Wives of the Prophet (SM)

Q&A extracted from the lecture of Amro Khalid on “Mothers of the believers”

Source : http://www. isuhangat.net


Q: Why did the Prophet Mohammad (SM) have many wives? If someone asks you that question, either in a good or in a bad intention, will you be able to answer?


A: Let’s first ask ourselves, how many wives did the Prophet (SM) have? They were twelve. When he died there were ten wives with him, while Khadija (RA) and Zaynab (RA) died in his life.


Q: Do you know their names, the names of your mothers, the mothers of the believers?


A: They were:

1. Khadijah Bint Khuwaylid (RA)

2. Sawdah Bint Zamaah (RA)
3. Aaishah Bint Abi Bakr (RA)
4. Hafsah Bint Omar (RA)
5. Zainab Bint Khuzaymah (RA)
6. Om-salamah , Hind Bint Otbah (RA)
7. Zainab Bint Jahsh (RA)
8. Juwayriyah Bint Alharith (RA)
9. Safiyah Bint Huyay Ibn Akhtab (RA)
10. Ommo Habibah Ramlah Bint Abi Sofian (RA)
11. Maria Bint Shamoun, the Egyptian (RA)
12. Maymonah Bint Alharith (RA)


Q: Did the Prophet’s (SM) wives marry his for the first time (i.e. were they all virgins)?


A: Only one, Aaishah (RA), all the rest was either widows or divorced. 


Q: Were they all Arabs?


A: All, except for Mariya (RA), who was from Egypt.


Q: Where they all Muslims?


A: All but two; Safiya (RA) who was a Jew , and Mariya (RA) who was a Christian. 


Q: Was it lust that caused the Prophet (SM) to have so many marriages?


A: To answer the question we have to mention the following facts:


1- The Prophet (SM) married Khadijah (RA) for the first time when he was 25 years old.

2- Khadijah (RA) was 40 years old and married twice before him and had children from previous marriages.

3- He stayed married to her alone for 25 years, until she died. He stayed single after her death for two years in grief and mourning over her death. 3- From 4- He was 52 years old when he remarried. From age 52 till 60, he married several times for political and social reasons, not for lust.


After two years of living single, he married Sawdah (RA), an 80 year old widow in order to honor her because she was the first widow in Islam. Not an act of a lustful man after a period of living single. It’s not logical to say that lust had appeared suddenly at the Prophet’s life at 52, and at the middle of the fierce physical and psychological struggle to spread Islam. There is only one conclusion we can extract from the above:


1- Mohammad the man married Khadijah (RA).

2- Mohammad the Prophet married the rest of his wives.


Q: Was Mohammad (SM) the only prophet to have multiple wives? Or polygamy was taken by other prophets as well?


A: The answer is: NO. Polygamy was the norm at the times of Ibrahim, Dawoud, Solayman (peace be upon them all), all known in the Bible to have been polygamists.


Q: Were there any political, social and religious reasons linked to these marriages?


A: Yes. Let’s mention the political, social and religious reasons the Prophet (SM) had these marriages.


First: To spread the culture through eyewitnesses with all the details known only to intimate people. Aaishah (RA), being so young, was able to tell all those details to the Muslims for more than 42 years. She had seen and learnt so much from him. Her young age was a great advantage in this respect. She could tell what the Prophet used to do or say in all aspects of life, so that people do and say the same in the similar situation. Aaishah (RA), was the most knowledgeable person when it comes to the daily life of the Muslim and how it should go as was lived by the Prophet (SM) himself. But how come he married her when she was only nine years old? The desert climate answers to that. In such environment girls reach youth very young. Not only in Arabia, but also in Roma and Persia, girls were married that young at that time.


Second: To strengthen the relationships with his companions, he married Abu Bakr’s (RA) daughter and Omar's (RA) sister, married his daughters to Osman (RA) and Ali (RA).


Third: Out of compassion and to reward the early Muslim widows and divorcees he honored them by marrying them himself. Their husbands were either dead in battles or were non Muslims who divorced them. Sawdah (RA), Om-salama (RA) and Habeebah (RA) were widows.


Fourth: The Prophet (SM) being a role model for the Muslims had been kind to the widows and to the ‘people of the book’ who newly embraced Islam. He married Safiyah (RA) after her father, a Jew embraced Islam, so giving him and his daughter the honor among his people.


Fifth: He wanted to have ties and links with the different nations of the world. When he married Mariya (RA), all Egyptians were on his side, and when he married Gowayriyah (RA), all her people (they were called the Bani Almustalaq and were captured by the Muslims after a battle) embraced Islam.