Les mariages de Mohamed

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According to Anas ibn Malik, the Prophet Muhammad used to visit all eleven of his wives in one night; but he could manage this, as he had the sexual prowess of thirty men.[1] The historian Al-Tabari calculated that Muhammad married a total of fifteen women, though only ever eleven at one time; and two of these marriages were never consummated.[2] This tally of fifteen does not include at least four concubines. According to Merriam-Webster, a concubine is “a woman with whom a man cohabits without being married”, and has a “social status in a household below that of a wife.”[3] All of Muhammad’s concubines were his slaves. Al-Tabari also excludes from the fifteen several other women with whom Muhammad had some kind of marriage contract but who, due to legal technicalities, never became full wives. It is fairly certain, however, that none of these legally-stifled unions was ever consummated. They were the cultural equivalent of a broken engagement. Finally, there were several other women whom Muhammad wished to marry, or whom he was invited to marry, but for various reasons he did not.

List of Wives and Concubines of the Prophet

The following lists of women in Muhammad’s life are based on the Islamic sources. Because there were so many women, some of whom had only a very brief association with him, it is possible that this number still falls short of the real total.

Wives of the Prophet

The despite the injunction of the Qur'an to only take 4 women as wives, according to the sira literature Muhammad took far more wives than this number. This table lists the women

No. Name Status Date Details Notable Early Sources
1 Khadijah bint Khuwaylid Married July 595. She was a wealthy merchant from Mecca who employed the 24-year-old Muhammad and then proposed marriage. She was the mother of six of his children and a key character in the earliest development of Islam. She was Muhammad's only wife as long as she lived. She died in April 620.
2 Sawda bint Zam'a Married, though with limited rights. May 620. She was a tanner who had been an early convert to Islam. Muhammad married her at a time when he was unpopular and bankrupt. He considered divorcing her when, as the oldest and plainest of his wives (described as "fat and very slow"), she no longer attracted him, but she persuaded him to keep her in the house in exchange for never sleeping with her again (she gave up her turn to Aisha).
3 Aisha bint Abi Bakr Married Contracted May 620 but first consummated in April or May 623. She was the daughter of Muhammad's best friend and head evangelist Abu Bakr. Muhammad selected the six-year-old Aisha in preference to her teenaged sister, and she remained his favourite wife. She contributed a major body of information to Islamic law and history. The paedophilic aspect of this relationship has institutionalised such marriages within Islam.
4 Hafsa bint Umar Married January or February 625. She was the daughter of Muhammad's wealthy friend Umar. Hafsa was the custodian of the autograph-text of the Qur'an, which was somewhat different from the standard Qur'an of today.
5 Zaynab bint Khuzayma Married February or March 625. She was a middle-class widow known as "Mother of the Poor" because of her commitment to charity work. She died in October 625.
6 Hind (Umm Salama) bint Abi Umayya Married April 626. An attractive widow with four young children, Hind had been rejected by her aristocratic family in Mecca because they were so hostile to Islam. Her tact and practical wisdom sometimes mitigated Muhammad's cruelties. She was a notable teacher of Islamic law and a partisan of Ali.
7 Zaynab bint Jahsh Married March 627. An early convert to Islam, Zaynab was the wife of Muhammad's adopted son Zayd ibn Harithah. She was also the Prophet's biological cousin. When Muhammad became infatuated with Zaynab, Zayd was pressured into a divorce. To justify marrying her, Muhammad announced new revelations that (1) an adopted son did not count as a real son, so Zaynab was not his daughter-in-law, and (2) as a prophet, he was allowed more than the standard four wives. Zaynab excelled at leather-crafts.
8 Juwayriyah bint Al-Harith Married January 628. The daughter of an Arab chief, she was taken prisoner when Muhammad attacked her tribe. Muhammad did not make a habit of marrying his war-captives, but Aisha claimed that Juwayriyah was so beautiful that men always fell in love with her at first sight.
9 Ramlah (Umm Habiba) bint Abi Sufyan Married July 628 (following a proxy wedding earlier in the year) She was a daughter of Abu Sufyan, the Meccan chief who led the resistance against Muhammad, but she had been a teenaged convert to Islam. This marriage offset some of Muhammad's political humiliation in the Treaty of Hudaybiya by demonstrating that he could command the loyalty of his adversary's own daughter. Ramlah was devoted to Muhammad and quick to pick quarrels with people who were not.
10 Safiyah bint Huyayy Married July 628. She was the beautiful daughter of a Jewish chief, Huyayy ibn Akhtab. Muhammad married her on the day he defeated the last Jewish tribe in Arabia, only hours after he had supervised the slaying of Kinana her second husband. His earlier victims had included her father, brother, first husband, three uncles and several cousins. This marriage was of no benefit to Safiyah's defeated tribe, who were banished from Arabia a few years later; though some consider that it was politically significant in that Safiyah's presence in Muhammad's household was an open demonstration that he had defeated the Jews.
11 Maymunah bint Al-Harith Married February 629. She was a middle-class widow from Mecca who proposed marriage to Muhammad. A placid woman who kept a very tidy house, Maymunah was one known to be obsessed with rules and rituals.
12 Mulayka bint Kaab Divorced January 630. Her family resisted the Muslim invasion of Mecca. Needing to appease the conqueror, they gave him the beautiful Mulayka as a bride. When she realised that Muhammad's army had killed her father, she demanded a divorce, which he granted her. She died a few weeks later.
13 Fatima al-Aliya bint Zabyan al-Dahhak Divorced February or March 630. She was the daughter of a minor chief who had converted to Islam. Muhammad divorced her after only a few weeks "because she peeked at men in the mosque courtyard." Fatima had to work for the rest of her life as a dung-collector, and she outlived all Muhammad's widows.
14 Asma bint Al-Numan Divorced June or July 630. She was a princess from Yemen whose family hoped the marriage alliance would ward off a military invasion from Medina. But Muhammad divorced her before consummation after Aisha tricked her into reciting the divorce formula. Asma later married a brother of Umm Salama.
15 Amra bint Yazid Divorced c. 631. She was a Bedouin of no political importance. Muhammad divorced her before consummation when he saw she had symptoms of leprosy.

Concubines of the Prophet

This category of consorts of the prophet forms a separate category, since these women were not actually given over in marriage with an 'aqd-nikaah and a mahr to the prophet, but were rather his personal property, "what the right hand possesses." That is to say, explicitly, that these were his sex slaves, also known as "concubines", were obliged to have sex with him. As such Muhammad availed himself of them sexually although they were not actually granted the status of his wives in Islamic law. Never-the-less, they are also considered "mother of the believers", and the prophet's conduct towards them constitutes a fundamental building block of Islamic law vis-à-vis sexual slavery.

No. Name Status Date Details Notable Early Sources
1 Rayhana bint Zayd ibn Amr Sexual slavery May 627. Her first husband was one of the 600-900 Qurayza men whom Muhammad beheaded in April 627. He enslaved all the women and selected Rayhana for himself because she was the most beautiful. When she refused to marry him, he kept her as a concubine instead. She died shortly before Muhammad in 632.
2 Mariyah bint Shamoon al-Qibtiya Sexual slavery c. June 629. She was one of several slaves whom the Governor of Egypt sent as a present to Muhammad. He kept her as a concubine despite the objections of his official wives, who feared her beauty. Mariyah bore Muhammad a son, Ibrahim.
3 Al-Jariya Sexual slavery After 627. She was a domestic slave belonging to Zaynab bint Jahsh, who made Muhammad a present of her. She seems to have been an "unofficial" concubine who did not have a regular turn on his roster.
4 Tukana al-Quraziya Sexual slavery Unknown, but probably in the last months of Muhammad's life. She was a member of the defeated Qurayza tribe whom Muhammad selected as one of his personal slaves. She appears to have been another "unofficial" concubine without a regular turn on the roster. After Muhammad's death, she married Abbas.

