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Zaynab bint Jahsh (RadiyaAllaahu ‘Anha)

Zaynab-bint-JahshShe was the daughter of Umaimah bint ‘Abdul Muttalib bin Hashim, who was the Messenger of Allah’s paternal aunt. Her brother was the distinguished general, ‘Abdullah bin Jahsh. Another brother was a noted author of religious poetry, Abu Ahmad bin Jahsh. Her sister was another famous women Companion, Hamnah bint Jahsh. Her paternal uncles were the Leader of the Martyrs’ Hamzah bin ‘Abdul Muttalib, and ‘Abbas bin ‘Abdul Muttalib, who was renowned for his works of charity. Her paternal aunt was Safiyyah bint ‘Abdul Muttalib bin Hashim.

She was born about thirty years before the Hijrah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), She was influenced by the teachings of her brother, ‘Abdullah bin Jahsh, to convert to Islam. Beautiful, intelligent, wise and of noble birth she was the envy of many.

The increasing popularity and influence of Islam roused a towering rage among the Quraysh; the new converts faced indescribable tortures. Some were made to lie on beds of coal, while others some were dragged naked across the burning desert sands. Still others were wrapped up in straw mats and strung over smoke, to suffocate them. Everyday saw new methods of the art of torturing these people who had sworn allegiance to the Allah.

The sole purpose was that they should give up the belief and practices of Islam. Makkah became too small to hold both them and the Quraysh. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) exhorted his followers and friends to be patient and brave, but finally he gave them orders to migrate; first to Abyssinia and then to Al-Madinah. Under the leadership of ‘Abdullah bin Jahsh, the Jahsh family set out. The caravan included the blind poet Ahmad bin Jahsh, who was admired for his linguistic mastery. He wrote an epic poem depicting in detail the tortures inflicted by the Quraysh, the reasons for migration and the heroic deeds of the Muslims. This poem is considered to be a masterpiece of Arabic literature.

Time passed peacefully in Al-Madinah, and the ties between the immigrants and the Ansar, the original inhabitants created an atmosphere of brotherly love and affection. It seemed they were members of one united family. The best individual in the society was neither master nor slave, neither man nor woman, neither rich nor poor, but a God-fearing person of good character and morals.

In the context of such an ideal society the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) suggested to his cousin Zaynab that he had decided to get her engaged to Zayd bin Harithah, his adopted son and a freed slave. When Zaynab heard this she was stunned; she told him that she was from a noble family and she was neither keen nor willing to marry a freed slave. She was doubtful if they could get along with each other. He answered that he had chosen Zayd for her and she should accept him. Before Zaynab could answer him, an Ayah was revealed to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). This was Ayah of Surat At-Ahzab,

“It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disbelieves Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed into a plane error.” [Noble Quran 33:36]

Thus Zaynab and Zayd were married, but separated as they were from totally different social backgrounds, and their marital life was far from peaceful.

Zaynab was biased and from the very beginning the relations were always strained. Zayd felt that the respect and importance that a husband should get from his wife was never given to him. Disappointed in his marriage, he went to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and told him that he was very upset as he and Zaynab seemed totally incompatible. The advice that he received from his mentor, Allah has incorporated in the Noble Quran,

“Keep your wife to yourself, and fear Allah.” [Noble Quran 33:37]

But in spite of all the best efforts the marriage did not work out, and finally he divorced Zaynab.

Arabs thought it was wrong for a man to marry the widow or divorcee of his adopted son. Allah wanted to abolish this uncivilized custom, so He sent the Angel Jibril to tell the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in secret that Zaynab would one day be his wife. He was very distressed as it was against the accepted norm of behavior. He feared social censure and was very ashamed and embarrassed at the implications. But the decision had been made in the heavens by Allah and soon he received the revelation,

“And (remember) when you said to him (Zayd bin Harithah) on whom Allah has bestowed grace (by guiding him to Islam) and you have done favour (by manumitting him): “Keep your wife to yourself, and fear Allah.” But you hid in yourself that which Allah will make manifest, you did fear the people (i.e., their saying that Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) married the divorced wife of his manumitted slave) whereas Allah had a better right that you should fear Him. So when Zayd had accomplished his desire from her (i.e. divorced her), We gave her to you in marriage, so that there may be no difficulty to the believers in respect of (the marriage of) the wives of their adopted sons when the latter have no desire to keep them. And Allah’s Command must be fulfilled.” [Noble Quran 33:37]

