The Prophet's Wives

The Zaynab Affair and the Orientalists

In the interval in which the events of the last two chapters took place, Muhammad married Zaynab, daughter of Khuzaymah, Umm Salamah daughter of Umayyah ibn al Mughirah, and Zaynab, daughter of Jahsh, after she had been divorced by Zayd ibn Harithah. The last named is the same Zayd who was adopted by Muhammad and set free after he was bought by Yasar for Khadijah. It is here that the Orientalists offer their highest condemnation, in chorus with the Christian missionaries. Glowing with vindictiveness, they say,

"Muhammad who in Makkah called men to asceticism and contentment, to monotheism and abstinence from the pleasures of this life, has now become a man of lust whose appetite every woman could whet. He is not satisfied with three women whom he has so far taken into marriage but has now taken the three additional wives just mentioned. Indeed, he was to marry three more yet in addition to Rayhanah. Nor was he to be satisfied by marrying the widow. He fell in love with Zaynab, daughter of Jahsh, while she was the wife of Zayd ibn Harithah, his own client. Once, when he passed by the house of Zayd in the tatter's absence, he was met by Zaynab wearing clothes which exposed her beauty. Muhammad's heart was inflamed. It is reported that when his eyes fell upon her, he exclaimed, `Praise be to God who changes the hearts of men!' and that he repeated this expression at the time of his departure from her home. Zaynab heard him say this and noticed desire in his eye. Proudly, she reported what happened to her husband. Zayd immediately went to see the Prophet and offered to divorce his wife. Muhammad answered, `Hold to your wife and fear God.' Thereafter, Zaynab was no longer a docile wife and Zayd had to divorce her. Muhammad did not marry her immediately despite his love for her. He waited until an express revelation came which permitted him to do so. Addressing Muhammad, God said: `You said to Zayd, to whom God gave of His bounty and you gave of yours, "Hold fast to your wife and fear God." Would you hide, 0 Muhammad, that which God was going to bring to light? Would you fear the gossip of the people? Isn't God more worthy of being feared? After a term of married life with her husband, We permitted you to marry her so that it may hence be legitimate and morally blameless for a believer to marry the wife of his adopted son provided that wife had already been divorced. That is God's commandment which must be fulfilled"[Qur'an, 33:37]. Thereupon, Muhammad married this woman and satisfied his desire and lust. Now, what kind of Prophet is this? How could he permit himself that which he forbade to others? How can he violate the law which he himself had said had come to him from heaven? How would he amass this harem which calls to mind the behavior of the old lustful and pleasure seeking kings rather than the righteous reforming prophets? How could such a prophet fall prey to lust and desire in the case of Zaynab that he would force his adopted son to divorce her only so that he might marry her thereafter? That was definitely taboo in pre-Islamic Arabia, and the Prophet of Islam lifted this taboo in order to satisfy his own lust and fulfill his own desire."

Thus appears the Western Orientalists' claim.

 

The Orientalists' Portrait of Zaynab

Western Orientalists and missionaries pause in order to give full vent to their resentment and imagination. In this chapter of Muhammad's biography, some of them take inordinate pain to paint a sensual portrait of Zaynab. They relate that when Muhammad saw her, she was half-naked, that her fine black hair was covering half her body, and that every curve of her body was full of desire and passion. Others relate that when Muhammad opened the door of the house of Zayd the breeze played with the curtains of the room of Zaynab, thus permitting Muhammad to catch a glimpse of her stretched out on her mattress in a nightgown. They then tell their readers that this view of her stormed the heart of Muhammad who was extremely passionate in his love and desire for women. They relate that Muhammad had hidden his secret desire, though he could hardly bear to conceal it for long! This and many like pictures have been painted arduously by Orientalists and missionaries and may be read in the work. of Muir, Dermenghem, Washington Irving, Lammens, and others. It cannot be denied that these stories are based upon reports in fanciful Muslim biographies and Hadith books. But these books are questionable. And it is extremely regrettable that our authors have used them without scrutiny. It is inexcusable that these scholars had built "Castles in Spain" regarding Muhammad's relations with women, castles which they thought were sufficiently justified by the fact that Muhammad married a plurality of wives, probably nine, or even more according to some versions.

