On Mary, Muhammad's Concubine (Round Four)

The Contradiction Remains

Sam Shamoun

Umar has come back for another round (here) on the issue of Muhammad and Mariyah. This will be my final response (cf. 1, 2, 3) since Umar hasn’t really provided any new material to rebut, but simply multiplied quotes which only proved that Muslims are a confused lot who manage to contradict themselves on nearly every issue. The only section I want to deal with here is Umar’s attempt of reconciling the contradiction between his position that Mariyah was Muhammad’s wife with the narrations which say that Muhammad had nine widows when he died, a number which excludes Mariyah from being one of his spouses.

Umar writes:

Bukhari has pointed to a narration of Saeed bin Abi Aruba, and related it here and attached it to the twelfth chapter and narrated it in these words:

"He used to go around to his nisaana [females; women], and in those days he had nine nisaana" Ibn Habana has collected among the sahih, between two narrations, that it conveys two conditions: But that was because of his saying, "the first was upon his arrival in medina where under him were nine niswas, and the second condition was at the other time when he had collected under him eleven women" the doubt in it is that when he came to medina, he did not have under him any other women except Sauda. Then he came upon Aisha, then he married Umm Salima, and Hafsa, and Zainab d/o Hazima, in the year third and fourth (AH). Then he married Zainab d/o Jahash in the fifth and Javeria in the 6th, then Safia, Umm Habiba and Maimoona in the seventh. And these were all the women he married after the hijira that is known. He differed about Rehana. She was from Sabi bin Quraiza. Ibn Ishaaq decided that he proposed to marry her and imposed hijaab upon her, and she chose to stay in his possession[sic], and most probably she died before him in the year 10 AH. Similarly, zainab bin khazima died a little while after he married her. Ibn Abdul Barr says that she stayed with him two or three months. Until that he had not gathered under him more than nine women. Besides, Sauda had gifted her day to Aisha, when he would come home.

Then the narration of Saeen returns : But the narration of Ibn Hasham carries the possibility that he joined maria and rehana together and applied upon them the term "nisaana", most probably. Dhumyaatee had enumerated in his seerat he gathered: someone informed him that the number of women whom he SAW, married, or just did nikah with, or divorced after nikah before he married them, or proposed for them but then did not do nikah with them reached thirty. [The Women] from among them, says another source, Anas, " there were fifteen, and he married eleven of them." Abu Al fatah Al Yamaree also enumerated the names of the women; then he mistakenly added to the number that Dhumyaatee had mentioned. But Ibn Qayyim disagrees with that. He adds the names of most of the possible women, but differed in some of the names.

(Source: http://hadith.al-islam.com/Display/Display.asp?Doc=0&Rec=451 , bold and underlined emphasis ours , translated by Dr. Munir Munshey)

RESPONSE:

It is quite obvious that Umar didn’t bother to read carefully the hadiths which I cited:

The apostle consummated his marriage with eleven women, two of whom died before him, namely Khadija and Zaynab. He died leaving the nine we have mentioned… (The Life of Muhammad, A Translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah, with introduction and notes by Alfred Guillaume [Karachi Oxford University Press, Karachi, Tenth Impression 1995], p. 794; bold emphasis ours)

Narrated ‘Ata:
We presented ourselves along with Ibn ‘Abbas at the funeral procession of Maimuna at a place called Sarif. Ibn ‘Abbas said, "This is the wife of the Prophet so when you lift her bier, do not jerk it or shake it much, but walk smoothly because the Prophet had NINE WIVES and he used to observe the night turns with eight of them, AND FOR ONE OF THEM THERE WAS NO NIGHT TURN." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 5)

And here is a section from Muslim scholar Safiur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri’s biography where he presents the names of Muhammad’s wives and gives the number of those who outlived him:

The Prophetic Household

Khadijah Bint Khuwailid:

In Makkah — prior to Hijra — the Prophet’s household comprised him [pbuh] and his wife Khadijah bint Khuwailid. He was twenty-five and she was forty when they got married. She was the first woman he married. She was the only wife he had till she died. He had sons and daughters with her. None of their sons lived long. They all died. Their daughters were Zainab, Ruqaiya, Umm Kulthum and Fatimah.

