Who was Khadija Bint Khuwaylid and What Role She Played for Islam?

Khadija Bint Khuwaylid

Who was Khadija (رضي الله عنها) Bint Khuwaylid?

Among the sahabiyat (the women who had seen the prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and believed in him Khadija (رضي الله عنها) Bint Khuwaylid has a special place she was the first wife of the prophet and she was the first Muslim. She supported the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) when the Quraysh strongly objected to his preaching Islam after he had had prophet-hood bestowed upon him by Allah. The Quraysh and the other tribes of Arabia harassed and tortured the prophet very badly, but Khadija (رضي الله عنها) stood by him like a rock and helped him. She proved to be a trusted wife who gave all that she had to please Allah and his messenger. She supported Islam with all her heart.


اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ حَسَّنْتَ خَلْقِي فَحَسِّنْ خُلُقي

O Allah, you have made my body beautiful, so beautify my character also.

Khadija (رضي الله عنها) came from a respectable Quraysh family of Makkah. Her father was Khuwaylid ibn Asad, a Makkah nobleman. Before her marriage to the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), she had already been married twice. But, both her husbands had died her first husband was Abu Hala ibn Zararah. After his death, she was married to a merchant called Atiq ibn Ayidh, who also died a few years later. Khadija (رضي الله عنها) had two sons from her first marriage and a daughter from her second marriage. A kind and honorable lady, Khadija (رضي الله عنها) was noble in character, and the people of Makkah respected her a lot. Recommended: Umm-e-Habiba (رضي الله عنها) Wife of Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)

Khadija (رضي الله عنها) Hires the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) for her Caravan

Whatever her husbands had owned came to Khadija (رضي الله عنها) after their deaths so that she became one of the wealthiest women in Makkah. She took control of her second husband’s business and managed it quite well. She hired men to trade on her behalf. After the death of her second husband, Khadija (رضي الله عنها) was looking for somebody who take her caravan of goods to Syria. In those days the best known and most profitable caravan route stretched from Yemen in the south to Syria in the north. When the prophet’s uncle, Abu Talib, heard that Khadija (رضي الله عنها) was going to hire a person to take her caravan to Syria, he went to Khadija (رضي الله عنها) and asked her to employee his nephew. Since, Khadija (رضي الله عنها) had heard of the prophet’s honesty and good character, she at once hired him and put him in charge of her caravan going to Syria. Read more: Maymunah (رضي الله عنها) Wife of Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and the One Who Devoted Herself for Islam


O Allah, I ask you for the things that cause your mercy, the means of your forgiveness, safety from every sin, advantage from every good deed, success in getting paradise and deliverance from a fire.

The Caravan Returns to Makkah

The prophet went on this trip to Syria accompanied by Khadija’s (رضي الله عنها) servant Maysarah. They traveled a long distance and reached Syria and then prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) traded in the market of Syria with caution and intelligence. They made a big profit and return to Makkah after traveling again for many days. When the caravan from Syria returned to Makkah, Khadija (رضي الله عنها) was amazed to see the profit her caravan made thanks to the prophet. Khadija (رضي الله عنها) was greatly impressed by the prophet’s honesty and trustworthiness. Maysarah, Khadija’s (رضي الله عنها) slave, also praised the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). He told Khadija (رضي الله عنها), ”I have never met anybody more honest or more trustworthy then Abu Talib’s nephew.” Read: History and Importance of Prophet’s (Peace Be Upon Him) First Visit to Taif


O Allah, Make this journey easy for us and roll up its distance from us. O Allah, you are my companion in the journey and protector in my home.

The Marriage Proposal to Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) 

Many nobleman of Makkah at that time had sent marriage proposal to Khadija (رضي الله عنها).  But, she refused every one of them. The prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم) character had so impressed Khadija (رضي الله عنها) that she felt that he was the most suitable man for her to marry. Khadija (رضي الله عنها) had a friend called Nufaisa bint Munya, who was the sister of the famous companion of the prophet, Ya’la bin Umayyah. She called Nufaisa and asked her to take her marriage proposal to the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). Nufaisa was also known to the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), so she came to the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and quizzed him on the subject of marriage. She asked him why he was not marrying. The prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) explained that he did not have the means to support a family. At this Nufaisa told him that Khadija (رضي الله عنها), a rich and respectable lady, was ready to marry him. The prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was happy to hear this. He had great regard for Khadija (رضي الله عنها). He told his uncle about this. Abu Talib was also very pleased to know about this and agreed to it with great joy. Read: The First Murder in the Islamic History


رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَا أَنفُسَنَا وَإِن لَّمْ تَغْفِرْ لَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

Our Lord! We have wronged our souls: If you do not forgive us and have mercy on us, we shall be among the lost. (Al Araf 7:23)

The Marriage of Khadija (رضي الله عنها) with Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم)

Nufaisa went back to Khadija (رضي الله عنها)after getting the consent of the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)and his uncle Abu Talib to the marriage. Khadija (رضي الله عنها) then asked her uncle Amr ibn Asad to marry to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). With great joy, he agreed to this and all the family members of Khadija (رضي الله عنها) came to the marriage. The prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) came with his uncles Abu Talib, and Hamza, and his other family members. They were welcomed by Khadija’s (رضي الله عنها) uncle, Amr ibn Asad, and her cousin, Waraqa ibn Nawfal. Many other men and women from the Quraysh as well as from the other tribes of Makkah took part in the marriage. Read: 5 Attempts to Steal the Body of Prophet (P.B.U.H) from Madinah

The marriage became a good occasion for family and friends to get together. In the presence of the family, Abu Talib read the Nikah himself. In the Mahr, or dower, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)gave 20 camels, which were slaughtered, and a great feast was prepared on this occasion. The prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم) foster mother, Halima Sadia, was also present in the marriage.


قَالَ رَبِّ انْصُرْنِي بِمَا كَذَّبُونِ

Nuh said, ‘My Lord, help me! For they have rejected me’. (Al-Mu’minun 23:26)

The Family of Khadija (رضي الله عنها)

After the marriage, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and Khadija (رضي الله عنها) lived at the house of Abu Talib for a few days. Then Khadija (رضي الله عنها) bought a house from her nephew, Hakim ibn Hizam, and they moved there. There were many people who lived with the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and Khadija (رضي الله عنها) in their home. They were like one big family. There was Umm Aman, the old maid of Amina, who brought him up after his mother died. There was Zayd ibn Haritha, a slave Khadija (رضي الله عنها) gave him to her husband to help him with his work but the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) immediately freed him and treated him like his own son. Zayd ibn Haritha loved the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) so much that when his own family came to take him back home, he refused to be parted from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and stayed on with him. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and Khadija (رضي الله عنها) had six children, two boys and four girls, both the boys, Qasim and Abdullah, died when they were still small babies. Read: Significance of Sadaqah in Islam


رَبِّ أَعِنِّي وَلاَ تُعِنْ عَلَىَّ وَانْصُرْنِي وَلاَ تَنْصُرْ عَلَىَّ وَامْكُرْ لِي وَلاَ تَمْكُرْ عَلَىّ

My Lord, help me and help not against me. Grant me victory and grant not victory against me. Plan for me and plan not against me.

The Daughters of the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and Khadija (رضي الله عنها)

The four daughters of the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and Khadija (رضي الله عنها) were Zaynab, Ruqayyah, Umm Kulthum and Fatima. When they grew up they were married to most suitable persons. Zaynab was married to Khadija’s (رضي الله عنها) nephew, Abu Al-As ibn Rabi, Son of Khadija’s (رضي الله عنها) sister. He was a kind and upright man and they were very happy together. Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthum were married to two sons of Abu Lahab, Utbah and Utaybah. But when the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) began his mission of spreading the message of Islam, Abu Lahab, though also an uncle of the Prophet’s صلى الله عليه وسلم, became the Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم) enemy. The Quraysh and Abu Lahab forced Utbah and Utaybah to divorce the daughters of the Prophet and send them back to their father.

Later on, Ruqayyah was married to Uthman ibn Affan. When Ruqayyah fell sick and died after the battle of Badr, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) married his other daughter, Umm Kulthum, to Uthman ibn Affan. But she too did not live long. The Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم) youngest daughter Fatima was married to the Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم) cousin, Ali ibn Abi Talib, who had lived with the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) like his son. Read: How to raise your Child in accordance with Islam


اللَّهُمَّ بَاعِدْ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَ خَطَايَاىَ كَمَا بَاعَدْتَ بَيْنَ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ، اللَّهُمَّ نَقِّنِي مِنَ الْخَطَايَا كَمَا يُنَقَّى الثَّوْبُ الأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الدَّنَسِ، اللَّهُمَّ اغْسِلْ خَطَايَاىَ بِالْمَاءِ وَالثَّلْجِ وَالْبَرَدِ ‏”‏‏.‏

O Allah! Set me apart from my sins as the east and west are set apart from each other and clean me from sins as a white garment is cleaned of dirt.