When Zaynab completed her period of waiting, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) sent her a proposal through Zayd bin Harithah. When he went to her, she was kneading dough; keeping his back turned to her, he gave her the Prophet’s message, that he wanted her to join the select group of the Mothers of the believers. She said she could not answer immediately, but would have to consult her Maker. She began praying to Allah for guidance. She was still in the middle of her prayer, when the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) received a revelation that the marriage had already been performed in the Heavens by Allah Himself. After this Heavenly order, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) immediately went to Zaynab without observing any of the formalities that were observed with acquaintances and friends. He did not inform her in advance nor did ask for permission. There are some exceptional points to be noted regarding this marriage.

Only the order of the Quran was based as a guardian or a witness.

It abolished a barbaric custom that equated a blood relationship with an adoptive one; in which the father could not marry an adopted son’s ex-wife or widow.

Zaynab used to say very proudly to the other Mother of the Believers that her marriage had been performed not by her family but by Allah above the Heavens with His beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).

When the hypocrites criticized the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) for this marriage, Allah replied,

“There is no blame on the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in that which Allah has made legal for him. That has been Allah’s way with those who have passed away of (the Prophets of) old. And the Command of Allah is a decree determined. Those who convey the Message of Allah and fear Him, and fear none save Allah. And Sufficient is Allah as a Reckoner.” [Noble Quran 33:38-39]

And to clarify the finer points still further he revealed Ayat which again are part of Surat Al-Ahzab,

“Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the last of the Prophets. And Allah is Ever All-Aware of everything.” [Noble Quran 33:40]

On this occasion Allah revealed the order clarifying the position of adopted sons as,

“Nor has he made your adopted sons your real sons. That is but your saying with your mouths. But Allah says the truth, and He guides to the (Right) Way. Call them (the adopted sons) by (the names of) their fathers, that is more just with Allah.” [Noble Quran 33:4-5]

On the occasion of this wedding Allah revealed revelation regarding Hijab and also made it clear that no man could marry any of the Mothers of the Believers after the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). These two commands were revealed in Ayat of the same Surat,

“O you who believe! Enter not the Prophet’s houses, unless permission is given to you for a meal, (and then) not (so early as) to wait for its preparation. But when you are invited, enter, and when you have taken your meal, disperse without sitting for a talk. Verily, such (behavior) annoys the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), and he is shy of (asking) you (to go); but Allah is not shy of (telling you) the truth. And when you ask (his wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts. And it is not (right) for you that you should annoy Allah’s Messenger, nor that you should ever marry his wives after him (his death). Verily, with Allah that shall be an enormity.” [Noble Quran 33:53]

‘A’ishah says that in terms of values and position, Zaynab was her equal. She said she had never seen any other person who was so eager to get closer to Allah to gain nearness to Him she was more charitable than most, and her generous behavior with relatives was impeccable. When ‘A’ishah was wrongfully accused, the whole of Al-Madinah was polluted with taunts and filthy talk; in fact even the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was disturbed. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) asked Zaynab what her opinion was of ‘A’ishah. The noble character of this lady is revealed in her answer; she promptly said she did not wish to be involved, and did not want to defile and taint her ears, her eyes and her tongue with such terrible accusations. Swearing by Allah she said, she found ‘A’ishah to be a truly God-fearing lady of exemplary character. She found in her the most wonderful traits of integrity, sincerity and honesty. She said she had not seen in her anything but goodness and virtue. ‘A’ishah narrated that Zaynab very easily could have taken advantage of the situation and passed derogatory remarks about her, for after all, in a sense they were rivals. ‘A’ishah says she never forgot the fact that she stood by her at the worst time in her life when almost the whole world had turned against her.

On one occasion Zaynab called Safiyyah a Jewess and this deeply distressed the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). In fact he was so upset that he stopped talking to her. Zaynab felt guilty and realized that she committed a grave mistake and offended the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Finally she requested ‘A’ishah to advocate her case with him and tell him that she was sincerely repentant; she was the only one who could talk to him in such a direct manner. When the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) visited ‘A’ishah, she looked for an opportune moment and brought up the subject, pleading the case for Zaynab. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) forgave her and family life returned to normal in the household.

