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We will resume from where we left off.

We discussed the entire story of the moth


er of Ibrahim, Maria. Today we'll mention another incident involving the wives o
f the prophet PBUH. The issue is we don't know when this occured. There are a nu
mber of opinions when it occured. Ibn Sayad says in the 9th year of the Hijrah.
If so it's perfect timing with where we are. Others scholars say in 4th, 5th, 6t
h of the Hijrah. Again this is one of the big problems of the seerah, that we kn
ow many incidences, but don't know precisely when they occured. The same can be
said for most of the ahadith, whenever the prophet PBUH said something, we don't
know when he said it, it's just reported he did.
What is the incident today? It is the incident of the prophet PBUH abstaining fr
om his wives for one month. The famous marital dispute that took place, and Alla
h revealed Qur'an because of it. We have a number of internal evidences of the e
vent. Some of these evidences are somewhat contradictory as is typically the cas
e. We know when this incident took place he was married to all 9 of his wives. T
hey were: Sauda, A'isha, Umme Salama, Juwayriyya bint al-Harith, Zainab bint Jas
h, Umme Habiba, Saifya bint Huyay, Ramla bint Abi Sufyan, Maymunah bint al-Harit
h. So he had all nine of his wives which means this incident took place somewhat
later. Yet we have other evidences which seem to suggest this took place before
the verses of hijaab were revealed. This is somewhat problematic because he mig
ht not have been married to all 9 before these verses. Also, the verse Allah rev
ealed is in surah Ahzab - and this was revealed during the 5th year of the Hijra
h. Thus this seems to indicate this incident took place in the 5th year. But we
can easily dismiss this - just because it's found in Ahzab dosen't mean it was r
evealed then. Simply because the Qur'an was put together at different times.
Nonetheless, to understand this incident we need to understand the lifestyle of
the prophet PBUH. And as we know, he never lived a luxurious life. From his birt
h until his death. He had very humble beginnings, he was orphaned with no father
; our prophet PBUH tells us his first job was a shepard, and he would walk for "
karareeq" meaning literally pennies. He would live in the cracked house of Abu T
alib with the other children. He had a small break with the marriage of Khadija
RA; that's when a little bit of wealth came to him but it still was no way near
the rich people of Mecca. He didn't even have transport i.e. a camel until the H
ijrah. But slowly and surely the wealth began to come in, not to him but to the
ummah. And in the battle of Badr with the randsoming of over 70 qurayshi pagans,
each one brought in thousands of silver coins, slowly the tide began to change.
The first huge break came at Khaybar, that the entire fields of Khaybar were ha
nded over. And then Fadak was gifted to the prophet PBUH. That was his main pers
onal income, remember Khaybar happened in the 7th year of the Hijrah - the narra
tions tell us that land of Fadak was the main income source for feeding his fami
ly. Remembe this was after the battle of Khaybar when he was gifted Fadak (a spe
cial gift to the prophet PBUH). After this the largest gift the ummah got was th
e battle of Hunayn - it was the largest wealth ever accumulated. How much did th
e prophet PBUH keep? Not a single penny even though the sharia allows the leader
to take a share (1/5 of 1/5th).
It is authentically narrated that the prophet PBUH did this by choice. In Musnan
Ahmed its narrated the prophet PBUH was sitting with Jibreel AS. And an angel c
omes down from the heavens. Jibreel says "this angel, Allah has allowed him to c
ome down for the first time since the beginning of creation". So the angel said
"Ya Muhammad as-salaam-u-alaika your Lord has sent me to ask you a question. Do
you want to be a malikun nabi or an abdun rasul?" Meaning, a king-prophet or a s
lave-messenger. SubhanAllah the highest position in this world is a king, the lo
west is a slave. If the prophet PBUH chooses to be a king, he'll be a nabi (prop
het) which is lower than rasul. Or he can humble himself and be a slave, but be
a messenger which has a higher status in the court of Allah. Jibreel AS made a m
otion that "go low". In one version he said "humble yourself". And so the prophe
t PBUH said "I choose to be a slave and a messenger". The narrator of the hadith
says after this incident, he was never seen even eating with his back resting o

n a wall. Meaning what? The most simplest sign of luxury is sitting back and enj
oying your food. Yet, after this incident, the prophet PBUH lived a life even mo
re humble. Why? Because he chose to be a slave before Allah. Another variant of
this hadith which is slightly weak is the same incident where the prophet PBUH h
imself is telling A'isha what happened. And he says to A'isha "Oh A'isha if I de
sired that all of these mountains be turned to gold for me, an angel came to me,
his buckle (fastener) was bigger than the ka'bah itself. And the angel asked me
'do you want to be a malk-nabi or abd-rasul' and I chose to be an abd-rasul". S
o this was his lifestyle.