Zainab was married to her maternal cousin Abu Al-‘As bin Al-Rabi‘ and that was before Al-Hijra. Ruqaiya and Umm Kulthum were both married to ‘Uthman bin ‘Affan successively (i.e. he married one after the death of her sister). Fatimah was married to ‘Ali bin Abi Talib; and that was in the period between Badr and Uhud battles. The sons and daughters that Fatimah and ‘Ali had were Al-Hasan, Al-Husain, Zainab and Umm Kulthum.

It is well-known that the Prophet [pbuh] was exceptionally authorized to have more than four wives for various reasons. The wives he married were thirteen. Nine of them outlived him. Two died in his lifetime: Khadijah and the Mother of the poor (Umm Al-Masakeen) — Zainab bint Khuzaima, besides two others with whom he did not consummate his marriage.

Sawdah bint Zam‘a:

He married her in Shawwal, in the tenth year of Prophethood, a few days after the death of Khadijah. Prior to that, she was married to a paternal cousin of hers called As-Sakran bin ‘Amr.

‘Aishah bint Abu Bakr:

He married her in the eleventh year of Prophethood, a year after his marriage to Sawdah, and two years and five months before Al-Hijra. She was six years old when he married her. However, he did not consummate the marriage with her till Shawwal seven months after Al-Hijra, and that was in Madinah. She was nine then. She was the only virgin he married, and the most beloved creature to him. As a woman she was the most learnŤd woman in jurisprudence.

Hafsah bint ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab:

She was Aiyim (i.e. husbandless). Her ex-husband was Khunais bin Hudhafa As-Sahmi in the period between Badr and Uhud battles. The Messenger of All‚h [pbuh] married her in the third year of Al-Hijra.

Zainab bint Khuzaimah:

She was from Bani Hilal bin ‘Amir bin Sa‘sa‘a. Was nicknamed Umm Al-Masakeen, because of her kindness and care towards them. She used to be the wife of ‘Abdullah bin Jahsh, who was martyred at Uhud, was married to the Prophet [pbuh] in the fourth year of Al-Hijra, but she died two or three months after her marriage to the Messenger of All‚h [pbuh].

Umm Salamah Hind bint Abi Omaiyah:

She used to be the wife of Abu Salamah, who died in Jumada Al-Akhir, in the fourth year of Al-Hijra. The Messenger of All‚h [pbuh] married her in Shawwal of the same year.

Zainab bint Jahsh bin Riyab:

She was from Bani Asad bin Khuzaimah and was the Messenger’s paternal cousin. She was married to Zaid bin Haritha — who was then considered son of the Prophet [pbuh] . However, Zaid divorced her. All‚h sent down some Qur’‚nic verses with this respect:

"So when Zaid had accomplished his desire from her (i.e., divorced her), We gave her to you in marriage." [Al-Qur'an 33:37]

About her, All‚h has sent down some verses of Al-Ahzab Chapter that discussed the adoption of children in detail — anyway we will discuss this later. The Messenger of All‚h [pbuh] married her in Dhul-Qa‘dah, the fifth year of Al-Hijra.

Juwairiyah bint Al-Harith:

Al-Harith was the head of Bani Al-Mustaliq of Khuza‘ah. Juwairiyah was among the booty that fell to the Muslims from Bani Al-Mustaliq. She was a portion of Thabit bin Qais bin Shammas’ share. He made her a covenant to set her free at a certain time. The Messenger of All‚h [pbuh] accomplished the covenant and married her in Sha‘ban in the sixth year of Al-Hijra.

Umm Habibah:

Ramlah, the daughter of Abu Sufyan. She was married to ‘Ubaidullah bin Jahsh. She migrated with him to Abyssinia (Ethiopia). When ‘Ubaidullah apostatized and became a Christian, she stoodfast to her religion and refused to convert. However ‘Ubaidullah died there in Abyssinia (Ethiopia). The Messenger of All‚h [pbuh] dispatched ‘Amr bin Omaiyah Ad-Damri with a letter to Negus, the king, asking him for Umm Habibah’s hand — that was in Muharram, in the seventh year of Al-Hijra. Negus agreed and sent her to the Prophet [pbuh] in the company of Sharhabeel bin Hasnah.

Safiyah bint Huyai bin Akhtab:

From the Children of Israel, she was among the booty taken at Khaibar battle. The Messenger of All‚h [pbuh] took her for himself. He set her free and married her after that conquest in the seventh year of Al-Hijra.

