Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha – may Allah be please with her) was the first wife of Nabi [the Prophet] (sallallahu alaihi wasallam – may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and she was the mother of Faatima (radhiAllaahu anha) and she was the maternal grandmother of Hassan and Hussein (radhiAllaahu anhuma – may Allah be pleased with them both). Her father’s name was Khuwailid, her paternal grandfather’s name was Asad, her mother’s name was Fatima, and her maternal grandmother’s name was Zaahida. She was a Quraishi. She married Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), when she was 40 years of age. At that time Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was 25 years old.

Prior to her coming into Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)’s Nikah, she was married to two other persons, one after the after. She bore children for both of them. One of her previous husband’s name was Abu Haala, and the other was Ateeq bin Aa`id. There is a difference of opinion between the historians, regarding which husband was the first and which was the second. The author of “Isti`aab”, has preferred the opinion that Abu Haala was the first and Ateeq bin Aa`id was the second.

After Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha)’s two husbands passed away, one after the other, many noble persons were hopeful of marrying her owing to her honour, respect and wealth. However, what had happened was the desire of the Greatest, Allaah. Allaah Ta`ala (the All-mighty) had decreed that Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) be honoured with marriage to the best of mankind (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). And that she be blessed with the title of “Ummul Mu`mineen” (Mother of the Believers).

When Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) reached the age of 25 years, his uncle Abu Talib, regretfully told him that he will not be able to financially assist him, and that times were tough. He suggested that Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) do as many other persons were doing, in that they were taking the merchandise of Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha), to Shaam (Syria), and selling it for a profit.

When Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) heard that Muhammed Bin Abdullah Al-Ameen (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)’s uncle had advised him to take her goods to sell, she took the opportunity to send a message to the trustworthy, honest and veracious Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), and invited him to be an agent for her. She promised him twice the profit she usually paid her other agents. Rasulullah [the messenger of Allah] (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) accepted her offer and he took her goods to Shaam. Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) sent her slave “Maisara” with him. Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) sold the merchandise very wisely, and Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) reaped more profit that year , than she had in any of the previous years.

On the journey, Maisara, saw many unique things about Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) that he had never seen before. Whilst they were stationed under a tree, a Raahib (priest) asked Maisara, regarding the identity of Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). Maisara replied that he is a resident of Mecca and a Quraishi. The Raahib, said that he (Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)) will become a Prophet. He said this because he saw in Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) two signs of the Seal of Prophethood, which were recorded in the scriptures of old.

As the caravan reached Mecca, it was in the afternoon, and Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) was sitting on the upper storey of her house, she saw two Angels shading Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). Besides this, she heard from her slave Maisara, other similar and very strange incidences which occurred during the journey. He also mentioned the incident regarding the Raahib, where he said Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was to be the final Prophet. Thereafter Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha), sent a proposal of Marriage to Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).

The sister of Ya`la bin Umayya, Nafeesa, took the proposal. Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) accepted and his uncles, Hamza (radhiAllaahu anhu – may Allah be pleased with him), and Abu Taalib were pleased with this.
Hamza (radhiAllaahu anhu), Abu Taalib and other members of Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) came to Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha)’s house for the occasion of the Nikah (marriage). By that time, the mother of Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) had passed away, and her uncle, Amar bin Asad, participated in the occasion. Besides him, there were other members of Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha)’s family also present at the Nikah.

The Mahr (dowry) was set at 500 Dirhams, on the Mashwera of Amar bin Asad, and Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) was honoured with the title of Ummul Mu`mineen.

Ibn Abbaas (radhiAllaahu anhu – may Allah be pleased with him) reports that during the time of ignorance, the women of Mecca used to gather at joyous occasions. On one such occasionKhadija (radhiAllaahu anha) was also present. Suddenly a man appeared and said in loud voice: “Oh women of Mecca! There will be a Prophet from this city of yours, whose name will be Ahmed. If any of you get the opportunity to marry him then certainly do so.” The women, upon hearing this, set up a labyrinth (maze) – [in order to compete and see who the fortunate one will be]. Hadhrat Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) tied a knot (as a guide), and she succeeded over all the others.

Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) had the great honour of having been the first person to accept the message of Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). Prior to her acceptance, no man or woman, young or old, and no child had accepted the message.

“The first person to accept Imaan, from amongst the men and women was Khadija binti Khuwailid (radhiAllaahu anha)”.

Haafiz Ibn Katheer (rahmatullahi alaihi – may the mercy of Allah be upon him) writes in “Bidaya”, from Muhammed bin Ka`ab (radhiAllaahu anhu – may Allah be pleased with him): “The first person to accept Imaan (faith) from this Ummah (nation)was Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha). The first man (to accept Islaam) was Abu Bakr and Ali (radhiAllaahu anhuma – may Allah be pleased with them both).

