Muhammad’s Multiple Marriages

A Dawagandist Seeks to Defend the Indefensible

Sam Shamoun

On February 28, 2008 (YouTube video) Dr. Jamal Badawi addressed the issue of Muhammad’s multiple marriages (approximately nine at the time of his death) in light of the Quran restricting Muslims to four wives (Q. 4:3), a number which his prophet clearly exceeded. Badawi came up with some fancy explanations as he sought to deny that Muhammad’s polygynous relations were privileges which he allowed to himself:

"Is it really a privilege to the prophet or is it a matter of fairness? Now, you go to the Quran itself and it describes the wives of the prophet as the mothers of believers. In fact, the Quran said it clearly, it is not permissible that anyone would marry the widows of the prophet, which means also ‘or divorcees after him.’ Why? Because they are in status of mothers of believes, number one. Number two, because they are teacher for future women coming from different tribes, different levels of understanding. And if they get married to some chauvinist person say ‘you don’t leave home, you don’t do that,’ you’re depriving the Muslim umma from learning Islam as they encountered the prophet on a very close and personal level. Now you tell me, if an ordinary woman married to any Joe Blow, who any person, is divorced because she is wife number five does she have an opportunity to get married? Absolutely! If the prophet divorce any of his wives, and the Quran say it’s forbidden that any one would marry them, so if he divorces them in his life what would become of them? Suspended! They are no longer the wives of the prophet but they cannot marry any man again. Is that fair to them or should an exception and accommodation be made for them? Ok."


Putting the Cart Before the Horse

Badawi has proven himself to be a master of logical fallacies with his desperate and erroneous explanations. For example, why should Muhammad’s wives be called the mothers of the believers when even he wasn’t called their father?

The Prophet is closer to the Believers than their own selves, and his wives are their mothers. Blood-relations among each other have closer personal ties, in the Decree of God. Than (the Brotherhood of) Believers and Muhajirs: nevertheless do ye what is just to your closest friends: such is the writing in the Decree (of God). S. 33:6 Y. Ali

And (remember) when you said to him (Zaid bin Harithah the freedslave of the Prophet) on whom Allah has bestowed Grace (by guiding him to Islam) and you (O Muhammad too) have done favour (by manumitting him) "Keep your wife to yourself, and fear Allah." But you did hide in yourself (i.e. what Allah has already made known to you that He will give her to you in marriage) that which Allah will make manifest, you did fear the people (i.e., Muhammad married the divorced wife of his manumitted slave) whereas Allah had a better right that you should fear Him. So when Zaid had accomplished his desire from her (i.e. divorced her), We gave her to you in marriage, so that (in future) there may be no difficulty to the believers in respect of (the marriage of) the wives of their adopted sons when the latter have no desire to keep them (i.e. they have divorced them). And Allah's Command must be fulfilled. There is no blame on the Prophet in that which Allah has made legal for him. That has been Allah's Way with those who have passed away of (the Prophets of) old. And the Command of Allah is a decree determined. Those who convey the Message of Allah and fear Him, and fear none save Allah. And Sufficient is Allah as a Reckoner. Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the last (end) of the Prophets. And Allah is Ever All Aware of everything. S. 33:37-40 Hilali-Khan

Why not call them sisters in faith or simply their fellow believers? Didn’t Muhammad himself tell Abu Bakr that even though they were brothers in religion this didn’t prevent the former from marrying the latter’s daughter Aisha?

Narrated Ursa:
The Prophet asked Abu Bakr for 'Aisha's hand in marriage. Abu Bakr said "But I am your brother." The Prophet said, "You are my brother in Allah's religion and His Book, but she ('Aisha) is lawful for me to marry." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 18)

So why didn’t Muhammad follow his own rules here and identify his wives as the believers’ sisters in faith, which would give them a chance of remarrying if they so choose?

Furthermore, if we were to take this to its logical conclusion then this means that Muslims would be forbidden from marrying Muhammad’s children since they would be considered their siblings. Why did he then permit Ali ibn Abu Talib and Uthman ibn Affan to marry his daughters?