When Zaynab passed away ‘A’ishah recalled an occasion when the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), said that among the Mother of the Believers, she would meet him first who had the longest arms. Zaynab was short compared to the others and naturally her arms were also shorter. All the ladies took this statement literally and started measuring their arms. It was only upon the death of Zaynab that they realized what this meant. It really meant that the person with the longest arms was the most generous or liberal person, who only thought of how she could benefit others. There was an implicit prophesy in this statement, which became clear when Zaynab passed away. It meant she would meet him in Paradise before the others. And she passed away before any of the other wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). ‘A’ishah says Zaynab worked with her own hands, and what she thus earned she spent on works of charity. She said she was a God-fearing, straight-forward lady who practiced abstinence. All her actions were aimed at pleasing Allah. Sometimes she could lose her temper, but then she was quick to repent and ask for forgiveness. She was very pure at heart and never carried resentments and grudges.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had a very organized routine. After the ‘Asr prayers he would visit the different apartments to inquire about the well being of the ladies of his household. He was always very just in the attention he paid to them and the amount of time he spent with each one of them. Once Zaynab received some special honey from a relative, and it so happened that this was the Prophet’s favourite. Whenever she offered it to him he would spend some time longer in her apartment, as it took time to really flavor and enjoy it. The other wives felt impatient and restless waiting for their turn with him. So ‘A’ishah, Sawdah, and Hafsah worked out a plan. Each of them would tell him that there was a peculiar smell in his mouth. And if all of them said the same thing he would certainly believe them and realize that the only thing which could have given him bad breath would have been the honey he just had. Since he was very concerned about personal hygiene, he would definitely stop eating the honey. Of course the three Mothers of the Believers did what they did, not out of spite, but because they loved him and wanted him to come to them sooner. In fact Allah has Himself spoken of them in the highest terms of respect in the Quran.

“O wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) you are not like any other women.” [Noble Quran 33:32]

And it happened as they planned; the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) developed a distaste for honey and decided he would never eat it again. In the case of an ordinary human being this may not have been a problem. But the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was swearing not to have something that actually was not forbidden by Allah ; this could lead to any follower of his also forswearing something not forbidden by Allah. So Allah rebuked him,

“O Prophet! Why do you forbid (for yourself) that which Allah has allowed to you, seeking to please your wives? And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Noble Quran 66:1]

As a result the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) broke the oath he had taken and performed the penance for this in accordance with the injunctions of Allah.

Zaynab made a little mosque in a corner of her house and used to spend a lot of time there in prayer and meditation. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) would also pray there sometimes. She believed strongly in asking Allah for counsel through prayer and supplication, before taking any action. All her life’s major decisions were made in this way. In fact even when the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) proposed she turned to prayer for guidance.

This righteous lady died during the caliphate of ‘Umar Faruq at the age of fifty-three. When she realized she was about to meet her Maker, she told the people around her that she already prepared a shroud for herself. If ‘Umar Faruq sent one for her, one should be used and the other given away in charity. She was such a modest lady that a curtain was drawn in front of her dead body, even though it was wrapped in a shroud.

‘Umar Faruq led the funeral prayers and all her close relatives – Usamah bin Zayd, Muhammad bin’ Abdullah bin Jahsh, ‘Abdullah bin Abi Ahmad bin Jahsh and Muhammad bin Talhah bin ‘Abdullah got down into the grave to lower her gently into her final resting place in Jannatul Baqi’.

She was so generous and soft-hearted that the poor and distressed of the city broke into tears when they heard they lost their benefactress and patron. On her death she left a house which was bought by Walid bin ‘Abdul Malik for fifty thousand Dirhams and included by him in the precincts of the Prophet’s Mosque at Al-Madinah.

“O the one in (complete) rest and satisfaction! Come back to your Lord – well pleased and well pleasing. Enter you then among My (honored) servants, and enter you My Paradise.” [Noble Quran 89:27-30]

Source: “Great Women of Islam” – by Dar-us-Salam Publications

Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (R.A.)

dew_on_flower_petal_wallpaper_by_wallpaperc-d5wsmmkNarrated Abu Hurairah: Jibril (Gabriel) came to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and said: “O Allah’s Messenger! This is Khadijah, coming to you with a dish having meat soup (or some food or drink). When she reaches you, greet her on behalf of her Lord (Allah) and on my behalf, and give her the glad tidings of having a palace made of Qasab in Paradise, wherein there will be neither any noise nor any toil, (fatigue, trouble, etc.).” [Al-Bukhari, Vol 5, Book 58, Number 168]

‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas narrated that one day the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) drew four lines on the earth and asked his Companions if they understood what these lines stood for. They respectfully replied that he knew better. He then told them that these lines stood for the four foremost ladies of the universe. They were Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, Fatimah bint Muhammad, Maryam bint Imran, the mother of the Prophet Issa and ‘Asia bint Muzahim (the wife of the Pharaoh).

