Noble Women Around The Messenger
Khadijah: The First Muslim Woman
I have never heard about any woman, Arab or non- Arab, more insightful than Khadijah. She was both beautiful and wealthy. When her husband died, many prominent figures of Makkah proposed to her, but wise as she was, she preferred to wait for the right person who could convince her by his high ideals.
Allah placed in her way Muhammad bin Abdullah, the poor orphan who was known by his
kinsmen as Al-Amin, "The Trustworthy?
Muhammad was entrusted with Khadijah's business. He traveled with_ her trading caravan north to Syria and Palestine accompanied by her servant Maysarah, who was amazed by Muhammad's manners and generosity, an epitome of higher standing.
When Muhammad returned from the trading expedition with a profit, Maysarah told his employer, Khadijah, what he had seen of Muhammad. Afterwards, Khadijah met him and listened to him while he was calculating the final accounts. He was a handsome, lively young man with radiant eyes. She felt that he had certain moral values that no one in the whole tribe of Quraysh had, although they were known for their high moral standing. She admired him and expected that one day he would be of high status. In fact, she wanted him to be her husband, so she sent a female confidante of hers to delicately mention her name to Muhammad (peace be upon him) as a prospective wife.
Khadijah detected in Muhammad (peace be upon him) the good nature and the bright future by which he would be a glorious master and leader. Therefore, she wanted to share such a future with that young man from the Quraysh. Her dream came true. She surrounded him with care, tenderness, happiness, and tranquility and encouraged him to worship and to meditate on life. He lived happily and peacefully with her for fifteen years till he received the revelation from Allah, Lord of the Worlds.
It was in the cave of Hira' that the first revelation suddenly descended upon Muhammad bin 'Abdullah, and it was in that cave that he would retreat to contemplate Allah and the universe He created. He also would think of the people who live in it and how they suffer in their daily
lives. The cave was at the peak of a mountain far from any habitations. Muhammad heard someone telling him "Read!" He -was taken by surprise and said in a trembling voice, "I do not know how to read." Then the command came to him saying, "Read! Read in the Name of your
Lord. . ."
Muhammad (peace be upon him) hastened home quivering with fear from what he had heard. It was Khadijah who alleviated his apprehension. He hurried to his bed saying, "Cover me, cover me!" Khadijah sat beside him and asked him to explain. He told her about what had happened and that he was worried that he could have been hurt.
Khadijah overwhelmed him with tenderness and, believing in him, told him confidently, "Allah will take care of us, Abul Qasim. Take the glad tidings, O cousin. By Him in whose hands is the soul of Khadijah, I wish you would be the Prophet of this Ummah (nation). By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good relations with your kith and kin, help the poor and destitute, serve your guests generously, and assist the deserving when calamity afflicts them."
Khadijah was of the view that Muhammad would be the coming Prophet everyone was talking about. She had previously heard about him from her cousin Waraqah bin Nawfal, and she yearned for it greatly.
Then came that moment. After Muhammad had slept, she hurried to her cousin Waraqah, who had a profound knowledge in the Holy Scriptures. She narrated to him what she had heard from her husband. The old man listened attentively and said with energy, "Allah the Sacred! Allah the Sacred! By Allah in whose hands is the soul of Waraqah, if what you are telling me is the truth,
Khadij ah, then it will be the same angel that Allah sent to Moses and Jesus. He is the Prophet of this Ummah and tell him to stand firm."
Khadijah was filled with joy. Only the day before, she had been the wife of the honest, good-mannered man of the Quraysh. But today she was the wife of a prophet. What an honor!
She hurried home and sat beside her husband. She looked at him in admiration and decided to stand by him in spreading this divine.message.
Muhammad did not sleep for long, as the new mission did not permit him to sleep. Thus, `the next revelation came to him:
(0 thou wrapped up (in a mantle). Arise and deliver thy warning!)
