Muhammad and his Wives

Interesting article at Anwsering Islam, which I have said several times is the gold standard of apologetics to Islam. It is about the Islamic teaching on multiple wives and proposes that not even Muhammad himself (the perfect man in Islam--tell me if that isn't idolatrous) was able to have a happy plural-marriage (or whatever it is called).

There is ample evidence in this article that he was not successful. The complete picture of Muhammad and his interactions with women is in fact deeply disturbing. I just want to post a short portion of the entire article which you can read here:

Aisha herself admitting that Muslim women suffered worse than any other women?

Narrated ‘Ikrima:
Rifa’a divorced his wife whereupon ‘AbdurRahman bin Az-Zubair Al-Qurazi married her. 'Aisha said that the lady (came), wearing a green veil (and complained to her (‘Aisha) of her husband and showed her a green spot on her skin caused by beating). It was the habit of ladies to support each other, so when Allah’s Apostle came, ‘Aisha said, "I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women. Look! Her skin is greener than her clothes!" When ‘AbdurRahman heard that his wife had gone to the Prophet, he came with his two sons from another wife. She said, "By Allah! I have done no wrong to him but he is impotent and is as useless to me as this," holding and showing the fringe of her garment, ‘Abdur-Rahman said, "By Allah, O Allah’s Apostle! She has told a lie! I am very strong and can satisfy her but she is disobedient and wants to go back to Rifa’a." Allah’s Apostle said to her, "If that is your intention, then know that it is unlawful for you to remarry Rifa’a unless ‘Abdur-Rahman has had sexual intercourse with you." Then the Prophet saw two boys with ‘Abdur-Rahman and asked (him), "Are these your sons?" On that ‘AbdurRahman said, "Yes." The Prophet said, "You claim what you claim (i.e. that he is impotent)? But by Allah, these boys resemble him as a crow resembles a crow," (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 72, Number 715)

Christian apologist and writer John Gilchrist does an excellent job of summing up Muhammad’s failure as a husband and role model:

Ayishah's frustrations and jealousies are the best proof that Muhammad could not treat his wives equally - if for no other reason that he did not regard her with the same total, undivided affection that she regarded him. She may have been his favourite wife but her grievances clearly were motivated, perhaps only subconsciously, by the fact that she was not his only wife. Paradoxically, the fact that Muhammad singled her out as his favourite wife is further proof that he did not treat his wives equally. There is more than enough evidence in Muhammad's own marital affairs to prove that polygamy cannot ultimately be reconciled with God's perfect purpose for human marriage. It is no wonder that the perfect revelation of his will through the Gospel of his Son simultaneously outlawed polygamy. Muhammad had enjoyed a twenty-five year marriage with Khadija which was, in all respects, unimpeachable. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for his many marriages at Medina and one can only sympathize with the young Ayishah who obviously regretted that she could not enjoy the same undivided devotion from her husband that she willingly offered to him… Far from the marriages of Muhammad being proof that he was the ideal husband (as Zain puts it), they rather are evidence of an inherent weakness in Islamic morality… Although monogamy has become the norm in many Muslim societies today, this trend is not to Islam's credit but is rather a sign of the consciousness of God’s real will for men and women and the best way in which a marriage can develop into a truly happy union. By taking to himself more than double the number of wives he allowed to his followers, Muhammad seems to have been something of a champion of polygamy rather than an advocate of monogamy and his tolerance of plural marriages, together with his schemes to rid himself of his personal enemies, negate his claim to be a true prophet of God. A Christian assessment of his character leaves him far short of the ideal - an ideal worked out to perfection in Jesus Christ - and the only conclusion to be drawn is that, despite his many qualities, he cannot be considered as the man God chose to be his best and final messenger to all mankind. That honour belongs to Jesus Christ alone. (Gilchrist, Muhammad and the Religion of Islam, A Study of Muhammad's Personality, C. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF HIS MARRIAGES.)


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