Using the method of deserting his wives:
After the situation where his wives asked for more money and the story of the honey, he, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, boycotted his wives for a month.
Ibn Hajar said: “It might be that all of these things put together led to the Prophet of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, to boycott his wives. Actually, that explanation is closest to his kind natured manners, patience, forbearance, and that he only resorted [to this method] when there were repeated offenses that deserved such treatment.”
`Abdullaah ibn `Abbas narrated that he asked `Umar ibn Al-Khattaab saying, “O Commander of the Believers, who are the two wives of the Prophet who were addressed by Allah when He said (what means): «If you two [wives of the Prophet of Allah, namely Aa’ishah and Hafsah] turn in repentance to Allah, [it will be better for you], your hearts are indeed so inclined [to oppose what the Prophet likes].» He said: ‘I am so surprised at your question, O Ibn `Abbaas; the two women being addressed in that verse are `Aa’ishah and Hafsah.’
Then he began to narrate the entire story to me, saying, ‘We, the people of Quraysh were a people that were dominant over our women. But when we entered Madinah, we found that men were dominated by their women. So our women (meaning, those originally from Quraysh) began to learn from their women (the Ansaar).’ He continued, saying, ‘My home was in the `Awali of Madinah (one of the areas in Madinah), on the land of the offspring of Umayyah ibn Zayd. One day, I became angry and shouted at my wife, and she responded back, and I disliked that she argued and talked back to me. Then she said to me, ‘Why do you dislike that I responded? By Allah, the wives of the Prophet respond back as well, and even boycott him from the morning, until nighttime.’
So I left my home and entered the house of Hafsah and said to her, ‘Do you answer back to Allah’s Messenger?’ She said: ‘Yes,’ I said: ‘And does one of you (meaning, the wives of the Prophet) boycott him from the morning until nighttime?’ She said: ‘Yes;’ so I said to her, ‘Whoever among you that does that will be ruined and will surely lose; does any one of you feel secure that Allah will become ngry at one of you due to the anger of His Messenger, and next thing you know, she is destroyed? Do not answer back to the Prophet of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and do not ask him anything, but ask me for whatever you want. Do not be deluded by what your neighbor (`Aa’ishah) does, for she is more beautiful than you are, and more beloved to Allah’s Messenger than you are.’
`Umar continued, ‘I had a neighbor from the Ansaar, and he and I had an agreement that we would alternate work days, whereby he would go and learn with the Prophet of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, one day, and bring me news about the revelation, and I would do the same the next day. We were talking about how (the tribe of) Ghassaan (the Christians of the Levant) were preparing their horses to attack us. So my companion went, then came back at nighttime, knocked on my door, and called out to me. I went out to him and he said to me, ‘Something of a great magnitude has just happened.’ I said: ‘What is it? Has Ghassaan approached?’ He said: ‘No, it is greater and graver than that. The Prophet of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, has divorced all of his wives.’ So I said: ‘Hafsah has indeed become unsuccessful and has lost, and I had expected this to happen.’ After I prayed the morning prayer and got dressed, I went to Hafsah’s house, and she was there crying. I said to her, ‘Has Allah’s Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, divorced you all?’ She said: ‘I do not know, he has secluded himself in that room.’
‘alayhi wa sallam to ask said: permission for me to enter, and say that it is `Umar. The servant entered the room, then came back to me and said: ‘I mentioned you to him, and he remained silent.’ So I left at that point, and headed towards the pulpit and sat beside it. There was a group sitting there as well, and some of those present were crying. I sat for a short while, but could not endure the situation, so I went back to the servant and said: ‘Ask permission for me to enter, and mention that it is `Umar.’ Again, he entered [the room of the Prophet] then exited and said to me, ‘I mentioned you to him, and he remained silent.’ So I turned away again, but as I turned away, the servant called me and said: ‘enter; he has given you permission]’ So I entered, and greeted him Allah’s Messenger
with greetings of peace, and found that he was reclining on a straw mat that was woven with palm leaves, and it had left a mark on his side. He was also reclining on a leather pillow, stuffed with fiber. I then said tohim, while I was standing, ‘Have you divorced your wives?’ He, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: ‘No,’ so I said: ‘Allah is the Greatest (AllahuAkbar)!’
While I was still standing, I said: (while I was trying to find out if he is going to be pleased with me or not), ‘We, the people of Quraysh, used to be people who dominated women, but when we got to Madinah, we found people that are dominated by their women; and our women began learning from their women to the point that I became angry with my wife one day and shouted at her, and found that she spoke back to me. I was displeased that she spoke back to me. So she said to me, ‘Why are you displeased that I spoke back to you, when by Allah, the wives of the Prophet of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, do the same to him, and boycott him from morning until nighttime?’ So I said: ‘Whoever among them does that will be unsuccessful and will sure lose. Does one of them have enough confidence that Allah will not be angry at her due to the anger His Messenger has towards her, and then next thing you know, she is destroyed?’
After I said that, the Prophet of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, smiled. I then said: ‘What if you saw me when I went to Hafsah and said: ‘Do not be deluded by your neighbor (`Aa’ishah), for she is more beautiful than you, and more beloved to the Prophet of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, than you.’ He then smiled again, and when he did, I sat down and said to him, ‘May I say something, O Allah’s Messenger?’ He, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: ‘Yes,’ so I continued to speak to him until he was relieved of the anger that showed on his face, and he smiled, and then laughed, and his smile was one of the most handsome smiles.
Then I sat and looked around the house, finding nothing that would attract the eye besides three furs that had not been tanned yet. I said: ‘Supplicate to Allah, O Allah’s Messenger, that he makes your Ummah rich, as he has made Persia and Byzantium rich, even though they do not worship Allah.’ He, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said to me: ‘Are you in a state of doubt, O son of Al-Khattaab? They are a people whose pleasures have been hastened to them during this worldly life.’ So I said: ‘Seek Allah’s forgiveness for me, O Allah’s Messenger.’
The Prophet of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, had made an oath to boycott them for a month, due to the extent of how angry he was at them, until Allah gently reproached him for that.’”
Anas ibn Maalik said: “Allah’s Messenger took an oath (Ilaa’) with regards to his wives and remained in a separate room for twenty-nine days, then went to his wives. Someone said to him, ‘O Allah’s Messenger, you gave an oath for a month.’ To which he, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, replied: “A month can be twenty-nine days.””
Note: Among the lessons we can learn from this story of the Prophet of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is that boycotting his wives is one method that solves marital problems.
Allah’s Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, used this method when he swore that he would not enter their homes for an entire month, due to the severity of his anger with them.
Boycotting is a profound psychological punishment, and it is one of the most severe punishments that can be incurred on one’s wife. The way to boycott varies. Either boycotting takes place in bed (meaning that the husband sleeps in the same bed as his wife, but does not have intercourse with her), and that is the most severe, or it could be that he leaves the house completely. It is from the mercy of the Prophet of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, with his wives that he boycotted them by leaving the house completely.