Why did the Prophet (pbuh) marry Hz. Khadijah, who was much older than him? When the Prophet (pbuh) married, he was twenty-five and H. Khadijah was forty. He could have found a younger wife if he had wanted. What factors were important in his choice?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Hz. Khadijah was virtuous and honorable enough to receive Allah’s greeting and the praise of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). She was a model mother in terms of patience, chastity, high ethics, in short, everything. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

“Maryam (Mary), the daughter of Imran, was the best among the women of the world of her time and Khadijah bint Khuwaylid is the best amongst the women of this nation." (Bukhari, Anbiya 45; Muslim, Fadailus-Sahaba 69)

Another hadith regarding the issue is as follows:

"There are four valuable women in the world and in the hereafter: Imran's daughter Maryam, Pharaoh’s wife Asiya, Khuwaylid’s daughter Khadijah and Muhammad’s daughter Fatima." (Ibn Ishaq, as-Sirah, Published by Muhammad Hamidullah, p. 228).

The Prophet (pbuh) states the following:

" Do not marry women for their beauty for it may lead to their doom. Do not marry them for their wealth, for it may lead them to fall into sin. Rather, marry them for their religion. A black slave woman with piercings who is religious is better." (Ibn Majah, Nikah 6)

The reason why the Prophet (pbuh) preferred Hz. Khadijah was that she had high ethics.

It is necessary not to think that the Prophet (pbuh) is like us. If the Prophet (pbuh) had wanted, he could have been the king of the world and very rich, but he preferred to live as a poor person.

While interpreting the hadiths above, Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, defines marriage as a step taken toward an important happiness institution in which the spouses can practice their love and their enthusiasm, share their pleasures and help each other in grief and sorrow. (see  İşârâtü’l-İ’câz p. 196)

In this institution of happiness, the man and the woman should be equal in piety, ethics and fear of Allah. The man who takes the piety of his wife as an example and loves his wife for her piety and high ethics so as not to lose his wife in eternal life has attained happiness in the world and the hereafter without any problems. The woman who fears Allah and acts piously by taking the piety of her husband as an example is fortunate and has reached eternal happiness.

Otherwise, the man who indulges in haram entertainment and commits bad deeds that will make him lose his wife forever will ruin himself. If the woman loses her eternal friend by not following her husband, who fears Allah, will ruin herself. If the woman and men imitate each other's crimes, sins and bad deeds, and if they throw each other into fire, they will ruin their love and happiness thousands of times. (see Lem’alar, p. 257)

It is necessary not to forget that a man who loves his wife due to her characteristics and high ethics, and her being the source of compassion and gift of mercy rather than her material and physical beauty will be loved and respected by his wife, that this mutual respect and love will increase as both parties get older and ugly; thus, their worldly life will be a happy one; a love that depends on physical beauty only will soon disappear and will be replaced by conflicts.

The consequence of loving one’s wife on the basis of her compassion, nice traits, good temperament and high ethics and thus protecting his wife from committing sins will be her return to him by Allah in the hereafter as an eternal wife, nice friend and a loyal sweetheart with a physical and spiritual beauty that is more beautiful and attractive than houris in Paradise.   

In order to enable our children to attain such great rewards, we must look for equivalence in terms of religion and piety in their marriage; it is not worth exaggerating the other issues so much.

Questions on Islam

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