Answered by: Alimah Habiba Akhtar
Does verse 51 of Suratal Ahzab mean that the Prophet did not have to be just between his time divided between his wives? So he could visit whoever he wanted and he could completely desert some if he wanted, even if the wives did not agree? What is the wisdom behind this?
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
The interpretation of this hadith and the nature of the Prophet Muhammad SAW’s relationship with his wives will be better understood from the accounts of his wives themselves.
Equal treatment of wives is generally announced to the public and this is applicable to the Prophet Muhammad SAW himself.
Consider the following hadith:
Aishah narrated that:
The Prophet would divide (his time) equally between his wives and said: “O Allah! This is my division in what I have control over, so do not punish me for what You have control over which I do not have control over.” (1)
Thus, we can establish from the above account of Aisha RA that the Prophet SAW had an entire system and protocol to suffice each wife and give them their right. If such was the practice of the Prophet Muhammad SAW accounted for by his wife, then how can we assume he was free from the obligation of treating his wives fairly?
The fact that he also sought forgiveness and refuge from such an act of inequality shows that his purpose and aim was to attain equality between his wives.
Hence, in response to your query, the Prophet SAW was not excused from the ruling of treating all wives equally and the protocol of the Prophet SAW supports this claim.
Only Allah knows best
Written by Alimah Habiba Akhtar
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham
عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلىاللهعليهوسلمكَانَ يَقْسِمُ بَيْنَ نِسَائِهِ فَيَعْدِلُ وَيَقُولُ ” اللَّهُمَّ هَذِهِ قِسْمَتِيفِيمَاأَمْلِكُ فَلاَ تَلُمْنِيفِيمَاتَمْلِكُ وَلاَ أَمْلِكُ ”
Jami Tirmidhi 1140