Untold: A History of the Wives of Prophet Muhammad [NOOK Book]


"Finally, we get to meet the first women of Islam. Thank you for this brave book." –Coleman Barks, author of Essential Rumi, and other books on the great Persian Language poet

"Brilliant and illuminating . . . awesome in the depth of its research, the grace of its prose, and the beauty of its poetic voices." Alicia Ostriker, author, poet, and Professor Emerita of English at ...
See more details below
Untold: A History of the Wives of Prophet Muhammad

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
BN.com price
(Save 15%)$12.99 List Price


"Finally, we get to meet the first women of Islam. Thank you for this brave book." –Coleman Barks, author of Essential Rumi, and other books on the great Persian Language poet

"Brilliant and illuminating . . . awesome in the depth of its research, the grace of its prose, and the beauty of its poetic voices." Alicia Ostriker, author, poet, and Professor Emerita of English at Rutgers University

"Poet, historian and mystic, Tamam Kahn captures the voices and hearts of women you will never forget. I would gladly sit at these women's feet night after night to hear their stories. " -Elizabeth Cunningham, author of The Maeve Chronicles

Untold demystifies the most influential women at the dawn of Islam: Prophet Muhammad's wives. They are presented in all their variety, among them, Khadija, a successful merchant and his only wife for twenty-five years; Umm Salama, who helped forge an important peace treaty; Rayhana and Safiyya, two Jewish captives; and there are others. This unusual book combines short biographies with meticulous research. The reader enters seventh century Arab culture and the first moments of what came to be a new religion. This book is powerful women's storytelling.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A practicing Sufi, poet, and speaker, Kahn tells the little known stories of the wives of the Prophet Muhammad in this brief book. Usually ignored or used as salacious fodder, the stories are pieced together by the author, using the few and disparate sources on the lives and personalities of the wives. Kahn also employs the "prosimetrum" technique, which intersperses narrative text with short poems that recreate, in fictional, imagined terms, some event in a particular wife's life. The unorthodox device becomes, as only poetry can, an illustrative window into early Islam and everyday Arabian life 1,400 years ago. Kahn points out that many of Muhammad's reforms were unique for their time and benefited women. Kahn also doesn't shy away from the controversial, acknowledging that Muhammad's marriage to the beautiful Zaynab, the ex-wife of the Prophet's own adopted son, may not have had the purest motivations; she also addresses the practice of veiling. With only a few exceptions, the Prophet mainly married widows, and did so largely to form political alliances. Quite open-minded in his spouses, Muhammad even had converted Jewish wives and had a son (who died as a baby) with an Egyptian Christian woman. Even talking back to the influential Prophet, each of the women influenced Muhammad in her own way. (Sept.)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781939681058
  • Publisher: Monkfish Book Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 4/2/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 956,242
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Tamam Kahn, poet, journal editor and conference speaker is a regular presenter at Sufi Symposiums on both coasts. She has taught for the Sufi Ruhaniat International for over twenty-five years and with her husband, Pir Shabda Kahn, has led pilgrims to sacred sites in Morocco, India, Syria and Andalusia.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Foreword xv

Who do you think you are? xvii

Preface 1

Marrakesh 1

heart not dog (qalb not kalb) 2

a thousand and one nights 3

reading the Arabian Nights 3

Mawlud and the treasure 5

at the Zaki Hotel 5

the zikr room on Norwich Street 7

Map 8

Introduction 9

instructions for Jahiliyya 10

galaxies 13

Khadija, the white shade cloud 15

Khadija 16

the visitor 17

brocade (al-dibaja) 19

Muhammad comes to collect his salary 20

The family 21

Umm Kulthum: "mother-of-the-round-faced-one" 21

Ruqayya, wakened by the words 23

throw a lucky man in the sea, and he will come up with a fish in his mouth 24

Khadija's lying-in 25

seeing more 26

Revelation 27

Khadija visits Uncle Waraqa 27

Khadija's hair 29

the ban 30

'A'isha, matchfire in the backlight 33

Slander 34

Before widowhood 35

flame, 'A'isha 36

"My wives are like the brothers of Joseph." 38

'A'isha sees Juwayriyya 38

Wanting 39

'A'isha: widow and warrior 41

Privilege 41

owner's manual: the howdah 44

'A'isha discovers how war can be 46

honeycomb: after the year 632 47

Zaynab, the beautiful 48

unwrapped (al-kishaf) 49

Zaynab's wedding meal: a sonnet 51

swaying lamps 53

Zaynab and the people of the bench 55

Zaynab and the honey 57

Umm Salama, mother of peace 59

Abyssinia 60

Land 61

Hind in Africa: leaving the Red Sea 62

Hind's vision 65

Mecca and Medina 66

Umm Salama at Hudaybiya 69

Umm Salama tells of breaking the idols 70

Umm Salama's mourning ghazal 71

Calamity 72

The Jewish Wives 74

People of the Book 75

lament for Hagar's daughters 77

the munafiqin 79

Rayhana 80

Rayhana, pouring out the wine 81

gold coin 82

Muhammad's sigh 83

Safiyya b. Huyayy 84

Safiyya's cat 84

in the tent 85

Safiyya's fall 86

interview with Safiyya 88

Mariya, from among the Christians 89

Muhammad and Christianity 90

locution 90

Mariya leaves Egypt for Medina 93

between 93

Mariya's needle 94

Mariya 95

why they complain about the Egyptian 96

in her garden Mariya has a vision 98

outliving him 99

The Other Wives 101

mother-in-law of Muhammad 102

Sawda: the stamp of approval 103

laughter in the dark of the moon 104

up until the Day Of Rising 105

news 107

Zaynab b. Khuzayma, mother of the poor 107

the other Zaynab 107

Hafsa, the Prophet's librarian 108

Defiance 108

Hafsa's Qur'an 110

Juwayriyya, the little jewel 111

the thirst-quenching well (al-muraysi) 111

Umm Habiba, married by a king 112

watching her 112

exile 114

Umm Habiba's father 115

Abu Sufyan scolds Ramla 116

no black mark 117

Umm Habiba's room 117

Muhammad's marriage challenges 118

on the porch 119

Asma', the unfortunate one 121

Mrs. Muhammad 122

Maymuna, the last wife 123

Maymuna and Muhammad 123

wife of the Prophet 126

The closing poem 127

how the story goes 128

Glossary 131

Muhammad's wives and the year of marriage 139

Index of names 140

Works consulted 145

Endnotes 151

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2011

    A must read....

    This is one of my favorite books ever. It gives both a historical/scholarly exploration of what is known about these women and then evokes their lives via vivid poetry. I'm reading and rereading this one. It is beautiful!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)