Khadijah, daughter of Khuwaylid, was a magnificent woman of magnificent status. Born from one of the most prominent tribes in Mecca, the Qurayish, she had an exquisite personality and impeccable character which earned her the titles “The Pure One” and “Princess of Qurayish,” the latter due to her honorable descent. Khadijah, like the other members of the Qurayish, was a successful businesswoman who had wealth that she inherited from her father, Khuwaylid. Although the society in which Khadijah was born in was patriarchal and chauvinistic, she paved her own path to success.
She relied on Abu Talib to travel with her trade caravans and to conduct business all across the Arabian peninsula. Khadijah needed an agent to trade her merchandise that was heading to Syria and a number of agents whom she had known before and trusted suggested that she employ her distant cousin, Muhammad son of Abdullah, who was known to be honest and trustworthy. Prior to this, Muhammad had accompanied his uncle Abu Talib on his trade trips and had keenly observed how he traded, bartered, bought and sold the business. Khadijah decided to give Muhammad a chance and hired him at the age of twenty five. The profits Khadijah earned from that trip were twice as much as she had anticipated. Her trusted servant Maysarah, whom she had sent along with Muhammad to Syria, was more impressed by Muhammad’s conduct than anything else. This encouraged Khadijah to employ Muhammad again, sending him to Yemen, a land rich in its resources of coffee beans.
She was famous throughout the Arabian peninsula due to her business and would get multiple suitors that would ask for her hand in marriage. Khadijah had no intention of marrying a third time, after her first two husbands were killed in battle. She simply hated the thought of being widowed again. But the accounts relayed to her by her trusted servant Maysarah regarding her new employee Muhammad made her reconsider her insistence to never marry again. Khadijah would confide her feelings to her friend Nufaysa, daughter of Umayyah, that she had fallen in love with Muhammad for his integrity, honesty, courage, courtesy, kindness and compassion. Nufaysa discussed the matter with Muhammad and it was clear that their love was mutual. After consulting with his uncle Hamza, son of Abdul-Muttalib, Muhammad proposed to Khadijah and their marriage ceremony was recited by Muhammad’s guardian; Abu Talib son of Abdul-Muttalib.
Their marriage was a blessed one. It was a very happy, peaceful and content household with Muhammad and Khadijah. They were the perfect husband and wife, and their marriage is considered a paragon for family relationships, practices, and attitudes.
“A thankful heart, a mindful tongue, and a virtuous wife who helps man in worldly and otherworldly affairs, are better than whatever people might treasure.”
Prophet Muhammad [Nahj al-Fasahah p. 22]
When the Message was revealed to Muhammad, Khadijah was the first to have faith in the Prophet’s proclamation and was the first to accept Islam as her religion and way of life. She played a big part in establishing the religion. If it was not for her wealth, Islam would not have risen as it had. She was, and still is, an exemplar for women all over the world. She was an activist that would feed and clothe the poor. She was an entrepreneur whose success help set the foundations of a religion. She was the wife of the prophet of mercy to all mankind, the mother of the lady of paradise. Khadijah was kindhearted and generous, traits that transcended through time to remain the distinguished qualities we look for in a role model today.