Maimunah bint Al-Harith:

The daughter of Al-Harith, and the sister of Umm Al-Fadl Lubabah bint Al-Harith. The Prophet [pbuh] married her after the Compensatory ‘Umrah (Lesser Pilgrimage). That was in Dhul-Qa‘dah in the seventh year of Al-Hijra.

Those were the eleven women that the Messenger of All‚h [pbuh] had married and consummated marriage with them. He outlived two of them — Khadijah and Zainab, the Umm Al-Masakeen. WHEREAS THE OTHER NINE WIVES OUTLIVED HIM.

The two wives that he did not consummate marriage with were, one from Bani Kilab and the other from Kindah and this was the one called Al-Jauniyah.

Besides these, he had two concubines. The first was Mariyah, the Coptic (an Egyptian Christian), a present gift from Al-Muqauqis, vicegerent of Egypt — she gave birth to his son Ibr‚him, who died in Madinah while still a little child, on the 28th or 29th of Shawwal in the year 10 A.H., i.e. 27th January, 632 A.D. The second one was Raihanah bint Zaid An-Nadriyah or Quraziyah, a captive from Bani Quraiza. Some people say she was one of his wives. However, Ibn Al-Qaiyim gives more weight to the first version. Abu ‘Ubaidah spoke of two more concubines, Jameelah, a captive, and another one, a bondwoman granted to him by Zainab bint Jahsh. [Za'd Al-Ma'ad 1/29] (Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum (THE SEALED NECTAR) Biography of the Noble Prophet [pbuh], "The Prophetic Household"; online source; capital and underline emphasis ours)

The sources expressly say that Muhammad died leaving nine wives behind. Umar agrees with this since he says a little later:

Whats[sic] even more interesting is that on the same web page, I found this:

" Who Were the Prophet’s Wives?

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) married 12 wives in his life. When he died he had 9 wives. They have a very special status in the hearts of Muslims as the "Mothers of the Believers," as the Qur’an instructs, and they are the source of a great amount of wisdom which they learned while living close to such a great man. Perhaps you’d like to research a bit to find their beautiful stories, so here are their names: Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, Sawdah bint Zam’ah, `A’ishah bint Abi Bakr, Hafsah bint `Umar ibn Al-Khattab, Zaynab bint Khuzaymah, Umm Salama, Zaynab bint Jahsh, Juwayriah bint Al-Harith, Umm Habibah, Safiyah bint Huyay ibn Akhtab, Maymunah bint Al-Harith, Maria the Copt."

Note how this source contradicts itself, much like Umar, since it expressly says that Muhammad died leaving nine wives behind and yet claims that he had twelve wives altogether since Mariyah is included among them. Seeing that both Khadijah and Zaynab bint Khuzaymah died before Muhammad this would mean that he left ten wives behind, not nine, if we include Mariyah!

Do keep in mind the point that Muhammad left behind nine widows when he died since it will be important in exposing Umar. He resumes:

Note how he also includes Rehana in it too. We have no problem with that whatsoever, infact[sic] its rather interesting that they brought up Rehana. Allama Shibli Nu'Mani comments on this and says:

RESPONSE:

We will see shortly why Umar DOES HAVE A PROBLEM since he ends up exposing himself by refuting the very source which he kept parading as the majority view. Umar continues:

" Several historians record that out of the Quraiza prisoners, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) ordered a woman- Raihana by name- to be kept apart, and a few days later took her to wife. The historians who maintain that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not mind having conjugal relations with slave-girls, have cited two examples, one in the case of Raihana and the other in case of Mariyah Qibtiya. Christian historians have fondly believed and painted it in the darkest colours. One of these writers in a most sarcastic manner says: "The founder of Islam having enjoyed the sight of 700 assassinations came home to delight in.." In fact the whole story is pure fiction.

All the reports stating how Raihana came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) have either been taken from Waqidi or Ibn Ishaq.  But Waqidi has explicitly stated that she was duly wed. Ibn Sa'd's verion[sic], borrowed from Waqidi, reports Raihana herself saying, " Then the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) set me free and married me."

Hafiz Ibn Hajar, in his Isabah, quotes the following from Muhammad Ibn al-Hasan's History of Medina " And Raihana, of the tribe of the Quraiza who was a wife of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) lived in this house."

