List Of Muhammad’s Wives
Khadija bint Khuwaylid:
At age 25, Muhammad wed his wealthy employer, the 40-year-old merchant Khadija. This marriage, his first, would be both happy and monogamous; Muhammad would rely on the wealthy Khadija in many ways, until her death 25 years later.They had two sons, Qasim and Abd-Allah (nicknamed al-Ṭāhir and al-Ṭayyib respectively), both died young, and four daughters—Zaynab, Ruqaiya, Umm Kulthum and Fatimah. Shia scholars dispute the paternity of Khadija’s daughters, as they view the first three of them as the daughters from previous marriages and only Fatimah as the daughter of Muhammad and Khadija. During their marriage, Khadija purchased the slave Zayd ibn Harithah, then adopted the young man as her son at Muhammad’s request.
Sawda bint Zamʿa
The death of Khadija left Muhammad lonely, and, before he left for Medina, it was suggested by Khawlah bint Hakim that he marry Sawda bint Zamʿa, who had suffered many hardships after she became a Muslim. Prior to that, Sawda was married to a paternal cousin of hers named As-Sakran bin ‘Amr, and had five or six sons from her previous marriage. There are disagreement in Muslim tradition whether Muhammad first married Sawda or Aisha. In one account, he married Sawda in Shawwal, when she was about 55 years old, in the tenth year of Prophethood, after the death of Khadija. At about the same period, Aisha was betrothed to him.As Sawda got older, and some time after Muhammad’s marriage to Umm Salama, some sources claim that Muhammad wished to divorce Sawda. Still other traditions maintain that Muhammad did not intend to divorce her, but only Sawda feared or thought that he would. As a compromise, or because of her old age, Sawda offered to give her turn of Muhammad’s conjugal visits to Aisha, stating that she “was old, and cared not for men; her only desire was to rise on the Day of Judgment as one of his wives”. While some Muslim historians cite this story as a reason of revelation for Quran 4:128, others like Rashid Rida dispute this whole account as “poorly supported”, or mursal.
Aisha bint Abu Bakr:
Aisha was the daughter of Muhammad’s close friend Abu Bakr. She was initially betrothed to Jubayr ibn Mut’im, a Muslim whose father, though pagan, was friendly to the Muslims. When Khawlah bint Hakim suggested that Muhammad marry Aisha after the death of Muhammad’s first wife (Khadija), the previous agreement regarding marriage of Aisha with ibn Mut’im was put aside by common consent.Aisha was six or seven years old when betrothed to Muhammad.Traditional sources state that she stayed in her parents’ home until the age of nine when the marriage was consummated with Muhammad, then 53, in Medina, with the single exception of al-Tabari, who records that she was ten.Both Aisha and Sawda, his two wives, were given apartments adjoined to the Al-Masjid al-Nabawi mosque
Hafsa bint Umar and Zaynab bint Khuzayma:
During the Muslim war with Mecca, many men were killed leaving behind widows and orphans. Hafsa bint Umar, daughter of Umar (‘Umar bin Al-Khattab), was widowed at battle of Badr when her husband Khunais ibn Hudhaifa was killed in action. Muhammad married her in 3 A.H./625 C.E.Zaynab bint Khuzayma was also widowed at the battle of Badr. She was the wife of ‘Ubaydah b. al-Hārith, a faithful Muslim and from the tribe of al-Muttalib, for which Muhammad had special responsibility.When her husband died, Muhammad aiming to provide for her, married her 4 A.H. She was nicknamed Umm Al-Masakeen (roughly translates as the mother of the poor), because of her kindness and charity.
Close to Aisha’s age, the two younger wives Hafsa and Zaynab were welcomed into the household. Sawda, who was much older, extended her motherly benevolence to the younger women. Aisha and Hafsa had a lasting relationship. As for Zaynab, however, she became ill and died eight months after her marriage
Hind bint Abi Umayya (Umm Salama):
The death of Zaynab coincided with that of Abu Salamah, a devout Muslim, as a result of his wounds from the Battle of Uhud. Abu Salamah’s widow, Umm Salama Hind bint Abi Umayya also a devoted Muslim, had none but her young children. Her manless plight reportedly saddened the Muslims, and after her iddah some Muslims proposed marriage to her; but she declined. When Muhammad proposed her marriage, she was reluctant for three reasons: she claimed to suffer from jealousy and pointed out the prospect of an unsuccessful marriage, her old age, and her young family that needed support. But Muhammad replied that he would pray to God to free her from jealousy, that he too was of old age, and that her family was like his family. She married Muhammad.