Moreover, why forbid the wives the right to remarry at all when the law of the previous prophets didn’t impose such a restriction on the widows of God’s true prophets and apostles? In fact, the Holy Bible says that death legitimately dissolves the marital bond and thereby allows the surviving party to remarry:

"Do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to men who know the law—that the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives? For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man." Romans 7:1-3

"A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord." 1 Corinthians 7:39

Why, then, should Muhammad’s god forbid the wives this right and privilege?

Doesn’t this make it obvious that Badawi is simply begging the question at this point? Isn’t he erroneously assuming that the reason why his prophet kept all of his wives, even though he forced others to only keep four spouses and divorce the rest, is because Muhammad’s women wouldn’t be able to remarry?

More importantly, if Allah were really merciful then why didn’t he simply tell his prophet that wives number five and up were free to remarry after their divorce since Muhammad could only keep four of them? Wouldn’t this make much more sense and be more fair and just than to erroneously assume that the reason why Muhammad kept all of them is because they couldn’t marry anyone after him if he did set them free?


The Real Occasion Behind this Prohibition

With that said, Badawi conveniently forgot to mention that the real reason why Muhammad didn’t allow his wives the right to remarry is because of his extreme jealousy.

According to the expositors the following prohibition,

… And it is not (right) for you that you should annoy Allah's Messenger, nor that you should ever marry his wives after him (his death). Verily! With Allah that shall be an enormity. S. 33:53

Was composed to censure certain Muslims who wanted to marry Muhammad’s widows:

… (nor that ye should ever marry his wives after him) after his death. This verse was revealed about Talhah Ibn 'Ubaydullah who had in mind to marry 'A'ishah after the death of the Prophet (pbuh). (Lo! That) your open declaration and intention to marry the Prophet's wives after his death (in Allah's sight would be an enormity) it is an enormous sin which merits severe punishment. (Tanwr al-Miqbs min Tafsr Ibn ‘Abbs; source; underline emphasis ours)

And:

… This was narrated by Bukhari> Musaddid> Yahya ibn Abi Za’idah> Humayd. Abu Hakim al-Jurjani informed us through verbal authorisation> Abu’l-Faraj al-Qadi> Muhammad ibn Jarir> Ya‘qub ibn Ibrahim> Hushaym> Layth> Mujahid who related that the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, was once eating with his Companions when the hand of one of them touched the hand of ‘A’ishah who was with them. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, was upset because of this, and the verse of segregation was revealed. (… nor that ye should marry his wives after him…) [33:53]. ‘Ata’ related that Ibn ‘Abbas said: "One of the nobles of Quraysh said: ‘I would marry ‘A’ishah if the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, were to die’, and so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse". ('Ali ibn Ahmad al-Wahidi, Asbab al-Nuzul; source; underline emphasis ours)

Finally:

Prohibition of annoying the Messenger and the Statement that His Wives are Unlawful for the Muslims …

<And it is not (right) for you that you should annoy Allah's Messenger, nor that you should ever marry his wives after him (his death). Verily, with Allah that shall be an enormity.> Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said concerning the Ayah

<And it is not (right) for you that you should annoy Allah's Messenger,> "This was revealed concerning a man who wanted to marry one of the wives of the Prophet after he died. A man said to Sufyan, ‘Was it `A'ishah' He said, `That is what they said.’" This was also stated by Muqatil bin Hayyan and `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam. He also reported with his chain of narration from As-Suddi that the one who wanted to do this was Talhah bin `Ubaydullah, may Allah be pleased with him, until this Ayah was revealed forbidding that. Hence the scholars were unanimous in stating that it was forbidden for anyone to marry any of the women who were married to the Messenger of Allah at the time when he died, because they are his wives in this world and in the Hereafter, and they are the Mothers of the believers, as stated previously. Allah regarded that as a very serious matter, and issued the sternest of warnings against it, as He said …

