The Most Beloved of them
KHADEEJAH BINT KHUWALID R.A.
The Best Woman of Mankind
She was the Mother of the Believers and the leader of the women of all the worlds of her time. She was the mother of Qasim, the daughter of Khuwailid bin Asad from the Quraish tribe and from the Asad clan. Khadeejah was the mother of six of the children of Allah’s Messenger, the first person to believe in and accept him before anyone else.
Imam Adh-Dhahabi said: Her virtues were many indeed. She is one of the women who attained perfection. She was intelligent, honorable, devoted, virtuous and generous. She is from the people of Paradise. The Prophet ﷺ used to praise her above the rest of the Mothers of the Believers.
From her honors is that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ never married any woman before her and he begot by her some children and he did not marry any other woman with her (while she was alive). She was a good companion and she used to spend her wealth on him and he used to trade on her behalf.
A Blessed Marriage
Many of the leading chiefs of the Quraish desired to marry Khadeejah but she declined and rejected all their proposals. However she found what she sought and desired in our leader Muhammad ﷺ. She disclosed what she was turning in her mind to her friend, Nafisah bint Manyah.
Nafisah went straight to the noble Prophet to speak to him about marrying Khadeejah At-Tahirah.
‘A’ishah narrated: “The first (form) in which the revelation to the Messenger of Allah was started was the true vision in sleep. And he would not see any vision but it came (true) like the bright gleam of dawn. Then solitude became dear to him and he used to seclude himself in the cave of Hira, where he would engage in tahannuth (and that is a worship for a number of nights) before returning to his family and getting provisions again for this purpose. He would then return to Khadeejah and take provisions for a like period, till Truth came upon him while he was in the cave of Hira.
There came to him the Angel and said: “Recite”, to which he replied: ‘I am not lettered’. “He took hold of me,” Muhammad said, and “pressed me, till I was hard pressed. Then he let me go and said:
‘Recite.’ I said: ‘I am not lettered’. He then again took hold of me and pressed me for the second time till I was hard pressed and then let me off and said: ‘Recite’, to which I replied: ‘I am not lettered’ . He took hold of me and pressed me for the third time, till I was hard pressed and then let me go and said: ‘Recite in the name of yow- Lord Who created, created man from a clot of blood …. “‘ (Al-‘ Alaq:1,2)
Then the Prophet ﷺ left the cave immediately going straight home with his heart trembling until he entered upon Khadeejah bint Khuwailid saying: “Wrap me up, wrap me up!” So she wrapped him till the fear left him. He then said to Khadeejah: “0 Khadeejah! what has happened to me?” and he informed her of the incident, saying: “I fear for myself.“
She said to him: “It can’t be. Be happy. I swear by Allah that He shall never humiliate you. By Allah, you join ties of kinship, you speak the truth, you bear people’s burden, you help the destitute, you entertain guests, and you help against the hardships which affect people.”
Khadeejah then took him to Waraqa bin Naufal, the son of Khadeejah’ s uncle, i.e., the brother of her father. He had embraced Christianity in the days of ignorance (i.e. before Islam) and he used to write books in Arabic and, therefore, wrote the Injil in Arabic as Allah willed that he should write. He was very old and had become blind.
The status of his wife Khadeejah, Allah be pleased with her, with him was one of the noblest status that could be used to praise any woman past or present. She soothed him when he was perturbed. She made him rest when he was exhausted and she reminded him of the virtues of his character, emphasizing that righteous people like himself could never be humiliated and that when Allah molded a man with the most excellent traits of character, it was to bestow honor and kindness on him. With this well-balanced opinion and purity of heart, Khadeejah deserved the best salutation sent to her by the Lord of the worlds through the faithful Spirit (Angel Jibril).
The Mother of the Believers set an example of patience and she earned by that resounding success in the very first steps toward advancing the prophetic message. The Prophet ﷺ never heard anything detesting to him from rejection and belying that grieved him except that he was consoled by her.
When the Prophet ﷺ came out with his call in the open, the Quraish excommunicated Banu Hashim. The crisis came to a head and the effects of the banishment became fatal. Affairs degenerated between the message of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ and the oppression of idolatry personified by the aristocrats of the Quraish. Their intellect became befuddled in their empty heads except for injustice, oppression and subjugation of the weak. Their idle minds shuddered except for corruption and idol worshipping. However, the Muslims exercised graceful patience.
Khadeejah remained solidly behind the Messenger of Allah, girding his loins and sharing with him in bearing the harm of his people with patience and equanimity in expectation of reward until Allah implemented His Decree on this oppressive and persistent boycott which was fatal for the believers who were under siege.
When the siege ceased, At-Tahirah (Khadeejah) came out triumphantly with the fruits of her patience, prosecuting with the Messenger of Allah, her journey through life as a faithful wife.
