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Following Jews and limiting the maximum number of wives to 4

Romans were the first ones who ended polygamy. And under their influence, the Christians also abolished polygamy, while Jews were also abolishing the practice of polygamy, or trying to limit it to a maximum number of 4 wives.

"...but in any event, our sages have advised well not to marry more than four wives, in order that he can meet their conjugal needs at least once a month. And in a place where it is customary to marry only one wife, he is not permitted to take another wife on top of his present wife."

When Muhammad came to Medina, he started adopting a lot of Jewish practices, in order to make them happy. Thus, Muhammad also put the limit of 4 wives in the 3rd Hijri year when verse 4:3 was revealed. At that time, Muhammad already had 4 wives, who were:

  1. Sawdah
  2. ‘Aisha
  3. Hafsa
  4. Umm Salama

But this limit of 4 wives became a problem for Muhammad when he once saw Zaynab (the wife of his adopted son) in revealing clothes, and he developed a desire for her. 

1st Role of Revelation about Zaynab bint Jahsh

Zayd was a slave, and Muhammad adopted him as his son. Later, Muhammad asked his cousin sister Zaynab to marry Zayd. But Zaynab didn’t like it. Zayd was a slave earlier, while she belonged to a respectable family and she was a beautiful lady.

Upon the refusal of Zaynab, Muhammad immediately claimed the revelation of a new verse, which fulfilled Muhammad's wish, and ordered Zaynab to follow the decision of Muhammad and her own choice for herself had no more value: 

(Quran 33:36):
It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter, that they should [thereafter] have any choice about their affair. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly strayed into clear error.

Therefore, although Muhammad succeeded in compelling Zaynab to marry Zayd, they were never happy with each other in that relationship. The situation was so bad that Zayd himself wanted to get rid of her. 

Sahih Bukhari:
Zaid bin Haritha came to the Prophet complaining about his wife. The Prophet kept on saying (to him), "Be afraid of Allah and keep your wife."

The 2nd Role of Revelation when Muhammad fell in love with Zaynab

Zaynab was initially married to Zaid ibn Haritha, Muhammad's adopted son. One day Muhammad paid a visit to Zaid's house to consult with him about a matter, but he was not home. Not expecting Muhammad to be at the door, Zaynab answered the door instead, dressed in a revealing garment. At this moment, Muhammad developed a desire for her.

Thus, Muhammad once again used the revelation and succeeded in making Zaynab his 5th wife (despite the earlier limit of 4 wives). 

In fact, Muhammad didn’t even give Zaynab the choice to give her consent for the marriage with him, but claimed that Allah had already married Zaynab with him in the heavens (i.e. This marriage took place without the consent of Zaynab, without any Haq-Mehr (bride price) and without any witnesses). 

Muslim historian al-Tabari recorded in his book (link):

The Messenger of God came to the house of Zayd b. Harithah. (Zayd was always called Zayd b. Muhammad.) Perhaps the Messenger of God missed him at that moment, so as to ask, “Where is Zayd?” He came to his residence to look for him but did not find him. Zaynab bt. Jash, Zayd’s wife, rose to meet him. Because she was dressed only in a shift, the Messenger of God turned away from her. She said: “He is not here, Messenger of God. Come in, you who are as dear to me as my father and mother!” The Messenger of God refused to enter. Zaynab had dressed in haste when she was told “the Messenger of God is at the door.” She jumped up in haste and excited the admiration of the Messenger of God, so that he turned away murmuring something that could scarcely be understood. However, he did say overtly: “Glory be to God the Almighty! Glory be to God, who causes the hearts to turn!” When Zayd came home, his wife told him that the Messenger of God had come to his house. Zayd said, “Why didn’t you ask him to come in?” He replied, “I asked him, but he refused.” “Did you hear him say anything?” he asked. She replied, “As he turned away, I heard him say: ‘Glory be to God the Almighty! Glory be to God, who causes hearts to turn!’”
So Zayd left, and having come to the Messenger of God, he said: “Messenger of God, I have heard that you came to my house. Why didn’t you go in, you who are as dear to me as my father and mother? Messenger of God, perhaps Zaynab has excited your admiration, and so I will separate myself from her.” Zayd could find no possible way to [approach] her after that day (i.e. to have sex with her). He would come to the Messenger of God and tell him so, but the Messenger of God would say to him, “Keep your wife.” When Zaid mentioned his intention to separate from Zainab to the prophet, the prophet told him, “Retain thou thy wife” even though the prophet desired that they separate so that he could marry her. Zayd separated from her and left her, and she became free.

Muhammad then claimed the revelation of the following verse, in which he tried to shift the blame from himself to the command of Allah. 

(Quran 33:37)
And [remember, O Muhammad], when you said to the one on whom Allah bestowed favor and you bestowed favor, "Keep your wife and fear Allah," while you concealed within yourself that which Allah is to disclose. And you feared the people, while Allah has more right that you fear Him. So, when Zayd had no longer any need for her, We married her to you in order that there not be upon the believers any discomfort concerning the wives of their adopted sons when they no longer have need of them. 

Muhammad was afraid of the people while:

  1. Marrying a daughter-in-law was against the morals of that society.
  2. Muhammad uttered these words while leaving Zaynab (i.e. Glory be to God, who causes the hearts to turn!). It was a shame to utter such words for his daughter-in-law (or for any other married woman). 
  3. And lastly, Muhammad already had 4 wives at that time, and he had already claimed through the revelation of one verse that the number of wives was limited to 4 (including himself). 

Initially, Muhammad tried to end and hide this issue by asking Zayd that he should not divorce Zaynab. Nevertheless, this issue became open and all came to know about the words of Muhammad. 

Therefore, when Muhammad realized that it could not be hidden anymore, and his heart also kept on wishing for Zaynab, then he used the old and tested method of ‘Revelation’, in order to take Zaynab as his 5th wife. 

Islamic apologists come up with this excuse that Allah wanted to break this custom of the era of ignorance that wives of adopted sons are not permissible, and for this reason, the prophet Muhammad married Zaynab. 

But Quran itself denies this excuse of Islamic apologists. Quran itself testifies that the primary REASON was that Muhammad desired Zaynab. While marriage with wives of adopted sons was a secondary issue, for which Muhammad didn’t need to do it ‘practically’, it would have been enough too if Muhammad had told about it orally, as he talked about not drinking alcohol, or refraining from fornication, etc. All companions (Sahaba) accepted all his oral orders, so why then would those companions have not accepted his oral orders regarding wives of adopted sons?

