History tells us that the Prophet Muhammad had lots of wives. But in the Quran it says that a man can have 4 wives.
I think the Prophet must have had special privileges because until now the number allowed is 4 – that is for a man – never the other way around. Today, even though it is still practiced, it is less so in larger towns than in the in the country site.
Now, as in the past the number of wives is also determined by how rich a man is – 4 wives eat more than 1 – and a larger house is needed to accommodate everyone.
During one of my visits the guide took me into a small dark street
and while I was wondering where we were going we turned into a lovely, square courtyard with a garden and trees. surrounded by four connecting buildings.
“Here a very well to do merchant lived, and he had this house built for himself and his 4 wives. Each one had her own quarters where she lived with her children. They came together in the prayer room where the husband read from the Quran.” the guide explained.
While I admired the beautiful architecture, the inlaid marble floors,
I tried to imagine what it would be like to be one of four wives. Starting with the surrounding, this could be tempting I thought; and there would be no stress to earn a living; no hassle raising the children because there were plenty of servants, and the husband will always take care of everything! As I said – tempting! But then when I looked at the carved wooden windows again, which allow to look out, but nobody can ever look in, I felt that the price of comfort would not compensate for being isolated from the world!
Maybe I was born too late or in the wrong country to understand this way of life?
More from Egypt soon!