Will you give detailed information about Khadija (ra)?

The Details of the Question

How did Khadija use to live before the revelation came to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), that is, before she became a Muslim? Did she wear hijab or not? What was her religious faith like? What kind of faith did Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) have before he became a prophet? Is the period up to the age of forty regarded as Ahl al-Fatrah for the Prophet (pbuh)? If Khadija had not believed and obeyed the religion of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) after his prophethood, how would he have treated her? Would he have divorced her?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

1. Before the verse on hijab was revealed, the general way women dressed was as follows: Before the verse on hijab was revealed, Muslim women used to let their headscarves hang between their shoulders, leaving their ears, neck and most of their breasts uncovered. Some of their hair was also visible. Allah forbade this form of covering with the relevant verse and ordered that the headscarf be tied in such a way that it covered them thoroughly.

2. It is reported that the Prophet (pbuh) used to periodically retreat to Hira before he became a prophet. In the hadith books, the terms “tahannuth” or “tahannuf” are used to describe his worship there... While explaining the word “tahannuth” in his book “Umdatul-Qari”, Ayni, the commentator of Bukhari, writes the following:

“If we are asked about the manner in which the Prophet worshipped there, we can say that it consisted of contemplation.”

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) hated idolatry even before he became a prophet. When the month of Ramadan came, he would take his food and retreat to the cave of Hira on Mount Nur, where he would stay for days in contemplation. He would get great pleasure and spiritual solace from it.

3. Khadija (r. anha) was the first believer. Therefore, it cannot be assumed that she did not believe. All the wives of the Prophet (pbuh) believed in him.

Khadija al-Kubra (ra)

Mother of the Believers...

Khadija (ra), the first of the pure, chaste, moral wives of our Prophet (pbuh), who was the Leader of the Two Worlds, and the mother of the believers. She was from the Quraysh tribe; her father’s name was Khuwaylid and her mother’s name was Fatima. Her paternal and maternal lineage unite with the lineage of the Prophet (pbuh).

Khadija was first engaged to Waraqa ibn Nawfal, but the marriage contract was not performed. She was betrothed for the second time to Ibn Nabbash, who was also called Abu Hala. After Abu Hala’s death, she married Atiq ibn Abid. After Atiq’s death, she married Sayfi ibn Umayya, her paternal uncle’s son. She became a widow upon his death.

Khadija (ra) was a rich, dignified and honorable woman engaged in trade. She used to organize trade caravans to Damascus with the men she hired for a fee. They would manage her affairs and conduct her trade. Allah Almighty gave Khadija abundant worldly wealth. However, the sad and sorrowful incidents she underwent alienated her from the world.

At that time, the pure and clean ethics, honor and dignity of Muhammad (pbuh) were legendary, and for this reason, he was known by the nickname “AMIN (TRUSTWORTHY)”. Taking all this into account, Khadija (pbuh), with great eagerness, sent a message to him to appoint him as her trustee to manage her trade affairs: “If you want to take my goods to Damascus and take care of my trade affairs, I will send my slave Maysara with you to go to Damascus. No matter what you earn, I will give you more than what I give to others.”

Muhammad (pbuh) accepted her offer, loaded her trade goods and set out for Basra. In a short period of time, he sold her goods at a good price. When he returned to Makkah and settled the account, it was seen that he had earned twice as much as the usual business. Khadija (ra) was pleased, and she gave him double amount that she had agreed.

Her Marriage with the Prophet (pbuh)

Khadija (ra) made another thorough investigation. She wanted to marry him. She sent a message with her female slave named Nafisa and conveyed her request; and upon receiving the answer, she conveyed the news to her paternal uncle Amr Ibn al-Asad.

This uncle was the guardian of Khadija (ra), whose father had died in the battle of Fijar, and he was the one who took care of her affairs. The Prophet’s paternal uncle Abu Talib and Amr Ibn al-Asad were prominent members of their families. In accordance with the customs and traditions of that time, the families gathered in the house of Khadija (ra) and Abu Talib performed the marriage contract. 500 gold coins were determined as mahr. Khadija (ra) was forty years old at that time and the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was twenty-five years old.

Her Being a Muslim

When the first revelation was sent to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), he felt afraid, went to Khadija (ra) and told her about it. Khadija consoled our Prophet (pbuh) as follows:

“You tell the truth; you are a person who cares for his relatives; you take care of the things entrusted to you; you are hospitable; you help people in times of distress and sorrow. Allah Almighty will not leave you alone.”

Khadija (ra) went to her paternal uncle’s son Waraqa Ibn Nawfal and told him about the issue. Waraqa, one of the famous Christian scholars of the time, listened to the story and said:

“This is what appeared to Moses and he has now appeared to him. If only I had the power and the means to come to his aid when he will emerge among his people. If only I could help him when your people would displace him.”

Waraqa died after a short time. Khadija (ra) was the helper of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) for a long time. Only she listened to his problems. They worshipped together in secret. She offered all her means to him and became her right-hand woman.

Her Love

A woman who turns to her husband with such devotion will definitely seek his consent, obey him, and think of his comfort and peace of mind. In addition to this, Khadija (r.a.) was such a woman that she was able to prevent all kinds of evil against her husband with her wisdom, intelligence and mind, and she was able to put the polytheists who opposed her husband in their place and protect him from their evil.