There was no time to sleep; it was time to work. Khadijah told Muhammad (peace be upon him) all that Waraqah had said, and so they both went to see him. As soon as Waraqah saw Muhammad, he said, "By Allah in Whose hands is the soul of Waraqah, you are the Prophet
of this Ummah. You will be accused of being a liar, you will be hurt, driven out, and fought against, and if I happen to remain alive till that day, then I will tight for the sake of Allah and He will know that."
Muhammad (peace be upon him) was overawed and asked, "Wi1l they drive me out?"
Waraqah answered, "Yes. Anyone who came with something similar to what you have brought was treated with hostility." .
As Khadijah heard that the Prophet would be mistreated by his people. and that he and she would be driven out from Makkah, their motherland, she realized that their life would be a great battle in the cause of Allah: jihad.
Khadijah's confidence in her husband only increased. She decided to stand by him and thus made her declaration of faith, which was recorded as a precedent for men and women, old and young. Being the first Muslim should be considered a victory for all women.
The da'wah continued as Allah planned. The will of Allah was that the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the believers were ill-treated by the Quraysh tribe. Although the believers suffered physical and financial harm, the polytheists never managed to weaken them. All of them, men and women, remained patient in the face of adversity for the sake of Allah.
Khadijah was the best supporter of her husband and the other Muslims. She helped him with her money, care, and patience.
The more the Quraysh distressed the believers, the firmer and stronger they became. As the number of converts to Islam proliferated, the influential figures of the Quraysh feared losing their status. They took counsel and wrote up a document which ostracized Banu Hashim and Banu Abdul Muttalib, together with any supporter or follower of Muhammad and his religion. The Quraysh decided not to have any business dealings with them nor any sort of inter-marriage.
The Muslims, together with Banu Hashim and Banu Abdul Muttalib, were isolated in a narrow pass that belonged to Abu Talib,. This rupture in relations lasted three years and oppressed the Muslims, sometimes to the extent that they had to eat the leaves of trees.
Khadijah was with her husband during that stifling blockade. She was patient and strong and never complained about the losses that resulted from their seclusion in society, even though she had always been a wealthy woman living in luxury and having servants.
Although her strong faith helped her in the resistance, she became feeble and tired. No sooner had she left the district than she died, still fully committed to her husband and da'wah.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) was so grieved by her death that he called the year in which she died "The Year of Sorrow". This was an emphatic gesture demonstrating great honor for his wife.
These are the real kinds of situations in which a woman can prove herself and achieve honor.
What sort of woman was she? What kind of fighter and supporter was she'? May Allah bestow mercy on her and on any woman that follows her path.
Khadijah had an unforgettable role in the life of the Prophet (peace be upon him). He continued to remember and honor her till the day he died.' A'ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) said, "l did not feel as jealous of any of the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) as much as I
did of Khadijah because the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to mention her very often."
Because the Prophet (peace be upon him) was in the habit mentioning her frequently with love and respect, Aishah, his favorite wife, was jealous.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said concerning Khadijah, "Allah blessed me with her love." And he said, "I love everyone she loved." Whenever he heard the voice of her sister Halah bint Khuwaylid in his house, he would say, "O Allah, Halah!" due to the comfort he felt on hearing her voice, which resembled Khadijah's.
'Aishah's jealousy of her was so intense that she once said in a fury, "What makes you remember one of the old women of the Quraysh with a toothless mouth of red gums who died long ago, and in whose place Allah has given you someone better than her?" The Prophet's (peace be upon him) face changed at this and he replied, "No, by Allah, Allah has not given me a better one in her place. She believed me when people belied me. She consoled me with her money when people deprived me, and from her alone I had children." Aishah was silent and regretted her rudeness towards Khadijah (Bukhari 1575).
Khadijah was a great woman in all situations. isn't she a venerable lady worthy of love and respect? Isn't this great woman who spent all her money for the sake of Allah worthy of accolade for this and for her place as the first Muslim? This was why the Prophet loved her and
likewise why all the Muslims should love her.