His trading for Khadeejah
Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid, may Allah be pleased with her, was a widow. She had been married to ‘Ateeq bin ‘Aa’ith who then died. Then she was married to Abu Haalah who also died. She was noble and wealthy and would hire men to trade on her behalf.
When she was informed of the sincerity and truthfulness of Muhammad and his honesty and noble morals, she asked him to go to Ash-Shaam (greater Syria) on a business journey to trade on her behalf in return for a greater payment than what she used to give to other men that she would hire. He accepted and traveled in the company of her servant Maysarah. They arrived at Ash-Shaam, and Muhammad sold the goods he had and bought the goods he wanted. When he returned to Makkah and Khadeejah, may Allah be pleased with her, sold the goods that he had brought her, she saw that her capital had doubled.
Muhammad obtained great benefits from this journey in addition to the payment that he received. He passed by Madeenah, to which he later emigrated and which he made the center for his Da‘wah (call). He also passed by the lands that he later conquered and wherein he spread his religion. His journey was also a cause of his marriage to Khadeejah, may Allah be pleased with her, after Maysarah had told her about his tolerance, truthfulness and noble morals during it. Also, Khadeejah, may Allah be pleased with her, sensed an unusual blessing in her wealth. After she was informed of his merits, she found in him what she aspired for, and thus talked to her friend Nafeesah bint Munabbih about this. The latter went to the Prophet and proposed marriage on behalf of Khadeejah, may Allah be pleased with her.
The Prophet accepted and informed his uncles, who also agreed. His uncle, Hamzah bin ‘Abd Al-Muttalib, may Allah be pleased with him, then went with him to ask for her hand. The Prophet then married her and gave her twenty small she-camels as a dowry. She was the first woman the Prophet married and he did not marry any other woman until after she died. She gave birth to two boys and four girls. The boys were Al-Qaasim and ‘Abdullaah, and thus the Prophet was nicknamed Abu Al-Qaasim. The other boy was ‘Abdullaah who was nicknamed At-Taahir and At-Tayyib. Al-Qaasim died when he was old enough to ride a beast, and ‘Abdullaah died when he was a child, and this was before the commencement of prophethood.
The girls were Zaynab, Ruqayyah, Umm Kulthoom and Faatimah. They all embraced Islam and emigrated to Madeenah and married. The Prophet was twenty-five when he married Khadeejah, who was forty at that time.
Lessons to be learned:
1- Honesty and truthfulness are the most important attributes of a successful merchant. These two characteristics encouraged Khadeejah, may Allah be pleased with her, to give her money to the Prophet to trade with it on her behalf and travel to Ash-Shaam. Allah The Almighty thus blessed her business and opened for her horizons of welfare suitable for her nobility.
2- Trade was one of the ways of earning sustenance that Allah The Almighty subjugated for His Prophet before his commissioning as a prophet. He trained in its various disciplines and explained that the honest and truthful merchant would be gathered on the Day of Resurrection with the steadfast affirmers of truth, the martyrs and the righteous. This profession is important for Muslims as it does not subject one to the will of others as well as their subjugation, oppression and humiliation, for while the trader is in no need of others they are in need of his effort, expertise, honesty and chastity.
3- The beloved Prophet married Khadeejah, may Allah be pleased with her, by the divine decree as Allah The Almighty chose a wife for him who would suit him, support and relieve him, help him bear the requirements of the mission and share his concerns.
In this regard, Shaykh Muhammad Al-Ghazaali said
Khadeejah, may Allah be pleased with her, was a good example of a woman who complements a great man’s life. The Messengers had extremely sensitive hearts, and would get extremely affected by the reality that they wanted to change. They also exerted substantive efforts in the cause of good, which they wanted to spread. The Messengers were in dire need of people who would take care of their private life through intimacy and entertainment. Khadeejah, may Allah be pleased with her, was an embodiment of such qualities and she had a noble impact on the life of the Prophet .
4- The Prophet suffered the loss of his children just as he suffered the loss of his parents. For a significant rationale, Allah The Almighty willed that none of his sons would live so that people would not be tempted by them or declare them to be prophets. Hence, Allah The Almighty blessed the Prophet with sons only to satisfy his natural inclination for sons and to rule out any act of blemishing directed to his perfect manhood and to dismiss gossip to that effect.
Another point is that Allah The Almighty caused them to die in their young age to be solace for parents who are not blessed with children or parents who lose their children. This is a form of tribulation, bearing in mind that those who are exposed to the severest of divine tribulations are the prophets. Allah The Almighty wanted tenderness to be part of the entity of the Prophet as people who lead others do not tend to tyranny unless they are cruel and selfish by nature and have always lived in untroubled happiness. However, a man who has suffered pain has a quick tendency to comfort others and heal their wounds.
5- The marriage of the Prophet to Khadeejah, may Allah be pleased with her, very obviously indicates that the Prophet was not solely concerned with physical pleasures. If this was the case, then he, like other men, would have aspired for a woman who was younger than him. However, he married Khadeejah, may Allah be pleased with her, due to her nobility as she was known for her chastity and purity during the pre-Islamic era.
6- This marriage restrains the tongues and pens of the orientalists and their secularist slaves who harbor malice for Islam and think that this marriage could be a loophole through which they could direct a fatal blow to Islam. They depict the Prophet as a lustful man who was indulged in his personal desires. On the contrary, the Prophet lived up to the age of twenty-five in the pre-Islamic era, maintaining his chastity and not being swept away by the corrupt currents around him. He then married a woman who was almost twice his age and lived with her without coveting other women - even though there were many accessible women around him. He passed into old age without marrying another woman until Khadeejah, may Allah be pleased with her, died at the age of sixty-five. The Prophet was almost fifty years old then, and he never thought of having another woman during that period, noting that the interval between twenty and fifty is the time when man has a desire for more women and a tendency for polygamy merely out of sexual motives.
However, the Prophet had not thought of having another woman besides Khadeejah, may Allah be pleased with her, either to be a wife or a bondwoman. If he had wanted that, many free women and female slaves would have been at his command.
Finally, there is a story and wisdom behind his marriage to ‘Aa’ishah and other Mothers of the Believers, may Allah be pleased with them, which enhance the Muslim’s belief in the greatness of Muhammad his status and perfect morals.