3rd Role of Revelation: Verse 33:38 claims that Allah imposed it upon Muhammad to marry Zaynab

This issue of falling in love with Zaynab put a big question upon prophethood and upon the character of Muhammad. Its impact was so much that Muhammad had to use the revelation again and again in order to come out of this awkward situation. 

Therefore, Muhammad further tried to make himself innocent of this marriage and claimed that Allah imposed it upon him and that it was his destiny. 

(Quran 33:38):
مَّا كَانَ عَلَى ٱلنَّبِىِّ مِنْ حَرَجٍ فِيمَا فَرَضَ ٱللَّهُ لَهُۥ ۖ سُنَّةَ ٱللَّهِ فِى ٱلَّذِينَ خَلَوْا۟ مِن قَبْلُ ۚ وَكَانَ أَمْرُ ٱللَّهِ قَدَرًا مَّقْدُورًا
There is not to be upon the Prophet any discomfort concerning that which Allah has imposed upon him. [This is] the established practice of Allah with those [prophets] who have passed on before. And the commandment of Allah is certain destiny

4th Role of Revelation: The wedding took place directly in the heavens 

It takes some time to marry someone, like:

  • First, the man makes a proposal.
  • Then the woman accepts it.
  • Then the amount of Haq-Mehr (i.e. Bride Price) is settled.
  • Then Nikah is pronounced, and both parties give their consent. 
  • Then Witnesses are called.
  • And then normally there is a marriage banquet. 

But Muhammad was so eager to get Zaynab that he didn’t even wait for a proper wedding and consent and Haq-Mehr and witnesses etc, but he directly went inside the room of Zaynab claiming that Allah had already wed them in the heavens. 

Sahih Bukhari:
Zainab used to boast before the wives of the Prophet and used to say, "You were given in marriage by your families, while I was married (to the Prophet) by Allah from over seven Heavens."

Sahih Muslim:
When the 'Iddah of Zainab was over, Allah's Messenger said to Zaid to make a mention to her about him … Zaynab replied (to Zaid about the proposal): I do not do anything until I solicit the will of my Lord. So she stood at her place of worship and the (verse of) the Qur'an (pertaining to her marriage) were revealed, and Allah's Messenger came to her without permission (i.e. he entered her room without permission). 

5th Role of Revelation: Declaring Adopted Children are not part of families 

More verses were then revealed to sweep away any doubt on the lawfulness of the marriage between Mohammed and his adoptive son’s wife. How did it work? That’s pretty simple: every adoption was called off and therefore Zayd’s status changed, from “adoptive son” to “former adoptive son”.

(Quran 33:40):
Muhammad is not the father of [any] one of your men, but [he is] the Messenger of Allah and last of the prophets

(Quran 33:4):
Allah has not made for a man two hearts in his interior. And He has not made your wives whom you declare unlawful your mothers. And he has not made your adopted sons your [true] sons. That is [merely] your saying by your mouths, but Allah says the truth, and He guides to the [right] way.

Ibn Kathir says in Tafsir of verse 33:4 (link):

Al-Bukhari (may Allah have mercy on him) narrated that ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar said: "Zayd bin Muhammad, may Allah be pleased with him, the freed servant of the Messenger of Allah was ALWAYS CALLED Zayd bin Muhammad, UNTIL (the words of the) QUR'AN WERE REVEALED …
<Call them (adopted sons) by (the names of) their fathers, that is more just with Allah.>"
This was also narrated by Muslim, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa’i. They used to deal with them as sons in every respect, including being alone with them as Mahrams and so on. Hence, Sahlah bint Suhaly, the wife of Abu Hudhayfah, may Allah be pleased with them both, said: "O Messenger of Allah! We used to call Salim our son, but Allah has revealed what He has revealed. He used to enter upon me, but I feel that Abu Hudhayfah does not like that." The Prophet said ...
((Breastfeed him and he will become your Mahram.))

For the wish of Zaynab, Muhammad destroyed the whole institution of Adopted Children 

All modern psychologists are unanimous that when parents raise an adoptive child, then they get special parents/child bonding and this bonding does not disappear even after a child becomes an adult. 

But Muhammad didn't keep this limited to himself and Zaynab, but in order to defend himself from criticism, Muhammad all together denied the whole institution of 'Adopted Children'. This brought horrible results for all the orphan adopted children.

According to Sharia:

  • If a woman adopts an orphan child and then raises him as his mother all of his life, still the adopted son becomes non-Mahram to the mother after becoming an adult (i.e. the age of 12–13 years). After that, the mother is not allowed to see her adopted son anymore. The son should be kicked out of the house as he could not stay with non-Mahram mother under the same roof. 
  • Not only mother or father become non-Mahram, but also the brothers and sisters also become non-Mahram for the orphan adoptive child, and he/she loses the entire family and becomes an orphan for the 2nd time. 
  • And cruelty upon the adopted daughter is even worse than the adopted son. Muhammad made it permissible for the foster father, if the adopted daughter is beautiful or rich, then he could marry the adopted daughter, even if she is a minor child. The father neither needs the consent of the adoptive daughter for this marriage, nor of any court, nor of his wife (who is the mother of that adoptive daughter), nor of society, but the adopted girl is at the full mercy of the foster father ... This is extremely horrible!

Please read our article: Calamities that ADOPTED children and their foster parents/families have to face due to Islam 

6th Role of Revelation: Driving people out of his home quickly, so that he could enjoy Zaynab

Firstly, Muhammad claimed that Allah had already wed him with Zaynab in the heavens, and he entered Zaynab’s room directly (i.e. without any Nikah, witnesses, etc.). 

Nevertheless, afterwards, Muhammad arranged the Walima (Arabic: وليمة‎ walīmah), which is a marriage banquet. But people kept on sitting in his house after the meal, while Muhammad was eager to go to Zaynab again as soon as possible. 

But when people took a little longer, then Muhammad immediately used the revelation again, in order to drive them out of his house.

(Quran 33:53):
O you who have believed, do not enter the houses of the Prophet except when you are permitted for a meal, without awaiting its readiness. But when you are invited, then enter; and when you have eaten, disperse without seeking to remain for conversation. Indeed, that [behavior] was troubling the Prophet, and he is shy of [dismissing] you. But Allah is not shy of the truth.

