Concerning the Prophet Mohammed being a perfect example for all mankind to follow: If the Prophet is a perfect example, how can it be that he took more than four wives after the Qu’ran was revealed when the Qur’an clearly states that only a maximum of four wives is allowed? How is this explained in regard of him being an example for all to follow (I know of the ‘political’ explanation)
In one of my earlier responses to a related question, I had written:
It should remain clear that from the context of this verse the Prophet’s unshakable trust in God (particularly during a battle) has been referred to as the most beautiful example for others to follow, in the same way as Abraham (pbuh)’s behavior towards the polytheists – those who held equals with God – has been termed as an example for Muslims to follow in Al-Mumtahanah 60: 4. On the basis of this context, we may derive that the Qur’an has termed the Prophet (pbuh)’s moral behavior and his unshakable belief and trust in God – in other words, his relationship with God – as an excellent example for others to follow.
This should clarify the scope of life in which the Qur’an requires us to make the Prophet (pbuh) an example for ourselves to follow. Obviously, the number of marriages of the Prophet (pbuh) does not fall under the specified scope.
Moreover, the Qur’an has given a separate set of directives regarding the marriages of the Prophet (pbuh). This set of directives may be seen at Al-Ahzaab 33: 50 – 52. The Qur’an has also stated that these directives are specifically for the Prophet (pbuh) alone. The words may be translated as:
This [permission] is only for you, not being granted to any other Muslim.
I hope this helps.
26th November 1999