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His Life New Muslims

The Prophet’s Early Life Before Prophethood

By Editorial Staff

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was an orphan who lived under the guardianship of his grandfather, ‘Abd al-Muttalib after his mother’s death. Few years later, his grandfather died. He, then, went to live with his paternal uncle, Abu Talib. Abu Talib used to defend Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him); however, he did not accept Islam. In general, there are several incidents, supported by authentic proofs from the Sunnah, happened before Muhammad’s prophethood. They include the following:

He worked as a shepherd:

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Every Prophet has tended sheep”. He was asked: “And did you?” He replied, “Yes, I tended them for a few carats for the Makkans.” (Al-Bukhari)

It is also very well-known that the Prophet (peace be upon him) worked as a merchant for Khadija (may Allah be pleased with her) (look below: The Prophet’s marriage to Khadija)

The alliance of Al-Mutayyabin

There was a war between the tribes of Quraish and Kinana on the one side and the tribe of Qais ‘Ailan on the other. This was called Harb al-Fujjar (the sacrilegious war). All reports that state that Muhammad (peace be upon him) took part in this war are not authentic. However, there are authentic proofs denoting that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) participated in forming the alliance of al-Mutayyabin after the end of the war.

‘Abdu’r-Rahman ibn ‘Awf reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “I was present with my uncles at the alliance of the perfumed (Hilf al-Mutayyabin). I would not wish to break it, even for red camels.” (Al-Adab Al-Mufrad) Al-Albany declared this hadith as authentic.

The tribes who entered the alliance agreed to defend the weak and the oppressed and to maintain justice. On the other hand, there was another alliance called Hilf Al-Fudul. The tribes who entered the two alliances are the same.

The Prophet’s marriage to Khadijah

Scholars agree that Khadija (may Allah be pleased with her) was the first woman who the Prophet (peace be upon him) married. He did not marry any other woman until she had died. She enjoyed high status in Islam because of her well-known stances on lots of vital incidents. The prophet (peace be upon him) praised her for these stances. She was older than the Prophet (peace be upon him). Some scholars say she was 40 when the Prophet (peace be upon him) married her. Others say she was only 25. The latter opinion may be more preferred because she had two boys and four girls during her marriage. The sons are Al-Qasim and Abdullah. The daughters are Zainab, Um Kulthum, Fatima and Ruqayya.

She was the first woman/one to accept Islam. Moreover, Abu Bakr al-siddiq, was the first man to accept Islam. Ali ibn Abu Talib was the first boy to accept Islam.

All the reports that mention the details of the Prophet’s marriage to Khadija and how they got to know each other are very weak. There is a weak story about the very wealthy business woman Khadija who used to employ men to do her business. She wanted Muhammad (peace be upon him) to work for her because of his honesty. When the profits increased and Khadija’s servant, Maisarah, told her about Muhammad’s good manners and honesty, she liked him.

By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good relations with your kith and kin, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guests generously and assist the deserving calamity-afflicted ones.

How did the divine revelation start?

Narrated ‘Aisha (The mother of the faithful believers): The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) was in the form of good dreams which came true like bright daylight, and then the love of seclusion was bestowed upon him. He used to go in seclusion in the cave of Hira where he used to worship (Allah alone) continuously for many days before his desire to see his family. He used to take with him the journey food for the stay and then come back to (his wife) Khadija to take his food likewise again till suddenly the Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira.

How did the Prophet worship Allah?

In this part of the Hadith, scholars interpret this as a sign that the teachings of Abraham (peace be upon him) were known among a few of the Arabs at that time. To support their opinion, they mention the story of Zaid ibn ‘Amr ibn Nufail who worshipped only one God, Allah during the time of the pre-Islamic period. Then, the Prophet (peace be upon him) worshipped Allah following the way of Abraham.

