Q: I wanted to know about the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam’s) eleven wives? Why did he make 11 nikaahs? What was the reason behind it?
A: Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) is the perfect example and role model for every mu’min to follow. Further, every human being has two dimensions to his life, the external and the internal. In order to gauge a person’s practical life it is necessary to understand both these dimension. The external dimension refers to the person’s life which he spends among the masses and the general people and there are many witnesses available for those later to understand this dimension. The internal dimension refers to the person’s domestic life from which a person’s character and manners can be gauged. In this respect, the person who witnesses these is the wife. Hence, the domestic life of Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), the manner in which he conducted himself at home, helping in the house chores, his pattern of sleep, his waking up in the middle of the night, his profuse crying, etc. were all witnessed by none other than his honourable wives. Further, since these matters had to be preserved very accurately and with utmost reliability, Allah Ta`ala had allowed Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) to marry 11 women. Furthermore, by more than one person witnessing it, the mubaarak practices and habits of Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) could be viewed from different angles and it would be able to be conveyed to many more people.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)