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Allah granted her the good fortune of being the beloved of His Beloved (ﷺ). The Beloved of Allah (ﷺ) spent a good portion of his blessed life married to her and his deep affection, love and respect for her is evident to anyone who has studied the Sirah.
So, one may ask, why did Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) value her so much? Although this can only be truly understood by studying her life in detail, what follows is a brief summary of what made her shine among the women of her era and ultimately be treasured by Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ).
Following are lessons we can all learn from the life of Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her):
#1 Live a life of Taqwa
When piety is discussed nowadays, people fear the topic, strangely they dread the change it will bring in their lives. Praising those who adopt the quality of taqwa -defined by the scholars as God-Fearing piety i.e. abstinence from every deed that displeases the Creator- Allah Most High says in the Qur’an:
“Verily the most honourable of you by Allah is the one who has the most taqwa.” (49:13)
This quality of taqwa was so strongly embedded in the nature of our mother, Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her), that, in a hadith, Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) described her as “the best amongst the women (of this nation)”. (Bukhari)
Living a life of taqwa brings out a person’s true worth. It makes one realise the true value of this life instead of just living to fulfill our base desires.
Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) had sought out the truth from her learned cousin Waraqa long before the establishment of faith in Arabia. She was one of those special few who lived an upright life even in the days of ignorance (jahiliyyah) and guarded herself from the unscrupulous traits that were prevalent in that era. She was for this reason well-known by the name of Tahirah (one who is pure and untainted).
The lesson here is to instill in yourself the qualities of piety and abstention from sin, even though it may go against the social standards or practices that are prevalent in the society and even though you may face opposition for staying upright.
#2 Setting a good example as a woman
Khadijah was born to a father who was a successful merchant in their Quraysh tribe of Mecca. She inherited her father’s skills in a time in history where society was male-dominated and dangerous. Upon her father’s death, she took over the business and traded goods through the primary commerce centers at that time, from Mecca to Syria and to Yemen, hiring the most trustworthy men of character to brave the dangerous trade routes. Her business was larger than all of the Quraysh trades combined and the most acclaimed with a reputation of fair-dealing and high-quality goods. She had a keen eye and was highly intuitive, earning the monikers, Ameerat-Quraysh (“Princess of Quraysh”) and al-Tahira (“The Pure One”) due to her stellar reputation. Khadija knew what she was doing business-wise, never compromising her modesty or integrity to succeed in the male-dominated trades- hiring only those that could meet these standards.
Being the most successful woman around, rich in worldly attainment as well as character, it seems Khadijah faced a consistent campaign of men seeking her hand in marriage. She was married twice before her wedlock to the Prophet; both of these marriages produced children and both left her widowed. Her keen sense of character left her picky; and, she was less than eager to suffer another painful loss of a husband. She resigned herself to being a widowed woman taking care of herself and her family.
Khadijah learned of the stellar character of Muhammad as well as his experience managing caravans on the trade routes accompanying his uncle, Abu Talib. She hired him into her conglomerate. Marriages at this time were typically necessary for survival and not always about love as we know it in today’s world. Khadijah didn’t need a husband to take care of her financially. And Muhammad did not have the means to seek a wife. She fell in love with him, and through a friend, asked him to marry her. If Khadijah’s story hasn’t broken stereotypes about Islam yet, it might intrigue you to know that she was 40 years old when she married Muhammad. He was 25.
#3 Being a loyal and supportive spouse
More often than not we hear complaints of spouses, how they each prefer spending time away from each other rather than together. Arguing and squabbling has become the norm in many homes. It takes a considerable effort and sacrifice on the part of both spouses to keep the spark of love alive in the home.
When one’s spouse is facing difficulties, a quality of a good husband or wife is that one consoles the other instead of compounding problems by ranting and complaining. The Glorious Qur’an states:
“Pure women are for pure men and pure men are for pure women.” (24:26)
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was the purest of creation and thus was blessed by Allah with a partner who was on a high level of purity fitting with his lofty status, who was his pillar of strength at one of the most crucial periods in the history of Islam. After receiving the first revelation, Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) was clearly shaken. He sought refuge in the secure and safe world of Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) who had uttered the words that relieved all his sorrows and pain. Instead of panicking, she exuded a calm, comforting demeanour and assured him by saying, “Allah will never forsake You, You maintain ties and always speak the truth” (Bukhari).
Through every outrage and persecution of the people of Makkah, Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) was his dearest companion and helper. Even during trying times when society was opposing her husband, Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) stood strong as a pillar of support for him and refused to give up. Once A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) enquired from the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) about Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) to which He replied: “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 other helping hand.” (Tabarani, Mu’jam al-Kabir)
Due to her excellent nature, Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) always held a special place in the heart of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) even though he married several more wives in the later years. Her death left a special place in His heart that none other could fill.
