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What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam What is This? A guide to a wide variety of general questions asked by those looking to learn more about Muslim culture and the Islamic world.

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Did Muhammad have multiple wives?

During the prime of his life, Muhammad had one wife, Khadija, for twenty-four years, until her death when he was forty-nine. Much is recorded about Muhammad's relationship with Khadija, who served as his closest confidante and comforter and strongest supporter. They had six children, two sons who died in infancy and four daughters.

After Khadija's death Muhammad started to contract other marriages, all but one of them to widows. As was customary for Arab chiefs, some of these marriages were arranged to cement political alliances. Others were marriages to wives of his Companions who had fallen in combat, women who were in need of protection. Remarriage for widows was difficult in a society that placed a high value on a bride's virginity. However, talk of the political and social motives behind many of Muhammad's marriages should not obscure the fact that Muhammad was attracted to and enjoyed the company of women as friends as well as spouses. His life reflects the Islamic outlook on marriage and sexuality, found in both revelation and Prophetic traditions, which emphasizes the importance of family and views sex as a gift from God to be enjoyed within the bonds of marriage.

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