Also see this Hadith of Sahih Bukhari (link), where Anas is telling about the same incident and then revelation of this verse while people were not leaving quickly the prophet’s house after the meal. 

7th Role of Revelation: Making marriage lawful for himself with women who presented themselves as a gift (Arabic: هبة)

Muhammad had already successfully broken the limits of 4 wives in the case of Zaynab with the help of revelation. There Muhammad realized the full potential of these revelations, that he could achieve all his wishes through them. 

Then came a beautiful lady to Muhammad and told him that she wanted to present herself to him as a gift (هبة) i.e. Muhammad could have married her without the bride price and she also didn’t get the rights of a wife. In simple words, such women are used only for sex services. 

Muhammad liked the proposal. 

But the problem was this, the limit of those 4 women was still in existence, and Muhammad didn’t abrogate it explicitly for him in the case of Zaynab. 

Another issue was that ‘Aisha and other wives became upset after the incident with Zaynab, and they were angry with Muhammad for taking another wife. 

Nevertheless, Muhammad once again used revelation, and once again neglected the limits of 4 wives, and made all those women permissible for him to marry who presented themselves as a gift to him. This time, Muhammad claimed that Quranic verses 33:50 and 33:52 were revealed. 

(Quran 33:50) …  (O Prophet, indeed We have made lawful to you) any believing woman who presents her soul to the Prophet (as a gift), and if the Prophet also wishes to wed her;- [this is] only for you [O Muhammad], excluding the [other] believers. We certainly know what We have made obligatory upon them concerning their wives and those their right hands possess, [but this is for you] in order that there will be upon you no discomfort.
(Quran 33:51) …..
(Quran 33:52) Not lawful to you, [O Muhammad], are [any additional] women after [this], nor [is it] for you to exchange them for [other] wives, even if their beauty were to please you, except the slave women.

Therefore, through this revelation:

  • Muhammad once again freed himself from the limit of 4 wives. 
  • Muhammad also cleverly closed the doors for other Muslim men to enjoy the women who gift themselves to them. He kept such women exclusively for himself. 
  • Another clever thing that Muhammad did in this revelation was the condition that he would accept only those women as gifts whom he likes. This means if a lady was not beautiful, and she still presented herself to Muhammad, then he had the full right to say NO to such non-beautiful ladies. 
  • And he also kept the door open for having sex with the slave women. 
  • And in order to make his wives (‘Aisha and others) happy, Muhammad also claimed the revelation of verse 33:52 too, which prohibits Muhammad to marry any more women even if their beauty pleased Muhammad (like the beauty of Zaynab pleased him, and he married her earlier). Through this verse, Muhammad showed that he would stay with 5 of his permanent wives + those women who presented themselves to him as a gift + slave women. 

Nevertheless, later Muhammad again abrogated verse 33:52 through the revelation of another verse and made all types of women permissible for him to marry. 

The revelation was absent for 1 month in case of allegations against 'Aisha but came immediately on the spot to satisfy Muhammad’s sexual wishes

Despite verse 33:52, the wives of Muhammad got angry with Muhammad, when he made those women permissible for him, who presented themselves as a gift to him. 

Especially, ‘Aisha was severely angry upon it. She started shaming those women for their act of presenting themselves as a gift. Moreover, ‘Aisha directly attacked Muhammad by sarcastically telling him that Allah hastens a lot in fulfilling his sexual desires. 

Sahih Bukhari:
Khaula bint Hakim was one of those ladies who presented themselves to the Prophet for marriage. `Aisha said, "Doesn't a lady feel ashamed for presenting herself to a man?" But when the Verse: "(O Muhammad) You may postpone (the turn of) any of them (your wives) that you please,' (33.51) was revealed, " `Aisha said, 'O Allah's Messenger! I do not see, but this, that your Lord hurries in pleasing you (by sending revelations quickly on the spot)' "

This proves that even ‘Aisha knew very well that Muhammad was making those revelations on his own. 

8th Role of Revelation: Muhammad made all types of women permissible for him to marry


  • Muhammad first limited himself to 4 wives.
  • But then he added Zaynab as his 5th wife. 
  • Then he added those women who presented themselves as a gift to him. 
  • But later he made all women lawful for him to marry and without any limits of any number (i.e. he abrogated verse 33:52 too). 

Later, Muhammad became the most powerful person in Medina. But verse 33:52 was still a hindrance for Muhammad in getting hands to other women. Muhammad claimed the revelation of verse 33:52 at the time when he wanted to make his wives happy but put this condition that Muhammad would not marry any other woman, even if she pleases him. 

(Quran 33:52) Not lawful to you, [O Muhammad], are [any additional] women after [this], nor [is it] for you to exchange them for [other] wives, even if their beauty were to please you, except the slave women.

Therefore, this time Muhammad again used the tested weapon of revelation and abrogated verse 33.52 by claiming the revelation of another verse. Please also note how Muhammad was blackmailing his wives, through this revelation, to stay satisfied with what little Muhammad gave them. 

(Quran 33:51) You, [O Muhammad], may put aside (from your wives) whom you will of them or take to yourself whom you will. And any that you desire of those [wives] from whom you had [temporarily] separated - there is no blame upon you [in returning her]. That is more suitable that your wives should be content and not grieve and that they should be satisfied with what you have given them - all of them. And Allah knows what is in your heart. And ever is Allah Knowing and Forbearing.

Please remember that according to the Muslim Quran Interpreters, verse 33:52 was revealed earlier, while verse 33:51 was revealed later, although, in the present Quran, they are in the opposite order. 

Sunnan Tirmidhi and Sunnan Nisai:
حَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ أَبِي عُمَرَ حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ بْنُ عُيَيْنَةَ عَنْ عَمْرٍو عَنْ عَطَائٍ قَالَ قَالَتْ عَائِشَةُ مَا مَاتَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّی اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ حَتَّی أُحِلَّ لَهُ النِّسَائُ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَی هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ صَحِيحٌ
It was narrated that ‘Aishah said: “The Messenger of Allah did not die until Allah permitted him to marry whatever women he wanted.”
Grade: Sahih (Authentic) Hadith

Ibn Kathir also recorded the same from Umm Salama (another wife of Muhammad) that all kinds of women became lawful for Muhammad to marry, without any limits of any numbers. Ibn Kathir also noted that verse 33:52 was revealed earlier, while verse 33:51 was revealed later.  

