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- Compare the story of Zainab Bint Jahsh and her marriage with Muhammad:
Annals of al-Tabari, 2:563; al-Tabari (commentary), 22:9; Tabaqat
Ibn Sa`d, 8:101-102ff.; Ansab al-ashraf, 1:433; Usd
al-ghaba, 5:463; al-Simt al-thamin, p.108; Rudi Paret, Muhammad
und der Qur'an, p.144f. Montgomery Watt, Muhammad at Medina (Oxford,
- We read the following in a tradition by al-Tabari: "The Messenger
of God went out one day seeking him. On Zaid's door was a curtain, which the
wind moved to show her unveiled in her chamber. The heart of the Prophet was
stricken by admiration for her" (Annals of al-Tabari, 2:453).
- Tabaqat, 8:101-102; al-Tabari, 2:452ff.
- Tabaqat, 8:103; al-Tabari, 22:12; Ansab al-ashraf,
1:435; al-Bukhari, Tawhid 22; Muslim, Tafsir al-Ahzab 33:16.
- Check watar which is interpreted usually by "the need"
or "the necessity" (Abu Ubaida, Majaz al-Qur'an, edited by
Muhammad Fuad Sezgin (Beirut, 1987), 2:138; and also al-Bukhari, Talaq
11). Al-Tusi explains watar by "need," and thus the verse is
interpreted: "Once Zayd had satisfied his need of her, we married her off
to you, Muhammad" (al-Tibyan, 8:244).
- Tabaqat, 3:42.
- ibid. 4:43.
- "And whom you yourself have favoured by emancipation and releasing"
(al-Tabari (commentary), 22:12; al-Razi, 25:212; al-Suyuti, 5:202). "Whom
God had favoured with Islam; which is the greatest favour, and by directing you
(Muhammad) to free him and love and having him as your own" (Mahmud Ibn
Umar al-Zamakhshari, al-Kashshaf `an haqa'iq al-tanzil wa `uyun al-aqawil fi
Wujuh al-ta'wil (Beirut, n.d.), 2:539).
- al-Razi, 25:212; al-Baidawi, 2:273; al-Kashshaf, 1:539.
- al-Tabari (commentary), 22:12; al-Kashshaf, 2:359. "The Messenger
of God saw her after he married her off, and he was deeply moved by her. Then he
said, "Praise be to Him, who changes the hearts!" She mentioned this
to Zaid, whose soul was already estranged from her and did not want her, so that
he even would let her marry another if she willed it! When she heard Muhammad
praise God, she told it to Zaid who perceived what it meant and started to grow
a dislike for her company and wanted to leave her for the Messenger of God."
- al-Tabari (commentary), 22:13.
- ibid.; al-Kashshaf, 2:539-540.
- Ibn Kathir, 3:491.
- ibid.; al-Khazin, 5:120 (in Majma` al-tafasir this story is
mentioned as a folk tale).
- The completion of the verse is: "Once Zayd has accomplished his
purpose with her, We married her off to you so that there would be no objection
for believers in respect to their adopted sons' wives." Al-Razi uses this
verse as an indisputable evidence that Muhammad did not marry Zainab to satisfy
his lust but to illustrate the Islamic Sharia in doing so, as legislation
benefits from both the sayings and the deeds of the Prophet (al-Razi, 25:212).
- al-Kashshaf, 3:273ff.
- Muhammad Rashid Ridha states, "God prohibited adoption in Islam
and annulled all the judgements pertaining to it; the most important one of
which was the prohibition of the wife of the adopted son to the fostering father
as though he is the natural father. Yet, it was so difficult for the people to
apply this annulment, and the public could not have done so unless the one who
is looked up to by old and young initiated it. So God commanded His Prophet to
marry Zaid off to this Zainab, knowing that they would not remain in this
marriage, as she would naturally act haughtily toward him and mistreat him. So
he married them, and the estrangement so increased between them that he had to
divorce her. Then God revealed the verse...." (Fatawa al-Imam,
5:1910). Al-Sabuni, however, speaks in a more frank tone, "As to Zainab
Bint Jahsh, the Messenger of God married for no higher wisdom than to abolish
the heresy of adoption" (al-Sabuni, 2:333).
- Da'irat al-ma`arif al-islamiyya, reprint of the Egyptian edition
(Tehran, n.d.), 11:29, Hayatu Muhammad, p.333.
- Hayatu Muhammad, p.333.
- Annals of al-Tabari, 8:101ff., 22:13; Usd al-ghaba,
5:463ff.; al-Kashshaf, 2:539; al-Khazin, 5:320 (In Majma` al-tafasir). "The
Messenger of God saw her after he married her off, and he was deeply moved by
her. Then he said, 'Praise be to Him, who changes the hearts!' She mentioned
this to Zaid, whose soul was already estranged from her and did not want her, so
that he even would let her marry another if she willed it! When she heard
Muhammad praise God, she told it to Zaid who perceived what it meant and started
to develop a dislike for her company and wanted to leave her for the Messenger
of God" (al-Nasafi, 5:119 in Majma` al-tafasir). While the old
expositors do their best trying to interpret the story, Ibn Sa`d says, "It
was not easy for Zaid to let her go" (Tabaqat, 8:103). It seems
that the earlier biographers on the life of Muhammad noticed the oddity of this
marriage, and perhaps this the reason why Ibn Ishaq never mentioned it and Ibn
Hisham mentioned it so briefly (Rudi Paret, Muhammad und der Koran,
- al-Sabuni, 2:335
- "It is obvious from the story of Muhammad's marriage with Zainab
that he was an ordinary man under the control of his emotions and feelings, even
if he tried to conceal them. The personal side played a significant role in this
marriage, together with the human side. Hence we see that Muhammad was human
under the influence and weakness of love. The modern writers deny the human
factors in this marriage, yet the Muslim has the right to boast that his Prophet
was an ordinary human Prophet whom God chose for humanity (Faruk Muhammad
al-Zayat, Mutter der Gläubigen, (München, n.d.), p.74f.) This
book by Muhammad al-Zayat is only listed in order to inform the reader of the
fact that the fundamentalist Muslims especially, who address European readers,
are in the habit of explaining all "accusations against Islam" that
are based on the lifestyle of the Prophet in terms of human weakness on his
part. Other than this, al-Zayat's book would have no real value since the writer
has condensed The Wives of the Prophet by `A'isha `Abd al-Rahman, which
she presented as her doctoral thesis.
- She is known in the Islamic world as Bint al-Shati'. She wrote her
thesis for her doctorate on the marital life of Muhammad and his wives, which
was printed in Cairo in 1967 under the title Nisa' al-Nabi. It was
translated into English under the title: `A'isha `Abd al-Rahman, The Wives
of the Prophet (Lahore, 1971).
- `A'isha `Abd al-Rahman, Nisa' al-Nabi, 13th ed. (Beirut, 1985),
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