Name : Khadija bint Khawaylid
Title : Umm-ul-Momineen
Father : Khawailad bin Asad
Mother : Fatemah bint-e-Zaedeh
Birth : Mecca
Death : 10th Ramadan 3 years before Hijrah at the age of 64 years. Buried: in Mecca.
Birth and Genealogy
Lady Khadija was the first wife of the Holy Prophet. She was born in Mecca. Her father-s name was Khuwaylid bin Asad and he was a wealthy trader.
The Genealogy of both Prophet Mohammad and Lady Khadija was the same reaching up to Qusayy.
Her mother and father both died within 10 years of each other. Their wealth was divided amongst the children but it was Lady Khadija who took over the family business and expanded it. With the profit she made she helped the poor, widows, orphans, sick and the disabled people of Mecca.
She had a cousin called Waraqa bin Naufal who was very learned man and who was not an idol worshipper. Both Waraqa and Lady Khadija were monotheists and believed in one Allah.
First contact with Prophet Mohammad
Because of her excellent ethics, the Arabs (who at that time used to look down upon women) called her Tahira - the pure one. She was also known as the -Princess of Mecca- because of her wealth. A lot of Arab nobles and princess wanted to marry her but she refused all of them.
In 595 AD, Lady Khadija was looking for someone to be in charge of her caravan to Syria. Abu Talib suggested the Prophet Mohammad to her. She had heard of his trustworthiness and agreed to employ him although he did not have much trading experience. To help him she sent her slave Maysara.
The trading caravan was a great success and when Lady Khadija heard of the Prophet-s skills and excellent conduct, she became his admirer.
Marriage with Prophet Mohammad
Soon it was arranged for Lady Khadija to be married to the Prophet Mohammad. At that time, Prophet Mohammad was aged 25 and Lady Khadija was 40 years of age.
According to Shiite tradition, this was her first marriage and that she was not a widow as is narrated by non-Shiite sources. Abu Talib read the Nikah on behalf of the Prophet whilst Waqara bin Noufal read it for Lady Khadija.
Abu Talib paid the mehr (dowry) for his nephew and fed the people of Mecca for 3 days in celebration. Lady Khadija too fed the people. The marriage was a very happy one and their first child was a son called Qasim. The second was Abdullah. Both died in infancy. Their third and last child was Lady Fatima Zahra.
Her services for Islam
When the Prophet used to go to meditate in the cave of Hira on Jabel-e-Noor, it was Lady Khadija herself who would climb up there to give him his food and necessaries. She was the first person to accept Islam as taught by the Prophet.
In 616 AD, the Qureish isolated the Bani Hashim (the family of the Prophet) and they took refuge in a ravine called Shib-e-Abu Talib. Lady Khadija was there too and it was her wealth (which she donated for Islam) that sustained the Muslims at that time. The siege lasted for 3 years during which time they experienced hunger, thirst, and the cold and heat of the desert.
Lady Khadija was married to the Holy Prophet for 25 years. She died in 619 AD on the 10th of Ramadan 3 years before the Hijrah. When she died, nothing was left of her wealth - all of it was served for the propagation of Islam.
She was buried in Mecca in a cloak of the Holy Prophet. Abu Talib died in this year too. The Prophet called the year Aam-ul-Huzn (the year of grief).
While Lady Khadija lived, the Holy Prophet said that she was one of the four perfect women who had ever lived. The other three are Lady Aasiya, the wife of Firaun, Lady Maryam, the mother of Prophet Isa, and Lady Fatima Zahra.