Seerah 55: The Prophet Loses Khadijah
Welcome to Seerah Pearls, which aims to highlight some tantalising learning points from each episode of the Seerah- Life of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
At this point, the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is close to 51 years old. It is a decade since he received revelation and started preaching Islam. He has seen many different things, including the initial lack of response from his own family, to the embracing of Islam by those who were nearest and dearest e.g. Abu Bakr (RA), Ali (RA) and Khadijah (RA). A small community was coming together. Opposition was also rising, but he continued on his mission. A group of Muslims had migrated to Abyssinia to escape the persecution, but numbers continued to grow inside and outside Makkah.
In the 11th year of Prophethood, the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) would start a period that was very difficult and a huge shift in the overall message and his life. This all began with a personal tragedy: the passing of his beloved wife Khadijah (RA) after 25 years of marriage.
Khadijah (RA) was of noble lineage from Makkah and had a great reputation as a dignified, educated and respected individual. She had been widowed and was wealthy. Khadijah (RA) ran her own business and would hire people to buy and sell goods on her behalf. That is how the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) first came to interact with her. Her status is very elevated: when the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was shaking after receiving the revelation, she held his hand and accepted Islam. She was the mother of his children and the first person to make wudu and pray with the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) after he was shown by Gibreel (AS). She fully supported the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in his difficult mission, never raising her voice or bothering him.
Gibreel (AS) came to the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and asked him to convey salaam on behalf of her Lord and on behalf of himself. She was also given the good news of a home in paradise made from a single hollowed-out pearl, where there would be no noise or difficulty.
The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) missed Khadijah (RA) dearly after her death. Even the sight of her necklace which she had passed on to her daughter Zaynab brought tears to his eyes as it reminded him of her. Even after her passing, when an animal would be slaughtered, the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) would distribute some to the friends of Khadijah (RA).