 

Great Men and the Law

It is possible to refute all these claims with one argument. If supposed to be true, they constitute no flaw in the prophethood of Muhammad, in his own greatness or that of his message. The rules which are law to the people at large do not apply to the great. A fortiori, they have no application on prophets, the messengers of God. Did not Moses-may God's peace be upon him kill the gentile whom he noticed was fighting with one of his compatriots? That was murder, forbidden by God, and there was no war or hostility to justify it. It was a clear violation of the law. Nonetheless, this did not impair Moses' prophethood, his greatness, or his status with God. The case of Jesus violates the law even more flagrantly than either Moses or Muhammad or for that matter any other prophet. For his case is not one of a unique exemplification of power or desire but a persistent violation of natural law from birth to death. First, the spirit of God appeared to Mary, his mother, in the likeness of a handsome man to give her a fair son. Second she herself was surprised and said, "How can I have a son when no man ever touched me and I have never lost my chastity?" The messenger replied that God wished her son to be a sign to mankind. Thirdly, when she gave birth to her son she said: "I wish I was dead, given to oblivion, and lost before this." Her son, however, called unto her, "Do not grieve, for God has made rivers to issue under your feet." Fourthly, when she brought her son to her people, and they accused her of adultery, Jesus answered them from the cradle: "I am the servant of God . . . etc." However the Jews may have denied the facts of this story, and however they may have attributed Jesus' paternity to Joseph, the carpenter-a claim believed today to be true by such rationalists as Renan-the greatness and prophethood of Jesus constitute a miracle, and a miracle is precisely a breech of natural law, the cosmic pattern, and the rules of creation. It is surprising that Christians and missionaries call men to believe such breaches of the cosmic pattern in the case of Jesus and yet blame Muhammad for much less. Muhammad's violation was not one of a cosmic law but one of a social law, which is permissible to every great man. Such status above the social laws of the community is usually accorded to all kings and heads of states. Constitutional law usually grants to such persons immunity which shields them from the pursuing hand of the law.

 

Incoherence of the Orientalists' Account

It is possible for us to give such an answer and to thereby refute all these Orientalists' claims, the arguments of the missionaries and of those who follow in their tracks. But if we did so we would be doing a great injustice to history itself as well as to the true greatness of Muhammad and the magnanimity of his message. For the fact is that Muhammad was not a man given to passion and desire as the Orientalists and missionaries have pictured him. He did not marry his wives for lust, desire, or love. If some Muslim writers in certain periods of history have allowed themselves to attribute such things to the Prophet and thereby to present with good intent an argument to the enemies of Islam, that is because their conservatism caused them to adopt a materialistic view of things. In such a manner they pictured Muhammad as superlative in everything including the lusts of this world. But the picture they drew was clearly false. The history of Muhammad denies it outright, and the logic of Muhammad's life is utterly inconsistent with it.

 

As Husband of Khadijah

Muhammad married Khadijah when he was twenty-three years old, i.e. at the height of his youth, the fullness of manhood, and the apex of power and handsomeness. He remained true and loyal to Khadijah for twenty-eight years until he was oven fifty years old. This had been the case at a time when polygamy was normal among the Arabs. Moreover, since no male offspring of Khadijah survived, Muhammad had all necessary justification to marry another woman considering that newborn daughters were customarily buried alive and male offspring alone were regarded as rightful heirs. Before Muhammad became a prophet he had lived seventeen years of married life, and thereafter eleven more years without ever thinking of marriage with any other woman. Throughout his married life with Khadijah as well as during his celibate years, Muhammad was never known to be one susceptible to womanly attractions at a time when women wore no veils and showed their beauty and ornaments publicly-the evidence of which is implicit in Islam's prohibition of the same later on. It is unnatural, therefore, now that Muhammad had passed the fifty year mark, for him to suffer such a transformation as would make him fall suddenly in love with Zaynab, daughter of Jahsh, while he was already married to five other women, among whom was `A'ishah whom he loved dearly and constantly. It is therefore unnatural that such a man would have given Zaynab, daughter of Jahsh, any thought at all, and certainly unlikely that she had occupied his thought night and day, as the Orientalists claim. It is certainly unnatural that Muhammad, now past fifty years old, would collect in the short span of five years more than seven wives, and two years later to increase the number to nine simply on account of sexual desire. Such a claim, first made by Muslim authors and then uncritically imitated by the Western Orientalists, is absurd. It is inconsistent with the natural predilection of the commonplace, not to speak of the great, whose work has transformed the world, altered the course of history, and still plays a role in retransforming the world and reorienting historical development toward radically new goals. This claim is irrational and does not correspond with the facts. It is contrary to nature to assume that the same man who caused Khadijah to bear all her children before he reached fifty, and caused Mariyah to conceive Ibrahim while he was sixty, could cause none of his numerous wives to bear any children when they were all still young enough and capable of doing so. Nor were they barren, since each of them had borne children before her marriage to Muhammad. This fact, true of each of the nine women, would defy explanation if the Orientalist and missionary claim is true. We must add to this consideration the fact that Muhammad, a man like other men, was certainly anxious to obtain a male offspring. His prophetic status had made him father to all Muslims at once from a purely spiritual point of view. But that does not deny the human urge to fatherhood.