<Verily, with Allah that shall be an enormity.> Then He said …

<Whether you reveal anything or conceal it, verily, Allah is Ever All-Knower of everything.> meaning, ‘whatever you conceal in your innermost thoughts, it is not hidden from Him at all.’ (Tafsir Ibn Kathir; source; underline emphasis ours)

Doesn’t this make it obvious that the reason why Muhammad (or his god as Badawi erroneously believes) disallowed his wives from marrying after him is because he couldn’t stand the thought of another man being intimate with them? Aren’t these commentaries conclusively demonstrating that Muhammad’s wives suffered as a result of their husband’s jealousy and insecurities?

For more on this topic we recommend the following article: http://www.answering-ansar.org/answers/private_lives/en/chap4.php


Were Muhammad’s marriages really for peace and unity? Or were they all about lust?

Badawi further stated that Muhammad didn’t really marry because of any inherent lust he had for women. He actually believes that his prophet’s marriages essentially served the purpose of conciliating the warring tribes and factions together.

It is obvious that Badawi is using taqiyya, or concealment, since this is not what his own so-called authoritative sources say were the reason behind many, if not most, of Muhammad’s marriages.

For example, the ahadith unashamedly record that, in the case of the Jewess Juwayriyyah whom Muslims had captured, Muhammad married her because she was stunningly beautiful:

Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin:

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 Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) 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 Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) would look at her in the same way that I had looked.

She said: Apostle 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 Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: Are you inclined to that which is better? She asked: What is that, Apostle of Allah? He replied: I shall pay the price of your freedom on your behalf, and I shall marry you.

She said: I shall do this. She (Aisha) said: The people then heard that the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) had married Juwayriyyah. They released the captives in their possession and set them free, and said: They are the relatives of the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) by marriage. We did not see any woman greater than Juwayriyyah who brought blessings to her people. One hundred families of Banu al-Mustaliq were set free on account of her. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 29, Number 3920)

And:

According to Ibn Humayd–Salamah–Muhammad b. Ishaq – Muhammad b. Ja‘far b. al-Zubayr – the Prophet’s wife ‘A’ishah, who said: When the Messenger of God divided the captives of the Banu al-Mustaliq, Juwayriyah bt. Al-Harith fell to the share of Thabit b. Qays b. al-Shammas (or to a cousin of his), and she contracted with him for her freedom. She was a sweet, beautiful woman who captivated anyone who looked at her. She came to the Messenger of God seeking his help in the matter of her contract. By God, as soon as I saw her at the door of my chamber, I took a dislike to her, and I knew that he would see in her what I saw… (The History of al-Tabari: The Victory of Islam, translated by Michael Fishbein [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany 1997], Volume VIII (8), pp. 56-57; bold and italic emphasis ours)

The translator of al-Tabari writes

… Similar frankness appears in the account in A.H. 6 of Muhammad’s marriage to Juwayriyah, "a sweet, beautiful woman, who captivated anyone who looked at her" (the words of ‘A’isha’s). She had been captured during the raid on the Banu al-Mustaliq and, in accordance with custom, became the slave of one of her captors. The latter agreed to free her in exchange for a sum of money. Juwariyah approached Muhammad for help, and the latter, CAPTIVATED BY HER BEAUTY, offered her "something better" then payment of the price of her freedom – namely, marriage with himself… (Ibid., p. xiii; capital emphasis ours)

Badawi may chime in and say that Muhammad married Juwayriyyah in order to free her. He may further assert that this served as a motivating factor for his followers to set the rest of her tribe free since the Muslims wouldn’t want to continue to enslave a people who were now related to their prophet by marriage.

The problem with the above assertions is that Muhammad didn’t need to marry her at all since he could have simply paid the ransom and she would have gained her freedom. Better still, Muhammad could have simply commanded the Muslims to set her and her entire tribe free and they would have done exactly as they were told.

