Khadijah bint Khuwaylid

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Khadījah bint Khuwaylid
Khadijah bint Khuwaylid.jpg
Khadijah’s “medal” in Promptuarii iconum insigniorum (1553). Lyon: Rouillé. This illustration made no pretense of being an accurate portrait but it has become a widely accepted symbolic representation of Khadijah.
Born 555
Mecca, Hijaz, Arabia (present-day Saudi Arabia)
Died c. 619 (aged 63-64)
Other names Khadījah al-Kubra
Khadījah al-Tahira
Occupation Merchant
Title Umm al-Mu'mineen ("Mother of the Believers")
Spouse Muhammad ibn Abdullah
Children Qasim
Umm Kulthum
Parents Khuwaylid ibn Asad
Fatimah bint Za'idah

Khadijah or Khadīja bint Khuwaylid (Arabic: خديجة بنت خويلد‎) (555 - c.619) was Prophet Muhammad’s first wife and she was his only wife as long as she lived.[1] She is known to Muslims as al-Kubra (“the Great”)[2] and al-Tahira (“the Pure”).[3] Twelve of Muhammad’s wives are credited with the title Umm al-Muminun (“Mother of the Faithful”),[4] but Khadijah occupies a unique position as the Mother of Islam herself. Khadijah was the mother to all of Muhammad's children, including Fatimah, save one.

Khadijah is said to have come from a trading family and, before marrying Muhammad, had been a successful business woman and was said to be the richest woman in all of Mecca, and, on some accounts. it was as a result being her employee that Muhammad came to know Khadijah and ultimately marry her. It is also believed that she had two husbands, with whom she had multiple children, prior to Muhammad. Little else is known about her life prior to this final marriage.


Khadijah was born in Mecca, a member of the dominant Quraysh tribe. Her grandfather Asad, chief of her clan, was a grandson of Qusayy ibn Kilab, Keeper of the Ka’aba and ruler of Mecca.[5] This Qusayy had also been a great-great-great-grandfather of Muhammad.[6] Her mother, Fatima bint Za’ida, was from another Quraysh clan, the Amir ibn Luayy.[7] The name Khadijah means “premature”,[8] suggesting the circumstances of her birth.

The traditions about Khadijah’s early life are scarce and often contradictory. It is generally accepted that she was born “fifteen years before the Elephant” and that she was 65 (lunar) years old when she died,[9] indicating a birth date between July 556 and July 557. However, the source of this tradition is Khadijah’s nephew, Hakim ibn Hizam,[10] who was one of the many early Muslims who claimed his own age to be 120.[11] By contrast, Abdullah ibn Abbas, the cousin who lived at Muhammad’s side through the final years in Medina,[12] stated that “on the day Khadijah married Allah’s Messenger, she was 28 years old.”[13] If this is correct, she was born between March 568 and March 569. Variant traditions claim other years.[14] Whatever her precise date of birth, she was still of childbearing age as late as 605.

Khadijah’s personality is described as “determined and intelligent”.[15] Although it is not explicitly stated that her father was a merchant, “the Quraysh were a people given to commerce,”[16] so it is possible that Khadijah spent her childhood sitting in the bazaars learning to negotiate trade deals. Her known siblings were two brothers, Hizam[17] and Al-Awwam,[18] two sisters, Ruqayqa[19] and Hala,[20] and a paternal half-brother, Nawfal.[21] At one stage, there was talk of marrying Khadijah off to her cousin, Waraqa ibn Nawfal, but this never happened.[22]


Khadijah’s first husband was Atiq ibn A’idh (or Abid), a junior member of the Makhzum clan.[23] The Makhzumites had grown wealthy on trade, and their generosity had won them the loyalty of their neighbours. They were now serious contenders for the leadership of the city.[24] This match was therefore a step up the social scale for Khadijah, though perhaps a small step if her family also had money. Atiq and Khadijah had two children, suggesting – since Khadijah produced her children within two-year intervals[25] – that the marriage lasted between two and four years. From their daughter, Hind, Khadijah derived her kunya Umm Hind.[26] Their son, Abdullah,[27] died in infancy.[28] Most sources state that Atiq died,[29] although there is a variant tradition that the marriage ended in divorce.[30]

Khadijah then married a Bedouin nobleman, Malik ibn An-Nabbash, who was from the Tamim tribe. In the way of nomads who aspired to an urban lifestyle, Malik and his two brothers had immigrated to Mecca and formed an alliance with the Abduldar clan of the Quraysh.[31] Given their highborn origins, the Tamim brothers would have interacted with their new allies as equals rather than as vassals. To complete their Meccan citizenship, they sought Quraysh wives, to whom they could offer rank, connections and probably also money. It is interesting that Malik chose Khadijah, for the Asad clan was the traditional rival of Abduldar.[32] Their marriage produced three children, suggesting that it lasted between four and six years. From their first son, Hala, Malik took his kunya Abu Hala.[33] Their second son was also named Hind.[34] Their daughter, Zaynab,[35] probably died young, as nothing else is said about her, and Khadijah later mentioned that she had borne each of her first two husbands a child who had died in infancy.[36]

Contrary to this narrative, some sources state that Khadijah married Abu Hala first and Atiq second.[37] However, a kunya was usually taken from a firstborn child, indicating that Umm Hind and Abu Hala did not share the same firstborn.

It is not known when or how Abu Hala died, but the Sacrilegious War against the Qays-Aylan tribe dominated the years 591–594.[38] Khadijah’s brother Hizam was killed in the second round of the conflict,[39] and their father Khuwaylid, who must have been some sixty years old, was a commander on the field.[40] After Abu Hala’s death, several prominent citizens proposed marriage to the widowed Khadijah, some of them investing great sums of money into their courtship, but her father vetoed every match.[41]


Khadijah was the richest woman in Mecca. This explains why she attracted so many suitors. By the time Abu Hala died, she had become “a merchant woman of dignity and wealth. She used to hire men to carry merchandise outside the country.”[42] While the claims that “half the trade in Mecca” belonged to Khadijah[43] are almost certainly exaggerated, she may well have been the wealthiest single trader. The traditions do not state in what commodity she dealt, but among the exports of Mecca are mentioned leather, wool, perfume, silver, cheese and dried raisins.[44] Nor is it known how she originally acquired her business. Perhaps her father helped to set her up, but this has opened the question of why Khadijah became more prosperous than any of her siblings. If she had a backer not available to them, it was probably one or both of her husbands. Or perhaps the business flourished because of Khadijah’s personal talents and efforts.

Khadijah’s independence and success prior to her marriage to Muhammad is often cited as an example of the great opportunities that Islam grants to women. She is described as representing in this capacity the "vibrant, liberating spirit of early Islam"[45] and evidence that modern-day justifications for "denying girls an equal chance at success lies in archaic interpretations of religion".[46] It is worth noting, however, Khadijah’s career was established before Islam existed. With this in mind, it is more appropriate to say her pre-marital success is representative of the opportunities that pre-Islamic Arabs (sometimes) granted to women, who not only mingled freely with men in the market-place but were also respected for doing so. Most merchants were men, but among the non-Muslim women of the time were Hind bint Utba[47] and the perfumer Asma bint Mukharriba.[48][49] After Khadijah died, Muslim women and particularly Muhammad's wives were ordered to stay at home and wear veils,[50] and it became difficult if not impossible for an adherent Muslim woman (let alone a wife of the prophet) to conduct any such enterprise.

