On Islamic Marriage

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HISTORICAL DATA ABOUT MUHAMMAD

* Mohammed is estimated by scholars to have had somewhere between 15-25 wives. All agree that he had 9 wives at the time of his death (5 more than the Quran permits for other Muslims)!

* He died at age 63 in the home of Aisha, his favorite wife, and was buried on the spot where he died in Medina.

* Earlier, he fell in love with Zeinab, his cousin, and wife of his adopted son Zeid. He then received a "revelation" from Allah that it was permissible to marry the wife of an adopted son. Zeid divorced Zeinab so that Mohammed could marry her.

Sources: Ernest Kellett, A Short History of Religions. New York: Books for Libraries Press, 1971, P. 343, and Washington Irving, Life of Mahomet. New York: Dutton & Sons, 1911, p. 231.

* On his deathbed, Mohammed said: "Do not fear those who disbelieve, fear me" and called for the conquest of Christianity.

Source, Essad Bey, Mohammed. New York: Longmans, Green & Co., 1936, p. 330.

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Marriage to Six-Year Old

In 624 Abu Bakr (Muhammad's daily companion and one of his first believers and successor of Muhammad) gave Muhammad his daughter Aisha when she was six years old, although the actual marriage was not consummated until she was nine. This fact is uncontested by all Muslim scholars and chroniclers without exception). At the time of their marriage Muhammad was 54 years old (the age of her grandfather) - a difference of 45 years in their ages.

Aisha herself testified to these facts:

"The messenger of God betrothed me when I was six years old and then married me when I was nine years old."

Source: Sahih Muslim (by Imam al-Mawawy), vol. 3, p. 577.

Islamic law has codified this principle of non-consent for under-age women based on Muhammad's precedent:

"A father may give consent to have his young virgin daughter married without obtaining her permission, for she does not have a choice, exactly as Abu Bakr El Sadiq did to his daughter Aisha, when she was six years old. He married her to the prophet Muhammad without her permission."

Source: Ibn Hazam (acknowledged by all Muslims as one of the greatest scholars on Islamic Law) in his al-Muhalla ("The Sweetened"). Vol. 6, part 9, pp. 458-460.

Abd El Schafi, author of Behind the Veil stated in response: "These are cruel, hard words and iniquitous Islamic principles which the free human conscience utterly rejects and detests because it is related to the most important subject in the girl's life, that is, her body and her future" (p. 83).

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Polygamy, Concubines, and Mistresses in Islam

"No one is allowed to wed more than four women, but he is permitted however, in addition to them, to buy (women), as many as he wants."

Source: Ibn Hazam, vol. 6, part 9, pp. 441, 467.

However, exceptions were made for the Prophet and his successors:

Muhammad had 11 wives and an Egyptian concubine Umar Ibn al-Khattab had 7 wives plus 2 maid-salves

Uthman Ibn Affan had 8 wives

Ali Ibn Abi Talib (cousin of Muhammad) married 10 women plus 10 concubines and maid-slaves for a total of 29

Al-Hasan Ibn Ali (grandson of Muhammad and called by the Prophet "the master of the youth of Paradise") married 70 women (and was said to sometimes divorce two women in a day!).

Sources: Biographies such as Ibn Kathir's, Bidaya and the Nihaya, vol. 7 & 8, and Suyuti's, Chonicles of the Caliphs.

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Marriage to wives of men killed by Muslims, including the murder of Jews

It was standard practice, and made legal by Muhammad, to take as a "wife" in addition to captives, the wives of men killed in battle (or executed). On one occasion when Muhammad launched an attack on a Jewish tribe he personally witnessed their beheading and then took some of their widows to bed. Semitic scholar and historian A.B. Davidson (a professor at New College, Edinburgh) recorded one such instance:

"On one day he caused 800 Jews to be beheaded in cold blood, himself standing by and watching the butchery; and in the evening, to efface the unpleasant impression from his mind, and give a more happy turn to his ideas, he took home the wife of one of the murdered chiefs, and added her to his harem."

Source: A.B. Davidson, Biblical and Literary Essays, ed. J.A. Peterson (London: Hodder & Stroughton, 1902), p. 228.

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Sexual License in Islam - The Temporary Contractual Marriage

According to all Muslim scholars (especially in Sahih Muslim) the temporary, contractual marriage was made lawful by Muhammad simply to satisfy the sexual passions of his soldiers. The "marriage" only had to last 3 days, after which the woman could be deserted and left without any rights. Only the fact that it is temporary a "marriage" separates it from outright fornication and adultery (forbidden in Islam), but there is practically no difference. It was practiced during the beginning of the Islamic era (during the caliphates of Abu Bakr and Ibn Abu 'Umar) and is continued in practice today by over 100 million Shi'ite Muslims worldwide.

Concerning this practice the following Islamic authority states:

"While in the army, Allah's Apostle came to us and said, 'You have been allowed to have Muta ("pleasure"), so do it.' If a man and a woman agree to marry temporarily, their marriage should last for three nights ."

Source: Sahih al-Bukbari, part 7, p. 37.

 

 

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