Even after her death, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) always remembered her with praise. Aisha (r.a.) states the following in this regard:

“I envy Khadija so much. I do not envy any other woman. Once, Khadija was mentioned in the presence of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). This touched a nerve in me. I turned and said,

‘She was an old woman. Now Allah has given you a better and more beautiful one.’ When the Messenger of Allah heard this, he became sad and even angry. I felt his hairs standing on end with anger. He said:

‘I swear by Allah, it is not so. I have never met a better woman than her. She was a woman who believed. When she believed, all people were unbelievers. She accepted me, encouraged me and helped me with her property and wealth. Although I had no children from my other wives, Allah Almighty gave me children from her.’”

Yes, the Prophet (pbuh) did not marry another woman when Khadija (ra) was alive.

Her Ethics and Habits

She was very compassionate toward her children. She was also a woman who knew how to do household chores properly. She had great respect and love for the Prophet (pbuh). She would accept whatever the Prophet (pbuh) said without objection both before and after his prophethood.

Her Virtues and Anecdotes

Abu Hurayra (ra) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said:

“The virtues of four women are superior to the virtues of all the women of the world. Maryam bint Imran, Pharaoh’s wife Asiya, Khadija bint Khuwaylid and Fatima binti Muhammad.”

Once, Khadija (ra) went out to look for the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). At that time, all the Arabs were hostile to him. Gabriel (Jibril) appeared to her disguised as a man. She hesitated to ask him about the Prophet (pbuh), wondering whether this man was an enemy or not. When she returned home, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) had returned; she told him about the incident. The Prophet said:

“Do you know who that person whom you saw and wanted to ask about me was? It was Gabriel. He came to me and told me to convey his greetings to you that a building made of pearls had been prepared for you in Paradise. There will definitely be no such sorrowful, troublesome and burdensome things there.”

Once, Gabriel came to the Prophet (pbuh) and said:

“Allah Almighty greets Khadija. Deliver His greetings to Khadija.” The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) did so. Khadija said:

“Innallaha huwas-salam. Allah is the One who is peace. Peace be upon Gabriel too. Peace be upon you, O Messenger of Allah.”

This incident shows the religious wisdom of Khadija (ra). She did not say “And peace be upon Him” in her reply.

At first, when the Companions recited tashahhud in prayer, they did not say “At-Tahiyyatu Lillah”; they said “as-salamu Alallah”. The Prophet (pbuh) forbade this and said, “The name of Allah is actually “Salam”. Say, “At-tahiyyatu lillah” instead.”

Once, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) visited his daughter Fatima (ra) when she was ill. He asked:
- “How are you, my daughter?” Fatima replied:
- “I am not well; I am sick and the worst part is that there is nothing to eat at home. Our Prophet said:
- O my daughter! Do you not want to be the leader of all the women of the world? Fatima asked:
- O my father! What was Maryam bint Imran? Our Prophet said:
- She was the leader of the women of her time, and you are the leader of the women of your time. Khadija was the best woman and the leader of the women of the last era.

Her Children

Khadija had two marriages before her marriage to the Prophet; the first one was with Abu Hala from Sons of Tamim and the second one was with Atiq (Utayyiq) from Sons of Mahzum.

Some sources state that Khadija had three children from her former husbands, two boys from Abu Hala and one girl from Atiq (Utayyiq).  (Ibnul-Jawzi, Muntazam, 2/316; Halabi, Insanul-Uyun, 1/156)

The names of those from Abu Hala were Hala and Hind, and the name of the one from Atiq was Hind. (Abu Nuaym, Ma’rifatus-Sahaba, 6/2751)

Our opinion based on the sources we were able to examine is that this information is accurate.

It is narrated that these children of Khadija from her first two husbands became Muslims when the Prophet was alive. (See A. Güzel, Hz. Hatice’nin Hz. Peygamber’le Evliliği, Çocukları.., İstem, Year: 10, Issue 9, 2012, pp. 57 -100)

Since the names of two of Khadija’s children were Hind, she was nicknamed “Umm Hind”.

She had two sons named Qasim and Abdullah from the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). Their nicknames were Tahir and Tayyib and they were both born in the Islamic era. The names of her four daughters were Zaynab, Ruqayya, Umm Kulthum and Fatima (r.a). All of them were born before Islam and were among the first Muslims. Her son Qasim passed away when he just started to walk in his infancy and Abdullah passed away at a younger age.

Her Death

Khadija (ra) lived with the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) for twenty-four years after marrying him. She died at the beginning of Ramadan in the eighth year of the Prophethood, three years before the Migration (Hijrah). At that time, janazah prayer had not yet become fard; so, janazah prayer was performed for her because this decree had not been sent yet. She was buried in the cemetery of Hajjun. We could not see her in this world. May Allah enable us to see her in Paradise. May He make us her guests. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) loved guests, and she loved what the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) loved. May Allah enable us to get a share from her intercession.

References:

1) Kadın Sahabiler, Mevlana Niyaz, Translation Prof Ali Genceli, Toker Yayınları.
2) Şamil İslam Ansiklopedisi.
3) İslam Tarihi - Mekke Devri, M. Asım Köksal.
4) Sahih Bukhari.

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