SHAFAQNA -Â The great lady of Islam passed away in the 10th Hejira year at the age of 65. She supported the Prophet (PBUH) in his mission for 25 years sacrificing her life and wealth. Her death was a great loss to the Prophet (PBUH).
Her sorrowful death happened three days after the death of Abu Talib, the great and affectionate supporter of the Prophet (PBUH). The two deaths made the Prophet (PBUH) so sorrowful that he named that year, i.e. 10th Hegira year, the â€œyear of griefâ€â€Œ. The grieving and crying Prophet (PBUH) buried the dead body of Khadija in a place known as Hujun.Â
Here under we will have a glance at the merits of the great lady of Islam Hadrat Khadija (S.A):
1- Deep InsightÂ
She was a person of deep insight and deliberation. Her practical sagacity was perfect. This can be understood from selecting the Prophet (PBUH) as her husband from amongst various wealthy businessmen suitors.
Hadrat Khadija (S.A) could see the bright future in the face of the Prophet (PBUH). According to her, the mystery behind marriage with Muhammad (PBUH) before his prophetic mission was her deep interest in Muhammad:Â â€œO my cousin, due to our kinship, your dignity and trust in your tribe, and your good virtue and truthfulness I decided to marry you.â€â€Œ
The above remark shows well that the affection and inclination of the great lady of Islam toward Muhammad (PBUH) was not based on material love and whims; rather, it was based on a deep insight and understanding the unique personality of the Prophet of Islam. Those lacking such an insight, like a group of Quraysh women, rebuked Hadrat Khadija (S.A) and said:Â â€œWith all prudence and magnificence she possesses, Khadija married the poor orphan of Abu Talib. What a grave disgrace!â€â€Œ Hadrat Khadija (S.A), whose choice was based on wisdom, remained steadfast and replied: â€œYou women of Quraysh! I have heard your husbands [and you] rebuking me for marrying Muhammad (PBUH). Let me ask you a question. Is there any man like Muhammad among your men? Can you find a man all over Damascus, Mecca and the suburbs to be of good deed and creed, good-tempered and of great personality like Muhammad? I have married him for these values and I have seen greater things and behaviour from him.â€â€ŒÂ
Time passed, the Prophet (PBUH) won repeated victories, Islam was progressing and Hadrat Khadija (S.A) gave birth to children like Hadrat Fatima Zahra (S.A), the 11 infallible Imams are her descendents. Therefore, Hadrat Khadija (S.A) must be admired for her choice and deep insight, although she did not live enough to see the fruit of her choice.
Hadrat Khadija (S.A) was very rich so that thousands of camels used to carry her merchandise. A green silken pavilion was hoisted on the roof of her house as a sign of wealth, and a gesture for the poor to refer for help. Almost 400 servants worked for her.
2- Firm Faith
The same deep insight that brought about the marriage of Hadrat Khadija (S.A) and Muhammad (PBUH), shed the light of Islam and faith upon her heart, so that she won the title of the first Muslim woman in the history of Islam.
Ibn Abdul-Berr quotes from Abi Rafeâ€™ in his own document that the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) performed prayers on Monday (the day he was appointed for prophetic mission) and Hadrat Khadija (S.A) performed her prayers at the last hours of the same day.
Imam Ali (A.S) testified faith and Islam of Hadrat Khadija (S.A) this way:Â â€œThat day there was no house with Islam in it except the house of the Prophet and Khadija and I became the third. I could see the light of revelation and prophetic mission and feel the smell of prophethood in that house.â€â€Œ
Hadrat Khadija (S.A) remained firmly faithful until the last moment of her life. She devoted her life and property to Islam never leaving the leader of Islam alone in her lifetime.
3- Best Ladies of the Two WorldsÂ
Four women are known to be the best ladies of the universe. Ibn Athir says Anas ibn Malik has quoted from the Prophet (PBUH) that the best ladies of the universe are Mary, Asiyah, Khadija and Fatima.
