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The Wives of Prophet Nuh (عليه السلام) and Prophet Lut (عليه السلام)

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The Quran emphatically declares that the pure should only marry the pure. Allah (عز و جل) commands:

“Marry those among you who are single and the righteous ones among yourselves, male or female.” (Quran, 24:32)

Allah (عز و جل) further declares:

“Impure women are for impure men and impure men are for impure women. Pure women are for pure men and pure men are for pure women.” (Quran, 24:26)

The Ahlus Sunnah uses this as proof that Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) must be pure, since the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) married her. The Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم), after all, would not knowingly violate the Quran and marry someone who is impure. Since the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) was pure, he must only marry the pure.

The Shia revile Aisha (رضّى الله عنها), so to counter this argument, the Shia bring up the wives of Prophet Nuh (عليه السلام) and Prophet Lut (عليه السلام). Both of these women were married to pure Prophets, and yet they themselves were impure and will burn in Hell-Fire, according to the following verse in the Quran:

“Allah has made an example for those who are an unbelieving people: the wife of Nuh and the wife of Lut. They were married to two of Our servants who were believers, but they betrayed them and were not helped at all against Allah. They were told: ‘Enter the Fire along with all who enter it.’” (Quran, Surat at-Tahrim: 10)

However, it seems that this argument is inconsistent and we hope to, Insha-Allah, show that if anything, the fact that these two Prophets had sinful wives is only a testament against Shi’ism, since it creates a logical inconsistency in the Shia theology (which we shall examine in this article).

The Quran clearly says that a pure man should not marry an impure woman. In fact, Ayatollah Khomeini said: “It is forbidden in Islam to marry the Fasiqoon (sinners).” So the obvious question is: why did Prophet Nuh (عليه السلام) and Prophet Lut (عليه السلام) do so?

The Ahlus Sunnah has a simple answer to this question: Prophet Nuh (عليه السلام) and Prophet Lut (عليه السلام) did not know about their wives’ sinfulness at the time that they were getting married. Hence, they did not violate Allah’s commands willfully. They did not marry sinful women intentionally. Had the two known that their wives would be Kufaar (disbelievers), it is likely that they would never have married them in the first place. But only Allah knows Al-Ghaib (the Unseen), and only Allah (عز و جل) knew their eventual destination of Hell-Fire.

To this, a Shia might respond that perhaps Prophet Muhammad (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) likewise married Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) without knowing her true nature. Perhaps he too married an impure person without knowing. However, here a problem arises within Shia theological beliefs. The Shia adamantly believe that the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) and the Imams know the Al-Ghaib (the Unseen); they have knowledge of everything in the heavens and the earth. So it is not possible for the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) not to know the nature of Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) since–according to the Shia–he must know everything.

Al-Islam.org says
Imam Ali said: “I swear by God Who holds my soul in His hand that I know all that the Prophet knew, and that I know all of the past and all of the future, up until the Day of Resurrection.”

According to Al-Kafi, the most reliable of the four Shia books of Hadith, the Imams could supposedly tell who is going to Paradise and who is going to Hell-Fire merely by listening to a person’s voice:

“By listening to the voice of a person, the Imams can tell if the person was destined to go to hell or to heaven; they would thus answer his questions accordingly.” (Usool Al-Kafi, p. 185)

Hence, the Shia cannot make the claim that the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) did not know the nature of Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) when he married her. If Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) was impure and sinful, then the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) knew it (according to the Shia belief). If the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) then knowingly married an impure and sinful person, then the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) was violating multiple verses in the Quran which forbid this.

There is no way around this for the Shia. The fact of the matter is that the Shia have no way that they can rationalize the manner in which these two Prophets married sinful women. According to the Shia belief, the Prophets knew the character and destination of these women. It is simply an inconsistency in the Shia belief: were not the two Prophets being sinful by intentionally marrying sinful women?

The Ahlus Sunnah, on the other hand, does not have any inconsistencies in its belief. We believe that the Quran commands the Muslim men only to marry pure women. Prophet Nuh (عليه السلام) and Prophet Lut (عليه السلام) did not know the nature of their wives when they married them, and hence no blame can be placed on the shoulders of these men. Furthermore, the commandments in the Quran in regards to marrying the pure were commandments given to this Ummah, not necessarily the Ummah of Prophet Nuh (عليه السلام) and Prophet Lut (عليه السلام). The Shariah of these previous Prophets may have differed from the Shariah of Prophet Muhammad (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم). It is known, for example, that other Prophets were allowed to marry more than four wives. So we cannot say anything about Prophet Nuh (عليه السلام) and Prophet Lut (عليه السلام); what we do know is that this Ummah–including our Prophet Muhammad (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم)–was forbidden to knowingly marry impure women.

In regards to Prophet Muhammad (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم), he never divorced Aisha (رضّى الله عنها). This is acknowledged by the Shia. If the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) ever knew that Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) was a Kaffir, then it would have been sinful for him not to divorce her, since it is Haram to be married to a Kaffir. The Shia books clearly says that Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) was a Kaffir. Click here to read “Shia Accuse Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) of Being a Kaffir.”

The Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) never thought Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) was a Kaffir; otherwise, he would have divorced her. Since he did not, the only conclusion we can come to is that the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) did not question the purity of his wife. If the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) thought Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) was sinful, impure, and a disbeliever, then he himself would never have married her, and if he had married her, nothing prevented him from divorcing her! The Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) divorced other women, and yet he remained married to Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) to the last day.

In conclusion, the Shia cannot bring up the issue of the wives of Prophet Nuh (عليه السلام) and Prophet Lut (عليه السلام) since they themselves do not have a viable explanation for it, whereas the Ahlus Sunnah does. The Shia cannot reconcile their belief that the Prophet and Imams see all of Al-Ghaib and yet they married sinful women, in direct violation of the Quran’s commandments. The Ahlus Sunnah trusts the opinion of Prophet Muhammad (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم); if the Quran says to only marry the pure and the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) marries Aisha (رضّى الله عنها), then the Ahlus Sunnah will be the last to question her purity. As believers it should not be our policy to second-guess the Prophet of Islam (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم). The Quran commands the Muslims, including the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم), to marry pure women; to say that Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) was sinful is to say that either the Shia know more than the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) (i.e. the Shia know that Aisha is sinful but the Prophet did not), or that the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) sinned by violating the Quran and married an impure woman. Neither option is acceptable. The only acceptable position is to say that the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) married Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) who was a pure woman.

Article Written By: Ibn al-Hashimi, www.ahlelbayt.com

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