Khadija bint Khuwaylid (r.anha)

Hz. Khadija was a wealthy and honorable woman; she was called “tahir [clean]” even during the Era of Jahiliyyah. She used to send caravans to Damascus and its surroundings; she was engaged in business. She gave some of the profit to her employees. She heard that Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) was honest, reliable, and loyal, and had high ethics. She offered him to take a trade caravan to Damascus with Maysara. Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) accepted her offer. The caravan was prepared and Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) set out with Maysara.

They had a break near a monastery around Damascus. The future prophet was sitting in the shade of a tree. The monk in the monastery asked Maysara who the person sitting under the tree was. Maysara said, “He is from the people of Makkah and a member of the tribe of Quraysh.” The monk got excited. He said, “Only prophets have sat under that tree up to now.” Then, he asked about the properties of the Prophet mentioned in the Bible. When he heard the answer, he said, “He is a prophet. In fact, he is the last Prophet. I wish I would live at the time when he would be given the duty of prophethood.”

Finally, the Messenger of Allah and Maysara sold the goods they took with them. They returned to Makkah with a big profit.

Maysara told Hz. Khadija about the words of the monk and some extraordinary things he saw during the journey.

Hz. Khadija was waiting eagerly for the caravan to return. Finally, the caravan appeared. When the caravan approached, she saw a cloud over the head of the Prophet protecting him from heat. She became very excited. She said to the woman who were with her, “Look! Muhammad is being shaded by angels.”

After a while, the Prophet arrived at her house and gave the goods to Khadija. She pleased him by giving more money than she had promised.

Hz. Khadija wanted to marry the Prophet and spent the remaining part of her life with him. She sent an envoy to the Prophet and said,

“I want you to be near me since you have honor, trust, high ethics and honesty.”

With those words, Hz. Khadija stated that she wanted to marry the Messenger of Allah. When he received this offer, he talked to his uncles. He asked them whether they approved such a marriage or not. They approved it. Abu Talib went to Khadija to search the issue. He heard from her that she wanted to marry his nephew.

Thereupon both parties started preparations for the wedding. Khadija determined the date of the wedding ceremony. It was going to be held in her house. The Prophet, his uncles, aunts and the notables of Sons of Hashim went to Khadija’s house on the determined day. On the other hand, Khadija’s uncle Amr bin Asad, her cousin, Waraqa bin Nawfal and other relatives were also there to represent Hz. Khadija.

Preparations for the wedding were completed; sheep were slaughtered and food was cooked. After the meal was eaten, Abu Talib stood up in accordance with the tradition and made a speech describing their pedigree and honor. He said he wanted his nephew Muhammad (pbuh) to marry Khadija. He spoke as follows:

"My brother Abdullah’s son, Muhammad is your relative. No youth from Quraysh can be compared to him. He is superior to all of them in terms of honor, nobility, intelligence and virtue. He may have few belongings but it is not so important. Belongings are temporary things. They are like a shadow. Property is something transitory that is taken and given. I swear by Allah that his degree will be greater and higher from now on. He wants to marry your daughter Khadija and agrees to give 20 male camels as mahr.”

After Abu Talib’s speech, Waraqa bin Nawfal stood up. After praising his pedigree, Waraqa said they found Khadijah suitable for Muhammad (pbuh) and made the following speech:

“Thanks Allah that He created us as you have mentioned. He gave us more honor and fame than you have mentioned. Now, we are the chiefs of Arabs. You are so, too. Our tribe does not deny your high rank; no one rejects your goodness and honor. We also want to be relatives with you. O people of Quraysh! Become witnesses. I am marrying Abdullah’s son Muhammad and, Khuwaylid’s daughter Khadija in return for 20 male camels as mahr.”

When Waraqa bin Nawfal completed his speech, Amr bin Asad, Khadija's uncle stood up and said that he approved this marriage.

Thus, Hz. Khadija attained the honor of being the wife of the Master of the Universe as a result of her ethics and virtues in the Era of Jahiliyya, when all kinds of prostitution was widespread.