Engagements and Broken Contracts

No. Name Date Details Notable early sources
1 Ghaziya (Umm Sharik) bint Jabir Early 627. She was a poor widow with dependent children. She sent Muhammad a proposal of marriage, and he agreed to the contract. However, when he met her in person, he saw that, although attractive, she was "old", and he divorced her immediately. She never remarried.
2 Khawla bint Hudhayl Probably mid- or late-627. She was a princess from the powerful Christian Taghlib tribe in northern Arabia. Her uncle arranged the marriage, which was expected to be politically advantageous on both sides. Muhammad signed the contract, but Khawla died on her journey to Medina, before they met in person.
3 Sharaf bint Khalifa Probably mid- or late-627. She was an aunt of Khawla bint Hudhayl (above). After Khawla's death, the family tried to substitute Sharaf. In one tradition, Sharaf also died before consummation. In another tradition, Muhammad changed his mind and broke off the contract.
4 Layla bint al-Khutaym After 627. One of the first converts in Medina, Layla asked Muhammad to marry her so that her clan, the Zafar, would be the most closely allied to the Prophet. He agreed. However, Layla's family warned her that she was too "jealous and whip-tongued" to adapt well to polygamy, which would cause political problems for the whole community. Under this pressure, Layla broke off the engagement.
5 Umm Habib bint Al-Abbas After March 630. She was Muhammad's cousin. He saw her as a baby crawling around and remarked, "If I am alive when she grows up, I will marry her." He changed his mind when he found out that her father had been his foster-brother and died soon afterwards.
6 Sana al-Nashat bint Rifaa (Asma) ibn As-Salt c. April 630. She was the daughter of a Muslim warrior who hoped to advance his career by becoming Muhammad's father-in-law. Muhammad signed the contract, but Sana died before the marriage could be consummated.
7 Umra bint Rifaa c. May 630. She was the sister of Sana (above). After Sana died, their father tried to interest Muhammad in Umra. At first he agreed, but he later changed his mind, ostensibly because Rifaa boasted that Umra "has never known a day's illness in her life."
8 Bint Jundub ibn Damra of Janda’a Unknown. Nothing is known about this woman except that Muhammad contracted marriage with her but divorced her before consummation.
9 Jamra bint Al-Harith c. 631 She proposed marriage to Muhammad, and he accepted. Her father informed him that she suffered from a serious disease, whereupon Muhammad broke off the engagement. According to the Muslim chroniclers, her father arrived home only to find that she really had been afflicted with leprosy.
10 Al-Shanba’ bint Amr January 632. She was from a Bedouin tribe who appeared friendly to Muhammad but who had also been friends of the Qurayza tribe. Al-Shanba’ insulted Muhammad on the first day by implying that he was not a true prophet, and he divorced her immediately.
11 Qutayla (Habla) bint Qays May 632. She was a cousin of Asma bint Al-Numan, and the Yemenites sent her to Muhammad as a substitute bride. He signed the marriage contract but he died before Qutayla arrived in Medina. As soon as she heard that he was dead, she apostated from Islam. Soon afterwards she married an Arab chief who was a leader in the Apostasy Wars.
12 Mary, mother of Jesus The Afterlife. According to some sources of varying authenticity, Muhammad said that Allah had wedded him in Heaven to the Virgin Mary. Authentic sources quote Muhammad describing her as one of 'the four perfect women'.[88][89][90] The Qur'an refers several times to Mary, praising her chastity and affirming the virgin birth of Jesus. The scriptures describing their marraige state that she lived in a beautiful jewelled palace in Paradise next to Khadijah's.
13 Queen Asiya of Egypt The Afterlife. According to some sources of varying authenticity, Muhammad said that Allah had wedded him in Heaven to the Queen Asiya. Authentic sources quote Muhammad describing her as one of 'the four perfect women'.[93][94] The Qur'an tells how Asiya rescued the infant Moses from the evil Pharaoh, and how Pharaoh later tortured his wife to death for her monotheism. The scriptures describing their marraige state that Asiya's palace in Heaven was on the other side of Khadijah's.
14 Kulthum bint Amram The Afterlife. Muhammad originally believed that Maryam the sister of Moses and Maryam the mother of Jesus were one and the same. When he realized his mistake, he (perhaps over-)corrected himself by stating that Moses' sister was not named Maryam. He renamed her Kulthum ("Chubby Cheeks") and, according to some sources of varying authenticity, said that Allah had wedded him to her in heaven. However, he did not say that she was a perfect woman or that she lived next to Khadijah.[97][98]

Refused Proposals

No. Name Date Details Notable early sources
1 Fakhita (Umm Hani) bint Abi Talib before 595;

January 630;

c. 631

Muhammad proposed to his cousin Fakhita, but her father married her off to a wealthy Makhzumite poet.

Nearly forty years later, after Muhammad conquered Mecca, Fakhita's husband fled rather than convert to Islam, causing an automatic divorce. Muhammad proposed to Fakhita again, but she refused, saying she could not be equally fair to a new husband and her young children.

Later still, Fakhita came to Muhammad, saying her children had grown up and she was finally ready to marry him; but he said she was too late.

2 “As Many Wives as You Want” c.618-619. The chiefs of Mecca offered Muhammad "as many wives as you want in marriage," together with wealth, political power and the services of a competent exorcist, if only he would stop insulting their gods (by preaching monotheism). Muhammad refused this offer, which was made while Khadijah was still alive.
3 Habiba bint Sahl c. 623. Habiba was a prominent member of the Najjar clan in Medina. When the chief died with no obvious heir, Muhammad proposed to Habiba. His companions warned him that the women of Medina were not used to polygamy and that the men were very jealous for the happiness of their daughters; if this marriage turned out badly, key citizens might withdraw their support from Islam. Muhammad retracted his proposal, but the Najjar clan made him their chief anyway.
4 Al-Ansariya After 625. This unnamed woman proposed to Muhammad in Hafsa's presence. Hafsa decried the shame of a woman who would throw herself at a man, but Muhammad retorted, "She is better than you because she wanted me while you only find fault." He refused the proposal, but promised the woman a reward in Paradise for asking.

In fact several ansar women are said to have proposed to Muhammad; while this example is anonymous, it clearly refers to a woman who is distinct from Layla bint Khutaym.

5 Khawla bint Hakim After 627. This is the same Khawla bint Hakim who arranged Muhammad's marriages to Aisha and Sawda. Her first husband was Hafsa's uncle, and their elder son fought at Badr. After being widowed, Khawla asked Muhammad to marry her, but he refused without giving a reason. However, he found her a new husband the same day.
6 Dubaa bint Amir After 627. Dubaa was a wealthy noblewoman to whom Muhammad sent a marriage proposal when he heard about her beautiful long hair that filled a whole room when she sat down. But by the time she accepted him, he had been advised that she was “elderly” (her grown-up son had been born from her third marriage) so he retracted his proposal before he had even met her.
7 Izza bint Abi Sufyan After July 628. She was the sister of Muhammad’s wife Ramlah. Ramlah proposed Izza as a bride, "since, as I cannot be your only wife, I would like to share my good fortune with my sister." But Muhammad said he could not marry two sisters concurrently.
8 Durrah bint Abi Salama After July 628. She was the daughter of Muhammad's wife Hind. Another wife, Ramlah, noticed that Muhammad admired Durrah and asked if he intended to marry her. He replied that he could not marry his stepdaughter; and besides, her father had been his foster-brother. On the day Muhammad died, Durrah was only six years old.
9 Umama bint Hamza After March 630. She was Muhammad's cousin and said to be the prettiest girl in the family. Ali proposed her as a bride while she was still a child, but Muhammad said that he could not marry her because her father had been his foster-brother. She later married his stepson, Salama ibn Abi Salama.
10 Safiyah bint Bashshama September 630. She was a war-captive from Mesopotamia. Muhammad asked her to marry him, but when she said she wanted to return to her husband, he allowed her family to ransom her. It is said that her family cursed her for placing her personal happiness above the political needs of the tribe.

