Monday, August 11, 2008

Why Prophet Mohammad had 9 Wives When the Rule Says 4 Only? Was He A Womanizer?

People tend to ask these questions either because they just want to criticize and diminish our prophet or simply because they do not know the historical circumstances behind what really happened and why.

In this post I will try to answer the following questions:

  • Why did the prophet marry 9 at a certain point of time?
  • How come God gave muslims the option to marry up to 4, yet the prophet was married to 9 and kept them all?
  • Why didn’t the prophet divorce 5 and stay within the Islamic law limit of 4 (saving himself all the accusations that would come afterwards)?
  • Was the prophet a womanizer, hence marrying 9? (7asha lelAh)

First, of all let’s talk some facts and history about marrying more than one…

Before Islam (in many cultures and religions) it was normal for people to marry many women at the same time without any limitation whatsoever.

Marrying more than one isn’t an Islamic “invention”. For instance, Prophet David (PBUH) was said to have about 300 women (wives and all). And prophet Soliman (PBUH) was said to have about 700 women.

When Islam came, it put the limitation of 4 (with conditions).

{فَانْكِحُوا مَا طَابَ لَكُمْ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ مَثْنَى وَثُلاثَ وَرُبَاع} Al Nessa’a

When the above Quranic verse was revealed, all muslims (whom had more than 4 wives) had to limit themselves to 4 or less (depending on the case). And so they did.

Yet, at that time the prophet (PBUH) was married to 9 wives (before this order was revealed), and he didn’t divorce them.
Why? Here’s why…

Let it be know that in Islam, the Prophet’s wives are of special value and stance. They are not like any other women…

What a lot of people don’t know (I being one of them before I researched for answers), is that before the above verse (limiting to 4 wives) was revealed\descended to the prophet, another order (rule) was revealed\descended a while back…
That order was mentioned in this verse (from Al Ahzaab):

في قوله تعالى:{وَمَا كَانَ لَكُمْ أَنْ تُؤْذُوا رَسُولَ اللهِ وَلا أَنْ تَنْكِحُوا أَزْواجَهُ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ أَبَدًا

God descended an order that “no one was to marry any of the women the Prophet married”.

Before applying that ruling on the wives, they were provided a choice…either to stay his wives and stick to the ruling (never to remarry again) or for them to get divorced at that time… they all preferred to stay with him!

The reasons for such a rule (his wives never to remarry)are obvious, it was to protect the prophet and his wives (whether while or after the prophet passed away) from any form of harm or mistreatment.

Imagine for example, after the prophet’s death any of his wives would remarry, and be mistreated in any way by a husband. Imagine (as a muslim) the impact of this on us!!

Or even if any of his wives would remarry, and be verbally mocked by atheists (who were ready to use anything just to demoralize or mock the prophet, his wives and muslims). You can imagine the type of low talk that can be used in such a situation, no need to mention it here.

This of course was important because the wives of the prophet have a very special stance in Islam (after all they are called “Mothers of all Muslims”).

So, here is the situation:
1- God said the prophet’s wives (9 of them at the time) are not to remarry after him.
2- God ordered muslims not to marry more than 4 at the same time.

In other words, the prophet will have to divorce 5 out of the 9 he had as wives at that point. Those 5 will neither be his wives nor any one else's (unlike all other women who when divorced can remarry).

Out of God’s mercy for the Prophet’s wives, He descended this verse:

يقول تعالى لنبيه صلى الله عليه وسلم:{لَا يَحِلُّ لَكَ النِّسَاءُ مِنْ بَعْدُ، وَلَا أَنْ تَبَدَّلَ بِهِنَّ مِنْ أَزْوَاجٍ، وَلَوْ أَعْجَبَكَ حُسْنُهُنَّ

It is an order from God directed to the prophet (specifically) never to marry anymore women at all (keeping the 9 he already has). And that he (the prophet) does not have the right to replace his wives (divorce one or more and marry new ones while keeping his limit of wives at 9).

And this rule (that applied to him only) was the answer for his situation (since he had 9 wives whom cannot remarry again).

So, from that point on... neither could the prophet remarry nor could his wives!

Special case, special reason and that was that.


As for being a womanizer or not,
fact was… the prophet only married once from the age of 25 till he was 50 (Khadija, PBUH).
He (as all prophets) never committed adultery.
He even didn’t marry before turning 25 (even though in his community and time… marrying early was a norm).
If he was a womanizer (7asha LelAh), what stopped him?

Even Khadija, the one he loved and married till he was 50.. was elder than him (15 years elder).
If he was after women, why didn’t he remarry when she (Khadija) was old (when he was in his 40s and she was in her 60s)?

