She bulldozed the bottlenecks which hindered her pace, passion & performance to be an unparalleled woman in the history of Islam. The shero scripted her own success story.
The highly influential lady created her niche by dint of dedication and the style of her work. Known for her intelligence and business acumen, she was a towering personality making independent decisions with conviction.
After losing her father, she inherited his wealth and invested the capital in her business which flourished with time. She was Amma Khadija tul Kubra (r.a).
The key motive of this write-up is to understand how fundamentalists are contributing to Islamophobia by projecting the skewed view of women in Islam. It is untrue that women were asked to be confined to the four walls of the home. Khadija’s life story proves the assumption wrong that during the early years of Islam, women were being mistreated.
The reality is that Islam provided them the right to work, property rights, right to inheritance, right to divorce, and right to education. Islam is not hard, harsh, or horrific for women as the propaganda machine projects it.
Islam is a liberating religion. Khadijah’s (r.a) is an example of how Islam denounces religious radicalisation. Prophet’s darling wife is an inspirational figure for women in the Muslim world. We must know the real heroes of Islam in this age of aggression and oppression.
She was the first woman who trusted Prophet’s message when no one else did. Before sending the marriage proposal to Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), she had married twice. Her first marriage left her a widow and she asked for separation from the second husband as it didn’t work.
She turned down proposals from Arab bigwigs (business tycoons). She expressed no desire to remarry until she heard of Muhammad (PBUH). She chooses a man of her choice at forty. She extended massive support to him.
She hired a few economic analysts to expand her enterprise. Abu Talib introduced her to Muhammad (PBUH). She met the man of method, signed a contract, and asked her servant Maisara to accompany him.
She was engaged in foreign trade more than 14 centuries ago with her business caravan moving from southern Yemen up to the Northern part of modern-day Syria in a highly male-dominated society.
Yes, Khadijah shattered the glass ceilings 1400 years ago. That was the era of enlightenment. And Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) never stopped any of her missions.
I can’t stop tearing up while writing about Prophet’s love for his beloved. At one point in time, some of the Prophet’s young companions asked him, “tell us something about Khadijah (r.a).”
Muhammad (PBUH) answered, “It is like saying she was and she just was. Where do you want me to start? Where do I begin? She was a gift from God. Her love was divine. She was the love of my life. I can’t put it into words. She was so amazing. You had to experience it to know how remarkable she was.”
Just feel the amount of affection in these statements. Khadijah broke the stereotype,14 centuries ago, marrying a man 15 years younger than her, with no apartment of his own.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to constantly mention Khadijah (r.a) with high regard. One day Amma Ayesha (r.a) remarked, “Oh Muhammad, she was an old lady. She has passed away. Allah has blessed you with much better than her. So, why do you keep on talking about her.”
And Muhammad (PBUH) responds, “Wallahi, Allah has not replaced me with someone better. She believed in me when everybody disbelieved. She spent on me when others denied it. She was a strong pillar of support.”
It is a fact that when revelations were pouring in with Hazrat Jibrael (a.s) frequenting him during meditation, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was shivering and murmuring, “Zammiloni Zammiloni (Cover me, Cover me).” He was in dire need of emotional support in this difficult phase. Khadijah (r.a) was the first stop. She comforted the last messenger of Allah.
She sits down next to him, takes his hand, looks him in the eyes, and embraces him as he mentions every single detail of his first revelation. And this is what she says, fifteen years of marriage & six children later, “there is absolutely nothing to worry about. You go out searching for people who are overlooked and neglected and abandoned and downtrodden. Allah will never forsake you.” She would follow him to the moon. She would trust him no matter what.
When people boycotted, reprimanded & rejected his message, it hurt him. He would straightaway go to Khadijah. His pain, concern, grief, and worries would vaporise when Khadijah would attest to his truth.
She used her economic power to support him when he needed it the most. For the next ten years, Khadijah helped the Prophet propagate the message of Islam, far and wide. And let’s see how Allah rewarded her.
One day, Khadijah goes out to fire the stove and checks what is cooking. Meanwhile, Jibrael (a.s) comes to Prophet and instructs him to follow what is being conveyed.
“Khadijah will come with a bowl of food. Once she places it in front of you. Grab her hand and tell her that Allah sends his Salams to her. Allah is congratulating Khadijah. Tell her that she will have a palace (carved out of a singular pearl) in paradise, as vast as the eyesight goes, sans any support beam. God has specifically prepared it for Khadijah and God is waiting for her.” Hearing this, tears streamed down her eyes.
She was extremely sought after, getting proposals almost every day. But Allah always does what is best for us. Muhammad (PBUH) was open to the prospect of Khadijah marrying him.
Khadijah considered him. But she had no idea how to go about it. She expressed her interest to her close confidante, Nafeesa, when she asked about her business dealings.
“He is an honest upright man. He should look for a wife.” Referring to Muhammad (PBUH), she told Nafeesa. Nafeesa goes to Prophet about it. Our Prophet (PBUH) responds with a shy smile, “Who will possibly marry me. I am a shepherd and I live in my uncle’s house.” Till now, Prophethood was not granted to him. He consults his uncle Abu Talib. Then they officially, properly, and respectfully propose.
Here is our beloved Prophet’s first wife, marrying her love. What do we infer from it? It is permissible for a Muslim woman to express her interest. What do we do? Look down upon her. If a girl wants to marry someone, respect her choice. Richness in character and integrity is what we forget while searching for suitable matches.
Prophet shifted to her house. Muhammad (SAW) had no means to run the family and Khadijah didn’t need someone who could take care of her financially. We don’t fall in love. We rise in love. That is what happened to Khadijah, the mother of believers. They enjoyed good times together. They never argued. They were deeply in love. They supplemented and complemented each other. This is the ultimate unconditional love story.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the greatest of all the creatures of Allah. Prophet was distraught when she was bedridden. He had streaks of tears on his face. He was so devastated by her departure that even Abu Lahab, who actively campaigned against him, saw his face and screamed, “No, I am not going to rebel against my nephew.”
Even the heart of stone-hearted Abu Lahab was softened for a moment. Such was his love for Khadijah (r.a). In 619 A.D she left to meet the creator. Her separation saddened our Prophet like never before. He called it the “Year of Sorrow”.
She was the pillar that he could rest and lean on. She was his biggest, strongest and staunchest support. Their healthy relationship was one of understanding, facilitating, and providing. She was the best companion and a real role model.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.