Safiyah, the Jewish Wife of
The following is the story
of Safiyah Bint Huyeiy Ibn Akhtab, the Jewish woman who was captured when
Muhammad’s troops attacked Kheibar and brought her to the Prophet as
part of his share of the booty.
Muhammad ordered Kinana, the young husband of Safia to be tortured to
death to make him reveal the whereabouts of the treasure of the town. On
the very nigh of that murder, he took Safia to his bed and claimed that
young girl as his trophy. This story is reported by Tabari in detail. It
can also be found in Sira of Ibn Ishaq. The following is reported in the Book of Tabaqat
compiled by Ibn Sa'd and is published in the Islamic site. http://www.muslimunited.org/topics/prophet/wives.html
Two years earlier, Muhammad had beheaded Huyeiy, the father of Safia along
with 900 men of Bani Quraiza.
Safiyah was seventeen and very beautiful when Muslims killed her father,
husband and many of her relatives. In the same day the Prophet of Allah
wanted to sleep with her. Here is the exact text of the story.
was born in Medinah. She belonged to the Jewish tribe of Banu 'I-Nadir.
When this tribe was expelled from Medinah in the year 4 A.H, Huyaiy was
one of those who settled in the fertile colony of Khaibar together with
Kinana ibn al-Rabi' to whom Safiyah was married a little before the
Muslims attacked Khaibar. She was then seventeen. She had formerly been
the wife of Sallam ibn Mishkam, who divorced her. One mile from Khaibar.
Here the Prophet married Safiyah. She was groomed and made-up for the
Prophet by Umm Sulaim, the mother of Anas ibn Malik. They spent the night
there. Abu Ayyub al-Ansari guarded the tent of the Prophet the whole
night. When, in the early dawn, the Prophet saw Abu Ayyub strolling up and
down, he asked him what he meant by this sentry-go; he replied: "I
was afraid for you with this young lady. You had killed her father, her
husband and many of her relatives, and till recently she was an
unbeliever. I was really afraid for you on her account". The Prophet
prayed for Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (Ibn Hisham, p. 766) Safiyah had requested
the Prophet to wait till he had gone a stage away from Khaibar.
"Why?" asked the Prophet. "I was afraid for you on account
of the Jews who still happened to be near at Khaibar!"
The reason Safiyah rejected the sexual advances of
the 57-year-old Muhammad should be obvious to any objective person. I
believe most women prefer to mourn than jump into bed with the killer of
their father, husband and many relatives on the same day of their death.
But the fact that the prophet of Allah could not contain his sexual urges
for one day to let this young girl grieve, says a lot of his thinking and
moral character. However as for the rest of the story we are not sure
whether it is true or was fabricated by Muslim historians to wipe the
impression of rape. But this is all we have and to find the truth we have
to rely on these biased documents written by Muslim historians.
The story goes on to say that Abu Ayyub was concerned for the
safety of the prophet because he (Muhammad) had killed Safiyah's father,
husband and many of her relatives. This is logical. It is foolish to sleep
with a woman after killing her loved ones. But Safiyah’s excuse for
rejecting Muhammad’s advances towards her seems unreasonable. When
Muhammad took this young girl into his tent, he had already killed many
Jews and was winning the war. If there were any Jews left, they probably
were more worried for their own lives than Safiyah’s chastity. Also she
was already in the tent alone with Muhammad, how the Jews would have known
if they were engaged in sex or not? I wonder what other excuse could she
make to a man who was the murderer of her father, husband and many of her
relatives to let her alone at least that night?
next day a Walima (we
dding-feast) was arranged on behalf of the Prophet…
Note that the historian is saying that the wedding
took place one day after the prophet got private with Safiyah and made his
moves to have sex with her. This presented no problem for the prophet as
he had his Allah reveal a verse saying it is okay to sleep with women
captured in war without marrying them even if they are married.
all married women (are forbidden unto you) save
those (captives) whom your right hands possess…” (Q. 4:24
The above verse shows that the Holy prophet did not
believe that slaves have any right. You could be a happily married woman
living your own life, but if Muhammad and his devout followers attacked
your town and captured you, you would lose all your rights, and while your
husband was being killed or enslaved you would be given to a Muslim
Mujahid who would rape you all with Allah’s blessings.
