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Why Did Mohammed Get So Many Wives?
July 2008 version

Introduction

Muslims will tell you a Muslim man can have up to four wives at a time, based on Sura 4:3. Strictly speaking that is not the complete truth, as a Muslim can also have unlimited concubines and can have sex with "women their right hands possess". (Sura 23:5-6; 33:50,52; 4:24; Sura 70:29-30). Regardless, though, Mohammed recited a verse in the Qur’an (Sura 33:50) that made an exception for one individual: himself. Why is that?

‘Aisha remarked, "It seems to me that your Lord hastens to satisfy your desire." Sahih Muslim vol.2 book 8 no.3453-3454 p.748-749.

On the other hand, a Muslim told me that every marriage was for humanitarian or alliance purposes. ‘Aisha and some wives were daughters of powerful chiefs Mohammed need the support of. Others such widows, "taken care of" by Mohammed after their previous husband died. I asked, incredulously, was the Muslim really taught that every marriage was for those reasons? When he said "yes", then I said, "what about Safiyah and Zainab bint Jahsh? Since he was not aware of those, other Muslims (as well as non-Muslims) might not be either. As to the accuracy of the sources of my information, it all comes from either the Qur’an itself or authoritative hadiths of Sunni Islam.

Mohammed’s Wives

Here is a list of wives of Mohammed by the Muslim scholar Ali Dashti. He probably based much of this on an earlier list in the History of al-Tabari vol.9 p.126-241. It should be mentioned that scholars and Hadiths are not entirely agreed on the wives of Mohammed. For example some hadiths (not Bukhari or Sahih Muslim) mention a couple of wives of Mohammed that he divorced, and these are not shown here. Nonetheless, Ali Dashti’s list, while perhaps not entirely agreed upon as being comprehensive, shows many of the wives. Following this is the evidence from the hadiths, independent of Ali Dashti, for these relationships.
1. Khadija/Khadijah bint Khuwailid/Khywaylid - died first
2. Sauda/Sawda bint Zam’a
3. 'Aisha/Aesha/’A’ishah - 8 to 9 yrs old, 2nd wife
   'Aisha's Slaves
   'Aisha and the Battle of the Camel
4. Omm/’Umm Salama/Salamah
5. Hafsa/Hafsah
6. Zaynab/Zainab of Jahsh
7. Juwairiya/Jowayriya bint Harith (captive)

9. Safiya/Safiyya bint Huyai/Huyayy bint Akhtab (captive)
10. Maymuna/Maimuna of Hareth
11. Fatima/Fatema/Fatimah (briefly)
12. Hend/Hind (widow)
13. Asma of Saba (Sana bint Asma')
14. Zaynab of Khozayma
15. Habla?
16. Divorced Asma of Noman / bint al-Nu’man
¾slaves / concubines ¾
17. Mary the Copt/Christian
18. Rayhana/Raihana/Rayhanah bint Zayd/Zaid
¾uncertain relationship -
19. Divorced Omm Sharik
20. Maymuna/Maimuna (slave girl?)
21. Zaynab/Zainab the third?
22. Khawla / Khawlah
23. Divorced Mulaykah bint Dawud
24. Divorced al-Shanba’ bint ‘Amr
25. Divorced al-‘Aliyyah
26. Divorced ‘Amrah bint Yazid
27. Divorced an Unnamed Woman
28. Qutaylah bint Qays (died right away)
29. Sana bint Sufyan
30. Sharaf bint Khalifah
31. Women of Mohammed’s Right Hand
Mohammed Turned Some Women Down
Some Women Turned Mohammed Down

¾ Ali Dashti missed at least nine possible other wives.

Mohammed married 15 women and consummated his marriages with 13. (al-Tabari vol.9 p.126-127)

Bukhari vol.1 Book 5 ch.25 no.282 p.172-173 said that [at one time] Mohammed had nine wives.

Following is a short description of the hadiths and early Muslim historians say about the wives of Mohammed.

1. Khadija/Khadijah

(pronounced ka-DI-ja) bint Khuwailid/Khuwaylid Sahih Muslim vol.4 book 29 no.5971-5972 p.1297 died three years before 'A'isha married Mohammed. She is mentioned in Bukhari vol.5 book 58 no.164,165 p.103.

The full name of Mohammed’s first wife was Khadijah, daughter of Khuwaylid bin Asad bin. ‘Abd al-‘Uzza bin Qusayy. al-Tabari vol.39 p.3

Mohammed was 20-some years old when he married Khadijah, a widow. al-Tabari vol.9 p.127.

‘Aisha says that Khadija took Mohammed to a Christian convert who used to read the Gospels in Arabic. Bukhari vol.4 book 55 ch.17 no.605 p.395

A’isha was jealous of Khadija. "On that, the Prophet remembered the way Khadija used to ask permission, and that upset him. He said, ‘O Allah! Hala!’ So I [A’isha] became jealous and said, ‘What makes you remember an old woman amongst the old women of Quraish an old woman (with a teethless mouth) of red gums who died long ago, and in whose place Allah has given you somebody better than her?’" Bukhari vol.5 book 58 no.168 p.105

2. Sauda/Sawda bint Zam'a/Zam’ah

Sahih Muslim vol.2 book 8 no.3451 p.747; Bukhari vol.3 book 34 ch.4 no.269 p.154; vol.3 no.853 p.29; Sahih Muslim vol.2 book 7 no.2958 p.651; Sahih Muslim vol.2 footnote 1918 p.748 says that probably ‘Aisha was married to Mohammed before Sauda, but ‘Aisha did not enter Mohammed’s house until after Sauda was married to Mohammed.