Besides that, Khadija had children from a previous marriage.
What made the prophet marry an older woman with children if he was after women for the joy of them and that’s it?

And after Khadija (his first wife) passed away, when he decided to marry… he married Zeinab Bent Zam’aa who was neither young nor pretty.
Also, out of all the women he married, Aisha was the only one that wasn’t married before.
Not to forget that out of all the women he married, almost non of his wives (except maybe Aisha and Zeinab bent Jahsh, walAho a3alm) were known for their beauty.

I ask you…
if he was a womanizer (being the prophet and the most influential man of his time), wouldn’t he be able to marry any pretty and wealth woman in the whole of the Arabian peninsula?

Does that sound like a womanizer to you?

Obviously, lust wasn’t something on his mind!


  • Islamonline.
  • Various readings.

Mood: 2 to go, and the end seems eminent...


gjoe said...

First of all: 3awdon a7mad!!

Second, I so much like the argument on which the post was built. Very comprehensive and to the point..

Lel asaf, people have such distorted idea of marriage in general, and when it comes to the prophet they become extra confused! SO they really find it hard to grasp the whole idea of "9 wives"...

Last, waiting for the rest!

Frustrated said...

Jazaka Allah Khairan katheran for your attempt to correct ideas:)

Fadfadation said...

Thanks Jigoe :)

Wenty izayek?

Jazana waa iyakom bel Jannah ISA :)

jessyz said...

Jazaka Allahu Khairan.
And welcome back.

Jade said...

Welcome back Fedfad...
You have been missed.
Nice post, though I think you should have addressed the conditions to which the prophet (pbuh) married the nine wives in brief.

Other than that, 2 to go? Mabrouk 3al new one.

Mo-ha-med said...

I enjoyed the post, many thanks for that!

And I'll allow myself to build on this and perhaps suggest a topic for another post: the age difference between the prophet (PBUH) and Aisha. I've heard a lot of nonsense and quite a lot of trashing regarding this... your arguments would be a welcome addition to the discussion!

I'll be looking forward to the next post!

Unique Muslimah said...

Great post, came from the heart and mind. I remember as a child I didn't understand the reasons why and my non-Muslim friends would make fun of it and I wouldn't know what to say. Now that years have passed and my knowledge has somewhat enhanced I understand completely and am fully convinced of the logic behind the marriages. Peace be upon him and may Allah reward you for your efforts.

Fadfadation said...

Thank you Jade :)

Mfysh new one... le7ad delwa2ty at least.

MOhammed, Toshkar ya fandem. good point.

Muslimah, people who want to make fun will kepp making fun no matter how valid or logical you be.

3ady ba2a... fyh naas 7'anee2a!

hend...hanady said...

really very good post thanks for it

Fadfadation said...

Merci ya Hanady for the support :)

Anonymous said...

- God said the prophet’s wives (9 of them at the time) are not to remarry after him.

It could be that Muhammad fabricated God's words (and you know someone who dare to critize him could be killed by one of his blind followers like that poor woman who was stabbed in the middle of the night) because he couldn't stand thinking that his most valuable 'possesions' enjoyed by other people

It still happened now: an ex-husband got jealous when the ex-wife hooked-up with someone else

Fadfadation said...

Aaaah, the famous accusation of fabrication.

How convenient and expected... :\

Well, accusation can go in all directions and towards all prophets and follower of various religions.

Thing is, ever heard about a person (put aside a Prophet) who fabricats to give people like you the oppertunity to critisize him?

i hope you have a clue what i mean!

Thinker said...

i wanted to ask about that woman who was married to his adopted son. el rasool liked her and then an aya came to say that he must divorce her to let the prophet matty her and that he cant keep his feelings hidden? can u pls answer me? when i knew that story it really shocked me.. im muslim w rabena yesame7ny bs i have to think and i have to know the answers of all my questions

Fadfadation said...

Don’t worry about it Thinker, we all have questions here and there.
I too had many question, and only through research did I get answers.

As for your question, what happened was not as you think at all.

The Prophet’s marriage to Zaid Bin Haretha’s x-wife:

Zaid Ibn Haretha was adopted by the Prophet which was a norm in the Arab community at that time.
God revealed later on verses that forbid anyone to adopt children and give them their name (adopting and taking care of them is fine, but changing their names or refereeing them to oneself is not allowed).

After a while when that verse was revealed, Zaid Ibn Haretha was married to Zainab bent Jah’sh .
Zainab lived with Zaid for a while, but after wanted divorce. They were both incompatible. She was from a high class family and Zaid was poor and not as cultured as she was.
Zainab did not like living with Zaid at all!

