Wives of the Prophet (s)

Question:

I would like to know how many wives the prophet Muhammad (SAW) had?
On some website it says 13, 12, 7 and 4. Please can you clarify this for me.

Answer:

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim,

The Holy Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) consummated and solidifed his marriage with 12 women (Khadija, `A’isha, Hafsa, Umm Habiba, Umm Salama, Sawda, Zaynab bint Jahsh, Maymuna, Zaynab bint Khuzayma, Juwayriya, Safiyya, and Rayhana) and had a concubine (surriyya), Mariya, who gave him a son; but he also married, proposed to, or accepted the self-gift of about 30 more women whom he either did not finalize the marriage with, or divorced before or shortly after consummating the marriage. The most that he was married to at any one time was 11. When he left this life they were 9.

LIST OF PARADISE’S PEOPLE OF PURITY, THE MOTHERS OF THE BELIEVERS, upon our Prophet and his Family blessings and peace:

{Allah’s wish is but to remove uncleanness far from you, O Folk of the Household, and cleanse you with a thorough cleansing} (33:33) O Allah, bless and grant peace and benediction to our liegelord Sayyidina Muhammad, his Family, spouses, children, and Companions to the Day of Judgment!

I. Six women of Quraysh:

1. Our Mother Khadija bint Khuwaylid al-Kubra, Allah be well-pleased with her and make her pleased. She died in the lifetime of the Prophet (upon him and his family blessings and peace).

2. Our Mother `A’isha bint Abi Bakr al-Siddiqa, Allah be well-pleased with her and her father and make them pleased.

3. Our Mother Hafsa bint `Umar, Allah be well-pleased with her and her father and make them pleased.

4. Our Mother Umm Habiba Ramla bint Abi Sufyan, Allah be well-pleased with her and her father and make them pleased.

5. Our Mother Umm Salama Hind bint Abi Umayya, Allah be well-pleased with her and make her pleased.

6. Our Mother Sawda bint Zam`a, Allah be well-pleased with her and make her pleased.

II. Four non-Quraysh Arab women:

7. Our Mother Zaynab bint Jahsh, Allah be well-pleased with her and make her pleased. She was the first one to die after the Prophet left this life She died in the lifetime of the Prophet (upon him and his family blessings and peace).

8. Our Mother Maymuna bint al-Harith b. Hazan, Allah be well-pleased with her and make her pleased.

9. Our Mother Zaynab bint Khuzayma Umm al-Masakeen, Allah be well-pleased with her and make her pleased. She died in the lifetime of the Prophet (upon him and his family blessings and peace). 10. Our Mother Juwayriya bint al-Harith b. `Abd Allah, Allah be well-pleased with her and make her pleased.

III. One Israelite woman:

11. Our Mother Safiyya bint Huyayy, Allah be well-pleased with her and make her pleased.

IV. Two concubines, and some sources mention four:

12. Our Mother Rayhana bint Zayd or Yazid al-Nadriyya the Israelite, Allah be well-pleased with her and make her pleased. The Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) manumitted her and married her. She died upon his return from the Farewell Pilgrimage

13. Mariya bint Sham`un al-Qibtiyya the Copt, Allah be well-pleased with her and make her pleased, who bore the Prophet a son, Ibrahim (upon him peace). She became manumitted when the Prophet left this life.

(14. Jamila, from the spoils of a military campaign.)

(15. A girl gifted by Zaynab bint Jahsh.)

V. Unconsummated Marriage and Proposed Wives whose marriage did not take place

Those to whom the Holy Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) only proposed or whom he married but divorced or with whom he did not consummate the marriage are:

– al-`Aliya bint Zhibyan/Zhabyan

– Amina bint al-Dahhak, see Fatima bint al-Dahhak

– `Amra bint Yazid al-Ghifariyya or al-Kilabiyya, she may have been the one who said: A`udhu billah mink (see Khawla bint al-Hudhayl). See also Hind bint Yazid.

– Asma’ bint Ka`b, see Asma’ bint al-Nu`man.

– Asma’ bint al-Salt, see Sana bint Asma’

– Asma’ bint al-Nu`man b. Sharahil al-Jawniyya (a.k.a. Asma’ bint Ka`b), very beautiful but `was tricked by the other wives to say: A`udhu billah mink (I seek refuge in Allah from you), on her wedding night, whereupon the Prophet did not approach her and she was divorced and remained unmarried until she died.

– `Azza bint Abi Sufyan b. harb the sister of Umm Habiba (Ramla): both the latter and her father wished for the Prophet to marry her but he said he could not marry two sisters at the same time. Her kunya was also Umm Habiba; and not Ramla, but `Azza is the “Umm Habiba” meant in the famous hadith in Sahih Muslim where Abu Sufyan says: “I want you to marry Umm Habiba,” which many scholars erroneously thought could not be authentic and was a mistake by Imam Muslim, whereas it is sahih and highly authentic. See that discussion in Shaykh Khalil Ibrahim Mulla Khatir’s book Makanat al-Sahihayn (p. 387-412).

– Duba`a bint `Amir b. Qurt al-Qushayriyya: proposal but no marriage.

