Khadijah, Khadījah bint Khuwaylid Arabic: خديجة بنت خويلد or Khadījah al-Kubra (Khadijah the Great). 555 – 22 November 619 CE was the first wife and follower of Prophet (Arabic: نَـبِي, Prophet) Muhammad (S.A.W). She is commonly regarded by Muslims as the “Mother of the Believers”. Khadijah is regarded as one of the most important female figures in Islam, like her daughter, Fatimah.
Prophet Muhammad was monogamously married to her for 25 years. After the death of Khadijah. Prophet Muhammad married other women. Khadijah was the closest to Muhammad and he confided in her the most out of all his following wives. It is narrated in many hadiths that Khadijah was Muhammad’s most trusted and favorite among all his marriages.
It is narrated in Sahih Muslim: The messenger of Allah said: “God Almighty never granted me anyone better in this life than her. She accepted me when people rejected me; she believed in me when people doubted me; she shared her wealth with me when people deprived me; and Allah granted me children only through her.” Aishah narrated of Muhammed and Khadijah in Sahih Bukhari: “I did not feel jealous of any of the wives of the Prophet as much as I did of Khadijah though I did not see her, but the Prophet used to mention her very often, and whenever he slaughtered a sheep, he would cut its parts and send them to the women friends of Khadijah. When I sometimes said to him, “(You treat Khadijah in such a way) as if there is no woman on Earth except Khadijah,” he would say, “Khadijah was such-and-such, and from her I had children.”
It is also narrated: The Messenger of Allah said: “The best of its women is Khadijah bint Khuwailid, and the best of its women is Maryam bint Imran.” Muhammad (PBUH) said about her “She believed in me when the whole world refuted me and she attested to my veracity when the whole world accused me of falsehood. She offered me compassion and loyalty with her wealth when everyone else had forsaken me.”
Khadijah was the first female and person to become a follower of Prophet Muhammad. The Prophet was married to her until her death and Khadijah was the only wife to be married to the Prophet in monogamy, thus sometimes regarded as Muhammad’s most beloved. She is regarded as one of the most important women in Islam, and in terms of the progression of Islam, the most important out of all of Muhammad’s wives.
Before marrying Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W)
Khadija’s grandfather, Asad ibn Abdul-Uzza, was the progenitor of the Asad clan of the Tribe of Quraysh in Mecca. Her father, Khuwaylid ibn Asad, was a merchant. According to some traditions, he died c. 585 CE in the Sacrilegious War, but according to others, he was still alive when Khadijah married the Prophet in 595. His sister, Umm Habib bint Asad, was the matrilineal great-grandmother of Muhammad.
Khadija’s mother, Fatima bint Za’idah, who died around 575, was a member of the Amir ibn Luayy clan of the Quraysh and a third cousin of Prophet Muhammad’s mother.
Khadija married three times and had children from all her marriages. All these three marriages left khadijah widowed.
Khadija became a very successful merchant. It is said that when the Quraysh’s trade caravans gathered to embark upon their summer journey to Syria or winter journey to Yemen, Khadija’s caravan equalled the caravans of all other traders of the Quraysh put together. She was known by the by-names Ameerat-Quraysh (“Princess of Quraysh”), al-Tahira (“The Pure One”) and Khadija Al-Kubra (Khadija “the Great”). Khadijah fed and clothed the poor, assisted her relatives financially and provided marriage portions for poor relations. Khadija was said to have neither believed in nor worshipped idols (Taghut), which was atypical for pre-Islamic Arabian culture.
Khadija did not travel with her trade caravans; she employed others to trade on her behalf for a commission. In 595 Khadija needed an agent for a transaction in Syria. Abu Talib ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib recommended her distant cousin Muhammad ibn Abdullah. The experience that Muhammad held working with caravans in his uncle Abu Talib’s family business had earned him the honorific titles Al-Sadiq (“the Truthful”) and Al-Amin (“the Trustworthy” or “Honest”). Khadija hired Muhammad, who was then 25 years old, sending word through her kinsman Khazimah ibn Hakim that she would pay double her usual commission.
She sent one of her servants, Maysarah, to assist him. Upon returning, Maysarah gave accounts of the honorable way that Muhammad had conducted his business, with the result that he brought back twice as much profit as Khadija had expected. Maysarah also relayed that on the return journey, Muhammad had stopped to rest under a tree. A passing monk, Nestora, informed Maysarah that, “None but a prophet ever sat beneath this tree.”
Khadija then consulted her cousin Waraqah ibn Nawfal ibn Asad ibn ‘Abdu’l-‘Uzza. Waraqah said that if what Maysarah had seen was true, then Muhammad was, in fact, the prophet of the people who was already expected. It is also said Khadijah had a dream in which the sun descended from the sky into her courtyard, fully illuminating her home. Her cousin Waraqah told her not to be alarmed, for the sun was an indication that the Prophet would grace her home. At this, Khadija considered proposing marriage to her agent. Many wealthy Quraysh men had already asked for her hand in marriage, but all had been refused.
Marriage to Muhammad (PBHU)
Khadija entrusted a friend named Nafisa to approach Muhammad (PBHU) and ask if he would consider marrying. At first the Prophet was hesitant because he had no money to support a wife. Nafisa then asked if he would consider marriage to a woman who had the means to provide for herself. The prophet then agreed to meet with Khadija, and after this meeting they consulted their respective uncles.
The uncles agreed to the marriage, and Muhammad’s uncles accompanied him to make a formal proposal to Khadija. It is disputed whether it was only Hamza ibn Abdul-Muttalib or only Abu Talib or both who accompanied Muhammad on this errand. Khadija’s uncle accepted the proposal, and the marriage took place.
Prophet Muhammad and Khadija were married monogamously for twenty-five years. Muhammad’s youngest wife, Aisha, is reported to have been jealous of the affection and loyalty that Prophet Muhammad maintained for Khadija even after her death.
to be continued next Sunday!