The long-lasting impact of Khadijah (RA) (Part 5)

The long-lasting impact of Khadijah (RA) (Part 5)

Written by: Sofiyya

This is the last in a series of articles on Khadija (ra). Her story will be followed by the stories of several other women from Islamic history for #womenofislamwednesday.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4


Today’s post is the fifth and last of a mini-series on Khadijah (ra), the first wife of our beloved final Prophet (s). I hope her story has been as enlightening to you as it has been for me. In my humble opinion, she is the ideal role model for sisters. Her strength and her struggles are empowering.

I try to emulate and embrace Khadijah in my character and my actions. She is a companion who both men and women, Muslims and non-Muslims, can revere and learn from. Whenever people question the role of women in Islam or stereotype Muslim women as oppressed and submissive, it is her story I tell. She was independent, with no hesitation. She was successful, yet humble. She was everything that I strive to be.

When we left off in the last article, the boycott against Muslims had finally come to an end. The Muslims could go back to their homes and rebuild their lives together. Unfortunately, this did not mean that their struggles were over. Many people were still against the spread of this new manifestation of Abrahamic faith.

Khadijah (ra) was there to support her husband, the Prophet Muhammad (s), through thick and thin. Aside from helping him and her family, she also assisted many in need around her, sacrificing her own health and happiness along the way. The Rasool loved her and admired her. He was not the only one.

One day, the angel Jibreel [Gabriel] descended upon him and said, “That is Khadijah bringing you a vessel containing food or drink. When you see her, convey to her salutations from her Lord and from me, and give her the glad tidings of a house in Paradise made of hollowed out pearl, in which there is neither noise nor fatigue.”

When the prophet relayed this to her, she said, “Verily, God is peace, and upon Jibreel be His peace, and upon you His peace, mercy and blessings.”

There are several explanations as to why her palace in Paradise was specifically one where there is no “noise nor fatigue.” Some scholars say it is because of all the negative hearsay she endured and her physical suffering while supporting her husband’s message. Others say it is because she didn’t give him any “noise” or make him endure fatigue when spreading his message. Either way, she deserves it–big time.

By the end of the boycott, Khadijah (ra) was 65 years old. The time spent in the desert had taken a toll on her health. Shortly after returning home, she became very ill. Prophet Muhammad (s) remained by her side through her pain. He gave her comfort and support. He reminded her of God’s blessings and her palace He had promised her in Paradise. The Rasool stayed by his wife’s side until she took her last breath, and she passed away in his arms. Inna lillahi wa inna lillahi rajioon [To God we belong, and to God will we return].

Khadijah was placed in her grave by her husband; he wanted to bury her himself. For their family and friends, the year that followed was known as the Year of Sadness. That year also saw the death of Abu Talib, the Prophet’s beloved uncle.

The prophet (s) missed his wife dearly. She was his support and his comfort. Without her, he grieved deeply, and the spread of Islam slowed down drastically. Even those who were not close the Khadijah mourned her death as they saw how much the grief afflicted the Prophet.

About a year after her death, a lady companion suggested to Muhammad (s) that he re-marry, as it would be beneficial for him to have a woman help him raise his daughters. Upon hearing this, the prophet started to cry and said no woman could resemble Khadijah (ra).

Even years later, when he eventually did re-marry, he never stopped loving Khadijah (ra). For example, Aisha (ra) narrated that not a single day went by when Muhammad (s) didn’t mention Khadijah (ra) and praise her. Aisha said “I never felt as jealous of any of the wives of the Prophet (s) as I did of Khadijah, although she died before he married me, because of what I heard him say about her.” {Sahih Al-Bukhari}

One day, Aisha’s jealousy got the best of her and she said, “Why do you keep thinking about that old woman when God has given you one in her place younger and better than she is?”

This statement made the Rasool extremely upset, and he replied,

“No! By God, God has not given me one better than she! She believed in me when all others disbelieved; she held me to be truthful when all others called me a liar; she sheltered me when others abandoned me; she comforted me when others shunned me; she shared her wealth with me when others denied me. God blessed me with children by her while He deprived me of children by other women.”

Aisha (ra) wanting to correct herself, replied, ”O God! If you remove the anger of your Messenger right now, I pledge not to ever speak ill of her again, as long as I live.”

Fifteen years after Khadijah’s (ra) death, the Muslims had reclaimed Mecca after fleeing it for some years, and as they arrived home, many begged the prophet (s) to stay at one of their homes. However, he kindly refused, asking them instead to set up a tent for him to sleep near that grave of Khadijah (ra). On that same day, as the Muslims were surrounding him congratulating him on the victory, Muhammad (s) was seen moving through the crowd and spreading his cloak on the ground for an old lady, with whom he sat and talked with for an hour. When Aisha (ra) asked him who the lady was, he told her it was a friend of Khadijah (ra).

Another day, Muhammad (s) was sitting with Aisha (ra) when he heard a woman’s voice resembling Khadijah’s asking if she could come in. He immediately said, “Oh my Lord, please let it be Hala (Khadijah’s sister).”

When he found that it was Hala, he welcomed her warmly saying, “Welcome, oh Khadijah’s sister!” Aisha (ra) narrated that whenever he prepared fresh meat, or had any extra meat in the house, he would pass it out to his other wives and the poor, but he would also take extra care to present it to Khadijah’s friends, “as if there was no other woman in the world but her.” And Muhammad (s) would always say, “Her love was nurtured in my heart by God Himself.”

Prophet Muhammad’s love and respect for his wife was so great that many consider her as great as Mary (ra), mother of Jesus (peace and blessings be upon him). He said, “The best of women (of her time) was Mary, and the best of women (at this time) is Khadijah.”

Khadijah (ra) and Mary were named among the four greatest women of all time (together with Fatima [the youngest daugher of the Rasool and Khadijah] and Asiyah, the wife of the Pharoah who saved and cared for Prophet Moses [pbuh]).

Prophet Muhammad (s) continued to love Khadijah (ra) until the day he died, and we, as Muslims, continue to love her today, 1,400 years later. The romance and the bond shared between the two of them is a true love story, one that stands the test of time. God shows us the importance of choosing a spouse who is on the same page with you spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, and religiously. God willing, we will all be blessed with a relationship as beautiful as that of Khadijah (ra) and Muhammad (s). We should all strive to be at least a tenth of the person Khadijah was, as we put into action some of the things we have learned from her life.

As I close off this last story in the series on Khadijah, I want to reiterate one more time: Khadijah (ra) was considered one of four greatest women of all time. Khadijah (RA) was strong. She was an independent businesswoman, a loving wife, a caring mother, and a resilient aid in the spread of Islam. She was outspoken in her community and set great examples of what women should attain to be. So what message do we learn here? To be like Khadijah (ra): to be successful; take care of our families; have a goal, a message, a dream, and act upon it. Support what is right and don’t be afraid to stand up against something wrong, no matter how much you suffer. Lets all think about how we can learn to adapt Khadijah’s ways into our own lives, starting now.

WATCH THIS EPISODE ON THE STORYTIME WITH SOFIYYA YOUTUBE PAGE:  RAMADAN 2016: Women in the Life of the Rasool (6) – Khadijah R.A. (Pt 5/5) 



Ghadanfar, Mahmood Ahmad. Great Women of Islam. Riyadh: Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, 2001. Print.

Quṭb, Muḥammad ʻAlī. Women around the Messenger. Riyadh: International Islamic House, 2007. Print.

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