Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Religion of Peace, TROP: "Myths of Muhammad: Muhammad Took Many Wives as a Favor to Them"

The Myth:

Muhammad Took Many
 Wives as a Favor to Them

"Our Prophet (peace be upon him) took in many wives to look after them and see that they were taken care of." 

The Truth:

Some Muslims who are more familiar with the Quran than the Hadith erroneously believe that Muhammad had only four wives (the Quran limits a man to four - verse 4:3).  However, given that nine of Muhammad’s wives outlived him, it is obvious that he must have given himself special treatment somewhere along the way.

Naturally, this special treatment is found in the Quran (33:50-51) where “Allah” lists all of the categories of women who are made available to Muhammad.  It is unclear why this personal directive should be a part of Allah’s universal and unchanging word to all of mankind. 

There are two things to note in the verse.  First, the context is that Allah permits Muhammad to have this many women as a special favor to him.  Other men are not allowed to have as many wives, no matter how much they wish (although they are permitted to have an unlimited number of sex slaves). 

Second, the needs of the women are not mentioned as a factor for marriage.  Indeed, Muhammad married most of his wives based on their attractiveness to him.  This was obviously the case with Zainab, who was married to his adopted son at the time he coveted her (another curiously personal directive from Allah allowed him her pleasure - Sura 33:37). 

The women captured during battle and "married" by Muhammad were also beautiful and were coveted by other Muslim men.  A good example is Safiyya of Khaybar.  Not only did Muhammad personally have her husband killed (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 764), but he had already given her as booty to another Muslim before he decided that he wanted her for himself (Bukhari 14:68).

There is also proof in the Quran that Muhammad planned to abandon one of his wives after she became unattractive to him.  Sawda bint Zam'a is described in the Hadith as being a heavy, older woman who feared divorce from Muhammad.  According to the Tafsir, she saved her place in the household by ceding her time with Muhammad to his favorite wife Aisha:
(And if a woman fears cruelty or desert ion on her husband's part , there is no sin on them both) Ibn ` Abbas said, "Whatever (legal agreement ) the spouses mutually agree to is allowed. ''. At - Tirmidhi recorded it and said, "Hasan Gharib''. 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. There is a similar narrat ion also collected by Al-Bukhari. Al-Bukhari also recorded that ` A'ishah commented;  (Ibn Kathir Tafsir, 4:128)
After Sawda gave up her "day" to give Muhammad twice as much time with his child bride, Allah stepped in with amazing timing to reveal verse 4:128.

Myths of Muhammad

Muslims often complain of "misconceptions" about their religion, yet few seem to know all that much about the true history of Islam and its founder, Muhammad.  As a result, the biggest misconceptions about Islam are often those propagated by Muslims themselves.

Here, we refute the contemporary mythology of Muhammad by referring to the earliest and most reliable Muslim historians, who based their writings on those who actually knew their revered prophet. 

The historical compilations of Ibn Ishaq (compiled by Ibn Hisham), al-Tabari, Bukhari and Sahih Muslim are greatly respected in the Muslim academic community as a priceless source of biographical information and the details of Islam's origin and rise to power.  These writings also provide the context for the Quran. 

The Hadith (traditions), Sira (biography of Muhammad) and the Quran provide the true Islamic counterpart to the Christian Bible and Jewish Torah.  The Quran is simply the purported words of Allah arranged in no particular order.  It makes little sense outside of the context provided by the other two sources.

Articles posted here will occasionally be revised, and new ones will be added.  Readers not familiar with the life of Muhammad may want to approach these myths through our brief article on the history of his life: The Life of Muhammad: An Inconvenient Truth.  It has been updated to include most of the links found below, and it will help place these debunked myths into historical context - as it was written from the Muslim point of view.

... (TROP) is a pluralistic, non-partisan site concerned with Islam's political and religious teachings according to its own texts. The purpose is to counter whitewashing and explain the threat that Islam truly poses to human dignity and freedom, as well as the violence and dysfunction that ensues as a direct consequence of this religion's supremacist ideology.