Why did Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) marry many wives??

Why did prophet Mohammad (pbuh) marry many wives, and who were they, their names and brief background on each one of them (may Allah bless them all)

  • When people hear that the prophet had many wives they conclude without much thought that the prophet was a sensuous man. However, a quick historical review of his marriages, proves otherwise. When he was twenty-five years old he married for the first time. His wife, Khadijah, was fifteen years older than him. She remained the only wife of the prophet for the next twenty-five years, until she died (may Allah be pleased with her).

  • Only after her death, did the prophet marry other women. Now, it is obvious that if the prophet was after physical pleasure he did not have to wait until he was more than fifty years old to start marrying more wives. He lived in a society in which it was quite acceptable to have many wives. But the prophet remained devoted to his only wife for twenty-five years. When she died she was sixty-five years old.

  • His later marriages were for various reasons. Some marriages were with the view to help the women whose husbands had been killed while they were defending their faith. Others were with a view to cement relationships with devoted followers like Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him. Yet others were to build bridges with various tribes who were otherwise at war with the Muslims. When the prophet became their relative through marriage, their hostilities calmed down, and much bloodshed was averted. Recent non-Muslim writers who had the opportunity to study the life of the prophet first-hand reach a similar conclusion about his plural marriages.

  • John L. Esposito, Professor of Religion and Director of the Centre for International Studies at the College of the Holy Cross, says that most of these marriages had “political and social motives” (Islam: The Straight Path, Oxford University Press, 1988, p. 19). This he explained as follows: “As was customary for Arab chiefs, many were political marriages to cement alliances. Others were marriages to the widows of his companions who had fallen in combat and were in need of protection” (John L. Esposito, Islam: The Straight Path, pp. 19-20). Esposito reminds us of the following historical fact: “Though less common, polygyny was also permitted in biblical and even in postbiblical Judaism. From Abraham, David, and Solomon down to the reformation period, polygyny was practiced” (p. 19).

  • Another non-Muslim Caesar E. Farah writes as follows: “In the prime of his youth and adult years Muhammad remained thoroughly devoted to Khadijah and would have none other for consort. This was an age that looked upon plural marriages with favor and in a society that in pre-Biblical and post-Biblical days considered polygamy an essential feature of social existence. David had six wives and numerous concubines (2 Samuel 5:13; 1 Chronicles 3:1-9, 14:3) and Solomon was said to have had as many as 700 wives and 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:3). Solomon’s son Rehoboam had 18 wives and 60 concubines (2 Chronicles 11:21). The New Testament contains no specific injunction against plural marriages. It was commonplace for the nobility among the Christians and Jews to contract plural marriages. Luther spoke of it with toleration” (Caesar E. Farah, Islam: Beliefs and Observances, 4th edition, Barron’s, U.S. 1987, p. 69). Caesar Farah then concluded that Muhammad’s plural marriages were due “partly to political reasons and partly to his concern for the wives of his companions who had fallen in battle defending the nascent Islamic community” (p. 69).

    1. KHADIJAH : She was 40 years old when she proposed to marry the Prophet when he was 25 years old. After 15years of their marriage he became a prophet. She had been married twice before she married Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Her first husband was Aby Haleh Al Tamemy and her second husband was Oteaq Almakzomy. They had both died leaving Khadijah a widower. Khadijah died in 621A.D. This was the same year the Prophet ascended into heaven (Meraj).

    2. SAWDA BINT ZAM’A: Her first husband was Al Sakran Ibn Omro Ibn Abed Shamz. He died within a few days after his return from Ethiopia. She was 65 years old, poor, and had no one to care for her. This was why Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) married her.

    3. AISHA SIDDIQA: A woman named Kholeah Bint Hakeem suggested that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) marry Aishah, the daughter of Aby Bakr, to form a close relationship with Aby Bakr’s family. She was already engaged to Jober Ibn Al Moteam Ibn Oday. At this time Jober was not yet a Muslim. The people of Makkah did not object to Aishah becoming married because although she was young, she was mature enough to understand the responsibility of marriage. Prophet Muhammad (bpuh) was engaged to Aishah for 2 years before he married her. Aby Bakr was the first leader after Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) death.

    4. HAFSAH BINT U’MAR : She was the daughter of Omar, the second Calipha. Omar asked Othman to marry Hafsah. Othman refused because his wife had recently died and Othman did not want to remarry. Omar then went to Aby Bakr but he also refused to marry Hafsah. Aby Bakr knew that the Prophet had already considered marrying Hafsah. Omar then went to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and complained that Othman and Aby Bakr did not want to marry his daughter. The Prophet told Omar that his daughter will marry and Othman will also remarry. Othman married the daughter of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Om Kolthoom, and Hafsah married the Prophet. This made Omar and Othman both happy.

    5. ZAYNAB BINT KHUZAYMA: Her husband died in the battle of Uhud, leaving her poor and with several children. She was old when Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) married her. She died 3 months after she married the Prophet 625 A.D.

    6. SALAMA BINT UMAYYA: Her husband, Abud Allah Abud Al Assad Ibn Al Mogherah, died leaving Hend poor and with many children. Hend was at least 65 years old at the time. Aby Bakr and several others asked her to marry them, but because she loved her husband very much, she refused the marriage’s offers. But finally she accepted Prophet mohammad’s offer to marry her and take care of her children.

    7. ZAYNAB BINT JAHSH: She was the daughter of Prophet Muhammad’s aunt, Omameh Bint Abud Almutaleb. The Prophet arranged for Zaynab to marry Zayed Ibn Hareathah Al Kalby. This marriage did not last and the Prophet received a verse in the Quran which stated that if they became divorced, then the Prophet must marry Zaynab (Sura 33:37).

