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Stories of the Sahaba

Khadija (RA)

roseProphet Muhammad (SAW) forever remembered Khadija (RA) with love, affection and gratitude. Khadija al-Kubra was the daughter of Khuwaylid ibn (son of) Asad to the clan of Banu Hashim. Khadija's father, was a merchant and a successful businessman whose vast wealth and business talents were inherited by Khadija.

Although the society in which Khadija was born was a terribly male chauvinistic one, Khadija earned two titles: Ameerat-Quraysh, Princess of Quraysh, and al-Tahira, the Pure One, due to her impeccable personality and virtuous character, not to mention her honorable descent. She used to feed and clothe the poor, assist her relatives financially, and even provide for the marriage of those of her kin who could not otherwise have had means to marry.

In the beginning, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was hired by her to handle all of her business transactions. The Prophet was a young man of 25, and although coming from a noble family, he was an orphan and not a man of many means; making a meager living tending sheep in the hills surrounding the city. Yet, he had an impeccable moral character, and was widely known as the most honest man in Mecca. Khadija was looking for someone honest to handle and conduct her business.

After he came back from his first business trip, Khadija asked her servant, Nufaysa, whom she sent with him, about him and his conduct. Nufaysa amazed her by her report: this young man was the kindest, gentlest man she had ever met. Never did he treat the servants harshly, as many others do. He took his employer's merchandise, sold it, and with the profits bought other merchandise that he sold again, thus profiting twice. Nufaysa also related to her the miraculous happening in the desert in which as she and Mohammed (SAW) were traveling in the heat of the desert, she noticed a cloud had followed them the entire time, shading them from the blazing sun.

Khadija wished to marry this honorable man, known a throughout Mecca as Al-Ameen (The Trustworthy). Khadija then sent her servant to the Prophet. Nufaysa came to Muhammad (SAW) and asked him why he had not married yet.

She asked him, "Why are you not married, yet?"

"For lack of means," he (SAW) answered.

"What if I could offer you a wife of nobility, beauty, and wealth? Would you be interested?" she asked him.

He replied in the affirmative, but when Nufaysa mentioned Khadija, the young employee chuckled in amazement.

"How could I marry her? She has turned down the most noble men in the city, much wealthier and prominent than me, a poor shepherd," he (SAW) said.

"Don't you worry," she replied, "I'll take care of it."

"For my part," he said, "I am willing."

Nufaysa returned with these glad tidings to Khadija. Not long after, the wealthy businesswoman married her young employee in a marriage ceremony conducted by Abu Talib, the uncle of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

Thus began one of the most loving, happiest, and sacred marriages in all of human history. At the age of 25 Mohammed (SAW) married Khadija, then 40. They were married for 25 years, and she bore him seven children; 3 sons and 4 daughters. All of the sons died in young age. Khadijah (RA) was a source of immense love, strength, and comfort for the Prophet Muhammad, and he leaned heavily on this love and support on the most important night of his life.

The Prophet (SAW) used to go on regular intervals to meditate and ponder over the dealings that took place in Mecca in which he (SAW) was not very happy with. Mohammed (SAW) would seclude himself in the cave of Mount Hira and worship three days and nights. While he was meditating in cave of Hira, the Angel Jibreel (AS) came to the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and revealed to him the first verses of the Quran and declared to him that he was to be a Prophet.

The experience terrified the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), and he ran home, jumping into Khadijah's (RA) arms asking her to hold him and cover him- and she did. Zamilooni! Zamilooni! "Cover me! Cover me!" Dathirooni! Dathirooni! "Embrace me! Embrace me!"

She was startled by his terror, and after soothing and comforting him for a while, the Prophet (SAW) was able to calm down and relate to her his experience. She was the pillar of strength in one of the most defining moments of history. She was there for him, she supported him, she believed in him and encouraged him. The Prophet (SAW) feared he was losing his mind or being possessed. Khadijah (RA) put all his fears to rest:

"Allah forbid! He will surely not let such a thing happen, for you speak the truth, you are faithful in trust, you bear the afflictions of the people, you spend in good works what you gain in trade, you are hospitable and you assist your fellow men.

She then took him to her cousin, Waraqah ibn Nawfal – a scholar well-versed in the Judeo-Christian scripture – and he confirmed to the Prophet (SAW) that his experience was Divine and he was to be the Last Prophet. "I swear by Him in who holds Waraqa's life, Allah has chosen you to be the prophet of this people. They will call you a liar, they will persecute you, they will banish you, and they will fight against you. Oh, that I could live to those days. I would fight for these."

After his ministry began, and the opposition of his people became harsh and brutal, Khadijah (RA) was always there to support the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), sacrificing all of her wealth to support the cause of Islam. When the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his family was banished to the hills outside of Makkah, she went there with him, and the three years of hardship and deprivation eventually led to her death.

Thus, the Prophet (pbuh) lost his beloved wife and friend, the first person to accept Islam and support him. She had been a refuge from all his troubles and, through her goodheartedness, the best company in his suffering. He had loved her very much. This happened in 619 A.D., the year which became known as the 'Year of Sorrow'. Soon after this, the Prophet Muhammad's uncle and protector, Abu Talib, also died.

Once, years after Khadijah died, he came across a necklace that she once wore. When he saw it, he remembered her and began to cry and mourn. His love for her never died, so much so, that his later wife A'isha became jealous of her. Once she asked the Prophet if Khadijah had been the only woman worthy of his love. The Prophet (SAW) replied: "Never did Allah (SWT) give me a better wife than Khadijah. She hailed my mission at a time when everybody shouted against it. She lent me the support of her conviction when there was hardly a believer. She enlivened my heart when I felt lonely and deserted. Khadijah's love was given to me by Allah (SWT). How could I forget her?"

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The Islamic Bulletin
P.O. Box 410186, San Francisco, CA 94141-0186

Vol. XX, No. 25
Note from the Editor
Letters to the Editor
Everyday Dua'a
Islam in Colombia
The Purpose of Life
Inna Lilahi Wa Inna
Ilayhi Rajioon
Ask and He Gives
How I Embraced Islam
Three Special
Individuals
Salaahtul Janazah -
Shafi'i
Salaahtul Janazah -
Hanafi
Learn to Perform and
Correct Your Wudhu
How to Perform
Salaatul Tasbeeh
Prayer Locations
Supplications After
Prayer
The Last Sermon
The Prophets Quiz
Monthly Prayer Calendar
Cook's Corner
Secrets of
Surah Kahaf
Contemplations of
Surah Al Asr
The Past is
Gone Forever
Speaking of Time
Olive Oil
Stories of the Sahabah
Sayings of the Prophet
Extras