 

Muhammad's Marriage to Sawdah

History and the logic of its events furnish an unquestionable refutation of the Orientalist and missionary claim regarding the Prophet's wives. As we have seen earlier, Muhammad did not share his bed with any other woman besides Khadijah for twenty eight years. When she finally passed away, he married Sawdah, daughter of Zam'ah, widow of Sakran ibn `Amr ibn `Abd Shams. No one ever described Sawdah as a beautiful woman, and no one has ever reported that she possessed any wealth or social position which might have given a material reason for any one to marry her. Rather, Sawdah was a wife of one of the early converts of Islam who suffered much harm for the sake of the faith and who migrated to Abyssinia following the instructions of the Prophet in order to find a measure of safety. Sawdah had embraced Islam with her husband and migrated with him. She suffered as he did and bore Makkan oppression as patiently as her husband did. If Muhammad married her thereafter in order to provide for her and to raise her position to that of a "Mother of Believers," [Title attributed to all wives of the Prophet. -Tr.] he certainly did a most worthy and appreciable deed.

`A'ishah and Hafsah were daughters of his two viziers, Abu Bakr and `Umar, respectively. It was this relation of their fathers to Muhammad which caused the latter to cement his relationship with them by blood. That is why he married their two daughters; that is why he gave in marriage his two daughters to `Uthman and 'Ali. If it is true that Muhammad did in fact love `A'ishah, it must have been a love which arose after marriage, surely neither before nor at the time of marriage. He had asked her hand from her father while she was only nine years old, and did not marry her until two years later. It is contrary to logic to claim that he could have fallen in love with her while she was at this tender age. Further evidence on this point is the report of `Umar that Muhammad's marriage to his daughter was not based on love. His report ran as follows: "In pre-Islamic times, we did not attach any importance to women; but we changed radically after God revealed what He did and assigned to them the rights He did. Once, my wife tried to change my mind about something and suggested that I do otherwise. When I asked her to let my business alone, she answered, `How strange of you, 0 Son of al Khattab! You forbid me to criticize you while your daughter is permitted to criticize the Prophet of God himself-May God's peace and blessing be upon him-and to do so so well that he would spend the whole day angry.' When I heard this I immediately went to my daughter Hafsah and inquired whether this was true. Hafsah confirmed her mother's report. I was stupefied. I warned her that God's punishment as well as the wrath of the Prophet would fall upon her if she persisted. I told her that she should not count either on her beauty or on the Prophet's love for her, for I knew too well that the Prophet of God did not love her and that were it not for my sake, he would have even divorced her." There is then ample evidence that Muhammad did not marry either `A'ishah or Hafsah out of any love or desire but in order to consolidate the ties of mutual brotherhood within the new Islamic community, and especially between himself and his two viziers. There is equally clear evidence that the Prophet married Sawdah in order to teach the Muslim fighters that should they fall martyrs in the cause of God, they would not leave their women and children without support but that the community would take care of them.

