Wives of the Prophet
September 3rd, 2011
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The wives of the prophet?
One of the wives of the prophet, Islam’s prophet Muhammad, was Zaynab bint Jahsh.
If you study this fifth marriage of Muhammad, you will learn that it was not only polygamous, but that it violated Jesus’ teaching about lust, divorce, and remarriage (Matthew 5:27-32; 19:3-12).
Clifford E. Bosworth, English historian and specialist in Arabic studies, gives the following account of Muhammad’s marriage to Zaynab:
In the year 4/626 Muhammad saw Zaynab alone in her house, was taken with her and had Zayd [Muhammad’s adopted son] divorce her so that he himself might marry her, she being at that time about 35 years old. Zayd’s scruples were set aside by the Kuranic revelation XXXIII, 37-8, and she received a dowry of 400 dirhams. Zaynab is reported as being proud of the circumstances of her marriage, and as saying that her marriage to the Prophet was superior to the other ones because it had the confirmation of divine revelation (“Zaynab” in the Encyclopaedia of Islam).
Muhammad’s marriage to Zaynab violated Jesus’ teaching about the 7th Commandment in at least five ways:
- unlawful lust
- unlawful divorce
- unlawful remarriage
- multiple wives and concubines
- marriage to the wife of one’s adopted son
Was Muhammad an exception to God’s Law?
The Quran seems to have made a special exception for Muhammad by permitting him to have more than four wives – the limit for other men (Quran 4:3).1
Muhammad recited further passages in the Quran to justify his marriage to Zaynab (33:4,37-40).
Muhammad may have been an exception to his own revelation. However, Muhammad is not an exception to God’s Law and Jesus’ teaching. The circumstances surrounding the wives of the prophet, particularly Zaynab, are one of the reasons Muhammad is not a true prophet of God.2
- Additionally, the Quran gave an additional prohibition from anyone marrying Muhammad’s widows (Quran 33:53). [↩]
- It is true that some Old Testament prophets had multiple wives and violated the 7th commandment. One difference is that, unlike Muhammad, they did not recite revelation to justify their actions. [↩]