The first part of this series is based on Khadijah bint Khuwaylid who was the first wife of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) and the mother of the Believers.
Before the advent of Islam, women were considered inferior to men and all their responsibilities lied in making their males happy. They suffered homicidal abuse, the female infants were killed soon after their birth and there were no laws or attributions to protect the women from the unjust killings.
It was Islam who give equal rights to women and condemned the killing of the female offspring. After the rise of Islam and Muhammad (P.B.U.H), the status of the women was improved and they started taking an active part for the spread of Islam.
The noblest of them were the Sahabiyat (Women Companions) who were the contemporaries of Muhammad (P.B.U.H). They were known as the virtuous crusaders of Islam and honored during the lifetime of the Prophet.
The Sahabiyat made tremendous achievements for the rise of Islam that a prediction was made that these women will live in Paradise forever. They not only fought in the battle of Uhud, Ahzab, and, Yarmook but also did their best to maintain the sanctity of Islam. By taking part in all sphere of life they set a remarkable example for everyone. Be it the role in political achievements, industry, trade, commerce or fine education and arts, the Sahabiyat stood side by side and showed exemplary support whenever required.
Now, let’s find out who were these women and why they were given the good news of Paradise.
Khadijah Bint Khuwaylid (R.A)
The first in the list is Khadijah bint Khuwayliad (r.a) who was born in Makkah in 556 CE. Her father was a prosperous businessman which gave her the edge of a luxurious life. She was first married to Abu Halah Malak with whom she had two children, Halah and Hind. But unfortunately, her husband passed away making her a widow at a young age.
Later, she was married to ‘Ateeq bin Aith bin ‘Abdullah Al Makhzumi and had a daughter with him which she named Hindah. Her second marriage doesn’t last long and the pair broke up on the grounds of incompatibility. After this, Kahdeejah was focused on the upbringing of her children and her business which she inherited from her father.
Her business was based on the trading of goods so she hired employees to send goods far and wide. Her business manager also used to bring goods to be sold at home as Makkah was a profitable market for the selling of goods.
She was inspired by the stellar character of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) that she sent a job offer to him to head her trading caravans. The Prophet accepted the offer and showed utmost honesty, discipline, integrity in his job that Khadijah became more impressed by him and sent him on a business trip. The tip proved to be extremely valuable and profitable for the business.
Little by little, the small moves of the Prophet (P.B.U.H) made space in Khadija’s heart and she approached her friend Nafeesah and discussed her intention to marry Muhammad (P.B.U.H).
On hearing this, the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) was joyed over the proposal and the marriage was solemnized. The Prophet’s age was 25 at the time while Khadijah was 40 years old. They both were happy in the marriage and had six children; two sons Qasim and Abdullah; followed by daughters, Zainab, Ruqayyah, Umm Kulthum and Fatimah (R.A).
After some time, the Prophet realized that something is missing from his life or either Allah was not happy with him. Upon learning this, he became depressed and went to the cave of Hira for one month for the continuous meditation and prayer to made Allah happy.
While he was in the cave, an angel came to him asked him to ‘Read.’ Muhammad replied that he was illiterate. The angel then asked him again to read and after several acts like this, the Prophet read the first revelation of the Quran which were from Surah Alaq.
“Read in the name of thy Lord who created; [He] created the human being from blood clot. Read in the name of thy Lord who taught by the pen: [He] taught the human being what he did not know.” (96:1-5).
The Prophet (P.B.U.H) was shaken after the angel went away and read the whole incident to Khadijah (r.a). After hearing the story she consoled Muhammad and take him to her cousin Warqah Bin Naufil who interpreted the incident to Muhammad that Allah has chosen him to be his messenger. He then continued his mission to spread Islam and Khadijah stood with her in every phase.
The two sons of the Prophet and Khadijah died in their childhood leaving no heirs to Muhammad. But Allah was more pleased with him that he revealed this beautiful verse to Muhammad.
“Indeed, We have granted you, [O Muhammad], Al-Kawthar. So pray to your Lord and sacrifice [to Him alone]. Indeed, your enemy is the one cut off”. [Quran: 108:1-3]
Here’s the explanation of ‘Al-Kawthar.’
When the enemies saw that Islam is attracting more followers, they declared a total political and economic boycott of the tribe of Banu Hashim. It was so severe that people faced starvation and they had to survive on the leaves of the tree.
Khadijah who had always seen the wealth remained with the Prophet in this dark phase and never complained about it. She was an ideal wife and mother and she did her best to keep the children and her husband happy despite all the crisis. She was an epitome of truth, modesty, good manners, and nobility.
Amongst all the Sahabiyat, she had the distinction of being greeted with Salam (peace) by Allah and the angel Jibrael. Her marriage with Muhammad lasts for 24 years. She died at the age of 65 giving half of her life to Muhammad and the cause of Islam.
After her death, Prophet became lost and depressed because with her the house was the haven of peace. And whenever, he was worried she provided unflagging faith and moral support to encourage him.
Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) loved her so much that he used to talk in detail about her with his wives especially Aishah (R.A). The gifts that were brought to him, he sends those to Khadijah’s friend. Whenever a goat was slaughtered, he also used to send meats to her friend and he regards Khadijah a lot.
“ I have great regard for her friends, as she had a special place in my heart.” ~ Muhammad (P.B.U.H)
Narrated Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him): Jibril (Gabriel) came to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and said:
“O Allah’s Messenger! This is Khadijah, coming to you with a dish having meat soup (or some food or drink). When she reaches you, greet her on behalf of her Lord (Allah) and on my behalf, and give her the glad tidings of having a palace made of Qasab in Paradise, wherein there will be neither any noise nor any toil, (fatigue, trouble, etc.).” [Al-Bukhari]
She was lowered into the grave by the Prophet himself. Her grave was prepared at Al-Hajun near Makkah.
Lessons to Learn
- Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) married her despite being a widow, divorcee and old age woman. He doesn’t even considered these traits of her.
- At the time of their marriage, Khadijah was a businesswoman while Prophet wasn’t yet financially stabilized but Khadijah doesn’t make an issue of this because she was moved by his stellar character and honesty.
- After the death of Khadijah, Holy Prophet always regarded her in front of his other wives. He also had great regard for Khadijah’s friend.
- She never uttered a word of discomfort in the economical crisis and stood firm with the Prophet to support his mission.
- She used to give 50% of the profit to incentivize her good managers.
- She spent her wealth to the poor and needy. She used to ail the sick, care about the orphans and arranged marriages of the poor girls.
- She was an ideal wife and a mother.
- When she was alive, Muhammad had no other wives.
To Wrap it Up
Islam is a complete religion and the Sahabiyat are the great role models for mankind. We can reduce half of our problems if we started following the footsteps of greats like Khadijah bint Khwaylid (R.A). She has successfully dispelled a lot of myths circulating high these days.
May Allah guide us the right path. Ameen
Source: The story is inspired by the book Great Women of Islam by Mahmood Ahmad Ghadanfar.
The next part of this series is based on Hazrat Aishah (RA), stay tuned.