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Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid

She was born in the year 68 BH to Khuwaylid b. Asad and Faatimah bint. Za’idah. She was raised on praiseworthy characteristics and was well-known and praised for her intelligence, chastity, and prudence until people began to call her “Taahirah” or “the pure one.” She was a successful businesswoman, who achieved her wealth through hiring men to take it on merchant trips to sell. She was first married to Abu Halah b. Zurarah of the Banu Tameem and was the mother of two sons, one of whom died at the Battle of al-Jamal, fighting on the side of ‘Ali.

It reached her that the Messenger of Allah(S) was known for his truthfulness and generosity. One day Abu Taalib said to his nephew: “I am a man without wealth, and times have become tough on us, and these disagreeable years harass us, and we have neither material possessions nor merchandise, and this [woman] Khadeejah sends men from among your people to do business with her wealth and they gain profit. So if she comes to you, convey to her your honesty.

So Khadeejah sent for him and proposed that would go with her wealth to ash-Sham as a merchant. In return, she would give him more than she used to give to the other traders. She would also send with him a young servant of her’s called Maysarah. So the Messenger of Allah(S) accepted that and went with her wealth and her servant Maysarah until he reached the foot of ash-Shaam. So he sold his commodoties which he had left with and bought what he desired [to buy on Khadeejah’s behalf. Then he, along with Maysarah, embarked to Makkah with a caravan. So his trading gained twice as much profit as what was usually gained. So the Messenger(S)’s wages were double what was usually given.

And when the servant Maysarah told her about what he saw of the character of Muhammad(S), she sent for him(S). Then she said to him: “O cousin, indeed, I like in you our blood relationship and the undoubted nobility of your descent, your trustworthiness and sincerity, as well as the integrity of your character and the truthfulness of your speech.” Then she suggested marriage to him. So the Messenger of Allah(S) mentioned that to his uncles. So Hamzah(R) went with him until they called upon Khuwaylid, who said: “He is the stallion whose nose cannot be touched (i.e. He is strong).” So the Messenger of Allah(S) married her and gave her 20 camels as a dowry. She was 40 years old when she married the Messenger of Allah(S), and he was 25 years old. She was the first lady that the Messenger of Allah(S) married, and he never married anyone else as long as he was married to her until she died. She gave him 6 children: Al-Qaasim, ‘Abdullah, Zaynab(R), Ruqayyah(R), Um Kulthoom(R), and Faatimah(R).

And when the Prophet(S) received prophethood, she was the first to believe in Allah and His Messenger Muhammad(S); she was the first to believe in what His Lord sent him and strengthened him in his affairs. So the Prophet(S) used not to hear anything from the polytheists that he hated to hear and of disbelief in him except that Allah comforted him through Khadeejah(R), who stood by him and the da’wah and she used to lessen his grief over what he used see from his people.

Narrated ‘Aisha(R), the mother of the faithful believers: The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to Allah’s Apostle was in the form of good dreams which came true like bright day light, and then the love of seclusion was bestowed upon him. He used to go in seclusion in the cave of Hira where he used to worship (Allah alone) continuously for many days before his desire to see his family. He used to take with him the journey food for the stay and then come back to (his wife) Khadeejah(R) to take his food like-wise again till suddenly the Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira. The angel came to him and asked him to read. The Prophet replied, “I do not know how to read.”

The Prophet added, “The angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it any more.” He then released me and again asked me to read and I replied, “I do not know how to read.” Thereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read but again I replied, “I do not know how to read.” Thereupon he caught me for the third time and pressed me, and then released me and said, {Read in the name of your Lord, who has created (all that exists), has created man from a clot. Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous.} Then Allah’s Messenger(S) returned with the Inspiration and with his heart beating severely. Then he went to Khadeejah(R) bint Khuwaylid and said, “Cover me! Cover me!” They covered him till his fear was over, and after that he told her everything that had happened and said, “I fear that something may happen to me.” Khadeejah(R) replied, “Never! By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good relations with your Kith and kin, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guests generously and assist the deserving calamity-afflicted ones.”