She was the first person to have an abiding faith in the utterances of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and to accept Islam as her religion and her way of life. She was blessed with the distinction of having been greeted with Salam (greetings) by Allah and the Angel Jibril.

Khadijah (radiyAllaahu ‘anha) was born in Makkah in the year 556 CE. Her mother’s name was Fatimah bint Zayd, and her father’s name was Khuwaylid bin Asad. He was a very popular leader among the tribe of Quraysh, and a very prosperous businessman who died while fighting in the famous battle of Fujjar. Khadijah thus grew up in the lap of luxury. She married Abu Halah Malak bin Nabash bin Zarrarah bin At-Tamimi and bore him two children, Halah and Hind. She wanted to see her husband prosper and financed him in setting up a big business. But unfortunately he passed away. Some time later the young widow married ‘Atique bin ‘Aith bin ‘Abdullah Al-Makhzumi, and she had a daughter by him as well named Hindah, but the marriage soon broke up on grounds of incompatibility. After this all her attention was devoted to the upbringing of her children, and building up the business she inherited from her father. Her astuteness and business ability made her business one of the most widespread businesses among the Quraysh.

Her policy was to employ hard working, honest and distinguished managers to deal on her behalf as a lot depended on the integrity of the employees who traveled far and wide on her behalf. She exported her goods to far away markets like Syria, and her managers bought goods from those markets to be sold at home.

Khadijah (radiyAllaahu ‘anha) had heard of the integrity, honesty and principled behavior of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and sent a job offer to him to head her trading caravans. He gladly accepted the offer and started working for her. Khadijah sent him on a business trip; her old and trusted slave Maysarah being delegated to accompany and serve him.

Maysarah was impressed by the Prophet’s integrity, strength of character, adherence to principles, his amicable dealings and his business abilities. On the way back from Syria, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) lay down under a tree to rest for a while. Nestora, a Jewish monk, noted for his knowledge of religion and for his insight saw him and asked Maysarah who he was. Maysarah told him all about Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and his reputation for honesty and intelligence. Nestora then told him that this man would be elevated to Prophet hood in the future, as no man had ever rested under that particular tree but Prophets.

Tradition has it that Maysarah also saw two angels bearing a cloud over Prophet’s head to protect him from the glare and heat of the sun.

When he returned home Maysarah reported to Khadijah all that had taken place on the trip to Syria. She was deeply moved and impressed, and started thinking of proposing marriage to Muhammad. But how could she express her thoughts to him? She already rejected several proposals of marriage from men belonging to some of the noblest families of the Quraysh. How would her tribe react? What would her family say? And what was more, would her proposal be acceptable to this young, yet unmarried man of the tribe of Quraysh?

As she pondered over these questions and debated within herself, one night she dreamt that the shining sun had descended from the heavens into her courtyard, radiating her home. When she woke up she went for the interpretation of this wonderful dream to her cousin, Waraqah bin Nawfal, a blind man noted for his skill in interpreting dreams, and for his depth of knowledge, particularly of the Torah and the Injil. When he heard her dream, he gave a serene smile, and told her not to worry, as this was a very promising dream. The glorious sun she saw descending into her courtyard indicated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) whose advent had been predicted in the Torah and the Injil was to grace her home and she would gain from his presence in her life.

