Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Was it for Lust- an answer about the wives of the Prophet Mohammed S.A.W

Any of those who attack our precious deen of Islam must first attack the reputation of our beloved Prophet Mohammed (salla Allah alaihi wa sallam), as indeed has been done by the enemies of Islam since the day Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala) first guided His Messenger to testify to the Oneness of God. To do so in this day and age, they often bring up the issue of multiple wives, to scare us away from seeking out more knowledge of who this man actually was who Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala) chose to reveal the Qu'ran to and have him worthy enough to guide mankind in its matters.It has always been easy for an educated historian to reply to that: Christianity and Judaism also allowed for multiple wives as King Soloman had 700 wives and over 300 slaves in the Torah and the Bible. Islam is the only religion to have put a cap on how many wives a man could have [four] and remains the only religion to say it is better to marry only one. Critics of Islam will then ask, why did the Prophet Mohammed (salla Allah alaihi wa sallam) marry more than one then?

Now, you enemies of Islam, be patient in your address, and let truth itself defend our beloved Messenger (salla Allah alaihi wa sallam). The first wife (and first Muslim) of the Prophet Mohammed (salla Allah alaihi wa sallam), was a 40 year old twice widowed woman of great wealth and beauty belonging to the clan of Banu Hashim named Khaidijah bint Khuwaylid (may Allah be pleased with her) who was also the mother of three sons. Khadijah bint Khuwaylid was much sought after as a wife by many for both her beauty, and her wealth. By 585 CE, Khadijah was left a widow and the mother of three sons. Despite having married twice, and twice losing her husbands to the ravaging wars to which Arabia was subjected, she showed no inclination to marry a third time, even though she was sought for marriage by many honorable and highly respected men of the Arabian peninsula, throughout which she was quite famous, due to her business dealings.

The Prophet Mohammed (salla Allah alaihi wa sallam) who was 15 years younger than Khadijah, was also of a noble family, but he was an orphan and was not a man of many means. He had made a meager living tending sheep in the hills surrounding the city. Yet, at 25 years old, he had an impeccable moral character, and he was widely known as one of the most honest men around, and his reputation for honesty helped his uncle Abu Talib to convice Khaidjah to hire him on with one of her caravans. She sent him one of her servants, Maysarah, who was young, brilliant, and talented, to assist him and be Mohammed's bookkeeper. She also trusted Maysarah's account regarding her new employee's conduct, an account that was most striking, indeed one that encouraged her to abandon her decision never to marry again. For instance, he treated this servant like a person, with kindness, and compassion, as person but equal for good deeds and intentions. After he came back from his first business trip, she asked her servant, whom she sent with him, about him and his conduct. The servant amazed her by his report: this young man was the kindest, gentlest man he had ever met. Never did he treat the servant harshly, as many others do. Yet, there was more: as they traveled in the heat of the desert, the servant noticed that a cloud had followed them the entire time, shading them from the blazing sun.

With the passage of time, Khadijah's admiration for Muhammad (salla Allah alaihi wa sallam), developed into a deeper affection. Khadijah was by then convinced that she had finally found a man who was worthy of her, so much so that she initiated the marriage proposal herself, sending her sister to speak with him about marriage. She asked him, "Why are you not married, yet?" "For lack of means," he answered. "What if I could offer you a wife of nobility, beauty, and wealth? Would you be interested?" she told him. He replied in the affirmative, but when she mentioned her sister, the young employee chuckled in amazement. "How could I marry her?! She has turned down the most noble men in the city, much wealthier and prominent than me, a poor shepherd," he said. "Don't you worry," the sister replied, "I'll take care of it."

The Prophet Mohammed (salla Allah alaihi wa sallam), at twenty-five years of age married forty year old widowed beauty Khadijah bint Kuwaylid, and they remained married for 25 years. In a time when marriage to a woman meant taking over ownership of all her property and taking multiple wives, the Prophet (salla Allah alaihi wa sallam) never took a dinar of Khadijah's money that she did not give in a gift to him and to the cause of Islam, and he never thought of divorcing her and making off with her money to marry a younger prettier entourage (as he was legally entitled to do so in the land but NOT within the laws of Islam [so the argument that he just married her and had to be faithful to her for her money is NULL]). It wasn't until after his death that he began to consider marriage again, and when he finally agreed, it was, he said, it was because he so missed the companionship of Khadijah.