#4 Being a good parent
Nowadays a widespread problem is that children are neglected due to parents being engrossed in their careers. Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) never let her wealth and status come in the way of love and affection. She never neglected her family and raised them well.
Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) had the honour of bearing the offspring of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). He said the following in praise of her: “She supported me from her property and Allah gave me children through her.” (Ahmad)
Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) was an excellent parent and this can be determined from the fact that she brought up her children so perfectly amidst all the challenges she faced in the initial stages of prophethood. Her daughters were honoured with being accepted into the marriages of prominent khulafa (leaders) and her youngest daughter, Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with her) was well known for her compassionate and gentle personality and was given the glad tidings of being the leader of the women in Paradise.
When Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with her) was a child, she would sometimes ask Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) and Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) questions which displayed her vast intelligence and aptitude. Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with her) once asked her mother, Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her), “My beloved mother! Will we be able to see Allah, who created us and everything in this world?” Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) replied, “My daughter! If we worship Allah in this world, be kind to his servants, abstain from that which he has prohibited us, do not ascribe partners to him, understand him only to be worthy of worship, and bring iman in his Messenger, then on the Day of Qiyamah we will most certainly see Allah. On that day reckoning will be taken for the good and evil one commits.’’ (Hundred Stories of Fatimah (May Allah be pleased with her), p. 33, Zam Zam Publishers).
The lesson here is to work hard to build your family on a strong set of values if you are married or make a firm intention to instill these Islamic values in your family and offspring in time to come, if you are still in the process of seeking marriage.
#5 Being a firm believer
At the time when your eyes close, the chance to earn reward stops. It will not be possible then to get the reward of one glorification of Allah or one minute good deed. We need to gather our treasures for the next life while we are alive. The more we race to goodness, the more we will store in our balances for the hereafter.
Allah Most High says in the Qur’an:
“Race towards virtue.” (5:48)
Success in executing this command was clearly portrayed in the life of Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her). She was so far ahead, it was difficult, almost impossible for anyone to surpass her and her virtues. Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) was the first to hear the message of Allah when it was freshly revealed. She immediately declared her faith in him and in all that was revealed to him. She was the first to pray with him, the prayer taught by Angel Jibril (peace be upon him). Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her), who is often considered the mother of Islam, was the first person on earth to accept Muhammad as the prophet of God and accept the revelations that culminated into the Holy Qur’an.
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that on one occasion Angel Jibril (peace be upon him) came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and said: “O Messenger of Allah, Khadijah is coming to you with a bowl of soup. When she comes to you give her greetings from her Lord and from me and give her the glad tidings of a palace of pearls in paradise, where there will be no noise or tiredness” (Bukhari). Some interpret this to be a reward for the calm and tranquil environment that she afforded to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ).
A narration of Sahih Muslim mentions that “whosoever sets a good precedent in Islam will receive the reward for it and the reward of all those who practice on this (deed) after him, without any of their rewards being decreased”. Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) along with the other forerunners of faith set a precedent for later generations on how to accept the truth when it is presented, and they will thus be rewarded for this till the end of time.
#6 Being selfless
We live in a world filled with selfishness, people say things like “Don’t go the extra mile for those who won’t take one step for you”. Some go around thinking that the world owes them, expecting all good to fall at their feet without putting out the goodness first. There is a wise saying: “Do good and don’t care who takes the credit”. Allah’s rule is that he lets no good go unrecognized and unrewarded. He is Shakur, the All-Appreciative. If you love him and do work for his sake, he will accept you and place love for you in the hearts of his creation.
People gain merit through the sacrifices they make. The Qur’an promises this by stating:
“Is there any reward for good other than good?” (55:60)
In Islam, whether rich or poor, one’s financial condition is a test. Khadija gave her earnings to the poor and to the orphans, to the widows and the sick. She helped poor girls get married and provided their dowry.
Khadija was one of history’s most remarkable women. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) once said that the four greatest women of mankind were: Khadija bint Khuwaylid, Fatima bint Muhammad (his youngest daughter,) Mary bint Emran (the Virgin Mary) and Asiya bint Muzahim (the wife of Pharaoh.) Khadija continues to inspire people to this day who revere her for taking great care of the Prophet of Islam and for showing the world, through her behavior, what a pious, modest and courageous woman can accomplish. The example she left for mankind remains timeless.
Article sources: https://rayyaninstitute.com/8-lessons-from-the-life-of-umm-al-muminin-khadijah-ra/, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/7-remarkable-things-about_b_7097606
Picture sources: https://www.shutterstock.com/search/pray+dua, https://pngtree.com/so/bride-and-groom-muslim, https://enduringword.com/word-to-the-family/family-hands-500/, https://www.vecteezy.com/png/1187855-heart-helping-hand