Following Jews and limiting maximum numbers of wives to 4

When Muhammad came to Medina, then initially he borrowed a lot of Jewish practices, and made them part of Islamic Sharia. He wanted to please Jews by doing so. 

One such Jewish practice was limiting the maximum numbers of wives to 4, while preferring to have only one wife (link). 

Muhammad put that limit in 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 (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, whom 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, but 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 fall in love of 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 revelation of one verse that the numbers of wives were limite to 4 (included 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. 

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

But Quran itself denies this excuse of Islam apologists. Quran itself testifies that the primary REASON was this that Muhammad desired for Zaynab. While marriage with wives of adopted sons was a secondary issue, for which Muhammad didn’t need to do it ‘practically’, but it would have been enough too if Muhammad had talked about it orally, like he talked about not to drink alcohol, or refraining from fornication etc. All companions (Sahaba) accepted all his oral orders, 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 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 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: Wedding directly took place in the heavens 

It takes some time to marry someone, like:

  • First a proposal is made by the man.
  • Then the woman accepts it.
  • Then 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 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 the 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.))

Due to Muhammad's wish for Zaynab, he took away the opportunity from adopted children to become part of the family

The worst part of this incident of Muhammad's falling in love with Zaynab is this that later Muhammad also ordered that adopted children could never be a part of the family. According to Muhammad:

  • If a woman adopts an orphan child, and then raises him as his mother all of his life, still the adopted son becomes Na-Mahram to the mother after becoming an adult (i.e. the age of 12-13 years). After that mother is not allowed to see her adopted son anymore. Son should be kicked out of the house as he could not stay with Na-Mahram mother under the same roof. 
  • And cruelty upon the adopted daughter is even worse than the adopted son. Muhammad made it permissible for the guardian father, if adopted daughter is beautiful, or rich, then he could marry the adopted daughter, even if she is a child, and even without her consent.
    The father neither needs the consent of the adoptive daughter for this marriage, nor of any court, nor of his wife (who is mother of that adoptive daughter), nor of society, but the adopted girl is at full mercy of the guardian father. 
  • In brief, not only mother or father become non-Mahram, but also the brothers and sisters also become non-Mahram for the adoptive child, and he/she loses all the family members. 
  • And after the death of parents, the adoptive children don’t inherit, but nieces and nephews will get all the inheritance. 

All modern psychologists are unanimous that when a mother raises an adoptive child, then they get special mother/child bonding and this bonding never disappears even after becoming an adult. Muhammad’s religion is totally against the Nature of Human Beings. 

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 in 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 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 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 is used only for sex services. 

Muhammad liked the proposal. 

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

Another problem was this that ‘Aisha and other wives became upset after the incident of Zaynab, and they were angry upon 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 which Muhammad did in this revelation was this condition that he would accept only those women as gifts whom he likes. This means, if a lady was not beautiful, and still she 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 anymore 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 the verse 33:52 through the revelation of another verse, and made all types of women permissible for him to marry. 

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

Despite the verse 33:52, the wives of Muhammad got angry upon 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 sexsual 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 it very well that Muhammad was making those revelations at his own. 

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

Remember:

  • 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 the verse 33:52 too). 

Later Muhammad became strongest person in Medina. But the 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 putting 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 present Quran, they are in 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 kind 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 any women in any numbers. This was the stair, which was used by Muhammad in his journey from 4 wives to 9 wives. 

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

9th Role of Revelation: Muhammad found the way to get rid of old age wife

When Muhammad became stronger and richer in Medina, and 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 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 whole 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 few years in Medina. 

According to Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Verse 4:128), when Sawdah came to know that Muhammad was 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 to 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 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 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 of 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 all together TOTALLY free of this condition too, and he didn't even need any consent from his wives for that. 

Ibn Kathir writes in 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 of 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 relationship with Maria anymore in the future, but Hafsa should not tell it to anyone else. 

