View Full Version : Did Muhammad PBUH Have More Than 4 Wives At One Time?

Big Ragu
01-08-2013, 03:19 PM
Given the restriction on Muslim men only being allowed 4 wives at a time, Did the Holy Prophet of Islam ever
have more than 4 wifes at a time? Please confirm

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Big Ragu
01-09-2013, 08:59 AM
? Any Information ?

Good brother
01-09-2013, 10:13 AM
The Wisdom behind the Multiple Wives of the Prophet

By Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani
Translated by Zameelur Rahman

[Al-Ubbi said:]

Al-Shafi‘i said: “Allah (Glorified is He) singled out the Messenger of Allah by obligating on him things which He alleviated from other than him, in order to increase his (Allah bless him and grant him peace) sanctity, and He permitted for him things which He made unlawful for other than him, in order to increase his honour and his exaltation.”

From this category is [the permission of] having more than four [wives]. This was permitted [for him] so that he ascends in the hearts of the Arabs in esteem and glory, because they would boast over sexual prowess. Furthermore, in terms of perfect power and moderate constitution, he was at the level of perfection attested to by the reports, and whoever was such, the precursors to this door [of perfection] would be dominant over him.

Furthermore, those besides him were forbidden from more than four [wives] for fear of injustice, as alluded to in the verse: “But, if you fear that you will not maintain equity, then [marry only] one.” (4:3) And this reason is inapplicable with respect to him (Allah bless him and grant him peace).

That this is the reason for forbidding those besides him is proven by [the fact] that Allah (Glorified is He) permitted for them whatever [quantity] of slave women they have [financial] ability over, as in His (Exalted is He) statement: “Or what your right hands possess” (4:3), because slave women did not have rights over sexual intercourse such that injustice would be feared therein.

Furthermore, it is not permissible for him [i.e. the Prophet (peace be upon him)] to seek pleasure in what is not permissible for him, nor to seek what is in the hands of men, and the condition at that time was not accommodating for the acquisition of [many] slave women. Hence, free women were made available to him. And Allah chose for him the best of the two kinds [i.e. free women over slave women]. This is why some of the Salaf said: “Free [non-Muslim] covenanted women were not permissible for him to marry, as opposed to other than him from his ummah.” Others said: “So that a disbeliever would not become a mother of the believers.”

This is in Sharh al-Ubbi.

The weak slave (Allah pardon him) says:

The teacher of our teachers, Hakim al-Ummah al-Thanawi (may Allah sanctify his secret), mentioned another wisdom behind the abundance of his (Allah bless him and grant him peace) wives, which is that:

He (upon him blessing and peace) was sent to this world to be an excellent example in all things, and so that his ummah imitates him in all walks of life, and in order for this to be possible it is necessary that no part of his personal or his communal life is hidden to his ummah, and that the ummah are privy to the circumstances of his house and his private life by that degree of certainty and that abundance [of reports] by which they know his circumstances outside the house. And indeed these circumstances are not revealed to any besides his (Allah bless him and grant him peace) wives, and this is why the number of his (Allah bless him and grant him peace) wives after Khadijah, the Magnificent, reached ten, because ten is the least number for recurrent transmission (tawatur), and when the number of his wives reached ten, Allah (Exalted is He) forbade him from increasing on this number, as was said in the explanation of His (Exalted is He) saying: “Women are not permitted for you thereafter” (33:52) to the end [of the verse]. Refer to al-Tafsir al-Kabir.

And in this number of wives there are three secrets which Shaykh al-Thanawi (Allah have mercy on him) mentioned:

First, that it is the least of “the plurality of abundance” (jam‘ al-kathrah).

Second, that it is the least number for recurrent transmission (tawatur).

Third, that it agrees with the number of years the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) resided in Madinah (i.e. 10).

This is from his treatise Kathrat al-Azwaj li Sahib al-Mi‘raj.

This is supported by the fact that he (Allah bless him and grant him peace) did not spend his youth and his period of manliness but with one widowed woman many years his senior, despite what was presented before him of chaste Arab virgins; and his wives did not increase in number except after he reached fifty three years of age, and all of them were widows, besides ‘A’ishah (Allah be pleased with her). Would one who does not wish but to fulfil his desires and satisfy his lust do this? Never! Then again, never! But his (Allah bless him and grant him peace) objective was only to make the conditions of his house reach the ummah by that abundance [of reports] by which his circumstances outside the house reached [them], and that would not have been possible unless his wives were no fewer than ten. This is why we see that about half of religion did not reach us but through the medium of his (Allah bless him and grant him peace) wives.

