Friday, February 15, 2008

Wives of the Prophet

Married to her for 23 years with no other wives. She was 15 years older than him. She was the mother to all of his children except one son. She was divorced, a wealthy business owner (trade company). He worked for her and she was surprised by his honesty and that he did not steal from her. She proposed to him.

The only virgin he married. They were married while she was young but she did not live with his, nor was the marriage consumated until she reached puberty. This was a normal practise at the time. She was his best friends daughter. She is called his 'favorite' amongst the wives. She was 'fiesty' and often became jealous of the other wives, but mostly Khadijah because of his love for her even after her death. Khadijah dies beofre the marriage of the Prophet and Aishah. She was considered one of the first scholars of Islam and (i believe) narrated the most hadith (sayings) of the prophet.

Umm Salamah
She was a widow -- her husband died after many battles for Islam. She was proposed to by the greatest companions of the Prophet but she felt that no one could fill her husband's shoes. She accepted the Prophets proposal. She had four children (all fathered by her first husband). She was also quick witted and intellegent much like Aishah.

Umm Habiba
Was the daughter of Abu Safiyan, who was for a long time, a great enemy of Islam. Their marriage was controversal even until today, as many feel her fathers conversion was of defeat (of will power) not of sincere devotion, even though she was an early convert to Islam. Her first husband died in Abyssinia.

Zaynab bint Jahsh
Was first married to Zayd, who was the Prophets 'slave' and one of his best companions. The marriage did not work out although they were both good Muslims. Their marriage was actually a revelation for Allah and is in the Quran (al-Ahzab, 33.37). It was taboo for this marriage as Zayd had tried to divorce her but the Prophet said to stay and preservere, and now there was revelation for him to marry her.

Juwayriya bint Harith
He agreed to pay her ransom, set her free and offered to take her as his wife. How gladly Juwayriya accepted this offer can easily be imagined.

Was a Jewish woman who had been captured by the Muslims. The Prophet freed her and offered her the choice between remaining a Jew and returning to her people or entering Islam and becoming his wife. ‘I chose God and his Messenger’

Sawda bint Zam‘a
Her first husband died and was named Sakran. They embraced Islam early. As the only means of assisting the poor woman, the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace, though himself distressed for the means of daily subsistence, married Sawda. This marriage took place some time after the death of the noble Khadija.

Was the daughter of his other best friend Umar ibn al Khattab. Her first husband died in battle. She was like the other women he married, defenceless, no money and often windowed.

These marriages had nothing at all to do with self-indulgence or personal desire or lust or any other of the absurd and vile charges laid against the Prophet. With the exception of ‘A’isha, all of the Prophet’s wives were widows, and all his marriages (after that with the noble Khadijah) were contracted when he was already an old man(over 48).

It was customary for men at the time to have much more wives than the Prophet had. Among Muslims, he was the only one allowed to marry more than 4 wives as he was the most just. The muslim limit of marrying upto 4 wives was actually helpful to women at the time as it gave men a 'cap' and allowed them to be wives and not just property that was bought and sold. The marriages above were ALL real marriages with the Nikkah performed.

The only women who did not have the nikkah was Maria, however after having a child with a Muslim, a woman is released and the man must support her. She has basically the same status as a wife. She gave birth to Ibrahim. This child is still a controversy today, however the majority opinion is the 'he counts'. I feel horrible saying it that way, but it is true.

He had 7 children, three sons named Al Qasem, Abdullah (who is also called Al Tayeb and Al Taher) and Ibrahim, and four daughters, Zainab, Ruqayyah, Umm Kulthum, and Fatima.

All but Ibrahim were born from Khajiah. All of his sons died at a young age. All of his daughters died before the death of the prophet except Fatimah, who died 6 months after his death.