Anyhow, Hafsa told this story to ‘Aisha too. And perhaps ‘Aisha found Muhammad going against his promise, and having sexual relationship with Maria secretly. Upon that Muhammad became extremely angry 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 following questions are arising:

  • Why did Muhammad asked Hafsa to not to tell it to others that he had sworn to not to have sexual relationship with Maria? Why was it such a big issue to tell this fact to others? Why Muhammad wanted to hide it from others?
  • This anger seems to be true in case that 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 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 back early and caught both of them in her room. She became extremely angry upon it and told it to 'Aisha too. Then both of them didn't let 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 Islam Apologists: Prophet wed only the widows, in order to support them

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

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

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

All of here newlywed 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 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 whole Mecca was his enemy. Muhammad wanted any woman as 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 few years in Medina. 

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

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

Answer:

  • Firstly, it has not been established that Muhammad indeed gave her the first Talaq or second Talaq. According to the traditions above, he was 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 it 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 case of Halala, again Muhammad or any of his wife 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

Muhammad married the following ladies in Medina after he got the power. Let us see the reality if really Muhammad wed them due to the political reasons, or due to this 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. 

Sunnan 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). 

Islam 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 Islam 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 that, 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 this 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 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 tribe of Safiyyah. Therefore, again it is proof that tradition about 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 making 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. 

Safiyyah:

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 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 about 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 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 with 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.

Therefore:

  • It was not Muhammad who approached 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 words of Abu Zumnail also make it clear that Muhammad was himself not intended to do 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. 

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

That fabricated hadith claims that: 

  • Umm Habiba married Muhammad in 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 web 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 the political reasons, so that Abu Sufyan became friendly towards Muslims due to wedding of her daughter with Muhammad.

The propaganda of Muslims is so strong that 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, there ages and 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 this 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 giver 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 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 time of marriage with 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 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 for her.
    Darama of Revelation in order to convince and get 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 time of marriage (link), while Muhammad was 53 years old. Her previous husband died in the battle of Uhad in the 3rd Hijri year.
    Islam apologists claim that 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 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. 

Note

Out of these 6 wives, Khadijah and Zaynab bint Khuzayma died during the life time 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 maximum numbers of wives to 4. 

You could read more at WikiIslam.Net

Why didn’t Muhammad marry the virgin girls?

One excuse from Islam 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 herself 15 years older than Muhammad, but still Muhammad didn’t dare to oppose her in matter of marrying other women. 
  • Similarly, when Muhammad asked for the hand of 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 to marry ‘Aisha at that time, but still, he didn’t send her to Muhammad’s house to consummate the marriage. Muhammad had to wait 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 hands to 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 in taking on 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 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 3 years?

Anwer lies in the huge scandal of 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 to bear a child for the last decade. Thus, people considered Muhammad to be infertile. In this situation, when slave girl Mariya became pregnant, then rumors arose that Mariya had a hidden sexual relationship with her cousin Coptic slave.

Even Muhammad himself considered to be infertile, and thus believed in those allegations, and he ordered to kill that Coptic slave without any court-trail 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 Coptic slave didn't have the sexual organ, still Muhammad kept on suspecting Mariya for illegal sex. But he was unable to punish Mariya without the witnesses. And then people started making even more rumors 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 is 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 illegal sexual relationship of Mariya ended Muhammad's journey of marrying any other women, while people had already been raising questions about Muhammad's fertility.

Wives and Concubines (list)

Taken from WikiIslam.Net.

The following lists of women in Muhammad’s life are based on the Islamic sources. Because there were so many women, some of whom had only a very brief association with him, it is possible that this number still falls short of the real total.

