Time passed, and the young man of twenty-five whom Khadijah married became a father of four daughters, adopted father to Zaid ibn Haarith– and increasingly sorrowful.
Khadijah and Muhammad (PBUH) were both witness to the raging violence of their society. Horrified, they held their daughters tightly as they saw others around them bury infant girls alive; with aching hearts, they watched women being abused, wars declared over petty tribalism, racism and classism used as excuses to enslave and torture those unable to defend themselves.
Though they did whatever they could to fight against the overwhelming oppression around them, they both felt a devastating weight on their consciences.
Entrusting in Khadijah’s efficient management of her business, Muhammad began to withdraw from society and seek solitude. Outside of the city’s vicious constraints, he ascended to the mountain that would later be known as Jabal Noor (the Mountain of Light), and began to seclude himself in the cave of Hiraa’.
Tears running down his cheeks silently, Muhammad (PBUH) turned to his Lord in anguish, seeking a salve to his broken heart.
Khadijah (May Allah be pleased with her) understood exactly what her husband was going through. She herself had spent time with scholarly relatives like Waraqah ibn Nawfal, questioning the bizarre ritual worship of idols, unsatisfied with polytheism and feeling her heart yearning towards Allah alone.
She too was sickened by the crimes committed on a daily basis by her own people; she too felt that there was something deeply wrong with the society in which she lived.
Wordlessly, Khadijah packed food, drink, and clothing and pressed them into her husband’s hands. She knew how desperately he needed the solitude of Hiraa’; indeed, there were times when she entrusted her children with the other adults in her household, and accompanied him.
Together, in a silence that held more love than any words ever could, Muhammad and Khadijah would worship their Lord, surrendering themselves to His Divine Wisdom.
Nonetheless, as a mother and a businesswoman, Khadijah was aware of her other responsibilities and returned home. Ensuring that her husband was comfortable, she turned her attention to raising her daughters.
Zaynab, Ruqayyah, Umm Kulthum, and Fatimah (May Allah be pleased with them) were girls who embodied the best of their parents’ qualities: intelligence, compassion, excellence of character, and a purity of faith. Khadijah was determined to nurture her daughters into women of integrity, able to make their own decisions without being pressured or swayed by popular opinion.
Khadijah (May Allah be pleased with her) was a woman who was so much more than ‘just’ a wife or a mother. To her, there was no contradiction in running her company and ensuring its success, and in being a supportive wife and involved mother. Instead, the same principles, determination, and values that had made her such a prominent businesswoman were the same ones that guided her through marriage and motherhood.
Caring for her husband did not make her somehow weak or diminutive; financially supporting him did not make him inferior in her eyes, but was a choice she made freely and out of fierce love for the man whom she recognized as unlike any other she had ever met.
Loving Muhammad (PBUH) was the greatest thing that had ever happened to Khadijah– and he felt the same way about her. They supported each other in what was important to them, and they actively encouraged each other to seek out and do what was right. Together, they were the best version of themselves, not just towards each other but to all those around them.
In a partnership of minds and hearts, Khadijah and Muhammad embodied what it meant to transform love into action… and for those actions to have the power to change the world.
There is much more to be narrated about the faithful couple. Stay tuned for part four…