Rayhana bint Zayd:
In 626, Rayhana bint Zayd, was among those enslaved after the defeat of the Banu Qurayza tribe. Her relationship with Muhammed is disputed. The sources regarding her status differ as to whether she was a concubine or whether she eventually married him. Most of the sources reveal that she was a slave woman.
Zaynab bint Jahsh:
Zaynab bint Jahsh was Muhammad’s cousin, being the daughter of one of his father’s sisters. In Medina, Muhammad arranged Zaynab’s marriage, a widow, to Zayd ibn Harithah. Zaynab disapproved of the marriage and her brothers rejected it, because according to Ibn Sa’d, she was of aristocratic lineage and Zayd was a former slave and the adopted son of Muhammad.Muhammad, however, was determined to establish the legitimacy and right to equal treatment of the adopted, Caesar E. Farah states. Watt however states that it is not clear why Zaynab was unwilling to marry Zayd as Zayd was held in a high place in Muhammad’s esteem. Watt discusses the following two possibilities: being an ambitious woman, she was already hoping to marry Muhammad; and the other she may have been wanting to marry someone of whom Muhammad disapproved for political reason. In any case, Watt says, it is almost certain that she was working for marriage with Muhammad before the end of 626. According to Maududi, the Qur’anic verse 33:36 was revealed,thus Zaynab acquiesced and married Zayd. Zaynab’s marriage was unharmonious, and eventually became unbearable.Zaynab told Zayd about this, and Zayd offered to divorce her, but Muhammad told him to keep her. The story laid much stress on Zaynab’s perceived beauty and Muhammad’s supposedly disturbed set of mind. William Montgomery Watt doubts the accuracy of this portion of the narrative, since it does not occur in the earliest source. He thinks that even if there is a basis of fact underlying the narrative, it is suspect to exaggeration in the course of transmission as the later Muslims liked to maintain that there was no celibacy and monkery in Islam. Nomani considers this story to be a rumor.Rodinson disagrees with Watt arguing that the story is stressed in the traditional texts and that it would not have aroused any adverse comment or criticism.
The marriage seemed incestuous to Muhammad’s contemporaries because Muhammad was marrying the former wife of his adopted son, and the adopted sons were counted the same as a biological son. According to Watt, this “conception of incest was bound up with old practices belonging to a lower, communalistic level of familial institutions where a child’s paternity was not definitely known; and this lower level was in process being eliminated by Islam.” Muhammad’s decision to marry Zaynab was an attempt to break the hold of pre-Islamic ideas over men’s conduct in society.Initially, however, he was reluctant to marry Zaynab, fearing public opinion. The Qur’an, however, indicated that this marriage was a duty imposed upon him by God. Thus Muhammad, confident that he was strong enough to face public opinion, proceeded to reject these taboos. When Zaynab’s waiting period was complete, Muhammad married her. A prominent faction who held influence in the civic atmosphere in Medina, called “Hypocrites” in the Islamic tradition,criticized the marriage as incestuous. They spread rumors in an attempt to divide the Muslim community, as part of a strategy of attacking Muhammad through his wives.However, the marriage was justified by verse 33:37 of the Qur’an, which implied that treating adopted sons as real sons was objectionable, and that there should now be a complete break with the past.According to Ibn Kathir, the verses were a “divine rejection” of the Hypocrites’ objections.According to Rodinson, doubters argued the verses were in exact conflict with social taboos and favored Muhammad too much. The delivery of these verses, thus, did not end the dissent.
