Right, so I think my reflections from Islam: A Short History are going to tend toward the random, since there has, so far, been no new information.
Armstrong has a thing about Islam. She never converted, but she clearly was very fond of Islam and can't say enough nice things about it. She spends a couple of paragraphs on Mohammed's love of women. Not *that way*. Dirty minds...
But that the emancipation of women was a big deal for him. I know a lot of Muslims who claim that woman had no rights, etc. prior to Islam, but then how was Khadijah so rich and powerful? She had her own business, which is what she hired Mohammed to run. So clearly at least some women had rights. I have no doubt that it wasn't equal across the economic levels - women from wealthier families having more rights and opportunities than those who were poor, etc.
The thing that I find the most interesting, though, is the layout of the first mosque in Medina. The interesting aspect, to me, is that Mohammed and his wives basically lived in the mosque. It wasn't just the religious center for the Muslims, or the community center, it was Mohammed's house. Or houses, since each wife got her own little hut.
I read that, and I thought, well, how annoying. It's not enough that you have to share your husband with other women, only getting him part of the time, but then you have people coming in to ask him questions, because he literally lives in his office.