No. Name Status Date Details Notable Early Sources
1 Khadijah bint Khuwaylid Married July 595. She was a wealthy merchant from Mecca who employed the 24-year-old Muhammad and then proposed marriage. She was the mother of six of his children and a key character in the earliest development of Islam. She was Muhammad's only wife as long as she lived. She died in April 620.
2 Sawda bint Zam'a Married, though with limited rights. May 620. She was a tanner who had been an early convert to Islam. Muhammad married her at a time when he was unpopular and bankrupt. He considered divorcing her when, as the oldest and plainest of his wives (described as "fat and very slow"), she no longer attracted him, but she persuaded him to keep her in the house in exchange for never sleeping with her again (she gave up her turn to Aisha).
3 Aisha bint Abi Bakr Married Contracted May 620 but first consummated in April or May 623. She was the daughter of Muhammad's best friend and head evangelist Abu Bakr. Muhammad selected the six-year-old Aisha in preference to her teenaged sister, and she remained his favourite wife. She contributed a major body of information to Islamic law and history. The paedophilic aspect of this relationship has institutionalised such marriages within Islam.
4 Hafsa bint Umar Married January or February 625. She was the daughter of Muhammad's wealthy friend Umar. Hafsa was the custodian of the autograph-text of the Qur'an, which was somewhat different from the standard Qur'an of today.
5 Zaynab bint Khuzayma Married February or March 625. She was a middle-class widow known as "Mother of the Poor" because of her commitment to charity work. She died in October 625.
6 Hind (Umm Salama) bint Abi Umayya Married April 626. An attractive widow with four young children, Hind had been rejected by her aristocratic family in Mecca because they were so hostile to Islam. Her tact and practical wisdom sometimes mitigated Muhammad's cruelties. She was a notable teacher of Islamic law and a partisan of Ali.
7 Zaynab bint Jahsh Married March 627. An early convert to Islam, Zaynab was the wife of Muhammad's adopted son Zayd ibn Harithah. She was also the Prophet's biological cousin. When Muhammad became infatuated with Zaynab, Zayd was pressured into a divorce. To justify marrying her, Muhammad announced new revelations that (1) an adopted son did not count as a real son, so Zaynab was not his daughter-in-law, and (2) as a prophet, he was allowed more than the standard four wives. Zaynab excelled at leather-crafts.
8 Rayhana bint Zayd ibn Amr Sexual slavery May 627. Her first husband was one of the 600-900 Qurayza men whom Muhammad beheaded in April 627. He enslaved all the women and selected Rayhana for himself because she was the most beautiful. When she refused to marry him, he kept her as a concubine instead. She died shortly before Muhammad in 632.
9 Juwayriyah bint Al-Harith Married January 628. The daughter of an Arab chief, she was taken prisoner when Muhammad attacked her tribe. Muhammad did not make a habit of marrying his war-captives, but Aisha claimed that Juwayriyah was so beautiful that men always fell in love with her at first sight.
10 Ramlah (Umm Habiba) bint Abi Sufyan Married July 628 (following a proxy wedding earlier in the year) She was a daughter of Abu Sufyan, the Meccan chief who led the resistance against Muhammad, but she had been a teenaged convert to Islam. This marriage offset some of Muhammad's political humiliation in the Treaty of Hudaybiya by demonstrating that he could command the loyalty of his adversary's own daughter. Ramlah was devoted to Muhammad and quick to pick quarrels with people who were not.
11 Safiyah bint Huyayy Married July 628. She was the beautiful daughter of a Jewish chief, Huyayy ibn Akhtab. Muhammad married her on the day he defeated the last Jewish tribe in Arabia, only hours after he had supervised the slaying of Kinana her second husband. His earlier victims had included her father, brother, first husband, three uncles and several cousins. This marriage was of no benefit to Safiyah's defeated tribe, who were banished from Arabia a few years later; though some consider that it was politically significant in that Safiyah's presence in Muhammad's household was an open demonstration that he had defeated the Jews.
12 Maymunah bint Al-Harith Married February 629. She was a middle-class widow from Mecca who proposed marriage to Muhammad. A placid woman who kept a very tidy house, Maymunah was one known to be obsessed with rules and rituals.
13 Mariyah bint Shamoon al-Quptiya Sexual slavery c. June 629. She was one of several slaves whom the Governor of Egypt sent as a present to Muhammad. He kept her as a concubine despite the objections of his official wives, who feared her beauty. Mariyah bore Muhammad a son, Ibrahim.
14 Mulayka bint Kaab Divorced January 630. Her family resisted the Muslim invasion of Mecca. Needing to appease the conqueror, they gave him the beautiful Mulayka as a bride. When she realised that Muhammad's army had killed her father, she demanded a divorce, which he granted her. She died a few weeks later.
15 Fatima al-Aliya bint Zabyan al-Dahhak Divorced February or March 630. She was the daughter of a minor chief who had converted to Islam. Muhammad divorced her after only a few weeks "because she peeked at men in the mosque courtyard." Fatima had to work for the rest of her life as a dung-collector, and she outlived all Muhammad's widows.
16 Asma bint Al-Numan Divorced June or July 630. She was a princess from Yemen whose family hoped the marriage alliance would ward off a military invasion from Medina. But Muhammad divorced her before consummation after Aisha tricked her into reciting the divorce formula. Asma later married a brother of Umm Salama.
17 Al-Jariya Sexual slavery After 627. She was a domestic slave belonging to Zaynab bint Jahsh, who made Muhammad a present of her. She seems to have been an "unofficial" concubine who did not have a regular turn on his roster.
18 Amra bint Yazid Divorced c. 631. She was a Bedouin of no political importance. Muhammad divorced her before consummation when he saw she had symptoms of leprosy.
19 Tukana al-Quraziya Sexual slavery Unknown, but probably in the last months of Muhammad's life. She was a member of the defeated Qurayza tribe whom Muhammad selected as one of his personal slaves. She appears to have been another "unofficial" concubine without a regular turn on the roster. After Muhammad's death, she married Abbas.

