How Muhammad determined the (poor) state of women under Islam
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: Why, then, should Muhammad’s god forbid the wives this right and privilege?
‘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 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. (Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs; source)
And: … This was narrated by Bukhari… 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)
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)
Doesn’t this make it obvious that the reason why Muhammad (or his God) 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:
Were Muhammad’s marriages really for peace and unity? Or were they all about lust?
Muslims state 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 in this case Muslims are 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. …(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)
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)
Muslims might say that Muhammad married Juwayriyyah in order to free her. They 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 Qur’an 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 (see as well Surahh 4:13-14; 4:69; and 33:36)
And 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, …”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." (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… 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)
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 god fearing, 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 favourite wife. Please, note that this is not a “kafir” aberration, as we can notice from 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)
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 …
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 ‘Aishah. 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."
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. 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)
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, " (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…."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 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 Muslims want to foist upon the world as a mercy and a prophet!
Where is the Mercy?
Muslims also ignore or forget 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
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)
Aisha herself died in the year 678 AD., at the approximate age of 66:
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 Muslims want to pass off as a true prophet of God and mercy unto mankind!
We say to Muslims, 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
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