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Polygamy in the Prophet (p.)ís life

By: Fatema Makki

The life of the Prophet (p) has been a matter for discussion for decades. Orientalists in particular delved into the Prophet (p)ís marriages as they have once reached nine wives at a time. Orientalists and Islamophobes used this fact for defaming the image of Islam and describing the Prophet of Islam as a lustful libertine who had a huge appetite for women. A lot of comics, movies, and articles depicted him not only as a libidinous, but also as a pedophile as a result of the claims that he consummated the marriage with Lady Aisha when she was only nine years old.

His Eminence Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah (ra) explains in his book ďAnnadwaĒ Volume 2, that the Prophet (p)ís numerous marriages were not a matter of an overwhelming sex drive. The Sayyed explains that even if it were so, sex represents a natural aspect of manís life as it constitutes an instinctual need that needs to be fulfilled just like the instinct to eat and to survive. However, God asked man to regulate his instincts as mentioned in the Holy Quran: ďand eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He likes not those who commit excess.Ē (7:31)

The same applies with regard to the marital relationships; Allah allowed made men entitled to four wives as the following verse indicates: ďAnd if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one or those your right hand possesses. That is more suitable that you may not incline [to injustice].Ē (4:30)

However, the only exception to the rule was the Prophet (p) who was entitled to have more than four wives. And many of the Prophet (p)ís marriages were for the sake of the Message. In other words, propagating the Message of Islam proposed that the Prophet (p) married ladies from different tribes and clans since it constituted an alliance. In preIslamic times, Arabian tribes and clans were living a state of feud and disagreement. If a man and a woman, each belonging to a different tribe, got married; the marriage binds the two tribes and makes the tribes alliances. Thus, it was essential that the Prophet (p) married ladies from different tribes as it was a step that paved the way to propagate the message of Islam and safeguarded the Prophet (p) himself.