After all, the Muslims would have no choice but to obey Muhammad’s orders since the Quran likens obedience to Islam’s prophet to obedience to Allah himself, and even threatens those who disobey Muhammad with severe punishment:

And obey God and the Apostle; that ye may obtain mercy. S. 3:132

Those are limits set by God: those who obey God and His Apostle will be admitted to Gardens with rivers flowing beneath, to abide therein (for ever) and that will be the supreme achievement. But those who disobey God and His Apostle and transgress His limits will be admitted to a Fire, to abide therein: And they shall have a humiliating punishment. S. 4:13-14

All who obey God and the apostle are in the company of those on whom is the Grace of God, - of the prophets (who teach), the sincere (lovers of Truth), the witnesses (who testify), and the Righteous (who do good): Ah! what a beautiful fellowship! S. 4:69

It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by God and His Apostle to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys God and His Apostle, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path. S. 33:36

With this in perspective isn’t it obvious once again that the real reason why Muhammad didn’t order Thabit ibn Qays ibn Shammas to free Juwayriyyah is because he was too mesmerized by her beauty and wanted her for himself, just as his child bride Aisha noted?

Besides, the reason why she was taken captive in the first place is because Muhammad decided to attack her people! Had Muhammad left well enough alone there would have been no need to ransom Juwayriyyah at all.

She wasn’t the only woman whose beauty dazzled Muhammad. The Jewess Safiyya was another young beauty whom Muhammad manumitted in order to marry her:

Narrated Abdul Aziz:
Anas said, "When Allah's Apostle invaded Khaibar, we offered the Fajr prayer there (early in the morning) when it was still dark. The Prophet rode and Abu Talha rode too and I was riding behind Abu Talha. The Prophet passed through the lane of Khaibar quickly and my knee was touching the thigh of the Prophet. He uncovered his thigh and I saw the whiteness of the thigh of the Prophet. When he entered the town, he said, ‘Allahu Akbar! Khaibar is ruined. Whenever we approach near a (hostile) nation (to fight) then evil will be the morning of those who have been warned.’ He repeated this thrice. The people came out for their jobs and some of them said, ‘Muhammad (has come).’ (Some of our companions added, ‘With his army.’) We conquered Khaibar, took the captives, and the booty was collected. Dihya came and said, ‘O Allah's Prophet! Give me a slave girl from the captives.’ The Prophet said, ‘Go and take any slave girl.’ He took Safiya bint Huyai. A man came to the Prophet and said, ‘O Allah's Apostle! You gave Safiya bint Huyai to Dihya and she is the chief mistress of the tribes of Quraiza and An-Nadir and she befits none but you.’ So the Prophet said, ‘Bring him along with her.’ So Dihya came with her and when the Prophet saw her, he said to Dihya, ‘Take any slave girl other than her from the captives.’" Anas added: "The Prophet then manumitted her and married her."

And:

Thabit asked Anas, "O Abu Hamza! What did the Prophet pay her (as Mahr)?" He said, "Her self was her Mahr for he manumitted her and then married her." Anas added, "While on the way, Um Sulaim dressed her for marriage (ceremony) and at night she sent her as a bride to the Prophet. So the Prophet was a bridegroom and he said, ‘Whoever has anything (food) should bring it.’ He spread out a leather sheet (for the food) and some brought dates and others cooking butter. (I think he (Anas) mentioned As-Sawaq). So they prepared a dish of Hais (a kind of meal). And that was Walima (the marriage banquet) of Allah's Apostle." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 8, Number 367)

Finally:

Narrated Anas bin Malik:
We arrived at Khaibar, and when Allah helped His Apostle to open the fort, the beauty of Safiya bint Huyai bin Akhtaq whose husband had been killed while she was a bride, was mentioned to Allah's Apostle. The Prophet selected her for himself… (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 59, Number 522)

With the foregoing in perspective does it come as a surprise that Muhammad’s contemporaries accused him of being a womanizer?

