Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine
Rajab / Shaban 1423 H
October 2002
Volume 15-10 No:190

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Living Islam


The Ideal Marriage!


The Ideal Marriage!

Prophet Muhammad’s marriage with Khadijah can be considered as an ideal example for family relationships, practices and attitudes that Muslims today should emulate.

By Dr. Ahmed El-Kadi

The period of Prophet Muhammad’s (Pbuh), family life during his marriage to his first wife, Khadijah, could be considered as the prototype of an Islamic family life. This implies that we should look at this period as the ideal example for family relationships, practices, and attitudes which we should emulate. There is a lesson to be learnt from each aspect of this relationship, starting with the circumstances surrounding its onset, followed by the numerous, happy and sad incidents known to us that filled this period of the Prophet’s life. The first observation is related to the circumstances surrounding the onset of this marriage. The age of the Prophet was 25 years, which is probably the optimal age of marriage for a man. Khadijah was 40 years old at that time. It proves that the traditional expectation that the wife’s age should be close to, or slightly less than the husband’s is not necessarily true all the time. What counts actually is not the age, but the maturity and compatibility. Another point of this observation is the fact that the Prophet was independent, gainfully employed, and very successful. His excellent business ability was one of the main reasons, that Khadijah was attracted to him.

Although Khadijah was wealthy and able to support the household, the Prophet (Pbuh) continued to work. This is another pointer for our husbands-to-be, that he is able to provide for the family. A third point is the fact that Khadijah was the one who approached the Prophet regarding the marriage through her friend, Nafeesah.

Many of the Muslims feel that it is not appropriate for a girl or her guardian to approach a man regarding marriage, and that the man is the one who should ask for the girl’s hand. The example of the Prophet’s marriage to Khadijah shows that such a tradition is just a matter of false pride. It is quite appropriate for a woman seeking marriage, or for her guardian, to approach a qualified candidate regarding marriage, as long as this is done in a decent, proper way. Another observation is related to the type of relation and attitude between Muhammad (Pbuh) and Khadijah. This family relationship was characterised by love, respect, and appreciation; by hard work, support, and cooperation; and above all, by unprecedented loyalty that lasted till the end of the Prophet’s life, even after the death of Khadijah.

Many marriage partners take the relationship between them for granted. They may express their kind feelings to outsiders and show their best behaviour to strangers, but when they deal with each other, each assumes that the other already knows his or her feelings. They take each other’s feelings for granted. If each partner shows the best of himself or herself to his/her partner, many shaky marriages will become healthy and successful again. Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) gave us the best example in this respect. He always showed his best side to his family. He always asked the believers to be good to their families. Another secret to the successful marriage was the stability and good faith of the partners when facing difficulties and afflictions. Many husbands and wives get frustrated when they face difficult problems. Some lose control and completely break down. Many families fall apart after loss of money, failure of business, or any other type of trauma.

The Prophet (Pbuh) and his wife faced a great many difficulties, including the loss of children. In addition, they suffered the rejection and persecution inflicted on them by their own people. Their response did not consist in breaking down, or giving up. These difficulties probably increased their determination to build up their efforts to cope with difficulties. Loyalty can be an on-going positive attitude which can be expressed in many actions, words or gestures. Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) remained loyal to Khadijah to the end of his life, long after her death. One more feature of the happy marriage to Khadijah was that it was not a restful and easy-going one. Besides love and affection, there was a great deal of struggle and hard work to spread the message of Islam. When the Prophet (Pbuh) received the second revelation: “O you wrapped up. Arise and deliver thy warning...” (Surah 74, 1-2) which woke him from his sleep, breathing heavily and sweating profusely, his wife Khadijah approached him gently to go back to bed and have some sleep and rest. His answer was: “O Khadijah, the time for sleep and rest is over. Jibril has commanded me to warn the people and call them to Allah and His worship. Whom should I call? And who is going to respond to me?” Khadijah comforted him and declared her acceptance to Islam and her acceptance of the Prophethood of her husband.

From then on, it was like a Dawah team, striving together in the cause of Allah. It would make things a lot easier if both partners did this work together and started their own Dawah team. The marriage of Prophet Muhammad with Khadijah was an ideal marriage and Muslims today should reflect on this and emulate the qualities of the Prophet.

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News Community Roundup Editorial Readers Comments View from the Other Side Muslim Perspectives
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