Muhammad's Marriages and Poor Widows

It is often suggested that Muhammad’s wives were, for the most part, poor widows whom he married to save from a life of destitution. This article investigates the plausibility of such a perspective.

Prophet Muhammad himself never claimed that he married women out of compassion for their poverty. On the contrary, he asserted that he, and men in general, chose their wives for four basic motives: for their money, for their family connections, for their beauty and for their piety. He added: “So you should marry the pious woman or you will be a loser.”[120] The suggestion that Muhammad’s many marriages were motivated by a charitable concern for the welfare of widows is not found in the early sources. This theory seems to have been devised by a few modern historians and then uncritically accepted by others.

Nevertheless, the widely held view that “Muhammad married poor widows to provide them with a home” is not supported by the available historical evidence from Islamic sources.

The perpetual state of war created disparity between the male and female elements of society. Husbands having fallen on the field of battle, their widows had to be provided for … This is the reason that [Muhammad] himself took so many women to be his wives during the period when war was raging. Nearly all of his wives were widows.
Ali, M. M. (1924, 1993). Muhammad the Prophet, pp. 192-193. Columbus, Ohio: The Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha’at Islam Lahore.
Wars and persecution burdened the Muslims with many widows, orphans and divorcees. They had to be protected and maintained by the surviving Muslim men … One course of relief was to take them as his own wives and accept the challenge of heavy liabilities.
Abdallati, H. Islam in Focus, pp. 177-179.

Muhammad's wives Khadijah & Aisha are generally altogether excluded in the analyses of those who maintain that Muhammad's marriages were a form of welfare. This is because it is agreed upon that “Khadijah was a merchant woman of dignity and wealth”[121] who eventually expended her on maintaining Islam.[122] It is also agreed that Aisha, beside being a professional spinster,[123] was the daughter of “a man of means,”[124] “a merchant of high character” with “experience in commerce.”[125] She likewise already had a fiancé at the time of Muhammad’s proposal, and her father had to break off this engagement before marrying her to Muhammad,[126] so it would rather difficult to argue that Muhammad did Aisha some sort of financial favor through his marriage to her, as it seems that, in all likelihood, she would have socially and financially prospered regardless.

As for Muhammad’s other wives, it is true that most of them were widowed, divorced or both. Only Mariyah,[127] Mulaykah[128] and Fatima[129] are not recorded as having been previously married.[130]

Whether these widows were “poor” depends on how one defines poverty. Some may not consider a slave to be poor if the slave serves in the household of the wealthy, for while Islamic slaves had no political rights or autonomy, they were usually better fed than the poorest free persons. Others may not consider a Bedouin to be poor, even while Bedouins eat daily, simply because they neglect and thus have few material possessions. Moreover, no matter how poor a widow might be, some might argue that she fails to truly qualify as “destitute” so long as she has living relatives who can guarantee that they will take care of her.

Finally, in addition to considering whether Muhammad's individual wives were persons, one must also consider whether Muhammad was himself a man of means who would have been able to well provide for the women whom he married. For, if Muhammad was not himself a reliable source of welfare, then it would be equally difficult to maintain that his marriages were a form of financial relief for his wives, who may, one thinks, just as easily, have encountered great wealth elsewhere among the muslims.

The Wives

Sawdah bint Zamaa

Muhammad married Sawdah in May 620.[131] It is not known how Muhammad was making his living in his last few years in Mecca, but he does not seem to have been able to re-launch Khadijah’s merchant business. If it is true that all of Khadijah’s wealth had been expended in the days of the blockade,[132] Muhammad was now bankrupt. He certainly did not seem to have any resources of his own by the time of the Hijra in September 622, as it is recorded that all the expenses of his journey were paid by Abu Bakr.[133]

By contrast, Sawdah was a tanner[134] and a perfume-mixer.[135] So she was not in penury; she had the means to earn her own living. Nor was she alone, for she lived with her father and brother.[136] It is not stated that they were wealthy, but they were respectable. Sawdah also had a son, Abdulrahman ibn Sakhran,[137] who is never mentioned as being part of Muhammad’s household. This suggests that by 620 he was an adult who did not need to move in with his new stepfather if he preferred to remain with his blood-relations; therefore he was also old enough to work to contribute to the family expenses. Sawdah’s father approved of her marriage to Muhammad, but her brother did not. Sawdah and Muhammad took care to finalize their union on a day when her brother was out of town; when he returned home and heard the news, he poured dust on his head.[138] It appears he would rather have taken financial responsibility for his sister for the rest of his life than see her married to someone he evidently considered an enemy.

So, it appears, Sawdah had no economic need to marry Muhammad. On the contrary, it seems more likely that he rather than she was the one who gained financially from this marriage.

As a general commentary on the social problems in the Muslim community, it should be noted that at this early date, the Muslims had not fought a single battle. No Muslim “died in the wars” before the Battle of Badr in 624,[139] an event that, in all likelihood, no one could have foreseen in 620. In fact, the only Muslim who had so far died violently was a woman.[140] So it is equally difficult to maintain that there was a problem with finding enough men to take care of the numerous widows. On the contrary, the gender imbalance appears to have been in the opposite direction. The Egyptian scholar Al-Suyuti compares different traditions about Umar’s conversion in 616: “He embraced the faith early — after the conversion of 40 men and 10 women — or as some say, after 39 men and 23 women, and others, 45 men and 11 women.”[141] All these numbers appear to be incorrect, however, for Ibn Ishaq’s list of Muslims who emigrated to Abyssinia in 615 includes 83 men and 18 women.[142] His list of Muslims converted by Abu Bakr has 41 men and 9 women.[143] One consistency among all these lists, however, is that the early Muslims seemed to comprise far more men than women, at least twice (and perhaps four times) as many. Moreover, many of the Muslim women whose names are missing from these early lists[144] were married to pagan men; so even if they had been “numerous” (although they likely were not), there could have been no such pervasive problem of “homeless widows”.

It appears, then, that the issue of how to provide for single women would not have been on Muhammad’s mind in 620. Rather, the problem was how to find anyone at all who was available to marry him. Indeed, it appears that Muhammad was having some difficulty finding Muslim women for his male converts to marry, for he permitted marriage to polytheists right up to the year 628, and even later retained the permission for Muslim men to marry Jewish and Christian women, but not the other way around.[145]

Hafsah bint Umar

Hafsah’s first husband, Khunays ibn Hudhayfa, died of battle-wounds in mid-624.[146] He seems to have been a man of humble means who relied on the patronage of Hafsah’s father Umar.[147] This suggests that his death did not make much change to Hafsah’s economic situation. Before, during, and after her marriage, she was dependent on her father. Umar claimed to be “one of the richest of the Quraysh”[148] and thus should have had no financial difficulty maintaining his daughter.

In addition, Hafsah was one of only four Muslim women in the whole of Medina who knew how to write.[149] If she had wanted (or been permitted, for Umar was famously opposed to this line of female work) to set herself up as a career woman, she would have been in demand as a clerk.

By contrast, Muhammad could not afford to keep his wives. Aisha claimed that they never ate bread for more than three successive days, and sometimes the family did not light a fire for a month on end because they had nothing to cook but lived off dates and water.[150] By marrying Muhammad, it then seems, Hafsah was accepting a significant cut in her standard of living. In fact, Umar later warned her never to ask her husband, Muhammad, for money: “If you need something, come and ask me.”[151]

However, Muhammad did not marry Hafsah for her father’s money, for it seems he already had virtually unhampered access to Umar's wealth, since Umar was one of the most willing to spend his wealth "in the way of Allah".[152]

Ultimately, it becomes clear that Muhammad could not and did not provide any form of special welfare to Hafsah.

Zaynab bint Khuzayma

Zaynab’s husband was killed at Badr; he was Ubayda ibn Al-Harith, the first Muslim to die in battle.[153] She should have been available for remarriage by late July 624. But she did not marry Muhammad for another seven months.[154] So there is no reason to believe she had fallen into any sort of immediate destitution. Islamic chronicle further buttress this point.