These four distinguished ladies, reaching the summit of spiritual perfection in this world, will be the best ladies of the Heaven too. Akramah quoted Ibn Abbas that once the Prophet of Islam said:Â â€œThe best ladies of the Heaven are: Khadija daughter of Khuwaylid, Fatima daughter of Muhammad, Mary daughter of Imran, and Asiyah daughter of Muzahim and wife of pharaoh.â€â€Œ
4- Best Wife for the Prophet (PBUH)
The Prophet of Islam had many wives but they had different ranks. Hadrat Khadija (S.A) obeyed the Prophet (PBUH) by all means, sacrificed life and property for his mission and gained satisfaction of the Messenger of Allah, winning the best rank among the Prophetâ€™s wives.Â
The late Sheikh Sadouq quoted from Imam Sadiq (A.S) who said:Â â€œThe Prophet of Islam married 15 women the best of whom was Khadija daughter of Khuwaylid.
5- Mother of Hadrat Zahra (S.A)
According to Qurâ€™anic text, the Prophetâ€™s wives are mothers of the believers: â€œHis [the Prophetâ€™s] wives are mothers of the believers.â€ And Hadrat Khadija (S.A) is the best proof for this verse. Such bliss was granted to Hadrat Khadija (S.A) among all other wives and the 11 Imams were her descendents through Hadrat Fatima Zahra (S.A). Great worthiness and talent are needed to win such a rank for a woman.Â
Zahra (S.A) enjoys a top rank among all children of Hadrat Muhammad (PBUH) because she is infallible on one side and on the other side, Imamate or Islamic leadership continued through her generation.
5- Unparalleled Generosity and Donation
Hadrat Khadijaâ€™s wealth was proverbial among the public of her time. Her wealth was so great that renowned and first-class rich such as Abu Jahl and Aqabat ibn Abi Mohit were petty merchants before her. Historians have recorded her wealth as follows:
1- Thousands of camels carried her merchandise.Â
2- A green silken pavilion was hoisted on the roof of her house as a sign of wealth, and a gesture for the poor to refer for help.Â
3- Almost four hundred servants worked for her.
After marriage with the Prophet (PBUH) Khadija gave all her wealth to Muhammad (PBUH) and said: â€œMy house is yours and I am your servant.â€
After the marriage of Khadija and making Muhammad a partner in her wealth, her uncle Varaghat ibn Nofel went to Kaba, stood in between Zamzam and Ibrahimâ€™s place, addressing the people said: â€œYou Arabs! Know that Khadija calls you to bear witness that she has donated all her wealth including the servants and maidens, properties, livestock, dowries and all her gifts to Muhammad (PBUH) and Muhammad (PBUH) has accepted them all. This donation is because of Khadijaâ€™s affection toward Muhammad (PBUH). Today, you stand witness for this.â€â€Œ
And the Prophet of Islam spent all this wealth for advancement of Islam and its objectives. In this connection, he said: â€œNo wealth raised greater benefits for me than Khadijaâ€™s wealth.â€
6- Unparalleled PatienceÂ
A person like Khadija, who had grown up in wealth, must have been pampered and infirm, but after her marriage with the Prophet (PBUH) she was prepared to tolerate all hardships. Tolerating pressures by the Quraysh infidels, rebukes by the relatives and economic embargo at Sheâ€™b Abi Talib bothered her very much at her old age (63-65) but she manifested great patience. Bent al-Shati said:Â â€œKhadija was not young enough to easily tolerate those hardships. She was not a person to experience hard livelihood in her young life, but she managed to tolerate all hardships at the siege to her death.â€â€Œ
Ali was Muhammadâ€™s brother and one of the most beloved people to him and to Khadija. She sent aids to Abu Talibâ€™s house every day.
