Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (555-619) Married in 595.

Khadijah was the first wife of Muhammad. A distant cousin of Muhammad, and the first female convert to Islam. Following the death of her first husband, Hala Al-Taminia, she married Otayyik.

After Otayyik died, she was 40 years old and proposed to 25 year old Muhammad for marriage, who was running her caravan business trade between Mecca and Roman territories northwards.

Six children were produced from her marriage to Muhammad, four daughters and two sons. All were born before Muhammad started preaching. The first son, Qasim, died when he was 2, Muhammad was known as Abu Qasim.

The oldest daughter, Zainab, embraced Islam and migrated from Mecca to Medina; she died in 630. Ruqayya and Umm Kulthum, another 2 daughters, were married to two sons of Muhammad's uncle and bitter enemy, Abu Lahab, who is damned to hell along with his wife in chapter 111 in Quran.

Mutually, the 2 daughters were divorced out of revenge when Muhammad started preaching Islam. Ruqayya married Uthman ibn Affan, who later became 3rd caliph, and migrated with him to Axum in Ethiopia.

When Ruqayya died in 624, Uthman married her sister Umm Kulthum, who died in 631. Umm Kalthum begat Fatima, 4th daughter, who latter married Ali ibn Abi Talib, 4th caliph.

Waraqah ibn Nawfal, distant cousin to Khadijah, a monk and convert to the Nestorian Christian sect identified Muhammad as the Prophet when Muhammad started receiving revelations in the cave where Gabriel commanded, "read." Then Mohammed replied, "I'm illiterate!"

When Muhammad narrated his story in the cave, Waraqah identified the biblical prophecy, "And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he says, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he says, I am not learned." (29: 11-18)

Sawada bint Zama (??? – 644) Married in 619.

Second wife of Muhammad. She was 50 year old widow living with her father when Muhammad married her. Earlier her previous husband died when they both migrated to Axum. After Khadijah died, Khaulah bint Hakim suggested to Muhammad the he needed an affectionate companion and someone to take care of his children. She proposed Sawda, who also needed help.

Aisha (613 - ???) Married in 622.

The most controversial figure out of the prophet wives, particularly her young age at marriage. It must be noted that it was the norm in the olden days for people to get married once they reach puberty. Teenagers are a modern concept.

Following are some hadith collection supporting Aisha's young age at marriage. However, conflicting sources claim she was older, as old as 14. Sahih Muslim and Bukhari are the most credible sources, so they'll be used.

Sahih Muslim Book 008, Number 3310, "Aisha reported, "Allah's Apostle married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house when I was nine years old.""

Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 88,"Narrated 'Urwa, "The Prophet wrote the marriage contract with Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death).""

Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64, "Narrated 'Aisha: that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death)."

Sahih Bukhari 8:151, Narrated 'Aisha: "I used to play with the dolls in the presence of the Prophet , and my girl friends also used to play with me. When Allah's Apostle used to enter (my dwelling place) they used to hide themselves, but the Prophet would call them to join and play with me. (The playing with the dolls and similar images is forbidden, but it was allowed for 'Aisha at that time, as she was a little girl, not yet reached the age of puberty.) (Fateh-al-Bari page 143, Vol.13)

Sahih Bukhari vol. 5, Book 58, Number 234 Narrated 'Aisha: The prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six. We went to Medina and stayed at the home of Harith Kharzraj. Then I got ill and my hair fell down. Later on my hair grew (again) and my mother, Um Ruman, came to me while I was playing in a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me, and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She caught me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. I was breathless then, and when my breathing became all right, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said, "Best wishes and Allah's blessing and a good luck." Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage).

Aisha was the daughter of Abu Bakr. Abu Bakr gave Muhammad money to build a house for himself. The marriage to Muhammad was celebrated very simply, the bride and groom drank a bowl of milk in front of witnesses.

Sunnis concede that Aisha was Mohammed's favorite wife, and the two were very fond of each other. However, Shia's disagree and believe there is sufficient evidence to prove that Khadijah was Muhammad's favorite.

