Christian missionaries and Islamophobes invented a lie that Prophet(ﷺ) forcefully kept his wives with him and didn’t allow them to divorce him. This is an utter baseless allegation. As we clearly read in Qur’an that Allah asked Prophet ﷺ to give his wives an option to separate from him and live their own lives. The verse is:
O Prophet, say to your wives, “If you should desire the worldly life and its adornment, then come, I will provide for you and give you a gracious release. But if you should desire Allah and His Messenger and the home of the Hereafter – then indeed, Allah has prepared for the doers of good among you a great reward.” [Qur’an 33:28-29]
Here Allah commands His Messenger to give his wives the choice of separating from him so that they may go to someone else with whom they can find what they want of the life of this world and its attractions, or of patiently bearing the straitened circumstances with the Prophet for which they will have a great reward with Allah. They chose Allah and His Messenger and the Home of the Hereafter, may Allah be pleased with them. Then Allah gave them the best both of this world and of the Hereafter.
When this verse were revealed Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) immediately called his wives and recited the verse to them and in the same breath gave them an option to divorce Him. At that time Prophet(ﷺ) was married to nine women, five of them were from Quraysh — `A’ishah, Hafsah, Umm Habibah, Sawdah and Umm Salamah, may Allah be pleased with them. And he was also married to Safiyyah bint Huyay An-Nadariyyah, Maymunah bint Al-Harith Al-Hilaliyyah, Zaynab bint Jahsh Al-Asadiyyah and Juwayriyyah bint Al-Harith Al-Mustalaqiyyah, may Allah be pleased with all of them. But, The Mothers of the Believers chose Allah and His Messenger and remained with Prophet(ﷺ).
[For reference see Sahih al-Bukhari 2468, Sahih Muslim 1478.]
[More Hadees on option for divorce is Sahih Muslim Book 18, Hadith 35; Book 18, Hadith 36; Sahih Bukhari Book 68, Hadith 12; Book 68, Hadith 13]
So that’s it folks!