 

Engagements and Broken Contracts

No. Name Date Details Notable early sources
1 Ghaziya (Umm Sharik) bint Jabir Early 627. She was a poor widow with dependent children. She sent Muhammad a proposal of marriage, and he agreed to the contract. However, when he met her in person, he saw that, although attractive, she was "old", and he divorced her immediately. She never remarried.
2 Khawla bint Hudhayl Probably mid- or late-627. She was a princess from the powerful Christian Taghlib tribe in northern Arabia. Her uncle arranged the marriage, which was expected to be politically advantageous on both sides. Muhammad signed the contract, but Khawla died on her journey to Medina, before they met in person.
3 Sharaf bint Khalifa Probably mid- or late-627. She was an aunt of Khawla bint Hudhayl (above). After Khawla's death, the family tried to substitute Sharaf. In one tradition, Sharaf also died before consummation. In another tradition, Muhammad changed his mind and broke off the contract.
4 Layla bint al-Khutaym After 627. One of the first converts in Medina, Layla asked Muhammad to marry her so that her clan, the Zafar, would be the most closely allied to the Prophet. He agreed. However, Layla's family warned her that she was too "jealous and whip-tongued" to adapt well to polygamy, which would cause political problems for the whole community. Under this pressure, Layla broke off the engagement.
5 Umm Habib bint Al-Abbas After March 630. She was Muhammad's cousin. He saw her as a baby crawling around and remarked, "If I am alive when she grows up, I will marry her." He changed his mind when he found out that her father had been his foster-brother and died soon afterwards.
6 Sana al-Nashat bint Rifaa (Asma) ibn As-Salt c. April 630. She was the daughter of a Muslim warrior who hoped to advance his career by becoming Muhammad's father-in-law. Muhammad signed the contract, but Sana died before the marriage could be consummated.
7 Umra bint Rifaa c. May 630. She was the sister of Sana (above). After Sana died, their father tried to interest Muhammad in Umra. At first he agreed, but he later changed his mind, ostensibly because Rifaa boasted that Umra "has never known a day's illness in her life."
8 Bint Jundub ibn Damra of Janda’a Unknown. Nothing is known about this woman except that Muhammad contracted marriage with her but divorced her before consummation.
9 Jamra bint Al-Harith c. 631 She proposed marriage to Muhammad, and he accepted. Her father informed him that she suffered from a serious disease, whereupon Muhammad broke off the engagement. According to the Muslim chroniclers, her father arrived home only to find that she really had been afflicted with leprosy.
10 Al-Shanba’ bint Amr January 632. She was from a Bedouin tribe who appeared friendly to Muhammad but who had also been friends of the Qurayza tribe. Al-Shanba’ insulted Muhammad on the first day by implying that he was not a true prophet, and he divorced her immediately.
11 Qutayla (Habla) bint Qays May 632. She was a cousin of Asma bint Al-Numan, and the Yemenites sent her to Muhammad as a substitute bride. He signed the marriage contract but he died before Qutayla arrived in Medina. As soon as she heard that he was dead, she apostated from Islam. Soon afterwards she married an Arab chief who was a leader in the Apostasy Wars.
12 Mary, mother of Jesus The Afterlife. According to some sources of varying authenticity, Muhammad said that Allah had wedded him in Heaven to the Virgin Mary. Authentic sources quote Muhammad describing her as one of 'the four perfect women'.[88][89][90] The Qur'an refers several times to Mary, praising her chastity and affirming the virgin birth of Jesus. The scriptures describing their marraige state that she lived in a beautiful jewelled palace in Paradise next to Khadijah's.
13 Queen Asiya of Egypt The Afterlife. According to some sources of varying authenticity, Muhammad said that Allah had wedded him in Heaven to the Queen Asiya. Authentic sources quote Muhammad describing her as one of 'the four perfect women'.[93][94] The Qur'an tells how Asiya rescued the infant Moses from the evil Pharaoh, and how Pharaoh later tortured his wife to death for her monotheism. The scriptures describing their marraige state that Asiya's palace in Heaven was on the other side of Khadijah's.
14 Kulthum bint Amram The Afterlife. Muhammad originally believed that Maryam the sister of Moses and Maryam the mother of Jesus were one and the same. When he realized his mistake, he (perhaps over-)corrected himself by stating that Moses' sister was not named Maryam. He renamed her Kulthum ("Chubby Cheeks") and, according to some sources of varying authenticity, said that Allah had wedded him to her in heaven. However, he did not say that she was a perfect woman or that she lived next to Khadijah.[97][98]

