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How many wives did the Prophet...

How many wives did the Prophet have and Why?

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

I should be grateful to you if you could tell me how many wife does Prophet Muhammad (SAW) have and what are their names. Why does He got married several times.

 

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Answer:

How many wives did the Prophet have and Why?

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol,  no person,  no grave, no prophet,  no imam,  no dai,  nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

Your question: I should be grateful to you if you could tell me how many wife does Prophet Muhammad (SAW) have and what are their names.

The Messenger of Allah (saws) married a total of 11 times in his life; but the maximum number of wives he had at any one time was nine.

Khadijah binte Khuwailid

Sawdah

Aisha binte Abu Bakr

Hafsah binte Umar al Khattab

Zainab binte Jahsh

Zainab Umm-al-Masaakeen

Juwairiyyah

Saffiyah

Umme-Salamah

Umme-Habibah

Maimunah

Your question:  Why does He got married several times.

There might be several reasons and wisdoms behind the Prophet’s marriages… to start a family, some to cement his relationships with his close companions by marrying their daughters, some were widows of close companions, some were daughters of the leaders of tribes captured, some because Allah specifically commanded him to marry in the Quran, etc.   And one of the biggest wisdoms from his several marriages was that it was his wives who related most of the ahaadiths in the words, acts, and deeds that the Messenger of Allah (saws) did in the privacy of his home.

When Allah revealed the aayah restricting the believers to a maximum of four wives, it was the norm of the times that most of the believers had more than four wives; and to comply with the command of Allah Subhanah, they divorced a number of their wives and kept a maximum of four.   These divorced women then married other believers, if they wished to do so.

Allah Subhanah declared in the Holy Quran that the Prophet’s wives were the ‘Mothers of the Believers’, and forbade anyone to marry the wives of the Messenger (saws), if he divorced them or after he died.

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzaab verse 53 (part):It is not at all permissible that you should trouble the Messenger of Allah (saws); nor is it permissible that you should marry his wives after him.   This is a grave offence in the sight of Allah.

When the aayah restricting the believers to a maximum of four wives was revealed, the Messenger of Allah (saws) had four wives, namely:  Hadrat Aisha, Hadrat Saudah,  Hadrat Hafsah,  and Hadrat Umm-Salamah.   Then Allah Subhanah Himself commanded the Prophet (saws) to marry his fifth wife,  Hadrat Zainab,  who was the divorcee of his adopted son,  Hadrat Zaid ibn Harith (r.a.).  

In the days of ignorance, the divorced wife of an adopted son was illegal to the man who adopted that son.   Islam made this permissible, and to break this false custom once and for all, Allah Subhanah Himself commanded the Prophet (saws) to marry the divorcee of his adopted son,  and make Hadrat Zainab his fifth wife.  

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzaab verse 37:(O Prophet) remember the time when you were saying to the man (Hadrat Zaid), whom Allah as well as you had favored,  “Keep your wife and fear Allah”.  You were at that time keeping hidden in your heart that which Allah intended to reveal.  You were fearing the people, whereas Allah has a greater right that you should fear Him.   So, when Zaid had fulfilled his desire of her (Hadrat Zainab), We married her to you,  so that there remains no hindrance for the believers in regard to the wives of their adopted son,  when they have fulfilled their desire with them.   And Allah’s Command had to be carried out.

 

Besides the above, Allah Subhanah gave special permission and gave certain conditions to the Prophet (saws) to take on extra wives after his fifth wife, Hadrat Zainab,  and made it absolutely clear in the Quran, that this permission was only for the Prophet (saws),  in accordance with Divine Wisdom.

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzaab verses 50-52:O Prophet, We have made lawful to you those of your wives, whose dowry you have paid, and those women who came into your possession out of the slave-girls granted by Allah; and the daughters of your paternal uncles and aunts, and of your maternal uncles and aunts, who have migrated with you; and the believing woman who gives herself to the Prophet, if the Prophet may desire to marry her.   This privilege is for you only, not for the other believers.  We know what restrictions We have imposed on the other believers concerning their wives and slave-girls.   (You have been given an exception) so that there may be no hindrance to you; and Allah is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.  You are granted the option that you may keep aside any of your wives you please, and keep to yourself any of them you please; and call back any of them you had set aside.  There is no blame on you in this regard.  Thus, it is expected that their eyes will be cooled and they will not grieve, and will all remain well satisfied with whatever you give them.   Allah knows whatever is in your hearts, for Allah is All Knowing, All Forbearing.   No other women are lawful to you after this, nor are you allowed to have other wives instead of them, even if their beauty may be very pleasing to you.   You may, however, have slave-girls. Allah is watchful over everything.

And one of the blessings of the many marriages of the Prophet (saws) was that a huge percentage of the traditions of the Messenger of Allah (saws) are related by his wives.   Most,  if not all the deeds that the Prophet (saws) did in the secrecy of his house,  were related to the believers by his many wives,   so that the believers may have a perfect example of a perfect human being to follow.   

It is narrated in an authentic tradition that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said, “Relate from me, even if it is one sentence”.   

Almost all the leaders of mankind, have two lives. The one which is public is published and for all to see, hear, and know.   The other life they live is private with their wives and children, and in the secrecy of their house.    This life all the leaders try to keep secret from their followers and subjects.

But the whole life of the Messenger of Allah (saws) was to be a perfect example for all mankind, until the end of time.   Thus, his public life, and his private life, had to be made available for all the believers, so that they may follow the perfect man in all his deeds.  No leader in the annuls of time have allowed this level of transparency like the leader of the believers, The Last Messenger of Allah (saws).  

And his wives were instrumental in relating the hadiths of the Messenger (saws), which he did in the privacy of their house and their bedrooms.

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me.  Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

Your Brother in Islam,

Burhan