Zaynab had plenty of family in Medina. At her funeral, just eight months after her marriage to Muhammad, “three of her brothers” were present.[155] Her deceased husband Ubayda also had two brothers, Al-Tufayl and Al-Husayn, who had accompanied him to Medina[156] and had fought with him at Badr.[157] Furthermore, Zaynab was on good terms with her pagan relatives in Mecca. Her cousin Qubaysa ibn Amr made the journey out to Medina so that he could arrange her marriage to Muhammad,[158] even though this could have easily been done by one of her brothers in Medina.

Zaynab was from the wealthy Hilal tribe,[159] and it seems that her branch of the family had as much money as any of them. This family, it appears, also never stopped supporting her; and hence, there was always someone to ensure her subsistence. As we have seen, Muhammad was impecunious and could not afford to feed his wives and even perhaps himself properly.

Whatever may have been Zaynab's motive in marrying Muhammad, it seems unlikely that money played any sort of important role. Indeed, once again, it appears more plausible that Muhammad's financial circumstances would have, through his strengthened link to Zaynab's family, improved as a result of this marriage.

Hind (Umm Salama) bint Abi Umayya

Hind was born into the wealthy Makhzum clan of the Quraysh, and her husband, Abdullah ibn Abdulasad, was a second cousin from the same clan.[160] Since their family rejected them when they became Muslims,[161] it is not clear whether they were still wealthy when, ten years later, they arrived in Medina; but it is known that they owned the camels that transported them.[162]

Abdullah died from battle wounds in November 625.[163] Hind wanted to pledge never to remarry so that they might be reunited in Paradise; but the dying Abdullah would not accept the pledge.[164] The very fact that Hind believed she would not want to remarry suggests that she was not worried about poverty. It was thus quite possible that Abdullah had some savings to leave to his widow. She was pregnant,[165] so if she needed to generate extra income, perhaps she planned to hire herself out as a wet nurse. However, neither of these options appear to have been her primary intention.

As soon as Hind was free to remarry (18 March 626)[166] she received a marriage-proposal from Abu Bakr. Then she received a proposal from Umar. Then she received a proposal from Muhammad. She refused all of them. Muhammad then came to visit in person.[167] In Hind’s own words: “When my idda was over, Allah’s Messenger asked to come to see me while I was tanning a hide I had. I washed my hands clean of the tanning solution and asked him to come in ...”[168] Like Sawdah, Hind was a tanner. Muhammad happened to call on her while she was working to support her children, which suggests that she had already established, by this point, a workable source of income. This is further buttressed by the fact that she comfortably rejected the marriage proposals of the three men who were, arguably, the most powerful around her at the time.

When Muhammad repeated his marriage-proposal, Hind gave him a string of reasons for why she wanted to refuse, and he left her house disappointed. Muhammad had, in fact, to argue her out of her excuses and propose a third time before she finally accepted him.[169] They were married on or before 6 April 626.[170] This raises the question of whether Hind truly wanted to marry Muhammad or whether she simply gave in to the pressure from the most powerful man in the community. Regardless of why she changed her mind, her on-principle reluctance to remarry indicates that she had been managing quite well on her own, and that she had felt no compelling or even trifling reason to get married.

Zaynab bint Jahsh

Zaynab bint Jahsh was a career-woman. She was a tanner and leather-worker who was well able to support herself.[171] She lived under the protection of her two brothers, Abu Ahmad and Abdullah.[172] She had no need to remarry unless she chose. It is even said that she proposed marriage to Muhammad and that she offered not to take any dower.[173]

If this story is true, Muhammad declined the offer. He told Zaynab that she had a “duty” to marry his son Zayd because that was what “Allah and his apostle” wished for her.[174] At first she refused, and was supported in her refusal by her brother Abdullah.[175] However, when Abdullah was killed in the battle of Uhud,[176] at about this time, Zaynab was talked into marrying Zayd.[177] Zayd divorced her within two years, after which, according to Muhammad, Allah commanded her to marry Muhammad himself.[178]

Muhammad’s inability to provide for his growing family was not as serious for Zaynab as for some of his other wives. She continued to work at her leather-crafts after her marriage, and she gave away all her profits in alms.[179]

Although it is agreed that Zaynab was economically independent, modern historians sometimes claim that she might have had a social or moral need to remarry. One writes, “Before Islam, the Arabs did not allow divorcees to remarry,”[180] and that her divorce “made her unfit to marry a status conscious Arab.”[181] However, there is no evidence that the Arabs forbade divorced women to remarry. On the contrary, Abu Sufyan’s favourite wife, Hind bint Utbah, had been a divorcée.[182] Abu Sufyan's clan, the Umayyads, had been the dominant clan of the Quraysh even before Abu Sufyan became the high chief of Mecca;[183] what was socially acceptable for the Umayyads was, by definition, acceptable for everyone. Muhammad did not marry Zaynab to rescue her from social disapprobation; rather, he created significant social disapprobation in order that he might marry her, for while remarriage was not taboo, marrying ones daughter-in-law (even through adoption), evidently was.[184]

Rayhanah bint Zayd

Rayhanah was a member of the Jewish Qurayza tribe,[185] whom Muhammad besieged in 627. When the tribe surrendered, Muhammad determined that the Banu Qurayzah's every adult male should be decapitated, every woman and child, enslaved, and all the tribe's property forfeit to the Islamic state.[186] It is thus true that Rayhanah was widowed, impoverished, and a slave, but only because Muhammad had her husband executed and proceeded to appropriate her wealth and person. Indeed, at the very moment Muhammad approved of Banu Qurayzah's brutal sentence, Rayhanah had become Muhammad's legal property. Already, one sees how difficult it would be to maintain that Muhammad's acquisition of Rayhanah was the product of his financial liberality, let alone benevolence.

Indeed, if Muhammad had made enquiries about how to help the Qurayza slaves, he would have quickly realized that Rayhanah was among the least destitute, for she was only a Quraziya by marriage. By birth she belonged to the Nadir tribe,[187] who were currently residing in the date-farms of Khaybar.[188] Thus, if Muhammad sought to provide for Rayhanah, he could have released her to return her own family. The Nadir were making every effort to assist the surviving Qurayza. In fact, they searched the Arabian slave-markets and they bought back as many Qurayza women and children as they found there.[189] Since Rayhanah was a Nadriya by birth, her tribe would certainly have ransomed her too if only she had been for sale.

But Muhammad had selected Rayhanah for himself. Even while she showed “repugnance towards Islam” and refused to marry him, he kept her enslaved as his personal concubine.[190]

The massacre of the Banu Qurayzah had substantially fattened the Muslim treasury, a large portion of which Muhammad was personally entitled to,[191] and he thus would have had no trouble maintaining his family at this point. Although Aisha claims, as noted above, that he failed to be consistent in doing this even hereafter, he would have, at least in theory and per his own law, had the means to support his wives. It is also nearly certain that the Muslim men no longer outnumbered the women, as the acquisition of hundreds of female slaves[192] should have amply redressed the gender imbalance.

There is therefore at least some justification for the claim that, from 627 onwards, Muhammad was in a position to provide a home for the “excess women” who were unable to marry monogamously. What remains to be established, however, is whether or not the particular women whom he married were the ones who would have been otherwise left destitute.

