Marriage of the Prophet (s.a.w.)
At the age of twenty-five he went to Syria on a mercantile mission on behalf of Khadij ah the daughter of Khuwailid, may Allah be pleased with her. Khadijah was the best among the women of Quraish. She was the richest, the noblest and the most beautiful among them. She was called the chaste, and the mistress of Quraish. She would hire men to work in trade for her in return for a fixed percentage of the profit.
When the Prophet (s.a.w.) became to be widely known for his faithfulness and the smoothness of his manners, she offered him money to go to Syria and promised him a good share in the profits, more than any share given to any man before him.
He set out for Syria, leading a big caravan. Maisarah, her slave, went with him. They sold articles and bought merchandise and returned with profuse sums of money. Fascinated by the Prophet, Maisarah began to tell Khadijah of his attributes. She was attracted to him, for his high-mindedness, righteousness, faithfulness and kindness and decided that he would be her husband. She preferred him to the rich dignitaries of the Quraish who promised her immeasurably great riches. For that purpose, she sent Nafisah the daughter of Munabbih to talk to him about it.
What makes you refrain from getting married?, Nafisah asked him. I have no money, he replied.
If you were given that, and were asked to marry a beautiful, rich, honest and noble woman, would you accept the offer?
What is the name of the woman? Khadijah!. How could I manage it?
Leave everything to me, she promised him.
The Prophet (s.a.w.) then sent his uncle Abu Talib 12, to ask Khadijah's hand to marriage. As her father was dead by then, Abu Talib broached the subject to her uncle. Both parties agreed, and so the marriage took place. The Prophet (s.a.w.) was twenty-five years old, at the time. As for Khadijah, historians have disagreed about ,her age. But they agreed that they got married 13 after the Prophet's (s.a.w.) return from Syria.
The newlyweds moved to the house of Khadijah, and achieved the most perfect union, perfumed with love, loyalty and mercy. Amid hardships and troubles, she helped him, encouraged him and alleviated his worries.
Apart from her love for him, she was a chaste women with deep insight, she managed their affairs patiently and skillfully.
She was, furthermore, the first ever to believe in his message. 14 For the sake of his call, she spent all her riches. He loved her as she loved him. He did not marry any other women until after she died.
Whenever he remembered her, he praised her and mentioned her good deeds to his wives, so much so that 'A'ishah' said: I never felt envious of any of the Prophet's wives, except of Khadijah, whom I did not see.
She, further, added: Whenever the Messenger of Allah slaughtered a sheep, he ordered his attendants to distribute the meat among the friends of Khadijah. One day I made him angry by saying mockingly 'Khadijah!', he said to me: 'I was given her love by Allah' 15
A'ishah also reported: The Messenger of Allah would hardly leave the house without mentioning Khadijah in good words. One day he mentioning her and so I felt deeply envious and blurted out; she was nothing but an old woman. Allah has replaced her with better than her.'
No by Allah, he said indignantly; Allah did not replace her with those who better than her, she had faith in me when the people rejected my call. She believed me when the people charged me with falsehood. She consoled me with her wealth when the people deprived me theirs, and Allah gave me, by her sons and daughters. 16
Diligence and toil were characteristics of his life from an early age. His marriage with Khadijah, may Allah be pleased with her, gave his life some rest and comfort. The kindness and true love Khadijah showered on the Prophet (s.a.w.) compensated him for the fatherly love and motherly kindness which he was deprived of, during childhood.
During that phase of his blessed life, the first signs of prophethood began to surface. It was for this reason that he was preparing himself by restoring to the cave of Hira during certain days. He would remain there, worshipping and mediating for a whole month every year. He would remain there far away from the pre-Islamic perversions and the corrupt city atmosphere. Muhammad was on the threshold of bearing the divine message.
He went on with his meditations and worship till he became 40 years old. Then, the holy revelation shone on his soul and heart delivering the first statement of the seal of divine messages:
Read in the name of your Lord Who created...
Holy Qur'an (96:1)
It is worth mentioning here that the divine books announced the good news of the advent of the message of Allah (s.a.w.). The Jewish Christian scholars were aware of this fact, but they were swept with the fanaticism of jealousy and prejudice when the truth arrived, but no one could have any doubts about this new reality.
The Qur'an mentions what they would tell the tribes of al-Aws and al-Khazraj in this respect:
And when there came to them a Book, confirming what was with them, and aforetimes they used to pray for victory against those who disbelieved, but when there came to them (Prophet) that which they did not recognize, they disbelieved in him; so Allah's curse is on the unbelievers.
Holy Qur'an (2:89)
And so good news of the coming of the Prophet (s.a.w.) became widespread. The main topic of popular discussion was this. The Christian monks and Jewish rabbis were already reading in their divine books of the coming of a new Prophet who would fill the world with light, guidance and bless.
12. Al-Bihar , vol. 16, p.13; Sirat Ibn Hisham, vol. l, p.201 : al-Hamis (The Margin), 1936.
13. Many historians agreed that Khadijah was not a virgin when the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) took her as his wife. She was, they asserted, forty years old. But many other historians had other versions: Ibn Shahr Ashub in his book, Ahmad al-Baladhari and Abul-Qasim al-Kufi in their books; Al-Murtada in his book al-Shafi (The Curer), and Abu-Ja'far in his book al-Talikhis (Summarization) stressed that the Prophet (s.a.w.) married Khadijah and she was a virgin. In the two books of al-Anwar (The Lights) and al-Bida' (The Innovations) it is mentioned that Ruqayyah and Zainab were, in fact, the daughters of Halah, the sister of Khadijah and not Khadijah's. Many historians claim that Ruqayyah and Zainab were the daughters of Khadijah from her previous husband. As far as her age at the time of marriage is concerned historians differed about it. They put her age at 25, 28, 30, 35, 40 and 45 years. The author of the book Kashf al-Ghummah (Removal of Grief) relates on the authority of Abu-Muhammad Abdul-Aziz al-Janabidhi al-Hanbali the author of Ma'alim al-Itrah al-Nabawiyyah (Milestones of the Prophetical Household), on the authority of Ibn Hammad and Ibn Abbas that the Messenger of Allah married Khadijah when she was 28 year old. Her dowery was fixed at 12 ounces of gold.
14. A'lam al-Wara bi-A'lam al-Huda (Informing people of the Guides of Righteousness), al-Tabrisi, p.37.
15. Fiqh al-Sirah (Understanding the Life of the Prophet), Dr. Muhammad Sa'id Ramadan al-Buti, p.63 quoting from Sahih Muslim (Muslim's book of traditions).
Adapted from the book: "Muhammad The Messenger of Allah"
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