An interesting book written by welknown poet and historian Tamam Kahn. She tells the stories of the wives of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), who came from Jewish, Christianan and Muslim families.
Tamam in an interview said that she wrote the book to debunk the anti-Islam and anti-women stereotype found in the West. In the book Tamam demystifies some of the most inflencial women present at the dawn of Islam (610 CE). These women among the wives of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), known as ‘Mothers of the Believers’ and his daughters, which included a businesswoman (Khadija), a scholar and military commander (Ai’sha), two Jewish war booty, a Christian diplomat from Egypt and a First Lady (Fatima).
I will recommend the book ($18.95) to both Muslims and non-Muslims in order to find out that among the three Abrahamic religions, Islam is the only genuinely feminist faith. The Prophet described marrying a widow as a great virtue and himself proved by marrying several of them.
The book, however, needs some minor corrections. The Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) first wife Khadijah never had children from her previous marriage. After her marriage with the Prophet, she gave birth to four daughters (Zainab, Ruqayya, Umm Kalthoum and Fatima) and two sons (Qasim and Tayyib).
Hazrat A’isha was not the Prophet’s second wife. His 12 wives in order were; Khadija bint Khuwaylid (a widow and the very first Muslim convert), Sawda bint Zam’a (widow), A’isha bint Abu Bakr (daughter of the first Khalifa of Islam), Hafsa bint Umar (a widow and daughter of the second Khalifa of Islam and conquerer of Jerusalem in 638 CE), Zaynab bint Khuzayma (a widow), Umm Salama Hind bint Abi Umayya (a widow), Zaynab bint Jahsh ( a divorcee), Juwayriya (Barra) bint al-Harith (daughter of chief of Israelite tribe of Banu Mustaliq who converted to Islam after her marriage with the Prophet), Umm Habiba Ramla bint Abi Sufyan (a divorcee), Safiyya bint Huyayy (17-year-old daughter of Huyayy ibn Akhtab, the chief of Israelite tribe of Banu Nadir, who were expelled to Khaybarfor plotting to assassinate the Prophet in 627 CE. She converted to Islam before marriage), Maymuna bint al-Harith and Maria al-Qibtiyya (Coptic diplomat). Maria gave birth to a son (Ibrahim) who died after eight months.
The marriages of the two Israelite ladies brought blessings to their fellow prisoners from their tribes. They were all set free without ransom money since they had become the Prophet’s in-laws.
Tamam Kahn has visited Morocco, Syria and India in search of Sufism.
Unfortunately, there are not many books on the lives of the wives of the Prophet (pbuh). One of the other book I have read on this subject, is ‘The Wives Of The Prophet Muhammad’ by Ahmad Thomson, published in UK in 1993.