This new series on the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is dedicated to new converts to Islam. It starts in Makkah with his beloved first wife, Lady Khadijah, and ends in Madinah, 23 years later, in the home of his dearest wife, Lady Aishah.
It was Lady Khadijah who gave our Prophet (peace be upon him) support, reassurance, and complete trust when he first met Angel Gabriel in a cave near Makkah in the year 610 CE.
And it was in the arms of his dearest wife, Lady Aishah, that our Prophet (peace be upon him) later passed away in Madinah at the age of 63.
Business and Trade
Lady Khadijah was a noble woman who was highly respected in Makkah.
She had married twice before, and by the time her second husband passed away she was a wealthy woman who invested her wealth in trade and commerce.
When Lady Khadijah heard of the honesty and business skills of a young man named Muhammad, she offered him the opportunity to be an agent for her trade.
She later sent him on a trade mission to Syria, and Muhammad returned to Makkah with higher than usual profits for his employer. But what she found strange was that he was not really interested in money.
Many men had proposed marriage to the wealthy widow, but she declined them all as she sensed that what they really wanted was access to her wealth.
Muhammad was not like them. He had refined, noble manners and his honesty and trustworthiness were unmatched.
One day, Lady Khadijah decided she wanted to marry him, so she asked her friend Nufaysah to discreetly investigate his willingness to accept her marriage proposal.
When she got a positive response from her friend, she invited him and said to him:
Cousin, I admire you because of your good position among your people, your honesty and good manners, and because you are a man of your word.
She then made her proposal that they should get married. Muhammad was very pleased and went to inform his uncles, who were also very pleased at the prospect of this marriage.
The Happy Marriage of a Wise Husband
Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) marriage to Lady Khadijah was a happy marriage that lasted for 25 years. When they married, he was 25 years old and she was 40, though some reports suggest she was younger than 40 – perhaps 35 years old.
Muhammad and Khadijah loved each other greatly, and their marriage was a source of peace and contentment for them both.
They had four children together: Zainab, Ruqayyah, Umm Kalthoum, and Fatimah. They also had two male children, Al-Qasim and Abdullah, who both died as infants.
During the first 15 years of their marriage, Muhammad’s status and reputation grew year after year and by the age of 40 he was known in Makkah as “the truthful, the trustworthy.”
At the age of 35, he gave a wise judgment that prevented war breaking out among the tribes of Makkah. At that time, these tribes had joined hands to rebuild the Ka’bah, but when the time came to put the black stone back in its place, they differed and were about to fight to have this honor.
Before fighting broke out, they agreed on arbitration to be decided by the first person to enter the Ka’bah area. And it so happened that this person was none other than Muhammad.
And he provided them with a genius solution, as explained by Ibn Kathir:
[… The Prophet] asked them to bring a garment and place it on the ground. He placed the Black Stone on it. He then requested that each of the leaders of the Quraysh hold the garment from one side and all participate in lifting the Black Stone, moving it to its designated area. […]. (Tafsir ibn Kathir)
Searching for God and the Start of the Revelation
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had been searching for God for many years. He would sometimes go into seclusion in the Cave of Hira’ in Makkah, which oversees the Ka’bah. He would take enough food and supplies to spend several days worshiping, reflecting and contemplating.
When he was 40 years old, he started seeing visions which would come true as daylight. He continued seeing these visions for six months and spent more time in seclusion until the Truth descended upon him suddenly one night while he was in the cave of Hira’.
An angel came to him and asked him to read. The Prophet replied:
I do not know how to read.
The angel pressed him very strongly three times, repeating the command (Read), then revealed the first five verses of the Quran, which start with:
Read in the name of your Lord who created… (96:1-5)
The full details of this first encounter with Angel Gabriel is given in this Hadith in Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.
After the angel had disappeared, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) returned home to his wife Khadijah trembling with fear. He said:
Cover me! Cover me!
She covered him until his fear was gone, after which he told her everything that had happened and said:
I fear that something may happen to me.
Never! By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good relations with your kith and kin, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guests generously, and assist the deserving calamity-afflicted ones.
The next article in this series will go into the details of Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) meeting with Waraqah ibn Nawfal, Lady Khadijah’s cousin, and the events that took place after that meeting.
Please stay tuned…
As this is a special series for new converts to learn about Islam in a comprehensive way through learning the Seerah (Biography of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him) in a gradual chronological way, we will add a few more resources of other areas of Islamic knowledge related to each part of the Seerah at the end of each article as extra learning resources.
We will add new videos for this series as we progress from Year 1 to Year 23 in sha’ Allah.
The references used in each article are given for further details, so please feel free to send us any questions you may have to this e-mail: [email protected].
You may also wish to join our Facebook Group, Islam 101, for further learning and also to interact with fellow new converts and those who are new to Islam here.
Suggested Activities for New Converts Following this Series
1- Learn More About Lady Khadijah
2- One of the Six Articles of Faith in Islam is Belief in Angels.
In this first part of the series, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) met Angel Gabriel for the first time.
Check these resources to learn more about angels in Islam, one of the six articles of faith:
3- First Verses of the Quran Revealed
In his first encounter with Angel Gabriel, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) received the revelation of the first 5 verses of the Quran.
Read these 5 verses here:
Listen to their recitation here:
When an Illiterate Man Was Asked to Read (Article)
4- Send us your questions on this series to: [email protected]
Seerah of Prophet Muhammad – 10: The Beginning of Revelation (Video by Dr. Yasir Qadhi)