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(part 1 of 2): Phases of life

Prophet Muhammad was a religious and political figure whose mission was to unite the various tribes, especially on the Arabian Peninsula and more generally around the world, under one religion. As a role model for the world to follow, the life and choices of Prophet Muhammad are the ones who can benefit the most and reflect the highest wisdom. From the time of Revelation, the Prophet lived a life under the direct supervision of the Creator. He was therefore under the protection of God from making any mistake in the description of religion and the correct way of life. Every one of his deeds should be imitated because God said about him:

„Indeed, you have a noble character.“

The Prophet was a man with a mission and his concerns were not those of ordinary people. For this reason, one must pay attention to the motivations for which the Prophet made certain decisions during his life. While some of them seem easy to use, others are unfamiliar with these days and times. Accordingly, measuring things from your life with today’s standards can lead to wrong conclusions without any basis or evidence.

One of those facets of the Prophet’s life that is often misunderstood, or frankly misunderstood, is the fact that he has made a lot of marriages throughout his life. To understand the wisdom in it, one has to do a case study of the various factors that made this decision. Only then can you draw an appropriate conclusion.

The prophet’s domestic life can be divided into four stages.

The first stage

The first twenty years of his life was a period of celibacy. Adolescence is usually the time when people become carefree when adolescent passions are stirred up and confused because self-control has not yet been learned. In addition, he lived in Arab society during this period, which did not restrict sexual relationships. Still, he led a decent, clean life that earned him the nickname ‚Amin,‘ ‚the trustworthy‘. A man who was under control as a young person will most likely have it in old age.

The second stage

When he finally got married, she wasn’t a virgin, or even younger than him. After living abstinently for 25 years, his first wife was 40 and previously married twice. They remained happily married for another 25 years until she died, and during that time he did not marry anyone else. After receiving his first revelation, she was the first person to believe in him as the prophet of God. Can there be a greater testimony than that of a 15 year older wife who is the first person to believe in his call?

He had also had enough reasons to marry another woman while he was married to her:

First, although she gave him three daughters, she did not give birth to male offspring who survived her childhood. In a society that killed female babies because of their preference for male children, this was actually a tough test. His opponents even mocked him after the death of his second son. God, however, rebuked them:

„Verily, he who hates you is cut off (from the blessings of the offspring).“ (Quran 108: 3)

Second, he was a very handsome man. One of his companions described him:

‚I started to look at him and the moon, he was wearing a red coat and he seemed to me to be more beautiful than the moon.‘ [1]

Third, polygamy was widespread and socially recognized among women at that time. There were no social obstacles preventing him from taking another woman. He could easily have married a younger, prettier woman, but he didn’t. When he was forced to remarry after Khadiǧa’s death, he chose another widow.

Fourth, the idolaters of Mecca offered him wealth, gold and silver treasures, rule, and even the most beautiful women to marry if he only stopped preaching, but he refused. He said,
„Even if they put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left, I will not give up my cause until God makes me successful or until I die.“ [2]

Could this be the answer of a man who is devoted to carnal pleasure or the call of God?

The third stage

After he had passed the (physical) spring of his life, he made marriages with more than one woman between 2 AH – 7 AH (623-628 AD). This happened at the age of 55 and 60 and all marriages were closed for unselfish reasons. These were years of war for the young Muslim nation in which the Muslims had to defend themselves to protect their lives and religion. Hundreds of companions were killed, leaving widows and orphans without anyone to look after them. The Prophet Muhammad set an example of the surviving companions to marry the widows to support them, so the majority of his women were widows. If the motive had been mere lust, his choice would not have been for widows or divorces.

The Prophet Muhammad married a virgin, Aisha, who was very young. This marriage is the one that causes most controversy among critics who want to attribute immorality to the character of the Prophet. He married her at the request of her father, Abu Bakr, who had been his closest and earliest supporter outside his family. Abu Bakr was among the Companions the most valued by the Prophet and his most trusted friend. With him he ventured the dangerous escape to Medina. Why should he hurt such a friend for no reason by refusing his request? Aisha was also the source of much of what we know today from the Prophet’s Sunnah, without which the legacy of him would be much poorer. Also, the Prophet fulfilled God’s command to read those who are ready to marry to marry as soon as they are ready. The fulfillment or full marriage (nikah) took place only three years after the marriage contract (engagement) when she was ready for it. As a child, she lived in her father’s house, where Muhammad visited her, and often played dolls with her.

