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Endnotes: chapter twenty-three

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  1. Ahamd Ibn Hanbal, 3:128,199,285; al-Nasa'i', Kitab `ishrat an-nisa', p.16; Tabaqat Ibn Sa'd, 1:398.
  2. Tabaqat Ibn Sa'd 1:398. Perfume has played that important role due to the predominant belief that perfume arouses the sexual desire, as is made clear in the following story: "`A'isha narrated, 'I scented the Messenger of God, and he had sex with his wives' (al-Bukhari, Ghusl 14). It is natural then that perfume is prohibited for women when they leave their homes: "Abu Musa narrated that the Prophet said, 'If a women scents herself and passes by people wanting them to smell her perfume, she is such and such [he emphasised his word]" (Abu Dawud, Tarajjul 7).
  3. Tabaqat Ibn Sa`d, 1:398. "The Jews said, when they saw the Messenger of God marrying women, 'Look at this man who never has enough of food and cares for nothing else as he does for women.' They envied him for his wives and found fault with him because of that and said, 'If he were a prophet, he would not desire women'" (Tabaqat Ibn Sa`d, 8:202). Ibn Sa`d explained why Muhammad married several women by stating that this was the tradition (sunna) of the prophets since Solomon, the son of David, married a thousand women, seven hundred of them received dowry and three hundred were concubines. David had a hundred wives; Uriah the mother [sic] of Solomon was one of them, whom he married after the temptation. This is more than what Muhammad had (ibid.). Moreover, one should understand the many number of wives Muhammad had as a bounty and grace of God: "Or do they envy people because of what God has given them out of His bounty? We already gave Abraham's family the Book and wisdom, and We gave them splendid control" (Sura al-Nisa' 4:54).
  4. al-Bukhari, At`ima 25,30, Fadhail al-sahaba 30, Anbiya 32,46; Muslim, Fadha'il al-Sahabu 7,89; al-Tirmidsi, At`ima 31, Fadha'il 62; al-Nasa'i', Nisa' 3; Ibn Maja, At`ima 14; al-Darimi, At`ima 29; Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, 3:156,264. Muhammad's most favourite dish was tarid (al-Darimi, At`ima 22), and Muslim says that the Messenger of God died before he had enough of tarid (Muslim, Zuhd 29).
  5. The narrator, however, corrects this mistake: "O God, forgive me! I mean `women'" (Tabaqat Ibn Sa`d, 8:398).
  6. al-Nasa'i', Khail 2; Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, 5:28.
  7. al-Tirmidsi, Janna 1; Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, 5:352.
  8. al-Tirmidsi, Nikah 1; Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, 5:421. Woman's prayer, however, is not acceptable if she is perfumed (Abu Dawud, Tarajjul 7).
  9. Muslim, Radha` 59; Ibn Maja, Nikah 5; al-Nasa'i', Nikah 15; Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, 2:168. Muhammad has frequently referred to woman as an object of enjoyment (mata`, i.e. a piece of luggage) (al-Bukhari, Jihad 72; Abu Dawud, Buyu` 74; Adhiya 22). The Qur'an says the same in Sura Yusuf 12:17,65,79.
  10. Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, 2:252,432,438.
  11. Kafit: The ability to have sex and to marry (Lisan al-Arab, 2:71).
  12. Tabaqat Ibn Sa`d, 8:192; al-Tirmidsi's commentary on Sura al-Mujadila 58:1; Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, 6:37.
  13. Tabaqat Ibn Sa`d, 8:192. Another tradition has it that Muhammad was given the strength of thirty men, as al-Tabarani mentioned (al-Anwar al-muhammadiyya min al-mawahib al-`adunniyya (Beirut, 1892), p.261) and al-Bukhari: "The Prophet used to visit all his wives in a round, during the day and night and they were eleven in number. I asked Anas, 'Had the Prophet the strength for it?' Anas replied, 'We used to say that the Prophet was given the strength of thirty men'" (Ghusl 12).
  14. Tabaqat Ibn Sa`d, 8:193. al-Qadi `Iyad said that the Messenger of God was given enough strength to have intercourse with all his wives (al-Shifa fi sifat al-Mustafa (Beirut, 1980) 1:195).
  15. Scholars are not in agreement about the number of Muhammad's wives. Some say they were twelve (Tabaqat Ibn Sa`d, 8:52-139), while al-Tabari says they were fifteen (al-Tabari, 3:160ff.). Maria, the Copt, is either listed under "the slaves of the Messenger of God" or not listed at all, as well as Rayhana who was taken captive during the destruction of Banu Qurayza, who was "the Prophet's favourite" (al-Tabari, 3:129; Usd al-ghaba, 5:460).
  16. Tabaqat Ibn Sa`d, 8:141.
  17. ibid. 8:150.

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