Heroes of Islam: Khadijah (RA)
By: Marsha Ahmad
“She believed in me when nobody believed in me; she believed in the truth when people thought I was a liar; she supported me with her wealth when nobody gave it to me; and Allah granted me children from her not from anyone else.”
Those are the words of Prophet Muhammad (saw) about his first wife, Khadijah (ra). The daughter of Khuwaylid and Fatima bint Zaidah, she grew up to be a great Muslim lady.
Khadijah (RA) was born 15 years before the Year of the Elephant, in 555 CE. She was known as a noble, fine natured, wealthy lady in Makkah. She was married to Prophet Muhammad (saw) at the age of 40, while he was 25. An important lesson we can take from this is that it is permissible to be able to marry at not only a late age, but also a difference in age in Islam. In this day and age, this would be unacceptable; for a 25-year-old man to marry a woman 15 years his senior. A woman who was previously married, and had previous children as well. This task requires stability, harmony, patience and love, but they loved each other for the sake of Allah.
Together they had six children; Qasim, Abdullah, Zainab, Ruqaiyyah, Umm Kulthum and Fatimah. Now to reflect upon this point, we learn that she had children at a later age, showcasing to us that there is no “set” time to give birth unlike the way society makes it out to be. If Allah wills, it happens.
Khadijah (RA) was the first to accept Islam when the revelation came from Allah, and Prophet Muhammad (saw) was made the last and final Prophet. In fact, on that famous night when the Prophet (saw) received revelation, he ran home to her from the cave of Hira. He explained to her what had happened, and her heart was not shaken in the slightest. She comforted him and reminded him of Allah, saying:
“by God, He would never dishonour you – for you maintain the ties of kinship, help the poor, honour your guests, and provide a helping hand whenever it is needed.”
She helped in spreading Islam to the Makkans by being a great support and stood by our beloved Prophet (saw). During his difficulty and trials, he would come to her and she consoled, encouraged, and comforted him. A man coming to a woman, does that not show the value for a woman in Islam? Due to her constant support of him, she even received the word “Salaam” from her Lord, through the Prophet (saw). Imagine – your Lord saying ‘salaam’ to you! This must have been a wonderful woman.
The Prophet Muhammad (saw) was preaching Islam, while she used her wealth to raise their children and deal with family affairs. Together, they dealt with the deaths of their sons, Qasim and Abdullah, who died in their infancy. In the fifth year of prophethood, Ruqaiyyah (ra) migrated with her husband. Ruqaiyyah (ra) left her parents at the age of 12 and came back after four years; imagine the pain that this separation caused her beloved mother, Khadijah (ra).
When the Prophet (saw) began to publicly preach Islam, her whole life changed from that day forth. A war of verbal threats, and different forms of abuse was waged upon her and her family. Her husband was harmed so severely and she continued to provide a refuge for him through it, and because of this the Prophet (saw) said: “I was ordered to give Khadijah (ra) good tidings of a house in paradise made from brilliant pearls, in which there is no hardship or toil”.
Her business was also boycotted – the once wealthy and generous woman was now incapable of providing for her own needs, but her strength and love for the Prophet (saw) and Allah (swt) got her through it. After 3 years of the boycott, she was weak and frailer than ever, but she knew the Prophet (saw) was promised victory from God. Soon the boycott was ended, and soon after that, around the age of 65, she passed away.
She was never forgotten by the one who loved her. She was always remembered for her sacrifices, her love, and her strength.
As Muslim women, we should aim to achieve characteristics that of Khadijah (RA) a true role model.
She will always be remembered for her strength, acceptance of the truth, and her support of our beloved Prophet (saw). She handled house affairs and took on life, head first. She was a mother, and a businesswoman too. Starting today, we should think about ways in which we would improve our graces to be like this great Muslim woman, Khadijah (RA).
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The best of women among the people of Paradise are Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, Fatimah bint Muhammad, Maryam bint ‘Imran, and ‘Asiyah bint Muzahim, the wife of Pharaoh.”
Heroes of Islam: A column on www.beautyintheordinaryblog.com, written by Marsha Ahmad. Heroes have many qualities, but we have forgotten about the heroes from our Islamic history. We think of the word ‘heroes’ and think of fictional characters, community helpers, or even our parents. These role models in our Islamic history are crucial for us to learn about so we can focus on achieving great goals in our lives, goals that Allah (swt) would be pleased with. Through this column, we hope to bring these heroes to you, and give you a place where you can easily access this knowledge. In shaa Allah, together we will get to know some of our famous Muslim heroes and their stories, like Fatima (ra), Umar (ra), and many more.
A little about the writer:
I am a Muslim woman living in the 21st Century granted the opportunity to share my information on Heroes of Islam. Strength, grace and noble characteristics are close to my heart. I aim to carry myself with the graces of the strong leaders before us and present with us. As every human, I have my fair share of weaknesses and hardships, but I believe this is what shapes us. I was raised in Canada, but born in Pakistan. I have a fondness for reading and being around my friends and family along with a passion for Law. In my spare time, I volunteer for Kids Help Phone as a Crisis Responder. My aim in life is to help make a change whether it big or small, leave my footprint with an impact if Allah wills.
Give to those who have nothing to give to you. -s