Sayyidah Khadeejah spent close to a quarter of a century under the shadow of Allah’s Messenger. Throughout her stay with him, she discharged her obligation as a righteous wife to her husband. She shared with him his moments of joy, caring for his pleasures and happiness and devoted to what brings life to them.
It is clear from her generosity that when the people were afflicted with a period of drought after her marriage to Allah’s Messenger, Sayyidah Halimah As-Sa’diyyah, foster mother of the Prophet visited. She went back with camels loaded with water and forty heads of goat from the wealth of Khadeejah.
After she came out of the blockade, Khadeejah lived only for a little while before she answered the call of her Lord. Her pure soul soared to the heavens well-pleasing and well-pleased unto Allah.
Urwah said: “She died three years before the Hijrah and she was buried at Hajun.”
True is the statement of the one who said: If women were like the one we missed, women would have been given preference above men.
Eulogy and Fidelity
Her death left an indelible mark in the heart of the Messenger of Allah. She was always remembered by him and her name was always on his tongue. He loved those who loved her and he honored those who honored her.
‘A’ishah R.A., said: “Allah’s Messenger mentioned Khadeejah one day and I said something about her. I said: ‘Such and such old woman! Allah has replaced her for you with someone better!.’ He responded: ‘Allah has not replaced her for me with someone better. She believed in me when the rest of the people disbelieved. She gave me a share in her wealth when the rest of the people denied me (theirs). Allah provided me children from her while He denied me by other than her.’ I said, ‘I shall not blame you regarding her after today.”‘
An elderly woman from among the hi ends of Khadeejah came to the Prophet after her death and the Prophet ﷺ welcomed her warmly and honored her. He spread his cloth for her and made her sit on it. He kept inquiring about her condition. Then ‘A’ishah said after she had left: “How come you received her with such warmth?” And the Prophet responded: “She used to come to us in the lifetime of Khadeejah and being good in keeping promise is part of faith.”
It is recorded in Sahih Muslim from’ A’ishah that the Prophet used to slaughter sheep and he would say: “Send it to the friends of Khadeejah.” So I mention this action of his to him one day and he said: “I love those whom she loved.”
Do you find any faithfulness that is better than this? Certainly life can’t be more beautiful than the one spent under the shade of Islam but most men do not realize (this).
‘A’ISHAH THE MOTHER OF BELIEVERS
The One Exonerated From Above the Heavens
She was one of the daughters of the leader, the great truthful one, the vicegerent of Allah’s Messenger, Abu Bakr ‘Abdullah bin Abi Quhafah and she was from the Quraish tribe. The Mother of the Believers, wife of the Prophet, the most knowledgeable woman of the (Muslim) community without exception. Her mother was Umm Ruman bint Amir bin Uwaymir. Her parents migrated with her and the Prophet of Allah married her before his Hijrah after the death of Khadeejah bint Khuwailid. That occurred about ten months before the hijrah. It is also said that the marriage occurred two years before the hijrah. He consummated the marriage with her in Shawwal in the second year (of Hijrah) at his departure from the battle of Badr and at that time she was nine years old. She reported from him a considerable amount of pure and blessed knowledge.
Her Picture Came From the Heavens
‘A’ishah reported that Allah’s Messenger said: “You were shown to me in a dream for three nights. An Angel brought you to me in a silk cloth and he said: ‘Here is your wife’ and when I removed (the cloth) from your face, lo, it was you, so I said: If this is from Allah, He will carry it out.“‘
In another narration: From ‘A’ishah that Jibril came to the Prophet with her picture in a green silk cloth and said: “This is your wife in this world and the Hereafter.”
If we were to recount all her virtues, then space would be insufficient. What has been enumerated is sufficient. She has combined (in herself) all that would distinguish her over and above other women. She said: “I have been given nine (virtues) that were not given to any woman after Maryam bint Imran: Jibril descended with my picture in his sleep until Allah’s Messenger was commanded to marry me; he had married me while I was a virgin and he never married any virgin besides me; his soul was taken while his head was on my lap and he was buried in my house. The angels had surrounded my house, I am the daughter of his Khalifah and his Siddiq; my excuse was revealed from the heaven. I was created pure. I have been promised forgiveness (of sins) and noble provision.”
Her Marriage to Al-Mustafa
‘A’ishah narrated: “Allah’s Messenger married me after the death of Khadeejah while I was seven years old and consummated with me while I was nine years of age. Some women came to me while I was playing on a swing, and my hair was up to my ears. They brought me, prepared me and decorated me. Then they took me to him.”
Urwah added:” And she remained with him for nine years.”
The Compassionate Husband
An observer of the manner of the Prophet in his house and with his wives will learn (lessons in) mercy of Islam and its facility and his good manners.
