Blessed marriage of Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) and Hazrat Khadija (S.A.)
By: Sayyid Ali Shahbaz
The blessed 10th of Rabi al-Awwal. It is the day when the Most Excellent Exemplar to mankind, that is, Prophet Mohammad (Blessings of God upon him and his progeny), started his fruitful married life by entering into nuptial bonds with the virtuous lady, Hazrat Khadija (Peace be upon her), who without the least doubt, remains to this day as the most perfect Mother of all True Believers – or to use the Qur’anic term “Omm al-Momineen”. Following is an interesting feature on this occasion.
“Marriage is part of my Sunnah and whoever disregards (my Sunnah) is not from us.”
As the Final Messenger of God to mankind, Prophet Mohammad (Blessings of God upon him and his progeny), who promulgated the most universally comprehensive shari’a, led the most excellently exemplary life. 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. And 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 family. As the best of creation, and as the most perfect offspring of Adam and Eve, whose 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. This was necessary, in order to start the pristinely pure progeny of all times – whose unsullied clealiness God would eventually vouch in ayah 33 of Surah al-Ahzaab of the holy Qur’an: “llah 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 Khwualed of the Bani Asad 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 that the “Maleekat al-Arab” or Richest Lady of Arabia, who had never married any person before and had reached the age of 40, 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 single so far, the Nikah or nuptials of the One and Only Mother of all True Believers was solemnized by none other than 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. In ayah 8 of Surah Zuha we read: “Did He not find you needy, and enrich you?” God’s words here are certainly not a reminder of some forgotten favour to His Messenger, but is a clear reference to the change of fortune in the life of the poor 25-year old future Prophet, as a result of his marriage with the Rich Khadija, with whom – thanks to his uncle Abu Taleb – he had started work as manager of her trade caravans.
It was a marriage made in heaven. Anyone in doubt about belief in the indivisible unity of Allah, the God of Abraham, by Khadija, by her family, by her cousin Waraqah ibn Nawfal, and by Abu Taleb, are advised to ponder on the sermon delivered by the uncle while solemnizing the nuptials of his nephew, as recorded by the famous Sunni scholar, Ibn Hisham in “Sirat-an-Nabawiyya”: “All praise is due to Allah Who has made us the progeny of Abraham, the seed of Ishmael, the descendants of Ma’ad, the substance of Mudar, and Who made us the custodians of His House and the servants of its sacred precincts… He also gave us authority over the people. This nephew of mine Muhammad (SAWA) cannot be compared with any other man…he has sought Khadija daughter of Khuwaylid for marriage…”
Then Waraqah ibn Nawfal stood up and said: “All praise is due to Allah Who has made us just as you have mentioned and preferred us over those whom you have indicated, for we, indeed, are the masters of Arabs and their leaders, and you all are worthy of this (bond of marriage). The tribe (Quraysh) does not deny any of your merits, nor does anyone else dispute your lofty status and prestige. And we, furthermore, wish to be joined to your rope; so, bear witness to my words, O people of Quraysh! I have given Khadija daughter of Khwaylid in marriage to Mohammad ibn Abdullah.”
These passages are indeed proof of the fact that Khadija and her family were staunch monotheists.
The two spent 25 years in marital bliss. As long as the First Lady of Islam was alive, the Prophet never took another spouse. Khadija (SA) was indeed Immaculate. Since she was a monotheist, the moment her husband told her of God’s command to him to publicly proclaim his mission as the Last and Greatest Prophet with the universal message of Islam, she immediately believed in him. Thereafter, she spent all her 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, that is, 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 (SA) that rose to the occasion by giving it the kiss of life through their lifeblood – with Karbala and the martyrdom of Imam Husain (AS) being the pinnacle of glory. 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 offspring of the Immaculate Khadija (SA). Even though she passed away in Mecca before his historic migration to Medina, her memory was alive in the mind of the middle-aged Prophet, who out of social necessity had to take several wives in the last ten years of his life. He never considered these spouses to be on a par with the beloved Khadija (SA), whose memory he used to cherish till the end of his life. Once when a certain wife felt jealous at the mention of Khadija’s name and thought of herself as young and attractive, the Prophet scolded her by saying; "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."
This statement has been mentioned in the famous compilation of hadith of our Sunni brethren titled “Sahih Bukhari”.
To be brief, the wedding of Prophet Mohammad (Blessings of God upon him and his progeny) and Hazrat Khadija (SA) was celebrated on a grand scale, and the Walima meals arranged by the beaming uncle, Abu Taleb, who had arranged the marriage, lasted for three successive days. No wonder, when five years later, Abu Taleb’s youngest child, son Imam Ali (AS) was born, the Prophet and Khadija, who had lost their sons in infancy, took him under their care to nurture, raise and eventually marry him to their Infallible Daughter, Fatema (AS), so as to ensure eternity for the blessed progeny of the Mercy unto the creation.
Could there be a better Sunnah of the Prophet than his marriage to Khadija (SA), and planting of the evergreen tree of divine guidance?