Did our Prophet not marry Umm Sharik because she was old?

The Details of the Question

- What is the real reason why the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) refused to marry Umm Sharik?
- I saw in one source that it was because she was very old and then she married someone else. It is mentioned that the Prophet did not marry her, considering her old (Dhahabi, al-Isaba, VIII, 236)
- Is it sound?
- How can it be explained?
- We know that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was a Mercy to the Realms and focused on helping and protecting widows. What was the real reason?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

- First of all, we should state that many of the women whom the Prophet (pbuh) married were old; so, her old age cannot be the reason why he did not marry Umm Sharik.

- It is not known when Umm Sharik was born. She is from the Azd branch of the Daws tribe. After the conquest of Khaybar, she migrated to Madinah. The issue of her dedicating her soul to the Prophet was after the death of her first husband, Abul-Akr.

- According to one view, verse 50 of the chapter of al-Ahzab was sent down regarding dedication of her soul.

- In one part of the verse in question, the following is stated regarding the issue:

“We have made lawful to thee… and any believing woman who dedicates her soul to the Prophet if the Prophet wishes to wed her;- this only for thee, and not for the believers (at large)...”

- Marriage is a contract, it takes place with the consent of both parties. The woman who dedicates her soul is willing to marry; but if the Messenger of Allah consents to the marriage as the second party; that is, as in the verse, “if he wants to marry that woman,” the marriage takes place.

- The situation is similar to that of a gift giver and a gift recipient. If the giver does not want to receive it, the gift will not be realized.

- As far as we have researched, it is not clear why the Messenger of Allah rejected the woman. Only Dhahabi explains it as old age. Since the date of birth of the woman is not known, it is not possible to search this information.

- The relevant part of the verse only explains preference and legitimacy. In other words, the Messenger of Allah is free to marry the woman who dedicates her soul to him, which is halal; he marries if he wants or vice versa. He did not marry her by choosing not to marry.

- One of the most important reasons for it might be that the Prophet did not want to marry a woman without giving her mahr because the Prophet definitely gave mahr to every woman he married.


Tabari, Qurtubi, Abussuud, the interpretation of the verse in question
Kemal Sandıkçı, Ümmü Şerik, item, DİA.

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