The Amazing love story of Prophet Muhammed(Pbuh) and Khadija(RA)
By Dr. HeshamA. Hassaballa
She was one of the noblest women of her time, coming from a veryprominent family. She was also quite beautiful and the holder of a considerableamount of wealth, for she successfully ran her own business. To marry her wouldhave been a great feat for any man, and indeed, quite a few of the mostprominent and wealthy men in society had asked for her hand. Yet, she rejectedthem all; already being a widow, she had lost the desire to marry again.
Until he came into her life. He was young man of 25, andalthough he was also of a noble family, he was an orphan and was not a man ofmany means. He had made a meager living ,tending sheep in the hills surroundingthe city. Yet, he had an impeccable moral character, and he was widely known asone of the most honest men around. That is what attracted her to him: she waslooking for someone honest who could conduct business for her, as she – a womanin a fiercely patriarchal society – could not do it herself. So, he startedworking for her.
After he came back from his first business trip, she asked herservant, whom she had sent with him, about him and his conduct. The servantamazed her by his report: this young man was the kindest, gentlest man he hadever met. Never did he treat the servant harshly, as many others do. Yet, therewas more: as they traveled in the heat of the desert, the servant noticed thata cloud had followed them the entire time, shading them from the blazing sun.Upon hearing this, she became quite impressed with her new employee.
Not only that, this new employeeproved to be an astute businessman in his own right. He took his employer'smerchandise, sold it, and with the profits bought other merchandise that hesold again, thus profiting twice. All this was enough for her: the embers oflove in her heart that were once extinguished were re-kindled again, and shedesired to marry this young man, who was 15 years younger than she.
So, she sent her sister who asked him, "Why are you not married, yet?"
"She believed in me when no one else did; she accepted Islamwhen people rejected me; and she helped and comforted me when there was no oneelse to lend me a helping hand."
"For lack of means," he answered.
"What if I could offer you a wife of nobility, beauty, andwealth? Would you be interested?" she told him.
He replied in the affirmative, but when she mentioned hersister, the young employee chuckled in amazement.
"How could I marry her? She has turned down the most noble menin the city, much wealthier and prominent than me, a poor shepherd," he said.
"Don't you worry," the sisterreplied, "I'll take care of it" (Ibn Al-Atheer).
Not long after, this wealthy business-owner married her youngemployee, and it was the beginning of one of the most loving, happiest, andsacred marriages in all of human history: that of Prophet Muhammad (peace beupon him) and Khadijah, the daughter of Khuwaylid.
When they were married, the Prophet was 25 years old, andKhadijah was 40. Yet, that did not bother the Prophet one bit. He loved her sodeeply, and she loved him as deeply. They were married for 25 years, and shebore him seven children: 3 sons and 4 daughters. All of the sons died at ayoung age. Khadijah was a source of immense love, strength, and comfort for theProphet Muhammad, and he leaned heavily on this love and support on the mostimportant night of his life.
While he was meditating in cave of Hira, the Angel Gabriel cameto Prophet Muhammad and revealed to him the first verses of the Quran, whichMuslims believe is the word of God, and declared to him that he was to be aProphet. The experience terrified him, and he ran home and cried to Khadijah , "Cover me! Cover me!" She wasstartled by his terror, and after soothing and comforting him for a while, theProphet was able to calm down and tell her about his experience (Al-Bukhari).
The Prophet feared he was going mad or being possessed.
Khadijah put all his fears to rest: "Do not worry," she said, "for by Him who hasdominion over Khadijah's soul, I hope that you are the Prophet of this nation.Allah would never humiliate you, for you are good to your relatives, you aretrue to your word, you help those who are in need, you support the weak, youfeed the guest and you answer the call of those who are in distress." She then took him to her cousin, Waraqah ibn Nawfal – aChristian scholar well-versed in the Judeo-Christian scripture – and heconfirmed to Muhammad that his experience was Divine and he was to be theProphet they had all been waiting for (Al-Bukhari).
After his ministry began, and the opposition of his peoplebecame harsh and brutal, Khadijah was always there to support Prophet Muhammad,sacrificing all of her wealth to support the cause of Islam. When the Prophetand his family were banished to the hills outside of Makkah, she went therewith him, and the three years of hardship and deprivation eventually led to herdeath. The Prophet Muhammad mourned her deeply, and even after her death, theProphet would send food and support to Khadijah's friends and relatives, out oflove for her.
Once, years after Khadijah died, he came across a necklace thatshe once wore. When he saw it, he remembered her and began to cry and mourn.His love for her never died, so much so, that his later wife Aishah becamejealous of her. Once she asked the Prophet if Khadijah had been the only womanworthy of his love. The Prophet replied: "Shebelieved in me when no one else did; she accepted Islam when people rejectedme; and she helped and comforted me when there was no one else to lend me ahelping hand" (Al-Bukhari).
Much has been made and said about Prophet Muhammad's multiplemarriages. There are many who smear him as a womanizing philanderer, citingthose multiple marriages. This is, of course, totally false. If, God forbid,the Prophet was as they claim, he would have taken advantage of his youth toact on these desires. But he did not. Rather, he was with no other women beforeKhadijah, who was 15 years his senior, and he had no other wife alongside her,although multiple marriages was common custom at that time.
It was only after Khadijah died (God rest her soul) that he tookon more than one wife at a time. All his subsequent marriages were undertakenbased on divine instructions. Most of these wives were widows, whom the Prophetmarried to care of, or they were the daughters of prominent Arab chieftains, sothat the Prophet could form a cohesive Muslim society out of a fiercelytribalistic Arab culture. The smears against the Prophet fall flat on theirfaces once the light of truth shines brightly upon them.
In a song about the Prophet and Khadjiah, Muslim rappers NativeDeen sing: "We look for stories of love in places dark and cold.When we have a guiding light for the whole world to behold." Many of whatwe call "love stories" today arenothing more than stories of lust and desire, physical attraction disguised aslove.
Yet, I can find no love story more powerful, more spirituallyuplifting, more awe-inspiring than that of the Prophet Muhammad and Khadijah.It is a shining example of what an ideal marriage is, and if I ever claim thatI love my wife, I must gauge my actions with that of the Prophet. As thecountry commemorates Valentine's Day, and everywhere we turn this month, "love is in the air," I cannot helpbut reflect upon, what is to me, the greatest of all love stories: that ofProphet Muhammad and Khadijah. Even with all of its amazing creative talent,Hollywood could not have come up with a story greater than this.
Ibn Al-Atheer, Ali. Usd al-Ghabah.Vol. 5. Cairo: Dar Ihya Al-Turath Al-Aaraby, 1996.