In the spring of 595, Khadijah required a new agent to accompany her camels to Syria. Her brother’s wife’s brother, Abu Talib ibn Abdulmuttalib,[51] recommended the services of his ward, a nephew whom he could no longer afford to keep. Khadijah agreed to hire him for a higher commission than she usually paid.[52] His name was Muhammad.[53]

Two months later Muhammad returned to Mecca with merchandise worth nearly double what Khadijah had expected.[54] Goods commonly imported from Syria included grain, oil, wine, weapons, cotton and linen.[55] As Khadijah worked on a profit-share basis,[56] she doubled Muhammad’s commission.[57] It is said that Khadijah later dispatched him on a second trip, this time to Tihama[58] in Yemen to import frankincense, myrrh and fine textiles.[59] It is not clear whether Khadijah took the unusual step of sending her agent southwards in the heat of summer[60] in order to import a near-monopoly; or whether this second venture occurred during a subsequent winter, after Muhammad and Khadijah were already married, in which case the detail that she “employed” him would be an error; or whether the whole timeline has been confused, and these events occurred over a longer timespan than is usually assumed. What is certain according to the sources is that by the summer of 595, Khadijah had decided to marry her agent.[61]

Marriage to Muhammad

Khadijah sent as her intermediary Nafisa bint Umayya, a freedwoman from Abu Hala’s tribe.[62] Nafisa approached Muhammad at the bazaar and asked why he had never married. He replied that he could not afford to support a family. “But if money were no obstacle,” Nafisa persisted, “would you be willing to marry a lady of wealth, rank and beauty?” Muhammad asked which lady of that description would be willing to take him, and Nafisa named Khadijah. Muhammad instantly expressed his willingness.[63] When Khadijah next sent for Muhammad, it was to make a formal proposal. She spoke of how his noble ancestry, good reputation and personal honesty rendered him eligible, and offered herself as his wife.[64]

When Muhammad told Nafisa that he had always wanted to marry but could not afford it, he was speaking from personal experience. He had hoped to marry his cousin Fakhita, but Abu Talib had prevented it by giving her to a wealthy man and telling Muhammad that the family needed to marry money.[65] So Muhammad was looking for a wife and was in a frame of mind to consider any reasonable offer. Khadijah’s offer, of course, was enticing. Given her riches and status, Khadijah's patronage was the most extraordinary luck for Muhammad.

Khadija was 40 years old when Muhammad married her. As for the age of Muhammad, most sources say he was 25, while other sources say he was 21 or 30 years old.[66]

Muslim commentators have stressed how Khadijah was a “much older” woman and therefore Muhammad must have been noble and high-minded to marry her for her character rather than her physical charms.[67] In the absence of explicit evidence for the manner of Muhammad's attraction to Khadjiah, it is difficult to prove high-minded intentions, particularly when one considers Khadijah's great wealth and status. While she was to prove both loyal and sympathetic,[68] it is not clear that Muhammad had had the opportunity to assess these character-qualities in advance, having known her only very briefly and often through proxies. What is certain, on the other hand, is that he had had the opportunity to assess her wealth.

There is also no reason to assume that Khadijah was physically unattractive. If the report of Abdullah ibn Abbas is correct, she was a mere three years older than Muhammad, which does away with any presumed an age-difference. While a modern hagiography that describes her as “beautiful, tall and light-skinned”[69] does not cite early sources, early sources do say that the servant Nafisa described Khadjiah as “beautiful”.[70] Even if Nafisa was exaggerating (the word used for “beautiful” in this context usually means “normal-looking” as opposed to deformed or ugly), it is doubtful that this could have had deceptive intent, given that Muhammad had already seen Khadijah for himself.

Muhammad and Khadijah were married for 25 years. Modern biographies of Khadijah sometimes state that her duties during the first fifteen years of her marriage were "purely those of a housewife and a mother,"[71] or that she "decided to retire and enjoy a comfortable life with her husband who, on his part, preferred an ascetic life to that of money making."[72]

These interpretations, however, do not accord with the early records that Muhammad went into partnership with a Makhzumite, Qays ibn Saayib, and sold merchandise in his shop.[73] Since Muhammad was not producing anything by means of a craft, he could only have sold items in Mecca if he had imported them from elsewhere; and if he could pay for imports, he must have been exporting at a profit. In other words, Khadijah’s business continued after their marriage exactly as it had beforehand.

This circumstance explains a great deal about Muhammad’s relationship with Khadijah. His assertion that Khadijah “spent her wealth for me”[74] indicates his keen awareness that the money was hers and not his. However important his managerial position in the family firm, and however generously Khadijah shared her wealth, she remained in control of her own money. Muhammad was effectively his wife’s employee. That he allowed Khadijah to make all their major decisions, in this light, is less surprising.[75]

Her regular childbearing and fidelity to Muhammad and numerous other accounts of his quickness to “draw close to her” for comfort,[76] are described in the traditions. There even seems to have been a manner in which Khadija employed sex to distract him from his troubles.[77] All this would appear to suggest that their marriage was a functional one, and there is little reason to believe that Muhammad would have had to have some sort of exceptional virtue to have been successful within it.

Controversial wedding

Khadijah asked for a dower of 20 camels.[78] Twenty camels would have been worth about £8,000,[79] which was four times the dower that Muhammad gave to any of his subsequent wives.[80] This is said to suggest that Khadijah was “worth four women” to him, i.e. that it was part of their marriage contract that he would not take another wife in her lifetime. An un-wealthy man like Muhammad would have had some trouble amassing such a hefty gift, even if he returned all the beasts that Khadijah had given him (she had paid his commissions in camels).[81] His good fortune in attracting the wealthiest woman in Mecca likely delighted the investment-seeking Abu Talib, and it can plausibly be assumed that the family combined resources to raise the dower.

Marriage required the consent of the bride’s guardian, and Khadijah’s father Khuwaylid had refused her previous suitors. Given his poverty relative to Khadijah's previous suitors, it was clear that Muhammad would not be acceptable to her father. It is recorded that she therefore plotted to secure his permission through trickery. She plied her father with wine until he was drunk. Then she slaughtered a cow, covered his shoulders with a new striped robe and sprinkled him with perfume, whereupon Muhammad and his uncles entered the house. Khadijah extracted the legally binding words from her father while he was too inebriated to know what he was saying. As the day wore on and the wedding party was in full swing, Khuwaylid recovered his sobriety enough to ask, “What is this meat, this robe and this perfume?” Khadijah replied, “You have given me in marriage to Muhammad ibn Abdullah.” Khuwaylid was as furious as his daughter had expected, protesting that he had never consented to any such thing and even unsheathing his sword. Muhammad’s kin also brandished weapons, and bloodshed was avoided. Muhammad was now Khadijah’s husband.[82]

Although the Muslim historian Waqidi rejected this story (even while reporting it), the British historian Muir points out that nobody had any reason to fabricate it. The tradition is from two independent sources, both of whom were biased in Muhammad’s favor and neither of whom had any reason to disparage Khadijah’s father or his clan. Two further independent sources, without mentioning the drunken party, state that it was Khuwaylid who married Khadijah to Muhammad. Although Waqidi claims that it was Khadijah’s uncle who gave her away because her father had died before the Sacrilegious War (591-594), his pupil Ibn Saad names Khuwaylid as a commander in that war. Muir therefore concludes that the tradition of Khuwaylid’s death “has been invented, to throw discredit on the story of his drunkenness.”[83]

This story highlights the Arab practice of marriage as a contract between bridegroom and father-in-law in which they transferred the guardianship of a woman. It was somewhat similar to buying a camel: the purchase required the consent of the vendor. Muhammad largely preserved this practice of marriage. To the end of his life, he was particular about meeting the legal requirement to contract with a guardian;[84] and explicitly endorsed the transactional nature of the mahr as being a sort of payment for unlimited sexual access to a woman, even against her will, so long as she consented once in the form of agreeing to marry.

