The Dawn: The Prophet's Marriage With Khadijah
The maidservant said: "What is it that hinders you from marriage?" "I have nothing," replied the Prophet, "in my hands with which I can meet the expenses of the wedding." "But if haply that difficulty is removed and you are invited to marry a beautiful and wealthy lady of noble birth who would place you in affluence, would you not desire to have her?" "And who," said Muhammad (peace be upon him), startled at the novel idea, "might that be?" "It is Khadijah," was the reply. "But how can I have access to her?" "Let that be my care," said the maid-servant. The mind of Muhammad (peace be upon him) was at once made up and he answered, "I am ready." (1)
She returned and told Khadijah the whole story. No sooner was she apprised of his willingness to marry her, Khadijah sent a message to his uncle and fixed a time when they should meet. On the appointed day Muhammad (peace be upon him) along with his uncle Abu Talib and Hamzah and several other chiefs of his tribe, went to Khadijah's house. Suhayli, a well-known biographer of Muhammad (peace be upon him), asserts that Khuwaylid, the father of Khadijah, had died before the wars of Fijar and it was her uncle 'Amr, son of Asad, who gave her hand in marriage to him.
At the time of her marriage to Muhammad (peace be upon him) Khadijah (may God be pleased with her) was forty hears old and the Prophet was hardly twenty-five. From this time on for a quarter of a century Khadijah remained his angel of hope and consolation. She gave Muhammad (peace be upon him) ease of circumstances, freedom from the cares of daily life, strength and comfort of deep mutual love, the factors which contributed to the furtherance of the mission of the Prophet.
In spite of conspicuous difference in age, Muhammad's (peace be upon him) love for Khadijah never wavered. When death parted her from the Prophet, after having shared with him for years the trial and reproach which greeted him the first years of his preaching, he deeply mourned her death. Once 'Aishah asked him if she had been the only woman worthy of his love, Muhammad (peace be upon him) replied in an honest burst of tender emotion: "She believed in me when none else did, she embraced Islam when people disbelieved me; and she helped and comforted me when there was none to lend me a helping hand. (2)
Muhammad's (peace be upon him) grateful and affectionate remembrance of her persisted till the very end of his life. He was kind to all her friends and occasionally sent them gifts. "Never was I jealous of any of the Prophet's wives, " said 'Aishah, "than I was of Khadijah, although I never saw her; for the Prophet remembered her much. Once I hurt his feelings on this issue and he replied gravely, "God has blessed me with her love."
Khadijah bore the Holy Prophet several children. The first-born was named Qasim after whom, according to Arab custom, Muhammad (peace be upon him) received the kunya, Abu al-Qasim, "the father of Qasim". Then were born Tayyib and Tahir. All of them died in their infancy. Amongst the daughters Ruqayyah was the eldest; then came Zaynab, Umm Kulthum, and last and best known of them all, Fatimah.
1.Suhayli, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 122.