– UMM HANI’ FAKHITA BINT ABI TALIB the paternal first cousin of the Holy Prophet: both the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) and Hubayra b. Abi Wahb al-Makhzumi proposed to her, but Abu Talib gave her to the latter against the Prophet’s wishes, but Abu Talib replied it was in return for a prior marriage link with a woman from Hubayra’s family; then when she became Muslim and was divorced of Hubayra, the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) proposed to her again, whereupon she said: “I loved you in Jahiliyya, what to say in Islam? but I have young children and hate that they should bother you.” The Prophet then said his famous hadith: “The best of the women who ever rode a camel [i.e. the best of all Arab women] are the righteous women of Quraysh – they are the most dedicated to their children [i.e. after the loss of their father, to the point of never remarrying] and the most scrupulous over the rights of their husbands” (Bukhari and Muslim).

– Fatima bint al-Dahhak b. Sufyan al-Kilabiyya (a.k.a. Amina bint al-Dahhak), she chose dunya after Allah commanded the Prophet to give his wives the choice (33:28-29), after which she fell into extreme poverty.

– Fatima bint Shurayh

– Ghuzayya/Ghaziyya/Ghuzayla, see Umm Sharik Ghuzayya

– Habiba bint Sahl b. Tha`laba al-Najjariyya al-Ansariyya: no marriage took place.

– Hind bint Yazid al-Kilabiyya known as Ibnat al-Barsa’ (the lepress’s daughter); it was said she is the same as `Amra bint Yazid.

– Jamra or Jumra bint al-Harith b. `Awf al-Muzani: there was a proposal but no marriage after her father lied and said: She has a disease, to discourage the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace). After that she was afflicted with leprosy.

– Khawla or Khuwayla bint Hakim, see Umm Sharik Khawla

– Khawla bint al-Hudhayl b. Hubayra al-Tha`labiyya: she is {a believing woman who bestowed herself to the Prophet} (33:50) and he married her but she died travelling on the way to Madina from Sham. She is a “non-Sahabi Wife of the Prophet” as she never saw him, upon him and his family blessings and peace.

– Layla bint al-Khatim or al-Hakam al-Awsiyya al-Ansariyya: she is {a believing woman who bestowed herself to the Prophet} (33:50) but announced herself by slapping him on the shoulder by surprise, whereupon he said: “Who is this, the black one devour him?! (man hadha akalahu al-aswad),” a frequent expression of startlement; then she asked divorce before consummation as she could not bear to have co-wives. She was devoured by a wolf.

– Mulayka bint Dawud

– Mulayka bint Ka`b al-Laythiyya, she may have been the one who said: A`udhu billah mink (see Khawla bint al-Hudhayl)

– Na`ama: among the war captives of Banu al-Nadir and she was given back to her husband.

– Qayla bint Qays, see Qutayla

РQutayla bint Qays b. Ma`dikarb  al-Kindiyya the sister of al-Ash`ath b. Qays (a.k.a. Qayla bint Qays). Al-Zurqani says the Prophet married her shortly before he left this world and the marriage was never consummated.

– Saba bint Sufyan al-Kilabiyya (a.k.a. bint al-Salt al-Kilabiyya)

– Safiyya bint Bashama b. Nadla al-`Anbariyya. A war captive, she was given a choice and chose to be sent back to her husband.

– Salma bint Najdat al-Laythiyya: the Prophet married her shortly before he left this world and the marriage was never consummated but she refused to ever marry again.

– Sana bint Asma’ b. al-Salt al-Salamiyya (a.k.a. Asma’ bint al-Salt)

– Sawda al-Qurashiyya.

– al-Shat bint Rifa`a al-Kilabiyya.

– al-Shanba’ bint `Amr al-Ghifariyya or Kinaniyya (a.k.a. al-Shayba’): she was divorced after she made the remark: “If he were a Prophet his son Ibrahim would not have died.”

– Shuraf bint Khalifa al-Kalbiyya the sister of Dihya: the Prophet married her but she died before the marriage was consummated.

– UMAMA BINT HAMZA B. `ABD AL-MUTTALIB the paternal cousin of the Holy Prophet (upon him and his family blessings and peace). She was proposed to him but he declined saying his uncle Hamza was also his milkbrother.

– Umayma/Umama (bint al-Nu`man) bint Sharahil. She may be the same as Asma’ bint al-Nu`man.

– Umm Haram: her name is not known; al-Tabarani mentions her as cited by al-Zurqani.

– Umm Shurayk Ghuzayya/Ghaziyya/Ghuzayla bint Jabir (or Doodaan) b. `Awf al-Qurashiyya al-`Amiriyya; or al-Najjariyya al-Ansariyya; or al-Dawsiyya; or al-Ghifariyya: she is {a believing woman who bestowed herself to the Prophet} (33:50)

– Umm Shurayk Khawla or Khuwayla bint Hakim b. Umayya al-Sulamiyya: she is {a believing woman who bestowed herself to the Prophet} (33:50). The Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) did not take her, whereupon `Uthman b. Mazh`un (Allah be well-pleased with him) married her.

Sources:

Ibn Sayyid al-Nas, `Uyun al-Athar (2:367-377). Al-Salihi, Subul al-Huda wal-Rashad (12:15-162). al-Zurqani, Sharh al-Mawahib (3:297-309).

Hajj Gibril Haddad

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