After this meeting with Waraqah she became stronger in her desire to marry Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). One of her very close friends, Nafisah bint Manbah knew of her inclination and she went to Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and requested his permission to ask him a very personal question. When he said he had no objection, she asked why he had not yet got married. He said he did not have the financial resources. Then she asked him if he would be willing to marry a beautiful lady from a noble and wealthy family, who was inclined towards marriage with him. He asked whom she was referring to; when he learnt her identity he said that he was willing, provided she was willing to marry him. Khadijah’ was overjoyed.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was then twenty-five years of age and Khadijah was forty years old. (According to one tradition, she was twenty-eight). The two uncles of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) Hamzah and Abu Talib approached her uncle, ‘Umar bin Asad, with the formal proposal. It was accepted and the two families began preparing for the wedding. Halimah As-Sa’diyyah who nursed the Prophet in his infancy was specially invited for the wedding and traveled to Makkah from her village. When she left after the festivities, Khadijah presented her with household goods, a camel and forty goats as an expression of gratitude to the lady who had taken such good care of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) in his infancy.

Khadijah was very blessed in the marriage, and had six children. First two sons, Qasim and ‘Abdullah; then followed the daughters, Zaynab, Ruqayyah, Umm Kulthum and Fatimah. It was a very happy, peaceful and content household, but Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) felt something was missing, and he was extremely restless. He would retire for a month once a year to the cave of Hira to dedicate himself entirely to prayer and meditation. One day he felt the presence of another being who held him in his arms in a tight embrace. Then he loosened his hold and asked him to read; Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) answered that he was illiterate. But the person repeated the same act and the phrase again and again. Then finally he read these Ayat which are the first revelation of the Quran. They are from Surah Iqra or Al-‘Alaq.

“Read! In the Name of your Lord Who has created (all that exists). He has created man from a clot. Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous. Who has taught (the writing) by the pen. He has taught man that which he knew not.” [Noble Quran 96:1-5]

Then the being disappeared. This was such an awesome experience that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) returned home sweating and shaking. He called out to Khadijah asking her to cover him with a sheet or a blanket. When he had calmed down to some extent, he told his wife that he feared for his life, and narrated the whole incident to her. Khadijah, a picture of loyalty and serenity consoled him saying that Allah would surely protect him from any danger, and would never allow anyone to revile him as he was a of man of peace and reconciliation and always extended the hand of friendship to all. He never lied, always hospitable, carried the burdens of others and helped those who were in trouble. These soothing and encouraging words of sympathy and understanding from Khadijah gave him immeasurable strength and confidence. She then took him to meet her cousin, Waraqah bin Nawfal, who immediately guessed the identity of the being in the Cave of Hira as the Angel Jibril the Messenger of Allah who had visited Moses as well. Waraqah who was very old wished that he could live to see the time when the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) would be forced into exile by his people. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was very surprised and asked if his people would really do this to him. Waraqah assured him that it was typical of human beings that they would never appreciate or follow a Prophet who rose among them. Waraqah added that he wished he were alive at that time and be able to help him. He added that if what he had been told were true then surely it meant that her husband was the Prophet of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) whose advent had been mentioned in the scriptures.

The four daughters grew up to be faithful and courageous daughters of Islam. They all migrated to Al-Madinah, with the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).

Zaynab was married to Abu ‘Aas bin Rabi’ah, Ruqayyah was married to ‘Uthman. When she passed away he married her sister Umm Kulthum; Fatimah was married to ‘Ali bin Abi Talib. The first three daughters died during the lifetime of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and his beloved daughter Fatimah lived just six months after he passed away.

When the disbelievers saw that Islam was attracting more and more followers in spite of all their tactics, they decided to declare an open and total political and economic boycott of the tribe of Banu Hashim. This took place in the seventh year after the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) declared himself the Messenger of Allah. This is also known in Islamic history as the Shi’ab Abi Talib.

It was so severe that innocent children faced starvation and hunger, and adults survived eating the leaves of trees. Yet the firm followers of Muhammad did not turn away from their true religion and they came out of the ordeal stronger and purer than before.

Khadijah (radiyAllaahu ‘anha) who had been brought up in luxury in her wealthy father’s home now faced the economic hardships with patience and courage, which are a necessary part of any siege. Khadijah’s nobility of character and conduct pleased Allah, so much that He sent special greetings for her.

Khadijah (radiyAllaahu ‘anha) was the ideal wife and mother. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) lived in her house which became a blessed place due to his presence and the fact that Jibril (peace and blessings be upon him) came often to visit him there with Quranic revelations. It became the centre of Islam, where all the Companions male and female visited often to partake of the hospitality of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and his wife.