At some point of his life, we don't know when, most likely 8th, 9th year of the
Hijrah, the prophet PBUHs wives would not have asked for a higher standard of li
ving until they saw other peoples standards rising. When everyone is living at a
similar level, then there's no need to ask for more. When did the increase in l
iving happen? After the conquest, after Khaybar etc. So slowly but surely the ec
onomic level is rising. Of course it was rise rapidly and exponentially during t
he time of the khalifah. By the time of the Ummayads, the Islamic civiliation is
ruling the world. It is the most prestigious civilisation in the entire world.
Allah knows best, but it makes most sense this incident happened later on. And t
his incident was that the wives of the prophet PBUH began asking for more and mo
re. Now the details of what they asked is not in any book, and it is appropiate
that such details are not mentioned. Whatever they said to the prophet PBUH is i
n the privacy of their homes; what appears to have happened is that, there was a
cooperative effort, a group pressure applied to the prophet PBUH, led by two of
his wives. Note we should never diminish their status; they are our mothers and
what they asked is halal.
In any case two of the wives coordinated a group effort. Why a group effort? It'
s more convincing and a stronger case if all of them are demanding a better life
style. This incident is reported in a lot of detail in the first person by Umar
ibn al Khattab in Sahih Muslim. And of course Umar is deeply involved because Ha
fsa and A'isha led the cooperative effort. Ibn Abass narrates: "I was always anx
ious to ask Umar for over a year about the two ladies Allah mentions in the Qur'
an". Look at his patience, eagerness and respect for the time of Umar RA. Ibn Ab
ass eventually found him alone and asked him the question, to which Umar gives t
he story of Maria which we've already discussed. But then, Umar RA goes on: "we
were a people from the Quraysh who would dominate women. Yet when we came to Mad
inah, we found that the people of Madinah were a group whose women dominated the
m. When we moved our women learnt from the women of the Ansar (to dominate men).
I had a house situated in Awari, one of my wives lived there. One day I became
angry at my wife and I said something, AND she responded back. So I rebuked her,
but she said to me 'you are rebuking me for responding back, don't you know the
wives of the prophet PBUH respond back to him?' So much so sometimes they aband
on him in anger, even for a whole day". SubhanAllah this shows us so many things
, that the prophet PBUHs wives had learnt the customs of Madinah. It also shows
us the prophet PBUH is tolerating this; and further the women of Madinah knew ho
w the prophet PBUHs wives treated him.
So Umar RA is shocked. He said "I went to Hafsa immediately and asked her 'do yo
u ever reply back to the prophet PBUH?' She said 'yes'. I asked 'do you ever lea
ve him for a day?' She said 'yes'." Note one of the beautiful things of the stor
y is that it shows us the humanity of everyone involved. We see here that just l
ike every couple has its back and forth, the wives of the prophet PBUH responded
back to him and in irritation not even speaking to him for a day. This is kufr
if anyone else were to do this. But things are allowed for his wives. So Umar RA
rebuked Hafsa and told her "are you a fool? Whoever does this has lost everythi
ng." He is angry at Hafsa, and says to her "are you not scared of the anger of A
llah upon you if the messenger is angry with you?" So he's acting like every mus
lim other than the wife of th prophet PBUH should act. Then he commands her "nev
er reply back to the prophet PBUH, and never ask him for any of your needs. Come

to me - don't irritate him for anything. Let not the status of your companion d
ecieve you about your own status". Meaning he is hinting at A'isha. And he says
"don't make qiyaas upon A'isha and what she does, for indeed she is more gracefu
l and dear to the prophet PBUH than you are". Meaning 'she will get away with th
ings you won't'. This shows us again, its human nature, the one whom you love wi
ll be able to do more than the one we don't. For a parent, a child can do anythi
ng but they'll still be forgiven. So Umar RA is effectively saying to Hafsa 'you
are not A'isha so you won't get away with everything she does'. Recall Hafsa ha
d been divorced before but Allah sent Jibreel down to tell the prophet PBUH to t
ake her back because she is a lady who "prays and fasts and will be your compani
on in Jannah" (in the Qur'an).