 

Refused Proposals

No. Name Date Details Notable early sources
1 Fakhita (Umm Hani) bint Abi Talib before 595;

January 630;

c. 631

Muhammad proposed to his cousin Fakhita, but her father married her off to a wealthy Makhzumite poet.

Nearly forty years later, after Muhammad conquered Mecca, Fakhita's husband fled rather than convert to Islam, causing an automatic divorce. Muhammad proposed to Fakhita again, but she refused, saying she could not be equally fair to a new husband and her young children.

Later still, Fakhita came to Muhammad, saying her children had grown up and she was finally ready to marry him; but he said she was too late.

2 “As Many Wives as You Want” c.618-619. The chiefs of Mecca offered Muhammad "as many wives as you want in marriage," together with wealth, political power and the services of a competent exorcist, if only he would stop insulting their gods (by preaching monotheism). Muhammad refused this offer, which was made while Khadijah was still alive.
3 Habiba bint Sahl c. 623. Habiba was a prominent member of the Najjar clan in Medina. When the chief died with no obvious heir, Muhammad proposed to Habiba. His companions warned him that the women of Medina were not used to polygamy and that the men were very jealous for the happiness of their daughters; if this marriage turned out badly, key citizens might withdraw their support from Islam. Muhammad retracted his proposal, but the Najjar clan made him their chief anyway.
4 Al-Ansariya After 625. This unnamed woman proposed to Muhammad in Hafsa's presence. Hafsa decried the shame of a woman who would throw herself at a man, but Muhammad retorted, "She is better than you because she wanted me while you only find fault." He refused the proposal, but promised the woman a reward in Paradise for asking.

In fact several ansar women are said to have proposed to Muhammad; while this example is anonymous, it clearly refers to a woman who is distinct from Layla bint Khutaym.