Once Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said the following in reply to a question of Aisha (radhiAllaahu anha – may Allah be pleased with her): “She (Khadija radhiAllaahu anha) was the first person to believe in me when others disbelieved. She attested to my message, when others falsified me. She assisted me financially when others deprived me. Allah Ta`ala blessed me with children from her, and not from any of my other wives.”

Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) has great claim to Islaam’s rise to glory. Prior to Nabuwwat (Prophethood), Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), used to seclude himself in the cave of Hira. Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) used to prepare provisions for Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), during these expeditions. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) used to spend many consecutive nights in the cave. He used to return when his provisions were depleted, and go back again. On one such occasion when Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was in the cave, occupied in Ibaadat (worship), an Angel appeared and ordered him to read (“Iqra!”). Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “I am illiterate”. The Angel took hold of Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and squeezed him against himself and let him loose. The Angel again said: “Iqra!”. Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) again gave the same reply. For the second time, the Angel squeezed Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), let him go and said: “Iqra!”. Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) again gave the same reply. The Angel squeezed Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), for the third time and thereafter, the Angel began reciting. He read the first five Aayaat (verses) of Surah (chapter) Qalam. After hearing these Aayaat, Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) memorised them and went home in fear. He told Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha): “Cover me with a blanket, cover me with a blanket!” She did as she was told and after a while, this fear gradually subsided in Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). Thereafter, Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) narrated the entire incident to Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha), and he said: “I feared for my life.”

Women are usually more feeble natured , and when they see men in a state of fear, they usually get more frantic. However, Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha), was not in the least bit fazed. She gave Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) courage and consoled him, saying: “Never, I take an oath in Allaah, Allaah Ta`ala will never place you in difficulty or disgrace you. (You have such great qualities and traits, that) You strengthen family ties, you take the burden of others, help the poor, serve the guests, and you assist the truth at times of difficulty.”

Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha), then took Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) to her cousin, Waraqa bin Nawfil. She told him: “Oh brother, listen to what he (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has to say.” Waraqa, was an old man, whose eyesight was failing him. He was a devout and true Christian. He asked Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam): “What did you see?” Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) narrated the entire incident to him. Thereafter, Waraqa said: “This is Namoos (the great Angel, Jibraeel – Gabriel(alaihi salaam – peace be upon him), who was sent to Moosa – Moses (alaihi salaam – peace be upon him). I wish that I was young and that I am alive when your nation will expel you.”

Haafiz Ibn Katheer (rahmatullahi alaihi – may Allah have mercy upon him) quotes in “Bidaya”, from Baihaqi, that during the initial stages of Nabuwwat, Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) said to Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam): “When Jibraeel (alaihi salaam) comes to you can you inform me thereof?” Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) replied in the affirmative. When Jibraeel (alaihi salaam) came, Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) told her: “Oh Khadija, here is Jibraeel.” Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) asked Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam): “Can you see him at this moment?” Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) replied: “Yes!” Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) told Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) to stand up and sit on her right hand side. Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) accepted her request and did as she requested. Then, Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) asked: “Can you still see Jibraeel (alaihi salaam)?” Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) replied in the affirmative. She then told him(sallallahu alaihi wasallam), to sit on her lap. Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) did this and she again asked: “Can you still see Jibraeel (alaihi salaam)?” Again Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) replied in the affirmative. Thereafter, Hadhrat Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) removed her scarf and her hair was revealed. Then she asked: “Can you still see Jibraeel (alaihi salaam)?” Now, Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “No, I cannot see him.” Upon hearing this, Hadhrat Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) said; “Know, now for sure, that this is an Angel. You should remain steadfast, and accept the glad-tidings of Prophethood (because had it been shaitaan (the devil), that came to you, then when I revealed my hair, he would not have disappeared. (Angels are modest).” This incident displayed the intelligence and wisdom of Hadhrat Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha).

After Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) received Nabuwwat, he began preaching Islaam, and the Mushrikeen (idolaters) became his enemies, and they harassed Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) in various ways. The entire nation became his enemies, including (some) his close friends. During these extremely trying times, the only helpers he had was his uncle Abu Taalib, and his beloved wife, Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha).
Haafiz Ibn Katheer (rahmatullahi alaihi) writes in “Bidaya”:

“Hadhrat Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) was the first to bring faith in Allaah Ta`ala and His Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). She testified to the message that he brought. Allaah Ta`ala alleviated the burden and tribulations from Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), owing to her acceptance. When Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) began preaching and the people turned his speech upside down, and they falsified him, then Allaah Ta`ala used Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha), to alleviate and lighten his grief and sorrow. When he returned home, then she would encourage him and give him fortitude. She used to testify his message.”

The following is written in the “Seerat of Ibn Hishaam”, regarding Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha): “Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) was Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)’s, veritable Wazir (minister / right-hand), in so far as Islaam (history) is concerned.” Whatever affliction and difficulty came upon Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), his grief and sorrow were shared by Hadhrat Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha). She also bore many of the difficulties, together with Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). She gave excellent support, encouragement and motivation to Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).