Attacks of Christian Divines against the Private
Character of the Prophet
The manner, in which Christian divines have attacked the private character of the prophet, is indeed very surprising. They seem to reject the sacred mission of the prophet Mohammed merely on account of his polygamous marriages etc., when yet they receive as inspired the sayings of Balaam, David or Solomon. Missionaries should not, as a rule attack the character of Mohammed.
If the prophetic mission of Mohammed should be rejected by the ministers of the church on account of his having had nine wives and two concubines, why should not they raise the same objection against such of the Old Testament prophets whose number of wives and concubines had by far exceeded that number?
David had six wives and numerous concubines (2 sam v. 13; 1 Chron .iii, 1-9; xiv. 3); Solomon as many as 700 wives and as many as 300 concubines, (Kings xi. 3). Rehoboam had 18 wives and 60 concubines (2 Chron. ix. 21), a plurality expressly forbidden to the sovereign of Israel, who was commanded not to multiply wives to himself (Deut. xvii. 17). Honestly speaking, prejudice and partiality alone seem to reign over all the writings of Christian missionaries, when they deal with the person and character of the Prophet.
The mere fact that the Prophet Mohammed entered into polygamous relationship should not be made the pretext for attacks on his unsullied character, vouched for by friends and foes alike. The circumstances, connected with the marriages of the Prophet must be taken into consideration, in order to come to a right conclusion. As already stated, he passed his adult days with an elderly widow and did not, condescend to enter into another wedlock, even though the Mecca elders gladly agreed to place the most beauteous damsel of the wealthiest family at his disposal. However, later on, in the declining years of his life, he married a number of wives who, with the solitary exception of Ayesha, were either widows or divorced women. These facts, viewed in the light of the truth that the Prophet passed his days in preaching and actively pushing the cause of his new faith, and his nights in prayer, and that the Prophet was universally believed to be an honest man, endowed with all the qualities of moral greatness and all the attributes of virtuous manliness, bring home the conviction to every sound mind, that sensuality as a motive of action, is conspicuous by its absence in the life of the Prophet of Islam. Each of his marriages brought a world of social and political good to the Moslem community, and these marriages were a valuable instrument in welding together the contending factions of Arabia into a united community. Had polygamy, allowed by the Prophet under reasonable restraints and limitations, been a social bane, as some prejudiced critics try to assert, it would have hampered the moral elevation of the corrupted Arabs. But with the adoption of Islam as a moral code, the moral improvement grew apace, and the transformation wrought in the moral condition of Arabia, is without a parallel in the history of the world.