Ibn Kathir writes under the commentary of verse 33:52:

قال الإمام أحمد حدثنا سفيان عن عمرو عن عطاء عن عائشة رضي الله عنها قالت ما مات رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم حتى أحل الله له النساء، ورواه أيضاً من حديث ابن جريج عن عطاء عن عبيد بن عمير عن عائشة، ورواه الترمذي والنسائي في سننيهما، وقال ابن أبي حاتم حدثنا أبو زرعة، حدثنا عبد الرحمن بن عبد الملك بن شيبة، حدثني عمر بن أبي بكر، حدثني المغيرة بن عبد الرحمن الحزامي عن أبي النضر مولى عمر بن عبيد الله عن عبد الله بن وهب بن زمعة عن أم سلمة أنها قالت لم يمت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم حتى أحل الله له أن يتزوج من النساء ما شاء، إلا ذات محرم، وذلك قول الله تعالى { تُرْجِى مَن تَشَآءُ مِنْهُنَّ } الآية، فجعلت هذه ناسخة للتي بعدها في التلاوة كآيتي عدة الوفاة في البقرة، الأولى ناسخة للتي بعدها، والله أعلم
‘Aisha said that Allah permitted him to marry whatever women he wanted before his death. Same is also narrated by Umm Salama. And the verse which is making women lawful to him is 33:51, which is although present earlier than verse 33:52, but it was revealed later than 33:52. This same thing happened in Surah Baqara too, where the new verse which is abrogating the older verse of Iddah (waiting period) is present earlier in order than the one which was abrogated. 

Therefore, after the revelation of verse 33:51, all doors became open for Muhammad to marry women, in any number. This was the stair, which was used by Muhammad in his journey from 4 wives to 9 wives. 

Afterward, Muhammad married Juwayriyyah, Ramlah (Umm Habiba), Safiyyah, Maymunah, and others. 

9th Role of Revelation: Muhammad found a way to get rid of his old wife

When Muhammad became stronger and richer in Medina, he started marrying multiple young and beautiful ladies, at that time his own age was between 58 and 63 years. While the young ladies, with whom he was getting married, were of age between 17 and 35 years (i.e. Muhammad was double, triple, and 4 times the age of those ladies). And in Islamic traditions, we find that all those ladies were not only young but also very beautiful, like Juwayria, Saffiyyah, Rehana, Zaynab, and Umm Habiba.

But Sawdah was the only wife of Muhammad, who was an old lady (but still she was younger than Muhammad, but she was an old lady as compared to the newlywed ladies). 

Therefore, in presence of young and beautiful wives, Muhammad wished to get rid of old lady Sawdah. Muhammad married Sawdah in Mecca when he was weak and poor, and the whole of Mecca was his enemy. 

In order to get rid of Sawdah, Muhammad again used the revelation, and claimed that Allah sent the following verse:

(Quran 33:51) You, [O Muhammad], may put aside whom you will of them or take to yourself whom you will.

Therefore, after the revelation of this verse, the only wife whom Muhammad chose to divorce, was the old lady Sawdah. It was despite the fact that Sawdah was serving Muhammad from the time of Mecca, when Muhammad was poor and weak, while other wives were new, and they hardly lived with Muhammad for a few years in Medina. 

According to Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Verse 4:128), when Sawdah came to know that Muhammad intended to divorce her, then she sat in ‘Aisha’s house, and when Muhammad came then she told him that she was ready to give her turn to ‘Aisha, but requested Muhammad not to divorce her. Muhammad immediately agreed upon it, and he immediately claimed the revelation of the following verse:

(Quran 4:128-129) 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 (i.e. woman agrees upon leaving some of her rights) … And you will never be able to do Justice (Arabic: تَعْدِلُوْا) between wives, even if you should strive [to do so].

Are you able to see the contradiction? In verse 4:3, the writer of the Quran puts the condition of ‘ADL (i.e. Justice) for having more than one wife.

(Quran 4:3) If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice.

But later he allowed the husbands to blackmail the wives in the name of giving her divorce and thus compelling her to give away her rights in the name of the settlement. Thus, the condition of Justice was abrogated for the so-called settlement, which is always going in favour of the husband while he controls the right to divorce.

10th Role of Revelation: Muhammad took away the right of wives of equal time and their turns

Previously in verse 4:3, while allowing 4 wives, Muhammad put this condition that husbands then have to divide their time equally among the wives, and every wife will have her own turn. 

Nevertheless, he later used verse 33:51 to make himself TOTALLY free of this condition too, and he didn't even need any consent from his wives for that. 

Ibn Kathir writes in the commentary under verse 33:51:

{ تُرْجِى مَن تَشَآءُ مِنْهُنَّ } الآية، أي من أزواجك، لا حرج عليك أن تترك القسم لهن، فتقدم من شئت، وتؤخر من شئت، وتجامع من شئت، وتترك من شئت، هكذا يروى عن ابن عباس ومجاهد والحسن وقتادة وأبي رزين وعبد الرحمن بن زيد بن أسلم وغيرهم
Allah’s saying in Quran (i.e. You can postpone (the turn of) whom you will of them,) means, 'your wives: there is no sin on you if you stop dividing your time equally between them, and delay the turn of one of them and bring forward the turn of another as you wish, and you have intercourse with one and not another as you wish.' This was narrated from Ibn 'Abbas, Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Abu Razin, 'Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam and others.

Therefore, not only Sawdah, but all the wives of Muhammad lost their right to stipulated turn and time and having intercourse. 

11th Role of Revelation: Making slave-woman again lawful for himself (for sexual intercourse)

Muhammad had 9 wives and 21 slave women (Source: Ibn Kathir). Muhammad used to visit every wife on her turn. One day it was the turn of Hafsa, but she went to her father. When she came back, she found Muhammad having sexual intercourse with his slave woman Maria. Hafsa got extremely upset about it. Therefore, in order to make Hafsa happy again, Muhammad swore that he would not have sexual relations with Maria anymore in the future, but Hafsa should not tell anyone else. 