8- Supporter of Prophetic Mission and Lover of ImamateÂ
Four women have gained spiritual perfection in this world and they are known as the best ladies of the universe: Asiyah, Mary, Khadija and Fatima. All of them have supported and obeyed leaders and Imams of their time. Asiyah supported leadership and prophetic mission of Moses until her death, Mary tolerated pains and accusations to strengthen pillars of prophetic mission of Jesus Christ, Fatima Zahra supported and defended Imam Ali until her martyrdom. But Khadija was among the true supporters of the prophetic mission. She gave all her life and property to Muhammad (PBUH) for his prophetic mission. She too, was a great supporter, lover and companion of prophetic mission and Islamic leadership.Â
When Adam looked at the marital life of Muhammad (PBUH) and Khadija (S.A) in the Heaven, he said:Â â€œOne of Muhammadâ€™s superiorities over me is that his wife cooperated with him in implementation of the commandment of God while my wife encouraged me to disobey God.â€â€Œ
The late Majlesi wrote on affection and amity of Khadija toward Imam Ali (A.S):Â â€œAfter the marriage of the Prophet (PBUH) and Khadija (S.A) [and the birth of Imam Ali (A.S)], the Prophet (PBUH) asked her to show affection and amity toward Ali and Khadija did it to a great deal. She used to send cloths, jewelry, servants, etc. to Ali by her servants so that people used to say, Ali is Muhammadâ€™s brother and one of the most beloved people to him and to Khadija. She sent aids to Abu Talibâ€™s house every day.â€
After the birth of Fatima Zahra (S.A), Khadija became more familiar with Islamic leadership. This is because her daughter Zahra after birth bore witness to monotheism and prophetic mission by saying:Â â€œTruly my husband is master of the believers and my children are masters and leaders of the offspring of the Prophet.â€â€ŒHadrat Khadija had openly accepted leadership of Imam Ali (A.S) and his children at the time his Imamate was yet to be announced.
The late Mahallati, quoting Majlesi said: â€œOne day the Prophet (PBUH) sent for Khadija and told her: This is Gabriel (Jibril) who says there are conditions to embrace Islam: First, confessing to oneness of God; second, confessing to prophetic mission of the messengers; third, confession to the Day of Resurrection and observing the rules of Islamic Law; and fourth, obeying the prophets and Imams [Ali] and their offspring and taking distance from their enemies.â€â€Œ Khadija confessed all and acted upon his orders.
In connection with Imamate of Ali (A.S), the Prophet (PBUH) told Khadija that Ali will be your lord and the lord of all believers and their Imam after my death. He then put his hand on Aliâ€™s head and Khadija put her hand on Muhammadâ€™s hand and proved her loyalty to Islamic leadership after the Prophet (PBUH).
9- Mutual Love and Affection
Khadijaâ€™s love and affection to Muhammad was not unilateral. It was bilateral. This reality was mentioned in the marriage ceremony by Abu Talib: â€œKhadija and Muhammad love each other.â€â€Œ
As such Khadija had become interested in Muhammad upon her deep insight, the Prophet (PBUH) too, had found her deserving to be his wife. She was a widow reportedly 15 years older than the Prophet (PBUH) but Muhammad (PBUH) found her more deserving than any other woman, married her and respected her throughout her life.
A Key Point
The late Motahari has referred to a key point about Khadijaâ€™s property and Aliâ€™s sword. It is important to know because when it is said that Islam made progress by Khadijaâ€™s wealth and Aliâ€™s sword it might be thought that Islam spread through the use of wealth and force.
Motahhari says: â€œWhat kind of religion can make progress by the use of force? Is there any reference in the Holy Qurâ€™an referring to the progress of Islam with the use of force? Has Ali said anywhere that Islam progressed with the use of force? There is no doubt that Khadijaâ€™s wealth helped progress of Islam, but her wealth was not spent on tempting the infidels to embrace Islam. There is no such proof throughout the history of Islam. When the Prophet and his followers were suffering hardships and economic problems, Hadrat Khadija offered her wealth to support the poor and to save the lives of hungry Muslims. Aliâ€™s sword served Islam when the enemies were ready to use their swords to uproot Islam.â€â€Œ
* Translated by: Sadroddin Musawi