Maududi paraphrases the meaning of the clause: "If you need more than one [wife] but are afraid that you might not be able to do justice to your wives from among the free people, you may turn to slave girls because in that case you will be burdened with less responsibilities" (note 6).
This is not surprising, since the slave-girl was sexual property (see Sura ).
Third, in pre-Islamic days, men could marry as many women as they wanted and "treat them cruelly and unjustly" with impunity. Also, the clause "marry those who have fallen in your possession" means slave-girls who were captured in a war.
This Muslim feminist says that polygamy, which she relabels polygyny, is no threat to society because it is used only in extraordinary circumstances: Muslims view polygyny as an institution which is to be called into use only under extraordinary circumstances.
As such, it has not been generally regarded by Muslim women as a threat.
The Quran in Sura 9 says: It is not within your power to be perfectly equitable in your treatment with all your wives, even if you wish to be so; therefore, (in order to satisfy the dictates of Divine Law) do not lean towards one wife so as to leave the other in a state of suspense. It is too much to demand from a husband that he should mete out equal treatment to a beautiful wife and to an ugly wife, to a young wife and to an old wife, to a healthy wife and to an invalid wife, and to a good natured wife and to an ill-natured wife.
These and like things naturally make a husband more inclined towards one wife than towards the other.
But if you apprehend that you might not be able to do justice to them, then marry only one wife, or marry those who have fallen in your possession. 1979) is a respected traditional and conservative commentator on the Quran. He says that the clauses accomplished three things: First, in pre-Islamic Arabia, guardian men married the orphan girls under their care, so the Quran says that they should direct their attention to women other than the orphans.
Second, in pre-Islamic days men used to marry a limitless number of women and grab the property of their orphan nephews and nieces to support their wives.
This means that the limit of four wives is artificial.
Men could have sex with as many women as they wanted from among their slaves.
In his own example and life, he seemed to perpetuate the pre-Islamic practices. Muhammad had sex with her, and there does not seem to be a political need for this.
The Quran in Sura grants Muhammad wide latitude in his marriages: O Prophet, We have made lawful to you those of your wives, whose dowers you have paid, and those women who come into your possession out of the slave-girls granted by Allah, and the daughters of your paternal uncles and aunts, and of your maternal uncles and aunts, who have migrated with you, and the believing woman who gives herself to the Prophet, if the Prophet may desire her. Second, Muhammad may marry his first cousins, and Maududi cites a case in which this happened. Revelations that sexually benefit a founder of a religious movement raise some concern for objective outsiders to this movement, unless someone has the prior belief that the founder has achieved sinless perfection and can do no wrongeven with this special sexual permission.
This privilege is for you only, not for the other believers . Third, if a believing woman offers herself to Muhammad, and he desires her, then he may marry her (Maududi vol. But the capstone of these "special" marriages occurs when Muhammad also marries the ex-wife (Zainab) of his adopted son (Zaid).