Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

SAFAR
- RABI-UL-AWWAL 
1425 H
APRIL
2004
Volume 17-0
4 No : 208
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Women in Islam


Ummul Mumineen Khadeeja Al Kubra (RA)

Women always keep looking for Role Models. We cannot think of any better role model than the women who lived during the time of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh). By the grace of Allah, Dr Ejaz Begum Ansari has compiled one of the finest books available in English today titled "Gems of Paradise"-A Tribute to the Holy Women of Islam. Dr Ejaz Begum Ansari was born in a pious, modern Muslim family, her father being a Major in the Armed forces. Having top scored at the Cambridge Examinations held in India, Ejaz grew up in an unique environment of western education coupled with a strong religious conventional and moral background at home. Having come face to face with suffering in her glorious career as a doctor, she realised that " Real Life" was only after death and that every Muslim should prepare for that day while in this world. Dr Ejaz presently pens all her works from the holy city of Makkah where she is a consultant as an Obsterician and Gynaecologist. Beginning this series, we bring you the extracts from 'Gems of Paradise' with the profile of Ummul Mumineen Khadeeja Al Kubra (RA)-Part One

Ummul Mumineen Khadeeja Al Kubra (RA)

Though heart broken at the demise of her husband, Hazarath Khadeeja (RA) bore the entire responsibility of her aging father's vast business.

She was also known as Tahera, Umma Hind. Born to Fathma Ra binth Zaidah and Khawalid bin Asad, she belonged to a rich and affluent family. Her father was a merchant of great wealth and fame, was respected for his honesty not only by his own clan, but the entire Quresh. She was born in 555 AD, and even as a child, kept away from evil, always well-behaved and decent. She grew up to be a lady of singular beauty and was much sought after. She was first married to Abu Hallah Hind bin Banash. She bore him two sons, Halah (who died in childhood,) and Hind, was said to have acquired great status. A short life of bliss and she was widowed to be married to Atheef bin Abid, and had a daughter. When her second husband died, there is a controversy about her third marriage, some are of the opinion that she married Ibn Umma Saifi, before marrying the Rasool and some say, the Prophet (Pbuh) was her third and last husband.

Her time, before marriage to the Prophet (Pbuh)was spent usefully. She loved to visit the Kaaba and spent much time there. Experiencing a unique peace of mind and otherwise, she would be found among her many lady friends, exchanging views on current news. She was an only child to survive and therefore though heart broken at the demise of her husband, she bore the entire responsibility of her aging father's vast business. She was intelligent, educated and a shrewd business woman. Under her capable management, business had spread from Yemen to West. She had employed hoards of men, including Arabs, Christians and Jews, to manage her ever expanding domain. She was on a look out for some one who would be honest, capable and intelligent so that he could be entrusted with her entire business.

At this time, the Rasool's (then Muhammad) fame as an honest, just and truthful youth had spread far and wide. Every one, every home, was filled with praises for: Ameen: as he was so lovingly called. Khadeeja had found her man. Muhammad, was under the wings of his uncle Abu Talib, and was well-aware of Khadeeja's acumen and fame. When Khadeeja sent him her request to head her team, he willlingly agreed; their first trip was to Basra. Khadeeja's faithful slave Maisra too, was with him. Khadeeja had instructed him to see that Muhammad was in no way in-convenienced. His honesty, his business tactics were such, that they managed to double their profits. His behaviour with his fellow men gained him staunch friends and admirers. Never before had they met a man so kind and humble, so honest and straight forward in his dealings.

The Caravan returned to Makkah after its highly successful trip. Maisra, so impressed by Muhammad, related word for word, all that had transpired during the entire sojourn. Khadeeja, who had rejected many rich and affluent suitors of fame, herself sent an offer of marriage to the Rasool, through her trusted maid Nafeesa. The Prophet, then at the zenith of his youth and looks, but still obedient to his uncle, conspired with him. And Khadeeja, sent for her uncle and guardian Umri bin Asad. Accompanied by his uncle Abu Talib and elders of his family, Muhammad proceeded to the house of Khadeeja, where Abu Talib read the Nikah and a Mahar of five hundred darhams was fiixed. At this time, Muhammad was 25 years old and Khadeeja, 40 years old. They were well matched, and loved each other dearly.