… Layla bt. al-Khatim b. ‘Adi b. ‘Amr b. Sawad b. Zafar b. al-Harith b. al-Khazraj approached the Prophet while his back was to the sun, and clapped him on his shoulder. He asked who it was, and she replied, "I am the daughter of one who competes with the wind. I am Layla bt. al-Khatim. I have come to offer myself [in marriage] to you, so marry me." He replied, "I accept." She went back to her people and said that the Messenger of God had married her. They said, "What a bad thing you have done! You are a self-respecting woman, but the Prophet is a womanizer. Seek an annulment from him." She went back to the Prophet and asked him to revoke the marriage and he complied with [her request]… (The History of Al-Tabari: The Last Years of the Prophet, translated and annotated by Ismail K. Poonawala [State University of New York Press, Albany, 1990], Volume IX, p. 139; bold emphasis ours)

And in light of the fact that Muhammad married these Jewish women AFTER he had attacked their tribes and killed their relatives, doesn’t this prove that these marriages were clearly not for the purpose of forming peaceful alliances (at least not with those Jewish clans)?


Muhammad’s Cruelty and Unjust Treatment of his Wives Exposed

Not only did Muhammad marry women for their beauty, he also divorced women who were too fat and unattractive. For example many people are not aware that the following "revelation:"

And if a woman fears ill usage or desertion on the part of her husband, there is no blame on them, if they effect a reconciliation between them, and reconciliation is better, and avarice has been made to be present in the (people's) minds; and if you do good (to others) and guard (against evil), then surely Allah is aware of what you do. You will not be able to be equitable between your wives, be you ever so eager; yet do not be altogether partial so that you leave her as it were suspended. If you set things right, and are godfearing, God is All-forgiving, All-compassionate. But if they separate, God will enrich each of them of His plenty; God is All-embracing, All-wise. S. 4:128-130

Was composed in relation to Muhammad’s attempt of divorcing his wife Sauda solely because he didn’t find her attractive. Sauda pleaded with him not to divorce her and worked out a deal where she would hand over the day which Muhammad would normally visit her to Aisha, his favorite wife. Lest we be accused of portraying this in the worst possible light due to our Christian "bias" notice what the following Muslims say concerning this matter:

Muhammad's personal and family life were not always smooth. His wives sometimes bickered amongst themselves and even once engaged in a petty plot against him. A'ishah, for example, disliked her Jewish co-wife, Safiyah, and insulted her periodically. Muhammad had to defend her status and honor a number of times and scold the youthful A'ishah. Hafsah became jealous of her co-wife, Maria, when she found her and Muhammad resting[sic] in her apartment one day. Sawdah gave up her allotted day with the Prophet WHEN SHE REALIZED HE WAS NOT REALLY ATTRACTED TO HER. As for the conspiracy, A'ishah agreed with two other co-wives to convince the Prophet that eating honey made him unpleasant to be around. When Muhammad vowed to never eat honey again, she privately repented to her co-conspirators. Though these incidents were not the norm, they demonstrate that the women in Muhammad's life were as human as the rest of us. (Yahiya Emerick, Critical Lives: Muhammad [Alpha Books, A Member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 2002], p. 263; capital and underline emphasis ours)

And:

Making peace is better than separation. An example of such peace can be felt in the story of Sawdah bint Zam'ah who WHEN SHE BECAME AGED, THE PROPHET WANTED TO DIVORCE HER, but she made peace with him by offering the night he used to spend with her to A'isha so that he would keep her. The Prophet accepted such terms and kept her.

Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi recorded that Ibn ‘Abbas said, "Sawdah feared that the Messenger of Allah might divorce her and she said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Do not divorce me; give my day to 'A'ishah.’ And he did …

In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that 'A'ishah said that when Sawdah bint Zam'ah BECAME OLD, she forfeited her day to 'A'ishah and the Prophet used to spend Sawdah's night with 'A'ishah

<And making peace is better>. IT REFERS TO THE WIFE RELINQUISHING SOME OF HER MARITAL RIGHTS and his acceptance of the offer. Such compromise is better than total divorce, as the Prophet did when retained Sawdah bint Zam'ah. By doing so, the Prophet set an example for his Ummah to follow as it is a lawful act … (the preceding citation taken and adapted from Tafsir Ibn Kathir - Abridged, Volume 2, Parts 3, 4 & 5, Surat Al-Baqarah, Verse 253, to Surat An-Nisa, Verse 147 [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Houston, New York, Lahore; first edition March 2000], pp. 599-601, and Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Part 5, Sura An-Nisa, ayat 24-147, abridged by Sheikh Muhammad Nasib Ar-Rafa’i [Al-Firdous Ltd., London, 2000 first edition], pp. 193-194; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Finally:

When ‘Aishah taunted her over her age, she feared that she could be divorced by the Prophet. But her desire was to be raised as the Prophet’s wife on the Day of Judgement. So she gifted away her day to ‘Aishah6 It is said that the Verse 128 of An-Nisa’ was revealed in reference to her. It said, …

"And if a woman fears from her husband either cruelty or desertion, then, there is no sin on the two that they should make peace between themselves, and peace is better."7, 8

She was a heavy woman, of slow movements. Once she said to the Prophet, "Last night I prayed behind you, but while bowing down I held my nose from the fear of the blood drops." (That is because the Prophet’s bowing and prostration were severely long). The Prophet smiled at her. And because of her weight and old age, the Prophet allowed her and others of her kind to leave Muzdalifah at Hajj at night before others could do.

6 Al-Bukhari/Al-Fath (19/273/H. 5212), Muslim (2/1085/H. 1463), Abu Dawud (2/602/The Book of Nikah/H. 2135), Ahmad: Al-Fathur-Rabbani (22/108) and (16/239): Sahih Ibn Majah (1/334/H. 1972) WHERE ALBANI SAID IT IS SAHIH.

7 Surat An-Nisa’: 128.

8 See Tabari: Tafsir (9/276-278) through a Sound (Sahih) chain, Abu Dawud (2/602/The Book of Marriage/H. 2135) and Albani: Sahih At-Tirmidhi (3/The Book of Tafsir/H. 2434), where Tirmidhi said that this has A HASAN-SAHIH (GOOD & SOUND) CHAIN WHICH WAS ALSO THE OPINION OF ALBANI. (A Biography of the Prophet of Islam In the Light of Original Sources: An Analytical Study, by Dr. Mahdi Rizqullah Ahmad, translated by Syed Iqbal Zaheer [Darussalam Publishers and Distributors, Riyadh, Jeddah, Sharjah, Lahore, London, Houston, New York; First Edition: November 2005], Volume 2, Chapter 29: The Mothers of the Believers, pp. 866-867; bold, capital and underline emphasis ours)

The so-called sound reports further say that Sauda was a fat woman:

Narrated Aisha:
Sauda (the wife of the Prophet) went out to answer the call of nature after it was made obligatory (for all the Muslims ladies) to observe the veil. She was a fat huge lady, and everybody who knew her before could recognize her. So ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab saw her and said, "O Sauda! By Allah, you cannot hide yourself from us, so think of a way by which you should not be recognized on going out. Sauda returned while Allah's Apostle was in my house taking his supper and a bone covered with meat was in his hand. She entered and said, "O Allah’s Apostle! I went out to answer the call of nature and 'Umar said to me so-and-so." Then Allah inspired him (the Prophet) and when the state of inspiration was over and the bone was still in his hand as he had not put in down, he said (to Sauda), "You (women) have been allowed to go out for your needs." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 318)

With the foregoing in the background it is apparent that Muhammad decided to abandon Sauda because he no longer felt any attraction to her due to the fact that she was too old and fat. Muhammad even came up with a command to justify neglecting and mistreating any wife which he no longer desired. Yet by coming up with such a "revelation" Muhammad ended up granting all men the right to simply ignore any wife that they feel is unattractive, giving them "divine" license to deny any of their spouses the pleasure of love and intimacy!