Hafaiz Ibn Minda's book  Tabaqat al-Sahaba which has been the main source for the later traditionalists contains the following words: "Raihana was taken captive then set her fere[sic] and she went to her own family and lived with her people like a purdah observing lady." Hafaz Ibn Hajar, after having quoted it, remarks, " It is a highly significant[sic] fact to which Ibn al-Athir paid no heed." Hafiz Ibn Minda's version establishes the fact that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had set her free and that she lived with her family like a respectable lady. We hold this vesion[sic] to be the whole truth, and even if it is supposed that she entered the Prophet's Haram, she was certainly a married wife and by no means a slave girl"

(Source: Sirat Un Nabi by Allama Shibli Nu'Mani rendered into English by M. Tayyib Bakhsh Budayuni, p. 125-126 Vol. II, Kazi Publications Lahore)

Furthermore, in the maroon, we find this commentary:

"Biographical works have three versions of reports about Raihana. One, that she was set free and went back to her people to live a secluded life. This is reported by Ibn Minda and stands uncorroborated. Second, that the Prophet set her free and had a mind to let hier[sic] live as a wife like the other wives, but, realising the extraordinary responsibility of a wedded woman, she preferred to serve as a slave-girl. This is what Ibn Ishaq reports. Third, that the Prophet left the decision to her own choice, and then she embraced Islam, and the Prophet set her free and married her. This is Waqidi's report quoted by Ibn Sa'd through various chains : and Waqidi has declared it to be the proved version. See Kitab al-Bidaya, Ibn Kathir Vol. V, p.305. And Imam Zohri also corroborates the marriage version. See previous reference. For details refer to Isabah, account of Raihana."

So the Hadiths as cited by Shamoun further exposes him, and shows that there is the possibility that the term of nisaana was applied upon Mariyah and Rehana.

Hence, today we have scholars who debate about if Mariyah is a wife of the Prophet (S) or not, and again as cited above, the majority agree Mariyah was indeed a wife of the Prophet (S)!

Sam Shamoun then cites the Salafi scholars of Islam-qa, however these scholars say that there is no scholarly dispute about how many wives the Prophet (S) left behind, but we would have to disagree with that stance, as the scholars of Islamonline.net clearly say some sources say Mariyah is a wife, and others say Mariyah wasn't a wife:

RESPONSE:

Two points to note from all this. First, notice that Muslim sources are not only confused regarding the status of Mariyah, but they are also greatly confused regarding Rayhana! The scholars can’t agree whether Rayhana was set free and returned to her people, whether she became Muhammad’s wife or whether he kept her as a concubine! It is truly amazing that Umar thinks he is defending Islam when all he does is help demonstrate how chaotic and confusing the Islamic narrations truly are.

Second, recall the reports which expressly say that Muhammad had nine widows. Now if both Rayhana and Mariyah were also his wives then this means that Muhammad actually left eleven widows after his death, not the nine reported by the Islamic sources! Now notice the glaring contradictions raised by Umar and the Islamic sources:

Furthermore, notice that Umar once again appeals to the majority view, which we will now show how this ends up backfiring against him. Umar obviously forgot the names of Muhammad’s wives as listed by the very source which he cited as representative of the majority view. Here is what he initially quoted:

However, THE VAST MAJORITY OF MUSLIM SCHOLARS AGREE THAT THE WIVES OF THE PROPHET (pbuh) WERE:

1. Khadijah
2. `A’isha bint Abu Bakr
3. Sawda bint Zum`ah
4. Hafsa bint `Umar
5. Zaynab bint Khuzaymah
6. Um-Habibah bint Abu Sufyan
7. Um-Salamah
8. Zaynab bint Jahsh
9. Juwariyah bint al-Harith
10. Safiyah bint Hayi ibn Akhtab
11. Maymunah al-Hilaliyah
12. Mariya al-Qibtiya (Who was from Egypt.)

(May Allah be pleased with all of them). These are the names UPON WHOM THE SCHOLARS AGREED. (Prophet’s Illiteracy and Mariya; source; capital emphasis ours)

Do you notice who is missing from this list of names agreed upon by Umar’s "majority of scholars"? You guessed it, Rayhana! What this means is that the so-called majority of scholars appealed to by Umar reject the view that Rayhana was Muhammad’s wife, soundly refuting Umar and his references which state the contrary! This means that, according to this "majority" view, Muhammad widowed ten wives, which clearly contradicts the narrations stating that he had only nine when he died!

