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Khadijah bint Khuwaylid



Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, also known as Khadijah al-Kubra, holds a special place in Islamic history as the first wife of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Her life story is a testament to her exceptional character, strength, and unwavering support for the early Islamic community. Hazrat Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) is highly revered in Islamic tradition for her numerous virtues and contributions to the early Islamic community. 


Khadijah was born around 555 CE in Mecca, in what is now Saudi Arabia. Khadijah Bint Khuwaylid belonged to Banu Asad Ibn Abd al-Uzza Ibn Qusay, a distinguished family of the Quraish tribe. By genealogical standards of nobility, Khadijah enjoyed a high status in society. She was called Tahirah (in Arabic, the word Tahirah is a feminine adjective that means 'pure.' It signifies a chaste, modest, and virtuous lady) even in pre-Islamic days. Following the advent of Islam, the Qur'an called her the Mother of Believers, an expression that signified her status in the new Muslim community. Recognizing her social status and nobility, the Makkans also called her sayyidat nisa Quraish, the highest among the ladies of Quraish. She was a successful and respected businesswoman. She inherited her father's business, which involved trade caravans that journeyed through various trade routes. She was known for her intelligence, shrewd business acumen, and strong work ethic.


The life of Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (may Allah be pleased with her) is a journey of notable wisdom, unlimited giving, and boundless love for Allah and His Messenger. Her marriage to the Prophet was built on a foundation of trust. Khadijah was known for her honesty and trustworthiness, which were the qualities that attracted the Prophet to her. Her character exemplified the Islamic values of honesty and integrity. Khadijah was married twice before she wed the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), who was in his early 20s. She was impressed by his honesty, trustworthiness, and good character. After their marriage, The Prophet and Khadija had six children, two boys and four girls. Both the boys, Qasim and Abdullah, died when they were still babies. The four daughters, Zaynab, Ruqayya, Umm Kulthum, and Fatima, grew up into beautiful young girls and were married when the time came.


Khadijah was the first to embrace Islam after the Prophet Muhammad received his initial revelations from Allah. She provided him with unwavering emotional and financial support during the challenging early years of his prophethood. She selflessly sacrificed her wealth to aid the cause of Islam, helping to spread the message of monotheism. Her trust in his mission was a source of comfort and strength for the Prophet. Her unwavering faith and belief in her husband's prophethood set a powerful example for the early Muslim community.


Khadijah tul Kubra demonstrated remarkable patience and perseverance during hardship and persecution. As Islam faced opposition and persecution in Mecca, Khadijah, along with the Prophet and their family, endured a period of hardship during the boycott imposed by the Quraysh tribe. The hatred of the Quraysh was so strong that soon the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him), his wife Khadijah, their children, his uncle Abu Talib, and his family, and all those who accepted Islam were forced to leave their homes in Makkah. They took refuge in an open plot of land called Shib Abbi Talib, just outside the town. No proper houses were there, and they had to live in tents. It was like a refugee camp, and the family of the Prophet had to stay there for almost three years. They faced hunger, disease, and poverty. Sometimes, they had to eat the leaves from a tree to satisfy their hunger, for there was hardly anything else to eat. Despite the difficulties, she stood by the Prophet and supported him; even when the early Muslim community faced severe opposition, her faith remained unshaken.


Khadijah was also known for her generosity and philanthropy. She used her wealth to help those in need and to support various charitable causes. Her acts of kindness and generosity earned her the title of "Al-Tahira," meaning "The Pure One." She was a loving mother to her children, and her role as a mother was highly valued in Islamic tradition. She raised her children with care and devotion; her maternal qualities were a model for Muslim women.


Khadijah passed away in the month of Ramadan in 619 CE, approximately 25 years after her marriage to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). Her death was a profound loss, and the Prophet deeply mourned her. He described her as the best woman who ever lived.


After Hazrat Khadijah's demise, Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) regarded her as a great woman many times. Holy Prophet always remembered Khadijah tul Kubra and moaned, “Never did Allah give me a better wife than Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her). 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. How could I forget her?”


Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) at another time remarked his beloved wife, Khadijah, “She believed in me when all others disbelieved; she held me truthful when others called me a liar; she sheltered me when others abandoned me; she comforted me when others shunned me; and Allah granted me children by her while depriving me of children by other women.” From Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her), Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessing be upon Him) got his son Qasim. Qasim was born before the advent of Islam and died in his infancy. But the Arabs always addressed Prophet Muhammad as Abul Qasim.


Hazrat Khadijah's virtues and qualities continue to inspire Muslims, particularly women, as they strive to emulate her strength of character, faith, and selflessness. Her life exemplified the qualities of faith, resilience, and compassion. She was a source of strength and support for the Prophet Muhammad during the early days of Islam and played a pivotal role in spreading the message of Islam. Her legacy as the "Mother of the Believers" inspires Muslims, particularly women, as an example of a devoted wife, a successful businesswoman, and a woman of profound faith.


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