After the Hijrah (migration) of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to Al-Madinah, the house was occupied by the brother of ‘Ali. Later Mu’awiyah bin Abu Sufyan who transcribed some of the Divine Revelations purchased this house and built a mosque. Thus the site of the house of Khadijah became a place of prayer and worship for all time. She had been used to praying two Rak’as of Salat (prayer), mornings and evenings with the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), even before prayers were made compulsory by Allah. After accepting Islam she became more contemplative and inclined towards worship; she found a blessed feeling of peace in prayer.

Afif Kindi relates that ‘Abbas bin ‘Abdul Muttalib was a great friend of his and he used to visit him often in Yemen in connection with his business in perfumes. On one occasion when they were standing and chatting in Mina, they saw a handsome young man approach. He carefully washed his hands and feet and then stood respectfully with his arms crossed on his breast. Soon a dignified lady of noble bearing and a young handsome young lad joined him. ‘Afif asked ‘Abbas what they were doing and whether this was a new form of exercise. ‘Abbas replied that the youth was his brother ‘Abdullah’s son, and the lady was his wife. She was a woman of great wealth and virtue, and an ideal wife and mother. The lad was his brother Abu Talib’s son. Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) had announced that he was a Messenger of Allah and had started preaching a new religion called Islam. In due course ‘Afif accepted Islam, but he always regretted the fact that he had not joined the Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and his Companions in their prayers and supplication on that memorable day in Mina, when he had first heard of Islam.

Khadijah passed away just three years before the Hijrah, or the Prophet’s (peace and blessings be upon him) migration to Al-Madinah. She died at the age of sixty-five, having given almost twenty-five years to Muhammad and the cause of Islam. When Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) saw her in the throes of death he consoled her saying Allah had so ordained it, and that the thing she was dreading, would prove favorable for her. Her eyes lit up and as she gazed at her beloved husband, her soul left its earthly body.

Her grave was prepared at a place called Hujjun, near Makkah. Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) stepped into it to see that everything was as it should be, and with his own hands lowered her gently into it. Thus passed away the ‘Mother’ of all Muslims, the one who had sacrificed her all for Islam, the lady who was the greatest supporter of Islam in its earliest days. She who was the mother of Fatimah, the First Lady of Paradise, the grandmother of the beloved grandchildren of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) Hasan and Hussein who are to be the foremost of the youths in Paradise.

When she passed away, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was heartbroken at the loss of a dedicated companion who stood by him during the most difficult period of his life.

One of the ladies of the Quraysh, Khawlah bint Hakim, visited the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to console him, and saw his state of depression and grief and remarked on it. He replied it was only natural that he should be touched by her absence, as she had been a loving mother to his now neglected children; she had been a loyal and sympathetic wife who shared his secrets. It was only human and natural that he should feel her loss as she was there for him during his most difficult times. Whenever he was abused by the disbelievers she had provided moral support and unflagging faith.

A Companion of the Prophet narrates that whenever any gift was brought to him he would immediately send it to some lady who had been a friend of Khadijah. Ayshah, a favorite wife of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) says that whenever a goat was slaughtered the Prophet it would send some meat to Khadijah’s friends; when she remarked about this on one occasion he told her, ‘I have great regard for her friends, as she has a special place in my heart.’ Ayshah said she never experienced such a feeling of natural feminine jealousy for any other wife of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as she did for Khadijah. She also narrates that whenever Muhammad spoke of her he would talk at great length and praise her qualities, and pray for her forgiveness.

Ayshah narrates that whenever the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) talked about Khadijah, it was in terms of the highest praise. One day her innate feminine envy overtook her sense of decorum and she spoke in disparaging terms of her, wondering why the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) missed her when he was blessed with a better, younger wife by Allah. This displeased him, but forbearing as he was, he just sighed and answered,

“I have not yet found a better wife than her. She had faith in me when everyone, even members of my own family and tribe did not believe me, and accepted that I was truly a Prophet and a Messenger of Allah. She converted to Islam, spent all her wealth and worldly goods to help me spread this faith, and this too at a time when the entire world seemed to have turned against me and persecuted me. And it is through her that Allah blessed me with children.”

As Allah says in Surah Al-Fajr in the Noble Quran that it will be said to the pious believers:

“O the one in complete rest and satisfaction! Come back to your Lord — well-pleased (yourself) and well-pleasing (unto Him)! Enter you then among My (honored) servants, and enter you My Paradise.” [Noble Quran 89:27-30]

Source: “Great Women of Islam” – by Dar-us-Salam Publications
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