Following the posting on Dayana's poem to Ashraff, the husband who cheated on her (Yes, he did..let's call a spade a spade ok?), some of my readers have asked me to share my knowledge of some of the misconceptions surrounding polygamy practised by our beloved prophet s.a.w.
What I am about to share are simply facts, which I have learned throughout my tenure in Sekolah Agama in my secondary school, and is not meant to offend anybody. I must state though that the understanding of the Malay society and men mostly (ustaz-ustaz di luar sana not excluded) are very male biased, and rarely touches on how faithful our prophet was to his 1st wife, but instead focuses on how polygamy is allowed and just that, not explaining the problems that the prophet faced throughout his life due to his polygamous marriages.
To read the yourself, find the books Rahiqul Makhtum and Sirah Sahabiyah.
Misconception 1 - The prophet was always a polygamous man
This is simply untrue. The prophet remained monogamous to his 1st wife, Khadijah r.a. for 25 years of his life, until the day his 1st wife passed away. So faithful was he that he did not even take on a female slave as you could have sexual relations with your slave at the time.
He grieved for a long time thereafter before he married Saudah and Aisyah at pretty much the same time but lived with Saudah as Aisyah was very young at the time of the marriage.
Even after he married the rest of his wives, he reminisced and missed his monogamous happy times he had with the late Khadijah, so much so that he caused immense jealousy among his other wives, particularly Aisyah.
He was only in a polygamous marriage for the last remaining 10 years of his life.
Misconception 2 - His wives has no problems with the prophet practising polygamy
This is of course untrue, but like I said, rarely brought up or taught to the men in our society. The story often stops at the prophet practising polygamy and as such, you can too. But the problems the prophet had throughout his polygamous marriages are often not highlighted to show and/or demonstrate to the men that it is no walk in the park and involves heavy responsibility and often induces conflict and disharmony.
Example 1 - The prophet was at the time married to both Saudah and Aisyah. He was so fearful of not being able to be fair to both, that he wanted to divorce Saudah as he knew in his heart he loved Aisyah more. It was only after Saudah agreed to give away her 'giliran bermalam' to Aisyah did he relent and not proceed with the divorce.
Example 2 - It was said by Anas that at one time, Aisyah and Zainab (the prophet's 4th wife) was heard arguing at the top of their voices. So loud was their argument, that Abu Bakar who was walking pass, could hear their fight. Abu Bakar was so incensed that he called out to the prophet to come outside the house and pour soil into their mouths (figure of speech you understand - basically what he meant was he wanted the prophet to stop the argument) to which Aisyah answered that the prophet was praying, and so Abu Bakar (Aisyah's father) ended up scolding Aisyah saying 'Why are you doing this?'
Example 3 - So jealous was Aisyah of Zainab that at one point of time Zainab went to visit to Aisyah's house. At that time, there was no fire lighting Aisyah's house and the prophet held Zainab's hand by accident to which Aisyah screamed and scolded the prophet saying 'that is Zainab!' until he withdrew his hand.
Example 4 - So jealous of Zainab was Aisyah that at one time, she planned a plot with Hafsah (the prophet's 3rd wife). The plot involved every other wife saying to the prophet everytime he met them after seeing Zainab that the prophet's mouth smelled bad and asking what he ate to make his mouth smell so bad, to which he said, 'I have just been to Zainab's house and drank some honey, and I will not drink honey made by her again'. This was a ploy to get the prophet to disfavour Zainab. This plot was the reason the phrases 1-4 in Surah At-Tahrim was send down by Allah swt to expose the plot.
Example 5 - Aisyah would often get angry with the prophet out her jealousy. So much so that everytime she is angry with the prophet she couldnt even bring herself to say his name. She would instead say 'No, in the name of God of Ibrahim!' as opposed to when she is not angry, to which she would say 'In the name of God of Muhammad!'
Example 6 - Aisyah would also known to have exclaimed and said in sadness in one of her bouts of jealousy when the prophet married another wife the following while putting her feet in daun idzkir (which is a thorny plant) 'Ya Allah, please set forth the snakes and scorpions to beset me. Your prophet, I know not what he is doing and I am powerless to do anything'.
Example 7 - Aisyah has also been known to make fun of Hafsah and Shafiyah (the prophet's 9th wife counting in Khadijah) in front of the prophet
Example 8 - Hafsah is known to be in cohorts or at odds with Aisyah to compete for the prophet's affection. Her biggest mistake was to expose one of the prophet's secret (which was told to only her) to Aisyah because she was so jealous of the prophet's affection to Mariyah (the prophet's 10th wife including in Khadijah) . This resulted in her being divorced with 1 talak.
Example 9 - Zainab binti Jahsy (the prophet's 7th wife including in Khadijah) is the only wife married to the prophet by Allah through 7 layers of the sky. Aisyah was so very jealous of. Anas said that this fact was something that Zainab loved to boast about to the other wives. She liked to make fun and/or offend Shafiyah (as Shafiyah was the daughter of a Jewish man), so much so that she evoked the anger of the prophet for a long time.
Example 10 - Aisyah was so jealous of Juwairiyah (the prophet's 8th wife including Khadijah). that she said [See Hadis Sahih Muslim, hadis Urwah from Aisyah] 'By Allah, I hated her from the moment I saw her from my door'.
Example 11 - The biggest conflict of all arose when Mariyah gave birth to Ibrahim, which evoked extreme jealousy from the rest of his wives as he had no children with them. Mariyah was also very beautiful and this made things worse. So bad was the conflict and jealousy between his wives that it caused extreme stress to the prophet. So much so that he isolated himself from ALL his wives for a month. He isolated himself in a small room and became extremely emaciated and considered divorcing all his wives. He was only persuaded by Umar to calm down and rethink his position 29 days later.
There are just so many instances I cannot list them all down. Make no mistake that this is not meant to embarrass the respected wives of the prophet or the prophet. They were pious women, that had their good sides which cannot be disputed and have all been blessed by Allah swt. and was respected and loved by the prophet. These facts exist to show that no matter how gentle a woman is or pious a woman is, she is a woman nevertheless and there will be jealousy and extreme conflict arising every so often in polygamous marriages.
Misconception 3 - His children with Khadijah had no problems with their stepmothers
Again, this is untrue. The children the prophet had with Khadijah (all the children he has are from his marriage to Khadijah save for one) grew up in a peaceful conducive environment as the prophet never married another throughout his marriage with Khadijah.
It was said by Aisyah herself that once, the prophet entered her house to find her crying and so she asked Aisyah why? Whereupon Aisyah answered 'Fatimah insulted me' and so the prophet took steps to patch the relationship and ease the fight.
How many men in our society know these facts I wonder? They should be forwarned before thinking about 'nak seronok' je boleh berjimak dengan ramai wanita if you know what I mean. And I think what Ashraf Muslim did was totally unislamic, he kept his 2nd marriage a secret. The prophet never kept any of his marriages secret.
Alright readers, I hope those who pm me are satisfied with what little info I can provide.
Have a good weekend ahead.