Friday, July 19, 2013

Khadija, the beloved wife of Prophet Mohammad (s.a.)

Khadija became a very successful merchant. It is said that when the Quraysh's trade caravans gathered to embark upon their summer journey to Syria or winter journey to Yemen, Khadija's caravan equalled the caravans of all other traders of the Quraish put together.[citation needed] She was known by the by-names Ameerat-Quraysh (Princess of Quraysh), al-Tahira (The Pure One) and Khadija Al-Kubra (Khadija the Great).[citation needed] It is said that she fed and clothed the poor, assisted her relatives financially and provided marriage portions for poor relations.[citation needed] Khadija was said to have neither believed in nor worshipped idols,[citation needed] which was atypical for pre-Islam Arabian culture.

Khadija did not travel with her trade caravans; she employed others to trade on her behalf for a commission. In 595, Khadija needed an agent for a transaction in Syria. Abu Talib ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib recommended her distant cousin Muhammad ibn Abdullah. The experience that Muhammad held working with caravans in his uncle Abu Talib's family business had earned him the honorific titles Al-Sadiq (the truthful) and Al-Amin (the trustworthy, the honest).[7] Khadija hired Muhammad, who was then 25 years old, sending word through her kinsman Khazimah ibn Hakim that she would pay double her usual commission.[citation needed]

She sent one of her servants, Maysarah, to assist him. Upon returning, Maysara gave accounts of the honorable way that Muhammad had conducted his business, with the result that he brought back twice as much profit as Khadija had expected. Maysarah also relayed that on the return journey, Muhammad had stopped to rest under a tree. A passing monk, Nestora, informed Maysara that, "None but a prophet ever sat beneath this tree."[8] Maysara also claimed that while he stood near Muhammad as he slept, he had seen two angels standing above Muhammad creating a cloud to protect him from the heat and glare of the sun.[5]

Khadija then consulted her cousin Waraqah ibn Nawfal ibn Asad ibn 'Abdu'l-'Uzza.[8] Waraqah said that if what Maysara had seen was true, then Muhammad was in fact the prophet of the people who was already expected. It is also said Khadijah had a dream in which the sun descended from the sky into her courtyard, fully illuminating her home.[5] Her cousin Waraqah told her not to be alarmed, for the sun was an indication that the Prophet would grace her home.[5] At this, Khadija considered proposing marriage to her agent.[9] Many wealthy Quraysh men had already asked for her hand in marriage,[5] but all had been refused.