Umar continues: "I used to have a companion from the Ansar and we would take tur
ns accompanying the prophet PBUH". Meaning Umar and all the sahaba had their liv
es to live aswell. They have to toil, work and struggle to earn a living. So Uma
r is busy in his life but he also wants to benefit from the company of the proph
et PBUH. So he used to alternate with an ansari; one day Umar did the chores, hi
s companion went to the prophet PBUH. The other day Umar went and the ansari did
the chores. Look at how much eagerness they have to be with the prophet PBUH. F
urther he said "during this time we were discussing the gasaanids and how they m
ight attack us". This is why some scholars say this incident occured before Tabu
k because after Tabuk the gasaanids were not a threat.
He said "One day after Isha when I went to sleep, my neighbour came knocking on
my door." Umar rushes out and said "what is the matter, have the gasaanids attac
ked?" His neighbour says "No, something worse has happened. The prophet PBUH has
divorced his wives". This is amazing. Why? The gasaanids attacking is war. Yet
for the ansari, the wives being divorced is worse than war. Because it's a perso
nal loss for the prophet PBUH which is worse than war. Therefore Umar RA said as
soon as Fajr was prayed, he dressed himself and rushed to the house of the prop
het PBUH. Of course he was not there. Then Umar RA went to Hafsa and she was cry
ing. Umar RA asked her "has the prophet PBUH divorced you all?" Hafsa said "I do
n't know, however he has left us and gone to an attic room". In another version
also in sahih Muslim Umar says "I rushed after Fajr and I found all of the peopl
e gathered in the masjid" meaning they are concerned about what is going on. Rum
ours had spread the prophet PBUH has divorced all of his wives. So Umar says "I
went to A'isha" - note this is the evidence used by some to say this happened be
fore the verse of hijaab because he would not have gone to A'isha otherwise. Oth
ers say he visited her and she was behind the curtain. Nonetheless, he asked her
"Oh daughter of Abu Bukr, have you gone to the extreme of troubling the prophet
PBUH?" So he is rebuking her. So A'isha replied with a sharp tounge "Oh son of
Khattab, go and take care of your own vessel" i.e. Hafsa. So Umar RA realises Ha
fsa is also guilty. Then according to this version he goes to Hafsa and finds he
r crying.
So Umar is rebuking Hafsa. And says to her "Didn't I tell you this would happen?
Didn't I tell not to answer back to him?" He says harshly "you know that Allahs
messenger does not love you, and were it not for the fact I am your father, he
would have divorced you before." Of course at this she breaks down crying more.
Then he asks her "Where is the prophet PBUH?" And she says he is the anti-room o
r attic room. It appears in the masjid of the prophet PBUH, there is a small cha
mber you had to climb a ladder to reach where he would sit for privacy or sleep.
So Umar RA says he went to that room and there was one of the servants of the p
rophet PBUH. So he said "ask permission from the prophet PBUH if I can enter". I
n one version the servant goes in to ask, and says to Umar "I mentioned you are
outside but the prophet PBUH did not respond". So he goes to the mimbar in the m
asjid, waits, then goes back. Second time the servant comes back "he didn't say
anything". Then the third time he comes and permission is given. In another vers
ion he asked permission three times, and then the third time he says it loudly s
o the prophet PBUH can hear: "go ask permission for I think the prophet PBUH is

thinking I am coming for the sake of Hafsa. No walahi that isn't the case, for i
f Allahs messenger told me to execute Hafsa I would follow that command". So acc
ording to this version when he says this he is given permssion to enter the room
.
Of course this is the famous incident of the seerah that we've all heard. That U
mar RA looks in the small room and says "I only found in it some barely (wheat),
a chamber pot and I began to cry looking at this sparce room. And the prophet P
BUH was reclining on a fibre mat (made out of the branches of the date palm), so
when he turned around to see me, I could see the marks of the fibre on his back
". So Umar RA asked him "Ya RasulAllah have you divorced your wives?" The prophe
t PBUH said "NO I have not". Umar RA said "Allahu akbar". This is the sunnah of
hearing good news. Here is where also Umar realised he needs to aleviate the ten
sion. So he tried to have a conversation: "ya RasulAllah don't you remember the
people of Quraysh how we would dominate the women, but then we came to Madinah a
nd we found the oppisite, and our women have learnt from their women. One day I
became angry at my wife, lo and behold she replied back to me which I didn't app
rove. But she told me 'who are you to not approve when the wives of the prophet
PBUH reply back to him'. I went to Hafsa and I told her 'be careful don't reply
back to the prophet PBUH'." He even told the prophet PBUH that he told Hafsa 'do
n't be concieved by the status of A'isha'. So Umar RA told the entire story to t
he prophet PBUH. At this the prophet PBUH smiled. This shows us that, the common
thing of human society is that husbands come together and crack jokes at their
wives. Similarly wives come together and put their husbands down. This is the re
ality that we find comfort in numbers. Here we have Umar RA and the prophet PBUH
talking about women and their wives. We also learn when someone is in pain, we
should bring some lightheartedness into the mood and situation.
