Written by: Eman AlWazeer
Translated by: Maha Noor Elahi
After more than ten years of suffering and being forced to leave his homeland, Makkah, Prophet Mohammad
(Peace Be Upon Him) returned to the sacred land with his heart full of love and eagerness. After all that struggle, he returned to where the body of his beloved wife, Khadija, rested in peace. He returned to that woman who embraced his tears after a long period of deprivation. How can he forget all that compassion? In spite of the passing of years, despite her death, the shade of the sweet memories he lived with her still moves his heart. A tear dropped from his eyes as he remembered her, wishing that she could be with him during these glorious moments as she had shared with him torture and pain. After standing sadly and silently for a while in front of her grave, his army got inside Makkah from all directions, and he started calming down Makkah’s people, who used to torture him, by saying his famous words: “Go…You are free!” How can humanity not bow in reverence to this great and forgiving heart?
Yet, it pleased him that, at least, Khadija could hear the axes breaking the statues that she had always despised and could never worship. Khadija, that great woman who comes from an original Arabian descent, famous for its courage, generosity, and nobleness, had refused all marriage proposals of the noblest and wealthiest men in Makkah in order to take care of her daughter and son from her deceased ex-husbands. But the wealth she had inherited obliged her, as it was the custom in Makkah, to invest in trade business. Hence, she needed an honest strong man whom she could trust to assist her. In search for this man, she heard about the greatness of Mohammad, the young man who has been well known for his incomparable rare honesty.
Naturally, she employed him to be in charge of her business.
Khadija looked at Mohammad with the insights of a mature woman who appreciates men for their morals and intellects, not for their appearance and wealth. She was overwhelmed by his nobleness and wisdom in spite of his young age (twenty-five years old), and she saw in him a promising great man. However, she kept her feelings hidden, for how could she think of a man who was fifteen years younger than her? And that was not all; she thought that he would probably never think of her, as he knew her high position among the people of Makkah surrounded by all those rich men, who were asking for her love. How could he, the poor orphan, think of her without possessing anything in the world except his honesty and his pure great Arabian origin?
Yet Khadija could hide her admiration towards Mohammad no more. Her feelings were obvious while she was talking to her friend, Nafeesa Bent Monya, about the honesty and nobleness of that young man. Her friend could see her eyes’ radiance while she was describing Mohammad’s virtues, and so she decided to do something about it. She immediately went to Mohammad asking him about his reasons for abandoning marriage while he needed a caring wife to share with him life’s sweetness and difficulties. Nafeesa did not want to embarrass Mohammad nor Khadija; she made her offer without mentioning any name saying to Mohammad: “What would you do if you were called to beauty, original descent, wealth, and honor?” Immediately, Mohammad realized with his innate intelligence that Nafeesa was referring to Khadija, for who else but her had these qualities altogether?
Mohammad hastened to his uncles to go with him to ask Khadija’s hand for marriage, and the blessed wedding happened quickly in splendor and purity. It was a marriage based on true mutual feelings of respect and love, not on secular or momentary benefits. The Prophet lived with Khadija for twenty-five years in which she was to him the loving caring wife and the mother of their six children. Moreover, she was a mother for him when he needed her support and sympathy. She healed his heart’s wounds and made him forget the days of deprivation and cruelty.
When the spirit of Gabriel visited the Prophet in “Ghar Hera” for the first time, Mohammad rushed to Khadija horrified by what he had seen. Khadija, in turn, absorbed his fears and calmed him down by her motherly love saying: “Rejoice at this, my cousin, and fear nothing. I hope you will be the Prophet of this nation!” According to her prior knowledge gained from a Christian relative, Werqa Ben Nofel, she had heard about the last Prophet’s prophesy. The incident that happened to Mohammad had only assured her that the new religion would be conveyed through her beloved great husband. Now, that is an image of a true graceful woman with a broad vision; a woman who has inspired her husband and strengthened him for the sake of truth, not mundane desires.
Since then, the couple’s life had changed from comfort and prosperity to a severe flood of hardship, pain, and distress. Since the announcement of “Da’wa” or Call for Islam, the couple’s life transferred into a different phase. The Prophet used to return to his house with hurt feelings, dust on his head, and thorns stuck on his clothes to find Khadija waiting for him with a steady shining smile spreading hope and patience in his heart encouraging him for more forgiveness and tolerance. Isn’t this the best thing a man can find in his wife during hard times? But that was not all; khadija had spared all her money for Islam without giving a second thought of saving some for her and her family as she believed that there would be no poverty with the glow and light of Islam, and no wealth with the darkness of atheism and disbelief. Those are truly the deeds of a woman who had surpassed men by her unique virtues.
Khadija remained supporting her husband and believing in him and in the new religion until she died as a result of the harsh “She’b” siege. It was a melancholic year for the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), but life had to go on. The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) got married to other women, but he could never forget Khadija as the fragrance of her genuine love was engraved deeply in his memory embracing his being for the rest of his life. That was Khadija; the loyal wife, the compassionate lover, and the great mother who comprehended the true meaning of love, and enfolded the Prophet’s heart even after her death. She was and will always be a glorious example for Muslim women who are willing to have a role in their husbands’ lives and in the history of their nation.