In light of all of this, doesn’t Sauda’s example provide further substantiation that most, if not all, of Muhammad’s marriages were done out of selfish motives and/or for lustful desires?

As if this weren’t shameful enough, Muhammad further justified his willful neglect of his wives and preferential treatment of Aisha by claiming that the so-called divine revelations only came down to him when he was in her clothes and bed!

Narrated ‘Urwa from ‘Aisha:
The wives of Allah's Apostle were in two groups. One group consisted of 'Aisha, Hafsa, Safiyya and Sauda; and the other group consisted of Um Salama and the other wives of Allah's Apostle. The Muslims knew that Allah’s Apostle loved ‘Aisha, so if any of them had a gift and wished to give to Allah's Apostle, he would delay it, till Allah’s Apostle had come to ‘Aisha's home and then he would send his gift to Allah’s Apostle in her home. The group of Um Salama discussed the matter together and decided that Um Salama should request Allah's Apostle to tell the people to send their gifts to him in whatever wife’s house he was. Um Salama told Allah’s Apostle of what they had said, but he did not reply. Then they (those wives) asked Um Salama about it. She said, "He did not say anything to me." They asked her to talk to him again. She talked to him again when she met him on her day, but he gave no reply. When they asked her, she replied that he had given no reply. They said to her, "Talk to him till he gives you a reply." When it was her turn, she talked to him again. He then said to her, "Do not hurt me regarding Aisha, AS THE DIVINE INSPIRATIONS DO NOT COME TO ME ON ANY OF THE BEDS EXCEPT THAT OF AISHA." On that Um Salama said, "I repent to Allah for hurting you." Then the group of Um Salama called Fatima, the daughter of Allah’s Apostle and sent her to Allah’s Apostle to say to him, "Your wives request to treat them and the daughter of Abu Bakr ON EQUAL TERMS." Then Fatima conveyed the message to him. The Prophet said, "O my daughter! Don’t you love whom I love?" She replied in the affirmative and returned and told them of the situation. They requested her to go to him again but she refused. They then sent Zainab bint Jahsh who went to him AND USED HARSH WORDS SAYING, "Your wives request you TO TREAT THEM and the daughter of Ibn Abu Quhafa ON EQUAL TERMS." On that she raised her voice AND ABUSED ‘Aisha TO HER FACE so much so that Allah’s Apostle looked at ‘Aisha to see whether she would retort. ‘Aisha started replying to Zainab till she silenced her. The Prophet then looked at ‘Aisha and said, "She is really the daughter of Abu Bakr." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 47, Number 755)

The wives demanded equal time and attention and how does Muhammad respond? Does he make an effort to correct his blatant mistreatment of his spouses? No, instead of doing the right thing he unashamedly asserts that his deity only gives him divine revelations when he is in bed with Aisha! Imagine that, Muhammad blames his god for discriminating against his spouses!

With this in view does it come as a surprise that even his child bride Aisha noticed how Muhammad’s deity often came running to gratify his messenger’s desires?

Narrated Aisha:
I used to look down upon those ladies who had given themselves to Allah’s Apostle and I used to say, "Can a lady give herself (to a man)?" But when Allah revealed: "You (O Muhammad) can postpone (the turn of) whom you will of them (your wives), and you may receive any of them whom you will; and there is no blame on you if you invite one whose turn you have set aside (temporarily)." (33.51) I said (to the Prophet), "I feel that your Lord hastens in fulfilling your wishes and desires." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 311)

And doesn’t this further prove that Muhammad had no shame and did not hesitate to blame everything on his deity? And yet this is the same man that Badawi wants to foist upon the world as a mercy and a prophet!


Where is the Mercy?

