone of whom Muhammad disapproved for political reason. In any case, Watt says, it is almost certain that she was working for marriage with Muhammad before the end of 626. According to Maududi, the Qur'anic verse 33:36 was revealed, thus Zaynab acquiesced and married Zayd. Zaynab's marriage was unharmonious, and eventually became unbearable.
According to Ibn Sa'd and Tabari, after the marriage, Muhammad went to pay Zayd a visit, but instead found Zaynab, scantily clad, and fell in love with her. Zaynab told Zayd about this, and Zayd offered to divorce her, but Muhammad told him to keep her. The story laid much stress on Zaynab's perceived beauty and Muhammad's supposedly disturbed set of mind. William Montgomery Watt doubts the accuracy of this portion of the narrative, since it does not occur in the earliest source, and that it is unlikely that Muhammad was attracted since Zaynab (after Khadija) was the most elderly woman Muhammad married. He thinks that even if there is a basis of fact underlying the narrative, it is suspect to exaggeration in the course of transmission as the later Muslims liked to maintain that there was no celibacy and monkery in Islam. Nomani considers this story to be a rumor. Rodinson disagrees with Watt arguing that the story is stressed in the traditional texts and that it would not have aroused any adverse comment or criticism.
The marriage seemed incestuous to Muhammad's contemporaries because Muhammad was marrying the former wife of his adopted son, and the adopted sons were counted the same as a biological son. According to Watt, this "conception of incest was bound up with old practices belonging to a lower, communalistic level of familial institutions where a child's paternity was not definitely known; and this lower level was in process being eliminated by Islam." Muhammad's decision to marry Zaynab was an attempt to break the hold of pre-Islamic ideas over men's conduct in society. Initially, however, he was reluctant to marry Zaynab, fearing public opinion. The Qur'an, however, indicated that this marriage was a duty imposed upon him by God. Thus Muhammad, confident that he was strong enough to face public opinion, proceeded to reject these taboos. When Zaynab's waiting period was complete, Muhammad married her. A prominent faction who held influence in the civic atmosphere in Medina, called "Hypocrites" in the Islamic tradition, criticized the marriage as incestuous. They spread rumors in an attempt to divide the Muslim community, as part of a strategy of attacking Muhammad through his wives. However, the marriage was justified by verse 33:37 of the Qur'an, which implied that treating adopted sons as real sons was objectionable, and that there should now be a complete break with the past. According to Ibn Kathir, the verses were a "divine rejection" of the Hypocrites' objections. According to Rodinson, doubters argued the verses were in exact conflict with social taboos and favored Muhammad too much. The delivery of these verses, thus, did not end the dissent.
Aisha had accompanied Muhammad on his skirmish with the Banu Mustaliq. On the way back, Aisha lost her wedding necklace (a treasured possession), and Muhammad required the army to stop so that it could be found. The necklace was found, but during the same journey, Aisha lost it again. This time, she quietly slipped out in search for it, but by the time she recovered it, the caravan had moved on. She was eventually taken home by Safw'an bin Mu'attal.
Rumors spread that something untoward had occurred although there were no witnesses to this. Disputes arose, and the community was split into factions. Meanwhile, Aisha had been ill, and unaware of the stories. At first Muhammad himself was unsure of what to believe, but eventually trusted Aisha's protestations of innocence. Eventually verses were revealed, establishing her innocence, and condemning the slanders and the libel. Although the episode was uneasy for both Muhammad and Aisha, in the end it reinforced their mutual love and trust.
One of the captives from the skirmish with the Banu Mustaliq was Juwayriya bint al-Harith, who was the daughter of the tribe's chieftain. When made captive, Juwayriya went to Muhammad requesting that she, as the daughter of the lord of the Mustaliq, be released. Meanwhile her father approached Muhammad with ransom to secure her release, but her captor refused to ransom her. Muhammad then offered to marry her, and she accepted. When it became known that tribes persons of Mustaliq were kinsmen of the prophet of Islam through marriage, the Muslims began releasing their captives. Thus, Muhammad's marriage resulted in the freedom of nearly one hundred families from captivity.
In the same year, Muhammad signed a peace treaty with his Meccan enemies, the Quraysh, effectively ending the state of war between the two parties. He soon married the daughter of the Quraysh leader, Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, aimed at further reconciling his opponent. He sent a proposal for marriage to Ramlah bint Abi-Sufyan who was in Abyssinia at the time, when he learned her husband had died. She had previously converted to Islam (in Mecca) against her father's will. After her migration to Abyssinia her husband had converted to Christianity, and although she remained a steadfast Muslim, perhaps Muhammad feared that she too may convert. Muhammad dispatched ‘Amr bin Omaiyah Ad-Damri with a letter to the Negus (king), asking him for Umm Habibah’s hand — that was in Muharram, in the seventh year of Al-Hijra.