The Slander against her and Allah revealing an Ayah of her innocence
The hypocrites of Madinah, in their hostility to the Prophet and his dawah, resorted to such means, they spread a rumor and slander the wife of the Messenger of Allah. It was the method of insinuations at certain times and accusations at other times.
“Another time, the Prophet came in to see me while my parents and another woman of the Ansar were with me. I was weeping and she too was weeping. He sat down, praised Allah and then said: “A’ishah, you know what people say about you, so fear Allah, and if you have done wrong as people say, then repent to Allah, for He accepts repentance from His servants.’
And by Allah as he said this my tears ceased, and I did not feel them anymore. I waited for my parents to reply on my behalf but they did not speak.”
She said: “By Allah, I used to feel myself to be too inconsequential for Allah to reveal the Qur’ an about me.
However, I hoped that the Prophet would see something in his dream by which Allah would clear me of the charge because He knew my innocence. As for the Qur’an being revealed about me, by Allah, I felt myself to be too insignificant for that.
“When I saw that my parents would not speak, I said to them, ‘Will you not reply to the Messenger of Allah?’
‘By Allah we do not know what to say to him’ they said.
By Allah I do not know of a household which suffered as the family of Abu Bakr did in those days.”
Then she said: “When they kept silent, I burst into tears again, then I said: ‘By Allah, I shall never repent to Allah for what you mention. By Allah, I know that if I deny what the people say, you would not believe me.’
“Then I searched for the name of Ya’qub (in my memory) but I could not remember it, so I said: ‘I say only what the father of Yusuf said: ‘So (for me) patience is most fitting. And it is Allah (Alone) Whose help can be sought against that which you assert.’ (Yosuf:18)
“By Allah, Allah’s Messenger had not shifted from his sitting position when there came upon him what used to come upon him. So he was wrapped in his garment and a pillow was placed under his head. As for me, when I saw that, I was not afraid nor was I worried for I knew that I was innocent and that Allah would not wrong me. As for my parents, by Him in Whose hands is ‘A’ishah’s soul, the Prophet had hardly recovered when I thought that they would die from fear that confirmation of what the people said would come from Allah. Then the Messenger of Allah recovered and sat up, and there rolled down from his face sweat like pearls on a wintry day.
“He sat wiping the perspiration from his face saying: ‘Cheer up, ‘A’ishah! Allah has revealed your innocence.’ I said: ‘Praise be to Allah!’ Then he went out to the people and addressed them, reciting to them these Verses: ‘Verily! Those who brought forth the slander (against ‘A’ishah the wife of the Prophet ﷺ) a group among you. Consider it not a bad thing for you. Nay, it is good for you. Unto every man among them will be paid that which he had earned of the sit, and as for him among them who had the greater share therein, his will be a great torment.”‘ (An-Nur:11)
Urwah bin Az-Zubayr R.A. said: “I have accompanied’ A’ishah – she was his maternal aunt – I did not find anyone who has more knowledge of the verses (of the Qur’an) that were revealed; nor of the obligatory matters; nor of the Sunnah and of poetry. No one reported from him (i.e. the Prophet) more than her. No one had more knowledge of historical events of the Arabs, nor of genealogy, nor of such and such, nor of legal matters, nor of medicine than her. So I said to her: ‘My aunt, regarding medicine, from where did you learn it?’ She replied: ‘If I was ill, he would recommend to me something and if he fell ill too, I would recommend some remedy to him and I heard people recommending medication to one another and I memorized it.”‘
Umm Dharra said: “Ibn Az-Zubayr sent ‘A’ishah some money in two sacks which amounted to 100,000 dirhams and she called for a bowl. She was fasting that day and she began to divide it between people. In the evening, she said, ‘girl, bring me my iftar (fast-breaking meal).’ Umm Dhara said: ‘0 Umm Al Mu’minin, out of what you spent you could have saved some dirhams to buy some meat with which to break your fast.’ She said: ‘Do not scold me. If you had reminded me, I would have done it.”‘
UrwaH also reported from ‘A’ishah that she gave out in charity 70,000 while she patched her garment on the side. Allah be pleased with her.
When her death approached, she used to say that she should be buried in her house. She said: “An incident has occurred to me after Allah’s Messenger, so bury me along with his wives.” So she was burried at Baqi.
Allah be pleased with her.
Imam Adh-Dhahabi said: “By the incident she meant her advance in the Battle of Jamal. She completely regretted (her participation) and repented from that in spite of the fact she did not do that except as an attempt to attain good. Just as Talhah bin Ubaidullah, Az-Zubayr bin Al-Awwam and a host of senior Companions made ijtihad. May Allah be pleased with all of them.
Abu Hurayrah led her funeral prayer.