There is disagreement about whether Mohammed consummated the marriage with Sauda or A’isha next, but al-Tabari vol.9 p.128-129 says it was Sauda.

Sauda’s ex-husband, al-Sakran b. ‘Amr b. ‘Abd Shams became a Christian in Abyssinia and died there. al-Tabari vol.9 p.128

Physically, ‘Aisha called Sauda "a fat huge lady". Bukhari vol.6 book 60 ch.241 no.318 p.300

When Sauda was old she was afraid Mohammed would divorce her, so she gave her turn to ‘A’isha. Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2130 p.572

Sauda is also mentioned in al-Tabari vol.39 p.169.

3. 'A’isha

A’isha was Abu Bakr’s daughter. Her moth was named Umm Ruman according to al-Tabari vol.9 p.129. She married Mohammed when she was (six) 6 years old, went to his house when (nine) 9. Bukhari vol.7 book 62 ch.60 no.88 p.65; Sahih Muslim vol.2 book 8 no.3309,3310,3311 p.715,716

Contrary to this marriage being important for political reasons, Abu Bakr was the first convert to Islam.

This wife of Mohammed is mentioned in many places, including Sahih Muslim vol.1 book 4 no.1694 p.372; Abu Dawud vol.1 no.1176 p.305; vol.1 no.1268 p.335; vol.1 no.1330 p.350; Abu Dawud vol.1 no.1336 p.351; vol.1 no.1419 p.373; vol.2 no.2382 p.654.

‘Aisha played with dolls while Mohammed was present. Sahih Muslim vol.4 book 29 no.5981 p.1299

‘Aisha was 6 (or 7) years old when she was married, and the marriage was consummated when she was nine years old. al-Tabari vol.9 p.130,131

A’isha was married when she was six years old, and nine when she went to Mohammed’s house. Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.1876 p.133

A’isha was seven years old when she married, nine years old when she lived with Mohammed, and 18 years old when he died. (not Sahih) Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.1877 p.134

A rationale trying to explain why Mohammed married such a young girl is given in Sahih Muslim vol.2 footnote 1859 p.715. It says that "it was some exceptional circumstances that Hadrat ‘A’isha was married to the Prophet… The second point to be noted is that Islam has laid down no age limit for puberty for it varies with countries and races due to the climate, hereditary, physical and social conditions." They also mention support from the disreputable Kinsey report on Sexual Behaviour in the Human Female.

Mohammed himself once deliberately struck ‘Aisha "on the chest which caused me pain", according to Sahih Muslim vol.2 book 4 ch.352 no.2127 p.462.

There was other discord too. One incident, started by A’isha was so bad, Mohammed kept away from his wives for a month 29 days) Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.2060 p.241. Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.2063 p.243. This is the context of Sura 50:1.

A’isha’s Slaves

‘A’isha had at least one servant who cooked for her during the time of the delegation from Banu’l Muntafiq. Abu Dawud vol.1 no.142 p.34

A’isha had a male Muslim slave she later freed named Abu Yunus. Sunan Nasa’i vol.1 no.475 p.340

A’isha had a slave girl. Abu Dawud vol.1 no.371 p.96

Barirah was a female slave of A’isha’s, whom she later freed. Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2223 and footnote 1548 p.601

A’isha was quick-tempered too, striking the hand of a servant and breaking a bowl of food from another wife for Mohammed. Abu Dawud vol.2 no.3560-3561 p.1011

‘A’isha had a strong, loud voice. al-Tabari vol.17 p.65

‘Aisha reluctantly freed many slaves due to a broken vow. "He [Ibn Az-Subair] sent her [‘Aisha] ten slaves whom she manumitted [freed] as an expiation for (not keeping) her vow. ‘Aisha manumitted more slaves for the same purpose till she manumitted forty slaves. She said, ‘I wish I had specified what I would have done in case of not fulfilling my vow when I made the vow, so that I might have done it easily.’"(1) Footnote (1) says, "‘Aisha did not specify what she would do if she did not keep her promise, this is why she manumitted so many slaves so that she might feel at ease as to the adequacy of her expiation." Bukhari vol.4 book 56 ch.2 no.708 p.465.

Just how many slaves did ‘Aisha have? Or how much money did she have to buy forty slaves? The hadiths do not say. The only two clue I have found are

1) Mohammed’s wives could command for tents to be set up. Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.1771 p.67.

