Page 134 - Islam In Focus

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4. His first marriage at this unusually late stage in that area was to Lady Khadeejah,
an old twice-widowed lady who was fifteen years senior to him. She herself initiated
the contract, and he accepted the proposal in spite of her older age and in spite of her
being twice- widowed. At the time he could have quite easily found many prettier
girls and much younger wives, if he were passionate or after things physical
5. With this lady alone, he lived until he was over fifty years of age, and by her he had
all his children with the exception of Ibraheem. She lived with him until she passed
the age of sixty-five, and in her life he never had any other marriage or any other
intimacy with anybody besides his only wife
6. Now he proclaimed the message of God, and was well over fifty and she over sixty-
five years of age. Persecutions and perils were continually inflicted on him and his
followers. In the middle of these troubles, his wife died. After her death, he stayed
without any wife for some time. Then there was Sawdah, who had emigrated with her
husband to Abyssinia in the early years of persecutions. On the way back her husband
died and she sought a shelter. The natural course for her was to turn to the Prophet
himself for whose mission her husband had died. The Prophet extended his shelter
and married her. She was not particularly young or pretty and pleasant. She was an
ordinary widow with a quick and loose temper. Later in the same year, the Prophet
proposed to a minor girl of seven years, Aishah, the daughter of his dear companion
Abu Bakr. The marriage was not consummated till some time after the migration to
Medina. The motives of these two marriages can be understood to be anything except
passions and physical attractions. However, he lived with the two wives for five to six
years, up to his fifty-sixth year of age, without taking any other wife
7. From his fifty-sixth year up to the sixtieth year of his life, the Prophet contracted
nine marriages in quick succession. In the last three years of his life he contracted no
marriages at all. Most of his marriages were contracted in a period of about five years,
when he was passing the most difficult and trying stage in his mission. It was at that
time that Muslims were engaged in decisive battles and entangled in an endless circle
of trouble from within as well as from without. It was at that time that the Islamic
legislation was in the making, and the foundations of an Islamic society were being
laid down. The fact that Muhammad was the most dominant figure in these events and
the center around which they revolved, and that most of his marriages took place
during this particular period is an extremely interesting phenomenon. It invites the
serious attention of historians, sociologists, legislators, psychologists, etc. It cannot be
interpreted simply in terms of physical attractions and lustful passions
8. Muhammad lived a most simple, austere, and modest life. During the day he was
the busiest man of his era as he was Head of State, Chief Justice, Commander-in-
Chief, Instructor, etc., all at once. At night he was the most devoted man. He used to
stay one to two-thirds of every night vigilant in prayers and meditation (Qur’ an,
73:20). His furniture consisted of mats, jugs, blankets and such simple things,
although he was the king and sovereign of Arabia. His life was so severe and austere
that his wives once pressed him for wordly comforts but they never had any (cf.
Qur’ an, 33:48). Obviously, that was not the life of a lustful and passionate man