This is confirmed in another place.
1-The believers must
(eventually) win through,-
2- Those who humble themselves in their prayers;
3-Who avoid vain talk;
4- Who are active in deeds of charity;
5- Who abstain from sex,
6- Except with those joined to
them in the marriage bond, or (the captives) whom their right hands
possess,- for (in their case) they are free from blame,
7- But those whose desires exceed those limits are transgressors;-
Let us continue with the story of Safiyah.
other wives of the Prophet showed their jealousy by making slights upon
her Jewish origin. But the Prophet always defended her. Once Safiyah was
vexed to the extreme by the t
aunts of all the Arab wives of the Prophet. She took the complaint to the
Prophet, who felt great compassion for her. He consoled her. He encouraged
her. He equipped her with logic. He said: "Safiyah, take courage and
be bold. They are in no way superior to you. Tell them: I am a daughter of
the Prophet Harun, a niece of the Prophet Musa, and a wife of the Prophet
she was brought along with other prisoners-of-war, the Prophet said to
her, "Safiyah, your father always maintained enmity with me until
Allah made the final decision." She said, "But Allah does not
catch one for the sins of another."
This of course
contradicts Muhammad’s own behavior who annihilated the entire Bani
Qainuqa with the pretext that few of them had killed a Muslim in
. That is despite the verse that says "Namely, that no bearer
of burdens can bear the burden of another" (Q.
53:38) Also it was not Allah who made the final decision.
Safiyah's father was killed by Muhammad's men not by Allah. This would be
the same as Hitler claiming that God killed all the Jews in the holocaust.
If God wanted to kill all those people that Muhammad and his army killed
He could have done it on his own. God needs no mercenaries to do his will.
Prophet then gave her the choice of joining her people after freedom or
accepting Islam and coming into a matrimonial relationship with him”
We have to
remember that Muhammad killed most of her people and banished the rest of
them. So giving the choice to join her people is not much of a choice.
was very intelligent and gentle and said, "O Allah's Messenger, I had
hoped for Islam, and I confirmed you before your invitation. Now when I
have the honour to be in your presence, I am given a choice between kufr
and Islam I swear by Allah, that Allah and His Messenger is dearer to me
than my own freedom and my joining with my people." (Tabaqat).
Was this confession, if true, sincere? Was she safe
to speak out her mind? She was enslaved by a man who had exterminated her
family and could do with her the same. See the reference made to her
"freedom". This shows clearly that she was not free. In fact she
must have been very intelligent to fabricate those lies to save her own
Safiyah was married, she was very young, and according to one report she
was hardly seventeen years old and was extremely beautiful. Once A'isha
said a few sentences about her short stature, at which the Prophet said,
"You have said a thing that if it were left in the sea, it would mix
with it (and make its water dirty). " (Abu Dawud). She not only
deeply loved the Prophet but also greatly respected him as Allah's
Messenger, for she heard the conversations of her father and uncle after
they went to Medinah. When the Prophet migrated to Medinah, they came to
see him and find out whether he was the true Messenger of Allah spoken of
in the Scriptures. When they got back and talked together that night,
Safiyah was in her bed listening to them. One of them said, "What do
you think about him?" He replied, "He is the same Prophet
foretold by our Scriptures." Then the other said, "What is to be
done?" The reply came that they must oppose him with all their
Is this story, narrated by Abu Dawud, credible? How
can two Jews recognize Muhammad as the prophet foretold by their
scriptures and decide to oppose him with all their might? It defies all
logic. It takes a "deficient in intelligence" to believe in this
nonsense. It is not clear whether Safiyah lied to conform and make her
self accepted among her enemies or it is another fabrication of a zealot
believer. Why would someone decide to oppose with all his might the one
who he has found out to be the promised one of his own scriptures? But
this is not all! Where in the Bible it says anything about Muhammad? How
come Safiyah’s father and uncle could decipher their scriptures and find
about Muhammad while for 1400 years all Muslim scholars have been unable
to do it?