The Prophet Muhammad (salla Allah alaihi wa sallam) mourned her deeply, and even after her death, the Prophet would send food and support to Khadijah's friends and relatives, out of love for his first wife. Once, years after Khadijah died, he came across a necklace that she once wore. When he saw it, he remembered her and began to cry. His love for her never died, so much so, that his later wife, A'isha became jealous of her memory. Once she asked the Prophet if Khadijah had been the only woman worthy of his love. The Prophet replied: "She believed in me when no one else did; she accepted Islam when people rejected me; and she helped and comforted me when there was no one else to lend me a helping hand."

Much has been made and said about Prophet Muhammad's (salla Allah alaihi wa sallam), multiple marriages. There are many who smear the Prophet (salla Allah alaihi wa sallam), as a womanizing philanderer, citing his multiple marriages. This is absolute propaganda. As a response to those who malign the Prophet, as if the Prophet were anything of the sort, he would have taken advantage of his youth to do such a thing. But he did not! At a time when it was a common custom to have multiple wives, the Prophet (salla Allah alaihi wa sallam), did not marry anyone else while he was with Khadijah.

It was only two years after Khadijah died, may God be pleased with her, that he married other women. He was then 52 years old. Let us examine his other marriages. First off, all of them excepting Aisha (R.A) were widows, many with children that he had to struggle to support. For instance, Sawda (R.A), was EIGHTY YEARS OLD and a widow. One woman, Safiyah (R.A) converted to Islam and divorced her husband and no one else offered to care for her. One woman was from the Christians, and one from the Jews.

As for Aisha (R.A) the Prophet salla Allah alaihi wa sallam asked for her hand from Abu Bakr when she was 6 years old and in the presence of the girl's mother who agreed, and they were married when she was 9. Aisha (R.A) had her period by then (I had mine at eight years of age so I understand---if you grow up in a hot climate you tend to get your period ealier than a cold one) and back then it was completely common for a woman who could not support herself to get married at a young age. One of my grandmothers got married at fifteen in 1913, and the other at sixteen in 1930. I got married at twenty-one but I could have been mentally stable enough to be married at eleven with a mature enough man who was patient and good [no good Muslim men in the hick town I grew up in---no Muslims either LOL]. Aisha (R.A) loved her husband very much, and she is historically documented to have expressed how much in various recorded hadith narrated BY HERSELF. People like to call him, astaghfurallah, a child molester, would have to accuse their own ancestors of the same thing, because if you go back a few hundred years, let alone the same century as the Prophet Mohammed's lifetime, your own ancestor's will be marrying very young. Marie Antionette of Austria/France, for example, was married at fourteen years old (as soon as she had her menstration).
C'mon people that-- astighfurallah--- accuse the Prophet salla Allah alaihi wa sallam of being a pervert: most of these wives were widows, whom the Prophet salla Allah alaihi wa sallam married to care after them, or they were the daughters of prominent Arab chieftains, so that the Prophet could form a cohesive Muslim society out of a fiercely tribalistic (and barbaric) Arab culture. While doing so, the Prophet Mohammed salla Allah alaihi wa sallam was very much in his old age and was being persecuted and forced out his land for nine years, tying rocks to his abdomen because of hunger from lack of food, sleeping on straw mats... Sure, he definately needed another mouth to feed. I'm sure, at fifty+ years and nigh starving to death all he could think about was sex. I don't know if you've ever been hungry, like I mean, you haven't eaten for weeks, well, your sex drive is one of the first things to go... C'MON!!!!!!! The smears against the Prophet salla Allah alaihi wa sallam fall flat on their faces once the light of truth shines brightly upon them.

I suggest everyone read more about the wives of the Prophet Mohammed salla Allah alaihi wa sallam and his treatment of them. His advice to men concerning women: "The best of you are the best to your spouses.

" A good english nashid with no stringed instruments (I am of the opinion that drums and singing are halal if the content is as well) about Khadijah http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bam1E1G4aCc

SIDENOTE: For those like Oum Amir that constantly try to discredit Islam, I am of the opinion that ANY woman who is mature enough to understand an emotional relationship and is physically sexually aroused is ready for marriage. This differs on culture, climate, and social surroundings (and yes, eight years old is an exception in the West and alot of other places but as it happened to me I know it is MORE common then people think), but for Aisha R.A 's time period she was consider mature enough. She was teaching and leading a nation at the age you SAY she was simply old enough to start considering marriage. Also, with Islamic marriages, the parents can arrange the marriage (ie when she was six) but it isn't official until she was old enough to agree to it, and even after that, it was later that it was consummated. "Oum Amir" go take your anti-Islam stuff elsewhere. Your own ancestors probably have six year old brides. My ancestors have alot of eight and ten year old brides back three hundred years. You cannot compare certain things. I fly a plane now to travel, Aisha R.A had a camel. Some things have changed but what remains is the need for marriage when a child becomes a woman and is sexually and emotionally mature (and this can happen waaaaaaaaay earlier for some girls like it did for myself). You can't tell me my breasts came in at eight and my mind didn't until I was 15. From personal experience, I KNOW you are wrong to generalize. And your intentions are actually evil.