Juwayriyah bint Al-Harith

Juwayriyah was in a similar situation to Rayhanah. She had become widowed because Muslim raiders had killed her husband.[193] Like Rayhanah, Juwayriyah had family members who would have happily purchased/ransomed her given the opportunity. Juwayriyah, in fact, knew that the raiders had only carried off a fraction of her tribe’s wealth and that they had only killed a few of the men. Her father, the chief, had survived the raid, and he was willing and able to pay the ransom set on her head.[194]

However, Muhammad, as with Rayhanah, refused to ransom or sell Juwayriyah. Instead, he gave Juwayriyah one of two options: the choice of marrying himself or marrying another Muslim.[195]

Ramlah (Umm Habiba) bint Abi Sufyan

Ramlah and her first husband, Ubaydullah ibn Jahsh, were among the early converts to Islam who emigrated to Abyssinia in 615.[196] “They were safely ensconced there and were grateful for the protection of the Negus [King]; could serve Allah without fear; and the Negus had shown them every hospitality.”[197] It is not known how the exiles earned their living, but they must have found a means of subsistence, for they all stayed at least four years. Forty of them returned to Arabia in 619, only to discover that Mecca was still not a safe place for Muslims.[198] After the Muslim victory at Badr in 624, however, the exiles realized that they would be safe in Medina, and they began to leave for Arabia in small groups.[199] About half of them remained in Abyssinia, Ramlah and Ubaydullah among them.[200] There is no obvious reason why they could not have gone to Medina, where all of Ubaydullah’s siblings lived,[201] so presumably their continuation in Abyssinia was voluntary.

Ubaydullah died in Abyssinia.[202] This should not have made much difference to Ramlah’s economic position. If he had been running some kind of business, she could have taken it over; and if he had had any savings, she would have inherited them. In fact he was known to have been an alcoholic,[203] so it is possible that she had already needed to fend for herself for several years. She had chosen to remain in Abyssinia rather than join her family in Medina, so presumably she could have continued to do whatever she was doing indefinitely. Widowhood now gave her the option of remarriage. There were twelve single men in the community but only four single women, of whom two were elderly, so, it is reasonable to conclude that Ramlah and her teenage daughter could have easily found suitors had they wished to marry.[204]

Muhammad’s marriage proposal arrived on the day Ramlah completed her 130-day waiting-period.[205] She was so pleased that she gave her silver bracelets, anklets and rings as gifts to the messenger.[206] The Negus himself hosted the proxy-wedding feast, gave Ramlah presents of perfume and underwrote her dower.[207] He appears to have misunderstood how much dower a bride of Ramlah’s station expected, for he gave her 400 dinars[208] (about £20,000) when the usual sum was only 400 dirhams[209] (about one-tenth of this). All these details indicate that the Negus had protected his Muslim guests very well and that they were in no danger of destitution as long as he had his eye on them.

Muhammad must have heard from the returned emigrants about their lives in Abyssinia, so he had no false impression that Ramlah was in need of “rescuing”. In fact, even if she had needed to be rescued, there is no real reason why she would have had to marry Muhammad; she could have simply gone to Medina and lived with her family. Furthermore, if Muhammad had for some reason believed that Ramlah needed to marry, and to marry himself, as a matter of survival, this opens the question of why he did not also propose marriage to the other two widows. They were elderly and of the peasant class,[210] but this should not have mattered to someone who prioritized providing welfare over the youth, beauty, rank or wealth of his marital prospects.

Ultimately, and once again, there is no reason to believe Muhammad married Ramlah to improve, let alone rectify, her financial standing.

Safiyah bint Huyayy

Safiyah was a prisoner of war whom Muhammad captured at the siege of Khaybar.[211] She, like Rayhanah and Juwayriyah, was only a widow because Muhammad and his companions had killed her husband (who, unlike Rayhanah and Juwayriyah's husbands, had been tortured prior to his execution), and, like Rayhanah, was poor because the Islamic state had appropriated her people's wealth at Khaybar.[212][213] However, her poverty had not reached the level of absolute destitution, for many of her relatives were still alive in Khaybar. They had persuaded Muhammad to let them remain on the land and farm the dates in exchange for giving him half the revenues.[214] If Safiyah had remained in Khaybar, she too could have farmed dates.

The idea that Safiyah “needed” to marry Muhammad because her high rank meant “it would be inappropriate for her to be assigned to anyone other than the Prophet”[215] seems to assume that Safiyah “needed” to be taken prisoner, unlike the remainder of khaybar folk who were allowed to remain free. Furthermore, Muhammad did not need to take prisoners, for he had already won the war and taken control of the city. The Jews in Khaybar had no further means to fight back, had surrendered unconditionally, and Muhammad did not need hostages to ensure their future cooperation.

Once Muhammad had decided that Safiyah was his hostage, he had to feed and shelter her, and there was no welfare-related reason to marry her; he had to provide for her material needs regardless. The idea, as some put it, that “this marriage protected her from humiliation”[216] shows a strange perception of what is “humiliating”. Safiyah might not have liked to be a domestic slave or a commoner’s concubine, but she surely would have found these options less humiliating than being married to the man who had just killed her husband. Safiyah’s husband was not, as is sometimes claimed, “killed during the battle of Khaybar”;[217] rather, his torture and execution had been specifically ordered by Muhammad and, this too, after the declaration of truce.[218]

Muhammad’s family – not only his wives and descendants, but his extended family too – lived off the wealth of Khaybar for the rest of their lives.[219] Since Safiyah represented the leading family of Khaybar,[220] there is a very real sense in which Muhammad’s whole clan was living at her expense. Muhammad was not providing for Safiyah; it was she and her people, rather, who provided for him and his family.

Maymunah bint Al-Harith

Maymunah was never poor; she was born into the bourgeois Hilal tribe.[221] After her husband died, she became the house guest of her married sister, Lubabah.[222] Lubabah’s husband was Muhammad’s uncle, Abbas ibn Abdulmuttalib, who was “one of the richest of the Banu Hashim.”[223] He “used to go often to the Yaman to buy aromatics and sell them during the fairs”[224] and was also apparently a banker: “he had a great deal of money scattered among the people.”[225] Maymunah offered to marry Muhammad without taking any dower.[226] Muhammad agreed, but this was not acceptable to Abbas, who unexpectedly provided Maymunah with a dower anyway.[227]

It has never been entirely clear why Muhammad married Maymunah. What is clear, however, is that she was not poor or homeless and so was not in need of any form of rescuing.

Mariyah bint Shamoon

In one sense, Mariyah was poor. She was a slave in Egypt, and the Governor sent her to be a slave in Arabia, as a personal gift to Muhammad, from one head-of-state to another.[228] She possessed nothing of her own. She was, indeed, herself property.[229]

Muhammad sent his delegation to the Governor of Egypt in the final month of 6 A.H. (April or May 628).[230] It was 7 A.H. by the time the Governor responded by sending Mariyah to Medina,[231] but presumably he did this fairly soon after receiving the delegation. So Mariyah was probably in Medina by the summer of 628. It is not certain what services Mariyah performed for Muhammad’s household in exchange for being fed and sheltered. It is never indicated that she sang or danced or similar. Rather, the statement “The Messenger of Allah was alone with his slavegirl Maria in Hafsa’s room”[232] suggests that Mariyah did housework for Hafsah, much as Barira did for Aisha.[233] Whatever the arrangement was, it saved Mariyah from destitution. However, if Muhammad's intentions were to save her from destitution, he could have manumitted her and sent her back to her family in Egypt. But he did not do this.

It was several months, perhaps over a year, before Muhammad took Mariyah as his concubine. Her son was born between 25 March and 22 April 630.[234] This suggests that her month alone with Muhammad, when he refused to speak to his official wives,[235] was around July 629. The wives’ strong reaction to the situation[236] indicates that they had only just found out that the housemaid had become a concubine - that is, she had not been a concubine for very long. So in this preceding year before becoming his concubine, Mariyah had nevertheless lived at Muhammad’s expense; and she continued to live at his expense afterwards.

Mariyah did not, it would appear, “need” to be Muhammad’s concubine.An entire year had passed, demonstrating that it was possible for her to live in his household without having sex with him. Indeed, it was not until one night that the prophet was supposed to sleep with Hafsah, when she had become suddenly unavailable due to a family emergency, that Muhammad encountered Mariyah in Hafsah's empty household and decided to initiate intercourse with her.