Safiyah was convinced of the truth of the Prophet. She spared no pain to
look after him, care for him and provide every comfort that she could
think of. This is evident since she came into his presence after the fall
See how the writer contradicts himself in one page?
Just a few lines above we read that she was captured and was taken to
Muhammad as a prisoner. She didn’t come on her own. She was taken to the
prophet because she was young and the prettiest of other women captured.
Prophet had a slight grievance against her for she had refused when the
Prophet wanted to have privacy with her at the previous stage (of the
journey). At the next halt, the Prophet had privacy with her and spent all
night with her. When she was asked by Umm Sulaim, "What did you see
in Allah's Messenger?" She said he was very pleased with her and did
not sleep at all but was talking to her all night. He had asked her, 'Why
did you refuse at the first stage when I desired privacy with you?' She
had said, 'I was afraid for you because of the nearness of the Jews.
"'This thing further increased my merit in his eyes." (Tabaqat).
Bukhari also has recorded some Hadithes telling the
invasion of Kheibar and how Muhammad met Safiyah.
Anas said, 'When Allah's Apostle invaded Khaibar, we offered the Fajr
prayer there yearly in the morning) when it was still dark. The Prophet
rode and Abu Talha rode too and I was riding behind Abu Talha. The Prophet
passed through the lane of Khaibar quickly and my knee was touching the
thigh of the Prophet . He uncovered his thigh and I saw the whiteness of
the thigh of the Prophet. When he entered the town, he said, 'Allahu Akbar!
Khaibar is ruined. Whenever we approach near a (hostile) nation (to fight)
then evil will be the morning of those who have been warned.' He repeated
this thrice. The people came out for their jobs and some of them said,
'Muhammad (has come).' (Some of our companions added, "With his
army.") We conquered Khaibar, took the captives, and the booty was
collected. Dihya came and said, 'O Allah's Prophet! Give me a slave girl
from the captives.' The Prophet said, 'Go and take any slave girl.' He
took Safiya bint Huyai. A man came to the Prophet and said, 'O Allah's
Apostles! You gave Safiya bint Huyai to Dihya and she is the chief
mistress of the tribes of Quraiza and An-Nadir and she befits none but
you.' So the Prophet said, 'Bring him along with her.' So Dihya came with
her and when the Prophet saw her, he said to Dihya, 'Take any slave girl
other than her from the captives.' Anas added: The Prophet then manumitted
her and married her."
asked Anas, "O Abu Hamza! What did the Prophet pay her (as Mahr)?"
He said, "Her self was her Mahr for he manumitted her and then
married her." Anas added, "While on the way, Um Sulaim dressed
her for marriage (ceremony) and at night she sent her as a bride to the
Prophet . (Sahih
Mahr or dowry is a money that a bride receives from her husband when he
marries her. Muhammad did not pay Safiyah her Mahr because he had to pay
it to himself for manumitting her. Of course the irony is that he did not
buy her but enslaved her by raiding her town. This story is significant
because it gives us an insight into the moral and ethical values of the
Prophet of God (Peace be upon his immaculate soul).
Our modern sensibility makes us cringe with stories like this, yet
amazingly Muhammad taught that he is going to receive two rewards by
marrying Safiyah. One for manumitting someone whom no one but himself had
enslaved and the other for marrying the prettiest girl who was 40 years
Abu Musa reported that Allah's Messenger
(may peace be upon him) said about one who emancipated a slave woman,
and then married her, that for him there are two rewards. (Sahih
Muslim Book 008, Number 3327)
Also in another part
The Prophet offered the Fajr Prayer near Khaibar when it was still dark
and then said, "Allahu-Akbar! Khaibar is destroyed, for whenever we
approach a (hostile) nation (to fight), then evil will be the morning for
those who have been warned." Then the inhabitants of Khaibar came out
running on the roads. The Prophet had their warriors killed, their
offspring and woman taken as captives. Safiya was amongst the captives,
She first came in the share of Dahya Alkali but later on she belonged to
the Prophet . The Prophet made her manumission as her 'Mahr'. (Sahih
Bukhari V.5 B.59 N.512)