Neither he wedded her for her wealth, nor did she marry him because of lack of suitors, or for improving his pecuniary status. What attracted them to each other was virtue, honesty, integrity of character, and above all shared monotheist faith in the One and Only Creator in an Arabia submerged in polytheism and sins. Stay with us for a special feature on the anniversary of the nuptials of Hazrat Khadija the daughter of Khuwailed and Mohammad ibn Abdullah (AS), who was yet to proclaim his universal mission of Islam.
“Marriage is part of my Sunnah and whoever disregards it is not from us.”
This is one of the most famous sayings of Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny). As the Final Messenger of God to all mankind, he led the most excellently exemplary life and promulgated the most universally comprehensive Shari’a. He practiced whatever he preached, and whatever he preached became an integral part of his Sunnah and Seerah that is, Practice and Behaviour. Celibacy is unnatural and not part of human nature.
Thus at the age of 25, in the prime of manhood, even though he was not yet commanded by God to formally proclaim his mission, he had to marry, in order to fulfill the basic human needs of leading a stable life and building a morally sound family. As the best of creation, and as the most perfect offspring of Adam and Eve – his light had descended, generation after generation, through spotlessly clean wombs and pristinely pure backs – he had to marry the most virtuously chaste lady of his times, so as to start the pristinely pure progeny of all times, whose unsullied cleanliness God would eventually vouch in the holy Qur’an in ayah 33 of Surah Ahzaab:
“Allah desires to keep away uncleanness from you Ahl al-Bayt and preserve you thoroughly purified.”
Our sincere salutations to Khadijat-al-Kubra (SA), the monotheist daughter of Khuwailed ibn Asad of a sub clan of the Quraysh that like the Bani Hashem had safeguarded the Hafanite traditions of Prophet Abraham the Iconoclast in those dark days of ignorance of the pagan Arabs. It was on this day, the 10th of Rabi al-Awwal that the Maleekat al-Arab or Richest Lady of Arabia, who had remained a virgin by spurning all suitors as unworthy, entered into the blessed union of marriage with the future Prophet. Acclaimed as the Tahera or the Chaste for remaining virtuously single so far, the Nikah or nuptials of the lady destined to be the Omm al-Momineen or the One and Only Mother of all True Believers, was solemnized by that primordial Muslim, the Prophet’s beloved uncle and guardian, Abu Taleb, who along with his wife, Fatema bint Asad, had brought up his orphaned nephew as his own son.
The two were the ideal made-for-each-other pair, and 15 years after marriage, when God formally entrusted the message of Islam to her husband, the loyal monotheist wife immediately testified to his mission as the Prophet. The two had several children including sons Qassem and Abdullah, but none survived infanthood, except daughter, Hazrat Fatema Zahra (SA). The Prophet never took another spouse during the over 25 years of marital bliss with the First Lady of Islam, who spent all her proverbial wealth to feed, clothe, and shelter the persecuted neo Muslim community, to the extent that when she passed away, there was hardly anything left for her only surviving child, daughter Fatemat az-Zahra (SA) – the Noblest Lady of all times.
Her unrivalled status is crystal clear for all Muslims, who very well know that whenever Islam was in danger, it was the progeny of Khadija that rose to the occasion by giving it the kiss of life through their lifeblood – with Karbala and the martyrdom of her grandson, Imam Husain (AS), being the supreme example. It is also needless to say that the Redeemer of mankind, the Awaited Imam Mahdi (AS), who will fill the world with justice, is the direct offspring of the Immaculate Khadija (SA). Years after her death, when the middle-aged widowed Prophet had taken several wives out of social necessity in order to break the taboos of the days of ignorance, one of his spouses objected to his constant remembrance of Khadija (SA). The Prophet was upset and replied:
"By God, the Almighty did not grant me a better wife than her. She believed in me when the people used to mock at me and she acknowledged me when the people denied me. She shared her wealth and property with me and she bore me children which I was not destined to have through other women."
These words of the Prophet clearly specify that none of these ladies, whatever their degree of faith or lack of it in some of them, were never considered by the Seal of Prophets to be on a par with the beloved Khadija, whose memory he used to cherish till the end of his life – as part of his undeniable Sunnah and Seerah.
To be brief, the wedding this day of Hazrat Khadija (SA) and the future Prophet (SAWA) was celebrated on a grand scale. The Walima meals given by the beaming uncle, Abu Taleb, who had arranged the marriage, lasted for three successive days, while the reciprocal meals provided by the bride for the poor, the needy, the travelers, and all Meccans, continued for almost three months. No wonder, when five years after this blessed marriage, Abu Taleb’s youngest child, son Ali (AS), was born, the Prophet and his wife, who had lost their sons in infancy, took him under their care to nurture, raise and eventually marry him to the Infallible Fatema (SA), so as to ensure eternity for the blessed progeny of the Mercy unto the creation.
Could there be a better precedent set by the Prophet than his marriage to Khadija (SA); his respect for her during the quarter century of marital bliss; his cherishing of her memory till the end of his life as one of the Four Noblest Ladies of all time; his profound affection for her daughter Fatema, son-in-law Ali and grandsons Hasan and Husain (peace upon them); and his emphasis on her Immaculate Progeny, the Ahl al-Bayt, as the evergreen tree of divine guidance for the whole ummah, including his Sahaba or companions?