She was the first wife of the Prophet and the first
heart to be affected and to accept his call to Islām. She was Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid. When she reached adolescence, she
came to be known as Taahira (righteous, virtuous) due to her noble and sublime character. (Al-Isaabah of Ibn Hajr (8/60))
She was married but soon both her father and husband
died, leaving her in charge of the trade. Khadeejah became a business woman in her own right, know and respected throughout
the Qur'aysh (The noblest tribe in Makkah; they were the keepers of the Ka'bah and the tribe that Khadeejah & the Prophet
came from) for her noble character, wealth and good manners.
She heard the Prophet's fair dealings and how he was
acclaimed to be al-Ameen (the trustworthy) amongst the people, and so she asked if he could accompany her merchandise to its
various destinations - he agreed.
At the age of twenty-five, the Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu
'alayhi wa sallam accepted the proposal of Khadeejah, his distant cousin, who was fifteen years his senior. They had six children:
two sons, Qaasim and 'Abdullaah, both of whom died in infancy, and four daughters, Zaynab, Ruqayyah, Umm Kulthoom, and Faatimah.
Fifteen years later, what do we find Khadeejah saying
when the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam came to her with his heart trembling after receiving the first Revelation?
He informed her of the happening and said to her "O Khadeejah what has happened to me? I fear for myself?" She replied: "It
can't be. Be happy. I swear by Allāh that he will never humiliate you. By Allaah, you join ties of relationship, you speak
the truth, you bear people's burdens, you help the destitute, you entertain guests and you help the vicissitudes which affect
the people." (Reported by 'Aa'ishah & collected by Muslim (eng. Trans vol.1 pp.96-8 no.301). Imaam an-Nawaawee, who wrote
the commentary on Saheeh Muslim said that the scholars have explained Khadeejah's statement by saying that she knew that Allāh
would never allow one who had been given such a generous character and noble manners by Him, to be affected by madness, since
good manners is itself such a blessing from Allaah)
Look at her conviction in what the Prophet sallallaahu
'alayhi wa sallam said. Pause for a moment and note her weighty words. She didn't doubt him, nor show the slightest hesitation
towards the words he uttered. In fact she was his greatest source of comfort, the first to provide security for him and be
sincere to him. He attested to the messengership of her husband and was the first to believe in him, and who could have known
him better? After all, she had been married to him for fifteen years. She was convinced that it could only be one of such
eloquent character who could be worthy of revelation from Allāh and thus hers was the first heart to be moved, and to accept
However, her loyalty and assistance didn't culminize
there. By accepting and supporting his call to the worship of Allāh alone, Khadeejah, a woman highly esteemed among the Qur'aysh,
was now denouncing their way of life, and the Qur'aysh were a proud and affluent people; and Makkah was at the heart of trading
and the home of the idols - much revered by the Qur'aysh. They were not going to stand back and allow a man to now come and
preach a way of life alien to theirs, rejecting their beliefs and everything they stood for. And remember when Islām was first
cultivated, the Muslims were small in number, and, in such a trying period, Khadeejah remained alongside the Messenger of
Allāh in support whenever the Qur'aysh disclaimed him or contracted hostility towards him. She assisted him in preaching the
words of Allāh and hence witnessed the division between the people of faith (eemaan) and those of disbelief (kufr).
This continued until her death on the eleventh of Ramadaan
in the tenth year of the Prophethood - at the age of sixty-four. The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam would think of
Khadeejah often. Open up any book written on the life of the Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, and you will
not fail to find Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid mentioned and evidences pertaining to her excellence. The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi
wa sallam said: "Sufficient for you, from the women of the worlds are, Maryam bint
Ibraaheem [the mother of Eesaa], Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid, Faatimah bint Muhammad [sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam] and 'Aasiyah,
the wife of Fir'awn [Pharoah]." (Saheeh - Reported by Anas in Ahmad, at-Tirmidhee & others. Declared
authentic by al-Albaanee in his Tarteeb Saheeh ul-Jaami' (no.18). The "sufficiency" mentioned here means 'sufficient regarding
obedience to Allaah' (Shaykh Alee Hasan al-Halabee))
Further proof of the Prophet's inherent love for Khadeejah
can be seen in 'Aa'ishah's statement: "I was not so jealous of any of the Prophet's wives as I was of Khadeejah. I never saw
her, but he frequently mentioned her and he would often kill a sheep, cut it in pieces and send them round among Khadeejah's
friends. I often said to him: 'It seems as if Khadeejah was the only woman in the world!' And he replied: 'She
was indeed a fine woman and I had children from her." (Collected by al-Bukhaaree (eng. Trans. Vol.5 p.104 no.166)
& Muslim (eng. Trans. Vol.4 p.1297 no.5972))
So we have the perfect role models, and it is only through
reading about them, that we can truly love them and love to be like them, and understand why they are happy occupants of al-Jannah.
And Jibreel, 'alayhis-Salaam, came with the good news from Allaah, saying to the Messenger, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam,
"When she [Khadeejah] comes, give her a greeting from her Lord and me, and give
her the good news that in Jannah she will have a house of brilliant pearls, in which there will be no clamor or toil."
(Reported by Abu Hurayrah & collected by al-Bukhaaree (vol.5 pp.104-5 no.168) & Muslim (vol.4 p.1297 no.5967))
May Allāh be pleased with her and grant us all ability
to be like her.