Prophet Muhammad visiting all his wives in one night?

Some of the Christians use the following tradition and yell obscenities against the Holy Prophet, may Allah bless him, saying that he had passion for women.

Narrated Anas: 

“The Prophet I used to go round (have sexual relations with) all his wives in one night, and he had nine wives.”

But as a matter of fact, this is clearly wrong translation and the words within parenthesis do not find any place here.

Actual text of the Hadith and correct translation:


Now the Hadith goes as.

أَنَّ نَبِيَّ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ كَانَ يَطُوفُ عَلَى نِسَائِهِ فِي اللَّيْلَةِ الْوَاحِدَةِ وَلَهُ يَوْمَئِذٍ تِسْعُ نِسْوَةٍ

The word, يَطُوفُ like طواف i.e., circumambulating the Holy Ka’ba only refers to going around and has no other nuance whatsoever. So, the correct translation of the Hadith is:

Narrated Anas: The Prophet I used to go round all his wives in one night, and he had nine wives.” (Bukhari, Hadith 275)

There is nothing special in the Hadith. It in fact shows that he cared for all his wives and went to see them.

The query probably rises from the famous translation of this Hadith which is there in well-known software. In that software it reads.

“The Prophet I used to go round (have sexual relations with) all his wives in one night, and he had nine wives.”

One can clearly see that the words ‘have sexual relations with’ are in parenthesis, that is to say these are not the direct meanings of the Arabic words but addition by the translator to help understand according to his understanding.

But I disagree with his understanding and thus believe that these words in the parentheses are not helping to understand better but are rather misleading. Holy Prophet, may Allah bless him, did visit them all but it’s not that he had sexual relations with each of them.

Details of Prophet’s visits to his wives:

Urwa reported on the authority of his father:


‘Aisha said: “O my nephew, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah did not prefer one of us to other in respect of his division of time of his staying with us. It was very rare that he did not visit any of us any day. He would come near each of his wives without having any intercourse with her until he reached the one who had her day (i.e., her turn) and passed his night with her….”


(Sunan Abū Dawūd Hadīth 2135. Albāni classified it as Hasan Sahih)

Besides Sunan Abu Dawud the narration is found in,

Musnad Ahmad (No. 23621)
Baihaqi’s Sunan Al-Kubra (No. 13434, 14754)
Mustadrak Al-Hakim (No. 2710)

It is found in Sunan Darqutni (No.3781) too with more explicit wording.

Imam Shaukani has taken the hadith on same account. He writes,

وَكَذَلِكَ يَجُوزُ لِلزَّوْجِ دُخُولُ بَيْتِ غَيْرِ صَاحِبَةِ النَّوْبَةِ وَالدُّنُوُّ مِنْهَا وَاللَّمْسُ إلَّا الْجِمَاعَ كَمَا فِي حَدِيثِ عَائِشَةَ الْمَذْكُورِ

“Similarly, it is allowed for the husband to enter upon the wife [even if, it being] without her turn [to spend night with] and to come closer to her and touch her except the intercourse as in the Hadith of Aisha mentioned above.”(Nayl al-Awtar 10/213)

It makes it clear beyond all doubt here that he visited all of them just to see them and dint have intercourse with each of them but only with the one whose turn was it that day.

Further clarification:

One may refer to the narration from Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, in which he related the same issue of Prophet, may Allah bless him, all his wives in a single with him being given the “strength of thirty men.” One may say this implies the Prophet, may Allah bless him, used to have intercourse with all his wives.

But how can the implied understanding of some other companions be taken in precedence over a direct authentic report from none other than the wife of the Holy Prophet, may Allah bless him? Who else would have been more knowledgeable of such intimate details of the Prophet’s personal life?

Similarly, even the word يَطُوفُ implies ‘intercourse’ when used in relation to a person going to his wife [or wives] it will not work here for an explicit authentic report from the wife of the Prophet, may Allah bless him, bars us.

Allah knows Best.

Prepared by Mohamad Mostafa Nassar- Australia.

www.IslamCompass.com

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