In 629, after the Battle of Khaybar, Muhammad freed Safiyya bint Huyayy a noblewoman of the defeated Jewish tribe Banu Nadir, from her captor Dihya and proposed marriage. Safiyya accepted. Scholars believe that Muhammad married Safiyya as part of reconciliation with the Jewish tribe and as a gesture of goodwill. Safiyyah had been previously married to Kinana ibn al-Rabi, a commander who was executed, and before that to the poet Salaam ibn Mas̲h̲kam, who had divorced her.  He then convinced Safiyya to convert to Islam and marry him. Upon entering Muhammad's household, Safiyya became friends with Aisha and Hafsa, and also offered gifts to Fatima. But when Muhammad's other wives spoke ill of Safiyya's Jewish descent, Muhammad intervened, pointing out to everyone that Safiyya's "husband is Muhammad, father is Aaron, and uncle is Moses", a reference to revered Islamic prophets.
Safiyah Bint Huyeiy Ibn Akhtab
Safiyah Bint Huyeiy Ibn Akhtab was one of the wives of Muhammad. She was the daughter of Huyeiy Ibn Akhtab, the chief of the Banu Nadir tribe, who were all expelled from Madinah in 4 AH after plotting to kill the Muhammad. She was married to Kinana ibn al-Rabi'a just before the Muslims attacked Khaibar. She was then seventeen. She had formerly been the wife of Sallam ibn Mishkam, who divorced her. She was known for her extreme beauty. She did not only love Muhammad deeply, but also greatly respected him as "Allah's Messenger". She was intelligent, learned and gentle. In fact, gentleness and patience were her dominant qualities. She had many good moral qualities.
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.
Yes, indeed Safiyyah was angry at the Prophet at first but she forgave him later on. The Prophet Muhammad apologized to Safiyyah for the deaths of her father and her ex-husband by saying, "Your father charged the Arabs against me and committed heinous act," he apologized to the extent that made Safiyyah get rid of her bitterness against the Prophet..
Saffiyah says, "I was my father's and my uncle's favorite child. When the Messenger of Allah came to Madinah and stayed at Quba, my parents went to him at night and when they looked disconcerted and worn out. I received them cheerfully but to my surprise no one of them turned to me. They were so grieved that they did not feel my presence. I heard my uncle, Abu Yasir, saying to my father, 'Is it really him?' He said, 'Yes, by Allah'. My uncle said: 'Can you recognize him and confirm this?' He said, 'Yes'. My uncle said, 'How do you feel towards him?' He said, 'By Allah I shall be his enemy as long as I live.'" 
The Prophet Muhammad made the following offer to her, as recorded by Martin Lings:
He [the Prophet Muhammad] then told Safiyyah that he was prepared to set her free, and he offered her the choice between remaining a Jewess and returning to her people or entering Islam and becoming his wife. "I choose God and His Messenger," she said; and they were married at the first halt on the homeward march. Safiyyah moved to the house of the Prophet. He loved, appreciated and honored her to the extent that he made her say, "I have never seen a good-natured person as the Messenger of Allah". Safiyyah(R) remained loyal to the Prophet until he died.
The marriage to Safiyyah(R) has a political significance as well, as it helps to reduce hostilities and cement alliances. John L. Esposito notes that
As was customary for Arab chiefs, many were political marriages to cement alliances. Others were marriages to the widows of his companions who had fallen in combat and were in need of protection. 
This significant act of marrying Safiyyah(R) was indeed a great honour for her, for this not only preserved her dignity, it also prevented her from becoming a slave. Haykal notes that:
The Prophet granted her freedom and then married her, following the examples of great conquerors who married the daughters and wives of the kings whom they had conquered, partly in order to alleviate their tragedy and partly to preserve their dignity. 
By marrying Safiyyah, the Prophet aimed at ending the enmity and hostility adopted by the Jews against him and against Islam, all the way long, but alas they went on with their hatred for Islam and for the Prophet simply because it was their natural disposition to be malicious and stubborn.
The Prophet used to treat Safiyyah with courteousness, gentleness and affection. Safiyyah said, "The Messenger of Allah went to Hajj with his wives. On the way my camel knelt down for it was the weakest among all the other camels and so I wept. The Prophet came to me and wiped away my tears with his dress and hands. The more he asked me not to weep the more I went on weeping." 
Safiyyah established a warm and sympathetic relation with the Prophet's household. She presented Fatimah az-Zahra' a gift of jewels expressing her affection to her, and she also gave some of the Prophet's wives gifts from her jewels that she brought with her from Khaybar.
Safiyyah was a humble worshiper and a pious believer. About her ibn Kathir said, "She was one of the best women in her worship, piousness, ascetism, devoutness, and charity".
