THE FIRST WOMAN WHO EMBRACED ISLAM
Even before Islam, the Arabs were a people that valued good ethics. Those who were trustworthy, generous, courageous, wise, merciful, chaste, and kept family ties were the most respected and honored members of society. When Khadija, the daughter of Khuwaylid, from the Asadi clan of the Qureshi tribe, a widow and one of the most beautiful and honorable women in Makkah, heard about the loyalty, trust, and good behavior of Mohammad, the son of Abdullah, from the Hashimi clan of Qureish, she invited him to go to Syria and manage her business there. He agreed and travelled from Makkah to Syria together with Mayssara, Khadija’s servant.
During their time in Syria, Mayssara saw amazing things from Mohammad’s personality; like wisdom and good ethics, generosity, and smart business management. He was more fascinated by him when he saw a priest whose name was Nastour take great care of him when they stopped for a rest near his place of worship. The priest told Mayssara that he saw in Mohammad the signs that the prophet Issa (Jesus) described in the Gospel.
When they came back from Syria, Mayssara told Khadija about what he saw in Mohammad (peace be upon him) during the trip. He expressed his astonishment about his personality which made everybody he came in to contact with love and respect him. He also told her about the story of the priest, Nastour. After that, Khadija decided that he was the perfect match for her and expressed this desire to her friend, Nafyssa Bent Monia, who went to Mohammad and told him, “Why don’t you marry?” He answered, “I don’t have enough money for marriage”. She said, “What would you say if wealth, beauty, and competence came to you?” He said, “Who is it?” She said, “Khadija”. Heliked the idea and asked his uncle to ask for her hand from her uncle. They married and she was the best wife for the best husband. She was the mother of all his children, except Ibrahim. She gave birth to Al-Qassim, after which the Prophet Mohammad took the nickname “Abu Al-Qassim”, or Al-Qassim’s father. She also gave birth to his four daughters, Zaynab, Roqayya, Um Kalthum, and Fatima.
Mohammad liked to spend some time alone. He used to climb up Alnoor Mountain and spend time in the Hira’ Cave. One night, the angel Jibreel came to him and told him, “Recite!” He answered, “I am not a reader”. Gibreel his command three times, each time hugging him until he nearly suffocated. Then the angel said, “Recite in the name of your Lord who created (2 ) created man from a clinging substance ( 3) Recite, and your Lord is the Most Generous”. Mohammad went to Khadija, shivering in fear and said, “Cover me, cover me”. Khadija covered him until he calmed down. Then he told her his story and said, “I’m afraid that something bad is happening to me”.
Although she herself might have been afraid that what he saw was a devil or demon, she comforted him by saying, “No, by Allah, Allah will never let you down”. You visit your relatives, help the weak, the orphan, and the children, give money to the poor, welcome guests , and assist those who are in need”.
Even though Khadija used to know that her husband was truthful and sane, she went with him to her old paternal cousin, Waraqa the son of Nawfal, a Christian man with knowledge. He was literate in Hebrew and had knowledge of semetic religions. Khadija told him, The Prophet told him what had happened to him. Waraqa knew that the prophet at the end of the time would be Arab, a descendant of Ismail and that he would come from the Faran Mountains (which are the mountains of Makkah). He said, “This is the same heavenly messenger that came to Moses. I wish I were young and strong when your people exile you”. The Prophet asked, “Are they going to exile me?” He said, “Yes, anybody who is sent with a mission such as yours will surely face opposition and refusal. If I lived until then, I would support you strongly”.
Khadija and Waraqa were the first people to believe in the Prophet and become Muslims.
Khadija lived a great life with the Prophet in Makkah. She was his best supporter in spreading the message of Islam. Whenever he experienced adversity, she used to comfort him and ease his hardships. Although they experienced challenging circumstances, she was patient for the sake of Allah. Among the difficult events was the exile of the Muslims to the valley and trade sanctions, after which she died at over sixty years old. She was buried in an area called Al-Hujun and the Prophet descended in to her grave when he buried her.
As for the Prophet, he remained faithful to her throughout his life, by speaking well of her, being generous with her friends and family, and defending her memory when his wife, Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, declared her jealousy of her. Later on, Aisha said, “I have never been jealous of any one of the prophet’s wives as I was jealous of Khadija, although I have never seen her. The Prophet often recalled her and spoke about her. At times, he used to slaughter a sheep, cut it into pieces, and send some to Khadija’s friends. I told him, “You behave as if there were no woman in the world except Khadija”. He told me, “She was good to me and she gave me children’’.
Khadija gained great honor due to her dedication to and support for the Prophet.
His companion, Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that, one day, “Jibreel came to the Prophet and said, “O messenger of Allah, Khadija is coming to you bringing a kettle of butter or food or drink. When she comes, convey to her the greetings of peac from me and give her good news of a home in Paradise made from pearls, where there will be neither noise nor fatigue”. May Allah be pleased with her and grant her eternal peace.