Badawi also ignored or forgot to mention that Muhammad placed his wives under a sort of house arrest, commanding that they stay locked up in their homes:

O wives of the Prophet! you are not like any other of the women; If you will be on your guard, then be not soft in (your) speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease yearn; and speak a good word. AND STAY IN YOUR HOUSES and do not display your finery like the displaying of the ignorance of yore; and keep up prayer, and pay the poor-rate, and obey Allah and His Apostle. Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying. S. 33:32-33 Shakir

Here are the comments of Ibn Kathir which help to put this in perspective:

<And stay in your houses,> means, stay in your houses and do not come out except for a purpose. One of the purposes mentioned in Shari`ah is prayer in the Masjid, so long as the conditions are fulfilled, as the Messenger of Allah said…

<Do not prevent the female servants of Allah from the Masjids of Allah, but have them go out without wearing fragrance.> According to another report…

<even though their houses are better for them.> (Source)

What commands such as the above and Q. 33:53 indicate is that wives such as Aisha and Safiyyah could never again marry another person once Muhammad died and had to stay locked up in their homes.

What makes this so tragic is that these women were young when they became widows, in the case of Aisha she was nine when she got married and only eighteen when her husband died:

Narrated 'Aisha:
that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death). (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64; see also Numbers 65 and 88)

Safiyyah was seventeen when Muhammad took her for a spouse and roughly twenty when he died. Both Aisha and Safiyya eventually died in their sixties:

According to Muhammad b. Musa – ‘Umarah b. al-Muhajir – Aminah bt. Abi Qays al-Ghifariyyah: I was one of the women who led Safiyyah as a bride to the Prophet. I heard her say: I was not even seventeen, or I was just seventeen, the night I entered the Prophet’s [room].

Safiyyah died in the year 52/January 8, 672–December 26, 672, during the caliphate of Mu‘awiyah, and was buried in al-Baqi‘. (The History of al-Tabari: Biographies of the Prophet’s Companions and Their Successors, Volume XXXIX (39), p. 185; bold and underline emphasis ours)

Aisha herself died in the year 678 AD., at the approximate age of 66:

‘A’isha died in Ramadan 58/June-July 678…

According to Muhammad b. ‘Umar [al-Waqidi]: ‘A’ishah died on Tuesday night, the 17th of Ramadan 58/July 13, 678, and was buried the same night after the night prayer. She was then sixty-six years old. (The History of Al-Tabari, Volume XXXIX, p. 173)

The foregoing indicates that wives such as Aisha and Safiyyah remained locked up in their homes as childless widows for years, in some instances for more than forty years! Far from being an act of mercy this was one of the worst curses a young maiden could ever experience in her life. To think that these women never had the joy of raising children or of having husbands to comfort and meet all of their needs for the rest of their lives is truly heart wrenching to say the least.

And yet this is the man that Badawi wants to pass off as a true prophet of God and mercy unto mankind!

We say to Badawi, you can keep Muhammad. We will take the Lord Jesus, God’s beloved and eternal Son, over him any time:

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

"Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called ‘uncircumcised’ by those who call themselves ‘the circumcision’ (that done in the body by the hands of men)— remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit." Ephesians 2:11-18

"Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 2:1-5

Continue with Part 2.


Recommended Reading

http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/prepubescent.htm
http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/treatment_of_wives.htm
http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/sauda.htm
http://answering-islam.org/Authors/Newton/sauda.html
http://answering-islam.org/Responses/Osama/zawadi_cruelty.htm
http://answering-islam.org/Responses/Osama/zawadi_safiyyah.htm
http://answering-islam.org/Responses/Osama/zawadi_safiyyah2.htm
http://answering-islam.org/Responses/Osama/zawadi_barra.htm
http://answering-islam.org/Responses/Osama/zawadi_mhd_wives_challenge.htm
http://answering-islam.org/Responses/Osama/zawadi_mhd_wives_challenge2.htm
http://answering-islam.org/Silas/kinana.htm
http://answering-islam.org/Gilchrist/Vol1/2c.html
http://answering-islam.org/Muhammad/Inconsistent/idda_safiyyah.html
http://faithfreedom.org/Articles/sina/safiyah.htm


Further responses to Dr. Badawi
Articles by Sam Shamoun
Answering Islam Home Page