Another conclusive proof of this sense of social concern is the case of Muhammad's marriages to Zaynab, daughter of Khuzaymah, and Umm Salamah. The former was the wife of `Ubaydah ibn al Harith ibn al Muttalib who fell at the Battle of Badr. Surely she was not beautiful, but she was so kind and gentle that she acquired the nickname of "mother of the destitute." She was past her prime in age and lived only one or two years after her marriage to Muhammad. Besides Khadijah she was the only wife of the Prophet who died before him. As for Umm Salamah, she was the wife of Abu Salamah for whom she bore many children. It has already been mentioned that Abu Salamah was wounded at Uhud, that he seemed to be recovering from his wound when the Prophet assigned to him the duty of fighting Banu Asad whom he defeated and whose wealth he seized. It was during the second campaign of Abu Salamah that his wound reopened, and it caused his death a few days later. The Prophet visited him in his last days and remained constantly by his bedside praying for him until he died. Four months after his death, when the Prophet asked the hand of Umm Salamah, she apologized by using the large number of her children and her old age as an excuse. But the Prophet insisted until she accepted and he assumed the duty of caring for and bringing up her offspring. Would then the missionaries and the Western Orientalists claim that Umm Salamah was a woman of rare beauty and that this is why Muhammad had married her? If Muhammad was indeed looking for beauty, there were scores of virgin daughters of both Muhajirun and Ansar far surpassing his women in beauty, in youth, in position and wealth, in vitality, for him to choose from and to take in marriage. He did not have to choose those women who would bring to him large liabilities of mouths to feed and old people to take care of. The fact is that Muhammad married Umm Salamah because of this noble motivation of his, the same reason for which he married Zaynab, daughter of Khuzaymah. It was this same reason which caused the Muslims to love their Prophet all the more and honor him as the Prophet of God and to see in him a father to the destitute and the deprived and the weak and the poor as well as to everyone who had lost his father as a martyr in the cause of God.

 

Historical Analysis and Its Results

What does true historical analysis conclude from all this? It concludes that Muhammad stood for monogamy and counseled its observance. This is the substance of the example of his married life with Khadijah, as well as that of the Qur'anic commandments,

 

"Marry such women as seem becoming to you, two, three, or four. But if you fear that you may not be just, then marry only one, or your slaves" [Qur'an, 4:3]; and,

"You will not be able to do justice to more than one wife however much you may try. And if you must marry another wife, do not incline excessively to one and leave the other like a thing suspended." [Qur'an, 4:129]

These verses were revealed toward the end of the eighth year of the Hijrah after the Prophet had married all his wives. The purpose of these verses is to limit the number of wives to four whereas, until their revelation, there was no limit to the number of wives a Muslim could marry. This historical fact repudiates the claim that Muhammad has allowed himself that which he had forbidden to the people. Furthermore, these verses were revealed in order to stress the superiority of monogamy over polygamy. The Qur'an commanded the limiting of one's self to one wife out of fear of the possibility of injustice and conviction that justice to more than one wife is not within the limits of men's capability. The revelation, however, realized that in the exceptional circumstances of a people, it is quite possible that there might be a need for more than one wife; but it has limited polygamy to four and conditioned its practice to capacity for fairness and justice on the part of the husband. Muhammad called the Muslims to realize these values by exemplifying them in his own life in a period in which Muslims made battle and fell as martyrs on every occasion. But could anyone in truth decide once and for all that monogamy is the absolute commandment in all conditions and circumstances? What would be the effect of such a law when wars and epidemics and revolution cut down thousands and millions of men in a brief while? Would then monogamy still be better than polygamy when restricted to the exceptional circumstances? Can the people of Europe in this age following World War I assert categorically that monogamy is the law of life of their own citizens, even if they may say it is the law in the books? Are not the social and economic disturbances which the world witnessed in Europe following the War the direct result of this imbalance between the two sexes, of their inability to bring about harmony and prosperity in their marital relations, and hence of their insistence to seek that harmony outside the marriage bond? It is not my intention to decide the issue here. But I leave the matter to the reader to ponder. I do wish to repeat, however, that the happiness of the family and that of the community can best be served by the limitation which monogamy imposes. That is so, however, if and only if the life of the community itself is normal.

 