2) One-fifth of the war booty went to the Muslim treasury, and Mohammed could take of that for he and his wives. Sahih Muslim vol.2 no.2347,2348; vol.2 footnote 1463 p.519; Bukhari vol.4 book 51 ch.80 no.153 p.99; vol.6 book 60 ch.297 no.407 p.379

A’isha and the Battle of the Camel

‘Aisha originally supported those who wanted to kill ‘Uthman. She claimed ‘Uthman became a disbeliever. However, after ‘Uthman’s murder she changed her mind and wanted to avenge ‘Uthman’s killers. Another Muslim called her to task for that. al-Tabari vol.17 p.52-53

After this, Mu’awiyah had Mohammed bin Abu Bakr executed for murdering ‘Uthman, then put his body in the carcass of a donkey, and then burned the donkey in 38 A.H.. A’isha mourned her half-brother greatly and made extra prayers for him. al-Tabari vol.17 p.158

4. ‘Umm Salama

‘Umm Salama bint Abi Umayyah (discussing intimate things with the apostle) Sahih Muslim vol.2 no.2455 p.540

Umm Salamah’s real name was Hind bint Abi Umayyah bin al-Mughirah bin ‘Abdallah bin ‘Umar bin Makhzum. al-Tabari vol.9; p.133; vol.39 p.175.

Um/Umm Salaim/Salama (not said to be a wife) Sahih Muslim vol.2 no.2992 p.656; vol.2 no.3445 p.746; wife Bukhari vol.4 book 53 ch.4 no.333 p.216; Bukhari vol.7 book 62 ch.34 no.56 p.40. Ibn-i-Majah vol.2 no.1634 p.473; Abu Dawud vol.1 no.383 p.99. Mohammed was married to Umm Salama, widow of Abu Salama (died 4 A.H. in Abyssinia). Al-Tabari vol.39 p.175. Umm Salama died when in 59 H. when she was 84 years old. Sahih Muslim vol.2 footnote 1218 p.435. Umm Salama was pregnant when Mohammed married her, and her daughter was Zainab bint Abu Salama (Sahih Muslim vol.2 no. 3539-3544 p.776-777. (This is the same girl as Zainab bint Umm Salama)

This wife of Mohammed is mentioned in Abu Dawud vol.1 no.274 p.68; vol.3 no.4742 p.1332; vol.2 no.2382 p.654; Sunan Nasa’i vol.1 no.240 p.228; Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.1779 p.72; al-Tabari vol.17 p.207; al-Tabari vol.39 p.80

‘Umm Salamah had a son before she married Mohammed. Her son went with A’isha, al-Zubayr, and Talhah. al-Tabari vol.17 p.42

Clients of Umm Salamah were Nabhan (=Abu Yahya) and Ma’in bin Ujayl(=Abu Qudamah) al-Tabari vol.39 p.320

5. Hafsa/Hafsah

The daughter of ‘Umar bin Khattab is mentioned in Sahih Muslim vol.2 no.2642 p.576; vol.2 no.2833 p.625; vol.2 no.3497 p.761; Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2448 p.675; vol.3 no.5027 p.1402. She was the daughter of ‘Umar bin al-Khattab. She was the 18-year old widow of Khunais when she married Mohamed in 625 A.D. She was born in 607 A.D., and died either 647/648, 661/662, or 665 A.D. She is also mentioned as a wife in Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.2086 p.258

After Hafsa’s husband died of wounds received at Uhud, Hafsa’s father thought of her marrying ‘Uthman, but ‘Uthman declined because he knew Mohammed wanted to marry her. They married in 3 A.H. She was four years older than ‘A’isha. Sunan Nasa’i vol.1 #32 p.117. Thus Mohammed did not marry her just to provide for her. Rather he married someone who otherwise would have been married to someone else.

‘Umar told his daughter Hafsa not to be misled by ‘Aisha who is proud of her beauty and Mohammed’s love for her. Bukhari vol.7 book 62 ch.106 no.145 p.108. Hafsa said to ‘Aisha "I have never received any good from you!" Bukhari vol.9 book 92 ch.5 no.406 p.299-300

‘Umar said Mohammed divorced Hafsah (revocable divorce) and then took her back. Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2276 p.619. According to Ibn Ishaq, Mohammed divorced Hafsa but then took her back. al-Tabari vol.9 footnote 884 p.131.

"Yahya … from Malik from Muhammad ibn Abd ar-Rahman …that he heard that Hafsa … killed one of her slave-girls who had used sorcery against her. She was a mudabbara. Hafsa gave the order, and she was killed." Muwatta Malik 42.19.14

Hafsa ordered killed on of her slave girls that had used sorcery against her. Muwatta Malik 43.19.4

Hafsa, wife of Mohammed, died when she was 60 years old. al-Tabari vol.39 p.174

6. Zainab/Zaynab bint Jahsh

Sahih Muslim vol.2 no.2347 p.519; vol.2 no.3330 p.723,724; vol.2 no.3332 p.725; vol.2 no.3494 p.760. Bukhari vol.3 book 33 ch.6 no.249 p.138; vol.3 no.829 p.512; vol.4 no.6883 p.1493; Zainab's original name was "Barrah", but Mohammed changed it to Zainab Bukhari vol.8 book 72 ch.108 no.212 p.137; Abu Dawud vol.3 no.4935 p.1377-1378. Abu Dawud vol.1 no.1498 says Juwairyiha’s name used to be Barrah.