Safiyyah was a very charitable and generous woman. She used to give out and spend whatever she had for the sake of Allah to the extent that she gave out a house that she had when she was still alive.
When Muhammad was in his final illness, Safiyah felt deep and sincere sadness for him. She said: "O Messenger of Allah, I wish it was I who was suffering instead of you." 
No mahr for Safiya
The Prophet stayed for three rights between Khaibar and Medina and was married to Safiya. I invited the Muslim[s] to h[i]s marriage banquet and there wa[s] neither meat nor bread in that banquet but the Prophet ordered Bilal to spread the leather mats on which dates, dried yogurt and butter were put. The Muslims said amongst themselves, "Will she (i.e. Safiya) be one of the mothers of the believers, (i.e. one of the wives of the Prophet ) or just (a lady captive) of what his right-hand possesses" Some of them said, "If the Prophet makes her observe the veil, then she will be one of the mothers of the believers (i.e. one of the Prophet's wives), and if he does not make her observe the veil, then she will be his lady slave." So when he departed, he made a place for her behind him (on his [camel)] and made her observe the veil.
Barra bint al-Harith
As part of the agreement of Hudaybiyah, Muhammad visited Mecca for the lesser pilgrimage. There Barra bint al-Harith proposed marriage to him. Muhammad accepted, and thus married Barra, the sister-in-law of Abbas, a long time ally of his. By marrying her Muhammad also established kinship ties with the Makhzum, his previously fierce opponents. As the Meccans didn't allow him to stay any longer, Muhammad left the city, taking Barra with him. He called her "Maymuna" meaning blessed, as his marriage to her had also marked the first time in seven years when he could enter his hometown Mecca.
Maria al-Qibtiyya was an Egyptian Coptic Christian slave, sent as a gift to Muhammad from Muqawqis, a Byzantine official. She then served as Muhammad's concubine, and some historians further state that he married her. Regardless, she bore him a son, Ibrahim ibn Muhammad, who died in infancy. She is thus regarded as a Mother of Believers.
The extent of Muhammad's property at the time of his death is unclear. Although Quran [2.180] clearly addresses issues of inheritance, Abu Bakr, the new leader of the Muslim ummah, refused to divide Muhammad's property among his widows and heirs, saying that he had heard Muhammad say:
- We (Prophets) do not have any heirs; what we leave behind is (to be given in) charity.
Muhammad's widow Hafsa played a role in the collection of the first Qur'anic manuscript. After Abu Bakr had collected the copy, he gave it to Hafsa, who preserved it until Uthman took it, copied it and distributed it in Muslim lands.
Some of Muhammad's widows were active politically in the Islamic state after Muhammad's death. Safiyya, for example, aided the caliph Uthman during his siege. During the first fitna, some wives also took sides. Umm Salama, for example, sided with Ali, and sent her son Umar for help. The last of Muhammad's wives, Umm Salama lived to hear about the tragedy of Karabala in 680, dying the same year.
Muhammad and his family lived in small apartments adjacent the mosque at Medina. Each of these were six to seven spans wide and ten spans long. The height of the ceiling was that of an average man standing. The blankets were used as curtains to screen the doors.
Muhammad helped out with the housework, such sewing clothes, and repairing shoes. He would usually do this for long periods of time, stopping only for prayers. Muhammad had accustomed his wives to dialogue; he listened to their advice, and the wives debated and even argued with him. Muhammad's wives distinguished his role as a prophet from his role as a husband. He did not allow his wives to use his status as a prophet to obtain special treatment in public.
- ↑ Sahih Bukhari 1:5:268: 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."
- ↑ Aleem, Shamim (2007). "12. Mothers of Believers". Prophet Muhammad(s) and His Family. AuthorHouse. p. 85. ISBN 9781434323576.
- ↑ Amira Sonbol, Rise of Islam: 6th to 9th century, Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures
- ↑ Watt (1956), p.287
- ↑ Esposito (1998), pp. 16–8.
- ↑ F. E. Peters (2003), p.84
- ↑ Esposito (1998), p.18
- ↑ Bullough (1998), p. 119
- ↑ Reeves (2003), p. 46
- ↑ Muhammad al-Tijani in his The Shi'a: The Real Followers of the Sunnah on Al-Islam.org note 274
- ↑ Muhammad Husayn Haykal. The Life of Muhammad: "From Marriage to Prophethood." Translated by Isma'il Razi A. al-Faruqi
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- ↑ Barlas (2002), p.125-126
- ↑ Sahih Bukhari 5:58:234, 5:58:236, 7:62:64 7:62:65,7:62:88, Sahih Muslim 8:3309, Template:Muslim-usc,Template:Muslim-usc,Abu Dawud 41:4915 , 41:4917
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- ↑ Vacca, "Sawda bint Zama ibn Qayyis ibn Abd Shams", Encyclopaedia of Islam
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