Moreover, Umar’s position also contradicts his own quotes from Allama Shibli Nu'mani who claimed that the version that says that Muhammad set Rayhana free is actually the correct one:

Hafiz Ibn Minda's book Tabaqat al-Sahaba which has been the main source for the later traditionalists contains the following words: "Raihana was taken captive, then set her free and she went to her own family and lived with her people like a purdah observing lady." Hafiz Ibn Hajar, after having quoted it, remarks, "It is a highly significant fact to which Ibn al-Athir paid no heed." Hafiz Ibn Minda's version establishes the fact that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had set her free and that she lived with her family like a respectable lady. WE HOLD THIS VERSION TO BE THE WHOLE TRUTH, and even if IT IS SUPPOSED that she entered the Prophet's Haram, she was certainly a married wife and by no means a slave girl." (Capital and underline emphasis ours)

The Allama not only asserts that Muhammad didn't take Rayhana as a concubine, but that he didn't even marry her! This is the same Allama whom Umar quotes ad nauseam, and yet conveniently ignores his statements since it soundly refutes his position regarding Rayhana being a wife.

It has become quite obvious that Umar has no problem contradicting himself or refuting his own scholars whenever he is caught and exposed.(1)

Umar claimed that I contradicted Sheikh GF Haddad’s stance that Rayhana was Muhammad’s wife by my interpretation of the above hadiths. In reality, it is Umar who contradicts Haddad since the latter denies that Mariyah was a wife. Moreover, Haddad is contradicting the so-called sound narrations of the Sahihayn (Al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim) that Muhammad died with nine widows, which excludes Rayhana. Thus, Haddad’s statements only provide further proof of the chaotic and confused nature of Muslim sources and scholars.(2)

In conclusion, we want to thank Umar for once again providing a "response" which further managed to expose Islam and his prophet.


Notes:

(1) To further illustrate Umar's inconsistency notice what he says about the claims made by www.islamqa.com that the unanimous view of Muslim scholars is that Muhammad left nine widows behind:

Sam Shamoun then cites the Salafi scholars of Islam-qa, however these scholars say that there is no scholarly dispute about how many wives the Prophet (S) left behind, but we would have to disagree with that stance[sic], as the scholars of Islamonline.net clearly say some sources say Mariyah is a wife, and others say Mariyah wasn't a wife:

Umar has no problems rejecting the statements of the Salafi scholars of Islamqa.com even though they claim to be presenting the unanimous position and go so far as to quote some of these scholars to prove their case. Yet Umar parades the opinion of Islamonline.net as the Gospel truth even though this site failed to provide a single name from this so-called majority of scholars who believe that Mariyah was a spouse!

(2) There is actually a way of reconciling the hadiths with the position that Rayhana was Muhammad's wife. According to certain narrations, Rayhana died right after Muhammad's return from the Farewell Pilgrimage:

According to Muhammad b. 'Umar [al-Waqidi] - 'Abdallah b. Ja'far - Yazid b. al-Had - Tha'labah b. Abi Malik: Rayhana bt. Zayd b. 'Amr b. Khunafah, of the Banu al-Nadir, was married to one of the [Banu Qurayzah] named al-Hakam. When the Banu Qurayzah were taken captive the Prophet took her, set her free, and married her. She was still married to him when she died. According to Muhammad b. 'Umar [al-Waqidi] - Rayhana remained married to the Prophet until her death on the Prophet's return from the Farewell Pilgrimage; he buried her in al-Baqi': He had married her in Muharram 6/May-June 627. (The History of al-Tabari: Biographies of the Prophet's Companions and Their Successors, translated by Ella Landau-Tasseron [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany 1998], Volume XXXIX (39), pp. 164-165)

And here is what the quote from Ibn Hajar which Umar provided, the one translated by Dr. Munir Munshey, says:

... He differed about Rehana. She was from Sabi bin Quraiza. Ibn Ishaaq decided that he proposed to marry her and imposed hijaab upon her, and she chose to stay in his possession[sic], and most probably she died BEFORE HIM in the year 10 AH ... (bold and capital emphasis ours)

If this version of the events is correct then Rayhana died before Muhammad and was therefore not one of his widows. Moreover, this view does not conflict with the reports stating that Muhammad left nine widows behind but definitely contradicts the assertion of Mariyah being Muhammad's wife. If she were his spouse then Muhammad left behind ten, not nine, wives.


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