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Muhammad is not the father of [any] one of your men, but [he is] the Messenger of Allah and last of the prophets. And ever is Allah , of all things, Knowing. - (Qur'an 33:40)

But, in the same Surah,

The Prophet is more worthy of the believers than themselves, and his wives are [in the position of] their mothers..... - (Qur'an 33:6)

What could be the reason for this?

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Actually It is so because at that time Zaid(May Allah be pleased with him) was known among people as Zaid bin Muhammad. If you know the history, you may know that Zaid was servant of Muhammad(SAW) given to Him as a gift by Hazrat Khadeeja(May Allah be pleased with her). Prophet(SAW) later said that Zaid is my son(begotten son) because Zaid preferred Muhammad(SAW) over his real parents which came to take him back home and stayed with Prophet by his own will. Zaid was married with Zaynab(May Allah be pleased with her) which later was divorced by him because of conflicts between them. After being divorced, Muhammad(SAW) married Zaynab by order of Allah. Now, Among Quraish and people of Makkah it was tradition that begotten son was considered like actual son and wife of begotten son like wife of actual son so the father could not marry divorced wife of his begotten son according the rules of the pagans(mushrikeen). So they said "Hey! Muhammad(PBUH) did some strange thing and married his daughter in law(wife of his [begotten] son).." In response of this blame and to cancel an evil tradition it was declared that:

Muhammad is not the father of [any] one of your men, but [he is] the Messenger of Allah and last of the prophets. And ever is Allah , of all things, Knowing. - (Qur'an 33:40)

There might be more logics behind this as well but this is the one I could get as per my knowledge. May Allah guide us to the straight path and keep us firm on the straight path!

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  • I would appreciate a lot if you add a bit about those "more logics". Aug 25 '15 at 15:29
  • @RehanUllah, it can be admirable (as Mr.Azam remarked) if you add ... more logics... / But anyhow, I agree with you that there can be more logics... Dec 14 '15 at 9:35
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Even if i do agree with @Rehan Ullah's answer.

I would like to add that indeed in some sahaba's -earlier- Quran copies the Verse (33/6) was read "وأزواجه أمهاتهم وهو أب لهم" by Ubay ibn Ka'ab (May Allah be pleased with him) which means -be careful this is my own translation- (and his wife are their mothers and he's a father for them) and "النبي أولى بالمؤمنين من أنفسهم وأزواجه أمهاتهم وهو أب لهم" by ibn 'Abas (May Allah be pleased with both of them) which means -again my own translation- (The Prophet is more worthy of the believers than themselves, and his wives are their mothers and he's a father for them) according to tafsir al-Qurtubi and ibn Kathir. I read that ibn 'Abas had read this in front of 'Omar ibn al-Khattab who asked him about who recited it like that and he told him that he heard it from Ubay ibn Ka'ab so it was in Ubay's Moshaf!


As this Version has not been included in the Quran which 'Othman ibn 'Affan (May Allah be pleased with him) has "collected" this must be an ahad riwaya or a qira-a shadha and therefore not acceptable القرآن لا يثبت بالآحاد, but it could be used to understand the Quran and some of the ahkam. For example if we applied the Verse of surat al-Jumu'a (62:9) as is we should run to the prayer of friday ( فاسعوا إلى ذكر الله), but on one hand we know that this isn't permissible for prayers and on the other hand al-hamdulillah we have an explanation in the Qira-a of ibn Mas'ud and 'Omar ibn al-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with both of them) telling us that we should go ( فامضوا إلى ذكر الله ) normally (some further information could be found in my answer here)!


And ibn Kathir quotes a hadith which is quoted in Sunan ibn Majah, Sunan abi Dawod and Sunan an-Nasa'i (different Versions) where the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) himself says to his sahaba(May allah be pleased with them):

"I'm to you like a father to his son".

So in the shafi'i school some said it's permissible to call our Prophet (Peace be upon him) father of the believers as honor like it is the case for his wifes!

Others said that it is not (or no more) permissible because of the Verse 33/40!

They have also disscussed the matter if one could call somebody aunts of the mu'minyn or sister of the mu'mimnyn for his daughters and so on!

And Allah knows best

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  • If I'm getting it right, you are saying that the verse (33/6) was recorded in two or three different ways by people which implies the current version of the verse 33/6 is doubted to be authentic? And by your translation- (and his wife are their mothers and his a father for them), I believe you mean - (and his wife are their mothers and he is a father for them). Am I right? Oct 3 '15 at 5:11
  • These Quiraa of Ubay ibn Ka'ab will be a qira-a shadha or tafsiriya this means it adds something to the Quran at least this isn't a Qira-a which have found consensus among the sahaba as we can see. Which means it's only a ahaad riwaya, and ahaad are rejected in Quran matters! So no i just say that some sahaba understood it this way and no i have no doubt in the authenticity of the Quran. And i corrected some mistakes in my translation!
    – Medi1Saif
    Oct 16 '15 at 8:31
  • @Medi1Saif But there is a sahih hadith in which the messenger says learn the Qur’an from 4, and one of them is Ubayy. So how can we be certain ubayy is wrong
    – Hisham
    Aug 18 at 14:51
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    @UbaidHassan none said that Ubay is wrong, but this qira'a doesn't meet the criteria of one that can be accepted it is a kind of tafsir.
    – Medi1Saif
    Aug 18 at 15:00
  • @Medi1Saif okay jazakallah for the answer
    – Hisham
    Aug 18 at 15:13
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Quran 33.50, Umm Muhammad (Sahih International) translation:

O Prophet, indeed We have made lawful to you your wives to whom you have given their due compensation and those your right hand possesses from what Allah has returned to you [of captives] and the daughters of your paternal uncles and ... who emigrated with you and a believing woman if she gives herself to the Prophet [and] if the Prophet wishes to marry her, [this is] only for you, excluding the [other] believers. ...

Number of wives of Muhammad was restricted by Quran 33.52:

Not lawful to you, [O Muhammad], are [any additional] women after [this], nor [is it] for you to exchange them for [other] wives, even if their beauty were to please you, except what your right hand possesses. And ever is Allah , over all things, an Observer

But last marriage of Muhammad was in 628 and he died in 632:

English Wikipedia - Muhammad's_wives - Timeline_of_marriages:

Timeline of Muhammad's marriages

Maybe, women would doubt that they can offer themselves to marry to Muhammad, if they think that he is father of their husbands or father of all muslims. Maybe, for that that ayah (33.40) was revealed.

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  • who and why put -2 votes to this answer?
    – qdinar
    Aug 18 at 17:27

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