I am not aware that I love the Prophet. Unless I am in Makkah or Madina, where I can feel him in the mountains and the marketplace, I feel no love for him. (“You do love him then,” you might say, to which I would respond, not nearly significantly enough as I am expected.) I don’t dislike him either. I feel nothing toward him except a passing curiosity, and the usual discernment that I level at male authoritative figures, admittedly softened just a degree. I am certain that had I lived during his time, I would have been a Muslim woman and not have had much interest in seeking out his company, and if I happened to cross him, would confront him unceremoniously about behaviors I found problematic because they directly affected me. Perhaps if I were in a mood and he were alone and unoccupied, I would ask about the geometries of the universe and of paradise. I would ask if he had any questions for me, because I’m fascinating.
If I happen to see him in paradise, I would not tell him that I was pressured my entire life to love him, that in Islamic school social inequities like polygamy were excused away with the words, “But women loved the Prophet” and the unspoken “so you should too.” This would surely embarrass him, and induce guilt for faults that are not his. It had always disgusted me, deep in my primal intestines, these ingratiating demands to love him just as his wives did. He, too, would be violently embarrassed to know his followers create this dynamic between him and women.
Women have a complicated relationship with the Prophet, and we have the right to those complications. We have the right not to love him, and we have the right to challenge those who do without question just “because he’s the Prophet” despite the injustices that the Qur’an itself cites against him. (Do you never challenge those you love? What kind of love is this? Are you capable of it?) It is what women did when he was alive—including his own wife Umm Salama, since the ummah is so insistent on comparing us to them—and it is what we will continue to do for all of eternity. The God/dess gifted us with a Prophet who spoke to men in order to regulate male behaviors. Just as the Qur’an referring to men is something to be humiliated with, not prideful of, because it is nearly always to teach them or correct them or reprimand them for their wrongdoings against women, so is it evident that the Prophet was a man because there was a need to be filled.
This is what men will never understand. They need the Prophet. They need the Prophet. No woman who has disagreed with the Prophet has ever oppressed his followers en masse, ever terrorized his family, ever killed his sons, ever warred for her seat at the caliphate, ever caused his daughter to miscarry. But you claim to love him and terrorize the earth anyway. This is your idea of love. You keep it shoved up the dimness of your existence.
Men think the Prophet occupied himself with them because they were men, but he did it in spite of it. He didn’t like you because you were exceptional human beings to which we should all aspire; he liked you because he was a Prophet and it is in his nature to be merciful and overlook the faults of others. It is no secret that he preferred the company of women.  So don’t for a second think too highly of yourself. He was your Prophet. It is not a compliment that you needed one so closely, that you needed him to tell you not to bury your daughters alive, not to rape enslaved women, not to accuse innocent women of adultery—he needed that reminder, too, by the way. Aisha had been furious with him for losing faith in her.
auntie amina wadud came under fire a while ago for classifying Prophet Ibrahim—whose dreams regarding the slaughter of Ismail the Qur’an never claimed—of being a “deadbeat dad.” She is a Muslim woman and has the right to that frustration against a male prophet. My disciple, Misha, has been perplexed that Sulaiman was ready to start a war with Queen Bellekeyce for no apparent reason and heartbroken over and over regarding the treatment of Lut toward his daughters. She has the right to that horror. “Do not strain your heart to redeem him,” I had told her. Do not strain your heart to redeem him. She cites me as saying, “Prophets are not always chosen because they are good people. Sometimes they are chosen as Prophets simply as a test.” And I did. The undeniable truth is we have no idea why they are chosen and we should not pretend to know. She continues, “When we force moral perfection on them, we lose the effects of learning from their crimes.” Yunus was punished by al-Rahman Herself when he deserted his people and his mission. Only the Prophetess Maryam, mother of Isa, is described by the Qur’an itself as having been purified above all others for her task. I have said it to Misha and I will say it again: the moral errors of other prophets are documented in the Qur’an because they are not secrets. Women have a special right to harbor anger through their love, and no man has any right to challenge that.
It is so easy to love the Prophet when you are a man. Your path is without obstacles yet you demand the deceptive peace of “love” from us? Do you think we are the same? Men like this don’t know of love that comes freely, of love that is strengthened through adversity. Do you expect us to never challenge your easy love? It is pitiful, the way you want to outline a relationship between women and the Prophet that you will never understand. What makes you think you can interfere in this? You are weak and have not been chosen for the capacity to understand this.
May the woman who demands the Prophet’s accountability in his injustice against her find herself closer to heaven than the man who loves him at the dismissal of someone else’s suffering.
Muslim women have the right not to love the Prophet. You have the right not to desire his company. You have the right to prefer other men over him.
 Ibn Abbas reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Treat your children equally regarding gifts. If I were to favor anyone, I would have favored women.” In another narration, the Prophet said, “If I were to prefer anyone, I would have preferred women over men.”
Source: Sunan al-Kubrā 11092