When Umar RA saw the prophet PBUH smile, this made him encouraged and continued
talking to the prophet PBUH to which the prophet PBUH smiled again. At this Umar
asked "may I sit down and have a conversation?" meaning he hasn't even sat down
yet. Then the prophet PBUH gave him permssion. SubhanAllah this shows us the ge
ntleness and wisdom of Umar RA. This is when he says "I sat down and lifted my h
ead to see what else is in the room, but by Allah I couldn't see anything in tha
t room other than some animal hides. I said 'oh messenger of Allah why don't you
make dua to Allah that we have wealth as He has given wealth to Persia and Rome
, Kisra and the Ceaser even though they don't worship Him?" At this Umar RA bega
n to cry. SO the prophet PBUH said "why are you crying?" Then Umar RA said "why
should I not when this mat has left its mark on your back, and you are Allahs me
ssenger, and compare this to Ceaser". When he said this, our prophet PBUH got up
from the mat and he said "Oh son of Khattab, are you in doubt? Are you not cont
ent that Allah has chosen us over them for the next world and given them this wo
rld?" In another version the prophet PBUH said "they've been given the good in t
his world so they have nothing in the next life". So Umar RA said "Ask Allah to
forgive me". We see here that to judge the success of a person based upon his we
alth or material possessions is wrong. True success is the akhira gained by livi
ng a moral and virtious life. This is very true in our times. The prophet PBUH i
s asking Umar "do you doubt?" This very doubt is the problem in the ummah today.
Why do we have low GDP, why is technology japanese etc? This is a question with
deep theological responses. The simplest is right here: Islam isn't telling you
to NOT be scientific or technological. But that isn't true success. It's possib
le Allah will bless others with more in this world. But we have the correct theo
logy and religion which is far more precious. Also perhaps these people are bles
sed because their good deeds are being returned to them in this world. That is e
xtra money, extra prosperity, better life etc. So these are responses to the que
stion 'why do unbelievers live materially better lives?'.
Back to the story: the prophet PBUH had taken an oath to Allah that he would not
come close to his wives for one month. At the end of the one month, on the 29th
day, Uruwa says that A'isha says "Oh messenger of Allah you've taken an oath to

stay away for one month but its only been 29 days". The prophet PBUH said "The
month may be 29 days aswell". Note we see here that A'isha is counting every sin
gle day. She is under tension and distress so when the prophet PBUH comes back o
n the 29th day, she is worried the prophet PBUH might be commiting a sin. So she
attempts to correct the prophet PBUH and tell him "this is the 29th day" but th
e prophet PBUH said "No a month could be 29 days". So what happened after these
29 days? Another version tells us. And that is that, after staying away for one
month, the first house he went to was A'ishas. And he said to her: "Oh A'isha, I
'm going to talk to you about a matter and don't be hasty in this decision. And
go and consult your parents before you come back to me." She said "what is the m
atter ya RasulAllah?" And then the prophet PBUH recited Surah Ahzab verses 28-29
:
28. O Prophet, say to your wives, "If you should desire the worldly life and its
adornment, then come, I will provide for you and give you a gracious release.
29. But if you should desire Allah and His Messenger and the home of the Hereaft
er - then indeed, Allah has prepared for the doers of good among you a great rew
ard."
What does this mean? Remember the prophet PBUH had access to wealth. That's the
key point. He had plenty of access and his wives wanted some of that wealth. So
they aren't asking for things beyond what he had. They were asking for a fair sh
are. So Allah revealed in surah Ahzab, that "if you want this world and its beau
ty, come I will give you a good amount and then let you go a gentle letting go".
Meaning: a simple divorce. "But if you want Allah and His messenger and the nex
t life, then Allah has promised the righteous amongst you a very good reward". A
beautiful and simple choice. Notice what the wives were asking for is not a sin
, makrooh or haraam. Its allowed. So Allah says "if you want it, take it but you
won't live with the prophet PBUH after that".
Allah also followed on in a beautiful passage directly solely to the wives of th
e prophet PBUH:
30. O wives of the Prophet, whoever of you should commit a clear immorality - fo
r her the punishment would be doubled two fold, and ever is that, for Allah , ea
sy.
