Can You Answer These Allegations about Eleven Marriages of the Prophet?

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question

Can someone help refute an allegation that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was “pleasure-seeking” (Nauzubillah). This claim is alleged to be backed up by the Prophet’s (Allah bless him and give him peace) marriage privileges in verses 33:50-53 and the narrations below. Some even allege that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) conveniently made-up revelations (Nauzubillah) in Sura Ahzab to justify his supposed “indulgences.”

The narrations are from ibn Sa’d’s Kitab al-Tabaqat:

Affan Ibn Muslim (Allah be pleased with him) informed us: Abu al-Mundhir reported us on the authority of Thabit, he on the authority of Anas (Allah be pleased with him), he on the authority of the Prophet, may Allah bless him; he said: From mundane objects, women and perfumes have been made pleasing to me and prayer (i.e., al-salah). [Volume 1, Parts II.90.1]

Musa Ibn Isma’il informed us that Abu Bishr Sahib al-Basri informed us on the authority of Yunus, he on the authority of al-Hasan; he said: The Apostle of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: I like not from worldly life but perfumes and women. [Volume 1, Parts II.90.2]

“Abd Allah Ibn Jafar al-Raqqi informed us: Abu al-Mulayh informed us on the authority of Maymun; he said: The Apostle of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) did not receive from worldly luxuries except perfume and women.” [Volume 1, Parts II.90.3]

Al-Fadl Ibn Dukayn informed us: Musa Ibn Qays al-Hadrami informed us of the authority of Salamah Ibn Kuhayl: The Apostle of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) did not obtain anything from worldly objects dearer to him than women and perfumes. [Volume 1, Parts II.90.5]

Affan Ibn Muslim informed us: Abu Hilal informed us on the authority of Qatadah, he on the authority of Ma’qil Ibn Yasar; he said: Nothing was dearer to the Prophet of Allah, may Allah bless him, than a horse. Then he said: O Allah! Excuse me, nay ! the women. [Volume 1, Parts II.90.6]

Al-Fadl Ibn Dukayn informed us; Isra’il informed us on the authority of Abu Ishaq, he on the authority of a person who related on the authority of Aisha (Allah be pleased with her), she said: The Prophet of Allah, may peace be on him, liked three worldly objects-perfume, women, and food. He obtained two and did not obtain one. He obtained women and perfumes but did not get food. [Volume 1, Parts II.90.4]

Some ahadith also state that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was given the strength of forty men for intercourse:

“Ubayd Allah Ibn Musa informed us on the authority of Usamah Ibn Zayd, he on the authority of Safwan Ibn Sulaym, he said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him, said: Gabriel brought a kettle from which I ate and I was given the power of sexual intercourse equal to forty men.” [Volume 1, Parts 11.77. 1]

Abu Ghassan Malik Ibn Isma’il informed us: Isra’il informed us on the authority of Layth, he on the authority of Mujahid; he said: The Apostle of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) was given the power equal to that of forty men and the people of paradise will be given the power equivalent to eighty men. [Volume 1, Parts II.77.2]

Muhammad Ibn ’Abd Allah al-Asadi and Qabisah Ibn ’Uqbah informed us; they said: Sufyan informed us on the authority of Ma’mar he on the authority of Tawas; he said: The Prophet, may Allah bless him, was granted the power of sexual intercourse equal to that of forty men. [Volume 1, Parts II.77.3]

Also, could you respond to Aisha’s (Allah be pleased with her) statement that Allah supposedly “hastens to fulfill the desires” of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)? Islamophobes tried to make all of this out to be that the marriages were far from something noble. I need help.

Answer

Many have criticized the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) for taking numerous wives. However, one who contemplates and attempts to understand the reality of his situation, the culture in which he lived, and the circumstances surrounding each marriage will undoubtedly admire rather than criticize him.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) married eleven women. He married each of them for social, legal, or political reasons.

The following scrutinizes the Prophet’s various marriages (Allah bless him and give him peace) and their reasons. If Allah will, this discussion will remove all doubt from the mind of an objective reader.

Khadija (Allah be pleased with her)

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) married her when he was 25. She proposed the marriage, and he accepted. He remained married to her alone until she passed away 25 years later. May Allah elevate her status and grant that all Muslim women emulate her as well as they can.

Sawda (Allah be pleased with her)

He (Allah bless him and give him peace) married her after Khadija passed away. He did so, firstly, because she was a widow and in need of support and, secondly, because his four daughters required someone to take on the role of a mother to them.

‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her)

The Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) married her after being instructed by Allah Most High. There was wisdom in the marriage because she was young and intelligent and thus transmitted many reports of the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) concerning matters that transpired in his home.

Hafsa (Allah be pleased with her)

He (Allah bless him and give him peace) married her after her husband, Khunays al-Sahmi (Allah be pleased with him), passed away during the battle of Badr. Her father, Umar, worried about her because she was widowed young and thus had no partner or provider. He offered his daughter in marriage to the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace), and he obliged.

Zaynab bint Khuzayma (Allah be pleased with her)

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) married her after her husband passed away during the battle of Uhud.

Umm Salama, Hind bint Abi Umayya (Allah be pleased with her)

Before he passed away, her husband assured her that Allah would grant her a better husband. The Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) responded to this prayer by marrying her. He honored her thereby for the sacrifices she and her husband had made for the religion of Islam and took up the responsibility of taking care of her and her young children.

Zaynab bint Jahsh (Allah be pleased with her)

Allah married her to the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace), thereby refuting the false customary belief that one may not marry the divorcee of an adopted son.

Juwayriya bint Harith (Allah be pleased with her)

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) set her free because she was the daughter of the chief of the Banu al-Mustaliq tribe. He then married her, thereby establishing political ties.

Safiyya bint Huyayy (Allah be pleased with her)

She was a Jewish captive after the battle of Khaybar. The Prophet set her free and married her, establishing political ties.

Umm Habiba (Allah be pleased with her)

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) married her after her apostate husband died, leaving her struggling financially. She was the daughter of Abu Sufyan, one of the PProphet’sbiggest opponents. The marriage paved the way for his eventual conversion to Islam.

Maymuna bint Harith (Allah be pleased with her)

She was the last woman to marry the Prophet. She sent him a marriage proposal, and he accepted. So both his first and last wives sought his hand in marriage, emphasizing that women may propose marriage in Islam.

Contemplate the nature of these marriages: He only had one wife in his youth. After the age of 50, he married women who were widows, or divorcees, who had young children, or who were struggling financially. In doing so, he established legal rulings and built social and political ties.

He was undoubtedly not a “pleasure seeker” His actions show that he had a concern, care, and compassion for women in a world where kings and rulers – in the East and the West – were licentious adulterers who degraded women.

And Allah knows best.

[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan received iijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; HHabib’Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; HHabib’Umar al-Jaylani—the SShafi’iMufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud SSa’idMamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.