According to Shias, Aisha opposed Fatima and Ali. As a result, they view Aisha in a dim light. This broadens into Shia version of Muhammad and Aisha marriage. Shias stress Aisha's jealousy of Khadijah and other wives in addition to accusing Aisha of adultery.

Aisha was traveling with Muhammad and some of his followers. She left camp in the morning to search for a lost necklace; when she returned, she found that the company had broken camp and left without her. She waited patiently for half a day, until she was rescued by a man named Safwan and taken to rejoin the caravan.

Malicious tongues started to wag, claiming that she must have been having an affair with Safwan. Some urged Muhammad to divorce his wife. He then received a revelation directing that adultery be proven by four eyewitnesses, rather than simply inferred from opportunity. One passage of the Qur'an, "Verily! They who spread the slander are a gang among you…" (Qur'an 24.11), is usually taken as a rebuke to those who slandered Aisha.

One widely accepted tale involves Zainab bint Jahsh, who had sack full of honey, which she shared with Muhammad. He was fond of sweets and overstayed with Zainab, according to Aisha and Hafsa. Aisha and Hafsa concocted a conspiracy, each would tell Mohammad that honey gave him bad breath.

Mohammad believed the two and fell for the conspiracy, swearing he would not eat anymore honey. Shortly, a revelation was received telling him that he could eat anything permitted by God (Qur'an 66:1). In the following verses, Muhammad's wives are rebuked for their unruliness: "your hearts are inclined (to oppose him)".

Ibn Ishaq, in his Sirat Rasulallah, states that during Muhammad's last illness, he sought Aisha's apartments and died with his head in her lap. Sunnis take this as evidence of the Prophet's fondness for Aisha. Shias do not believe this story.

Hafsa bint Umar. Married in 624

Hafsa was daughter of Umar ibn al-Khattab, 2nd caliph. She was married to Khunais ibn Hudhaifa, but was widowed at 18. Umar wanted Abu Bakr or Uthman to marry her, but both refused. Umar complained to Muhammad about their behaviour. Muhammad replied, "Hafsa will marry one better than Uthman and Uthman will marry one better than Hafsa."

Muhammad married Hafsa after the battle of Badr. Hafsa was around twenty years old and Muhammad fifty six at the time of marriage. By this marriage, Muhammad strengthened ties between him and two of his closest friends. He was now married to the daughter of Abu Bakr, Aisha, and to the daughter of Umar.

Zaynab bint Khuzayma. Married in 626.

Following her husband's death at the battle of Badr, Zaynab asked Muhammad to marry her. She died eight months after the marriage.

Umm Salama Hind bint Abi Umayya. Married in 626.

Her husband was killed from the wounds he received in the battle of Uhud. She was married to Muhammad at the age of twenty nine. She and her husband, Abdullah ibn Abdul Asad, were among the first who converted to Islam.

They had suffered at the hands of the Quraish who had tried to force them to abandon their new faith. She had four children with Abdullah before she married Muhammad: Salama, Umar, Zaynab, and Durra. She died at the age of eighty four.

Zaynab bint Jahsh. Married in 627.

She was a cousin of Muhammad, and her previous marriage, which was arranged by Muhammad himself, ended in a divorce. Her mother, Umayma, was the daughter of Muhammad's grandfather, Abdul Muttalib.

According to Ibn Kathir, Zaynab came from a noble Arab family and she wanted to marry a man with high social status. However, Muhammad wanted her to marry Zayd ibn Harith, a former slave that Muhammad had adopted as son.

Zaynab was unhappy marrying a former slave and refused to marry him. This Qur'anic verse relates to the event, "It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path." (Qur'an 33:36)

Muhammad provided dowry for Zaynab on Zayd's behalf, but the marriage, however, was not a success. According to Ibn Kathir, "Zayd asked the Prophet's permission to divorce Zaynab more than once, and although he was counseled to hold onto his wife and to fear Allah, in the end the divorce took place. The Prophet then was ordered by Allah to marry Zaynab bint Jahsh, which he did in 5 AH, when he was fifty eight years old, and she was thirty five years old."

