Not only was Khadijah (ra) an impeccable mother and businesswoman, however; by all measures, she was an excellent wife for the Prophet (saws), who was tasked with the great responsibility of bringing Islam to the world.
As Muhammad (saws) himself said, "She believed in me when no one else did; she accepted Islam when people rejected me; and she helped and comforted me when there was no one else to lend me a helping hand."
As the adage goes, “behind every great man is a great woman.” Though they have been predominantly ignored throughout history, women have made crucial contributions to the development of human civilization as we know it; not least among them was Khadijah (ra), wife of the Prophet Muhammad (saws). Through her unwavering faith, diligence, and perseverance, Khadijah earned her permanent place as Islam’s “Mother of Believers” by lending the Prophet (saws) strength in times of hardship, using her own means to nurture Islam in the years following the Revelation, and setting an excellent precedent for all the Muslims to come.
Even setting aside her crucial role in supporting the Prophet (saws) and Islam, Khadijah (ra) proved invaluable to Muslims and people around the world by virtue of her illustrious character. Khadijah (ra), while “born to a life of privilege,” (1) sought to contribute to her society however she could. She “took charge of the family business, which thrived and grew under her direction…” while giving “a great deal of money to help others” such as the “poor, sick, disabled, widows, orphans, and...poor couples [without] money to marry.” (1) Her altruism “earned her the title Al-Tahira (the Pure One).” (2) Khadijah refused to be idle and welcomed her responsibility as a wealthy individual to help the needy, setting an admirable role model for others, both in tribal Saudi Arabia and for all the generations to come. Khadijah (ra) was revered for her noble deeds, and by the time she was forty years old, “she was widely known in Arabia as a powerful, smart, independent woman…” (1)- many men wanted to work for her, and her high reputation helped secure her financial prosperity.
This same wealth would prove vital to the early spread of Islam in Arabia by her labors and those of the Prophet (saws). As a mother, Khadijah (ra) was unparalleled, conquering her grief after losing two consecutive husbands “to rear her small children,” all the while running “her successful caravan business by herself.” (1) In a world that routinely oppressed women, Khadijah (ra) not only negotiated the difficulties of being a single mother, but continued to secure her own material success and, by extension, that of her vulnerable children. Her endurance and integrity cemented her continued legacy as an exemplary Muslim for others to look up to.
Not only was Khadijah (ra) an impeccable mother and businesswoman, however; by all measures, she was an excellent wife for the Prophet (saws), who was tasked with the great responsibility of bringing Islam to the world. Despite the fifteen-year gap in Khadijah’s (ra) and Muhammad’s (saws) ages, “there was never a question of their complete devotion to each other.” (1) Even when, fifteen years into their marriage, the Prophet (saws) came home claiming to have experienced a revelation from the angel Gabriel (as), Khadijah (ra) remained devout to her husband, “[consoling] him and [telling] him that he was a prophet.” (2) Khadijah (ra) “was the first person to become a Muslim” and she did so without the faintest shadow of a doubt in her husband, who brought Islam to her. Her tireless faith and support of Muhammad (saws) not only set an unmatched precedent for how partners ought to treat each other, but also manifested a crucial oasis of strength for him “‘when there was no one else to lend [him] a helping hand.’” (2) In these ways, Khadijah (ra) guaranteed her vital importance to Islam by the wealth of support she lent its Prophet (saws).
Khadijah’s (ra) provision for Islam included not only her shining example and emotional support for Muhammad (saws)-she capitalized on her monetary facility to secure its growth in the challenging tribal atmosphere of Makkah. “Khadijah (ra) encouraged Muhammad (saws) to leave the business and preach full time. She financially supported him so he could preach with all his heart and energy… for the rest of her life.” (1) In spite of the damage her support of a revolutionary new prophet might cause her reputation, she unflaggingly “protected Muhamad (saws) with her political power and influence.” (1) Khadijah (ra) followed the Prophet (saws) into hiding after the Makkan city authorities exiled him; in the face of the economic sanctions-a fancy term for imposed shortages of vital necessities such as food, clothing, and other goods-which said authorities forced upon the Prophet (saws) and his followers for three years, Khadijah (ra) even “depleted her entire large fortune supporting the followers of Islam.” (1) Khadijah (ra) never wavered in her support of the Prophet (saws) and Saudi Arabia’s first Muslims; she gave to the cause of Islam first her wealth, and, finally, her life. Weakened by the tribulations she had endured for years that Islam may survive, “the brave, honorable, and faithful Khadijah (ra) became ill and died” (1) in the year 619 CE.
By her faultless support of the Prophet Muhammad (saws) both as a wife and one of the earliest benefactors of Islam coupled with her venerable disposition, Khadijah (ra) bint Khuwaylid (ra) proved time and time again her indispensability in the life of the Prophet (saws) and the growth of Islam in Saudi Arabia. As Muhammad (saws) himself said, “‘She believed in me when no one else did; she accepted Islam when people rejected me; and she helped and comforted me when there was no one else to lend me a helping hand.’” (2) A true appreciation of the distinction of Khadijah (ra), coupled with the probability that the will of Allah (swt) is seldom so clear as when He sends a people a prophet, makes a strong case for the argument that, for our Prophet (saws), Khadijah (ra) was, quite literally, a godsend.
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