Another reason behind his marriages was to make connections. By marrying into the families of allies with key functions and subject enemies, he made a basic contribution to the cooperation between Muslims of different tribes. None of the women the prophet married to Aisha in terms of youth, intelligence, or desire to learn could be compared to Aisha, but they all contributed to the stability of the Muslim nation in other ways. Such a man was a master, not a slave, of his passions. His marriages show farsighted planning and compassionate interests. If it hadn’t been out of this compassion, then he would certainly have chosen others similar to his wives besides Aisha, rather than widows or divorces.

Footnotes:

[1] Al-Tirmidhi
[2] Al-Serah Al-Nabaweyyah, Ibn Hesham, vol. 1, pp. 265-266

 

(part 2 of 2): A humble life

 

The fourth stage

With the conquest of Mecca 8 years after the hijra, the fighting came to an end for the most part. After this time, the Prophet never married again. This shows that he only added women to his family during periods of instability and warfare, both to protect them and their children and to spread and stabilize the Muslim nation.

The fact that the Prophet Muhammad had a morally perfect life was recognized by his opponents, to which the Quran refers, where God challenged his slanderers by rhetorically asking them if they would find any moral lack in his life . He asks the Prophet Muhammad:

“… (Say):“ I truly lived among you before (the Quran was there). Don’t you want to understand? “ (Quran 10:16)

No one could find any lack of character that they could have put forward, and if, contrary to all evidence, we assume that he was an impostor and himself the author of the Quran, he would have his morally perfect one Life used as evidence that he is the prophet of God?

His humble standard of living

Those few years in Medina in which most of his marriages took place were not years of luxury and comfort. It was rather a rough life, combined with the struggle for survival against the idolaters. Huge armies stood ready at the gates of Medina to smash the Muslims and most of Arabia had allied against him. Battles had to be fought in quick succession, no time to rest on the laurels of victory or the ashes of defeat in between. It was no time for a responsible leader to pursue his passions, not even a simple man so inclined to have followed his passions at such times.

As a former orphan, he then became ruler of the united Arabia; but that hasn’t changed his simple way of life. He ate the same humble food, and he wore the same type of clothing that he had worn since he was young, maybe even easier and more humble than it had been then. The furniture in his bedroom consisted of a bed of palm leaves that left marks on his body, something that even one of his closest companions noticed:

“O Messenger of God, the leaders of Persia drink gold and silver vessels and you do something like that?” (Ahmed)

He often remained without food for nights and for days no fire was lit in his house to prepare food. If this happened, the whole family survived on dates and water, although the treasury would have been available to him. The Prophet could have lived comfortably if he wanted to, because his followers, some of whom had been quite wealthy, would have been willing to sacrifice everything for him. But because of God’s command over the behavior of the prophets, he did not accept alms for himself and his family. Moreover, in times of poverty and abundance, he was not a man who succumbed to the pleasures of this worldly life.

His nights

Prophet Muhammad had many women, but he did not spend most of his night with them. The Prophet was commanded by God:

“Spend the night standing (in prayer) for a short time, half of it, or reduce it a little or add a little – and wear the Quran with tartil (with a beautiful voice and deliberation ) in front.“ (Quran 73: 2-4)

His women described how his feet swelled from standing in prayer. This habitual and constant occupation really is not part of the life of a man who indulges in sensual desires.

The simple life of his women

After the emigration to Medina, rich trade changed the state of the Muslims. Conquests brought comfort in life, and of course the prophet’s wives also wanted to share these legitimate conveniences. However, God revealed:

“O Prophet! Say to your women: „If you want life in this world and its jewelry, come, I want to give you a gift and then let you go in a beautiful way.“ (Quran 33: 28-29)

All women were offered an alternative, but not a single one left him for a more comfortable life. Had they suspected him of being an imposter, or had they found the slightest flaw in his character, or had they even sought a more comfortable life as an alternative to being married to him, they could have simply left him. Instead, each of them chose the honor of being his wife. Certainly, if he had been a sensual man, he would not have simply underestimated his wives‘ wishes and would have easily divorced them all if they had been inclined, if only briefly, to the worldly pleasures now attainable.

 


Source: https://www.islamland.com/deu/articles/die-ehen-des-propheten-muhammad