Actually, before ZAid and Zainab were married, the Prophet went with Zaid ibn Haretha to ask Zainab’s father for her hand (Prophet being Zaid’s adopter and father figure).
Zainab refused to marry Zaid. Yet, she did at the end marry him because the prophet was there (i7teeraman leeh and ta3a lel Rasool fel7alal).

After a while from their marriage, Zaid bin Haretha went to the prophet and told him that his wife (Zainab) wanted divorce and that she harms him with her words (try imagining living with someone you don't love).

Prophet Mohammad had seen Zainab and liked her (as a muslim woman).

Knowing that they will obviously get divorced (since Zainab didn't like Zaid), he actually told him: “Keep her as your wife and try to Watch God in how you treat her (as in treat her well”.

As mentioned in Al Ahzaab sura, verse number 11:

قوله تعالى : ]وإذ تقول للذي أنعم الله عليه وأنعمت عليه أمسك عليك زوجك واتق الله وتخفي في نفسك ما الله مبديه وتخشى الناس والله أحق أن تخشاه[

Actually, the aya answers your question if you think of it, the words in the Aya are very clear:
وإذ تقول للذي أنعم الله عليه وأنعمت عليه أمسك عليك زوجك

The prophet said (per the aya): “Keep her”!

The sentence "Kepp her" (mentioned in the verse) clearly means that Zaid came to the prophet and wanted to divorce her (since she didn’t love him and wanted divorce)!

It was not: “el rasool liked her and then an aya came to say that he must divorce her (becuase the prophet liked her)“ No!! 7'ales!

The above verse also tells us, the prophet liked her ..yes. They had problems, yes… it seemed (at that point) that they (Zaid and his wife Zainab) wanted divorced …yes. Yet, the prophet feared that if he waited for them to divorce, and then he’d ask for her hand (marry her) people would say something about it (accusations).

That is why the words were in the verse:
وتخشى الناس والله أحق أن تخشاه

The message that God wanted to deliver here was “You can marry the x-wives of your adopted (not by name) children when they are divorced and do not fear people’s talk” (since you will marry her after they are divorced), and that was clearly stated in the verse that followed the above one:

فلما قضى زيد منها وطرا زوجناكها لكي لا يكون على المؤمنين حرج في أزواج أدعيائهم إذا قضوا منهن وطرا وكان أمر الله مفعولا .

TO conclude…
Zainab wanted divorce, she didn’t like her husband, Zaid went to the prophet to divorce them, the prophet liked her yet advised Zaid to keep her as a wife. God sent a message that (overall meaning): “you can marry her (since you like her and she wants divorce) and do not fear what people will say (accusations)…you are not doing anything wrong”!

As long as divorce happened you can marry her.

I hope I wasn’t very vague in my explanation… sayem ba2a wee me2afl…lol

Anonymous said...

My post is in response to answers this person given to what prophet mohammad had 9 wives?
He claims that the prophet was already married to 9 wives before he became the messanger of God. Well it is not correct, the prophet married Aisha at the age of 6 when he was already in his 50s. Now that is another thing every one has to wonder that if the prophet was such a bright man of God then how could he marry a chil and have marital relationship with Aisha starting age of 9?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, get a life please and SHUT THE F up

Anonymous said...

I am writing all this BS because I have nothing else to do in life...

Anonymous said...

Yes, Mohammed was a womanizer.

Many Hadiths proudly confirm that Mohammed was a womanizer. The word appears in Tabari IX.139 “Layla approached the Prophet while his back was to the sun and clapped him on his shoulder. He asked her who it was and she replied, ‘I am the daughter of one who competes with the wind. I am Layla. I have come to offer myself to you.’ He replied, ‘I accept.’” [Layla shared her story with her parents.] “They said, ‘What a bad thing you have done! You are a self-respecting girl, but the Prophet is a womanizer.’ Mo slept with his nieces, his son’s wife, many helpless captive girls whose families he had just killed and dozens of groupies. He was a libertine and gave himself virtually unlimited sexual privileges as the supreme leader. Mohammed approved of rape (Tabari IX.25 "By Allah, I (Mohammed, the prophet of Islam) did not come to fight for nothing. I wanted a victory over Ta'if so that I might obtain a slave girl from them and make her pregnant.") The early Muslims thought rape of captive women was the best way to produce the next generation of Muslim warriors so that within a few generations, they could conquer the world. This fantasy did not transpire, however, because rape is evil and the world hates anyone who uses rape as their normative policy of conquest. But nonetheless, over 1400 years, Muslim countries imported over 16 million slaves most of which were women and most of whom were exploited as sexual toys for wealthy men. Disgusting! Mohammed himself was a libertine who Aisha said slept with many women who “offered themselves” to him. She was exceedingly jealous and hated it. Who wouldn’t? Would you hate it if your spouse slept with another? How can you defend such immorality! Are you dishonest...or are you ill? Polygamy goes against human nature and is proof that Islam is a false male supremacist warrior cult where women are treated as mere sex objects or farm animals. Disgusting! Shameful! Backward!

