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Wives of the Prophet - Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an, Vol. 5 (Brill, 2001)

Wives of the Prophet - Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an, Vol. 5 (Brill, 2001)

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Wives of the Prophet
The Prophet is usually said to have hadthirteen wives or concubines, of whomnine survived him. But there is somedispute as to the identity of the thirteen.Some modern Muslim biographers havelinked the large size of the Prophet’sharem to the fact that all of theProphet’s marriages had been con-cluded by the time that the earlyMedinan revelation of 
 
:
limited thenumber of wives to four (Haykal,
 Life of  Mu
ammad,

; see
 
 ). Conversely, an Orientalist his-torian of the qur
ā
nic text has suggestedthat the Prophet had only four wives atthe time of the revelation of 
 
:
(Stern,
 Marriage,

-

; see
--    
 
 ).
 
 
507
In
ad
 ī 
th (see
 
  
   
 
 )and classical qur
ā
nic exegesis ( 
tafs
ī 
r;
see
   
 
 ), the Prophet’sright to less restricted polygamy is pre-sented as a prerogative that
sunnat All 
ā 
h,
God’s “law” for the world (see
;    
 
 ), had always granted toGod’s prophets and apostles (see
  ; 
 ).Furthermore, the classical sources foundthe scriptural legitimization of theProphet’s larger household (see
  
 ) in
 

:

, a late Medinanrevelation that enumerated the “categoriesof females” lawful to the Prophet for mar-riage as follows (see
 ;  ;    
 
 ): wives with whom theProphet contracted marriage involving payment of “hires” (dowers; see

 ); female prisoners of war(slaves) who fell to him as part of his shareof the spoils (see
  ;; 
 ); paternal and maternalcousins who had migrated to Medina (q.v.;see also
  ; ;
 ); anda believing woman (see
 
 ), if she gives herself to theProphet, if the Prophet should wish tomarry her. Especially for you, exclusive of the believers. We know what we have im-posed upon them concerning their wivesand slaves. So that there be no restrictionon you. And God is forgiving, compassion-ate (see
; ;   
 ).The interpretation of the verse has pre-sented difficulties because it appears torelate to a social system that had ceased toexist within a century after the Prophet’sdeath (Watt,
 Muhammad at Medina,

 ).Especially problematic within the changing code of early Islamic marriage law was theinstitution of 
hiba,
possibly a pre-Islamicform of marriage, by which a woman “of-fers herself” to a man without a guardian
wal 
ī 
 ;
see

 ) to negotiate theunion and without expectation of a dower.Later Muslim interpreters were uncomfort-able with the institution of 
hiba
and someopined that it was not a lawful form of marriage for anyone with the sole excep-tion of the Prophet himself. Consequently,they used
 

:

primarily as an aid toclassify the Prophet’s consorts; but it alsoprovided them with scriptural proof that Mu
ammad’s marriages — eventhough more than four — were divinelysanctioned.
ad
 ī 
th reports agree overall that theProphet was married to the following women:
. Khad
 ī 
 ja bt. Khuwaylid (Quraysh[q.v.] — Asad; see

 ī 
 
 ). She was mar-ried to Ab
ū
H
ā
la Hind b. al-Nabb
ā
sh of Tam
 ī 
m with whom she had two sons, H
ā
laand Hind, and to
At
 ī 
q
 
b.
Ā 
bid of Makhz
ū
m, with whom she had a daughter,Hind. Twice widowed (see
 
 ),Khad
 ī 
 ja was a wealthy merchant womanwho is said to have employed Mu
ammadin a business enterprise in

.
. andthen proposed marriage to him (see
; 
 ). He was twenty-five years old at that time and she was forty.They had two or three sons, named
ā
sim,
Abdall
ā
h al-
ā
hir al-Mu
ahhar(and
ayyib?), and four daughters,Zaynab, Ruqayya, Umm Kulth
ū
m, andF
ā
ima (q.v.). All the male children died ininfancy. When the revelations began (see
  
 ), Khad
 ī 
 jawas the first person or, some say, the firstwoman to accept Islam from the messen-ger of God. Khad
 ī 
 ja died three years be-fore the migration to Medina (see
-
 ) and was buried in Mecca (q.v.).
. Sawda bt. Zam
a (Quraysh— 
Ā 
mir).
 
