Is it not contrary to the universality of the Quran that the wives of the Prophet are mentioned in the chapter of al-Ahzab?

The Details of the Question
- Why are the verses related to the wives of the Prophet in the chapter of al-Ahzab are arranged in detail and in a way that gives privilege to the Prophet? - In anti-Islamic websites, it is claimed acting upon those verses that the Quran was written – God forbid – by the Prophet. Since those verses are only for the Prophet, does it not harm the universality of the Quran? - How should we understand the issues that interest the Prophet being determined by verses?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The Prophet (pbuh) represented Islam in person. Every state of his serves as a model for people. The non-existence of verses in the Quran about Hz. Muhammad (pbuh), who carries the burden of a holy duty, the prophethood, is unthinkable. He was always controlled by Allah and verses were sent down about him from time to time. As a matter of fact, the following verses states how the Prophet and hence believers should act:    

"Nor do thou ever pray for any of them that dies, nor stand at his grave; for they rejected Allah and His Messenger, and died in a state of perverse rebellion." (at-Tawba, 9/84)

When Ibn Ubayy died, his son Abdullah, who was a sincere Muslim, went to the Prophet (pbuh) and asked him to lead his father’s janazah prayer. When the Prophet, who was very compassionate, stood up and was about to go there, Hz. Umar reminded him the following verse:

"Whether thou ask for their forgiveness, or not, (their sin is unforgivable): if thou ask seventy times for their forgiveness, Allah will not forgive them: because they have rejected Allah and His Messenger: and Allah guideth not those who are perversely rebellious." (at-Tawba, 9/80)

Hz. Prophet (pbuh) said,

“It means Allah gave permission; I will ask for his forgiveness more than seventy times.”

Thereupon, verse 84 of the same chapter was sent down and the definite decree that it was forbidden to ask for unbelievers’ forgiveness was declared.

"It is not fitting, for the Prophet and those who believe, that they should pray for forgiveness for Pagans, even though they be of kin, after it is clear to them that they are companions of the Fire." (at-Tawba, 9/113)

The majority of scholars, that is, all tafsir scholars, reported that this verse was sent down for Abu Talib, the paternal uncle of the Prophet; it is based on a narration from   Said b. Musayyab, Zuhri, Amr b. Dinar and Ma'mar. They said,

When Abu Talib was alive, the Prophet (pbuh) said to him,

"O uncle! Say, 'LA ILAHA ILLALLAH'. It is such a phrase that I will use it as evidence for you in the presence of Allah." Abu Jahl and Abdullah Ibn Abi Umayya were also there. They said,

"O Abu Talib! Are you going to abandon Abdulmuttalib's nation?"Thereupon, the Prophet (pbuh) said,

"I will ask for your forgiveness unless I am forbidden to do it." Then,the following verses were sent down:

"It is not fitting, for the Prophet and those who believe, that they should pray for forgiveness for Pagans…"

"It is true thou wilt not be able to guide every one, whom thou lovest; but Allah guides those whom He will..." (al-Qasas, 28/56)

The decrees above address the Prophet (pbuh) but they interest all believers because he is a model for believers.

It is important that verses were sent down about the wives of the Prophet because revelation was sent down to the Prophet (pbuh) in his house and his wives in his house also represented Islam on behalf of the Prophet (pbuh). The decrees that were sent down to the Prophet (pbuh) interested the whole ummah along with him; similarly, the verses that were sent down for his household interest all Muslims, especially Muslim women and address them.

The wives of the Prophet (pbuh) cannot be like the other women by any means because they are mothers of the believers. This order is not peculiar to the wives of the Prophet (pbuh) but all believing women. It is forbidden for a woman to adorn herself for a non-mahram man, to sweeten her voice in a way that will attract him, to speak coquettishly, to remain alone with a non-mahram man and to call a non-mahram man to her house when there is nobody else at home. When it is necessary for a woman to answer a non-mahram man, she needs to give short answers and in a way that will not attract the attention of the man. Otherwise, it will cause mischief. For, the evil-commanding soul in man leads man to bad deeds, and Satan helps it.

It is necessary for men and women to avoid the deeds that arouse lust so as not fall into wrong deeds.

Allah states the following in a verse:

"And stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display, like that of the former Times of Ignorance; and establish regular Prayer, and give regular Charity; and obey Allah and His Messenger. And Allah only wishes to remove all abomination from you, ye members of the Family, and to make you pure and spotless.» (al-Ahzab, 33/33)

That is, you live in the house in which revelation is received. You see how this revelation is practiced from the Prophet. Here lies the reason. Islam is all of the words and deeds of the Prophet and the things that he approves. You see them with your own eyes. Remember them. That is, the Prophet (pbuh) informs people about the verses that are sent down to him through various means. The mosque is used as the primary place to teach people but markets, shops, stores, mountains and hills are also used.

When you consider the style of the Quran, the world is a school.

Schools are not the only places for education. They are places of education but the whole world is a place of education. While education continues in those places, the Prophet (pbuh) spends half of his life at home. It becomes necessary for his wives to report the verses that were sent down at home and the interpretations of those verses by the Prophet (pbuh) both verbally and behaviorally to the people to come up to the Day of Judgment.  

This duty of reporting them belongs to those mothers of us. Therefore, Allah warns them. Thus, their houses become centers of education. Their teacher is the beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Their textbook is the Quran and the life of the Prophet (pbuh).

Our Lord orders this because they all need to be reported. Those mothers of us fulfilled their duty. May Allah make us join those mothers of us in Paradise! Allah is the one that penetrates into anything. Allah is aware of everything.

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