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    Women in Islam: Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (R.A)

    A woman’s impact is felt everywhere. Women are intelligent, powerful and inspirational. They are the pioneers in some of the most life-changing things in this world, it’s only right that we want to be them.

    Women in Islam is a blog series that will focus on inspiring women in Islam. Women who are the pioneers, the go-getters and the life changers.

    First off, we’ll look at Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (R.A) - the greatest woman of Islam. She is considered one of the 4 women who had perfected their faith and given the glad tidings of paradise. 

    Khadijah (R.A) was the first to pray, first to be taught  wudhu, first to support our Belovedwhen everyone rejected him, the first one to be given glad tidings of Jannah in the whole world, and the first amongst the companions to be sent Salam from Allahthrough Jibreelعليه السلام.


    Background 

    If Khadijah (R.A) were to be alive in our time, she would be the ultimate female entrepreneur. Khadijah (R.A) was born to a family of merchants of the Quraysh tribe. After her parents death, she inherited a lot  of wealth which she then used responsibly and strategically to grow the family business. At the time, trade was a huge part of the business world and it was mostly run by men. In a male- dominated society in pre-islamic Arabian culture, that may seem like an impossible feat. Not for  Khadijah (R.A). By the age of 40 she had become a successful and skilled business woman. Her business grew larger than all of the Quraysh trades combined! All while raising her children as a single mother, because both her previous husbands had passed. 

    She was well known for her generosity, feeding and the poor, and she earned the titles of Ameerat-Quraysh (“Princess of Quraysh”),al-Tahira (“The Pure One”) and KhadijahAl-Kubra (Khadijah “the Great”).Khadijah (R.A) was the most noble, beautiful and wealthy of her time.She was getting a lot of proposals from many men, but she had turned all of them down.  

    Khadijah (R.A) would hire men to travel in her caravans and conduct business for her. Now you can imagine that many men wanted to work for her,  but she was very strategic in hiring the right men. She only selected the few trustworthy men that met her high standards. When she heard of the noble character of the Prophetﷺ, she hired him. He ﷺ was still young, he was around 25.She was so  impressed by  his character and the way he managed her business with integrity and  honesty. And so she asked for his hand in marriage, despite the fact that she was much older than him. But that wasn’t an issue, they got married andhad several children together, including 4 daughters. The prophet  never had any wives while she was alive and no other children by any of his other wives later on.

    She believed in me when the whole world refuted me and she attested to my trueness when the whole world accused me of falsehood. She offered me compassion and loyalty with her wealth when everyone else had forsaken me.❞ [Prophet Muhammad  – Narrated by Musnad Ahmad]

    Khadijah (R.A) was the first person to believe in the message of the Prophet. She was a friend and a supporter to the Prophet  while sharing all his troubles and difficulties. She offered him support, love and advice. At one point she climbed up the mountain just to bring him  food. Their relationship proved to be one of love, loyalty and friendship. Or in today's language: #couplegoals 

    The most famous story that we hear of is when the Prophet received revelation in Mount Hira. He was scared and shocked, and the first place he ran to was the arms of Khadijah. She covers him, calms him and supports him.  And so the scholars say that the beginning of Islam and prophethood began in the arms of Khadijah. 

    What we can Learn fromKhadijah “the Great”

    1. She used her wealth to help those who needed it most. She would feed the poor, the orphans and would pay the dowries of those who couldn’t afford it.  
    2. She gave up  all her wealth to support the Muslim community at a time when everyone turned against theProphet
    3. She was a source of comfort, support and strength when heﷺ needed it the most 
    4. Despite all the challenges Khadijah (R.A) faced, it didn’t stop her from building an empire 
    5. She balanced her everyday life by taking care of  her 6 children, an adopted son, being a pillar of support for theProphetﷺ, taking care of her house and running a successful business. 

    Let’s Pause, Think and Reflect

    1. Think about the last time someone came to you with a problem or a concern. It could be your spouse, a sibling, a friend, or a member of the community. How did you react? Were you empathetic? Supportive? Was it a meaningful interaction?
    2. How are you spending your money? 
    3. Are you a source of encouragement to others? 
    4. Do you go the extra mile for your loved ones? 
    5. Can your loved ones depend on you and trust you when they’re going through a rough time? 
    6. What are you doing to make Allah happy? Think about the level of piety Khadija (R.A) had that  Allah ﷻ sent Jibreelعليه السلام to send His ﷻ Salam and to inform her that a palace of pearls was built for her in Jannah. 

    From the books we know that Khadijah (R,A) had a kind-hearted spirit and generous nature amongst other things. She is considered the pioneer woman of Islam. She is our Ummul Mu’mineen, the mother of believers. We love her, and we show our love by speaking about her, reading about her and acknowledging her special status. If you’re in Makkah, take the time to visit her grave in Jannatul Mualla, as the Prophet would frequently visit throughout his lifetime. We should all strive to look up to her, use her as a model and incorporate her attributes into our  daily lives .

    O ‘A’ishah! The truth of the matter is that no one can be better than Khadijah… [...] O ‘A’ishah! What can I do? Love for her runs in my blood and is nestled in my heart. [Prophet Muhammad  – Narrated by Masnad Ahmad]

    Who do you want us to write about next? Leave your suggestions in the comments👇🏽