During the month of Ramadan, Al Arabiya English is publishing a series of profiles on prominent historical figures in Islamic history.
The first Muslim on earth, the ‘Mother of the Believers,’ and ‘The Best of Women,’ are all descriptions of Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, the devoted wife of Prophet Mohammed.
While her legacy continues to live until today, as a symbol for leading Muslim women figures, the love story between her and the prophet remains to be one-of-a-kind.
How she met the prophet
Khadijah was known to be a successful trader in Makkah. She was born to a father who was a thriving merchant from the family of Quraysh. When her father died, she inherited his business, and was keen on employing hardworking and honest employees to travel far on her behalf to export and import goods.
It was the integrity of Prophet Mohammed that brought them together, as it is narrated that she had sent him an offer to work with her, after hearing about his honesty.
‘Mother of the Believers’
Through a friend, Khadijah asked Mohammed to marry her. Although at the time, he had no means to pursue marriage. But Khadijah was unfazed by differences in wealth.
At the age of 40, Khadijah married the prophet when he was at 25 years of age. Together they had six children; two sons and four daughters.
After 15 years of marriage, Mohammed received revelations from God. On the night he received his first revelation, Khadijah was the one whom he first told what happened. Without hesitation, she comforted, supported and believed him.
She also sought advice from her Christian cousin, who proclaimed that Mohammed’s revelations were from God.
Khadijah, the ‘Mother of the Believers,’ was the first person on earth to accept Islam.
Her devotion to the prophet and holding on to him, for better and for worse, made her very special in his heart. Although it was common for men in that era to have multiple wives, Prophet Mohammed never married anyone else during their 25 years of marriage.
‘The Best of Women’
Her endless support for the Prophet was seen in her patience and courage when the disbelievers decided to declare an open and total political and economic boycott against the followers of Prophet Mohammed.
She passed away three years after Hijra at the age of 65. Aisha, the wife of Prophet Mohammed after the death of Khadijah, says that whenever a goat was slaughtered, the he would send some meat to Khadijah’s friends. Aisha says when she mentioned it on one occasion the Prophet told her: “I have great regard for her friends, as she has a special place in my heart.”
It is narrated by Aisha that Prophet Mohammed said of Khadijah: “She believed in me when no one else did, she embraced Islam when people disbelieved me; and she helped and comforted me when there was no one to lend me a helping hand.”
It was narrated that the prophet also said “Mary, the daughter of Imran, was the best among the women (of the world of her time) and Khadijah is the best amongst the women (of this nation).”