Women in islam
to control polygamy.
MUHAMMAD DID NOT INTRODUCE POLYGAMY:
In fact polygamy existed before Islam without any limit in number. It was very common for a man to have more than one woman either as wives or as concubines or slaves.
It is known that Prophet Abraham was married to Sara, the mother of Isaac and Hagar, the mother of Ishmael. Also, it is narrated that Jacob had four women, two wives and two concubines.
MUHAMMAD LIVED MOST OF HIS LIFE MARRIED TO ONE WOMAN:
He was married to Khadijah for almost 25 years and he was a father of four girls and two boys. Both of his sons died in their childhood.
After Khadijah passed away he married a poor old widow called “Sawdah”. Her husband passed away after they returned from Abyssinia, the country where Muhammad sent some of his companions to seek refuge.
His marriage to Sawdah was a form of support for her. Muhammad was almost 50 years old when he married Sawdah, who was older than him.
MUHAMMAD MARRIED THE DAUGHTER OF HIS CLOSEST COMPANION ABU-BAKR:
A few years later, Muhammad married Aisha, the daughter of his closest friend and most supportive companion Abu-Bakr. The marriage was an honour for Abu-Bakr and Aisha.
MUHAMMAD MARRIED THE DAUGHTER OF HIS SECOND CLOSEST COMPANION OMAR:
Two years later, Hafsa, the daughter of his second closest companion Omar, lost her husband in the battle of Uhud and became a widow. Omar preferred that his daughter gets married to one of his trusted friends but no one proposed to her. Then Muhammad took the initiative and proposed to her. The marriage was an honour and support for Omar and his daughter Hafsa.
MUHAMMAD MARRIED A MUSLIM WIDOW WHO WAS THE DAUGHTER OF HIS ENEMY:
Ramlah was known by the nickname “Um Habibah”. She was the daughter of the top man in Makkah (Abu-Sufyan). Although Abu-Sufyan did not believe Muhammad and fought him for 20 years, his daughter embraced Islam.
She was one of the early Muslims who migrated to Abyssinia with her husband and lived there for almost 15 years.
Her husband converted to Christianity and passed away there. She was left alone in Abyssinia, so Muhammad proposed to Um Habibah and she accepted and got married to him. Surprisingly, one year later, her father embraced Islam
MUHAMMAD MARRIED SAFIYYA, A WOMAN FROM A JEWISH TRIBE:
Bani Al-Nadhir was one of the Jewish tribes who betrayed Muhammad and worked against him. After Muhammad besieged them in their city Khaybar, they surrendered.
Safiyya, the daughter of their leader was amongst those who were captured. Muhammad released her and proposed marriage to her. Safiyya accepted and they were married.
Muhammad proved to all people that he had nothing against the Jewish community but aggressors had to be stopped regardless of their race or faith.
On several occasions and even after Muhammad passed away, Safiyya described him as a loving and fair husband.
On several occasions and even after Muhammad passed away, Safiyya described him as a loving and fair husband.(Tirmithi, 6/188, 3894. Musnad Ahmad, 5/2609, 12587)
MARIYA THE COPT
In the same year, Muhammad sent a messenger to the ruler of Egypt who was Christian, calling him to accept the message of Islam.
The ruler of Egypt replied with a polite apology and sent Muhammad some gifts as well as a physician and a servant or concubine called Mariya (Mary). Muhammad accepted the Egyptian ruler's gifts. He married Mariya and later on she gave birth to a baby boy named Ibrahim. Ibrahim died when he was a little boy and Muhammad was very sad for losing him.
MUHAMMAD CONVEYED GOD'S COMMAND TO CONTROL POLYGAMY:
Islam didn’t forbid polygamy but it restricted and regulated it. In Islam, it is not compulsory to marry more than one wife but it is permissible for genuine reasons.
A man can marry a second wife if he can demonstrate full respect, justice and impartiality to his wives. Verse 3, Chapter 4 in the Quran indicates clearly that a man cannot marry more than one woman if he cannot treat them rightly and impartially.
Also, the verse puts a limit of four wives only for unbiased and fair husbands.
Before this revelation, men used to have scores of wives with no limits or conditions.
LIMITS ON PROPHET MUHAMMAD:
Prophet Muhammad was married to more than 4 wives before this revelation. Being wives of the “Messenger of God” was a great honour to them besides their being regarded as the mothers of believers. God revealed in the Quran that Muhammad's wives were lawful to him. However, no more women could be married to Prophet Muhammad even if he divorced any of his wives.
LIMITS ON PROPHET MUHAMMAD’S WIVES
Muslims were not allowed to marry any of the wives of Prophet Muhammad after he passed away because they were like their mothers.
In the Quran, God described the wives of the Prophet as being unlike other women (they should be seen by other Muslims as exemplary and as the mothers of believers).
If any of the Prophet’s wives committed a manifestly sinful deed, the punishment would be doubled for her. But if any of the Prophet’s wives devoutly obeyed God and His Messenger and performed righteous deeds, she would receive double rewards.
Muhammad’s wives had freedom of choice: God asked Muhammad (as indicated in the Quran, chapter 33 verses 28,29) to give his wives two options, either be released (i.e. divorced) if any of them desired the world’s life and its adornment, or stay married to Prophet Muhammad and devote their lives fully for the cause of Islam.
All of them chose the second option and all of them stayed married to Prophet Muhammad. After Muhammad passed away, none of them remarried.