Sura 33:36-38 in the Qur’an says, "It is not for any believer, man or woman, when God and His Messenger have decreed a matter, to have the choice in the affair. Whosoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has gone astray into manifest error. When you said to him whom Allah had blessed and you had favoured, ‘Keep your wife to yourself, and fear Allah,’ and you were concealing within yourself what Allah should reveal, fearing other men; and Allah has better right for you to fear him. So when Zaid had accomplished what he would of her, then We gave her in marriage to you, so that there should not be any fault in the believers, touching the wives of their adopted sons, when they have accomplished what they would of them; and Allah’s commandment must be performed. There is no fault in the prophet, touching what Allah had ordained for him."

Zainab bint Jahsh was married to Mohammed’s adopted son, until Mohammed spoke the Sura that she was to divorce his son and marry Mohammed. Zainab "used to boast before the other wives of the Prophet and used to say, ‘Allah married me (to the Prophet) in the Heavens.’" Bukhari vol.9 book 93 ch.22 no.517 p.382. Also vol.9 book 92 ch.22 no.516,518 p.381-383; al-Tabari vol.9 p.133. In other words, in the eternally existing uncreated Qur’an in heaven, Zainab’s marriage was mentioned.

"One day Muhammad went out looking for Zaid (Mohammed's adopted son). Now there was a covering of hair cloth over the doorway, but the wind had lifted the covering so that the doorway was uncovered. Zaynab was in her chamber, undressed, and admiration for her entered the heart of the Prophet". (The History of al-Tabari, vol. 8, p. 4)

Narrated by Yunis, narrated by Ibn Wahab, narrated by Ibn Zaid who said, "The prophet -pbuh- had married Zaid son of Haritha to his cousin Zainab daughter of Jahsh. One day the prophet -pbuh- went seeking Zaid in his house, whose door had a curtain made of hair. The wind blew the curtain and the prophet saw Zainab in her room unclothed and he admired her in his heart. When Zainab realized that the prophet desired her SHE BEGAN TO HATE ZAID. English translation of al-Tabari's Arabic Commentary on Sura 33:37:

Zainab of Jahsh had a brother who died before her. Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2292 p.624

Alleged statement that Zaid first divorced his wife Zainab just so that Mohammed might marry her. al-Tabari vol.39 p.180-182

Zainab bint Jahsh died when she was 53 years old. al-Tabari vol.39 p.182

Zainab (unspecified) Sahih Muslim vol.2 no.2641,2642 p.575,576.

Zainab bint Jahsh should not be confused with Zainab who was Abu Sa’id al-Khudri’s wife. Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.2031 p.223

Zainab [verbally] abused A’ishah, so Mohammed told A’ishah to abuse her. "…The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) came upon me [A’ishah] while Zainab daughter of Jahsh was with us. He began to do something with his hand. I signaled to him until I made him understand about her. So he stopped. Zainab came on and began to abuse ‘A’ishah. She prevented her, but she did not stop. So he (the Prophet) said to ‘A’ishah : Abuse her. Then she abused her and dominated her. Zainab then went to ‘Ali and said : ‘A’ishah abused you and did (such and such). Then Fatimah came (to the Prophet) and he said to her : She is favourite of your father, by the Lord of the Ka’bah! She then returned and said to them : I said to him such and such, and he said to me such and such. Then ‘Ali came to the Prophet (may peace be upon him) and spoke to him about that." Abu Dawud vol.3 no.4880 p.1364-1365

In the Bible Malachi vol.2 no.16 says that God hates divorce.

7. Juwairiya/yya/yah bint Hareth (captive)

Juwairiya bint Harith/al-Harith was a captive. Bukhari vol.3 book 46 ch.13 no.717 p.431-432. Sahih Muslim vol.2 no.2349 p.520 says that Mohammed attacked the Bani Mustaliq tribe without any warning while they were heedlessly grazing their cattle. Juwairiya was a daughter of the chief. Sahih Muslim vol.3 no.4292 p.942 and Abu Dawud vol.2 no.227 p.728 and al-Tabari vol.39 p.182-183 also say Juwairiya/Juwairiyyah was captured in a raid on the Banu Mustaliq tribe. She had been married to Musafi’ bin Safwan, who was killed in battle.

Mohammed’s wife Jawairyiyah used to be named Barrah. Abu Dawud vol.1 no.1498 p.392. However, Bukhari vol.8 book 72 ch.107 no.212 p.137; Abu Dawud vol.3 no.4935 p.1377-1378 say Zainab’s name used to be Barrah.

Juwayriyyah bint al-Harith bin Abi Birar bin Habib, great grandson of Jadhimah al-Mustaliq of the Khuza’ah group, was taken as booty when Muslims raided the al-Mustaliq tribe. Her husband, Musafi’ bin Safwan Dhu al-Shuir bin Abi Asrb bin Malik bin Jadhimah was killed in the battle. She was a prisoner of war who agreed to marry Mohammed. al-Tabari vol.39 p.182-183; al-Tabari vol.9 p.133.