Sarah Plain And Short said...

salam aleikom, ok i know this is off topic, but I like that style of niqab in the first picture. :D what is that style called?

OumAmir said...

Just as a point of clarification: are you stating that a sexual relationship (within marrigage) with a 9 year old girl as stated in at least 7 other ahadith is just as morally acceptable as the same relationship with a girl of 14, 15, or 16?

Pixie said...

Oum Amir: I think if a woman thinks she is mature enough (I was at age ten for sure, both physically ND mentally---- but not all kids are) then it is her right to choose it. I certainly think it is better in marriage then outside of it. All hadith I have read say Aisha R.A was ten not nine, she was engaged at eight but the marriage was not consumated till later which is halal---but anyways that's not what you asked is it?

Nowadays alot of children are not raised with the responsibilities to GIVE them the maturity of children from other times in history, so nowadays I believe 13-17 depending on the girls and boys is better, but some don't mature until much later. For example I was a woman at eight (breasts and all). My friend A didn't get Her period until she was eighteen. So it really depends on a young girl's readiness for sex and her mental state of understanding how to have an emotional relationship.

For her time period (Aisha R.A) was actually old (yes I know that sounds funny) for marriage. And her marriage wasn't consumated until later. For example even today you can't compare existing nations today (an eight year old girl in Africa [and I have lived and worked there] can't be compared to an eight year old girl in Canada or the USA. Social circumstances just aren't the same. I think the Prophet S.A.W would be happy that children (because of economical innovations) get to be kids more, but that he'd still say that when kids start experiencing sexuality it is time for them to marry if they are able to.

Pixie said...

Sarah: Wa alaykom e salaam ramatullahi wa barakto----that is a single layer niqab without the flipn (a fave of mine). If you can't find online---just buy a flip one and cut off the flip layer!!!!

Pixie said...

For the reader that was wondering, yes, I am the author of this post (in its entirety).

Life's Balance Beam said...

as salaamaualikum, pixie i totally understand what ur saying!

over the years, children are less and less mature, look at the responsibilities children faced in those times compared to now, it was noted that aisha radiaallahy anha had the memmorry of a camel or elephant, young as she was, she memorized quran, she taught, she practiced medicine, she gave to charity, what 10-20 year old do u know who does all that?
the women of those times are certainly not like the women of these times and history shows that. also in the 5th grade i was 10 years old and I KNEW secually active 10 year old girls! i have whitnessed freinds siblings and family members with pregnant 10 year olds, being sexually active these days arent really about age its abot rediness and when a woman or man is able to feel hormonal its best for them to be married.

so i totally i agree with u i always have to remind people of this! she loved her husband very much and he loved her. my sister is 12.. she got her period at 9 years old, boobs at 8 and her boobs now are bigger than mine!!! she looks like a 18 year old, but she has the mindset of a 12 year old. thats proof enough for me!

AlabasterMuslim said...

Salaamu Alaikum,
The ages you wrote about when Aisha (RA) became married/consummated the marriage is wrong according to the following hadith.

Sahih Muslim Book 008, Number 3310:
'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house when I was nine years old.

Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64
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 Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 65
Narrated 'Aisha:
that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old. Hisham said: I have been informed that 'Aisha remained with the Prophet for nine years (i.e. till his death)." what you know of the Quran (by heart)'

Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 88
Narrated 'Ursa:
The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with 'Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death).

Banana Anne said...

Subhanallah, thank you for this beautiful article. The people that you mentioned that make these accusations seem to be everywhere, and as a new convert, these claims made me a bit wary. When I read articles like these, though, my doubts are cleared away entirely. I only wish that my future husband could be even a fraction of the husband Prophet Muhammad (saw) was.

Ruth said...

Remember you gave me one...well i tried to cut off the first layer..it was a disaster. :S where do i look for colourful ones?!

-And yes this is me Sarah ummFaris (im looking at ur blog on my mom's comp. thats why it's logged in as her id)

Tima said...

