Khadija the Great
“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.”
Welcome back readers. Ramadan Kareem!
Today’s Iftar entertainment is the least talked about, yet the greatest of all times, Love story. It’s about a not so simple girl Khadījah al-Kubra who later on became the “Mother of the Believers” (Khadijah the Great) and attained the status of the most important female figures in Islam.
Khadija was a daughter of a merchant. She was scholarly and inquisitive. Khadija married three times and had children from all her marriages. Her husbands met accidental demise. And Khadija was all by herself in a big, ugly, misogynist society. Khadija has also been referred in many texts as the “Wise One“. She was a highly driven and intelligent person, like our today’s corporate women.
Due to her eloquent personality and great business skills, Khadija became a very successful caravan merchant in no time. 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”). It is said that she 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.
Khadija did not travel with her trade caravans; she employed others to trade on her behalf for a commission. One day, Khadija needed an agent for a transaction in Syria. Khadija needed someone who could be trusted.
Muhammad who was 25 years old, due to his helping attitude was addressed as Al-Sadiq (“the Truthful”) and Al-Amin (“the Trustworthy” or “Honest”). Khadija hired Muhammad, offering to 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, informed Maysarah that, “None but a prophet ever sat beneath this tree.”
Khadija became joyful because the same morning, she had a dream in which the sun descended from the sky into her courtyard, fully illuminating her home. She knew what her heart wanted now. Because of her social status many wealthy Quraysh men had already asked for her hand in marriage, but she had refused all of them. She had waited long for her knight in shining armor, and finally the wait was over.
But Khadija din’t know how to express her love. She used to engage in long conversations with Muhammad, on false pretext of work, hoping someday she would have the courage to say her feeling. But she never could. Somehow when Muhammad looked at her, time used to freeze. There are many texts which indicate that one day, Muhammad came to Khadija and looked into her eyes and they both stood silently, staring at each other blankly, till the nightfall. This captivating event was interrupted by, Khadija ‘s entrusted friend named Nafisa.
Nafisa was aware of Khadija’s feeling towards Muhammad. Nafisa suggested Muhammad to consider marrying. Muhammad was hesitant because he had no money to support a wife.
But as they say,
“It might take a year. It might take a day. But, what’s meant to be will always find a way.”
Weeks later, love struck, Muhammad and Khadija consulted their respective uncles. The uncles agreed to the marriage, and Muhammad’s uncles accompanied him to make a formal proposal to Khadija. Khadija’s uncle accepted the proposal, and the marriage took place.
Muhammad and Khadija were married monogamously for twenty-five years. When Muhammad reported his first revelation from the Angel Gabriel, Khadija was the first person to convert to Islam.
After his experience in the cave of Hira, Muhammad returned home to Khadija in a state of terror, pleading for her to cover him with a blanket. After calming down, he described the encounter to Khadija, who comforted him with the words:
“Allah would surely protect him from any danger, and would never allow anyone to revile him as he was a man of peace and reconciliation and always extended the hand of friendship to all.”
According to some sources, it was Khadija’s cousin, Waraka ibn Nawfal, who confirmed Muhammad’s prophethood soon afterwards.
Muhammad and Khadija had six children. Khadija died in “Ramadan” of the year 10 after the Prophethood”, Muhammad later called this tenth year “the Year of Sorrow“
So this was the greatest love story of all times – Khadija n Muhammad.
Love is not about how many days, months or years you’ve been together. Love is about how much you love each other everyday.
‘A’ishah, whom Muhammed married later, 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 when ever 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”