|After the age
of fifty, when his first wife has passed away, Mohammed in time married eight additional
women who were young and beautiful. He married Aisha, the daughter of his friend and
companion Abu Bakr, when she was six and consummated the marriage when she nine. In other
words he married and had conjugal relations with a minor, though he himself was an elderly
man. Another one of his marriages that appears quite unusual was that to a woman named
Zainab, who was originally the wife of his adopted son Zaid, who divorced her to allow
Mohammed to marry her, and then ceased calling himself the son of Mohammed.
Brahmacharya or transcendence of the sexual urge is thus not represented in the life of
the prophet. Not surprisingly, Islam forbids monasticism and is against celibacy, and in
its holy wars Islamic militants have at times marked our monks and monasteries for
destruction, regarding them as unholy. Mohammed did give each of his wives her own house
and stayed with each on alternate days, engaging in regular sexual relations with them up
to the time of his death, and appears to have treated all his wives kindly. He made Islam forbid sex outside of marriage, particularly
premarital sex, though it does allow a man to have up to four wives.
Following Mohammed, Islam promotes the having of children as part of
one's religious duty and as part of its strategy to spread itself in the world. It does
not accept the renunciateascetic view as found in the life of the Buddha, and such as
colors even the householder life in India. It therefore does not have the respect for
monks, swamis and yogis that goes along with such a view.