Shaykh Yasir Qadhi now divulges details on a very important incident in the life of the Prophet ﷺ – the ‘Ilaa’.
What is Ilaa? It’s an oath made to Allah, wherein the husband can choose to stay away from his wife in the event of a marital dispute or clash for a period less than 4 months.
Allah revealed Qur’an because of this incident where the Prophet ﷺ took abstinence from his wives for a month. This was when he was married to all 9 of his wives – Sauda, A’isha, Umme Salama, Juwayriyya bint al-Harith, Zainab bint Jahsh, Umme Habiba, Safiya bint Huyay, Ramla bint Abi Sufyan and Maymunah bint al-Harith RA.
For want of a better lifestyle and mode of living, the two wives of the Prophet ﷺ – Aisha RA and Hafsa RA – went to him and pressured him into leaning towards their idea. This resulted in the rumours doing the rounds after some time about the Prophet ﷺ having divorced his wives. This news made its way to Umar RA was was flabbergasted and made a rush to the home of the Prophet ﷺ to inquire into the matter.
The Prophet ﷺ was housed in the attic room of his house where after seeking permission from the servant for the third time, he gained entry into the room. After some conversation, he understood that the Prophet ﷺ had taken an oath to Allah that he would abstain from his wives for one month.
After the duration of this one month had finished, he made a visit to the house of A’isha RA. And he asked her a few things based on the revelation that the Prophet ﷺ had received in Surah Ahzab verses 28-29. What was it? Listen intently.
Based on that, the Prophet ﷺ asked his wives to make a decision. That what was their preference? A lifestyle of richness and bliss (which would be theirs but in exchange for the loss of the companionship of the Prophet ﷺ) or a lifestyle of humbleness and servitude, which could only be achieved with the Prophet ﷺ by their side and they would be blessed with rewards in this life and the Hereafter.
It was obviously a no brainer for the wives and each one of them chose to stay with the Prophet ﷺ.