5 Khawla bint Hakim After 627. This is the same Khawla bint Hakim who arranged Muhammad's marriages to Aisha and Sawda. Her first husband was Hafsa's uncle, and their elder son fought at Badr. After being widowed, Khawla asked Muhammad to marry her, but he refused without giving a reason. However, he found her a new husband the same day.
6 Dubaa bint Amir After 627. Dubaa was a wealthy noblewoman to whom Muhammad sent a marriage proposal when he heard about her beautiful long hair that filled a whole room when she sat down. But by the time she accepted him, he had been advised that she was “elderly” (her grown-up son had been born from her third marriage) so he retracted his proposal before he had even met her.
7 Izza bint Abi Sufyan After July 628. She was the sister of Muhammad’s wife Ramlah. Ramlah proposed Izza as a bride, "since, as I cannot be your only wife, I would like to share my good fortune with my sister." But Muhammad said he could not marry two sisters concurrently.
8 Durrah bint Abi Salama After July 628. She was the daughter of Muhammad's wife Hind. Another wife, Ramlah, noticed that Muhammad admired Durrah and asked if he intended to marry her. He replied that he could not marry his stepdaughter; and besides, her father had been his foster-brother. On the day Muhammad died, Durrah was only six years old.
9 Umama bint Hamza After March 630. She was Muhammad's cousin and said to be the prettiest girl in the family. Ali proposed her as a bride while she was still a child, but Muhammad said that he could not marry her because her father had been his foster-brother. She later married his stepson, Salama ibn Abi Salama.
10 Safiyah bint Bashshama September 630. She was a war-captive from Mesopotamia. Muhammad asked her to marry him, but when she said she wanted to return to her husband, he allowed her family to ransom her. It is said that her family cursed her for placing her personal happiness above the political needs of the tribe.

 

Table of Contents:

  1. Following Jews and limiting maximum numbers of wives to 4
  2. 1st Role of Revelation about Zaynab bint Jahsh
  3. The 2nd Role of Revelation when Muhammad fall in love of Zaynab
  4. 3rd Role of Revelation: Verse 33:38 claims that Allah imposed it upon Muhammad to marry Zaynab
  5. 4th Role of Revelation: Wedding directly took place in the heavens 
  6. 5th Role of Revelation: Declaring Adopted Children are not the part of families 
  7. Due to Muhammad's wish for Zaynab, he took away the opportunity from adopted children to become part of the family
  8. 6th Role of Revelation: Driving people out of his home quickly, so that he could enjoy Zaynab
  9. 7th Role of Revelation: Making marriage lawful for himself with women who presented themselves as a gift (Arabic: هبة)
  10. Revelation was absent for 1 month in case of allegations against 'Aisha’s, but came immediately on the spot to satisfy Muhammad’s sexual wishes
  11. 8th Role of Revelation: Muhammad made all types of women permissible for him to marry
  12. 9th Role of Revelation: Muhammad found the way to get rid of old age wife
  13. 10th Role of Revelation: Muhammad took away the right of wives of equal time and their turns
  14. 11th Role of Revelation: Making slave-woman again lawful for himself (for sexual intercourse)
  15. Muhammad had 4 concubines for sex too
  16. 16 Special Privileges, which Muhammad reserved for himself through Revelation
  17. Excuse by Islam Apologists: Prophet wed only the widows, in order to support them
  18. Why Muhammad didn’t marry any old widow of his own age to support her?
  19. Muslim Excuse: Muhammad divorced Sawdah in order to show Ummah the process of 'revocable divorce'
  20. Muslim Excuse: Prophet married all these ladies due to the Political Reasons
    1. Zaynab bint Jahsh
    2. Juwayriya bint al-Harith
    3. Safiyyah:
    4. Maymunah bint al-Harith
    5. Ramlah (Umm Habiba) bint Abi Sufyan
  21. First 6 wives of Muhammad, there ages and political influence: 
  22. Why didn’t Muhammad marry the virgin girls?
    1. The Huge Scandal of secret sexual relationship of Mariya stopped Muhammad from any more adventures of marrying other women
  23. Wives and Concubines (list)
    1. Engagements and Broken Contracts
    2. Refused Proposals