(Takmilah Fath al-Mulhim 1:113-4)

01-09-2013, 01:52 PM
Yes, he did. He was not only allowed by Allah but also commanded by Allah rgarding whom to marry. Most of his wives were widows or divorcees, aged, some having children from former marriages. Many of them were also slave women that the Holy Prophet (SAW) freed and married. Only a few were unmarried when he married them. One was Aisha (R) and another was Maria who had been given to him as a gift by the egyptian christian king at that time. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) didn't marry Maria but she remained his slave because Allah had ordered him not to marry anyone else then. I am unsure if any others were never before married. This (marrying so many women) was not a privelege but even something difficult that the Prophet (SAW) had to endure. The reason was that he would give each one her turn and do complete justice and that is not an easy thing. Aisha (R) , the Prophet's second or third wife after the death of Khadija (R) is regarded his favorite wife, but she got no special treatment. The Prophet (SAW) gave them all equal treatment, not preferring one to the other. So much so that when he was extremely ill with fever near his death, he was giving turns to each one and that had become a burden on him, so each night he would ask about whom he had to spend the night. So the wives all gave him permission to spend his last days with Aisha (R). That was the justice of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

now on th other hand, look at the nonmuslim men in the west who claim to be good to women by requiring that a man can only marry one woman at a tim, but at the same time, they have allowed men to have sexual relations without marriage, so a man can go from one girlfriend to another, have one-night-stands and flings, have several girlfreinds at once and break the hearts of coountless women without being required to support them if they get pregnant. Is that better or is it better to require that a man cannot have relations without marriage and he is responsible for his wife and children???

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Good brother
01-09-2013, 03:19 PM
Wisdom behind his :saws: marriages:

All his marriages had great wisdom behind them. His plural marriages were to practically show all sorts of permissible marriages in Islam and had extra-ordinary political benefits for the nascent Muslim community.

1-His marriage with Khadija (RA) shows that it is permissible for a person who is bachelor to marry a widow, to marry a woman who is older than him, for a (relatively) poor and orphan man to marry a rich woman, for an employee to marry his employer. His relation with Khadija (RA) was a perfect show of mutual trust and fidelity. The very fact that Prophet (PBUH) did not marry during her lifetime belies all the charges of sensuality. Some jaundiced-eyed critics went on to say that it were only Prophet’s (PBUH) financial constraints that kept him away from marrying further during Khadija’s (RA) lifetime.

Stanely Lane Poole, himself a bitter critic of Islam, had to acknowledge the absurdity of such an assertion. He writes;

“An attempt has been made to explain away Mohammad's fidelity to Khadija, by adducing the motive of pecuniary prudence. Mohammad, they say, was a poor man, Khadija rich and powerfully connected; any affaire de coeur on the husband's part would have been followed by a divorce and the simultaneous loss of property and position. It is hardly necessary to point out that the fear of poverty — a matter of little consequence in Arabia and at that time — would not restrain a really sensual man for five-and- twenty years; especially when it is by no means certain that Khadija, who loved him with all her heart in a motherly sort of way, would have sought a divorce for any cause soever. And this explanation leaves Mohammad's loving remembrance of his old wife unaccounted for. If her money alone had curbed him for twenty-five years, one would expect him at her death to throw off the cloak, thank Heaven for the deliverance, and enter at once upon the rake's progress. He does none of those things.” (Studies in a Mosque p.79, pub. W. H. Allen & Co. London, 1883)

2-His marriage to Sawdah bint Zama'a (RA) shows that a widower can opt to marry a middle-aged, kind, jolly and widowed woman who can take care of his children. It was perhaps imperative for the Prophet (PBUH) to marry a lady of her age for then he needed someone to look after his children.

3-He married young and intelligent ‘Aisha bint Abu Bakr (RA) so that she remembers and continues to teach the masses all matters relating to married life and even the rest. This marriage also aimed at fostering his friendly relations with Abu Bakr (RA) and also to refute the baseless Arab tradition of not marrying the daughter of the called-not real brother. It was also a practical manifestation that one can marry a virgin.

4-He married Hafsa (RA), the daughter of ‘Umar (RA) to foster better relations with his important companion.

5- His marriage with Zainab bint Khuzaima (RA), widow of ‘Ubaida (RA) who fell as a martyr in the Battle of Badr, showed his care for the widows of the martyred and was a practical stimulus for Muslim men to be sensitive towards the situation of the widows of those martyred in the service of Islam.

