Khadija The Prophet First Wife|
(1465 total words in this text)
Alharamain Islamic Foundation.
Khadijah bint Khuwailid ibn Asad ibn 'Abd al-'Uzza ibn Qusay ibn Kilab (from one of the notable clans of the Quraish). Her mother was Fatima bint Za'ida who was descended from another of the clans of the Quraish:The genealogists of the Arabs describe the Prophet as Muhammad ibn'Abd Allah ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib ibn Hashim ibn 'Abd Manaf ibn Qusay ibn Kilab. He was therefore one of her cousins, or more precisely, one of her nephews, through a mutual great-grandfather Qusay ibn Kilab. Since the Prophet belonged to the younger generation and lived in a quarter of Makkah far removed from hers, she was unacquainted with this young man, who had only in the recent past started his career as a trader and commission agent.
Khadijah was herself a lady of dignity and opulence. From two of her husbands she had inherited much wealth and many commercial banking houses. She sometimes lent money to reliable Quraish merchants on a profit-sharing basis. Sometimes she invested the capital of her creditors in trade caravans.
In fact, Khadijah had heard of the honesty, trustworthiness, high moral character and clean habits of Muhammad (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him). She also realized something of his spiritual capacities, and, as we may unmistakably say, these attracted her. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him) was popularly known as al-Amin (the Trust-worthy), and also by another fitting title al-Sadiq (the Truthful).
She belonged to a respectable upper middle-class family of Makkah, and that in the past she had been married to two men. Khadijah was a lady of middle age, just forty. She had never taken the risk of entrusting her fleet of camels to someone that might disappear with it into the deserts of Syria and never be heard of any more. To look after domestic affairs, she kept a slave-girl; and a slave called Maysara was also in her service.
She was a true believer and steadfast. She was devout. She performed all the rituals of Islam. She observed the stipulated Salat with Muhammad (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him). She was always the first to learn the Qur'an and Commandments of Allah. She fasted as Muhammad did. She gave alms. She gave in the cause of Allah all the wealth she had. On no occasion did she think of retaining the slightest bit of wealth for herself. She had, in fact, sacrificed her ease and comfort for the sake of Allah and His Messenger.
Khadijah was a typical Makkan lady of the Quraish, fair and modest in her general demeanour and meticulously submissive and obedient to her husband. She was a devoted wife. She loved Muhammad. She had a great attachment to him. She admired his genuinely transcendental qualities. She revered him for his superb and sublime thoughts. She adored him for having been blessed with divine achievements. With full earnestness, she recognised the awe-inspire. atmosphere that hallowed his personality. She acted accordingly. She looked after him. She took care of him. She helped him. She cooperated with him. She made all types of sacrifices for him. Yet she was able to console and comfort him in distress in his early days of prophethood.
KhadIjah, the First of the Believers When the Prophet came home after receiving the revelation and told her about the story, she calmed him, and then she took her overgarment and set forth to her cousin Waraqa ibn Nawfal. There she related to him all that her husband Muhammad had told her of what he had seen and heard. "Quddus, quddus (grand, grand!)-, exclaimed Waraqa, "O Khadijah, it is a very good news! Certainly by Him in Whose Hand is Waraqa's soul, if what you have related to me is true, O Khadijah, there has, after all, come unto him the Great Namus (Jibril or Gabriel) who came to Moses. And certainly he is the Prophet of this people. Congratulate him. Let him now be steadfast". With this message, Khadijah hurried back home and told her husband what Waraqa had said. This calmed his fears somewhat. Khadijah was now a convinced believer. She was a true believer. She was a devoted believer. She was indeed the first believer.
Most of the biographers of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him) dismiss the early period of the "Call" in a few pages. In fact, this period is intimately associated with the sagacity of Khadijah and her faith in Allah and His Messenger and also with the unremitting encouragement that she gave to Muhammad (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him). The history of the early Revelations is rich in information about the mutual relationship between Muhammad (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him) and his first wife, Khadijah. By simply putting together scraps of source material, as they occur in the various exegetical works (i.e., Tafsir literature) and the compilations of traditions, we can easily evolve an image of the personality of Khadijah.
Khadijah falls ill and dies The period of boycott, during which the Hashmites (Bani Hashim) remained almost shut away from the outer world, was a period of great ordeal. The conditions to which they had been subjected told upon the general health of the women and children. Khadijah who had already been worn down by the hardships in Shi'b Abi Talib, to which she had never been used, fell ill. It was some time in December, 619 A.D. that she died after a brief illness of three days.
This was Khadijah, whom Muhammad always remembered with feelings of love and affection, even when he was later the Sole ruler of Arabia and had many beautiful wives around him at Medinah.
Abu Hurairah reported that Gabriel came to the Prophet and said, "Allah's Messenger, here is Khadijah who has come bringing a vessel containing food. When she comes, give her a greeting from her Lord and from me, and give her the good news that in Paradise she will have a house of brilliant pearls". (Bukhari and Muslim).
The intensity of the Prophet’s love and regard for Khadijah is shown by the following incident. A'isha reported that once she hurt his feelings on this issue and he replied, "Allah has blessed me with her love." On another occasion A'isha asked him if she had been the only woman worthy of his love, and Muhammad (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him) replied in an honest burst of tenderness." She believed in me when nobody else did, she embraced Islam when people disbelieved me and she helped me and comforted me when there was none to lend me a helping hand."
This incident is described by Carlyle in these words: "He never forget this good Khadijah. Long afterwards, A'isha, his young and favorite wife, a woman who indeed distinguished herself among the Muslims by all manner of qualities through her whole life; this young and brilliant A'isha was, one day, questioning him. Now am I not better than Khadijah? She was a widow; old, and had lost her looks; you love me better than you did her? 'No, by God!' answered Muhammad, she believed in me when none else would believe. In the whole world I had but one friend, and she was that. "2 He adds, "He seems to have lived in a most affectionate, peaceable, wholesome way with this wedded benefaction, loving her truly, and her alone. "2
There are many incidents in the books of hadith and tarikh which throw some light on the depth of the feeling of natural love and affection between Muhammad (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him) and Khadijah. It is narrated by A'isha that the sister of Khadijah, Halah bint Khuwailid, asked for permission to see the Prophet. (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him). He remembered the act of permission of Khadijah for he recognised her voice which resembled that of Khadijah. He was pleased and said that was Halah bint Khuwailid. A'isha said that, hearing that, she felt envious and remarked," Do you mean one of the women of the Quraish, whose legs were lean and who died long ago? Allah has given you a better companion instead." (Muslim). She also reported that when the Quraish of Makkah paid compensation to free their captives from the battle of Badr, the Prophet's daughter Zainab also made arrangements to free her husband, Abu Al-As. She sent some cash which also contained a necklace given to her by her mother Khadijah in her wedding gifts. Seeing this necklace of Khadijah, the prophet was deeply moved and asked his companions, "If you consider it proper, you may release her husband for her sake and also return her necklace. They all accepted this with pleasure and released Abu Al-A’as and also returned the necklace to Zainab.