Islam History 8 / Muhammad had 16 wives
Muhammad’s Later Life
After Muhammad’s wife, Khadijah, died in 619, he married many other women and took many concubines. Some say he had as many as 29 wives total. He had at least 22 women total: 16 wives, 2 slaves or concubines, and 4 devout Muslim women who gave themselves to satisfy his sexual desires. One of these slaves was a Christian who refused to convert and marry him, so she remained a slave. From all these women, he had one son, who died in infancy. He said God allowed him this compensation for his suffering as a prophet.
“Prophet, We have made lawful for you the wives whom you have granted dowries and the slave-girls whom God has given you as booty; the daughters of your paternal and maternal uncles and of your paternal and maternal aunts who fled with you; and any believing woman who gives herself to the Prophet and whom the Prophet wishes to take in marriage. This privilege is yours alone, being granted to no other believer. We well know all the duties We have imposed on the faithful concerning their wives and slave-girls. (We grant to you this privilege) so that none may blame you.” Sara 33:50
One of his wives, Zaynab, was originally his adopted son’s wife. Muhammad asked Zaid to divorce her and give her to him. When he refused, Muhammad had a revelation that commanded Zaid to give her up and decreed that there was no evil in a man taking his daughter-in-law from his adopted son.
“You [Muhammad] said to the man [Zaid] whom God and yourself have favored: ‘Keep your wife and have fear of God.’ You sought to hide in your heart what God was to reveal [Muhammad’s intention to marry Zaid’s wife]. You were afraid of man, although it would have been more proper to fear God. And when Zaid divorced his wife, We gave her to you in marriage, so that it should become legitimate for true believers to wed the wives of their adopted sons if they divorced them. God’s will must needs be done.” Sura 33:37-38