Anyhow, Hafsa told this story to ‘Aisha too. And perhaps ‘Aisha found Muhammad going against his promise, and having a sexual relationship with Maria secretly. Upon that, Muhammad became furious, and he claimed the revelation of the following verses:

(Quran 66:1-4):
O Prophet, why do you forbid what Allah has made lawful for you? Is it to please your wives? .... Allah has prescribed for you a way for the absolution of your oaths ...The Prophet confided something to one of his wives and then she disclosed it (to another); so after Allah revealed to the Prophet (that she had disclosed that secret), he made a part of it known to her and passed over a part of it. And when he told her about this (i.e., that she had disclosed the secret entrusted to her), she asked: “Who informed you of this?” He said: “I was told of it by He Who is All-Knowing, All-Aware.” If the two of you turn in repentance to Allah (that is better for you), for the hearts of both of you have swerved from the Straight Path. But if you support one another against the Prophet, then surely Allah is his Protector; and after that Gabriel and all righteous believers and the angels are all his supporters.

Here the following questions are arising:

  • Why did Muhammad ask Hafsa not to tell it others that he had sworn not to have a sexual relationship with Maria? Why was it such a big issue to tell this fact to others? Why did Muhammad want to hide it from others?
  • This anger seems to be true in the case Muhammad wished for Maria in absence of Hafsa, but ‘Aisha caught him doing against what he swore. 
  • Therefore, Muhammad then used the revelation in order to not only take back Maria for the sexual relationship but also to threaten both Hafsa and ‘Aisha severely by telling them that Allah and Jibrael and righteous believers were with Muhammad.
  • Really, if this fault of Hafsa (i.e. to tell it to ‘Aisha) was such a big issue that Muhammad wanted to crush them through this verse? 

Muhammad had 4 concubines for sex too

Ibn al-Qayyim recorded in his book Zaad al-Ma’aad (link):

قال أبو عبيدة : كان له أربع : مارية وهي أم ولده إبراهيم ، وريحانة وجارية أخرى جميلة أصابها في بعض السبي ، وجارية وهبتها له زينب بنت جحش .

Abu ‘Ubaydah said: He had four (concubines): Mariyah, who was the mother of his son Ibraaheem; Rayhaanah; another beautiful slave woman whom he acquired as a prisoner of war; and a slave woman who was given to him by Zaynab bint Jahsh. 

Please read more details here

Please also remember that Muhammad had no more place for extra concubines in his house. It was a small house attached to the mosque. Therefore, once Muhammad had sex with Mariyah in the room of Hafsa, but she returned early and caught both of them in her room. She became furious upon it and told 'Aisha too. Then both of them didn't leave Muhammad alone with Maria, till Muhammad swore not to have sex with Maria. 

Sunan Nisai, Hadith 3959:

It was narrated from Anas, that the Messenger of Allah had a female slave with whom he had intercourse, but 'Aishah and Hafsah would not leave him alone until he said that she was forbidden for him. Then Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, revealed: "O Prophet! Why do you forbid (for yourself) that which Allah has allowed to you.' until the end of the Verse.
Grade: Sahih (authentic)

16 Special Privileges, which Muhammad reserved for himself through Revelation

Al-Qurtubi is a famous Quranic Scholar. He lists those 16 special privileges, which Muhammad reserved only for himself through revelation, including the right to take another man’s wife if he so desired:

  • First: To be fair with the spoils.

  • Second: To (forcefully) take a fifth of a fifth or just a fifth (of the spoils of war).

  • Third: "Al Wisal" (Dimitrius- the fast or fasting. This usually refers to fasting or abstaining from food.)

  • Fourth: To take more than four women.

  • Fifth: To marry, "Yas-tan-kih" (or have intercourse), with a woman who verbally pronounces her dedication (to the prophet).

  • Sixth: To marry, "Yas-tan-kih," without the presence (or permission) of a legal guardian.

  • Seventh: To marry, "Yas-tan-kih," without a dowry.

  • Eighth: To marry (and have intercourse) during a state of ritual consecration and purification.

  • Ninth: The annulment of an oath he may make to his wives.

  • Tenth: If Muhammad looks at a woman (and desires her) THEN IT IS NECESSARY FOR HER HUSBAND TO DIVORCE HER AND FOR MUHAMMAD TO MARRY HER. Ibn Al A’raby said, "This is what the servant of the two holy mosques has also said, as was clear to the scholars FROM THE STORY OF ZAID which also had this meaning."

  • Eleventh: That the prophet released Safiyyah (from her captured status) and he considered her release as her dowry.

  • Twelfth: To enter Mecca without being in a state of ritual purification.

  • Thirteenth: To fight in Mecca.

  • Fourteenth: That he is not inherited by anyone at all. This was mentioned in the oath of absolution for when a man approaches death due to illness, most of his possessions are taken away, so that he does not have more than a third left for him. But the possessions of the prophet remained for him, as is evidenced in the verse of inheritance and in Surat Mariam.

  • Fifteenth: His marriage is still considered effective after his death.

  • Sixteenth: If he divorces a woman, she remains prohibited to everyone and may not be married, to someone else.

Excuse by Islamic apologists: Prophet wed only the widows, in order to support them

This excuse is false. Here we ask this question from the Islamic apologists:

Why Muhammad didn’t marry any old widow of his own age to support her?

So, this question is open for Islamic apologists to answer: Why didn’t then Muhammad marry any old widow of his own age group to support her? 

All of his newly-wed wives were much younger than Muhammad (He was double, triple, and 4 times older than them). 

Sawdah was the only wife of Muhammad, who was an old lady (but still she was younger than Muhammad. Nevertheless, she was still an old lady as compared to the newly-wed ladies). 

Therefore, in presence of young and beautiful wives, Muhammad wished to get rid of old lady Sawdah. Muhammad married Sawdah in Mecca when he was weak and poor, and the whole of Mecca was his enemy. Muhammad wanted any woman as a wife, who could have looked after his household and after his daughters. In these difficult times, Sawdah was the one who helped Muhammad with his household, and with the upbringing of his daughters. 

In order to get rid of Sawdah, Muhammad again used the revelation, and claimed that Allah sent the following verse:

(Quran 33:51) You, [O Muhammad], may put aside whom you will of them or take to yourself whom you will.

Therefore, after the revelation of this verse, the only wife whom Muhammad chose to divorce, was the old lady Sawdah. It was despite the fact that Sawdah was serving Muhammad from the time of Mecca, when Muhammad was poor and weak, while other wives were new, and they hardly lived with Muhammad for a few years in Medina. 

What Muhammad did with Sawdah, is not known as supporting the alone woman, but it is known as taking away the support from a woman and making her lonely. 