 
508
She was married to Sakr
ā
n b.
Amr, anearly Muslim, and made the
hijra
(emigra-tion) to Abyssinia (q.v.) with him. He diedafter their return to Mecca and she mar-ried the Prophet around

.
. when shewas about thirty. She migrated with hishousehold to Medina where she died in

/

-
.
.
Ā
isha bt. Ab
 ī 
Bakr (q.v.;Quraysh— Taym), married in
/

whenshe was nine. She was the only virginMu
ammad married. She remained child-less and died in Medina in

/

-
.
.
af 
a bt.
Umar b. al-Kha
ā
b(Quraysh— 
Ad
 ī 
 ) was the widow of Khumays b.
udh
ā
fa, a Muslim killed atBadr (q.v.). She married the Prophet in
/

at age eighteen. She died in

/

(see
 
 
 ).
. Umm Salama (Hind) bt. al-Mugh
 ī 
ra(Quraysh— Makhz
ū
m) married theProphet in
/

at age twenty-nine. Herhusband Ab
ū
Salama had died of a woundreceived at U
ud and had left her withseveral small children (see
  
 ). She died in

/

-
.
. Zaynab bt. al-Khuzayma ( 
Ā 
mir b.
a

a
a— Hil
ā
l) was first married to al-
ufayl b. al-
ā
rith (Quraysh — al-Mu

alib) who divorced her. Then shemarried his brother
Ubayda who waskilled at Badr. Her marriage to the Prophettook place in or around
/

-
when shewas about thirty. She died just a fewmonths later.
. Juwayriyya (al-Mus
aliq — Khuz
ā
a),daughter of the chief of the tribe, was cap-tured in the attack on her tribe in
/

,married by Mu
ammad on her professionof Islam and set free. She was abouttwenty years old at the time. Some say thatshe was at first only a concubine (see

 ) but that she had become afull wife before the Prophet’s death. Juwayriyya died in

/

.
. Zaynab bt. Ja
sh (Asad b. Khuzayma)married Mu
ammad in
/

-
at agethirty-eight after her divorce from Zayd b.
ā
ritha. She was a granddaughter of 
Abdal-Mu

alib, and Mu
ammad’s first cousinon his mother’s side. Her father was a cli-ent of the clan of 
Abd Shams of theQuraysh tribe (see
 
 ). Zaynab bt. Ja
sh died in

/

-
.
. M
ā
riya the Copt (see
 
 ) was a slave-concubinewhom the ruler of Egypt (q.v.) sent to theProphet as a gift in or around
/

-
. Shebore Mu
ammad a son called Ibr
ā
h
 ī 
mwho died when he was less than two yearsold. She remained a concubine. She diedin

/

.

. Umm
ab
 ī 
ba (Ramla) bt. Ab
 ī 
Sufy
ā
n(Quraysh — 
Abd Shams) was aboutthirty-five when the Prophet married heron his return from Khaybar in
/

. Shewas the widow of 
Ubaydall
ā
h b. Ja
shwith whom she had made the emigrationto Abyssinia. She died in

/

.

.
afiyya bt.
uyayy (of the Jewish al-Na
ī 
r tribe; see
   ; 
 
,
-
 ) was captured at Khaybar in
/

and assigned to the Prophet. Shewas seventeen. Perhaps she was at first aconcubine, but later accepted Islam, wasset free, and became a wife. She died in

/

.

. Maym
ū
na bt. al-
ā
rith ( 
Ā 
mir b.
a

a
a — Hil
ā
l) became Mu
ammad’swife at age twenty-seven in the year
/

during or right after the lesser pilgrimage(q.v.). She died in

/

-
.

. Ray
ā
na bt. Zayd (of the Jewish al-Na
ī 
r tribe) was captured in
/

during the attack on the Ban
ū
Quray
a (q.v.) towhom her husband had belonged. Withthe Prophet, she had the status of con-cubine which she apparently retained untilher death in

/

-
.In addition to these thirteen women gener-ally acknowledged to have been either reg-ular wives or concubines, there is some
 

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