The Prophet (Pbuh) as was his wont, spent a lot of time away from the bustle and commotion of life, far from the madding crowds in meditation and prayer; He loved loneliness and was often to be found in the mountains of Makkah for days on end, praying, wondering at the bounties of nature. Thus, passed away ten long years in his search for the ultimate. There was a restlessness in his heart, a certain pathos. It happened thus, that one day, he sat in the Cave of Hira (Juble Nur) that he heard a voice "Qum ya Muhammad!" Surprised to hear this voice in the lonely wilderness, he looked up and there, before him, was a face he was to remember always and see often the face of Jibrael Ameen (As salam) who had descended from the heavens by Allah's mercy. He pressed Muhammad to his heart and said "Read". "I cannot read" Muhammad said in pathos. "Read" - he pressed him against his heart once more. Bewildered, Muhammad said again " I cannot read" Jibrael (As salam) pressed him to his heart a third time and read out "Iqra Bismi Rabikal-ladi-Kalqa---" "Read in the name of Allah, who has created everything, created man from a drop of blood, He taught man, by the pen what he knew not. Allah is merciful." By his divine guidance, Muhammad began to repeat as if in a trance, the first Kalima. Angel Jibrael vanished, but Muhammad was left, frightened and shivering on those dizzy heights." Stumbling, he reached home "Cover me cover me", he moaned to Khadeeja. "Where had you been? I have sent men, in search of you," she said covering him warmly. When he settled a little, word by word and gesture by gesture, he related to her what had transpired between him and Angel Jibrael. At once Khadeeja said "my husband, you speak the truth, you care for the poor, always an excellent host, honest to the core, trustworthy, a consolation to the sad and dejected - Allah will never forsake you". This was her beauty, that she would calm and pacify his turbulent mind, always a solace in his hour through everything. She led him to her cousin, Warqah bin Nawfel, who in the days of idolatory had given up this despocable worship and had become a Christian. He was a learned Scholar of the Bible, the Zora and the Torah. She related to him the episode on the mountain and at once Warqah exclaimed: "This was the very thing that occurred even with Moses! If only I could live till the time when his people will turn him out of Makkah!" "Will they turn me out of Makkah?", the Prophet asked, dismayed. "Yes, whenever a revelation has been revealed to you, occurs on a people, they become your enemies. If I live that long, I will help you in every way." Shortly after this episode, Warqah died. Khadeeja knew that what he had said was the truth - that her husband Muhammad was indeed the Chosen one." Without a second thought, she became his first believer - every book, every chronicle bears witness that she was the first believer. She lived for nine years after the Wahi, during all her life with the Prophet, she had borne every tribulation, every problem with fortitude and patience. Seeing her devotion, people near and dear to him too longed to embrace Islam; among his relatives - the youthful Ali, among his friends Abu Bakr Siddique and Zaid Bin Haris became Muslims. She was overjoyed, when little by little, others too began to gather in the folds of Islam. Without caring for what her people and relatives might say, wholeheartedly, she went along with the Prophet (Pbuh), in his task of spreading and preaching Islam.

(To be Continued)

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News Community Roundup Editorial Letters to the Editor Exclusive Making Difference Open House Trends Debate People Track Community Development Men, Missions and Machines Children's Corner Just for the Young Muslim Perspectives Quran Speaks to You Hadith Reflections Question Hour - Dr. Zakir Naik Religion Quran and Science Guidelines Women in Islam Muslims and Cyberspace Back to the Past Harmony Journey to Islam Job Hunt Matrimonial
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