Mulaykah bint Kaab

Not much is known about Mulaykah’s background, but her father appears to have been at least a minor chief. Although he was killed in battle in January 630,[237] Mulaykah had plenty of other relatives to care for her. One of these was a cousin from the Udhra tribe, and he wanted to marry her.[238]

So Mulaykah’s family did not give her to Muhammad because she was at risk of starvation or because there was nobody else to care for her. They did it because they had offended Muhammad by resisting his invasion of Mecca[239] and they hoped to appease him quickly by giving him a pretty girl.

This marriage ended in divorce after only a few weeks.[240] If, in fact, Mulaykah had somehow benefited materially from her marriage to Muhammad, then it would appear that the prophet shortly decided to discontinue this service - however, it is not at all evident that the marriage was materially advantageous in any special way for Mulaykah to begin with.

Fatima (Al-Aliyah) bint Al-Dahhak

Fatima’s father was a minor chief, and he was still alive when she married Muhammad.[241] Hence, she was not poor at the time of her marriage to Muhammad.

This marriage also ended in divorce after only a few weeks.[242] At this point, Fatima became poor. Muhammad had no legal obligation to maintain her as the divorce had severed all ties between them. Strictly speaking, she should have returned to her father. But Al-Dahhak settled near Mecca[243] and he left his daughter in Medina.[244]

There is no record that Fatima ever remarried; men were forbidden to approach a woman who had once been the wife of the Prophet.[245] She had to work for a living. Muslim women were not forbidden to work, but the obligations of the Veil made most kinds of work difficult for them. Fatima eventually set up a business in collecting camel-dung, drying it out and selling it as fuel.[246] She apparently disliked this work, for she used to complain, “I am wretched! I am miserable!”[247] But it seems she had difficulty in finding any other kind of work, for she continued working with camel dung all her life. While she lived another fifty years,[248] and therefore did not starve, it is unlikely that this kind of work made for a comfortable life style.

Neither Muhammad nor any other Muslim leader thereafter showed any interest in saving Fatima from her life of poverty that was, in her own words, "wretched" and "miserable".

Asma bint Al-Numan

Asma was a wealthy princess from Yemen who had lived all her life in luxury.[249] Her father hinted that he found Muhammad’s standard 12½ ounces of silver a “stingy” dower, but was ultimately forced to accept that this was all Asma would be paid.[250]

Amrah bint Yazid

Not much is known about Amrah’s background. But this is not really relevant here, as Muhammad divorced her on the first day,[251] and therefore, whether she was poor or not, he certainly did not provide for her materially.

Tukanah al-Quraziya

Like Rayhanah, Tukanah was a prisoner-of-war from the Qurayza tribe.[252] She was only poor because Muhammad had embattled her tribe, killed its men and confiscated its property.

Muhammad selected Tukanah as one of his personal slaves. After that he was legally obligated to feed and house her, whether or not she was his concubine. And while the slave life would not have been a glamorous or enriching one, she would still have been living at his expense, even if she was only ever his housemaid. Muhammad, it would appear, did not need to have intercourse with this woman in order to provide for her.

The Other Concubine

Nothing is known about this woman except that she was a domestic maid (a slave) before she became a concubine.[253] So Muhammad had to support her whether he had sex with her or not. Muhammad, it would appear again, did not need to have intercourse with this woman in order to provide for her.


Leprosy, also known as Hansen's disease (HD), is a chronic disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis.[254][255] Left untreated, leprosy can be progressive, causing permanent damage to the skin, nerves, limbs and eyes. Contrary to folklore, leprosy does not cause body parts to fall off, although they can become numb or diseased as a result of secondary infections; these occur as a result of the body's defenses being compromised by the primary disease.[256][257] Secondary infections, in turn, can result in tissue loss causing fingers and toes to become shortened and deformed, as cartilage is absorbed into the body.[256][257][258]

Prophet Muhammad taught others to "run away from the leper as one runs away from a lion."[259] He also put an end to two of his relationships with women on account of them being afflicted with leprosy. Amra bint Yazid, whom he divorced in circa 631 before consummating the marriage when he saw she had symptoms.[260][261][262][263] And Jamra bint Al-Harith, whose own father informed Muhammad in circa 631 that she suffered from the disease, whereupon Muhammad broke off the engagement (later chroniclers claim her father lied but arrived home only to find that she really had been afflicted with leprosy).[264]