The Prophet went to his uncle Abu Talib’s house with his respectable wife. He had two camels slaughtered and gave a wedding feast. Abu Talib also slaughtered a camel in memory of this happy marriage and gave a feast to the people. Meanwhile, he also thanked Allah Almighty for this bounty and said, “Praise be to Allah, who eliminated all of our sorrows.”

The Prophet (pbuh) stayed in his uncle's house only for a few days. Then, he moved to his wife Hz. Khadija’s wife.[1]

Hz. Khadija was 40 years old when he married the Prophet. The Prophet was a young man who was 25 at that time. Thus, the Prophet had his first marriage with a widow who was 15 years older than him.

Hz. Khadija handed all of her wealth to the Prophet, who was really "trustworthy". The Messenger of Allah continued doing trade. He did not disappoint his beloved wife. He made a lot of profits. However, this wealth did not change his plain lifestyle. He maintained his previous state. He never wasted or showed off. Besides, his heart and spirit were covered by completely different lofty feelings. There was no place for love of world in his heart.

Hz. Khadija was older than the Prophet but she always showed great respect and kindness to him. She always fulfilled his wishes. She did all of her duties as a wife and spared no material or spiritual sacrifice. The gap in her heart was filled and she attained the honor of becoming the wife of the last. With this marriage, the Prophet set examples, guided mankind and gave answers to the following questions,: “How is a family established?" How do two spouses get on well?" How does a family home become part of Paradise?"

Hz. Khadija had a unique place in terms of hospitality and generosity. Thus, their house never lacked guests.

Qasim, the first fruit of the marriage of the Prophet with Hz. Khadija was born. The Prophet was given the nickname “Abu’l-Qasim”. Afterwards, Zaynab, Ruqayya, Fatima, Umm Kulthum were born; and after his prophethood, Abdullah (Tay­yib) was born.  Qasim and Abdullah died in Makkah when they were very young. All of the children of the Prophet except Fatima died before him. Fatima died six months after the death of her father.

It was the month of Ramadan in 610. The Prophet became 40 years old. As usual, he went to Hira Cave. He worshipped Allah until dawn. It was time for the first revelation. Jibril, who received orders from his Lord, went to visit the Prophet disguised as a handsome man and by emitting nice scents. He did not want to frighten him. He said in a strong but sweet voice, “Read!” When he spoke, his voice came from the sky and mountains. The Prophet was frightened. He said, “I cannot read.” Jibril hugged and squeezed him. After putting him on the ground, he said “Read!” again. The Prophet gave the same answer. Jibril revealed him the first verses: “Proclaim! (or Read!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created― Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood: Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful― He Who taught (the use of) the Pen― Taught man that which he knew not..”[2]

Jibril disappeared after conveying him the verses. Meanwhile, the excitement and fear of the Prophet increased. He left the cave at once and set off for Makkah. He wanted to tell his wife what had happened. He hoped she would console him.[3]

While the Prophet was proceeding toward Makkah with quick steps, the mountains, stones and trees on the way greeted him by saying, “Assalamu alayka ya Rasulallah!”. They congratulated him on his prophethood. When the Prophet looked around, he saw nothing but trees and stones.

Then, the Prophet arrived home. Hz. Khadija welcomed him joyfully. When she saw his face so luminous as she had never seen before, she could not keep her eyes off him. Meanwhile, a nice scent was coming from the Prophet. Hz. Khadija guessed that something had happened. She kissed him on the forehead and said,

“May mother and father be sacrificed for you! I see a light on your face that I have never seen before and I smell a scent that I have never smelled before.” Hz. Khadija guessed that this should be the prophethood that she was told by Waraqa bin Nawfal.

The Prophet did not want to keep her in suspense. However, he was frightened and excited. He said, "Wrap me up; wrap me up!"  Hz. Khadija  made him lie down and wrapped him. She did her best to comfort him. Then, she waited in curiosity and patience for the time he would tell her what had happened.