O Allah! Wash off my sins with water, snow and hail.

Revelation to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)

After his marriage, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) started to spend more and more time thinking. Often he would sit in a cave a top mount Hira. He would spend days there in solitude. Khadija (رضي الله عنها) would spend her little daughters to bring him food and water. One night, when he was asleep in the cave, the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) felt that somebody was trying to wake him up. He got up and, to his amazement, saw a man standing next to him, He did not know who it was and only later on, came to know that it was the angel Jibril (عليه السلام), or Gabriel, in human form.

The angel commanded: ”Read!

I don’t know how to read?” said the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), bewildered.

The angel embraced him with all his might and repeated: ”Read!

Totally at a loss, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) again said to him: ” I don’t know how to read?

The angel embraced him again and said: ”Read in the name of your Allah who created: created man from a clot (of blood). Read! Your Allah is the most Bountiful One who taught by the pen…” (Surah Al-Alaq.96:1-5)

At this, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) felt the words being engraved at that very moment in his heart and the prophet started reading.


وَقُل رَّبِّ زِدْنِي عِلْمًا

My Lord, increase my Knowledge. (Ta Ha 20:114)

Khadija (رضي الله عنها) Comforts the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)

After receiving the Revelation from Allah in the cave of Hira, the Prophet came back home and told the entire incident to his wife, Khadija (رضي الله عنها). The prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was worried and he said to her. ”Cover me, cover me. I am scared!”

Khadija (رضي الله عنها) immediately put a blanket over him and comforted him: ” By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you. You keep up good relations with your kith and kin, serve your guests generously, help the poor and the destitute and assist those in distress.”

When the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) finally fell asleep, Khadija (رضي الله عنها) went straight to Waraqah ibn Nawfal, her cousin and a learned man, and told him what had taken place.

Having heard her account, Waraqah said: ”If you are truthful, Khadija (رضي الله عنها), it is the great angel who came to Musa and Isa. Surely, he is the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) of this nation. Will you tell him to be Steadfast?”


رَبَّنَا عَلَيۡكَ تَوَكَّلۡنَا وَاِلَيۡكَ اَنَـبۡنَا وَاِلَيۡكَ الۡمَصِيۡرُ     

رَبَّنَا لَا تَجۡعَلۡنَا فِتۡنَةً لِّلَّذِيۡنَ كَفَرُوۡا وَاغۡفِرۡ لَـنَا رَبَّنَا ۚ اِنَّكَ اَنۡتَ الۡعَزِيۡزُ الۡحَكِيۡمُ‏

Our Lord, in you we have placed our trust, and to you have we turn in feeling sorry, and to you is our final return.

Our Lord, do not make us a test for the unbelievers, and forgive us, our Lord. Surely you are Most Mighty, Most Wise.

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and Khadija (رضي الله عنها) Prayed Together

One day, the angel Jibril (عليه السلام) came to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and taught him how to perform his ablutions (wudu). He then taught the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) how to say Prayers (Salah). To make sure that he remembered all the movements and words properly, the Prophet said his prayers for the first time alongside the angel Jibril (عليه السلام). Later on, the Prophet went home and taught wudu and Salah to Khadija (رضي الله عنها). After that, accompanied by Khadija (رضي الله عنها), the Prophet started to pray in his own house. They were praying once together when Ali saw them and asked them curiously what they were doing.

”What is this? I have never seen anybody doing this before.”

”We are offering prayers or Salah. Allah has made me his Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and revealed the Quran to me,” said the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم).

The Prophet explained to Ali about Islam and the next day Ali came to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and accepted Islam. From that time on, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) would lead the Prayers and Ali would stand next to him with Khadija (رضي الله عنها) standing behind them. They were the only three people offering Salah. At that time only two prayers, Fajr and Isha, each with two rak’ahs, were prescribed.

لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له، له الملك، وله الحمد، وهو على كل شيء قدير

None has the right to be worshiped but Allah alone. He has no partner. For him is the Kingdom and for him are all the praises. He has power over all things.

A House of Pearl in Paradise

One day, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) kept sitting in the cave of Hira and did not return home at his usual time. Khadija (رضي الله عنها) became worried. She thought that Quraysh might hurt him so she sent a man to look for him. The man returned empty handed and told her that he could not find the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) anywhere in town. Khadija (رضي الله عنها) decided to go and look for him herself.

