A new book is casting light on a little-discussed, controversial – and deeply important – topic: the women who surrounded the Prophet Muhammad. In “Untold: A History of the Wives of Prophet Muhammad,” Sufi author Tamam Khan has provided a look at these unsung figures of history – there are in all thirteen recorded female companions of Muhammad, though records are unclear as to which were wives and which were concubines. The Huffington Post reports:
“Untold: A History of the Wives of Prophet Muhammad” is a mystical demystification of the women who were present at the founding of Islam. Bold in conception, shivery in detail, it sheds light on the influence of the women who, centuries ago, were caught in intrigue, war, clan concatenations, jealousy and a host of other exigencies of the human condition.
The Prophet Muhammad didn’t start out as a prophet; neither was Jesus the Christ from day one. These divinely inspired men became what they were meant to be. And right alongside both, there were women. Women who witnessed, women who comforted, women who tended, women who loved, women who suffered.
Tamam Kahn, a Sufi, has written a remarkable book. Just as Anita Diamant gave us the Jewish matriarchs in “The Red Tent,” and just as Marion Zimmer Bradley gave us the perspective of the women of the Arthurian legends in “The Mists of Avalon,” Tamam Kahn teases out, uncovers and re-imagines the women who surrounded Muhammad.
What do you think – can we benefit from more historical accounts of the role of women in history? Are we in need of another look at the past – not only at the men who made headlines and battle lines, but the women who stood beside them?