The story also foreshadows some types of consent Muhammad would go on to consider as legally binding. At various points in his life, he was to extract consent at sword-point,[85] under duress,[86] from an immature or unsound mind,[87] by withholding essential information,[88] by offering a choice between two bad alternatives,[89] by exploiting spiritual beliefs,[90] through bribery[91] or by making promises that he intended to break.[92] In light of this component to Muhammad's legacy, it is perhaps somewhat unclear why Waqidi felt the need to scrub the story of Khadijah's trickery from the record.


Khadijah brought three stepchildren into the marriage. It is striking how little is known about them. Later historians eagerly collected every possible scrap of information about Muhammad, down to how he cleaned his teeth[93] and his attitude to a broken sandal.[94] People who had lived under his roof should have been in high demand as eyewitnesses. Yet by the time the traditions were committed to writing, almost everything about his stepchildren had been forgotten. This implies that their lives did not intersect very much with those of the Muslim community.

The ruins of Khadijah’s house in Mecca.

Given that girls were often married off at puberty, it is possible that Muhammad never lived with his stepdaughter, Hind bint Atiq. She married a Makhzumite cousin, Sayfi ibn Umayya, to whom she bore at least one son, Muhammad ibn Sayfi. Though this Muhammad in his turn had descendants, it was said that none of the family survived; yet there is not a word about how they died.[95]

Khadijah’s two sons lived with Muhammad for several years,[96] and it is known that he liked to play with children.[97] Of Hala it is recalled that “the Prophet arose and saw Hala in his room. He pressed him to his breast and uttered joyously: ‘Hala, Hala, Hala!’”[98] Little more than this account is available in the traditional sources. Hala was later killed in a street-brawl after he challenged a man who had insulted Muhammad.[99] This was probably before Islam,[100] as Muhammad's companions never suggested that their Prophet’s own stepson had been martyred for the cause.

The younger stepson, Hind, reminisced to his nephew, Hussayn ibn Ali, that Muhammad's "blessed face shone like the full moon… His modest habit was to look at something without staring... He greeted whomever he met... He was not short-tempered, nor did he embarrass anyone…", and so on.[101] Hind’s affection for his stepfather was likely real; there is no evidence of any conflict between them. However, it is important to note that knowledge of Muhammad's life comes from sources compiled decades after Muhammad's death, and indeed decades after the Islamic empire had been established, when it was only acceptable and indeed mandatory to speak effusively of Muhammad as a the perfect man and prophet; these account also do not include any specific events from Hind's childhood. Consequently, it is advisable to view such accounts through a critical lense.

It is clear that Hind was never in Muhammad’s inner circle. His name does not appear in Ibn Hisham’s recension of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat, which lists all the early converts and describes, name by name, the doings of the emigrants in Medina. Nor does he appear in the ahadith covering that period. This suggests that he did not become a Muslim until perhaps the conquest of Mecca in 630, when Muhammad appointed him a governor in Yemen.[102] The distant location of this post would have continued to keep him away from Muhammad’s intimate affairs. Hind died after 656 at Basra in Syria. “The market was cancelled that day, and there was no loading or unloading of ships.”[103] He had at least one son, also named Hind; but it is again reported that no descendants survived to the time of writing.[104]

Over the next ten years, Khadijah bore six more children to Muhammad, attended at each birth by a midwife named Salma.[105] From their first son, Qasim, Muhammad took the kunya Abu Qasim. There followed Zaynab, Abdullah, Ruqayya, Umm Kulthum and Fatima.[106] Some historians name two additional sons, Al-Tahir (“the Pure”) or Al-Tayyib (“the Good”), but this is a misreading of Waqidi, who clearly states that these were both bynames given to Abdullah.[107] Qasim and Abdullah both died in infancy; the girls all grew up.[108] Fatima, who looked like Muhammad[109] and was his favourite,[110] is known to Muslims as az-Zahra (“the Dazzling”) and is regarded as a great saint.[111]

In addition to their biological children, Muhammad and Khadijah freed and adopted their slave-boy, Zayd ibn Haritha. Zayd was from the Udhra tribe. At a young age he was kidnapped by slave-traders and sold on the slave-market for 400 dirhams. He was purchased by Khadijah’s nephew, who made her a present of him. When it became clear that Muhammad and Khadijah would not have a son of their own, Muhammad took Zayd to the steps of the Ka’aba and declared before the assembled citizens that he took Zayd to be his heir.[112] Muhammad kept Zayd close to him[113] and conferred many small favors on him,[114] although when the two eventually had a conflict of interest, it appears that Muhammad ignored Zayd’s rights in favor of himself.[115]

When a drought caused widespread hardship, Khadijah presented Muhammad’s former foster mother with 40 sheep and a camel loaded with supplies.[116] Muhammad volunteered to relieve his uncle Abu Talib by taking charge of one of the latter’s children. Thereafter Muhammad and Khadijah brought up Muhammad’s young cousin Ali but they did not adopt him legally.[117] Again, Muhammad always made a great show of affection towards Ali[118] and even gave him Fatima as his wife.[119] This positive upbringing of Ali, however, seems to contrast rather sharply with some of the behavior he exhibited later on in life.[120]


Modern hagiographers sometimes suggest that the virtuous Khadijah, "unlike her people, never believed in nor worshipped idols." [121], however early sources seem to tell a different story. They state that Khadijah kept in her house an idol of Al-Uzza, a virgin star-goddess who was the patroness of Mecca and was supposed to be powerful in war.[122][123][124] The family used to worship it just before bedtime.[125] Muhammad sometimes sacrificed a white sheep to the goddess,[126] and Khadijah sacrificed two kids at the birth of each son and one at the birth of each daughter.[127] When Muhammad complained of the Evil Eye, Khadijah used to send for an elderly sorceress to charm it away.[128] In 605 a severe flood damaged the Ka’aba, and the principal citizens of Mecca cooperated to rebuild it. Muhammad played a prominent part by arbitrating a dispute over who should have the honor of reinstalling the Black Stone[129], not showing any disapproval in this instance of the 360 idols the Ka'aba housed at the time.

However, at an unspecified date and for an unknown reason, Muhammad and Khadijah became disillusioned with their traditional religion. Muhammad and his son Zayd came under the influence of the outspoken monotheist Zayd ibn Amr al-Adiyi, who told them that he never ate meat offered to idols. Muhammad then decided that he too would never again sacrifice to Al-Uzza.[130] Finally he confessed his unbelief to Khadijah. She replied by telling him to “Leave Al-Lat and leave Al-Uzza.”[131] (Al-Lat was an earth-mother goddess who was revered in Ta’if.)[132][133] To some, her acceptance of her husband’s apostasy from their traditional religion suggests that Khadijah in her turn had already lost faith.

It is not stated what Muhammad and Khadijah did with their idol; nor is it known which religious group, if any, they joined next. Monotheists who lived in or travelled through Mecca included Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians and Sabians;[134] but Zayd ibn Amr did not identify with any of these groups. However, there is little doubt that Muhammad and Khadijah learned monotheistic ideas – Heaven, Hell, holy books, prophets – from Khadijah’s cousins Waraqa ibn Nawfal and Uthman ibn Al-Huwayrith and from Muhammad’s cousin Ubaydallah ibn Jahsh.[135] Soon, Khadija would begin to speak as if there was only one God.[136]


This cave in Mount Hira is widely believed to be the same cave where Muhammad first encountered Jibreel. It is now a popular tourist destination for Muslim pilgrims.