The Story of Zaynab, Daughter of Jahsh

As for the story of Zaynab, daughter of Jahsh, the chroniclers, Orientalists, and missionaries have mixed it with such products of vivid imagination that they have made of it a story of love and passion. Critical history, on the other hand, concludes that it is one of the truly great facets of Muhammad's personality. It proves beyond question that Muhammad was the perfect example of faith and conviction, for it is an instantiation of the principle that the faith of man is complete only when he truly loves for his brother that which he loves for himself. Muhammad had made himself always the exemplar of his own legislation, especially of such laws as were intended to replace the tradition and customs of pre-Islamic Arabia. He was the examplar of the new system which God revealed through him as a mercy and guidance to mankind. For a repudiation of the whole story of Zaynab as reported by these chroniclers or Orientalists and missionaries, it is sufficient to realize that the said woman was the daughter of Umaymah and grand-daughter of `Abd al Muttalib the uncle of the Prophet of God-may God's peace and blessing be upon him. It is sufficient to remember that this woman was brought up in sight of Muhammad and under his care, and on this account was regarded by him as a daughter or a young sister; that he knew too well whether she was beautiful or not before she ever married Zayd ; that he saw her and followed her growth from childhood to maturity and youth; and that it was he who asked her hand for Zayd, his adopted son. Once the reader knows these historical data, then all the fictitious elements and tales spun about him, namely, that he passed by her house in the absence of her husband and was struck by her beauty; that he opened the door of her house and, as the breezes played with the curtains of her room, he saw her stretched in her nightgown like a real "Madame Recamier," that his heart was so struck by her beauty that he instantly forgot Sawdah, `A'ishah, Hafsah, Zaynab, daughter of Khuzaymah and Umm Salamah, his wives-not to mention the memory of Khadijah of whom `A'ishah used to say that she had never felt jealous of any woman except Khadijah on account of the memory he kept of her-all these tales must dissolve. If any grain of them was true, Muhammad would have taken her in marriage himself at first, rather than give her in marriage to Zayd. This historical relationship between Zaynab and Muhammad rules out as utterly fictitious and groundless all the stories which have been attributed to Zaynab's attractiveness.

History, however, has more yet to tell. It proves that Muhammad asked for the hand of his own cousin Zaynab for his adopted son Zayd. Her brother, `Abdullah ibn Jahsh, refused to let his sister, the Hashimi and Qurayshi noble girl that she was, and the first cousin of the Prophet in addition, become the wife of a slave whom Khadijah had bought and whom Muhammad had set free. Such a union was regarded by him as well as by the Arabs in general as a thing of great shame. For the daughters of the aristocracy to marry their slaves, even though their slaves had become free, was plainly unthinkable. But Muhammad sought to wipe out these racial and class distinctions between men. He sought to educate the whole world to the truth that no Arab is superior to any non-Arab unless it be in virtue and piety. For it was God who said,

"Highest in God's view is the most virtuous." [Qur'an, 49:13]

Muhammad did not choose to force this noble principle upon a woman outside his own tribe and clan. Let it then be Zaynab, he thought, his very cousin, that will carry the first burden of this flagrant violation of Arabian custom. Let her be the destroyer of these pagan traditions. Let her cause herself, and therewith the whole tribe and religion of Muhammad, to endure all the criticisms that such an act would engender. And let Zayd, his awn adopted son, be the person of lesser lineage to marry the noble Makkan aristocrat. On the other hand, Arab custom and tradition demanded that the adopted son inherit from his adopted father, like the latter's legitimate children. And since this custom too was the object of Muhammad's attack, his choice of Zayd as the spearpoint of the first reform, would actually make of him-if he were prepared to give up the inheritance to which Arabian custom gave him title-the spearhead of another Islamic legislation prohibiting inheritance to any but the blood heirs and relatives of the deceased. Thus, Muhammad insisted that Zaynab agree to marry Zayd and that her brother `Abdullah ibn Jahsh accept Zayd as a brother-in-law. Indeed, this furnished the occasion for the revelation that "No believer, whether man or woman, has freedom to choose otherwise than as God and His Prophet have resolved in any given case. To do so is to disobey God and His Prophet, to err and fall into manifest misguidance."[Qur'an, 33:36]

Once the foregoing verse was revealed, neither `Abdullah nor his sister Zaynab had any alternative but to acquiesce in the Prophet's order. The Prophet helped Zayd furnish a dowry for his bride-to-be and the marriage took place. After the wedding, the husband found in his wife a woman very hard to manage and to live with. Her pride continued to know no bounds. Indeed, she continued to deride Zayd, to boast of her lineage in his presence and to look down on him because of his having once been a slave. Zayd complained about her to the Prophet more than once and even consulted with him in the matter of divorcing her. All along, the Prophet would counsel him in these terms

"Hold fast to your wife and fear God." Zayd's home life, however, did not improve and, unable to bear her false pride any longer, Zayd divorced her.

