Were all wives of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) deserving of praise?

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Some overzealous Muslims attempt to portray all wives of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) as pious, believing women and beyond criticism and reproach. Let us see as to how they attempt to justify their hypothesis and baseless belief and does it hold water in the backdrop of verses of the Holy Quran and the historic reality of the Messenger of Allah’s (s.a.w.a.) life.

The basis of their belief:

الْخَبيثاتُ لِلْخَبيثينَ وَ الْخَبيثُونَ لِلْخَبيثاتِ وَ الطَّيِّباتُ لِلطَّيِّبينَ وَ الطَّيِّبُونَ لِلطَّيِّباتِ

Bad women .are for bad men and bad men are for bad women. Good women are for good men and good men are for good women.” (Surah Noor (24): Verse 27)

In the light of the above verse, they claim that it is not possible that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) will go against the aforementioned verse and hence, he (s.a.w.a.) will obviously select the choicest of spouses for himself and will not opt for a wretched or non-pious woman as a wife. Hence criticizing wife of Prophet (s.a.w.a.) is unjustified.


Anyone who has the slightest knowledge of the Holy Quran will never hold such a belief and this is in direct contravention of its other verses. For example, the Holy Quran, while talking about the wives of the divine Prophets, Nuh (a.s.) and Lut (a.s.), says, “Allah sets forth an example to those who disbelieve the wife of Nuh and the wife of Lut: they were both under two of Our righteous servants, but they both acted treacherously towards them so they availed them naught against Allah, and it was said: Enter both the fire with those who enter.” (Surah Tahreem (66): Verse 10).

Did the two great Prophets (a.s.) go against this divine law? Under the above verse, Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) asks Zorarah:
What is your view about “treachery” in the word of Allah – Mighty and Majestic be He – “but they both acted treacherously towards them”? He (Allah) did not imply anything except indecency (fornication). And indeed, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) married so and so…(implying treachery and indecency towards one of his wives)” (Al-Kafi, vol. 2, p. 402, H.2, The Chapter of Deviation)

The Holy Quran, while addressing the wives of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.), warns, “O wives of the prophet! Whoever of you commits an open indecency, the punishment shall be increased to her doubly; and this is easy to Allah” (Surah Ahzaab (33): Verse 31). Now let us see some of the wives who openly disobeyed Allah and His Messenger (s.a.w.a.) as acknowledged by the scholars of the Ahle Tasannun in their books.

  • Fatima bint al-Zahhak al-Kilabiyyah: She chose the world over the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) – (Al-Isabah v 8 p 273)
  • Asma bint al-Noman: She sought refuge in Allah from him (s.a.w.a.) – (Ibid. vol. 8, p.19)
  • Al-Shanba bint Amr: She denied his Prophethood altogether – When Ibrahim, the son of Prophet (s.a.w.a.) expired, she said – Had he been a Prophet, his son would not have died.

(Al-Seerah al-Nabaviyyah, Ibn Katheer, v 4 p 580

  • Laili bint al-Khateem: She left him (s.a.w.a.) – (Tarikh Tabari, v 2 p 417)
  • Qatilah bint Qais al-Kindiyyah – She become an apostate after him (s.a.w.a.)

(Al-Tabaqaat al-Kubra, Ibn Sa’d, vol. 8, p. 147)

Paying attention to the above, it becomes clear that the belief of these overzealous Muslims, which is of course baseless and without any evidence, is clearly an attempt to defend some wives that have already been reprimanded and condemned by the Holy Quran itself in many verses.

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