Muhammad took to meditating in caves, often leaving his family for days at a time to focus on his devotions.[137] In August 610, when he was 39 years old, these meditations were interrupted by an experience that terrified him.[138] He staggered home to Khadijah under the conviction that he had seen the angel Jibreel (Gabriel) and that he was demon-possessed.[139] Khadijah wrapped him in a blanket and consoled him. She did not believe that Muhammad could be possessed. “Allah would not treat you thus since he knows your good character. So rejoice and be glad! I have hope that you will be the prophet of this community.” Then she put on her cloak and took Muhammad to consult her cousin Waraqa.[140]

Waraqa was an old, blind man who had converted to Christianity and had studied an Arabic translation of the Gospels.[141] According to Muhammad, Waraqa declared: “Holy, holy! This was the great Namus [law] that came to Moses. You are the prophet of these people. Should I live till you receive the Divine Message, I will support you strongly.”[142] If Waraqa in fact said this, he did not keep his promise. Although he lived for at least another three years,[143] people afterwards questioned whether he had ever become a Muslim,[144] meaning that Waraqa never made a public profession of Islam. Nobody except Muhammad and Khadijah ever heard him endorse Muhammad as a prophet. Muhammad would later admit to Aisha that he had required prompting from Khadijah before he could answer Waraqah's question.[144]

It was not Waraqa whose confidence moved Muhammad to discard his terrors and believe in his own mission, but Khadijah herself.[145] Within hours of deducing that her husband was a prophet, she secured the conversion of her next-door neighbor.[146] When he next announced that Jibreel was in the room, Khadijah tested the visitor (whom she could not see) by positioning herself to be in his supposed line of vision, and stripping naked. Muhammad then reported that Jibreel had departed, and Khadijah declared that Jibreel’s modesty was a certain sign that he was an angel and not a demon.[147]

Soon after this, Muhammad reported that Jibreel had stopped visiting him. Despite his initial terror of his strange experiences, he was now distraught by their absence.[148] Several times he became so depressed that he considered committing suicide by throwing himself off a cliff. Although he returned home from each attempt saying that Jibreel had reappeared in time to prevent him,[149] the angel did not remain long enough to give him any new prophecies. Eventually Khadijah taunted him: “I think that your Lord must have come to hate you!”[150] This goading, the only recorded incident in which her sympathy for her husband seems to have failed, suggests a profound disappointment with the possibility that Muhammad might not be a prophet after all. It was very soon afterwards, however, that Muhammad would report a new prophecy: “Thy Lord hath not forsaken thee, nor doth He hate thee...”[151]

Muhammad never again mentioned being afraid of the angel. Thenceforth he reported regular visits from Jibreel, who brought new revelations from Allah.[152] One of the earliest messages concerned the correct ritual for the five daily prayers. After this Muhammad was often to be seen in full public view, first abluting then standing face to the Ka’aba to pray, with Ali at his side and Khadijah a pace behind them.[153] Their four daughters and Zayd were also among the earliest converts.[154] Shortly thereafter Abu Bakr would convert, beckoning a new era of Muhammad's mission.[155]


After three years and some fifty converts,[156] it was known throughout Mecca that Muhammad considered himself a prophet. However, he received little attention[157] until the day when he gathered his relatives together for a dinner-party and invited them to forsake their idols and submit to Allah. But no mass-conversions followed;[158] the Meccans doubted, questioned and ignored him. Discouraged, Muhammad confided his troubles to Khadijah,[159] who was quick to console him. The citizens of Mecca accused him of outright lying, and Khadijah continued to reassure him that he was a prophet.[160] Debates led to angry arguments and mockery, and Khadijah disparaged their folly. Notwithstanding this concise summary of Khadijah’s attitude, surprisingly few specifics are recorded. The exact words of her counter-mockery do not survive, and nor is it precisely described how she “helped him in his work.”[161] There are very few ahadith about her everyday life with Muhammad or her involvement in community affairs, although there must have been multiple witnesses to both.

Muhammad kept preaching, and the public arguments led to fights in the streets. It was a Muslim who struck the first blow,[162] but when Muhammad continued his “shameless” attacks,[163] mocking the idols in the Ka’aba, the pagans began a systematic campaign of punishing Muslim slaves and teenagers.[164] One of the worst offenders was Khadijah’s brother Nawfal, whom the Muslims called “a satan of the Quraysh.” He once tied Abu Bakr to his kinsman Talha ibn Ubaydullah and left them helplessly roped together.[165] His attitude raises interesting questions about Khadijah’s relationship with her brother – especially as Nawfal’s own son was an early convert to Islam.[166] However, while his spiteful prank no doubt caused Abu Bakr and Talha some inconvenience, the general harassment of freeborn adults was far from life-threatening. The majority of these converts fled to Abyssinia, where the Christian King extended his unqualified protection. Muhammad and Khadijah, being under the protection of Muhammad’s uncle Abu Talib, remained in Mecca.[167]

More questions about Khadijah’s family arise over Abu Bakr’s purchase and manumission of seven mistreated slaves,[168] among them Al-Nahdiya bint Habib and her (unnamed) daughter. The story is told of how Al-Nahdiya’s mistress swore never to free them, of how quickly she changed her mind when she heard Abu Bakr’s ransom-offer, and how they dutifully postponed accepting their freedom until they had finished grinding their ex-mistress’s flour.[169] But the usual retellings of this story omit one important detail: Al-Nahdiya was Khadijah’s own grand-niece. Khadijah’s sister Ruqayqa had a daughter named Umayma bint Abdullah.[170] There was something irregular about Umayma’s married life: “she went to a foreigner” (it is not clear what this expression means) and married a man from Ta’if. The daughter of this union was the slave Al-Nahdiya bint Habib.[171] What is more, Al-Nahdiya’s owner belonged to the rival Abduldar clan.[172] It is not clear whether Umayma herself had been for some reason reduced to slavery or whether it was only her daughter, perhaps deemed in some way illegitimate, who was in bondage. Either way, Khadijah could have easily afforded to ransom her nieces if she had wanted to; since she did not, there must have been some social disgrace or personal grudge associated with Al-Nahdiya’s situation that made Khadijah unwilling to help her. For that matter, no other family member helped either. Since the exact chronology of these events is unknown, it is difficult to discern whether there was any connection between Nawfal’s trick with the rope and Abu Bakr’s ransom of Nawfal’s embarrassing nieces. Indeed, it is difficult to calculate overall how much of the harassment of Muslims was due to Islam and how much might be attributed to old quarrels from pre-Islamic times. It is is similarly unclear how many of these stories of harassment were later inventions of Muslims seeking to galvanize their past, but so is the case with perhaps the entirety of the hadith collection.

Muhammad warned his opponents of Hellfire, graphically describing how sinners would be “thrown headlong”[173] into “a fierce blast of fire and boiling water, shades of black smoke,”[174] to drink “a boiling fluid, and a fluid dark, murky, intensely cold,”[175] allowing nothing to survive and nothing to escape, “darkening and changing the colour of man.”[176] Khadijah had to take her share of the warning. When she asked about her children who had died in the days of ignorance, Muhammad replied, “They are in Hellfire. If you saw them, you would hate them.” When she asked about the child that she bore to him, he replied, “He is in Paradise... Verily, the believers and their children will be in Paradise, and the polytheists and their children in the Hellfire.”[177] Muhammad’s conclusion is interesting in the light of the fact that all the children in question had died before Islam. He did not explain why Khadijah’s subsequent conversion was retrospectively effective to save some of her children but not all of them.