 

Adoption in Islam

The All-Wise Legislator willed to undo the Arab practice of adopting children and passing onto them the adopter's genealogy and name, his investment of them with all the rights of the legitimate son including that of inheritance and the prohibition of marriage on grounds of consanguinity. The divine Legislator willed to give the adopted son only the right of a client and co-religionist. In this sense, the verse was revealed that: "God did not make your adopted son a. your own sons. To declare them so is your empty claim. God's word is righteous and constitutes the true guidance."[Qur'an, 33:4] It follows from this revelation that the adopter may marry the ex-wife of his adopted son and viceversa. But how is such provision to be implemented? Who, among the Arabs, could implement this legislation and thereby openly repudiate the ancient traditions? Even Muhammad himself, despite his tremendous willpower and profound understanding of the wisdom implicit in the divine command, found himself disinclined to implement this judgment by marrying Zaynab after Zayd had divorced her. Indeed, the criticisms of the commonplace and the vituperations with which he was indicted in the public eye for breaking down such well established custom did, for a time, influence Muhammad's judgment and affected his decision. It was at this stage that the following divine criticism was addressed to Muhammad: "Would you hide, 0 Muhammad, within yourself that which God was going to bring to light anyway? Would you fear the gossip of the people? Isn't God more worthy of being feared?" [Qur'an, 33:37] The truth is, however, that Muhammad was the exemplar of obedience to God; his life was the implementation of that which he was entrusted to convey to mankind. The outcome, therefore, was that Muhammad would not give any weight at all to the gossip of the people if he were to marry the ex-wife of his adopted son, since the fear of social condemnation is nothing comparable to that of condemnation by God, of disobedience to divine commandment. Thus, Muhammad married Zaynab in order to provide a good example of what the All-Wise Legislator was seeking to establish by way of rights and privileges for adoption. In this regard, God said: "After a term of married life with her husband, We permitted you to marry her so that it may hence be legitimate and morally blameless for a believer to marry the wife of his adopted son provided that wife has already been divorced. That is God's commandment which must be fulfilled." [Qur'an, 33:37]

 

Return to the Orientalists' Views

Such is the evidence critical history furnishes in the case of Zaynab, daughter of Jahsh, and of her marriage to Muhammad. She was his first cousin whom he knew well long before Zayd ever married her. It was he who asked for her hand on Zayd's behalf. Muhammad often saw Zaynab even after her marriage to Zayd, for the veil was not then known. It was also the custom, on account of Zaynab's blood relation to Muhammad and Zayd's relation as adopted son, that the couple would refer to the Prophet any complaint each may have against the other. As Zayd was not happy in his marriage with her, it was natural that both of them would seek advice and judgment in their domestic disputes. All these provisions of the divine law have been revealed, and they have been instanced in the case of Zayd and Zaynab's marriage and divorce, and of Zaynab's later marriage to Muhammad. These provisions had one purpose, namely the raising of the manumitted slave to the full status of freedom, and the repudiation of all the rights of masters, protectors, and adoptive parents in clear and unequivocal terms. There is hence no ground for these fictitious stories woven by Orientalists and missionaries and repeated by Muir, Irving, Sprenger, Weil, Dermenghem, Lammens and other biographers of Muhammad. Their so-called scholarship is a scandalous piece of missionarizing. It is a masquerade of science. Their traditional antagonism to Islam, going back to the Crusades, has simply taken possession of their conscience, dictating and determining all that they write on the subject. It is this fundamental prejudice which vitiates their writing. Their "history" is a crime against history itself, for they choose to see, to note, and to report only the most scurrilous and fictitious reports to satisfy this end. Even if, though impossible, their claims were true, we would still refute them with the simple argument that the great stand above the law; that Moses, Jesus, Jonah, and others before Muhammad have likewise risen above the laws of nature as well as of society, some in their birth, others in their lives. None of this has affected their greatness. Muhammad, moreover, legislated for man and society by means of his Lord's revelation. He executed those laws equally by his Lord's command. His life constitutes the highest ideal, the perfect example, and the concrete instance of his Lord's command. Would those missionaries have Muhammad divorce his wives in order not to exceed the limit of four prescribed by lslamic law after Muhammad? Wouldn't they then subject him to more severe criticism? But Muhammad's treatment of his wives was just and noble. We have seen in the above-mentioned tradition of `Umar ibn al Khattab some evidence thereto, and we shall see more yet in the sequel. Evidently, Muhammad not only honored woman more than did any other man, but he raised her to the status which truly belongs to her-an accomplishment of which Muhammad alone has so far been capable