Mohammed could not have been a valid prophet for he did not raise the standard of marriage to adult monogamy, but lowered it to pedophilia. A pedophile is one who prefers sexual relations with a child, which Mohammed a 54-year-old man did. A number of modern religious cult leaders have been arrested, sentenced and imprisoned in recent years for doing what Mohammed did. Pedophilia is immoral and destroys a woman’s life. Child marriage is an evil that must be eradicated. Muslims cannot do this if they idolize a pedophile.

There is ample evidence that the Old Testament Jehovah disapproved of polygamy. The Bible stories of polygamy are filled with the deep tragedy and suffering that it caused. Polygamy is evil. It took hundreds of years for the ancient Israelites to totally abandon polytheism and polygamy, but they finally did. Judaism condemned polygamy a thousand years before Mohammed was born.

Muslims who defend polygamy and pedophilia are not living in reality...they are very ill. These two aberrations are sick perversions. A healthy adult male does not want to sleep with a baby nor have two wives. No modern Muslim woman could bear the thought of her husband with another woman. That is proof of the falsehood of polygamy. Intimacy is only possible with one wife.

Mohammed’s sexual libertinism is a disgrace. Anyone who admires him is mentally ill.

Fadfadation said...

The last anon is just a reminder to anyone reading this of how much distortion and hate there are out there.

Oh and by the way, if you want to accuse someone of something, at least try and use "REAL" events from "True" resources, and not come up with half @#$ accusations that even a 10 year old muslim will know what your aim is.


Anonymous said...

Islam is mostly about hate. The Koran devotes over half of its words to how foul and evil the kafirs are. There is not one good or sympathetic word for the kafirs. If you don't believe Mohammed, then Allah hates you:

40:35 They who dispute the signs of Allah [kafirs] without authority having reached them are greatly hated by Allah and the believers.

If Allah hates, then a Muslim should hate, as well. This hate is not due to moral failings. No, a kafir is hated for the simple reason that the kafir does not think that Mohammed is a prophet. [If Mohammed is not a prophet, then the Koran is fiction, and Islam is meaningless.] In the Sira we find that Islam destroys cultured, wise people of high moral standards because they do not believe Mohammed. It is not personal; it is simply Islam.

3:117 Believers! Do not become friends with anyone except your own people.

How clear can this be? A Muslim should be friends only with Muslims and not with kafirs-- walaa/baraa.

Walaa/baraa is the perfect summation of Islam's dualistic ethical system. A Muslim does not kill, lie, or steal from another Muslim. Kafirs are not included in this list. A kafir may be treated well or a kafir may be abused, deceived or killed. In Islam, there is no Golden Rule.

Quoting from the Hadiths is not hatred it is the only way to expose what is true Islam. If the Hadiths are false, then Islam is false.

Anonymous said...

The Hadiths show the first Muslims admired and approved Mohammed's womanizing:

Sahih Muslim

Book 039, Number 6759:

A'isha the wife of Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him), reported that one day Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) came out of her (apartment) during the night and she felt jealous. Then he came and he saw me (in what agitated state of mind) I was. He said: A'isha, what has happened to you? Do you feel jealous? Thereupon she said: How can it be (that a woman like me) should NOT feel jealous in regard to a husband like you. Thereupon Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: It was your devil who had come to you, and she said: Allah's Mes- senger, is there along with me a devil? He said: Yes. I said: Is devil attached to everyone? He said: Yes. I (Aisha) again said: Allah's Messenger, is it with you also? He said: Yes, but my Lord has helped me against him and as such I am ab solutely safe from his mischief.

Volume 1, Book 5, Number 268:
Narrated Qatada:
Anas bin Malik said, "The Prophet used to visit all his wives in a round, during the day and night and they were eleven in number." I asked Anas, "Had the Prophet the strength for it?" Anas replied, "We used to say that the Prophet was given the strength of thirty (men)." And Sa'id said on the authority of Qatada that Anas had told him about nine wives only (not eleven).