After the conversions of two famously violent citizens, Hamza ibn Abdulmuttalib[178] and Umar ibn Al-Khattab,[179] the ruling clans of Mecca declared a boycott. This boycott was against Muhammad’s entire clan, including its non-Muslims. Thenceforth no Meccan might trade, socialize or intermarry with the Hashimites.[180] The clan inferred that they had been condemned to outlaw status and would not be protected against theft or violence. Fearing worse hostility to follow, in September 616 Abu Talib evacuated the Hashimites from Mecca proper. They camped out in a mountain gorge “formed by one of the defiles, or indentations of the mountain, where the projecting rocks of [Mount] Abu Cobeis pressed upon the eastern outskirts of Mecca. It was entered on the city side by a low gateway, through which a camel passed with difficulty. On all other sides it was detached from the town by cliffs and buildings.”[181] Such a narrow entrance could be constantly guarded, leaving the Hashimites safe but effectively trapped.

“The Quraysh blocked food-grain and other necessaries.”[182] For supplies the Hashimites had to depend on smuggler-friends who were willing and able to bypass the Meccans.[183] For example, Hisham ibn Amr “used to bring a camel laden with food by night, and then when he had got it to the mouth of the alley, he took off its halter, gave it a whack on the side, and sent it into the alley to them. He would do the same thing another time, bringing clothes for them.”[184] As the Hashimites had no way of earning money to pay for this food, they had to expend their savings. Over the next three years, Khadijah exhausted all her wealth to support the community.[185] The severity of the blockade continued to grow more intense and the Hashimites remained in the mountain pass for three years.[186]


Muhammad's fidelity to Khadijah is often referenced as a positive aspect of the Islamic tradition. It is described as the "prime time of his youth and constitutes two-thirds of his marriage life,"[187] and it is stated that it "should be noted by those who criticize him for his polygamy in later years."[188]

In one sense this is true. For example, when the Quraysh chiefs wanted to end the boycott, they offered Muhammad “as many wives as he wanted in marriage,” together with wealth, political power and a competent exorcist, if only he would stop reviling their gods. Muhammad scorned this bribe.[189] In this case, however, it is difficult to disentangle his loyalty to Khadijah from his loyalty to his own prophetic office. He responded to Khadijah’s support with a (perhaps nepotistic) revelation that the Virgin Mary had been the best woman of her generation while Khadijah was the best woman of the present generation.[190] He claimed that although there were many perfect men, there had only ever been only three perfect women: Asiya “wife of Pharaoh,” who had rescued the infant Moses; Mary the virgin mother of the Prophet Jesus; and Khadijah. He later allowed that their daughter Fatima was also one of the four “best among the women of Paradise.”[191] How his three elder daughters reacted to such open favoritism is not recorded. When Khadijah once brought Muhammad a bowl of soup, she was granted a personal message from Jibreel (of which Aisha was later intensely jealous): “Give her Allah’s greeting and the good news that in Paradise she will have a palace built of a hollow pearl, where there will be no noise or fatigue.”[192]

Yet despite this loyalty to Khadijah, it was exactly in this period of his life when Muhammad pronounced verses that strongly suggested that he was thinking about other women. After 614 he introduced to his descriptions of Paradise the “modest houris” (virgins) with “lustrous eyes” and “swelling breasts” who reclined “like pearls or rubies” on “green cushions”.[193] According to Muir, all of the Qur’anic descriptions of houris date to the last few years of Khadijah’s life; after Muhammad moved to Medina, remarried to a younger woman, there were only two brief and tame references[194] to “companions pure”.[195] Muir might have miscalculated, as the most detailed reference to the divine virgins[196] is sometimes dated to the Medina period,[197] although the German historian Nöldeke assigned even this one to Khadijah’s lifetime.[198] Regardless of the exact date when Muhammad eventually shifted his focus, it is certain that the ageing Khadijah knew about the houris.

The boycott against the Hashim clan was lifted “in the tenth year” (between August 619 and August 620), and Muhammad’s clan returned to their houses in Mecca.[199] By this time, Khadijah was starting to pass away.[200] Muhammad comforted her in her final illness with the reminder that she was going to her jeweled palace in Paradise – so she must convey his best wishes to her co-wives. When Khadijah expressed surprise at the news that Muhammad already had deceased wives, he explained that Allah had wedded him in Paradise to Queen Asiya, to “Kulthum the sister of Moses” and to the Virgin Mary. The theme of having four wives appears to have been on his mind even in his last moments with Khadijah. She responded with the conventional congratulation to a newlywed: “May the union be blessed.”[201]


Khadijah died on 10 Ramadan “in the tenth year of prophethood, three years before the Hijra,” i.e., on 22 April 620, and was buried in Mount Hajun Cemetery near Mecca.[202]

“The Messenger of Allah was so grieved about Khadijah that people feared for him.”[203] For the rest of his life, he spoke warmly and often of her[204] and sometimes seemed overwhelmed by sorrow at her absence.[205] He used to say: “Khadijah believed in me when they doubted me; she financed me when they tried to starve me out; and she is the mother of my children. Allah himself nurtured love for her in my heart.”[206]

Islam changed direction after Khadijah’s death. Within seven weeks Muhammad became a bigamist.[207] At the same time he began negotiations for military alliances with foreign tribes,[208] although it was to be another two years before he succeeded in declaring war on Mecca.[209] Even the sections of the Qur’an that were composed at the end of Muhammad’s Meccan period, though narrative rather than legislative, read more like the flat prose of Medina than the poetry of Khadijah’s lifetime.[210] It is frequently said that “Islam arose by Ali’s sword and Khadijah’s wealth.”[211] It is clear that what Khadijah contributed to the foundations of Islam was far more than money.

In scripture

In the hadith

Narrated 'Ali bin Abi Talib: that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: "The best of its women is Khadijah bint Khuwailid, and the best of its women is Mariam bint 'Imran."
Grade: Sahih (Darussalam)

