I’ve carefully considered your comments on the question: WHY the Holy Prophet married thirteen wives: The Marriages of the Prophet (pbuh)
Unfortunately, I’m not convinced as to how you tried to explain the matter.
In my opinion, it’s not possible to divide the wives of the Prophet, so systematically, into such well-defined categories. For instance in his marriage with Safiyah bint Huyeiy ibn Akhtab his “human and natural needs,” to take your phrase, (it is reported), were certainly a basic factor1). But in your “classification,” you placed this marriage under those which were: “in his capacity of an Apostle (Rasul),” which were meant to: “curb the psyche of hate, revenge” which resulted from his wars with the various Jewish and Arab tribes.
Surely, in his marriage with Safiyah, that factor may have been one motive, but the fact remains that his primary motive was his “human and natural needs.”
Similarly his physical attraction to Zainab bint Jahsh is explicitly stated in various narratives2 but this marriage is placed under the heading of his marriages in his “capacity of the last Prophet.”
Here too, the abolition of the pre-Islamic custom of prohibition of marriage with the wife of one’s adopted son, certainly became one motive for this marriage, but only a secondary one, since it’s quite clear from the narratives that had there not been that initial physical attraction, rekindled by his visit to Zaid’s house, this marriage would not have happened.
Secondly, another reason why such classification of the marriages of the Prophet according to his various religious roles is (in my opinion) a failure, is that the Qur’an assigns the same religious role of an Apostle to Jesus3 – a role in whose capacity, as you stated, the Prophet Muhammad married one woman (Zainab bint Jahsh).
So if the various religious posts were the detrimental factors in Prophet Muhammad’s marriages, then why is it that Jesus, though being awarded the same religious post of an Apostle, did not marry even once?
I do hope I’ve been able to express my doubts on the way you tried to explain the REASON behind the marriages of the prophet sufficiently clearly.
We welcome all views that disagree with the one we present. It is obvious from what you have written that you do not accept our explanation regarding the Prophet’s (pbuh) marriages. However, you have not presented anything in the way of evidence or factual data that would encourage us to reconsider our views. Muir and the other Orientalists that you’ve cited do not provide valid sources to substantiate their claims. The Ahadith that the Orientalists use to base their opinions lack credibility. The fact is that the narratives are spurious traditions used only to defame the Prophet.
It is clear that the marriage of Zaynab was to breakdown the racial and class divides prevalent in Arab society. The Prophet had seen Zaynab grow up from a child into womanhood and was the one who urged her marriage to Zayd. It has been already explained why the divorce took place, however to claim that a lustful sensation entered the Prophet’s heart is absurd to say the least. Muhammad married Zaynab to save her from the stigma that was associated with people who married into “lower” classes thereby teaching the entire community a beautiful lesson of tolerance and to eradicate a great class divide in the world. These are facts, as we understand them, and to say otherwise, in our opinion, is conjecture unless it can be proven otherwise. The marriage of Safiyyah has also been explained. The source you cite has no basis in history. First she was imprisoned and then set free to marry the Prophet. She was the Lady of Banu Qurayzah, which afforded her the custom of marrying a ruler just as she used to be a wife of a ruler. That was the custom, to maintain her status out of respect, and it was followed. The “fact” which you have not provided to support your claim that this marriage was due to ‘human and natural’ urge is unfounded. Did the Prophet love his wives after he married them? Why shouldn’t he have? That was incumbent upon him as a husband. To state that his human needs superseded his mission as Prophet and Messenger is fallacious as no history supports this. Even the Orientalists would agree that the traditions they base their figment of fantasy upon are not accepted as authentic. Your opinion is welcomed but clearly it has been shown that your acceptance of certain “histories” rely upon gelatinous ground.
I hope I have clarified the issue.
God knows best.
- He persuaded her to embrace Islam, and being violently attracted to her, took her into his bed that very night. By so doing he was violating his own previous commands, according to which his supporters had to wait until the beginning of the next menstrual cycle before having intercourse with their captives. But she was so beautiful! (M. Rodinson, Muhammad, NY, 1980, p. 254 [↩]
- See the description in Muir, Life of Mahomet, vol. iii, pages 228 ff. [↩]
- Rasul-an ila Bani Israaeel (3:49); Also see: 4:171; 5:75 etc. [↩]