And whoever of you devoutly obeys Allah and His Messenger and does righteousness
- We will give her her reward twice; and We have prepared for her a noble provi
sion.
31. O wives of the Prophet, you are not like anyone among women. If you fear All
ah then do not be soft in speech [to men], lest he in whose heart is disease sho
uld covet, but speak with appropriate speech.
32. And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as [was] the display
of the former times of ignorance. And establish prayer and give zakah and obey A
llah and His Messenger. Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of s
in], O people of the [Prophet's] household, and to purify you with [extensive] p
urification.
33. And remember what is recited in your houses of the verses of Allah and wisdo
m. Indeed, Allah is ever Subtle and Acquainted [with all things].
Now of course the whole point of the topic today is that, our prophet PBUH wante
d to live that lifestyle to be the ultimate role model. What the wives wanted wa
s halal, and nothing is diminishing in their character if they want to live a be
tter life. Knowing they access to this money; but you see, our prophet PBUH coul
d not have lived that lifestyle. And its not appropiate for him to do so. So any
body who wanted him must choose a lifestyle of humbleness and servitude. This is

what Qur'an came down to say. That if you choose Allah and His messenger, you'l
l get your reward in the next life. So this was the choice put to every one of h
is wives, beginning with A'isha. The prophet PBUH said to her "don't be hasty, t
hink about it, go ask your mother and father". A'isha narrates in the first pers
on (in another hadith) that "He told me to consult my parents because he knew my
parents would never tell me to leave." Meaning she felt the prophet PBUH maybe
assumed she might want to leave. And of course the prophet PBUH did not want her
to leave. But he might have been worried this young girl wants to leave. At thi
s A'isha seems to be a little bit irritated and says back "What is there to cons
ult ya RasulAllah is this something to ask about? I have chosen Allah and His me
ssenger and the akhira". This shows us the maturity of A'isha - she fully unders
tood there is no choice here. This also shows us when the choices are clear, you
don't pray istikhara or ask people. It's crystal clear what needs to be done. I
t also shows us A'ishas imaan and taqwah. She then says "don't tell your other w
ives I've chosen you" meaning she wants the others to choose something else.
Our prophet PBUH said "Allah has sent me as a conveyer, not as someone who cuts
off". Meaning its not her right to ask this of him. This shows us no doubt he lo
ved A'isha more than his other wives, but his extra love never caused him to not
be fair with his other wives. And so obviously every single wife chose to stay
with the prophet PBUH. None of them even considered leaving the prophet PBUH. Th
is is exactly what we expect. Umar RA, in another version, adds a detail that he
says to the prophet PBUH "Oh messenger of Allah, if you have any trouble with a
ny of your wives, know that Allah, his angels, Jibreel, Mik'aeel, and I, and Abu
Bukr and all the believers are with you". Umar RA said "I would always hope All
ah would back me up in what I would say". Three times that happened, this is one
of those times. That what Umar RA said, Allah revealed to back him up. Indeed S
urah Tahreem verse 4, Allah says:
If you two [wives] repent to Allah , [it is best], for your hearts have deviated
. But if you cooperate against him - then indeed Allah is his protector, and Gab
riel and the righteous of the believers and the angels, moreover, are [his] assi
stants.
And Umar RA said something similar to this phrase, so Allah backed him up. Ibn A
bbas in Bhukari says "one day we woke up and the rumours spread that all the wiv
es had been divorced. And they were all crying. And all of their families were w
ith them. So I went to the masjid, and it was full of people. And Umar came when
the prophet PBUH was in his private room. He asked permission to enter three ti
mes (same as Umar narrated) and then he entered, and asked the prophet PBUH if h
e had divorced his wives. The prophet PBUH said 'no, but I have done ilaa for on
e month from them'. So he remained for 29 days away from his wives, and then he
entered upon them after this".