Juwayriyyah was captured at the Battle of al-Muraysi [against the Banu Mustaliq]. al-Tabari vol.39 p.183

Juwayriyya married Mohammed when she was 20 years old. al-Tabari vol.39 p.184

8. Omm/Umm Habiba

Umm Habiba was the daughter of Abu Sufyan al-Tabari vol.9 p.133; Sahih Muslim vol.2 no.3413 p.739; vol.2 no.2963 p.652; Sahih Muslim vol.2 no.1581 p.352; vol.2 no.3539 p.776 Ibn-i-Majah vol.5 no.3974 p.302; al-Tabari vol.17 p.88

Umm Habiba was 23 years younger than Mohammed. Sunan Nasa’i vol.1 #60 p.127

Umm Habiba and her first husband ‘Ubaydallah were Muslims who went to Abyssinia. ’Ubaydallah converted to Christianity. al-Tabari vol.39 p.177

Mention of Zainab bint Jahsh. al-Tabari vol.39 p.180-182

Umm Habiba, wife of Mohammed should not be confused with another woman was also named Umm Habiba. She was the daughter of Jahsh, wife of ‘Abd al-Rahman and sister-in-law of Mohammed, since Zainab of Jahsh was his wife. Abu Dawud vol.1 no.288 p.73

9. Safiya/Safiyya/Saffiya (captive)

Safiya bint Huyai/Huyayy was a captive Mohammed married after slaughtering her father, brother, husband and the men at Khaibar, according to Bukhari vol.2 book 14 ch.5 no.68 p.35; vol.4 book 52 ch.74 no.143 p.92; vol.4 book 52 ch.168 no.280 p.175 and al-Tabari vol.39 p.185.

Safiyah’s husband was named Sallam bin Mishkam bin al-Hakam bin Harithah bin al-Khazraj bin Ka’b bin Khazraj. al-Tabari vol.9 p.134-135.

Safiyyah was called Safi, for the first share of the booty, which went to Mohammed. Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2988 p.848; Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2985-2989 and footnote 2406 p.846-849

Safiyya was purchased by Mohammed for seven slaves. Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.2272 p.357. She was 17 when Mohammed married her. al-Tabari vol.39 p.184

Mohammed felt kindness toward Safiyya. "If Safiyyah were not grieved, I would have left him [her husband whom Mohammed executed] until the birds and beasts of prey would have eaten him, and he would have been resurrected from their bellies." Abu Dawud vol.2 no.3130-3131 p.893

Physically, Safiyyah was short. Abu Dawud vol.3 no.4857 p.1359

There was discord between wives. Zainab did not want to loan a camel to Safiyya when Mohammed asked her to. Zainab called Safiyya a "Jewess" Abu Dawud vol.3 no.4588 p.1293

Mohammed had nine wives at one time, including Safiyya bint Huyayy, and later he did not give her a "turn". Sahih Muslim vol.2 no.3455-3456 p.749

This wife of Mohammed is also mentioned in Sahih Muslim vol.2 no.3325; vol.2 no.2783 p.605; vol.2 no.3118 p.678; vol.2 no.3497 p.761; Bukhari vol.3 book 33 ch.8-13 no.251-255 p.139-143; vol.2 book 21 ch.22 no.255 p.143; Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.1779 p.72; Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2464 p.681; al-Tabari vol.39 p.169

Safiya bint Abi 'Ubaid Mohammed’s wife in Bukhari vol.4 book 52 ch.136 no.244 p.151 is probably the same person.

10. Maimuna/Maymuna bint Harith/Hareth

Sahih Muslim vol.1 no.1671,1674,1675 p.368-369; vol.2 no.1672 p.369.

Mohammed married Maymunah bt. Al-Harith in 7 A.H. while Mohammed was in a state of ritual purity on the journey to Mecca. al-Tabari vol.8 p.136; al-Tabari vol.9 p.135

Maymuna had been divorced once, and widowed before marrying Mohammed. al-Tabari vol.39 p.185. Maymuna was 80/81 when she died. al-Tabari vol.39 p.186

Maimuna was 30 years old when the 53-year old Mohammed married her. Mohammed died four years later. Sunan Nasa’i vol.1 #43 p.120

Mainuma bint al-Harith had a slave girl. She asked Mohammed if she could free her, and Mohammed said instead to give her to Maimuna’s sister to take care of her. Muwatta’ Malik 54.4.9

Maimuna, Mohammed’s wife, screened Mohammed Bukhari vol.1 book 5 ch.22 no.279 p.170-171. People were screened when they bathed or went to the bathroom. Nothing was wrong with that though, for she was his wife.

‘Ata bin Yasar was a man who was a client of Maymunah. al-Tabari vol.39 p.317

Slaves: Maimuna’s freed slave girl was given a sheep, which later died. Ibn-i-Majah vol.5 no.3610 p.93

This wife of Mohammed is also mentioned in: Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.2408 p.435; Sunan Nasa’i vol.1 no.809 p.492; vol.2 no.1124 p.108; Abu Dawud vol.1 no.1351 p.356; vol.1 no.1359,1360,1362 p.357; Sunan Nasa’i vol.1 no.243 p.229.

11. Fatima/Fatema/Fatimah (briefly)

Fatima was mentioned by ‘Ali Dashti. al-Tabari vol.9 p.39 states that Mohammed briefly married Fatimah bint al-Dahhak bin Sufyan (also called al-Kilabiyyah).

