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Was Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) Unfair In His Treatment To His Wife Sauda?

By
Bassam Zawadi

 

 

 

Some people are trying to accuse Prophet Muhammad of not being fair to Sauda because he did not spend nights with her and instead did so with Aisha. 

Here are the following hadith...

Sahih Bukhari

Volume 3, Book 47, Number 766:

Narrated Aisha:

Whenever Allah's Apostle wanted to go on a journey, he would draw lots as to which of his wives would accompany him. He would take her whose name came out. He used to fix for each of them a day and a night. But Sauda bint Zam'a gave up her (turn) day and night to 'Aisha, the wife of the Prophet in order to seek the pleasure of Allah's Apostle (by that action).

 

Volume 3, Book 48, Number 853:

Narrated Aisha:

Whenever Allah's Apostle intended to go on a journey, he used to draw lots among his wives and would take with him the one on whom the lot fell. He also used to fix for everyone of his wives a day and a night, but Sauda bint Zam'a gave her day and night to 'Aisha, the wife of the Prophet intending thereby to please Allah's Apostle.

 

Sahih Muslim

Book 008, Number 3451:

'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: Never did I find any woman more loving to me than Sauda bint Zam'a. I wished I could be exactly like her who was passionate. As she became old, she had made over her day (which she had to spend) with Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) to 'A'isha. She said: I have made over my day with you to 'A'isha. So Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) allotted two days to 'A'isha, her own day (when it was her turn) and that of Sauda.

 

The reason why Sauda gave up her day to the Prophet was because of her old age she thought that the Prophet would not be interested in her anymore and that he would divorce her. Therefore, in order to remain the Prophet's wife and to please him she gave up her day and night to Aisha. 

First thing to note is that there is no evidence that the Prophet (PBUH) ever intended to divorce Sauda. 

The missionaries cite this as a proof...

Some reports say that Mohammad did actually divorce Sauda but she negotiated a settlement with him which he accepted.

Al-Qasim ibn Abi Beza said the prophet sent to Sauda a message divorcing her. So she waited for the prophet on his way to ‘Aisha. When she saw him she said I implore you by Him who revealed His words to you and chose you above all his creation why did you divorce me. I have become old and have no need of men but I wish to be resurrected amongst your wives in the last day. So he changed his mind and she said I have given my day and night to [‘Aisha] the prophet’s beloved... (See Ibn Kathir on Q. 4:128)

However, Ibn Kathir says at the end of the narration...

Source: http://quran.al-islam.com/Tafseer/DispTafsser.asp?l=arb&taf=KATHEER&nType=1&nSora=4&nAya=128

And this is mursal ghareeb.

 

That means that the hadith is a mursal and ghareeb hadith. 

What does that mean?

mursal or "unattached" hadeeth is one that contains a gap of one generation (according to both Azami and Hasan it is a hadeeth reported by a Successor who drops the Companion from whom he learned it in the isnad).

among them ghareeb ("scarce" or "strange"), 

Source: http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/historyandhadeeth/azzamcomparison.html

So you can't use a hadith that has a gap in it and is scarce to prove a point. 


Plus the Prophet would not have divorced her just because she became old and was not attractive anymore. Sauda was not even attractive in the first place...

Sahih Bukhari

Volume 2, Book 26, Number 740:

Narrated 'Aisha :

Sauda asked the permission of the Prophet to leave earlier at the night of Jam', and she was a fat and very slow woman. The Prophet gave her permission.

 

Sahih Muslim

Book 007, Number 2958:

'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: Sauda (the wife of the Holy Prophet) who was bulky sought the permission of Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) on the night of Muzdalifa to move from (that place) ahead of him and before the multitude (set forth). He (Allah's Apostle) gave her the permission. So she set forth before his (Holy Prophet's) departure. But we stayed there until it was dawn and we moved on, when he departed. And if I were to seek the permission of Allah's Messenger. (may peace be upon him) as Sauda had sought permission, I could have also gone with his permission and it would have been better for me than that for which I was happy.

 

Ibn Kathir says...