Some critics have objected Muhammad marrying the divorced wife of his adopted son. Muslims reply is that according to Qur'an, this divorce was done to establish a principle that an adopted son is not like the real son, and therefore, the father can marry a woman whom had been married to his adopted son.

Juwayriya bint al-Harith. Married in 628

She was married to prophet Muhammad when he was fifty eight years old and she was twenty. She was the daughter of al-Harith, the chief of Banu Mustaliq, who were defeated in a battle after a surprise attack. She was one of the captives taken in this campaign.

Muhammad asked her to marry him, and she accepted. As soon as the marriage was announced, all the booty that had been taken from the Banu Mustaliq was returned, and all the captives were set free.

Ramlah bint Abu Sufyan. Married in 629

She was married to Muhammad one year after the Hijra. Though she didn't live with him until six years later when Muhammad was sixty years old and she was thirty five. Her first husband, Ubayd-Allah ibn Jahsh, the brother of Zaynab bint Jahsh, were among the first people to accept Islam. Both emigrated to Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in order to be safe.

In Ethiopia she gave birth to her daughter, Habibah bint Ubayd-Allah. Also in Ethiopia her husband converted back to his previous religion, Christianity, the religion of the Abyssinians. He tried to persuade her to do the same, but she held on to Islam on top of all the suffering which as an exile she had to bear.

Her husband gave up the Muslim rules, including drinking wine, which led to their divorce. She decided to live alone after her husband turned back from Islam. She continued to live in Abyssinia with her daughter. Eventually, Ubayd-Allah ibn Jahsh died.

Muhammad had learned about what had happened to her and was scared she might turn back from her faith like her husband did, decided to propose to her and sent Negus telling him about his proposal.

Negus sent one of his maids called Abraha to her telling her about Muhammads proposal. She became extremely happy and pleased to hear the message. She at once took off her silver bangles and rings, and gave them as a gift to Abraha.

Muhammad married her and afforded protection to her although the hope of any change in Abu Sufyan's attitude did not materialize. The marriage ceremony took place in Abyssinia despite Muhammad was not present.

Khalid ibn Said was chosen by her to act as her legal guardian at the ceremony. Negus read out the speech himself, and Khalid ibn Said also made a speech in reply. On behalf of Muhammad, Negus offered a dowry of four hundred Dinars to Khalid.

Negus also gave a huge wedding feast on behalf of Mohamed. He sent musk and ambergris to the bride through Abraha. Later, he made arrangements to send her to Medina by boat.

Shurahil ibn Hasana accompanied Umm Habibah in her journey. She was able to return to Medina six years latter. It is said that she was a very charitable and virtuous woman and that she was of great courage. She was very attached to Mohamed.

Muhammad gave no other wife a higher dowry than her. There is about sixty five Hadith narrated by her in the book Hadith. The Bukhari and Muslim agreed on two of them, and Muslim took two of them alone.

She died in the year 40 or 44 A.H, during the Caliphate of her brother, Muawiyah ibn Abu Sufyan and was buried in the Jannat al-Baqi cemetery next to all the wives of Mohamed.

Safiyya bint Huyayy. Married in 629

She was married to Muhammad when he was sixty years old and she was seventeen. The marriage occurred after the battle of Khaybar. She was the daughter of Huyayy ibn Akhtab, the chief of Jewish tribe Banu Nadir, who were earlier expelled from Medina for allegedly plotting to kill Muhammad.

She was married to Kinana ibn al-Rabi'a before Muslims attacked Khaybar. Her husband was killed in the battle. Before that she was the wife of Sallam ibn Mishkam, who had divorced her. Muhammad married her to save her from becoming a slave after the defeat of her tribe in the battle of Khaybar.

She was with Muhammad for nearly four years before Muhammad died. She lived as a widow for the next thirty-nine years, dying at the age of sixty.

Maymuna bint al-Harith. (590 – 670) Married in 629.