Muslim Excuse: Muhammad divorced Sawdah in order to show Ummah the process of 'revocable divorce'


  • Firstly, it has not been established that Muhammad indeed gave her the first Talaq or the second Talaq. According to the traditions above, he only "intended" to divorce her, but she gave her turn to 'Aisha even before Muhammad divorced her 1st or the 2nd time. 
  • Secondly, it would have been enough that Allah/Muhammad would have told to the Muslims 'orally' the ruling of revocable Talaq (i.e. a man could take her wife back after the 1st or the 2nd Talaqs. Sahaba would not have rebelled against him if he had not shown it practically to them. 
  • In the case of Halala, again Muhammad or any of his wives had not to do show it practically to the Muslims, but Muhammad/Quran simply told them 'Orally', and all of them accepted it. And the ruling about 'Halala' is much more complex and difficult than the ruling of revocable divorce. 

Muslim Excuse: Prophet married all these ladies due to the Political Reasons

This is only a blatant lie from Islamic apologists. 

Muhammad himself never made this excuse for political reasons while marrying all those women. He married all those women whom he liked, and didn't marry any woman whom he disliked, despite any political need. 

For example, politically, the most important alliance should be between Muhammad and Ansar. Nevertheless, Muhammad intensely disliked Ansar women. He thought that Ansar women had problems with their eyes. 

Sahih Muslim, 1424a:

Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported: I was in the company of Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) when there came a man and informed him that he had contracted to marry a woman of the Ansar. Thereupon Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said: Did you cast a glance at her? He said: No. He said: Go and cast a glance at her, for there is something in the eyes of the Ansar.

That is why, Muhammad himself never married any Ansar women, despite immense political need (at least more political need than making alliances with Abu Bakr and Umar by marrying 'Aisha and Hafsa). And when he was asked why he didn't marry any Ansar women, then he made the following excuse:

Sunan Nasai, 3233:

Narrated Anas: It was narrated from Anas that they said: "O Messenger of Allah, why don't you marry a woman from the Ansar?" He said: "They are very jealous."
Grade: Sahih (Darussalam)

Both these two remarks by Muhammad against Ansar women are racist. 

Ansar were a huge help to him and that is how he returned the favour.

Those Ansar women were brave and they were helping Muhammad even in the wars and didn't turn their backs on their allies (Sahih Muslim, 1810)

And then Muhammad calls women ungrateful.

Moreover, Muhammad married the following ladies in Medina after he got to power. Let us see the reality if really Muhammad wed them due to political reasons, or due to the reason that they were beautiful ladies and Muhammad wished for them. 

Zaynab bint Jahsh

The marriage with Zaynab bint Jahsh had absolutely nothing to do with politics. This marriage took place while Muhammad desired Zaynab after seeing her in revealing clothes in her house. 

Juwayriya bint al-Harith

Juwayriya was such a beautiful lady, that ‘Aisha feared right from the beginning that Muhammad would start desiring her. And her fear became true later. 

Sunan Abi Dawud:

Juwayriyyah, daughter of al-Harith ibn al-Mustaliq, fell to the lot of Thabit ibn Qays ibn Shammas, or to her cousin. She entered into an agreement to purchase her freedom. She was a very beautiful woman, most attractive to the eye.
Aisha said: She then came to the Messenger of Allah asking him for the purchase of her freedom. When she was standing at the door, I looked at her with disapproval. I realised that the Messenger of Allah would look at her in the same way that I had looked.
She said: Messenger of Allah, I am Juwayriyyah, daughter of al-Harith, and something has happened to me, which is not hidden from you. I have fallen to the lot of Thabit ibn Qays ibn Shammas, and I have entered into an agreement to purchase of my freedom. I have come to you to seek assistance for the purchase of my freedom.
The Messenger of Allah said: Are you inclined to that which is better? She asked: What is that, Messenger of Allah? He replied: I shall pay the price of your freedom on your behalf, and I shall marry you.

Juwayriya was 20 years old when Muhammad married her (link). 

Islamic apologists claim that Muhammad didn’t marry Juwayria due to her beauty, but after their marriage, Muslims freed 100 women of her tribe from slavery. 

But this argument of Islamic apologists is not correct. 

Firstly, nowhere Muhammad showed any intention about politics when he wished Juwayria for him. The men of Juwayria’s tribe were slaughtered by Muhammad, while women had already been distributed as slaves and raped by Muslim Jihadists. Juwayriya was herself a slave of another companion. After all, when Juwayriya came to Muhammad, then he was impressed by her beauty and only for that reason he desired to marry her. Those slave women of Juwayriya’s tribe (i.e. Banu al-Mustalaq) didn’t have any political power anymore. 

Secondly, this tradition seems to be singular and weak. Even according to the Muslim’s own standards, this tradition is weak and was narrated by ‘Ibn Ishaq’ with “An عن” in Sunnan Abu Dawud (link). According to Muslim own Standards such traditions of Ibn Ishaq with عن could not be trusted. The writer of ‘Aun al-Mabud’ (link) criticized this tradition in these words: "( عن ابن إسحاق ) هو محمد بن إسحاق بن يسار وروايته عند المؤلف بالعنعنة" )

Thirdly, there are other traditions of Muslims themselves, which are contrary to the tradition of Ibn Ishaq. One tradition claims that it was not Muhammad, but the Jewish relatives of those women of Banu al-Mustalaq, who paid the ransom money and freed those 100 women. Another tradition claims that Muhammad didn’t pay for Juwayriya, but it was her father who paid the ransom money for her freedom (link). 

It was not difficult for Muslims to fabricate traditions in order to defend and boast about their religion. That is why we see contradictions among them. 

Fourthly, Muhammad also married Safiyyah, but there exists no report that any Muslim released any slave of the tribe of Safiyyah. Therefore, again it is proof that the tradition of Juwayriya is only a fabrication. It is logical if women of the tribe of Juwayriah were set free due to marriage with Muhammad, then women of the tribe of Safiyyah should have also been set free. 

Fifthly, if Juwayriya was really of so much political importance, why then initially she was given in ownership of other Muslims? She stayed as a slave woman for some period of time, and then she made the contract of Mukatabat (i.e. Owner made her free if she earned him a stipulated amount of money). Therefore, had Juwayriya any political importance, then Muhammad would have chosen Juwayriya for him right from the beginning, and he would have announced that he was doing so while she was the daughter of the Jewish leader. 


Muhammad married Safiyyah too only for her beauty, otherwise, her tribe had already been defeated and her father, brother, and husband were all killed. No one was left who could have fought for her. 