Mohammed married Fatimah bint Shurayh/Sara’. al-Tabari vol.9 p.139. It is unclear if Shuray and al-Dahhak were two different people, making this two Fatimas, or they were alternate names for the same father.

Mention of Fatimah bin al-Dahhabi, Aliya bint Zahyah, Sana bint Sufyan al-Tabari vol.39 p.186

Mohammed consummated his marriage with "the Kilabiyyah" (i.e. from the Kilabi tribe). This would be Fatimah bint al-Dahhak bin Sufyan or ‘Aliyah bint Zabyan bin ‘Amr bin ‘Awf or Sana bint Sufyan bin ‘Awf. al-Tabari vol.39 p.187

Fatima, Mohammed’s daughter is different

The following could be Mohammed’s wife, but was probably his daughter. In the year of the conquest of Mecca, Fatima screened Mohammed. Ibn-i-Majah vol.1 no.465 p.255 and Sunan Nasa’i vol.1 no.228 p.224; vol.1 no.417 p.307

A Fatima screened Mohammed while he was bathing in Bukhari vol.1 book 5 ch.22 no.278 p.170-171. However, Mohammed was taking a bath and was screened by his daughter Fatima in Bukhari vol.4 book 53 ch.29 no.396 p.263. Fatima was Mohammed's daughter and the wife of 'Ali in Bukhari vol.3 book 34 chg.29 no.302 p.171; Bukhari vol.4 book 53 ch.1 no.325 p.208.

Mohammed did not want ‘Ali to marry anyone else besides his daughter Fatima. Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.1998-1999 p.202-204. However, ‘Ali later had a captive slave girl, the daughter of Rab’iah, who bore him a daughter name Umm Ruqayyah. al-Tabari vol.11 p.66.

Wanted a slave: While Mohammed gave many slaves to A’isha, Fatima thought she got a bad deal. Mohammed’s daughter Fatima complained to Mohammed about her using the grinding stone and asked for a slave (prisoner of war). Mohammed did not give her one, but he said he gave her something better. He told her to say glory be to Allah 33 times, Praise be to Allah 34 times, and Allah is most great 34 times. Abu Dawud vol.3 no.5044-5045 p.1405

12. Hend/Hind (widow)

Hend/Hind was formerly married to Abu Sufyan, who was a very stingy man, according to Sahih Muslim vol.3 no.4251-4254 p.928-929.

13. Sana bint Asma’ / al-Nashat

Mohammed married al-Nashat bint Rifa’ah of the Banu Kilab bin Rabi’ah, allies of the Qurayzah. Some called her Sana bint Asma’ bin al-Salt al-Sulamiyyah; while others say Sana bint Asma’ bin al-Salt of the Banu Harm. However, she died before the Prophet consummated his marriage with her. She was also called Sana. al-Tabari vol.9 p.135-136. al-Tabari vol.39 p.166 says the same thing about Sana bint al-Salt.

14. Zainab/Zaynab bint Khozayma/Khuzaima

This Zainab belonged to the tribe of Banu Hilal. She was divorced from a Muslim named Tufayl, then married his brother ‘Ubaydah, who was killed at Badr. Then she married Mohammed. She was born 595 A.D. and died in 626 A.D. at 31. See al-Tabari vol.7 p.150 footnotes 215,216 and al-Tabari vol.39 p.163-164 for more info.

al-Tabari vol.9 p.138 also says she died while Mohammed was alive.

Mohammed married Zainab bint Khuzaima, but she died before he did. Sunan Nasa’i vol.1 #64 p.129

15. Habla?

Habla is on Ali Dashti’s list, but I have not been able to independently verify this.

16. Divorced Asma’ bint Noman

Asma bint Noman, or Asma bint al-Nu’man bin Abi Al-Jawn, of the Kindah tribe, was married to Mohammed, but the marriage was never consummated. al-Tabari vol.10 p.185 and footnote 1131 p.185.

Daughter of Al-Jaun / Jahal was married very briefly to Mohammed. Bukhari vol.7 book 63 no.181 p.131,132

On the other hand, al-Tabari vol.10 p.190 says that Al-Nu’man al-Jawn offered his daughter to Mohammed, but Mohammed declined. Perhaps "declined" means Mohammed divorced her before ever sleeping with her.

Mohammed married Asma bint al-Nu’man bin al-Aswad bin Sharahil. However, she had leprosy, so Mohammed gave her money and divorced her. al-Tabari vol.9 p.137. Why would he do that to a woman he loved?

‘Asma bint al-Nu’man was a widow Mohammed married Either Hafsa or A’isha tricked ‘Asma by telling her Mohammed would be pleased if she said she took refuge in Allah from Mohammed. al-Tabari vol.39 p.188-190

Brief mention of ‘Asma bint Nu’man in al-Tabari vol.39 p.190.

Mohammed divorced one woman Mohammed because she took refuge in Allah from Mohammed. He divorced another because she had leprosy. There is some mixup of which name is with which case in al-Tabari vol.39 p.187.

