Wives of Muhammad: Sauda bint Zam'ah

One of Muhammad’s many wives was named Sauda bint Zam’ah. As Sauda got older, she became overweight and unattractive, so Muhammad decided to divorce her. Terrified of being abandoned in her old age, Sauda agreed to relinquish some of her marital rights in exchange for Muhammad not divorcing her. This was the historical background of Qur’an 4:128, which affirms the agreement: “If a wife fears cruelty or desertion on her husband’s part, there is no blame on them if they arrange an amicable settlement between themselves; and such settlement is best; even though men’s souls are swayed by greed. But if ye do good and practise self-restraint, Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.”


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