The Most Beloved Wife of the Holy Prophet of Islam (SAW)
"Islam did not rise except through Ali's sword and Khadija's wealth" a saying goes.
Khadija al-Kubra (A) daughter of Khuwaylid ibn (son of) Asad ibn Abdul-ˋUzza ibn Qusayy belonged to the clan of Banu Hashim of the tribe of Banu Asad. She was a distant cousin of her husband the Messenger of Allah Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Abdul-Muttalib ibn Hashim ibn Abd Manaf ibn Qusayy (pbuh and his progeny). Qusayy, then, is the ancestor of all clans belonging to Quraysh. According to some historians, Quraysh's real name was Fahr, and he was son of Malik son of Madar son of Kananah son of Khuzaimah son of Mudrikah son of Ilyas son of Mazar son of Nazar son of Maˋad son of Adnan son of Ismaˋeel (Ishmael) son of Ibrahim (Abraham) son of Sam son of Noah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon the prophets from among his ancestors.
According to a number of sources, Khadija (A) was born in 565 AD and died on 10th Mahe Ramadhan three year before the Hijra (migration of the Holy Prophet and his followers from Mecca to Medina) at the age of 58. Khadija's mother, who died around 575 AD, was Fatima daughter of Za'ida ibn al-Asam of Banu ˋAmir ibn Luayy ibn Ghalib, also a distant relative of Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Khadija's father, who died around 585 AD, belonged to the Abd al-ˋUzza clan of the tribe of Quraysh and, like many other Qurayshis, was a merchant, a successful businessman whose vast wealth and business talents were inherited by Khadija and whom the latter succeeded in faring with the family's vast wealth.
Her marriage to the Prophet of Islam (pbuh) was a very happy one, and it produced a lady who was one of the four perfect women in all the history of mankind: Fatima daughter of Muhammad (SAW). Before her, Qasim and Abdullah were born, but they both died at infancy. By the time Khadija got married, she was quite a wealthy lady, so wealthy that she felt no need to keep trading and increasing her wealth; instead, she decided to retire and enjoy a comfortable life with her husband who, on his part, preferred an ascetic life.
Khadija (A) bore patiently in the face of persecution to which her revered husband and his small band of believers were exposed at the hands of the polytheists and aristocrats of Quraysh, sacrificing her vast wealth to promote Islam, seeking Allah's Pleasure. Among Khadija's merits was her being one of the four most perfect of all women of mankind, the other three being: Fatima daughter of Muhammad (SAW), Maryam bint ˋUmran (Mary daughter of Amran) mother of Christ (A) and niece of prophet Zakariyya and Ishba (Elizabeth), and ˋAsiya daughter of Muzahim, wife of Pharaoh.
The Prophet of Islam (SAW) used to talk about Khadija quite often after her demise, so much so that his youngest wife, ˋAyesha daughter of Abu Bakr, felt extremely jealous and said to him, "... But she was only an old woman with red eyes, and Allah has compensated you with a better and younger wife (meaning herself)." This caused him (SAW) to be very indignant, and he said, "No, indeed; He has not compensated me with someone better than her. She believed in me when all others disbelieved; she held me truthful when others called me a liar; she sheltered me when others abandoned me; she comforted me when others shunned me; and Allah granted me children by her while depriving me of children by other women."
Janabe Khadija (A) died of illness (or as some mention, poisoning) on 10th day of the month of Ramadhan, ten years after the start of the Prophetic mission (in the year 619 AD), 25 years after her marriage with Muhammad (SAW), and she was buried at a graveyard known as Jannaul Maula at the outskirts of Mecca.
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) dug her grave and buried her... Funeral prayers (salat al janaza) had not yet been mandated in Islam. It is reported that by the time she died, her entire wealth had already been spent to promote Islam; she left not a single gold dinar nor a single silver dirham, nor anything more or less..
"O soul that are at rest! Return to your Lord, well-pleased (with Him), well-pleasing (Him), so enter among My servants, and enter into My garden." (Holy Qur'an, 89:27-30).
Article contribution by Marhum Muallim Mustafa Mawjee