See Also


  1. Sahih Bukhari 1:5:268. See also Sahih Bukhari 7:62:142.
  2. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, pp. 126-127.
  3. Concubine – Merriam-Webster, accessed September 28, 2011
  4. Guillaume/Ishaq 82-83, 106-107, 111, 113-114, 160-161, 191, 313-314.
  5. Ibn Hisham note 918.
  6. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, pp. 127-128; Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 3-4
  7. Bewley/Saad 8:9-12, 39, 151-152.
  8. Sahih Bukhari 2:26:740.
  9. Guillaume/Ishaq 148, 309, 530.
  10. Ibn Hisham note 918.
  11. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, pp. 128-130; Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 169-170.
  12. Bewley/Saad 8:39-42, 152.
  13. Guillaume/Ishaq 116, 223, 279-280, 311, 457, 464-465, 468, 493-499, 522, 535-536, 544, 649-650, 667, 678-688.
  14. Ibn Hisham note 918.
  15. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, pp. 128-131; Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 171-174.
  16. Bewley/Saad 8:43-56, 152.
  17. Guillaume/Ishaq 218, 301, 679.
  18. Ibn Hisham note 918.
  19. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, pp. 131-132; Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 174-175.
  20. Bewley/Saad 8:56-60, 152.
  21. Ibn Hisham note 918.
  22. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 138; Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 63-64.
  23. Bewley/Saad 8:82, 152.
  24. Guillaume/Ishaq 146, 147, 150-153, 167-169, 213-214, 462, 529, 536, 546, 589, 680.
  25. Ibn Hisham note 918.
  26. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 132; Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 175-177.
  27. Bewley/Saad 8:61-67, 152.
  28. Guillaume/Ishaq 215, 495.
  29. Ibn Hisham note 918.
  30. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 134; Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 180-182.
  31. Bewley/Saad 8:72-81, 152.
  32. Guillaume/Ishaq 490-493.
  33. Ibn Hisham note 918.
  34. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 133; Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 182-184.
  35. Bewley/Saad 8:83-85, 152.
  36. Guillaume/Ishaq 146, 527-528, 529, 543.
  37. Ibn Hisham note 918.
  38. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, pp. 133-134; Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 177-180.
  39. Bewley/Saad 8:68-71, 153.
  40. Guillaume/Ishaq 241-242, 511, 514-515, 516-517, 520.
  41. Ibn Hisham note 918.
  42. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, pp. 134-135; Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 184-185.
  43. Bewley/Saad 8:85-92, 153.
  44. Guillaume/Ishaq 531, 679-680.
  45. Ibn Hisham note 918.
  46. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 135; Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 185-186.
  47. Bewley/Saad 8:94-99, 153.
  48. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, p. 165.
  49. Bewley/Saad 8:106, 154.
  50. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 138; Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 186-188. Despite the confusion over the name, she is probably also the woman referred to in Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, pp. 136-137 and the “Fatima bint Shurayh” of Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 139
  51. Bewley/Saad 8:100-101, 153.
  52. Ibn Hisham note 918 (here he has apparently confused her with Amra bint Yazid).
  53. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 188-191. She is mentioned in Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, pp. 128-130 but has apparently been partly confused with Amra bint Yazid.
  54. Bewley/Saad 8:101-105, 153.
  55. Ibn Ishaq, cited in Guillaume, A. (1960). New Light on the Life of Muhammad, p. 55. Manchester: Manchester University Press
  56. Ibn Hisham note 918 (here he has apparently confused her with Asma bint Al-Numan).
  57. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 139; Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 187-188.
  58. Bewley/Saad 8:100-101.
  59. Guillaume/Ishaq 466.
  60. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, pp. 137, 141; Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 164-165.
  61. Bewley/Saad 8:92-94, 153.
  62. Guillaume/Ishaq 653.
  63. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, pp. 137, 141; Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 193-195.
  64. Bewley/Saad 8:148-151.
  65. Ibn al-Qayyim, Za’d al-Ma’ad 1:114.
  66. Majlisi, Hayat al-Qulub 2:52.
  67. Ibn al-Qayyim, Zaad al-Ma’ad 1:114.
  68. Ibn Hisham note 918.
  69. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 139.
  70. Bewley/Saad 8:111-114.
  71. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 139; Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, p. 166
  72. Bewley/Saad 8:116.
  73. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 138.
  74. Bewley/Saad 8:116-117.
  75. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 139.
  76. Bewley/Saad 8:7, 108-109, 231.
  77. Guillaume/Ishaq 311.
  78. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 140.
  79. Bewley/Saad 8:36.
  80. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, pp. 135-136; Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, p. 166.
  81. Bewley/Saad 8:106-107.
  82. Bewley/Saad 8:107.
  83. Bewley/Saad 8:106.
  84. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, pp. 140-141
  85. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 136.
  86. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, pp. 138-139.
  87. Bewley/Saad 8:105.
  88. Quran 3:33-51; Quran 19:16-40; Quran 21:91; Quran 66:12.
  89. Sahih Bukhari 4:55:642. Sahih Bukhari 5:58:163.
  90. Sahih Muslim 31:5965.
  91. 91.0 91.1 91.2 Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wal-Nihayah [From the Beginning to the End], 2, Maktabah al-Shamilah, pp. 431, https://app.turath.io/book/4445 
  92. Majlisi, Hayat al-Qulub 2:26.
  93. Quran 28:4-13; Quran 66:11.
  94. Sahih Muslim 31:5966.
  95. Ibn Kathir, Tafsir on Quran 66:11.
  96. Majlisi, Hayat al-Qulub 2:26.
  97. Quran 19:27-28.
  98. Sahih Muslim 25:5326.
  99. Majlisi, Hayat al-Qulub 2:26.
  100. Guillaume/Ishaq 181, 184, 404-405, 551-552, 557, 689.
  101. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 140; Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 196-197
  102. Bewley/Saad 8:109-110.
  103. Al-Tabari, Vol. 6, pp. 106-107.
  104. Guillaume/Ishaq 235.
  105. Bewley/Saad 8:288-289.
  106. Sunan Abu Dawud 12:2219; Sunan Abu Dawud 12:2220; Sunan Abu Dawud 12:2221.
  107. Al-Muwatta 20:31.
  108. Majlisi, Hayat al-Qulub 2:52.
  109. Guillaume/Ishaq 590
  110. Sahih Bukhari 7:62:24; Sahih Bukhari 7:62:58; Sahih Bukhari 7:62:63; Sahih Bukhari 7:62:66.
  111. Bewley/Saad 8:114.
  112. Ibn Kathir, Tafsir on Quran 33:50.
  113. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 140
  114. Bewley/Saad 8:111.
  115. Sahih Muslim 8:3412; Sahih Muslim 8:3413.
  116. Sahih Muslim 8:3412; Sahih Muslim 8:3413.
  117. Bewley/Saad 8:115-116.
  118. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 140
  119. Bewley/Saad 8:109-111.
  120. Sahih Bukhari 7:62:27.
  121. Guillaume/Ishaq 82.
  122. Ibn Hanbal, Musnad vol. 6 pp. 117-118.
  123. Ibn Hisham note 918.
  124. Guillaume/Ishaq 223.
  125. Guillaume/Ishaq 114.
  126. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 129-130.
  127. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, 193-195; Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, pp. 137, 141.
  128. Al-Tabari, Vol. 8, p. 187.
  129. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, 136-139; Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 186-188.
  130. Since so little is known about these women, it cannot be asserted that they were not widows. We only state here that no previous marriages are recorded.
  131. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, p. 170.
  132. Ibn Hanbal, Musnad vol. 6 pp. 117-118.
  133. Guillaume/Ishaq 223
  134. An-Nasa’i vol. 5 #4245
  135. Tirmidhi 927.
  136. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 130.
  137. Zarqani 2:260 states that he was killed at the Battle of Jalula in 637. If Sawda was born c. 580, she could easily have given birth to a son before 600.
  138. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 130.
  139. Guillaume/Ishaq 289ff.
  140. Guillaume/Ishaq 145.
  141. Al-Suyuti, Tarikh al-Khulafa. Translation by Jarrett, H. S. (1881). History of the Caliphs, p. 112. Caclutta: The Asiatic Society.
  142. Guillaume/Ishaq 146-148.
  143. Guillaume/Ishaq 115-117.
  144. There is no mention of Khadijah and her daughters, nor of Umm Ruman, nor of the numerous sisters of Lubabah bint Al-Harith (Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, p. 201).
  145. Guillaume/Ishaq 509-510.
  146. Sahih Bukhari 5:59:342. Bewley/Saad 8:56: "He died, leaving her a widow after the Hijra when the Prophet arrived from Badr."
  147. Guillaume/Ishaq 218.
  148. Guillaume/Ibn Ishaq 216.
  149. Baladhuri, Conquest of the Lands, cited in Mutahhari, S. A. M. The Unschooled Prophet. Tehran: Islamic Propagation Organization. There were also eleven Muslim men who could write. The other seven names on Baladhuri’s list are of people who did not convert to Islam until after Hafsah had married Muhammad.
  150. Sahih Muslim 42:7085; Sahih Muslim 42:7083; Sahih Muslim 42:7086; Sahih Muslim 42:7084; Sahih Muslim 42:7087; Sahih Muslim 42:7089; Sahih Muslim 42:7092; Sahih Muslim 42:7093; Sahih Muslim 42:7097; Sahih Muslim 42:7098.
  151. Sahih Bukhari 7:62:119.
  152. Guillaume/Ibn Ishaq 216.
  153. Guillaume/Ibn Ishaq 506.