Her original name was Burrah, but Muhammad changed it to Maimunah. She dedicated herself to him and the following Qur'anic verses was revealed pertaining to her, "And any believing woman who dedicates her soul to Muhammad." (Qur'an 33:50).

She married Muhammad when he was sixty years old and she was thirty six. Zaynab bint Khuzayma, the previous wife of Muhammad who had died earlier, was her half sister. Her other half sisters, Asma bint Umais and Salma bint Umays, later married Abu Bakr and Hamza ibn Abd al-Muttalib. Her full sisters were Lubaba, Asma, and Izza.

She asked Muhammad to marry her, and he accepted the offer. She lived with Muhammad for only three years until his death. She died at the age of eighty.

Maria al-Qibtiyya. Married in 629

Maria the Copt, was a Coptic Christian slave who was sent as a gift to Muhammad in 628 CE. According to most Islamic accounts, she was Muhammad's wife; however, some scholars have claimed that she stayed a concubine.

She was the mother of Muhammad's short lived son Ibrahim, who died in infancy. Muhammad died in 632 CE. Maria never remarried after his death and died some five years later, in 637 CE. We do not know when she was born, though she was probably a young girl when she was presented as a gift by a Byzantine official. Some Islamic accounts say that she was twenty, but none of the primary sources mention her age.

Maria bore Muhammad a son, named Ibrahim. Only one of his wives, the deceased Khadijah, had borne him children; the rest of his wives were barren. Ibrahim died in infancy, but as long as he lived, Muhammad was a doting parent.

The Sira of Ibn Ishaq relates that the sixty sixth chapter of the Qur'an (surah Al-Tahrim) was revealed on account of Maria. The story goes that Muhammad was particularly fond of Maria, who is described as being fair skinned and having curly hair.

Muhammad lodged Maria in a nearby house and would visit her by day and by night. Muhammad's wives became openly jealous, as Muhammad was spending less time with them and had copulated with Maria without any ceremony, Maria being sent as a concubine (though all recognized that Muhammad had this right, just as Abraham had kept Hagar as a concubine).

This reached a climax when, one day, Muhammad was in the home of his wife Hafsa bint Umar (as it was her day to be visited by him). Hafsa was away visiting her father, Umar ibn al-Khattab. It happened that Muhammad was feeling amorous so he made advances to Maria, and they slept together in Hafsa's hut.

Hafsa returned unexpectedly and burst into anger and tears, crying, "In my hut, on my own day and in my own bed!" Becoming weary of this, Muhammad then promised that he would ban Maria from his life, and only asked Hafsa that she not tell anyone else about what had transpired.

But Hafsa could not contain herself, and told the secret to Aisha. Aisha, like the rest of the wives, also detested Maria, "the little nobody who had managed to give the Prophet a son." From Aisha the news spread amongst the wives. Muhammad became furious at his wives.

At this point, the story goes that the sixty sixth Surah of the Qur'an was revealed to Muhammad, "O Prophet, why do you make prohibited that which Allah has made lawful for you [referring to Muhammad's banning Maria from his life], just to please your wives? Allah is forgiving and merciful. Allah has given absolution from such oaths [i.e. Allah absolves Muhammad of his oath to ban Maria from his life]. He is your master. He is all-knowing and wise. The Prophet made a story secret to one of his wives [Hafsa] and she repeated it, but Allah revealed it to him… If he [Muhammad] divorces you [addressing all of Muhammad's wives now], perhaps his Lord will give him instead better wives than yourselves..." (Qur'an, 66:1–5).

Having been absolved of his oath to ban Maria from his life, and still being furious over dissent amongst his wives caused by Hafsa's spreading the secret about what had happened in her hut, Muhammad now vowed to teach his wives a lesson by abstaining from them for a month and instead spending all of his time with Maria.

Muhammad then lodged Maria in upper Medina with the eunuch, away from his wives. After the month had ended, Muhammad went back to visiting his wives, Aisha being the first wife that he resumed seeing when the month ended.


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