By Sayyid Ali Ashgar Razwy
27 March 2017
Before Islam, Khadija was the Princess of
Makkah. When the sun of Islam rose above the horizon, Allah was pleased to make
her the Princess of Islam also. Allah was also pleased to make her the Mother
of the Believers, as He says in His Book:
“The Prophet is closer to the believers
than their own selves, and his wives are their mothers.” (Chapter 33; verse 6)
She gave the sacred love which a mother
alone can give, to the believers. A mother may be hungry but if her children
are hungry, she will feed them first. In fact, if necessary – in an exigency –
she will feed her children her own share of food and will gladly go hungry.
This has happened on countless occasions in history, especially during wars and
famines. The fact that her children are well-fed and contented, are enough to
make a mother happy and contented, and is enough to make her forget her own
hunger and thirst. A mother’s love is unconditional; it is all-protective,
Most of the Muslims of Makkah were poor.
They had no source of income, and they had no means of making a living in a city
the economic life of which was controlled by a cartel of idolaters. The members
of the cartel had decreed that no one would pay a Muslim any wages for any work
done by him, and no one would buy anything from him. They knew that material
privation affected the body as well as the spirit, and they figured that when
the resistance of the Muslims breaks down through economic attrition, they
would repudiate Islam, and they would abandon Muhammad. A concurrent aim of
this policy was to starve the Muslims. But Khadija fed the poor Muslims, day
after day, so that no one among them ever went hungry and she provided shelter
to them. For her, charity was nothing new but the size and scope of the
commitment was; she spent money prodigiously on the poor and the homeless
Muslims of Makkah, and thus foiled the aims of the cartel.
The support that Khadija gave to the Muslim
community in Makkah, was indispensable for the survival of Islam. Her support
to the Muslim community guaranteed its survival when it was in a state of
blockade. In this sense, she was a maker of history -the history of Islam.
All wives of Muhammad Mustafa, the
Messenger of Allah, are the Mothers of Believers; but between them and Khadija
there is a basic difference. All the women he married in Medina, received a
stipend from the Bayt-ul-Mal (the Public Treasury). Some of them claimed
special prerogatives, and demanded “perks” from him. They said that the stipend
paid to them was insufficient for their needs, and they could not buy enough
food to eat from it.
Khadija, on the other hand, never asked her
husband for anything. Far from asking him to bring anything for her, she made
her own purse a public treasury for the Muslims. In Makka there was no
Bayt-ul-Mal, and it was the boundless generosity and the seemingly unlimited
wealth of Khadija that saved the Community of the Faithful from starving. She
was so solicitous of the welfare of the followers of her husband that she
didn’t withhold even the last coin that was in her possession, and spent it on
Dr. Sir Muhammad Iqbal (d. 1938) says that
as a creator, a mother ranks next only to God Himself. She brings new life into
the world, i.e. she creates; and that act – the act of bringing new life into
the world or the act of creating, calls for sacrifice. In bringing new life
into the world, a mother risks her own life. She therefore merits the greatest
honour and respect. What makes her willing to sacrifice her life is love – the
love of her child. Her love for her child is the most sacrosanct love. In sanctity,
a mother’s love for her child ranks second only to the love of God Himself.
Khadija was the proud mother of three
children – two boys and a girl. The two boys – Qasim and Abdullah – were still
infants when they died. Her last and the only surviving child was her daughter,
If Khadija Was The Ideal Mother, Fatima
Was The Ideal Daughter.
Fatima, the ideal daughter of Muhammad and
Khadija, also became the ideal mother. She was the mother of two boys – Hasan
and Husain – and two girls – Zaynab and Umm Kulthum.
Khadija and Fatima – the mother and
daughter – were two of the only four perfect women in the world. Both of them
made motherhood sacrosanct. They brought glory and honour to motherhood.
Women had no status in pre-Islamic Arabia.
In the male-dominated Arab society they were ruthlessly exploited and were
treated like cattle. Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, put an end to their
exploitation by men, and gave them a status which they didn’t have in any
country, at any time. About mothers, he said:
“Paradise is under
the feet of one’s mother.”
This means that no one may entertain the
hope of entering paradise if one has displeased one’s mother. One’s admission
to paradise hinges upon one’s ability to win salvation, and no one who has
displeased one’s mother, will ever win salvation.
The Prophet of Islam has thus made the
winning of the pleasure of one’s mother – a woman – a condition-precedent for
one to win salvation and to enter paradise.