See Also


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  1. Ibn Hisham note 127, note 918. Ibn Ishaq, A. Guillaume, ed, Sirat Rasul Allah [The Life of Muhammad], Oxford: Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780196360331, 1955, ; see also Sahih Muslim 31:5975.
  2. E.g., Razwy, S. A. A. (1990). Khadija tul Kubra: A Short Story of Her Life. New York: Tahrike Tarsile Qur'an.
  3. E.g., Mus’ad, M. F. (2001). Wives of the Prophet Muhammad: their Strives and Their Lives, p. 7. Cairo: Islamic Inc.
  4. Quran 33:6.
  5. Guillaume/Ishaq 24, 82.
  6. Guillaume/Ishaq 3.
  7. Guillaume/Ishaq 82.
  8. “Khadija” in Almaany Arabic-English Dictionary. Behind the Name.
  9. E.g., Al-Tabari, Vol. 6, p. 47.
  10. Ibn Saad, Aisha Bewley, ed, Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, 8, London: Ta Ha Publishers, pp. 9, 11-12, 1997 ; Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 41, 106.
  11. Sahih Muslim 10:3662. See also Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 40, 43, where Huwaytib ibn Abduluzza claims to be 120 years old, yet in the same breath betrays that he cannot count.
  12. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, p. 95.
  13. Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidaya wa’l-Nihaya vol. 5 p. 293. Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar vol. 16 p. 12. Ibn Ishaq, cited in Al-Hakim al-Nishaburi, Mustadrak vol. 3 p. 182.
  14. See Kister, M. J. (1993). The Sons of Khadija. Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam, 16, 59-95.
  15. Guillaume/Ishaq 82.
  16. Guilaume/Ishaq, p. 82.
  17. Guillaume/Ishaq 160.
  18. Guillaume/Ishaq 115.
  19. Bewley/Saad 8:180.
  20. Sahih Bukhari 5:58:168
  21. Guillaume/Ishaq 177.
  22. Bewley/Saad 8:9.
  23. Ibn Hisham note 918. Bewley/Saad 8:151.
  24. Guillaume/Ishaq 142-143. See also Bewley/Saad 8:61; Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, p. 196.
  25. Bewley/Saad 8:10. 36.2/ Ibn Saad, Tabaqat 1:36:2.
  26. Bewley/Saad 8:9. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, p. 161.
  27. Ibn Hisham note 918.
  28. Tirmidhi 117.
  29. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 127.
  30. Kister (1993) summarises these sources, citing Ibn Ishaq, as transmitted by Yunus ibn Bukayr, Al-Siyar wa-l-Maghazi p. 82, and Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar vol. 16 p. 10, for Atiq’s death, and Baladhuri, Ansab al-Ashraf vol. 1 pp. 406-407, for divorce.
  31. Bewley/Saad 8:9, 151. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 127. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, p. 79.
  32. Guillaume/Ishaq 57.
  33. Bewley/Saad 8:9. Kister (1993) documents sources in which Malik was also known as Hind and his son Hala was also known as Al-Harith. It was not uncommon for Arabs to be known by alternative and apparently unrelated names.
  34. Ibn Hisham note 918. Bewley/Saad 8:9.
  35. Ibn Hisham note 918.
  36. Tirmidhi 117.
  37. E.g., Bewley/Saad 8:9.
  38. Guillaume/Ishaq 82. 32.1/ Ibn Saad, Tabaqat 1:32:1. Strangely, Ibn Hisham note 124 claims an outbreak date as early as 585. Although note 124 was designed to be read immediately after the statement of Ibn Ishaq that it contradicts, there is not a word of explanation for the inconsistency. However, the preliminary hostilities commenced several years before the first full-fledged battle (Muir (1861) vol. 2 pp. 2-5). One possible explanation is that Ibn Hisham deliberately confused the first informal skirmish (when Muhammad was 14) with the first battle proper (when Muhammad was 20) so that his youth might excuse his lack of prowess in the fighting (Muir, 1861, pp. 6-7f).
  39. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, p. 41
  40. Waqidi, Kitab al-Maghazi, cited in Muir (1861) vol. 2 pp. 7f9, 22, 24f28.
  41. Al-Tabari, Vol. 6, pp. 48-49. 35.1/ Ibn Saad, Tabaqat 1:35:1.
  42. Guillaume/Ishaq 82.
  43. Bewley/Saad 8:10.
  44. Guillaume/Ishaq 424, 547, 716. See also Crone, P. (2007). Quraysh and the Roman army: Making sense of the Meccan leather trade. Bulletin of SOAS, 70, 63–88.
  45. "Khadija, the first wife of the Prophet ... an outstanding female liberating figure in history ... can help us reclaim the vibrant, liberating spirit of early Islam. That alone could go a long way in removing the current image of Muslims among non Muslims." - Bandukwala, J. S. “Hazrat Khadija was an outstanding female liberating figure in history,” letter to the editor in New Age Islam, 22 May 2010.
  46. "For Muslim girls everywhere, Khadijah is one of the first female role models introduced by parents and teachers of religion. A self-made businesswoman … She had already created her own success … The justification for denying girls an equal chance at success lies in archaic interpretations of religion… There is nothing contradictory about being a powerful Muslim female." - Saraswati, R. E. (2012). “Khadijah Bint Khuwaylid: Perfect Woman” in Aquila Style.
  47. Bewley/Saad 8:165.
  48. Bewley/Saad 8:209.
  49. “Makka” in Bearman, P., Bianquis, T., Bosworth, C. E., van Donzel, E., & Heinrichs, W. P. (Eds.). (2006). 'Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd Ed. Brill Online.
  50. Quran 33:54
  51. Guillaume/Ishaq 162, 585. Bewley/Saad 8:29.
  52. 34.1/ Ibn Saad, Tabaqat 1:34:2. Bewley/Saad 8:10.
  53. Guillaume/Ishaq 82.
  54. Al-Tabari, Vol. 6, p. 48. Bewley/Saad 8:10.
  55. Crone, P. (2007). “Makka” in Bearman, P., et al. (Eds.) (2006).
  56. Guillaume/Ishaq 82.
  57. Bewley/Saad 8:10.
  58. Al-Tabari, Vol. 6, p. 49
  59. Guillaume/Ishaq 128, 158, 271.
  60. Guillaume/Ishaq 58. “Makka” in Bearman, P., et al. (Eds.) (2006). See also Quran 106:2.
  61. Guillaume/Ishaq 82; Bewley/Saad 8:10.
  62. Bewley/Saad 8:10, 172. She is sometimes known matrilinearly as Nafisa bint Munya, suggesting that she was illegitimate.
  63. 35.1/ Ibn Saad, Tabaqat 1:35:1.
  64. Al-Tabari, Vol. 6, p. 48.
  65. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, p. 196. Bewley/Saad, Tabaqat 8:109.
  66. الاستيعاب في معرفة الأصحاب لابن عبد البر، تحقيق البجاوي، ج4 ص1818 Ibn Abdul Barr (d.463 H). Al-Istiʕāb. Taqiq by Al-Bajāwī. Vol.4 p.1818
  67. "The Beloved Holy prophet preferred to have his first marriage with a fifteen years older widow shows [sic] how the Beloved Holy Prophet had a value of nobility and character more than anything else." - Saleem, H. M. (2012). Justification of the marriages of the Beloved Holy prophet. Pakistan Journal of Islamic Research, 9, 1-20.
  68. Guillaume/Ishaq 111
  69. Ordoni, Abu M. (1987). Fatima the Gracious, p. 27. Qum: Ansariyan Publications.
  70. 35.1/ Ibn Saad, Tabaqat 1:35:1.
  71. "During the first fifteen years of her marriage, Khadija’s duties were purely those of a housewife and a mother." - Razwy, S. A. A. (1990). Khadija-Tul-Kubra: The Wife of the Prophet Muhammed, p. 146. New York: Tahrike Tarsile Qur’an.