    8. JUWAYRIYA BINT AL-HARITH: Her first husband’s name was Masafeah Ibn Safuan. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) wanted Juayreah’s tribe (Beni Al Mostalag)to convert to Islam. Juayreah became a prisoner after the Muslims won the Battle of Al Mostalaq. Juayreah’s father came to the Prophet and offered a payment for her return. The Prophet asked her father to give her a choice. When she was given a choice she said she accepted Islam and Prophet Muhammad as the last God’s Messenger. The Prophet then married her. Her tribe of Beni Almostalag accepted Islam.

    9. SAFIYYA BINT HUYAYY: She was from the tribe of Beni Nadir, who were from the children of Levi (Israel). She was married twice before, then she married Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Her first husband Salam Ibn Moshkem, and her second husband was Kenanah Ibn Al Rabeeah.

    10. UMMU HABIBA BINT SUFYAN: Her first husband was Aubed Allah Jahish. He was the son of the aunt of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Aubed Allah died in Ethiopia. The king of Ethiopia arranged the marriage of Ramelah to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

    11. MAYAMUNA BINT AL-HARITH : She was 26years old when she married Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Her first husband was Abu Rahma Ibn Abed Alzey. When the Prophet opened Makkah in 630 AD , she came to the Prophet, accepted Islam and proposed to marry him. Her actions encouraged Many Makkahans to accept Islam and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

    12. MARIA AL-QABTIYYA : She was sent to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as a hand maid servant from the king of Egypt. Maria had a son from the Prophet. His name was Ibrahim.

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Compiled from various sources.Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups, to post on.Internet sites and to publish in full text and subject title in not-for-profit publications.

55 thoughts on “Why did Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) marry many wives??

  1. EIYTA says:

    SESUNGGUHNYA ALLAH TELAH MENGURNIAKAN KELEBIHAN PADA LELAKI UNTUH BERKAHWIN MELEBIHI SEORANG N X LEBIH DARI 4 ORANG..MAKA,BERLAKU ADILLAH KAMU TERHADAP ISTERI2 YANG TERCINTA.

  2. Masallah,Subhanallah the wives of prophet Muhammad were very lucky to marry the prophet Muhammad, they must have had the best life ever with the Prophet Muhammad.

  3. Subhanallah…………..
    May Allah bless the prophet Muhammad and his wives!
    Oh allah shower all your love on the prophet Muhammaed, his children and his wives.

    OH ALLAH BLESS THEM FOR A NAPPY LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Mustafa says:

    I follow Islam…i belong from a Muslim family…but if i like a non-muslim girl [Hindu Girl] then can i marry her ?
    But i won’t force her to convert herself to Islam…

  5. Masha Allah….A great job..the articles gives insight to many muslims as well as non-muslims…May allah pour his rahma on whoever behind this article…Jazakallah Khair.

    May Allah bless the prophet Muhammad and his wives and his children.

    SubhanaLLAH

  6. veron says:

    thr is alots of poor female and widows in present day..
    all islam man shld follow prophets foot step….
    all islam females shld encourage their husband to remarry poor female and widows
    may thr be no orphanage homes

  7. Tunde Taiwo says:

    Did he need to marry them before he could help them? Those that were married as a result of their husbands’ death in the war, did he had sex with them? If no, then that is a punishment not a help any longer. Please note that my question is in order to know but not to criticize.

    • Saqib Younus says:

      As I mentioned in my comment earlier, the sexual aspect of the marriage was the last thing on the minds of those people. The Arabs used to brutally kill the women and children of the beaten army. Muhammad (PBUH) had to introduce a new way of life to them. The widows and orphans are the most vulnerable segment of any soeicty (even today), and they terribly feared a worst end to their lives. But that was the Shariah of Muahammad (PBUH), The Mercy to Mankind, that he married them and gave them the highest status in the society.

      Today when we need to pay tribute to anyone, we give them national medals, shields, honorariums to elevate their social status. In those times the highest social status was to be the wife of the Prophet (PBUH). The women would forgo everything to acquire that status. The sexual desire or satisfaction was not even considerable for them.

  8. alfar jehan says:

    this is a well done article, i hope you will add some more briefs history about prophet muhammad (s.a.w). i have just a question, is it true that prophet muhammad (s.a.w) marry aisha at the age of 9 and still doesn’t have any menstrual experiece?

  9. SK says:

    Mohammed wasn’t a normal man, he was a chieftain , a ruler , a warrior, a merchant, along with a new religion that he wanted to spread. He did all this to propagate his version of religion. And went to war almost all his life, to spread his religion.

  10. Alhamdulillahi ala kulli halin, i knew that prophate Mahammed (SAW) had married to many wive’s but honestly i dont know the reason why only then i read this article then realise the reason’s. Jazakallahu Khairan…

  11. SALEEM BEIG says:

    SUBHANALLAH,
    WELL DONE, GOOD JOB. BRIEF INFORMATION IS REALLY HELPFUL. BUT THIS ARTICLE CAN BE IMPROVED GOING INTO DETAIL.

  12. Swaibu Ali says:

    Assalam alaikum.Am grateful with what you have presented. However, I’ve got two questions: (1)Why do some scholars say the Prophet (p.b.u.h) married nine wives? (2)How many wives,amongest those he had on earth will be with him(the holy prophet) in jana, considering some had been married before? May Allah Bless you.

  13. Ali says:

    Why a Muslim is only allowed to marry only 4 times and Mohammad married 13 time one of the wife only 9 yrs old,,,,,,can I marry a 9 yr old also

  14. MUHAMMED RAFI says:

    it is a right way to get knowledge about our beloved prophet muhammed (peace be upon him)……….thanks for those who share it…..

  15. K.siva says:

    He could have helped the widows without marrying him .is it not ? God is real. But God has given us brains to analyse too. So this question.

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