Salutations to Hazrat Khadija (PBUH), first woman to embrace Islam

Tehran, July 7, IRNA – Tuesday edition of the English language newspaper Iran Daily has focused on Hazrat Khadija (PBUH), first woman to embrace Islam.

"She believed in me when no one else did; she accepted Islam when people rejected me; and she helped and comforted me when there was no one else to lend me a helping hand," said Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Born in Mecca, Hazrat Khadija bint Khuwaylid (PBUH) was the wife, companion and supporter of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Hazrat Khadija (PBUH) has collected more "firsts" in the history of Islam than anyone else. She was the first wife of the Last Messenger of Allah (PBUH). She was the first woman to profess faith in Islam as a religion revealed upon divine command by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

She was the first person to offer prayers to Allah with her husband. Whenever Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) stood for prayer, she was his constant companion.

Hazrat Khadija (PBUH) was always remembered by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as one of the greatest women of the world.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: "Four greatest women of the universe are Khadija bint Khuwaylid, Fatemeh bint Muhammad, Maryan bint Imran and Asiya bint Muzahim, the wife of Pharaoh."



Early Life



Hazrat Khadija (PBUH) was born in Mecca in the year 556 CE to Fatemeh bint Zayd and Khuwaylid bin Asad. Her father was a very popular leader in the tribe of Quraysh and a very prosperous businessman who died while fighting in the famous battle of Fujjar. She grew up in the lap of luxury.

Her mother and father both died within 10 years of each other and their wealth was divided among their children. But it was Hazrat Khadija (PBUH) who took over the family business and expanded it.

Hazrat Khadija’s (PBUH) nobility and chastity were renowned even before her conversion to Islam, for which reason she was known as "Tahereh" (the immaculate woman). A lot of Arab nobles and princess wanted to marry her but she refused all of them.

With the profit she made, she helped the poor, widows, orphans, sick and the disabled people of Mecca.



Marriage



Hazrat Khadija's (PBUH) policy was to employ hard working, honest and distinguished managers, as a lot depended on the integrity of the employees who traveled far and wide on trade missions on her behalf.

She had heard of the integrity, honesty and principled behavior of Muhammad (PBUH) and sent a job offer to him to head her trading caravans. He gladly accepted the offer and started working for her.

Hazrat Khadija (PBUH) 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 behavior and business abilities.

When he returned home, Maysarah reported to Hazrat Khadija (PBUH) all that had taken place on the trip to Syria. She was deeply moved and impressed, and became his admirer.

Hazrat Khadija (PBUH), 40, agreed to marry Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), who was 15 years younger.

According to Shia narratives, this was her first marriage and she was not a widow as is narrated by non-Shia sources.



Contribution to Islam



When the prophethood was bestowed upon Muhammad (PBUH), Hazrat Khadija (PBUH) said, "I bear witness that you are the Messenger of Allah" and professed her faith in Islam.

Hazrat Khadija (PBUH) spent her fortune for the sake of Islam after accepting Islam. She made great efforts to assist the spread of Islam through her intellect, foresight and wisdom. At a time when there were literally only three Muslims in the world, Hazrat Khadija (PBUH) would sometimes worship around the Ka'aba with the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and Hazrat Ali (PBUH), and sometimes at home.

When Islam came under mounting pressure from its enemies, Hazrat Khadija (PBUH) sacrificed her comforts, her wealth and her home for it.

In 616 AD, the Quraysh isolated the Bani Hashim (the family of the Prophet) and they took refuge in a ravine called Shib-e-Abu Talib.

During the years of the siege, Hazrat Khadija (PBUH) spent all her fortune on buying essentials like food and water for the clan of her husband.



Her departure



According to accounts, Hazrat Khadija (PBUH) died three years before the prophet’s migration to Medina (620 CE) on 10th Ramadan. When she died, nothing was left of her wealth, as all of it was served for the spread of Islam.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) forever remembered Hazrat Khadija (PBUH) with love, affection and gratitude. Her death filled his heart with deep pain and sorrow.

She was buried in Mecca in a cloak of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Hazrat Abu Talib (AS) died in the same year. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) declared the year Aam-ul-Huzn (the Year of Grief).

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