Hazrat Ali (ra) relates that the Holy Prophet (saw) said, “The best woman of her time was Mary, daughter of Imran, and the best woman of her time is Khadija, daughter of Khuwailid”.
Hazrat Anas (ra) relates that the Holy Prophet (saw) said “It is enough for you to follow in the footsteps of Mary, daughter of Imraan; Khadija, daughter of Khuwailid; Fatimah, daughter of Muhammad; and Aasiyah wife of Pharaoh, from among all the women in the world.”
Hazrat Khadija (ra) was the first wife of the Holy Prophet (saw). She was born in 555AD and belonged to the clan of Banu Asad. Her father’s name was Khuwailid and her mother’s name was Fatima. Her father was a well-known chief of Mecca and a successful merchant. After the death of her father Hazrat Khadija (ra) had to take care of her father’s business. She worked hard and was soon regarded as an intelligent merchant woman.
From her childhood, Hazrat Khadija (ra), possessed noble qualities. She was given the title of “Tahira” which means pure or virtuous. She was the first person to believe in the Holy Prophet’ssaw mission.
When the Holy Prophet (saw) was about 25 years old, his good reputation had spread over the whole of the town. People would admire him and say that he was a man who could be trusted. Hazrat Khadij a (ra) came to know of this reputation and approached Abu Talib (the Prophet’s uncle) to ask if the Prophet (saw) would lead one of her trading caravans to Syria. The Prophet (saw) agreed and the expedition was a great success.
Hazrat Khadija (ra) was convinced that the success of the caravan was due not only to the conditions of the market in Syria, but also to the integrity and efficiency of its leader. Maisara, a slave who accompanied the caravan, supported her view and told her that the honesty and sympathy with which this young leader of the caravan had managed her affairs would not be shown by many persons. Hazrat Khadija (ra) was much impressed by this account.
Hazrat Khadija (ra) sent a marriage proposal to the Holy Prophet (saw) herself. After consulting with Abu Talib, Holy Prophet (saw) accepted this proposal. At the time of the marriage, the Holy Prophet (saw) was 25 years of age. Hazrat Khadija (ra) was 40 and had already been widowed twice.
From her marriage to the Holy Prophet (saw), Hazrat Khadija had three sons named Qasim, Tahir, and Tayyab. Among his daughters were Zainab (ra), Ruqayyah (ra), Ummi Kulthūm (ra), and Fāṭimah (ra). All of their son’s passed away in childhood. All of their daughters grew up and accepted Islam.
When the Holy Prophet (saw) received his first revelation, he returned home to Hazrat Khadija (ra) in a state of distress. After his anxiety had lessened, the Holy Prophet (saw) related the entire event to Hazrat Khadija (ra) and in the end said “I have begun to fear for my life”.
Having heard the account of the event, Hazrat Khadija (ra) said:
“God is witness, He has not sent you this Word that you should fail and prove unworthy, that He should then give you up. How can God do such a thing, while you are kind and considerate to your relations, help the poor and the forlorn and bear their burdens? You are restoring the virtues which had disappeared from our country. You treat guests with honour and help those who are in distress. Can you be subjected by God to any trial?“
The Muslims faced great persecution at the hands of the Meccan. When the conflict became more serious, the Meccans resolved on an all out boycott of the Muslims. The Meccans were to have no normal dealings with Muslims. They were neither to buy from them, nor to sell them anything. The Prophet (saw), his family and a number of relations who still stood by him, were compelled to take shelter in a valley owned by Abu Talib.
Without money, without means and without reserves, the Prophet’s (saw) family and relations suffered untold hardships. The boycott lasted for three years. Although the boycott had ended, its consequences had not. Hazrat Khadija (ra) passed away shortly thereafter giving rise to the possibility that the insistent hardships of the boycott had a great role to play in her demise. It seems as if under the influence of constant severities, her health greatly deteriorated. Abu Talib also died a short while after Hazrat Khadija (ra). On account of these consecutive grievances, the Holy Prophet (saw) named this year ‘The Year of Grievances’.