Love this article! just one thing though about the age of Aisha radiallahuanha I read somewhere that her true age was actually older like 15 when the wedding took place and like 18 when it was consumated. please search "true age of Aisha" on google because I want to get this cleared up for my knowledge.

Habibti said...

people actually tried to level up her age like 15 or 18 just because of the west accusations. she was not 15 or 18. she was 9 years old. we say it out loud. we have nothing to be ashamed of. heck in africa how many girls married this age. jazakallah khair for this article people will always find something to say just because of evil intentions. may Allah guide them.

Anonymous said...

mashallah, nice post. I found this excellent book titled the Women around the Prophet SAWS, it's available at Jareer and is published in KSA. I'm sure you can get it outside of KSA through Islamic Booksellers but the author does an excellent job of writing the biographies of all the Prophet SAWS wives, the first women Sahabah and other very important early Muslim women. Its an incredible read and really helped me to understand how each of those women came to be his wife. Usually the woman was in a very situation, she was widowed or had divorced her husband who had left Islam and the Prophet SAWS married her to help her out.

anyway, I highly suggest that book! I can get a proper citation if anyone needs it.

Amber said...

Even before I knew more about the circumstances of Mohammed's wives, it always struck me as hypocritical and ignorant to condemn him for doing what was acceptable at the time. People who do that are either ignorant or being deliberate in their attempts to strike at a sensitive subject for people in order to engender anger.

I was going to ask if you knew of any good books specifically about the wives of Mohammed, but I see someone has already mentioned one. If you know of any others though, I'd appreciate it.

Sophia said...

People always forget to add cultural context to things (time period, etc). If I remember right (which I may not 'cause my notes are MIA :P) Mary was only about 12-13 when she got betrothed to Joseph and had Jesus.

caraboska said...

There are those who claim that Christianity permits polygamy. And some people who identify as Christians even practice it. My study of the Bible leads me to believe that this is actually not true. One is permitted to have only one spouse. And in principle, that does not even mean one at a time. It means until death us do part. It is a very serious commitment and there is a whole host of things about which you must be 100% in agreement - zero room for error - to make it work. So the responsible thing to do, if one is assuming that it is for life, no way out, is to make very sure that one is on the same page. I cannot imagine a 9-year-old having the maturity to know the Bible and ask the questions that need to be asked. Because it will not suffice for the parents to do the asking. The people themselves must be on the same page. (Wow, this is not the direction I was expecting this comment to go, but whatever...). Indeed, now that I've gone this far, I am reminded that I have thought for some time that it is better to wait to be married until one is able to be in complete control of one's impulses, so that one will be married for the right reasons - not for lust, but for God alone.

Najah said...

I'm one of the people who doubt the authentiticy of this hadith... yes shoot me.. because it contradicts lots of historical facts and figures surrounding the age of aisha at other points in the seerah. secondly. there isn't a scrap of evidence to suggest that marriage of under 13's was normal, not even one. to say that she was old for that time at age 9 is outrageous. NO evidence to suggest ANY sahaba or tabe3e married a girl as young as 9 or even 10/11

Pixie said...

Oum Amir: No offense, but ALL you do is ask the same questions over again but rephrase them. My evidence is a. my own experience, and b. real situations I have witnessed living in third world countries. I'll post any of your comments where you say something new, relevent, ect, but not just going, do you think this is okay, and I say when it is in my opinion, then you go proof of my opinion and I am, my experience is proof enough for me, but you go out and see for yourself. Like I said before, I don't go on Christian blogs and try and discredit them, so why don't you start your own blog, and get people to COME to CHRISTIANITY that way. By BEING the example, rather than trying to CONVERT people off of other peoples blogs. In Islam, I believe just stating my own opinions and beliefs is good enough and living by those. I don't feel the need to seek anyone out and convert them. Maybe you should try that.

Pixie said...

Najah: I believe it accurate. And there is evidence of others being married at such and such ages. But I'd be interested in your sources from the seerah where the ages don't add up. Facinated actually. Please post!

Pixie said...

Caraboska: Soloman had alot of wives did her not, and Jesus alahi wa salaam never changed the practice??? So of course this is where Muslims get that polygamy was allowed in Judaism and in Christianity. But we allow that people left alot of what Jesus taught when they follow any writings of Paul (who is the ONLY disciple that said Christian mission was to convert Gentiles [all the other apostles AND Jesus spoke only of the Jews]).

Umm Imaan said...

Assalaamu alaikum Sister, masha Allah what a lovely post, simple and clear. Thanks you for sharing your personal experience to help us understand the age/se*ual maturity concept.

JazzakAllahu Khair :)