  72. "Khadija ... felt no need to keep trading and increasing her wealth; instead, she decided to retire and enjoy a comfortable life with her husband who, on his part, preferred an ascetic life to that of money making." - Al-Jibouri, Y. T. (1994). Khadija Daughter of Khuwaylid, Wife of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
  73. Ibn Hanbal, Musnad vol. 4 p. 352.
  74. Ibn Hanbal, Musnad vol. 6 pp. 117-118.
  75. Guillaume/Ishaq 313.
  76. Guillaume/Ishaq 106
  77. Guillaume/Ishaq 107; Al-Tabari, Vol. 6, p. 73.
  78. Guillaume/Ishaq 82; Ibn Hisham note 918.
  79. Numerous ahadith such as Sahih Bukhari 2:24:528 and Sahih Muslim 10:3893 indicate that a camel cost about 80 dirhams, although this varied with the age and health of the camel. Hence 20 camels would be worth 1,600 dirhams. Sahih Bukhari 5:59:357 indicates that an annual income of 5,000 dirhams was a comfortable living, so Khadijah’s dower was equivalent to four months’ (middle-class) income. However, it seems that a frugal person could survive on a dirham a day (Muir (1861) vol. 4 p. 156), so the same sum came to over four years’ wages for a labourer. While it is almost impossible to calculate equivalent prices for such a different culture, the dirham, a silver coin, was the price of a wooden bowl or a ground-sheet (Sunan Abu Dawud 9:1637) or a cheap necklace (Sunan Abu Dawud 14:2704), so we might, very roughly, think of a dirham as £5. A dinar, a gold coin worth 10 dirhams, was the price of a sheep.
  80. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, p. 189. See also Ibn Hisham note 918. The same 400 dirhams (£2,000) was also the ransom for a war-captive (Sunan Abu Dawud 14:2685) or the starting price for a slave (Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, p. 6).
  81. 34.1/ Ibn Saad, Tabaqat 1:34:2.
  82. Al-Tabari, Vol. 6, p. 49. 35.4/ Ibn Saad, Tabaqat 1:35:4, 5. See also Guillaume/Ishaq 83 and Ibn Hisham note 918.
  83. Muir (1861) vol. 2 p. 24f. See also Al-Tabari, Vol. 6, pp. 48-50; Ibn Hisham note 918.
  84. E.g., see Bewley/Saad 8:63, 65; Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 178-179; Bewley/Saad 8:105.
  85. E.g., Guillaume/Ishaq 547.
  86. E.g., Guillaume/Ishaq 314-315. Bewley/Saad 8:87-88.
  87. E.g., Bewley/Saad 8:43.
  88. E.g., Guillaume/Ishaq 463-464. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, p. 165.
  89. Bewley/Saad 8:40. Guillaume/Ishaq 493.
  90. Jalalayn, Tafsir Q33:36. See also Quran 33:36. Sahih Bukhari 3:43:648, Sahih Muslim 4:3511.
  91. Guillaume/Ishaq 438; 594-597.
  92. E.g., Guillaume/Ishaq 504, 509. Bewley/Saad 8:181-182.
  93. Sahih Bukhari 1:4:245
  94. Sahih Muslim 24:5235
  95. Bewley/Saad 8:9.
  96. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 127. Note that Tabari assumes that Hind was a girl (Hind and Hala were both unisex names, though more common for females), which only adds to the general confusion.
  97. Sahih Bukhari 8:73:151. See also Sahih Bukhari 8:73:150.
  98. Ibn Hajar, Al-Isaba 6:516:8919, cited in Kister (1993).
  99. Baladhuri, Ansab al-Ashraf; Ibn Hajar, AI-Isaba 1:604:1501; both cited in Kister (1993).
  100. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 79-80.
  101. "[Muhammad’s] blessed face shone like the full moon… His modest habit was to look at something without staring... He greeted whomever he met ... He was not short-tempered, nor did he embarrass anyone… When he became angry with someone, he turned his face away from that person and either ignored him or forgave him. When he was happy due to humility it seemed as if he had closed his eyes. His laugh was mostly a smile, when his blessed front teeth glittered like white shining hailstones." - Tirmidhi, Shama’il 1:7; Tirmidhi, Shama’il 33:3.
  102. Al-Tabari, Vol. 3, pp. 228-230, 318-321, 328; Ibn Hajar, Al-Isaba 3:515:3258; both cited in Kister (1993).
  103. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, p. 80.
  104. Ibn al-Kalbi, Jamharat al-Nasabi, cited in Kister (1993).
  105. Bewley/Saad 8:10, 160.
  106. Bewley/Saad 8:10. 36.2/ Ibn Saad, Tabaqat 1:36:2.
  107. Bewley/Saad 8:10. 36.1/ Ibn Saad, Tabaqat 1:36:1. Also cited in Muir (1861) 2:27f.
  108. Guillaume/Ishaq 82; Ibn Hisham note 918; Bewley/Saad 8:10.
  109. Sahih Bukhari 4:56:819. Sunan Abu Dawud 41:5198.
  110. Bewley/Saad 8:16. Ibn Kathir, Tafsir on Quran 66:11.
  111. See “Fatimah az-Zahra” in Qutb, M. A. (1995). Women around the Messenger. Translated by A. A. Imam. Riyadh: International Islamic Publishing House for a typical hagiography.
  112. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 6-9.
  113. Guillaume/Ishaq 115; 314-315. Al-Tabari, Vol. 7, p. 8. Sahih Bukhari 4:53:324. Sunan Abu Dawud 12:2271. Sahih Muslim 8:3441.
  114. Guillaume/Ishaq 186; 308; 364; 660; 662; 664. Al-Tabari, Vol. 7, 16. Bewley/Saad 8:72. Sahih Bukhari 5:59:562.
  115. See Al-Tabari, Vol. 8, pp. 1-4.
  116. 27.20/ Ibn Saad, Tabaqat 1:27:20.
  117. Al-Tabari, Vol. 6, p. 83.
  118. E.g., Guillaume/Ishaq 234, 286, 293, 593, 650; Sahih Bukhari 4:52:219; Sahih Muslim 1:141; Sahih Muslim 31:5917.
  119. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, p. 167.
  120. E.g., Guillaume/Ishaq 496; Sahih Bukhari 5:59:637; Sahih Bukhari 8:82:803; Sahih Bukhari 8:81:769; Sahih Bukhari 9:84:57.
  121. "One particular quality in Khadija was quite interesting, probably more so than any of her other qualities mentioned above: she, unlike her people, never believed in nor worshipped idols." - Al-Jibouri, Y. T. (1994). Khadija Daughter of Khuwaylid, Wife of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
  122. “Al-Uzza” in Encyclopaedia Mythica.
  123. Al-Kalbi, The Book of Idols, pp. 16-29.
  124. Ibn Kathir, Tafsir on Quran 53:19–26.
  125. Ibn Hanbal, Musnad vol. 4 p. 222.
  126. Al-Kalbi, pp. 16-17.
  127. 36.2/ Ibn Saad, Tabaqat 1:36:2.
  128. Yunus ibn Bakayr from Ibn Ishaq, cited in Guillaume, A. (1960). New Light on the Life of Muhammad, p. 7. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
  129. Guillaume/Ishaq 84-86.
  130. Guillaume/Ishaq 99. See also Sahih Bukhari 7:67:407; Sahih Bukhari 5:58:169. Variant forms of this hadith are cited in Kister, M. J. (1970). “A Bag of Meat.” A Study of an Early Hadith. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 33, 267-75. Ibn Ishaq (Guillaume, pp. 102-103) describes how Zayd ibn Amr was eventually murdered. Although the culprit was never discovered, Ibn Ishaq apparently suspected Zayd’s half-brother, Al-Khattab ibn Nufayl, the father of Caliph Umar.
  131. "A neighbour of Khadijah bint Khuwaylid heard the Prophet say, “O Khadija! By Allah, I do not worship Al-Lat or Al-Uzza. By Allah, I do not worship [them] at all.” Khadijah replied, “Leave Al-Lat and leave Al-Uzza.” He [the neighbour] said this was their idol, which they all used to worship, after which they would lie down to sleep." - Ibn Hanbal, Musnad vol. 4 p. 222.
  132. “Allat” in Encyclopaedia Mythica.
  133. Al-Kalbi, The Book of Idols, pp. 14-15.