There was great surprise in Mecca that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would choose to marry a widow who was neither young nor beautiful. (Ibn Kathir, Wives of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), Source)

 

It was a habit of the wives of the Prophet to give up their days in order to try and satisfy the Prophet. Here is an example...

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was, once, angry with Safiyyah and so Safiyyah went to Aisha and said to her, "Could you make the Prophet (peace be upon him) forgive me and I would give up my day for you?" Aisha said, "Yes." Aisha then took her yellow veil and perfumed it and then sat beside the Prophet (peace be upon him) who said, "O Aisha, keep away from me, it is not your day". Aisha said, "It is Allah's Grace and He bestows it upon whomever He wants," and then she told him the whole matter and he forgave Saffiyyah. (Ibn Majah, An-Nikah, vol. 1 p.634, Cited in Muhammad Fathi Mus'ad, The Wives of the Prophet Muhammad: Their Strives and Their Lives, p.174)

This shows that the Prophet was strict in keeping his days to his wives. The only reason why he agreed to not give it to Sauda is because SHE IS THE ONE that offered to give up her day. Read the hadith carefully...

Sahih Bukhari

Volume 3, Book 47, Number 766:

Narrated Aisha:

Whenever Allah's Apostle wanted to go on a journey, he would draw lots as to which of his wives would accompany him. He would take her whose name came out. He used to fix for each of them a day and a night. But Sauda bint Zam'a gave up her (turn) day and night to 'Aisha, the wife of the Prophet in order to seek the pleasure of Allah's Apostle (by that action).

 

Volume 3, Book 48, Number 853:

Narrated Aisha:

Whenever Allah's Apostle intended to go on a journey, he used to draw lots among his wives and would take with him the one on whom the lot fell. He also used to fix for everyone of his wives a day and a night, but Sauda bint Zam'a gave her day and night to 'Aisha, the wife of the Prophet intending thereby to please Allah's Apostle.

 

Sahih Muslim

Book 008, Number 3451:

'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: Never did I find any woman more loving to me than Sauda bint Zam'a. I wished I could be exactly like her who was passionate. As she became old, she had made over her day (which she had to spend) with Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) to 'A'isha. She said: I have made over my day with you to 'A'isha. So Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) allotted two days to 'A'isha, her own day (when it was her turn) and that of Sauda.

 

These women of such high faith would do anything to keep their husbands happy. Especially if your husband happens to be the glorious Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). 

 

The Prophet thought highly of Sauda...

 

Sahih Bukhari

 

Volume 2, Book 24, Number 501:

Narrated 'Aisha:

Some of the wives of the Prophet asked him, "Who amongst us will be the first to follow you (i.e. die after you)?" He said, "Whoever has the longest hand." So they started measuring their hands with a stick and Sauda's hand turned out to be the longest. (When Zainab bint Jahsh died first of all in the caliphate of 'Umar), we came to know that the long hand was a symbol of practicing charity, so she was the first to follow the Prophet and she used to love to practice charity. (Sauda died later in the caliphate of Muawiya).

 

So there is no evidence at all that the Prophet was ever unfair to Sauda. On the contrary, his marriage to her was nothing but an act of mercy...

 

The Wisdom Behind This Marriage

Imagine what the situation would have come to if the Prophet (peace be upon him) had not married Saudah. Had she been safe from the torture and persecution of her relatives who were still disbelievers?

She belonged to a disbelieving family; her father was an aged disbeliever; and so was her brother. Her husband died and she became a widow having a little girl without a supporter or a provider. 

No doubt, her marriage to the Prophet (peace be upon him) was mercy and protection for her from the torture of her family. Perhaps if she had stayed, they would have killed her or tried her in her belief.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) sympathized with this faithful widow immigrant. Her married her to save her from the oppression of her family. (Muhammad Fathi Mus'ad, The Wives of the Prophet Muhammad: Their Strives and Their Lives, p.32)

 

 

 

 

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Islam and the Noble Quran - Questions and Answers.

Contradictions and History of Corruption in the Bible.

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