17. Mary/Mariya the Copt/Christian

Mary was a wife [concubine] of Mohammed’s according to al-Tabari vol.9 p.141; Sahih Muslim vol.4 footnote 2835. p.1351;. Mary the Copt gave birth to Mohammed’s son Ibrahim in al-Tabari vol.9 p.39. He died when he was two years old. The Muslim emissary Hatib b. Abi Balta’ah returned from al-Muqawqis [Egypt] with Mariya [Mary the Copt], her sister Sirin, a female mule, sets of garments, and a eunuch. Hatib invited them to become Muslims, and the two women did so [according to Tabari]. Mariyah was beautiful, and Mohammed sent her sister Sirin to Hassan b. Thabit. Sirin and Hassan were the parents of ‘Abd al-Rahman b. Hassan. al-Tabari vol.8 p.66,131.

A Muslim might say Mohammed had to marry her because she was a gift from Egypt, but her sister Sirin was also a gift, and he did not marry Sirin. Mary was a gift from the governor of Alexandria. al-Tabari vol.39 p.193

It was claimed that Mary became a Muslim, but Mohammed still kept her as a slave rather than a regular wife. al-Tabari vol.39 p.194

Mohammed "had intercourse with her [Mary] by virtue of her being his property." al-Tabari vol.39 p.194. Footnote 845 explains, "That is, Mariyah was ordered to veil herself as did the Prophet’s wives, but he did not marry her."

Mary the Copt died in 637/638 A.D. al-Tabari vol.39 p.22

18. Rayhana/Raihana/Rayhanah bint Zaid/Zayd

Rayhana was a Jewish captive from the Quraiza tribe. Mohammed offered to make her a wife instead of a slave, but she decline and remained Jewish according to al-Tabari vol.8 p.39. See also al-Tabari vol.9 p.137,141. However, the source in al-Tabari vol.39 p.164-165 says Mohammed set her free and then married her.

Mohammed had two concubines: Mariya bint Sham’un the Copt, and Rayhanah bint Zayd al-Quraziyyah of the Banu al-Nadir. al-Tabari vol.9 p.141. Mariya was an um walid of Mohammed according to al-Tabari vol.13 p.58.

19. Divorced Omm/Umm Sharik / Ghaziyyah bint Jabir

Omm/Umm Sharik is the same person as Ghaziyyah bint Jabir in al-Tabari vol.9 p.139. She was called "Umm Sharik" because she was the mother of a son named Sharik by a previous marriage.

"When the Prophet went to her he found her to be an old woman, so he divorced her." al-Tabari vol.9 p.139. However footnote 922 says Ibn Sa’d in Tabaqat, 8 p.110-112 "gives a different account and lists her among the women to whom the Prophet proposed but did not marry. It was she who gave herself to the Prophet and the Qur’anic verse 33:50 refers to her."

20. Maymuna / Maimuna

Maimuna was a woman who offered herself to Mohammed according to Sahih Muslim vol.2 footnote 1919. It could be the same Maimuna as 10, or a different one. Married in 7 .H.

An unnamed woman said she gave herself to Mohammed as a wife. Mohammed did not accept her, but gave her to a poor Muslim. The only thing the poor Muslim could give as a dowry is his memorization of a sura of the Qur’an. Muwatta’ Malik 28.3.8

21. Zaynab/Zainab the Third?

Ali Dashti lists this wife, but I have not found independent evidence of this.

22. Khawla / Khawlah bint al-Hudayl

It is said that Mohammed married Khawlah bint al-Hudayl. al-Tabari vol.9 p.139. She was a wife of Mohammed’s according to al-Tabari vol.39 p.166

 

23. Divorced Mulaykah bint Dawud

Mohammed married (married is the word in the text) Mulaykah bint Dawud al-Laythiyyah, but when she was told that Mohammed was the one who had her father killed, she took refuge in Allah from Mohammed. So Mohammed separated from her. al-Tabari vol.8 p.189. The same thing is told of Mulaykah bint Ka’b (who is likely the same person) in al-Tabari vol.39 p.165

Mulaykah bint Ka’b was married very briefly to Mohammed. A’isha asked her if she wanted to marry the man who killed her husband. She "took refuge in God" from Mohammed, so Mohammed divorced her. al-Tabari vol.39 p.165

24. Divorced al-Shanba’ bint ‘Amr

Mohammed married al-Shanba’ bint ‘Amr al-Ghifariyyah; her people were allies of the banu Qurayza. When Ibrahim died, she said that if he were a true prophet his son would not have died. Mohammed divorced her before consummating his marriage with her. al-Tabari vol.9 p.136

25. Divorced al-‘Aliyyah

Mohammed stayed a while with ‘Aliyyah bint Zabyan bin ‘Amr bin ‘Awf bin Ka’b, then divorced her. al-Tabari vol.39 p.188

Mohammed married al-‘Aliyyah, but then divorced her. She died while Mohammed was still alive al-Tabari vol.9 p.138.

26. Divorced ‘Amrah bint Yazid

Mohammed divorced ‘Amrah bint Yazid because she had leprosy. al-Tabari vol.39 p.188

Mohammed married ‘Amrah bint Yazid (no mention of divorce) al-Tabari vol.9 p.139.