Khadeejah(R) then accompanied him to her cousin Waraqah b. Nawfal b. Asad b. ‘Abdul-‘Uzza, who, during the Pre-Islamic Period became a Christian and used to write the writing with Hebrew letters. He would write from the Gospel in Hebrew as much as Allah wished him to write. He was an old man and had lost his eyesight. Khadeejah(R) said to Waraqah, “Listen to the story of your nephew, O my cousin!” Waraqah asked, “O my nephew! What have you seen?” Allah’s Apostle described whatever he had seen. Waraqah said, “This is the same one who keeps the secrets (angel Gabriel) whom Allah had sent to Moses. I wish I were young and could live up to the time when your people would turn you out.” Allah’s Apostle asked, “Will they drive me out?” Waraqah replied in the affirmative and said, “Anyone (man) who came with something similar to what you have brought was treated with hostility; and if I should remain alive till the day when you will be turned out then I would support you strongly.” But after a few days Waraqa died, and the Divine Revelation was also paused for a while.

The Messenger of Allah(S) and Khadeejah(R) continued to pray in secret as long as Allah willed. ‘Afeef Al-Kanadee reported: “I came to Makkah during the Days of Ignorance, and I wanted to sell on behalf of my family some clothes and perfume. I went to Al-‘Abbaas b. ‘Abdul-Muttalib.” He said: “While I was at his house, I looked at the Ka’bah. The sun came out, when a young man came until he was close to the Ka’bah. Then he raised his head toward the sky and faced the Ka’bah while standing. Then a youth came and stood on his right. It did not take long before a woman came and stood behind them. Then the young man bowed. Then the youth and the woman bowed. Then the young man raised his head, and the youth and the woman raised their heads. Then the young man prostrated himself, and the youth and the woman prostrated themselves.”

He said: “So I said: ‘O ‘Abbaas! Indeed, I see a great man.” Then Al-‘Abbaas(R) said: “A great matter. Do you know who this young man is?” I said: “No, I don’t know.” He said: “This is Muhammad b. ‘Abdullah b. ‘Abdul-Muttalib, my nephew. Do you know who this [woman] is?” I said: “I don’t know.” He said: “This is Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid, the wife of this nephew of mine. This nephew of mine who you see has reported to us that his Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth and that He has ordered him to this religion that he is following. I swear by Allah that I do not know of anyone else on earth who is following this religion other than those three.” ‘Afeef said: “I wanted to be the fourth one of them.”

And the Messenger of Allah(S) used to honor her and cherish her. And he used not to disagree with her before he received revelation. Then he used to remember her a lot after her death, and he didn’t get tired of praising her, until ‘Aishah(R), the Mother of the Believers, got jealous, and said to the Prophet(S): “Verily, Allah has given you better than that old woman.” The Prophet(S) became angry and said: “No, by Allah, I swear that Allah has never given me better than her. She was the wife who believed in me when everyone else disbelieved in me. She affirmed my truthfulness when everyone else accused me of lying. She supported me with her money when everyone else deprived me. And Allah provided me with children through her when no other woman has given me children.” In fact, the Prophet(S) became so angry at what I said until his forehead trembled. So I said to myself: “O Allah, if the Messenger of Allah(S)’s anger abates, I will never again say anything like I said.”

And ‘Aishah(R) also said: “I was never jealous of any of the other wives of the Prophet(S) like I was jealous of Khadeejah(R). And I have not seen her, but the Prophet(S) used to remember her a lot. Sometimes, he would sacrifice a sheep, then cut its limbs and send them to Khadeejah(R)’s friends. So sometimes, I said to him: “It is as if there were no other woman in the world other than Khadeejah(R).” So he would say: “How can I forget her? She also gave me children most loving.” ‘Aishah(R) also said: “The Messenger of Allah(S) almost used not to leave the house before he would mention Khadeejah and praise her.

Khadeejah(R), the Mother of the Believers, died helping the Messenger of Allah(S) in conveying the call to Islam. She died three years before the migration to Madeenah at the age of sixty five. The Prophet(S) then buried her with his own hands. Her death was a great misfortune for the Prophet(S).




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