Tafsir of al-Qurtubi: “the prophet—prayers and blessings upon him—was constantly preoccupied with women.”

Faid al-Qabir (3/371) The prophet said: “My greatest loves are women and perfume: the hungry is satisfied after eating, but I never have enough of women.”

“I can hold back from food and drink—but not from women.”

Sahih Bukhari (5/2012), Muhammad went into the house of a young woman named Umaima bint Nua’m and commanded her “Give yourself to me!” The woman responded, “Shall a queen give herself to the rabble?" Shaking his fist, Muhammad threatened her, and then sent her off to her parents.

Umdat al-Qari and Faid al-Qabir: Allah sent Gabriel with some sort of celestial food (called al-kofid) to Muhammad, commanding the latter to “Eat!” Muhammad said that the food given to him “gave me the sexual potency of 40 heavenly men.”

Sahih Bukhari "The Prophet of God liked three things of this world: Perfume, women, and food; he had the [first] two, but missed food "

Volume 1, Book 5, Number 268:
Narrated Qatada:
Anas bin Malik said, "The Prophet used to visit all his wives in a round, during the day and night and they were eleven in number." I asked Anas, "Had the Prophet the strength for it?" Anas replied, "We used to say that the Prophet was given the strength of thirty (men)."

If you reject the Hadiths, you reject Islam.
Be a man! Reject these hadiths!

Fadfadation said...

a new tactic... put some "true" Hadiths within some "altered" ones (or while you are at it, why not alter the meaning or not mention the circumstances it was mentioned in).

It is also entertaining how you choose only parts of what is written in Quran and not the rest.

I won't humor you with answers, because obviously you haven't read some of what i have on my blog answering the accusations (forcing people, hating people, misunderstanding about the prophet and Islam) that your "likes" love to spread.

Get a life and try to stop hating people. Although, in your case that seems to be a

Fadfadation said...


Answering your accusations is very easy.

Thing is, you seem to be so hateful towards us that there is no point even trying.

Have a nice life and go hate someone else.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post.

Anonymous said...

Jazakallah khair. Very elaborate and to the point answer. Jazaakallah brother.

Fadfadation said...

Thanks last 2 anons :)

Anonymous said...

I think the one point you made really clears up a lot. If, as many people who truly revile Islam want to try and believe, that the prophet was a womanizer and a lustfull man using his influence for personal gain. Then why would such a man not have taken numerous younger and attractive wives. He was after all, the most influential man of Arabia at that point in history!! Instead, 75 percent of the mothers of Islam were widows.

All leaders of the past, the Mughals of India, Roman Emporers, Chinese Emporers, Greeks, Mongols, all used there power and leadership to take on hundreds of wives and concubines. If the prophet (pbuh) was following his lust he would have easily had the ability and influence to do the same! Of course he simply did not do this and married widowed women like Khadijah whom were 15 years his senior with children, because these are simple accusations made out of ignorance and hatred from people looking for a reason to slander the holy prophet (pbuh).

Mashallah I appreciate your effort to clear this up, in this day and age there is too much ignorance about Islam and we as Mulsims need to be informed of the truth of our own religion. Many people know nothing about Sufism, or that the largest population of Muslims were spread peacfully to Indonesia and India ect.. A little knowledge, gleamed from CNN, is a very dangerous thing in this day and age, and is the reason why such misinformation is so prevalant. And speaking of Aisha, she was a pillar of Islam, a teacher and interpreter, without which we would have lost much.

Fadfadation said...

I totally agree :)


Anonymous said...

i am really disturbed to read some of the things that people have written in their comments.its ok if you dont believe in islam but plz dont try to use fragile sorces for your arguments.what with the laila thing?plz write your sources clearly!

Anonymous said...

there is one anonymous who has really gone overboard with the Holy Quran aya.fadfadation is right do read the context in which the aya is being said.secondly yes it is right that he who hurts another muslim is not a muslim at all but it also an aya that "He who kills any human is the killer of all the humanity"i hope that you have noticed the word HUMAN not a MUSLIM.

Angelos Fernandes said...

Prophet Solomon pbuh married 700 wives and had 300 concubines... no one declared he's a womanizer.

Fatima from Ghana said...

Salamu alaikum, thank you very much for educating us on this particular issue, may the Almighty Allah richly bless you and may He give knowledge to be able to impact it on other muslims and non muslims.

عبد اللطيف said...

Salam aliekum,

Thank you Akhi for all this details. I would like to add this link Titel " Why did Muhammad (salla allhu alieh wa sallam) married to many wives :