Friday, February 5, 2010

The Prophet's Marriage to Khadijah

Khadijah was the daughter of Khuwaylid bin Asad, a prominent member of the Quraishis. Her grandfather Qusay was related to ancestors of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Khadijah, who was married twice before marrying the Prophet, was a noble, beautiful and rich woman. She received many marriage proposals after the death of her second husband, but she refused all these proposals. Khadijah made her living by carrying out trade with people whom she considered reliable. Upon advice, Khadijah contracted a partnership agreement with Prophet Muhammad, who was known as a decent and reliable young man. She asked him to go to Syria for trade with her slave Maysarah. This journey to Syria was very successful in terms of trade. Khadijah was very pleased with this success and realized that Prophet Muhammad was an honest and reliable man. Maysarah spoke to her about Prophet Muhammad's morality and attitudes, praising and complimenting him. Upon hearing these words, Khadijah trusted Muhammad more and her feelings of admiration for him grew stronger over time. According to one account, Khadijah proposed marriage to Prophet Muhammad a short time after this, either personally or via a woman named Nufaysa bint Umayyah (Munya). Prophet Muhammad was rather surprised, but accepted this proposal after thinking about it for a while. Abu Talib and the other uncles of the Holy Prophet went to Khadijah's uncle Amr bin Assad to get his permission, as her father was no longer alive at the time. Upon receiving an affirmative reply from Amr bin Assad the marriage was performed. Prophet Muhammad moved from Abu Talib's house to Khadijah's house and thus a happy household was formed. It is known that Prophet Muhammad was twenty-five years old and Khadijah was forty years old at that time. However, there are some accounts that assert that Khadijah was younger than forty at the time of the marriage.

The couple had seven children; Qasim, Zainab, Ruqayyah, Umm Qulthum, Fatima, Abdullah (Al Tayeb), and Al Taher. Abdullah and Al Taher died before the prophethood of Muhammad. Some sources state that Al Tayyeb and Al Taher were two different children, while other sources assert that these were both nicknames for Abdullah. Except for his youngest daughter Fatima, the Prophet's children all died before him. Fatima lived six months after the death of Prophet Muhammad. Prophet Muhammad was also known by the name Abu'l-Qasim because of his eldest son Qasim. Two people joined the household of the Prophet during his marriage with Khadijah. One of them was Zayd bin Harisa, a slave given to him by Khadijah. Prophet Muhammad set him free, and later adopted him. The other was Ali bin Abu Talib, the son of his uncle Abu Talib. Ali was five years old when he joined the Prophet's household according to some accounts. Prophet Muhammad took in Ali bin Abu Talib in order to help his uncle when a drought occurred in Mecca. Later on, Prophet Muhammad approved a marriage between Fatima and Ali. The Prophet's lineage continued with his grandsons Hassan and Hussein.

Khadijah remained married to the Prophet Muhammad for about twenty-five years, and she always supported the Prophet financially and morally. The first person to believe in the revelations was Khadijah and she remained with him through rough times. Khadijah was the first wife of the Prophet and mother to all his children except for Ibrahim. The Holy Prophet never forgot her good deeds and her faithfulness. Prophet Muhammad did not marry any other woman while Khadijah was alive, and all his other marriages after her death were to serve a variety of purposes. The Prophet always remembered Khadijah with kindness and once said of her: "Allah never gave me a better wife than Khadijah. She believed in me at a time when other people denied me. She put all her wealth at my service when other people withheld theirs from me. And what's more, Allah gave me children through Khadijah."

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