Till the time Muhammad didn’t know how beautiful Safiyyah was, he cared nothing about her being the daughter of a Jewish leader or not (just like Juwayriyya). Thus, Safiyyah was also distributed like other women among the Muslims. 

But according to the Muslim traditions themselves, once someone mentioned the beauty of Safiyyah, only then Muhammad became interested in her. 

Sahih Muslim:
Allah, the Majestic and the Glorious, defeated them (the inhabitants of Khaibar), and there fell to the lot of Dihya a beautiful girl (i.e. Safiyyah), and (when the beauty of Safiyyah was mentioned to Muhammad, then) Allah's Messenger got her in exchange of seven heads (i.e. seven other slave women). 

Sahih Bukhari:
The Prophet came to Khaibar and when Allah made him victorious and he conquered the town by breaking the enemy's defence, the beauty of Safiya bint Huyai bin Akhtab was mentioned to him and her husband had been killed while she was a bride. Allah's Messenger selected her for himself

Safiyyah was only 16 years old when Muhammad married her (link). 

The tribe of Safiyyah thus had already been defeated, and all men were either killed, or made slaves, and thus there was no more political importance of Safiyyah left after that.

Maymunah bint al-Harith

Again, there was no political need to marry Maymunah, while she had no political importance. She was a middle-class widow from Mecca who proposed marriage to Muhammad (i.e. she presented herself as a gift to Muhammad). At the time of marriage, she was 35 years old, while Muhammad was 58 years old. 

Ramlah (Umm Habiba) bint Abi Sufyan

Muslims claimed that Umm Habiba was the daughter of Abu Sufyan, and the prophet married her due to political reasons. But they are wrong again.
Muhammad married Umm Habiba too mainly due to her beauty. The following tradition is a witness to this. 

Sahih Muslim:
Ibn Abbas reported that the Muslims neither looked to Abu Sufyan (with respect) nor did they sit in his company. he (Abu Sufyan) said to Allah's Apostle:
Allah's Apostle, confer upon me three things. He replied in the affirmative. He (further) said: I have with me the most handsome and the best (woman) Umm Habiba, daughter of Abu Sufyan; marry her, whereupon he said: Yes. And he again said: Accept Mu'awiya to serve as your scribe. He said: Yes. He again said: Make me the commander (of the Muslim army) so that I should fight against the unbelievers as I fought against the Muslims. He said: Yes. Abu Zumnail said: If he had not asked for these three things from Allah's Apostle, he would have never conferred them upon him, for it was (his habit) to accede to everybody's (earnest) request.


  • It was not Muhammad who approached her for marriage, but it was Abu Sufyan who approached him. Muhammad had already conquered Mecca, and he was already in absolute power. And it was Abu Sufyan who needed that political support. 
  • And the words of Abu Zumnail also make it clear that Muhammad himself not intended for having any marriage due to any political reasons. It was only after the request of Abu Sufyan, and after hearing about the beauty of Umm Habiba that he agreed to it. 

Therefore, Muhammad married Umm Habiba too mainly for her beauty, and political need was not so much relevant. 

Muslim historian al-Waqidi recorded a fabricated hadith that claims things that are contrary to the above-mentioned hadith of Sahih Muslim. 

That fabricated hadith claims that: 

  • Umm Habiba married Muhammad in the 6th Hijri year, and it was Najashi (Christian King of Habsha) who pronounced her Nikah with Muhammad.
  • While the tradition of Sahih Muslim claims that Muhammad wed Umm Habiba after the victory of Mecca (8th Hijri year) when Abu Sufyan requested Muhammad to wed his beautiful daughter. 

That hadith about Najashi was fabricated in order to prove that this marriage didn’t take place due to the beauty of Umm Habiba, but purely due to political reasons so that Abu Sufyan became friendly towards Muslims due to the wedding of her daughter with Muhammad.

The propaganda of Muslims is so strong that a huge majority of them don’t know the authentic tradition of Sahih Muslim, but they all believe in that fabricated tradition by al-Waqidi. 

First 6 wives of Muhammad, their ages, and their political influence: 

Before becoming stronger and richer in Medina (after the battle of Trench and looting Banu Qurayzah), Muhammad married the following 6 women. 

  1. Khadijah:
    The only marriage which played a political influence in Muhammad’s life was his marriage with Khadijah. Nevertheless, initially, Muhammad married her due to her wealth, but later it helped Muhammad a lot politically too after he had claimed the prophethood.
    Muhammad was so poor that no one wanted to give the hand of his daughter to Muhammad. He desired the hand of Umm Hani (the daughter of his uncle Abu Talib), but Abu Talib refused it and married Umm Hani to someone else.
    At the age of 25, Muhammad then married much older Khadijah, who was 40 years old. But she was a wealthy woman, and she supported Muhammad financially, and he was fully dependent upon her. Therefore, till the time Khadijah was alive, Muhammad was unable to take any other woman as his 2nd wife or even to have any slave woman for sex.
    When Khadijah died, Muhammad was already 50 years old. 
  2. Sawdah:
    She was 37 years old at the time of her marriage to Muhammad (link), while Muhammad was more than 50 years old. There were no political reasons for this marriage. Muhammad wanted a wife who could have helped him in the house and in raising his daughters.
  3. Aisha:
    Again, there was no political reason for this marriage. ‘Aisha was only 6 years old, and this marriage took place only while Muhammad desired her.
    Darama of Revelation in order to convince and get the attention of ‘Aisha:
    There was a huge age difference between Muhammad and ‘Aisha (Muhammad was of her grandfather’s age). In order to convince and get the attention of ‘Aisha, he told her that he married her only after the revelation from Allah in the form of a dream.
    Sahih Bukhari:
    Narrated `Aisha:
    Allah's Messenger said to me, "You were shown to me twice (in my dream) before I married you. I saw an angel carrying you in a silken piece of cloth, and I said to him, 'Uncover (her),' and behold, it was you. I said (to myself), 'If this is from Allah, then it must happen.' Then you were shown to me, the angel carrying you in a silken piece of cloth, and I said (to him), 'Uncover (her) and behold, it was you. I said (to myself), 'If this is from Allah, then it must happen.' "
  4. Hafsa bint Umar:
    Hafsa was 19 years old at the time of marriage (link), while Muhammad was 53 years old. Her previous husband died in the battle of Uhad in the 3rd Hijri year.
    Islamic apologists claim that the prophet married her only to support her as a widow. But here a question arises if there was no other old widow present in the age group of Muhammad, whom he could have supported through marriage? 
  5. Zaynab bint Khuzayma:
    She was another wife of Muhammad of no political influence. She was a middle-class widow. She was 28 years old (link) when she married Muhammad, who was 53 years old then. She died shortly after the marriage. 
  6. Hind (Umm Salama):
    Her husband also died in the battle of Uhud. She was 28 years old when Muhammad married her (link), while the age of Muhammad was 55 years.
    She also had no political influence. 
    So, the question remains, why Muhammad didn't marry any widow of his own age group if he really intended to support the widows?
    In fact, Muhammad only intended to divorce the only old lady, that he had as wife (i.e. Sawdah), without giving any reason, despite the fact that she served Muhammad all the time in the most difficult situations. 