After a while, the Messenger of Allah woke up. His fear and excitement had lessened.   He told Khadija what had happened. Then, he said, "O Khadija! I see some lights and hear some sounds; I am worried. I hate idols and soothsayers. I fear that jinn will pester me."

Hz. Khadija, who was prudent and intelligent enough to become the first wife of the Prophet, consoled him as follows:

“O my cousin! Do not speak like that. You do not have to fear and worry. I swear by Allah that He shall never humiliate you. You tell the truth. You keep people's things entrusted to you. You take care of your relatives. You treat your neighbors kindly and compassionately. You help the destitute. You entertain poor people. You help against the vicissitudes which affect people. O my cousin! Persevere! By Allah, I hope that you will be the Prophet of this ummah."[4]

These convincing statements of his closest confidant, source of consolation and spouse soothed the Prophet. Besides, Hz. Khadija supported the Prophet spiritually by saying, “I believe that you are a prophet.” This unhesitant belief of his wife's at that time rejoiced the Prophet and increased his enthusiasm.

After that, the Prophet showed Hz. Khadija how to make wudu as Jibril taught him; they performed a prayer together. Thus, Hz. Khadija attained the honor of becoming the first believer in the Prophet and performing the first prayer with him along with the honor of being his wife.[5]

Thus, Hz. Khadija showed another example of sacrifice in addition to her numerous sacrifices up to that time. Once, Allah sent greetings to Hz. Khadija through Jibril, the angel of revelation, and said He had prepared a palace for her in Paradise:

“Give My greetings to Khadija. Give her the good news that she will have a palace made of oyster in Paradise. There is no ado or fuss there, nor working. There will not be any troublesome and hard tasks there.”[6]

Hz. Khadija died at the age of 65, three years before the Prophet migrated from Makkah to Madinah. A little while before her death, Abu Talib also passed away. Losing Abu Talib, his self-sacrificing uncle, who was the target of the polytheists but who never gave up protecting the Prophet, and Hz. Khadija, who was his enduring and self-sacrificing spouse, one after the other was very saddening for the Prophet. Therefore, that year was called "the Year of Sorrow".

The Prophet continued her love toward Hz. Khadija after her death, too. Whenever a friend or relative of Hz. Khadija came to him, he would ask about their health and entertain them. He always mentioned the generosity of Hz. Khadija and her assistance when he was in trouble. The Prophet mentioned Hz. Khadija so much, though she was not alive, that Hz. Aisha sometimes envied her.

Once, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was mentioning the good deeds of Hz. Khadija. Hz. Aisha was there. She could not help saying, “You always mention Khadija. However, Allah gave you younger and more beautiful wives than her.” Thereupon, the Prophet said,

“No. Allah did not give me anyone better than her because when everybody was in unbelief, she believed in me. When everybody denied me, she approved me. When I was deprived of everything, she shared her property with me. And Allah gave me children from her.”

Thereupon, Hz. Aisha stopped feeling jealous of Hz. Khadija after that. She felt ashamed of her statement and said, “O Messenger of Allah! I swear by Allah, who sent you as a prophet, that I want you tell us the incidents about Khadija from now on.” Thus, she appeased him.[7]

The Prophet states the place of Hz. Khadija among women as follows:

“The best women among the women of Paradise are Khadija, Fatima, Maryam and Asiya.”[8]

May Allah be pleased with them!


[1] Tabaqat, 1: 131; Insanu’l-Uyun, 1: 224-227; Sirah, 1: 200.
[2] al-Alaq, 1-5.
[3] Muslim, Iman: 252; İşaratü’l-İ’caz, p. 164.
[4] Muslim, Iman: 252.
[5] ibid, 1: 257.
[6] Bukhari, Bad’ul-Khalq: 145; Muslim, Fadailu’s-Sahaba, 71; al-Isaba, 4: 282.
[7] Muslim, Fadailu’s-Sahaba, 74; al-Isaba, 4: 283; Usdu'l-Ghaba, 5: 438.
[8] Usdu'l-Ghaba, 5: 437.

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