  154. Bewley/Saad 8:82. “He married her in Ramadan at the beginning of the 31st month of the Hijra.”
  155. Bewley/Saad 8:82.
  156. Guillaume/Ishaq 218.
  157. Guillaume/Ishaq 328.
  158. Ibn Hisham note 918.
  159. Ibn Hisham note 918; Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 138.
  160. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 132.
  161. Guillaume/Ishaq 169, 170.
  162. Guillaume/Ishaq 213-214.
  163. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, p. 175; Bewley/Saad 8:61.
  164. Bewley/Saad 8:62.
  165. Bewley/Saad 8:66: “When I gave birth to Zaynab, the Messenger of Allah came and proposed to me.” There is some confusion here, as both Hind's daughters appear to have been sometimes known as Zaynab, although the first was originally named Barrah and the second Durrah. Obviously, Hind is here referring to her younger daughter.
  166. Bewley/Saad 8:61.
  167. Bewley/Saad 8:63.
  168. Ahmad ibn Hanbal, cited in Ibn Kathir, Al-Sira Al-Nabawiyya. Translated by Le Gassick T. (2000). The Life of the Prophet, p. 123. Reading, U.K.: Garnet Publishing.
  169. Bewley/Saad 8:63.
  170. Bewley/Saad 8:61.
  171. Bewley/Saad 8:74, 77.
  172. Guillaume/Ishaq 214-215.
  173. Ibn Hisham note 918.
  174. Quran 33:36.
  175. Jalalayn's Tafsir on Q33:36.
  176. Guillaume/Ibn Ishaq 607.
  177. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, p. 180.
  178. Ibn Hisham note 918; Sahih Bukhari 9:93:516; Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 180-181.
  179. Bewley/Saad 8:74, 77.
  180. Abdallati, H. Islam in Focus, pp.177-179, cited in “Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun’s Article Muhammad’s Multiplicity of Marriages” in Answering Christianity.
  181. Aly, A. (1999). The Real Men of the Renaissance, p. 26. Belhamissi.
  182. Bewley/Saad 8:165; Al-Suyuti, Tarikh al-Khulafa. Translated by Jarrett, H. S. (1881). History of the Caliphs, pp. 200-201. Calcutta: The Asiatic Society.
  183. E.g., see Guillaume/Ishaq 82.
  184. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, p. 9. "The Munafiqun made this a topic of their conversation and reviled the Prophet, saying, 'Muhammad prohibits (marriage) with the (former) wives of one's own sons, but he married the (former) wife of his son Zayd.'"
  185. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 164-165.
  186. Guillaume/Ibn Ishaq 689-692.
  187. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 164-165.
  188. Guillaume/Ishaq 437-438.
  189. Cited in Kister, M. J. (1986). The Massacre of the Banū Qurayẓa: A Re-Examination of a Tradition. Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam, 8, 61-96.
  190. Guillaume/Ishaq 466.
  191. Guillaume/Ishaq 466.
  192. Guillaume/Ishaq 466.
  193. Bewley/Saad 8:83.
  194. Ibn Hisham note 739.
  195. Guillaume/Ishaq 629; Ibn Hisham note 918; Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 182-183.
  196. Guillaume/Ishaq 146; Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, p. 177.
  197. Guillaume/Ishaq 148.
  198. Guillaume/Ishaq 167-168.
  199. Guillaume/Ishaq 527-529.
  200. Guillaume/Ishaq 527.
  201. Guillaume/Ishaq 214-215. Ubaydullah’s eldest brother was married to Ramlah’s sister.
  202. Bewley/Saad 8:68.
  203. Bewley/Saad 8:68: “He gave himself over to drinking wine until he died.”
  204. Guillaume/Ishaq 526-527. This list shows that the group also included four married couples and six children under 13.
  205. Bewley/Saad 8:68. “When my waiting period came to an end, I was aware of the messenger of the Negus at the door … She said, ‘The King says to you that the Messenger of Allah has written to him to marry you to him.’”
  206. Bewley/Saad 8:69.
  207. Bewley/Saad 8:69.
  208. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 133.
  209. Ibn Hisham note 918.
  210. Guillaume/Ishaq pp. 179, 526-528. The details here show that the two ladies had been married to a pair of brothers, i.e. were probably of a similar age. One of them was the older sister of the mother of Ramlah’s foster-mother. Hence she must have been at least 30 years, and more likely 40 years, older than Ramlah, who was then 35. The family is described as “freed”, i.e. ex-slaves.
  211. Guillaume/Ishaq 511.
  212. Guillaume/Ishaq 515.
  213. Guillaume/Ishaq 521-523.
  214. Guillaume/Ishaq 515.
  215. “The Prophet’s Marriages and Wives” in Akhter, J. (2001). The Seven Phases of Prophet Muhammad’s Life. Chicago: IPSI.
  216. Al-Jibouri, Y. T. “Marriages of the Prophet” in Muhammad. Qum, Iran: Ansariyan Publications.
  217. E.g., Jibouri.
  218. Guillaume/Ishaq 515.
  219. Guillaume/Ishaq 521-523.
  220. Guillaume/Ishaq 437-438.
  221. Ibn Hisham note 918; Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 135.
  222. Bewley/Saad 8:94: “Al-‘Abbas ibn al-Muttalib married her to him. He took care of her affairs.”
  223. Guillaume/Ishaq 114.
  224. Guillaume/Ishaq 113.
  225. Guillaume/Ishaq 309-310.
  226. Bewley/Saad 8:97: “Maymuna bint al-Harith was the woman who gave herself to the Messenger of Allah.” Also: “‘Amra was asked whether Maymuna was the one who gave herself to the Messenger of Allah. She said, ‘The Messenger of Allah married her for 500 dirhams and the guardian for her marriage was al-‘Abbas ibn al-Muttalib.’”
  227. Ibn Hisham note 918 says the dower was 400 dirhams, like that of all Muhammad’s other wives. Bewley/Saad 8:97 says it was 500 dirhams, in keeping with Ibn Saad’s other traditions that Muhammad’s wives received 12½ ounces of silver. The higher sum is from the later histories, suggesting that the chroniclers adjusted it for inflation.
  228. Guillaume/Ishaq 653.
  229. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, p. 194. “He had intercourse with her by virtue of her being his property.”
  230. Al-Tabari, Vol. 8, p. 98.
  231. Bewley/Saad 8:148.
  232. Bewley/Saad 8:149.
  233. Guillaume/Ishaq 496.
  234. Bewley/Saad 8:149.
  235. Bewley/Saad 8:136-137.
  236. See the story in Bewley/Saad 8:49. It is also told in Sahih Bukhari 3:43:648, although Mariyah’s part in the story is minimised.
  237. Al-Tabari, Vol. 8, p. 187; Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, p. 165; Bewley/Saad 8:106.
  238. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, p. 165; Bewley/Saad 8:106.
  239. Al-Tabari, Vol. 8, p. 187; Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, p. 165; Bewley/Saad 8:106.
  240. Al-Tabari, Vol. 8, p. 187; Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, p. 165; Bewley/Saad 8:106.
  241. Guillaume/Ishaq 570ff shows her father as a military commander of some authority. Sunan Abu Dawud 18:2921 shows that he survived to the caliphate of Umar.
  242. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 138; Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 186-188; Bewley/Saad 8:100-101.
  243. Al-Muwatta 43:9.
  244. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 186-188; Bewley/Saad 8:100-101.
  245. Quran 33:53.
  246. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 186-188; Bewley/Saad 8:100-101.
  247. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 186-188; Bewley/Saad 8:100-101: “She used to collect the camels and say, ‘I am the wretch.’”
  248. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 186-188; Bewley/Saad 8:100-101.
  249. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, p. 189. Her tribe, the Kindah, were the rulers of Yemen.
  250. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, p. 189.
  251. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, p. 188; Bewley/Saad 8:101.
  252. Al-Majlisi, Hayat al-Qulub vol. 2 chapter 52. Translation by Rizvi, S. A. H. (2010). Life of the Heart. Qum, Iran: Ansariyan Publications.
  253. Ibn Al-Qayyim, Zaad Al-Maad vol. 1 p. 29, cited in Al-Mubarakpuri, S. R. (2002). The Sealed Nectar, pp. 564-565. Riyadh: Darussalam.
  254. Sasaki S, Takeshita F, Okuda K, Ishii N (2001). "Mycobacterium leprae and leprosy: a compendium". Microbiol Immunol 45 (11): 729–36. PMID 11791665. 
  255. "New Leprosy Bacterium: Scientists Use Genetic Fingerprint To Nail 'Killing Organism'", ScienceDaily, 2008-11-28, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081124141047.htm. 
  256. 256.0 256.1 "Lifting the stigma of leprosy: a new vaccine offers hope against an ancient disease" (May 1982). Time 119 (19). PMID 10255067. 
  257. 257.0 257.1 Kulkarni GS. Textbook of Orthopedics and Trauma (2 ed.). Jaypee Brothers Publishers. p. 779. ISBN 81-8448-242-6, 9788184482423, 2008. 
  258. "Do fingers and toes fall off when someone gets leprosy? No. The bacillus attacks nerve endings and destroys the body's ability to feel pain and injury. Without feeling pain, people injure themselves on fire, thorns, rocks, even hot coffee cups. Injuries become infected and result in tissue loss. Fingers and toes become shortened and deformed as the cartilage is absorbed into the body.", "Q and A about leprosy", American Leprosy Missions, http://www.leprosy.org/leprosy-faqs 
  259. "Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, '(There is) no 'Adwa (no contagious disease is conveyed without Allah's permission). nor is there any bad omen (from birds), nor is there any Hamah, nor is there any bad omen in the month of Safar, and one should run away from the leper as one runs away from a lion " - Sahih Bukhari 7:71:608
  260. Ibn Ishaq, cited in Guillaume, A. (1960). New Light on the Life of Muhammad, p. 55. Manchester: Manchester University Press
  261. Ibn Hisham note 918 (here he has apparently confused her with Asma bint Al-Numan).
  262. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 139; Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 187-188.
  263. Bewley/Saad 8:100-101.
  264. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, pp. 140-141