Out of these 6 wives, Khadijah and Zaynab bint Khuzayma died during the lifetime of Muhammad. Therefore, Muhammad was left with only 4 wives. This was the time that Muhammad claimed the revelation of verse 4:3, which limited the maximum number of wives to 4. 

You could read more at WikiIslam.Net

Why didn’t Muhammad marry the virgin girls?

One excuse from Islamic apologists is this if Muhammad was marrying multiple women for their beauty, then he should have married more virgin girls too. 

But the situation tells us clearly that:

  • Women of that time too didn’t like their husbands to have multiple wives. When Muhammad wed the wealthy lady Khadijah, he was financially dependent upon Khadijah. And what to talk about beautiful young virgin girl, she didn’t even allow Muhammad to marry any other old widow lady, or even to take any slave girl for pleasure.
    Khadijah was 15 years older than Muhammad, but still Muhammad didn’t dare to oppose her in the matter of marrying other women. 
  • Similarly, when Muhammad asked for the hand of the virgin ‘Aisha, then Abu Bakr asked in surprise how could he marry her while he is her uncle (Sahih Bukhari). Although Abu Bakr let Muhammad marry ‘Aisha at that time, but still, he didn’t send her to Muhammad’s house to consummate the marriage. Muhammad had to wait the next 3 years for this. Thus, this Nikah with a virgin girl didn’t happen to be so easy for Muhammad. 
  • Till that time, when Muhammad got power in Medina and started taking multiple wives, he had already passed the prime age of marriage, and he was already an old man of 58 years. 
  • Then he had already married Hafsa and Umm Salama too before the revelation of verse 4:3, which stipulated the maximum number of wives to be 4. 
  • When Muhammad tried to marry Zaynab bin Jahsh with the help of Revelation, and by crossing the limits of 4 wives, then ‘Aisha didn’t like it. ‘Aisha was reacting like Khadijah did, i.e. she didn’t like that Muhammad took any additional wife. 
  • When Muhammad used revelation again in order to make those women lawful to him who present themselves as a gift, then he had to put another limit upon himself, i.e. he could not marry other women even if he was pleased with their beauty (Verse 33:52).
    Still ‘Aisha became furious upon that. She mocked Muhammad that Allah hastens only in fulfilling his sexual desires (Sahih Bukhari).
  •  Then Muhammad made all types of women lawful to him and married young 20 years old Juwayriya and 16 years old Safiyyah.
    Then he got a virgin and beautiful slave girl Mariyah too. 

In brief, as the number of wives of Muhammad was increasing, the temper of ‘Aisha and other wives was also increasing. It was absolutely not easy for Muhammad to get his hands on another young virgin girl after having so many wives and concubines. Despite the claims of revelations, his morals were questioned by his wives, and he was discouraged by them from taking new wives. Muhammad always needed an excuse to satisfy his previous wives, in order to cross the limits of 4 wives. 

The Huge Scandal of the secret sexual relationship of Mariya stopped Muhammad from any more adventures of marrying other women

Muhammad died at age of 63 years, but he married the last woman (Amrah) at age of 60.

So, the question is, why didn't he marry another woman during his last 2 or 3 years?

The answer lies in the huge scandal of the secret sexual relationship of Mariyah (his slave girl).

Sahih Muslim:

Anas reported that a person (a Coptic slave, who was the cousin of Maria al-Qibtiyya) was charged with fornication with the slave girl of Allah's Messenger (i.e. Maria al-Qibtiyya). Thereupon Allah's Messenger said to 'Ali: Go and strike his neck. 'Ali came to him and he found him in a well making his body cool. 'Ali said to him: Come out, and as he took hold of his hand and brought him out, he found that his sexual organ had been cut. Hadrat 'Ali refrained from striking his neck. He came to Allah's Apostle and said: Allah's Messenger, he has not even the sexual organ with him.

Why was that Coptic slave charged with fornication with Mariya?

While Muhammad failed to make any other of his existing 12 wives bear a child for the last decade. Thus, people considered Muhammad to be infertile. In this situation, when slave-girl Mariya became pregnant, then rumours arose that Mariya had a hidden sexual relationship with her cousin Coptic slave.

Even Muhammad himself was considered to be infertile, and thus believed in those allegations, and he ordered the killing of the Coptic slave without any court trial or witnesses. Please read our article: Muhammad ordered the killing of a person without any court trial & witness in his personal case

Even after it became clear that the Coptic slave didn't have the sexual organ, still Muhammad kept on suspecting Mariya of illegal sex. But he was unable to punish Mariya without the witnesses. And then people started making even more rumours about it. In order to make their mouths shut, Muhammad then used revelation and claimed that Jibrael came and confirmed that Mariya was pregnant from him.

Ibn Kathir recorded the following tradition:

Anas said, when Ibrahim was born to Muhammad (from his slave-girl Maria al-Qibtiyya), then Muhammad became doubtful if Ibrahim was really his son or not. Upon that angel Jibrael came to him and confirmed to him that Ibrahim was indeed his son. Only after that Muhammad believed that Ibrahim was his son.
Reference: al-Baday wa al-Nahaya by Ibn Kathir, under the Incidents of 11th Hijri year.

But Muhammad himself kept on doubting the parentage of Ibrahim (his son from Mariya) even till his death.

Sahih Muslim:

فلما توفى إبراهيم قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ان إبراهيم ابني وانه مات في الثدي وان له لظئرين تكملان رضاعه في الجنة

"... then when Ibrahim demised the holy prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) said, " Ibrahim was indeed my son and passed away at the age of infancy"

Thus, it seems that this huge scandal of the illegal sexual relationship with Mariya ended Muhammad's journey of marrying any other woman, while people had already been raising questions about Muhammad's fertility.