  134. Quran 2:62. Quran 5:69. Quran 22:17. Guillaume/Ishaq 90, 106.
  135. Guillaume/Ishaq 99.
  136. Guillaume/Ishaq 106-107.
  137. Guillaume/Ishaq 105.
  138. It could have been an epileptic fit, a psychotic episode or an ordinary nightmare. Since he was alone, there is no way to know.
  139. Guillaume/Ishaq 106.
  140. Guillaume/Ishaq 106-107. Al-Tabari, Vol. 6, p. 72.
  141. Guillaume/Ishaq 99; Sahih Muslim 1:301.
  142. Guillaume/Ishaq 107. Sahih Bukhari 1:1:3. Sahih Bukhari 4:55:605 [1]. Sahih Bukhari 9:87:111 [2]. Sahih Muslim 1:301.
  143. Guillaume/Ishaq 144,
  144. 144.0 144.1 "Aisha narrated. Someone asked Allah’s Messenger about Waraqa. So Khadijah told him, “He believed in you, but died before you appeared as a prophet.” Allah’s Messenger then said, “I was shown him in a dream, wearing white clothes, and if he had been one of the inhabitants of Hell he would have been wearing different clothing.” - Tirmidhi 4623.
  145. Guillaume/Ishaq 112.
  146. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, p. 201.
  147. Guillaume/Ishaq 107. Al-Tabari, Vol. 6, p. 73. The sanitised version of this story, in which Khadijah merely removes her veil, is unlikely to be the correct one, as Khadijah died long before the veil was mandated. The mere removal of a veil would not have shocked anyone at that early date – assuming that a lady sitting indoors was even wearing one.
  148. Guillaume/Ishaq 111.
  149. Al-Tabari, Vol. 6, p. 76. Sahih Bukhari 9:87:111.
  150. Al-Tabari, Vol. 6, p. 70.
  151. Quran 93:3.
  152. Sahih Bukhari 1:1:3. Sahih Bukhari 6:60:478. Guillaume/Ishaq 111-112.
  153. Guillaume/Ishaq 112-114. Bewley/Saad 8:11.
  154. Guillaume/Ishaq 114-115, 313-314.
  155. Guillaume/Ishaq 114-117.
  156. Guillaume/Ishaq 115-117.
  157. Al-Tabari, Vol. 6, p. 93.
  158. Guillaume/Ishaq 117-119.
  159. Guillaume/Ishaq 191.
  160. Ibn Hanbal, Musnad volume 6 p. 117-118.
  161. Guillaume/Ishaq 117.
  162. Guillaume/Ishaq 118.
  163. Francis Edwards Peters, Muhammad and the Origins of Islam, p. 169, SUNY Press.
  164. Guillaume/Ishaq 143-145.
  165. Guillaume/Ibn Ishaq 127-128.
  166. Guillaume/Ishaq 147.
  167. Guillaume/Ishaq 146ff.
  168. Guillaume/Ishaq 144.
  169. Guillaume/Ishaq 144.
  170. Bewley/Saad 8:1, 180.
  171. Bewley/Saad 8:180-181. Umayma appears not to have become a Muslim until the conquest of Mecca in 630, hence she was not persecuted.
  172. Guillaume/Ishaq 144.
  173. Quran 26:94.
  174. Quran 56:42-43.
  175. Quran 38:56-64
  176. Quran 74:26-29. See also Quran 92:14. Quran 89:23-26. Quran 102:6. Quran 85:4-6. Quran 85:10. Quran 101:8-11. Quran 90:19-20. Quran 54:48. Quran 7:36-41. Quran 7:50. Quran 7:179. Quran 72:15. Quran 36:63. Quran 25:65-69. Quran 35:6-7. Quran 35:36-37. Quran 19:86. Quran 20:74. Quran 56:93-94. Quran 28:41-42.
  177. "Khadijah asked Allah’s Apostle about her children who had died in the days of ignorance. Thereupon Allah’s Messenger said: “They are in Hellfire.” When he saw the sign of disgust on her face, he said: “If you were to see their station, you would hate them.” She said: “Allah’s Messenger, what about the child that I bore to you?” He said: “He is in Paradise.” Then Allah’s Messenger said: “Verily, the believers and their children will be in Paradise, and the polytheists and their children in the Hellfire.Tirmidhi 117.
  178. Guillaume/Ishaq 131-132.
  179. Guillaume/Ishaq 155-159.
  180. Guillaume/Ishaq 159-160.
  181. Muir (1861) vol. 2 pp. 176-178.
  182. 53.1/ Ibn Saad, Tabaqat 1:53:1.
  183. Guillaume/Ishaq 160.
  184. Guillaume/Ishaq 118.
  185. Ibn Hanbal, Musnad vol. 6 pp. 117-118.
  186. 53.1/ Ibn Saad, Tabaqat 1:53:1.
  187. "His first marriage was with Khadija. He lived with her alone for twenty-five years. It was the prime time of his youth and constitutes two-thirds of his marriage [sic] life." - Al-Jibouri, Y. T. (1994). “Marriages of the Prophet” in Muhammad: The Prophet and Messenger of Allah. Qum, Iran: Ansariyan Publications.
  188. "The Prophet did not marry another woman during his first marriage with Khadija, is a fact that should be noted by those who criticise him for his polygamy in later years." - Saleem (2012)
  189. Al-Tabari, Vol. 6, pp. 106-107. See also Guillaume/Ishaq 132-133.
  190. Bukhari|4|55|642. Sahih Bukhari 5:58:163. Sahih Muslim 31:5965.
  191. Ibn Kathir, Tafsir on Quran 66:11. See also Sahih Muslim 31:5966. He never called any of his other wives or daughters “perfect”, not even his fourth divine spouse, Kulthum the sister of Moses.
  192. Guillaume/Ishaq 111. Ibn Hisham note 148. Sahih Bukhari 3:27:19. Sahih Bukhari 5:58:167. Sahih Bukhari 5:58:168. Sahih Bukhari 9:93:588. Sahih Muslim 31:5967. Sahih Muslim 31:5968. Sahih Muslim 31:5970.
  193. Quran 38:52. Quran 56:22-23. Quran 37:48-49. Quran 44:54. Quran 52:20. Quran 78:33.
  194. Quran 2:25. Quran 4:57.
  195. Muir (1861) 2:141-144. See also Sell, E. (1923). The Historical Development of the Qur'an, 4th Ed, pp. 25-26. London: People International.
  196. Quran 55:56-58 Quran 55:70-76.
  197. [3]
  198. Bell, R. (1953). Introduction to the Qur’an. Revised by Montgomery Watt (1970). Chapter 7: “The Chronology of the Qur’an.” Edinburgh University Press.
  199. 53.3/ Ibn Saad, Tabaqat 1:53:3.
  200. Bewley/Saad 8:12.
  201. Majlisi, Hayat al-Qulub 2:26. Muhammad’s invention of the character “Kulthum” appears to be the aftermath of his embarrassing discovery that the sister of Moses was not identical with the Virgin Mary. (See Quran 19:27-28; Sahih Muslim 25:5326.) He must have over-corrected his error by deducing that Moses’ sister was not even named Maryam.
  202. Guillaume/Ishaq 191. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 4, 161. Bewley/Saad 8:152. Yet another disputed fact about Khadijah’s life is the date of her death. Ibn Saad (Bewley 8:12) also cites 20 Ramadan (2 May) of the tenth year. Kister (1993) summarises several traditions that cite variant years: one, two, four, five or six years before the Hijra. Assuming that Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Saad and Tabari are correct to prefer “three years before the Hijra”, this suggests a miscalculation on the part of those modern biographers who state that Khadijah died in 619.
  203. Bewley/Saad 8:44.
  204. Sahih Bukhari 5:58:164. Sahih Bukhari 5:58:165. Sahih Bukhari 5:58:166. Sahih Bukhari 7:62:156. Sahih Bukhari 8:73:33. Sahih Muslim 31:5971. Sahih Muslim 31:5974.
  205. Sahih Bukhari 5:58:168
  206. Ibn Hanbal, Musnad vol. 6 pp. 117-118. Sahih Muslim 31:5972.
  207. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 170, 171. Bewley/Saad 8:39, 43, 152.
  208. Guillaume/Ishaq 192-195, 197-199.
  209. Guillaume/Ishaq 201-213, 324.
  210. Sell (1923), p. 74. “The Chronology of the Qur’an.” In Bell, R. (1970). Introduction to the Quran. Revised by Montgomery Watt. Edinburgh University Press.
  211. E.g., Al-Jibouri, Y. T. (1994). Khadija Daughter of Khuwaylid Wife of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).