At the time of her demise, Ḥaḍrat Khadija (ra) was 65 years of age. She was buried in Mecca at a location known as Ḥajūn. The Holy Prophet (saw) descended into her grave himself, but a funeral prayer was not offered because, at that time, the injunction pertinent to funeral prayer was not yet revealed.
Qualities: Hazrat Khadija (ra) as a wife:
Hazrat Khadija (ra) showed great love and respect for the Holy Prophet (saw). She stood by the Holy Prophet (saw) in times of extreme grief and anguish.
After their marriage, she gave all of her property and slaves to the Holy Prophet (saw). The Holy Prophet (saw) freed the slaves and gave away most of the part of the property to the poor. She was the first person to believe in his mission.
Hazrat Khadija (ra) had a tender and a compassionate heart and was generous with her money. She used to help the poor, the needy, widows and orphans. It is narrated that on one occasion, Haleema (ra) came to visit the Holy Prophet (saw) after his marriage to Hazrat Khadija (ra). It was a year of drought and there was a shortage of food in the country. Haleema (ra) stayed with them for some time. When she left, Hazrat Khadija (ra) gave her a she-camel and forty sheep.
Hazrat Khadija (ra) was grieved to see the cruel treatment of the people of Mecca for the Holy Prophet (saw) and his followers but remained very patient. Sometimes the Holy Prophet (saw) would come home very sad and disappointed at the rejection of his claim. Hazrat Khadija (ra) would listen to him and try to cheer him up by reassuring him and supporting him. Hazrat Khadija’s (ra) son Harith (by her first husband Abu Haallah) died defending the Holy Prophet (saw). Hazrat Khadija (ra) was naturally grieved at the death of her son but resigned herself to the will of God.
Holy Prophet (saw) remembering Hazrat Khadija (ra)
The Holy Prophet (saw) loved Hazrat Khadija (ra) immensely and was deeply saddened at her demise. Whenever she was mentioned after her demise, his eyes would become filled with tears. He would praise her often. On one occasion the Holy Prophet (saw) was overcome by emotion and said to Hazrat Aisha (ra):
“You have no idea how good Khadija was to me. She believed in the truthfulness of my claim when others rejected me. She became my best companion and helper when others forsook me. Moreover God has blessed me with children from her”. If ever an animal was slaughtered in his home, the Holy Prophet (saw) would always send a portion to the friends of Ḥazrat Khadija (ra).
On one occasion, the Holy Prophet (saw) was sitting in the home of Ḥazrat Aisha (ra), when the sister of Ḥazrat Khadija (ra), Hāllah bint Khuwailid came to visit the Holy Prophet (saw). She asked permission to enter at the door. Ḥazrat Aisha (ra) relates, “The Holy Prophet (saw) stood up restlessly saying, ‘the voice of Khadija (ra), it appears as if her sister Hāllah has come’”.
The Holy Prophet (saw) remembered Hazrat Khadija (ra) even on the occasion of the fall of Mecca. It is narrated that he directed his companions to pitch his tent at a place, outside the cemetery of Hajoon, where he could be close to the final resting place of Hazrat Khadija (ra).
Glad tidings of a house in heaven
“Hazrat Abu Hurairah (ra) relates that the angel Jibraa’eel came to the Holy Prophet (saw) and said: Messenger of Allah! Here comes Khadija (ra) who is bringing a utensil in which there is some food and condiments. When she sees you, give her the salutation of peace from her Lord and salutation of peace from me and give her good news that she will have a house made of shining pearls in paradise, wherein there would be no clamour and no disturbance.”
- Hazrat Sayyada Khadija (ra) by Rashid Ahmad Chaudhry https://www.alislam.org/library/books/Khadijah.pdf
- The life and character of the Seal of prophets by Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad https://www.alislam.org/library/books/Seal-of-Prophets-Vol-1.pdf
- Life of Muhammad by Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad (ra) https://www.alislam.org/library/books/Life-of-Muhammad.pdf