Mohammed divorced ‘Amra. Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.2054 p.233 vol.3 no.2030 p.226 (daif [weak], not Sahih)

Mohammed divorced a woman because she had leprosy. al-Tabari vol.39 p.187

27. Divorced an Unnamed Woman

Mohammed divorced an unnamed woman because she would peek at those leaving the mosque. al-Tabari vol.39 p.187

28. Qutaylah bint Qays (died right away)

Mohammed married Qutaylah bint Qays but she died before they consummated the marriage. Curiously, it also says he and her brother apostacized form Islam. So she must have apostacized after the marriage and before her death perhaps? al-Tabari vol.9 p.138-139.

29. Sana bint Sufyan

Mention of Mohammed’s brief marriage with Sana bint Sufyan. al-Tabari vol.39 p.188

30. Sharaf bint Khalifah

Mohammed married Sharaf bint Khalifah, sister of Dihyah bin Lhalifah al-Kalbi, but she died while Mohammed was still alive. al-Tabari vol.9 p.138

31. Women of Mohammed’s Right Hand

"…abstain from sex, except with those joined to them in the marriage bond, or (the captives) whom their right hands possess - for (in their case) they are free from blame," Sura 23:5-6. See also Sura 4:24

"He [Mohammed] replied, ‘Conceal your private parts except from your wife and from whom your right hands possess (slave-girls).’" Abu Dawud vol.3 no.4006 p.1123

Abu Dawud vol.3 no.4443-4445 p.1244 shows that having sex with a slave-girl a man owns is fine, but a man will be flogged for having sex with his wife’s slave-girl.

As was typical of wealthy Arab men, Mohammed apparently had need of a few slave girls too. See Bukhari vol.7 book 64 ch.6 no.274 p.210.

Salmah for was a maid-servant of Mohammed. Abu Dawud vol.3 no.3849 p.1084

Maimuna was the freed slave girl of Mohammed. Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.2531 p.514; Abu Dawud vol.1 no.457 p.118

Mohammed briefly had a "very beautiful" captive before he gave her to Mahmiyah b. Jaz’ al-Zubaydi. al-Tabari vol.8 p.151

One of the slave girls belonging to Mohammed house committed fornication with someone else. It is the "someone else" part that was a problem. Abu Dawud vol.3 no.4458 p.1249

Mohammed called a black slave-girl to come and conceal Abu Dharr behind a curtain while he was taking a bath. Abu Dawud vol.1 no.332 p.87

Mention Umm Ayman (=Barakah), a client (slave-girl) of the prophet. al-Tabari vol.39 p.287

Mohammed definitely had a sense of humor. Umm Ayman, the Prophet’s client [i.e. slave whom it was lawful for him to spend the night with]. According to al-Husayn … Umm Ayman: [One] night the Prophet got up and urinated in the corner of the house into an earthenware vessel. During the night I got up, and being thirsty, I drank what was in the vessel, not noticing [anything]. When the Prophet got up in the morning he said ‘O Umm Ayman, take that earthenware vessel and pour away its content.’ I said ‘By God, I drank what was in it.’ The Prophet laughed until his molar teeth showed, then said ‘After this you will never have a bellyache.’" al-Tabari vol.39 p.199

In general, Abu Dawud vol.3 no.4443-4445 p.1244 teaches that having sex with a slave-girl a man owns is OK, but a man will be flogged for having sex with his wife’s slave-girl.

But, having sex with a wife’s slave girl is OK if the wife made her lawful for him. Note that he did not have to be married to the slave girl. Ibn-i-Majah vol.4 no.2551 p.12

 

Mohammed Turned Some Women Down!

A’isha felt jealous of the women who offered themselves to Mohammed [as wives]. Sahih Muslim vol.2 no.3453 p.748. But it was OK that a woman offered herself to Mohammed. Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.2000-2001 p.304-305

Some thought Mohammed married al-Ash’ath, but al-Tabari says that is false according to al-Tabari vol.39 p.190i. (Overall, al-Tabari did a masterful job of trying to keep up with all of Mohammed’s women.)

 

Some Women Turned Mohammed Down

Mohammed asked to marry Ghaziyyah on account of her beauty, but she declined. Tabari claims she was in a state of infidelity but provides no evidence. al-Tabari vol.9 p.136. There is no evidence she was unfaithful and Mohammed was lax in not punishing her, or that she was and Mohammed punished her.

Layla clapped Mohammed’s shoulder from behind and asked him to marry her. Mohammed accepted. Layla’s people 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]." al-Tabari vol.9 p.139

From to al-Tabari vol.9 p.140-141, Mohammed proposed marriage to, but ended up not marrying:

1) Umm Hani’ bin Abi Talib [Hind] because she said she was with child.

2) Duba’ah bint ‘Amir but she was too old.

3) Reportedly he proposed to Saffiyah bint Bashshamah, a captive. She was allowed to choose between Mohammed and her husband, and she chose her husband.

4) Umm Habib bint al-‘Abbas but since al-‘Abbas was his foster brother so it would not have been lawful so Mohammed backed out.

5) Jamrah bint Al-Harith. Her father falsely claimed she was suffering from something. When he returned, he found that she had already been afflicted with leprosy.

It is inconsistent on whether Umm Hani’ became a Muslim before or after Mohammed asked her to marry him. al-Tabari vol.39 p.197 and footnote 857 p.197



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