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Wives of the Prophet

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The Oxford Dictionary of Islam What is This? Covers the religious, political, and social spheres of global Islam in the modern world

    Wives of the Prophet

    According to the biographer Ibn Hisham (d. 834 ), the Prophet Muhammad married thirteen women. Khadijah bint Khuwaylid , Sawda bint Zama , Aishah bint Abi Bakr , Hafsah bint Umar , Zaynab bint Khuzaymah , Hind bint Abi Umayya (known as Umm Salama ), Zaynab bint Jahsh , Maymuna bint al-Harith , and Juwayriyah bint al-Harith were Arab; six of them were from Quraysh, and the rest were from other tribes. Safiyah bint Huyay was from a Jewish tribe. Rayhanah bint Zayd was from a Jewish tribe as well, although there is some doubt regarding her marriage to the Prophet; Asma bint al-Numan and Amra bint Yazid were both divorced by the Prophet before consummation. At the time of his death in 632 the Prophet left behind nine wives and a consort, Maryam the Copt . The wives of the Prophet are called “Mothers of the Faithful” (Umm al-Muminin) in the Quran ( 33:6 ) and forbidden in marriage to other men after the Prophet's death ( 33:53 ). They are regarded as moral exemplars for Muslim women. Aishah and Umm Salama in particular reported numerous hadiths from Muhammad and thus played a decisive role in the shaping of the Sunnah.

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