At that time, the Prophet was in the cave with that angel Jibril (عليه السلام). Jibril said to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم):

”Khadija (رضي الله عنها) is coming here. She has got some food and water for you.”

Then he added: ”When she comes in, give her the greetings from her Lord and tell her that there will be a house made of pearls for her in Paradise.”

When Khadija (رضي الله عنها) arrived, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) told her: ”Khadija (رضي الله عنها), here is angel Jibril (عليه السلام). He commanded me to say Salam to you and to give you the glad tidings of a home of pearl in Paradise in which there will be no toil or hardships.”

Khadija (رضي الله عنها) replied. ‘God is peace and he is the source of all peace! Peace be upon Jibril (عليه السلام) and peace and mercy of Allah be upon you.”


O Allah the real life is the life hereafter. O Allah grant success to the Ansars and Muhajirs.

The Valley of Abu Talib

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), his wife Khadija (رضي الله عنها), their children, Abu Talib and his family, and all those who accepted Islam were forced to leave their homes in Makkah. They took refuge in an open plot of land called Shi’b Abi Talib, just outside the town, there were no proper houses there and they had to live in tents. It was like a refugee camp and the family of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) had to stay there for almost three years. They faced hunger, disease, and poverty. Sometimes they had to eat the leaves from trees to satisfy their hunger, for there was hardly anything else to eat.

Khadija (رضي الله عنها) who was not from the Banu Hashim could have stayed on in Makkah. But she chose to stay with the prophet in these times of trial and difficulty. Once the richest Lady of the Makkah, Khadija (رضي الله عنها) now lived in a makeshift tent under the open sky, without enough food and water. But she did not complain. She bore the difficulties with great patience and courage. Her presence was a support to the Prophet.


قَالَ رَبِّ نَجِّنِىۡ مِنَ الۡقَوۡمِ الظّٰلِمِيۡنَ

“My Lord, deliver me from these unjust people.”

The Epitome of Sacrifice

All the people in the makeshift camp lived in great poverty. They wore old clothes and slept in old blankets. They had hardly any personal belongings. The family of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) survived the boycott only because once a year, during four sacred months, they were allowed to go to Makkah. These months were Muharram, Rajab, Dhul Qada and Dhul Hijjah. In those months being enemies and frightening was not allowed. Taking advantage of this, the family of Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) would go to Makkah and get food. They would get the dried meat and skins of the animals sacrificed at the Kabah and make them last for many, many days. They would boil the leather and chew on it to fight the pangs of hunger. In all this turmoil which arose in spreading Islam, Khadija (رضي الله عنها) stood by the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) like a solid rock. She not only gave her wealth for the cause of Islam but also became personally involved in the spread of the message of Allah.


O Allah! Help me overcome the agonies of death and the pangs of death.

Khadija (رضي الله عنها) Passes Away

The siege lasted for three years. It was lifted when the Quraysh disagreed between themselves about continuing the siege. A man called Abul Bakhtari spoke in favor of lifting the siege and he was joined by many voices. The people were horrified at the fate of Banu Hashim. Finally, the Boycott was lifted and the notice was removed from the wall of the Kabah. Three years after the siege, Abu Talib died due to ill health. The suffering and starvation of those long three years had affected his health. Soon after Abu Talib, Khadija (رضي الله عنها) died, leaving the prophet devoid of his two most trusted and loving companions. At this, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was shattered and heartbroken.

He called this year the ‘ year of sorrow’ because of the loss of the two most faithful people in his life that year. Khadija (رضي الله عنها) had proved to be a trusted wife who gave all she had to please Allah and his messenger. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) speaking of Khadija (رضي الله عنها), once said: ”The best of women in it (Paradise) is Maryam bint Imran and the best of women in it is Khadija (رضي الله عنها) bint Khuwaylid.”


اللَّهُمَّ أَعُوذُ بِرِضَاكَ مِنْ سَخَطِكَ وَبِمُعَافَاتِكَ مِنْ عُقُوبَتِكَ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْكَ لاَ أُحْصِي ثَنَاءً عَلَيْكَ أَنْتَ كَمَا أَثْنَيْتَ عَلَى نَفْسِكَ

O Allah, I seek refuge with your pleasure from your anger. I seek refuge in your forgiveness from your punishment. I seek refuge in you from you. I cannot count your praises, you are as you have praised yourself.

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