6-He married Umm Habiba (RA), who was the daughter of the Chief of Makkah, Abu Sufyan. This marriage brought him closer to the Umayyads, an important family among the Quraish. This led to rather smooth and bloodless Conquest of Makkah. William Muir acknowledges this motive;

“[The Prophet] perhaps farther hoped to make Abu Sofian, the father of Omm Habiba, more favourible to his cause.” (The Life of Mahomet, vol. 4 p.59 pub. Smith, Elder and Co. London, 1861)

John Bagot Glubb (a.k.a Glubb Pasha) also makes an interesting observation on the same lines;

“He took the trouble to write to the Emperor of Abyssinia to send him Umm Habeeba to be his bride. If his object had been merely to acquire another woman, there must have been hundreds of more attractive brides available in Arabia. Possibly he sent for Umm Habeeba as a bridge to establish relations with Abu Sofian who, he had noticed, was now adopting a more conciliatory attitude.” (The Life and Times of Muhammad p.304)

7-He married Umm Salamah (RA), his only wife who brought children from her previous marriage. Thus Holy Prophet gave a practical example to take care of children that a person’s wife has from some earlier marriage. This marriage pacified her tribe who were earlier very vehement in opposition of Islam as now they had a relation with the Holy Prophet (PBUH). This led many of that tribe to revise their thinking about Islam.

8-He married Zainab bint Jahsh (RA) to uproot the baseless Arab tradition of not marrying the divorcees of adopted-not-real sons.Islam holds that no matter how much dear no one can just as one's son from his own loins. Montgomery Watt writes;

" ... a social motive may have outweighed the political one in her case - to show that Muhammad had broken with old taboos." (Muhammad at Medina p.288, pub. Oxford, 1956)

9- He married Juwairiya bint Al-Haritha (RA) to foster his relations with the important Jewish tribes and also to show that Islam allows mix marriages based on social status. These marriages also show the high regard in which women were held that instead of making them slaves, Holy Prophet (PBUH) married them and thus give them the high status of 'Mothers of the Believers' About the political benefits of this marriage, John Bagot Glubb in his aforementioned book writes;

“ … this was a purely political marriage, for it won over Beni Mustaliq to Islam more successfully than a battle.” (p.263)

10-His marriage with Safiyya bint Hayy (RA), daughter of the Nudair tribe of Jews, proved a great success in neutralizing the harsh sentiments of a considerable faction of the Jews in Northern Arabia.

Watt writes; “There may have been political motives in the unions with the Jewesses Safiyah and Rayhana.” (Muhammad at Medina p.288)

11- His marriage with Maimuna (RA) resulted in the some highly valuable people coming to Islam. In the words of Washington Irving;

"This was doubtless another marriage of policy, for Maimuna was fifty-one years of age, and a widow, but the connexion gained him two powerful proselytes. One was Khaled Ibn al Waled, a nephew of the widow, an intrepid warrior ... The Other proselyte was Khaled's friend Amrul Ibn al Aass;" (The Life of Mahomet p.183 pub. Bernhard Tachnitz, Leipzig 1850)

The fact that Prophet’s (PBUH) marriages were for reasons other than alleged sensuality is acknowledged even by a prejudiced critics like D.S. Margoliouth. He wrote;

“In several of these marriages it is easy to see that political considerations were dominant.” (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, Article: Muhammad. vol. 8 p.879 pub. T. & T. Clark, Edinburgh, 1915)

Had Allah Almighty not allowed him to have plural marriages then many Muslims may not have got many benefits which they actually did. Many strong enemies might not have been pacified. Many matters of Shariah (Islamic Law) may not have been explained so well. These were only the Wives of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) who taught us matters relating to married life and other in-house affairs. Here one must remember that none of the Holy Prophet's male children lived to maturity and only one of his daughters, Fatimah (RA) lived after his death and that also only for 6 months. In such a situation it would have been virtually a calamity for the Muslim Ummah if Holy Prophet did not have these wives, as many teachings would have remained veiled from us in that case.

All the above details prove that his marriages were not out of his physical desires but for other motives undoubtedly noble and great atleast from the perspective of the Muslim community as evident from their outcomes.


Urban Turban
01-11-2013, 01:28 PM
May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala reward those abundantly who have saved the honor of the Final Prophet [peace be upon him] - Ameen.

~ Sabr ~
01-11-2013, 01:38 PM
Lol that person didn't even come back after reading the replies, jokes.

Urban Turban
01-11-2013, 04:56 PM
Originally Posted by Muj4h1d4~
Lol that person didn't even come back after reading the replies, jokes.

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