The Hadith goes on to say: The angel came to him and asked him to read. The Prophet (ﷺ) replied, “I do not know how to read.” The Prophet (ﷺ) added, “The angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read and I replied, ‘I do not know how to read.’ Thereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read but again I replied, ‘I do not know how to read (or what shall I read)?’ Thereupon he caught me for the third time and pressed me, and then released me and said,

“Read in the name of your Lord, who has created (all that exists), created man from a clot. Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous.” (Quran 96:1-3)

Then Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) returned with the Inspiration and with his heart beating severely. Then he went to Khadija bint Khuwailid and said, “Cover me! Cover me!” They covered him till his fear was over and after that he told her everything that had happened and said, “I fear that something may happen to me.”

Khadija replied, “Never! By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good relations with your kith and kin, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guests generously and assist the deserving calamity-afflicted ones.”

Khadija then accompanied him to her cousin Waraqa bin Naufal bin Asad bin ‘Abdul ‘Uzza, who, during the pre-Islamic Period became a Christian and used to write the writing with Hebrew letters. He would write from the Gospel in Hebrew as much as Allah wished him to write. He was an old man and had lost his eyesight. Khadija said to Waraqa, “Listen to the story of your nephew, O my cousin!” Waraqa asked, “O my nephew! What have you seen?”

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) described whatever he had seen. Waraqa said, “This is the same one who keeps the secrets (angel Gabriel) whom Allah had sent to Moses. I wish I were young and could live up to the time when your people would turn you out.” Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) asked, “Will they drive me out?” Waraqa replied in the affirmative and said, “Anyone (man) who came with something similar to what you have brought was treated with hostility; and if I should remain alive till the day when you will be turned out then I would support you strongly.” But after a few days Waraqa died and the Divine Inspiration was also paused for a while. (Al-Bukhari)

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Family New Muslims

Merits of the Prophet’s Wife, Lady Khadijah

Translated from an article by 'Abdullah ibn 'Abduh Nu'man Al-'Awaadi

Spouses are partners in life. In life’s different conditions, they are friends for better or worse, in prosperity and adversity, in poverty and richness, and in hopes and pains. When a good husband marries a good wife, she becomes the best consort and friend he has won.

Our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was one of those whom Allah chose for them the best of women. Allah chose for His Messenger the best and most virtuous women to be his wives. Thus, they were the best wives to the best husband ever. Of his pure wives was Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her)

Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) was a model of purity and chastity that every Muslim woman may be inspired to emulate. A Muslim woman should learn that from her as well as how to choose a husband, how to help solve the husband’s problems and how to allay his concerns and sorrows. Moreover, a wife should learn about her husband’s past life and benefit from it for a better present and future. Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) was also a model of unique sacrifice for advocating the truth, offering tangible and intangible support for the Islamic Call after accepting it right away and without hesitation.

The life of our Mother Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) was filled with causes of righteousness for Muslim women to emulate. She is like a school whose successful graduates are those women who would like to be good wives, successful preachers, ascetic worshippers and businesswomen who uses their wealth to advocate the truth.

Here’s a short part of Khadijah’s biography Khadijah bint Khuwailid:

Allah chose for His Messenger the best and most virtuous women to be his wives.

Her biography and behavior:

Her name is Khaidijah bint Khuwailid ibn Asad ibn ‘Abd al-‘Uzza ibn qusai. She was from the tribe of Asad from Quraish. She was the Prophet’s wife and the first to believe in his prophethood and accept Islam. The prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) married her maybe 15 years or over before his prophethood. The reason why she wanted to marry the Prophet (peace be upon him) was his good behavior which was very well-known among the people of Makkah.

Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her), who was older than the Prophet (peace be upon him), gave birth to all his children except Ibrahim. She was honest, forbearing and wealthy. After she had become a widow, every noble man from Quraish wanted to marry her. When the Prophet (pace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to travel to trade for her, the profits increased. Later, she wanted to marry him. So, she sent Nafisah bint Umayah who said to him, “why don’t you marry?” “I have nothing.” he replied. “What if you needn’t have anything as you are invited to marry a wealthy, beautiful and an efficient woman?” she suggested. “Who is she?” he asked. “Khadijah” she answered. Thereupon, he agreed.[i]

Her qualities:

1. Nobility, honorable lineage, wealth and honor

2. Sound judgment and apparent wisdom

3. She sacrificed her wealth in order to advocate the truth

4. She loved the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and gave preference to his pleasure

5. Chastity and purity; she was nicknamed “the Pure” in the pre-Islamic period.

Her Merits:

1. Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) was the first person ever to believe in the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)

2. She was given glad tidings of Paradise while she was still alive. Narrated Abu Huraira: Gabriel came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! This is Khadija coming to you with a dish having meat soup (or some food or drink). When she reaches you, greet her on behalf of her Lord (i.e. Allah) and on my behalf, and give her the glad tidings of having a palace of hollowed pearls in Paradise wherein there will be neither any noise nor any fatigue (trouble).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

3. Allah and the archangel Gabriel greeted her.

4. The best of Muslim women

Narrated `Ali: I heard the Prophet (ﷺ) saying, “Mary, the daughter of `Imran, was the best among the women (of the world of her time) and Khadija is the best amongst the women (of this nation). (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

5. She gave birth to all the children of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon her) who said, “Khadija was such-and-such, and from her I had children.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet rewarded her for all these favors:

1. He did not marry a second wife until she had died.

2. He loved her so much and did not forget her virtues and favors

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: Her love had been nurtured in my heart by Allah Himself. (Muslim)

3. He felt great sorrow over her death.

4. He always remembered her even after her death

Narrated ‘Aisha: “Once Hala bint Khuwailid, Khadija’s sister, asked the permission of the Prophet (ﷺ) to enter. On that, the Prophet (ﷺ) remembered the way Khadija used to ask permission, and that upset him. He said, “O Allah! Hala!” So I became jealous and said, “What makes you remember an old woman amongst the old women of Quraish an old woman (with a teethless mouth) of red gums who died long ago, and in whose place Allah has given you somebody better than her?” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

5. He kept good ties with her friends as an act of loyalty to her.

Narrated `Aisha: I did not feel jealous of any of the wives of the Prophet (ﷺ) as much as I did of Khadija though I did not see her, but the Prophet (ﷺ) used to mention her very often, and whenever he slaughtered a sheep, he would cut its parts and send them to the women friends of Khadija. When I sometimes said to him, “(You treat Khadija in such a way) as if there is no woman on earth except Khadija,” he would say, “Khadija was such-and-such, and from her I had children.” (Al-Bukhari)

A sad incident and its date:

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) led a life of ease and comfort with Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her). He found tranquility, peace of mind and solace with her. She helped him in facing all the difficulties of life so she was a joy to the eye for him. However, death is certain and it is a destiny that can never be postponed. Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) died on 10 Ramadan in the 10th year after prophethood. It was also said that she died before that.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) felt great sorrow and pain at that because he lost the one who used to help and support him. He lost a beloved wife who was with him in times of prosperity and adversity for twenty five years. His sorrow increased as it wasn’t a long time since his uncle Abu Talib had died. His uncle also used to defend and protect him especially outside whereas Khadijah used to support him especially inside the house.

Lessons to be learned from this incident:

1. No matter how strong love is, death can cause people to break up. So, love whoever you wish, you will break up one day. However, the content and patient believer will be rewarded for this.

2. Sorrow which is not accompanied by words or actions that contradict patience is permissible. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) felt sorrow at the death of Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her)

3. One feels greater sorrow at the death of a person whose life is filled with acts of charity and goodness.

4. The death of a good wife remains a deep wound that memories, similar incidents and voices keep reopening.

5. What our mother Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) has done to support and help Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) as well as her good qualities make us hold her in high esteem and to respect and praise her.


[i] Adapted from Ibn Hajar’s Al-Isabah fi tamyeez Al-Sahabah (7/600-604)

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