This is a continuation of a multi-post article. You can read the first post here. You can also find the previous post here. This is also part of a larger series called "The Koran from a Christian perspective." You can find other posts in this series here.The wives of the prophets were instructed to live in a way as not to cause men to lust after them. To this end, they were instructed to be refined in speech and to remain at home where prying eyes could not see them,
"Wives of the Prophet, you are not as other women. If you are godfearing, be not abject [complaisant] in your speech, so that [lest] he in whose heart is sickness may be lustful [should lust after you]; but speak honourable words. Remain [abide still] in your houses; and display not your finery [do not go in public decked], as did the pagans of old" (Koran 33:32-33)Even when others were to come and ask favors of them, the wives were to remain behind a curtain lest they should be seen by lustful men.
"And when you ask his wives for any object [gift], ask them from behind a curtain [vail]; that is cleaner [purer] for your hearts and theirs. It is not for you to hurt [trouble] God's Messenger [Apostle], neither to marry his wives after him, [for] ever; surely that would be, in God's sight, a monstrous thing [a grave offense]." (Koran 33:35)It is important to remember that, in Muhammad's time, there was only one prophet, himself, and when he wrote concerning the prophet's wives, he wrote of his own wives. It seems at times that Muhammad was jealous regarding his wives and their affections towards him. So much so that he penned words from God to secure their fidelity and to prevent others from lusting after them. So strong was his jealousy and possessive nature that he even prohibited them from remarrying if he should pass away. It must also be pointed out that no such injunctions were given to any wives, prophet's wives or not, in the whole of the Jewish or Christian scriptures.
As for the rest of the believers, they were cautioned to treat the prophets with respect, courtesy, and discretion
"God and His angels bless the Prophet. O believers, do you also bless him, and pray him peace [salute him with a salutation of Peace]." (Koran 33:56)
"O believers, raise not your voices above the Prophet's voice, and be not loud in your speech to him, as you are loud one to another, lest your works fail [come to naught] while you are not aware." (Koran 49:2)
Of course, honor is important in all our relationships, however, the Christian scriptures teach us to honor everyone regardless of their status, position, or function. James warns us about showing partiality in our love, loving some while dishonoring others. He warns us that such distinction in love is sin. "If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the'law as transgressors." (James 2:8-9) However, Muhammad requires greater honor and love for himself over and above what one might show for another.
"O believers, enter not the houses of the Prophet, except leave is given you for a meal, without watching for its hour. But when you are invited, then enter; and when you have had the meal, disperse [at once], neither lingering for idle talk [engage not in familiar talk]; that is hurtful [cause trouble] to the Prophet, and he is ashamed before you [would be ashamed to bid you to go]; but God is not ashamed before [to say] the truth." (Koran 33:53)
What should we think of one who takes his own desires and requires them of us as if they were the words of God? Can one proffer any other example from the Jewish or Christian scriptures where a Prophet required such of the people of God? Muhammad obviously did not understand Jesus' words when He said, "If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all." (Mark 9:35)