Nov 13, 2010

Why the Prophet stayed married to 9 wives while Muslims are allowed only 4?

Why did the prophet die leaving 9 wives, not 4 like other muslims? Is he above the law? And was it out of lust?

Why 9?

-Yes, our Prophet did die leaving 9 wives. Throughout his life, he had 12 wives. Namely:
  • Khadijah bint Khuwaylid
  • Sawdah bint Zam’ah
  • A’ishah bint Abi Bakr
  • Hafsah bint `Umar ibn Al-Khattab
  • Zaynab bint Khuzaymah
  • Ummu Salama
  • Zaynab bint Jahsh
  • Juwayriah bint Al-Harith
  • Umm Habibah
  • Safiyah bint Huyay ibn Akhtab
  • Maymunah bint Al-Harith
  • Maria the Coptic
- When the Quranic verse that says - a Muslim should have a maximum of 4 wives - was revealed, our Prophet had already had 9 of the wives, whom he married between the age 53-60, except for Khadijah.

-As a consequence, other Muslims who had more than 4 wives at that time had to divorce some of them to reach the max number of 4.

-But as the case of the Prophet, he couldn't divorce them because Muslims are prohibited to marry any of the Prophet's ex-wives, because the wives are their mothers (hence the term Ummul Mukminin) according to surah al-Ahzab: 6

النبي أولى بالمؤمنين من أنفسهم وأزواجه أمهاتهم
"The Prophet is closer to the Believers than their own selves, and his wives are their mothers."

- So the Prophet had no choice but to keep all 9, as not to be cruel to them. Because the ex-wives of other Muslims can always remarry, but not the Prophet's ex-wives. The syariah cannot contradict itself, because it came for the benefit of humankind, not to harm them.

- But right after that, another verse was revealed, prohibiting the Prophet to marry any other women, or to change any of the wives:

"It is not lawful for you (to marry other) women after this, nor to change them for other wives." (Al-Ahzab 33:52)

- So that's the story behind why the Prophet kept all of his 9 wives till the day he died.


Was it out of lust?

- The Prophet remained monogamous for 25 years with Khadijah. And after she died when he was 50, he still remained unmarried for 2 years.

- While the 'cool thing' among Arabs during his time was to marry a virgin, all of the Prophet's wives are either a divorcee or a widow, except for Aisyah r.a.

- So if he really was a lustful person, the reasonable thing to do is to marry virgins instead of divorcees or widows. But he didn't.

- There were reasons behind some of the marriages. I will continue the stories in my next post insyaAllah. Keep reading (^_~)

In the mean time, read this post on the Prophet being a pedophile by marrying Aishah.

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