Perhaps nothing is more important to a person who is charged with bringing about a fundamental change in the life of his community than having a settled and happy family life. When the home front is established on sound basis and characterized by love and care between all its members, the head of the family can evaluate matters in public life more accurately. This will help him to address problems and define priorities. By contrast, if his family life is plagued with problems, or mistrust, or lack of mutual care, his vision of public life will be impaired. How can he bring about the desired change, or establish proper reforms?

Long before the beginning of his mission, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) enjoyed a very happy and settled family life. His wife, Khadijah, belonged to a distinguished family from the Quraysh. She was wealthy and in her womanly prime. She was a mature woman who had had a previous marriage and given birth to two children. Although it is commonly thought that she was forty years of age at the time of her marriage to Prophet Muhammad, this is far from certain. On the contrary, the fact that she gave Muhammad six children over a period of ten years suggests that she was much younger. According to a report by Ibn Abbas, she was no more than 28 at the time when Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) married her.

It was Khadijah who proposed marriage to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). She was a woman of sound judgment, and she discovered all his good qualities. Most important to her were the facts that he was true to his trust, always speaking the truth. Moreover, she made certain that he had no design to lay his hand on her wealth. On the contrary, he was content with what he lawfully earned. Yet when they were settled in their home, she discovered in him more of his fine qualities: his kindness, humility, care for the weak and vulnerable and his keen sense of fairness. She was later to describe him in the following terms: “By God, you are faithful to your trust, kind to your kinsfolk and you always tell the truth.”

Numerous are the reports that tell us of the care each of the two spouses took of the other. Yet this was manifest throughout their marriage. During the few years that preceded the first divine revelations, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)used to seek solitude in a cave in a mountain close to Makkah. He would take food and water to drink, sufficient for a few days. He would then return home to replenish his stock. When he was late on one occasion, she sent some of her servants to look for him. She told him that she was worried. Later, during his mission, he would go out to speak to people in Makkah, telling him about his message and that God wanted them to believe in His oneness. He would try to convince everyone of the truth of his message. But he often received the same type of stubborn rejection. He might be at his task for the best part of the day, then he would go home tired, exhausted and full of sorrow. As soon as he got home, he was always sure to be received by a caring, loving wife who comforted and encouraged him, so as to start again on the following day, full of vigor and enthusiasm.

– By Adil Salahi