So this is the famous story of the prophet PBUHs 'ilaa'. What is ilaa? It's to m
ake an oath to Allah, that you will not come close to your wife for a period of
time. This is permissable if the period of time is less than 4 months. And it is
used when marital disputes are going out of hand, and the husband wants some ti
me to be away, think and cool down. So this is what ilaa is. And our prophet PBU
H did this. And he did it for one month (which can be 29 days). This is the famo
us story, and many benefits can be derived. Of these benefits:
1. Social customs and gender roles vary from society to society. And Islam does
not dictate a particular, specific gender role as long as the overall guidelines
of the sharia are met. This is very clear: how women interacted with men in Mec
ca was very different to how they interacted with men in Madinah. Islam did not
come to say the Meccan interaction is right. Rather Islam allowed them both. Thi
s is something we see in every culture in Islamic society; the women of one land
might be more bold etc. The sharia does not have a particular stance; as long a
s the laws of the sharia are met, there's no harm in us adopting our own culture

. This is very relevant to us in the western world. Our gender interactions and
roles are very different to the bulk of the muslim world. We have extremes on bo
th side, but the sharia allows a spectrum, and beyond that spectrum is haraam. T
here is no doubt modern western society is far more progressive.
2. The humanity of the prophet PBUHs wives, and the prophet PBUH himself. If All
ah had willed our prophet PBUH could have had a fairytale marriage. Also if He w
illed we would not have heard of any of these things. But these incidents bring
to home, that even our prophet PBUH was having marital disputes. The wife might
say something, the husband might say something: this is life. Why would Allah gi
ve this to our prophet PBUH? And not give him a fairytale marriage? The response
is, how else would we learn how to cope with our own marital issues. Our prophe
t PBUH was a human, and his wives were human. Thus their problems were resolved
in the best of manners and we learn from how they resolve their problems. Of the
most important thing, in this society women were mistreated and abused. It was
the norm to physically discipline ones wives. Yet our prophet PBUH never once li
fted his finger against a wife, in a society where it was the norm. Yet as A'ish
a herself said "walahi never was the hand of the prophet PBUH lifted up against
any women or servant". So this demonstrates the perfect role model in the treatm
ent of women. However disciplinary action is sometimes required. What is that? F
irst ask, talk and demand what you want. After that, leave for a while and let t
hings calm down. Allah says in the Qur'an "leave and abandon them in their house
s". Notice if the man tells his wife to leave, this is unislamic and wrong. The
man must leave, not the women. This again shows us the mannerisms of Islam, you
never kick a women out of her own house.
3. The news of the marital problem of the prophet PBUH spread to the entire city
. Not just this, Allah revealed in the Qur'an verses. This shows us that, to hav
e a marital problem, is not in and of itself so embarassing that its taboo no-on
e can talk about it. We have extremes in our society where it becomes complete t
aboo to mention marital problems. And thats an issue, because by discussing it t
o other people, solutions can be found. As usual Islam is in the middle. You don
't go and tell every minor little thing to everyone. On the flip side nor should
you think it is taboo to tell major problems. In this incident the whole city o
f Madinah knows and they are in the masjid crying because they love the prophet
PBUH. But the prophet PBUH is not embarassed. The good marriage is not one witho
ut problems; its one where problems are trivial and resolved swiftly. How often
did this incident happen in the lifetime of the prophet PBUH? Once. This is the
ideal marriage. One time it got so bad, he demonstrated to us how to deal with i
t. And subhanAllah one of the best ways to solve an issue is to just seperate an
d let both parties to cool off. As for our prophet PBUH he didn't do anything wr
ong, but he gave his wives the opportunity to think and calm down.
4. The in-laws can and should get involved. Umar RA comes and talks to Hafsa: "d
on't do this, do that. If you need anything come to me" etc.
5. Fiqh benefit: the husband has the right to give his wife the option of divorc
e. If fiqh its called 'ikthiyar' i.e. choose. This is what the prophet PBUH did.
So a husband can tell the wife "look you have a day, think about it, if you wan
t a divorce you may divorce". So he gives her the power of divorce. Usually the
man has the power, but its halal and wise to give that power to the women. In th
is case, the prophet PBUH did not want divorce, so he tells his wives "if you wa
nt it is your choice". Most of the fuqaha allow it and say a time period should
be given. Others say it can be unlimited in time (in accordance to the hanafi ma
dhab). The other madhab says there should be a time clause so Allahs statement o
f the power of divorce for the man still applies. Nonetheless you can give your
wife a choice of divorce for a time period. If she chooses it, the divorce takes
place at HER saying it. This is never the case except in 'ikthiyar'.
6. The main point is the simplicity of the lifestyle of the prophet PBUH. Truly

its a sign of his prophethood. It's one thing to sacrifice for yourself, but to
sacrifice for your loved ones. That is setting a standard for society. Allah did
not want our prophet PBUH to live like a king. So he chose a very simple lifest
yle for the prophet PBUH, and all of his wives were given this option. None of t
hem chose money over the prophet PBUH and akhira, and of course this shows the s
tatus of the mothers of the believers and their imaan.