Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) dealt justly with his wives. He loved them and showed his feelings towards them. He was also patient and loyal with them. His actions were arising from sense of responsibility and because Allah the Almighty created him righteous and equitable by nature.
Lady ‘A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) said that the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) never preferred one wife over another and he used to see all of them in their homes everyday even though he spent the night with one only.
He was constant in his equitable treatment of his wives despite the changes in his conditions. He remained the same whether he was traveling or present at home. When he had to travel he would choose without personal preference – (by drawing straws) which wife would accompany him.
He used to spend one day and one night with each wife except when Lady Sauda Bint Zam’a reached old age and no longer had sexual desire. She dedicated her day and night to Lady ‘A’isha (may Allah be pleased with them). In this way, Lady Sauda was also seeking to please the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Another example of how the Prophet (peace be upon him) dealt justly with his wives was that when he married a non-virgin he would stay with her for three nights so that she would not feel lonely or not pampered. After that, he would spend the same period of time with her as his other wives. When he (peace be upon him) married Um Salama, he said to her: “There is no lack of estimation for you on the part of your husband. So, if you desire I can spend a week with you, and if you like I may spend three (nights) and then I will visit you in turn.” She said: “Spend three (nights).” Narrated by Muslim.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) treated his wives equally even during his last days when he was very ill. He used to go to each of his wives in her turn. Lady ‘A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) said that when the Prophet (peace be upon him) became very sick he asked his wives for permission to be nursed at my house. Naturally, they agreed.
In another narration, Lady ‘A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) said that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to ask in his last days: “Where should I be tomorrow?” He was hoping that it would be the turn of ‘A’isha. His wives permitted him to stay wherever he wanted. He stayed with Lady A’isha until he died and he died in her arms.
Although the Prophet (peace be upon him) treated his wives with perfect equity in what he could control, he apologized to Allah the Almighty that he could not be equitable in what he could not control; meaning, the feelings in his heart. Lady ‘A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) used to treat his wives equally, and say: “O Allah, this is how I divide what I can control. O Allah, do not blame me for what you control and I cannot control.” Abu Dawoud said: “Prophet Muhammad meant what is in his heart.” And it was said that it is love and cordiality as interpreted by At Termithi. What is meant, is that Allah the Almighty controls our feelings and hearts and made the love of Lady A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) greater in the heart of the Prophet (peace be upon him) than the love of any other woman. Indeed, he could not control that.
As our feelings are out of our hands and are in the hands of Allah; men who are married to more than one wife are not obliged to love each wife equally, but they are bound to be equal in spending time with them and paying for their expenses. The Prophet (peace be upon him) implored Allah the Almighty to forgive him for loving Lady ‘A’isha more. Allah the Almighty says: “And those who dispense their charity with their hearts full of fear, because they will return to their Lord.” (Al-Mu’minun: 60)
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) stressed the importance of dealing justly with wives because otherwise on the Day of Judgment the man will be severely punished.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the best example for the faithful believers. Allah the Almighty says: “Indeed, you have already had a fair example, in the Messenger of Allah, for whoever hopes for Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.” (Al-Ahzab: 21)
The words and actions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) are legislations guiding his ‘Umma’ (nation) to the right path. We should follow in the footsteps of the Prophet (peace be upon him) except for the actions intended by Allah the Almighty to be for him alone.