Juwayriyya bint al-Harith
One of the captives from the skirmish with the Banu Mustaliq was Juwayriyya bint al-Harith, who was the daughter of the tribe’s chieftain. Her husband, Mustafa bin Safwan, had been killed in the battle. She initially fell among the booty of Muhammad’s companion Thabit b. Qays b. Al-Shammas. Upon being enslaved, Juwayriyya went to Muhammad requesting that she – as the daughter of the lord of the Mustaliq – be released, however the Prophet refused. Meanwhile her father approached Muhammad with ransom to secure her release, but Muhammed still refused to release her. Muhammad then offered to marry her, and she accepted. When it became known that tribes persons of Mustaliq were kinsmen of the prophet of Islam through marriage, the Muslims began releasing their captives. Thus, Muhammad’s marriage resulted in the freedom of nearly one hundred families whom he had recently enslaved
Safiyya bint Huyeiy Ibn Akhtab
In 629, after the Battle of Khaybar, Muhammad freed Safiyya bint Huyayy a noblewoman and the daughter of Huyeiy Ibn Akhtab, of the defeated Jewish tribe Banu Nadir, where her father and husband were killed in battle. Muhammad freed her form her captor Dihya and proposed marriage. Safiyya accepted. Scholars believe that Muhammad married Safiyya as part of reconciliation with the Jewish tribe and as a gesture of goodwill.Safiyyah had been previously married to Kenana ibn al-Rabi, a commander who was executed, and before that to the poet Sallam ibn Mishkam, who had divorced her.He then convinced Safiyya to convert to Islam and marry him. She was then seventeen and known for her extreme beauty. Because she was the daughter of a tribal chief, she was given the offer of marrying the Prophet and remaining free, rather than be enslaved. She accepted this offer. She greatly respected Muhammed as “Allah’s Messenger”. She was intelligent, learned and gentle. In fact, gentleness and patience were her dominant qualities. She had many good moral qualities.Upon entering Muhammad’s household, Safiyya became friends with Aisha and Hafsa. Also, she offered gifts to Fatima. But when Muhammad’s other wives spoke ill of Safiyya’s Jewish descent, Muhammad intervened, pointing out to everyone that Safiyya’s “husband is Muhammad, father is Aaron, and uncle is Moses”, a reference to revered Islamic prophets.
The hadith of ʿAbdul ʿAziz bin Ṣuhayb says:
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 Apostles! 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.
Safiyyah was angry at Muhammad at first but she forgave him later on. Muhammad explained the reason to Safiyyah for the killing of her father and her husband by saying, “Your father charged the Arabs against me and committed heinous acts.” He explained to the extent that made Safiyyah get rid of her bitterness against Muhammad.
Saffiyah says, “I was my father’s and my uncle’s favorite child. When the Messenger of Allah came to Madinah and stayed at Quba, my parents went to him at night and when they looked disconcerted and worn out. I received them cheerfully but to my surprise no one of them turned to me. They were so grieved that they did not feel my presence. I heard my uncle, Abu Yasir, saying to my father, ‘Is it really him?’ He said, ‘Yes, by Allah’. My uncle said: ‘Can you recognize him and confirm this?’ He said, ‘Yes’. My uncle said, ‘How do you feel towards him?’ He said, ‘By Allah I shall be his enemy as long as I live.’”
Muhammad made the following offer to her, as recorded by Martin Lings:
Ramla bint Abi Sufyan (Umm Habiba)
In the same year, Muhammad signed a peace treaty with his Meccan enemies, the Quraysh effectively ending the state of war between the two parties. He soon married the daughter of the Quraysh leader, Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, aimed at further reconciling his opponents He sent a proposal for marriage to Ramla bint Abi Sufyan,who, was in Abyssinia at the time when he learned her husband had died. She had previously converted to Islam (in Mecca) against her father’s will. After her migration to Abyssinia her husband had converted to Christianity, although she remained a steadfast Muslim Muhammad dispatched ‘Amr bin Omaiyah Ad-Damri with a letter to the Negus (king), asking him for Umm Habiba’s hand — that was in Muharram, in the seventh year of Al-Hijra.
Maria al-Qibtiyya was an Egyptian Coptic Christian slave, sent as a gift to Muhammad from Muqawqis, a Byzantine official. and bore him a son Ibrahim ibn Muhammad, who died in infancy.
Maymuna bint al-Harith
As part of the treaty of Hudaybiyah, Muhammad visited Mecca for the lesser pilgrimage. There Maymuna bint al-Harith proposed marriage to him. Muhammad accepted, and thus married Maymuna, the sister-in-law of Abbas, a long time ally of his. By marrying her, Muhammad also established kinship ties with the banu Makhzum, his previous opponents. As the Meccans did not allow him to stay any longer, Muhammad left the city, taking Maymuna with him. Her original name was “Barra” but the Prophet called her “Maymuna”, meaning the blessed, as his marriage to her had also marked the first time in seven years when he could enter his hometown Mecca.