COMMEMORATING DEATH ANNIVERSARY OF LADY KHADIJA AL-QUBRA (S.A)
Jumuah lecture on Friday 23 April 2021 (10 Ramadaan 1442)
Mowlana Syed Aftab Haider
Ahlul Bait (a.s) Masjid, Ottery, Cape Town
Almighty Allah (SWT) says in the Holy Quran, referring to those who recite His Holy Book and maintain prayer, and spend secretly and openly out of what He has provided, expecting a business which will never go bankrupt. Verses 29 and 30 of Surah Faatir (chapter 35) refer:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَتْلُونَ كِتَابَ اللَّهِ وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَأَنْفَقُوا مِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ سِرًّا وَعَلَانِيَةً يَرْجُونَ تِجَارَةً لَنْ تَبُورَ
“Surely they who recite the Book of Allah and keep up prayer and spend out of what We have given them secretly and openly, hope for a gain which will not perish.”
لِيُوَفِّيَهُمْ أُجُورَهُمْ وَيَزِيدَهُمْ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ غَفُورٌ شَكُورٌ
“That He may pay them back fully their rewards and give them more out of His grace: surely He is Forgiving, Multiplier of rewards.”
Today, 10th of Ramadaan, we commemorate a great personality of the very early history of Islam. True to these beautiful verses of the Holy Quran, she made a deal with Almighty Allah (SWT). Beyond any doubt, the deal she made was going to never go bankrupt.
This is the promise of Almighty Allah (SWT) in verse 30. Indeed, He is the most Forgiving, and the most Appreciative of our efforts. Who can appreciate more than Him?
This personality is the first Lady of Islam, Lady Khadija al-Qubra (s.a), who passed away on 10th Ramadaan. There is lots to talk about this supreme personality. It is most unfortunate that there is minimal information available in historical records about Lady Khadija (s.a). That being said, what we have is the chastity, piety and extraordinary qualities of leadership and management from this sublime Lady.
FAMILY BACKGROUND OF LADY KHADIJA AL-QUBRA (S.A) BEFORE ISLAM
Lady Khadija al-Qubra (s.a) inherited sizeable wealth from her father, but she was successful in multiplying that wealth, thanks to her great financial acumen in managing her business ventures. This is what we can extract from the records of history, ie. that she was an extraordinary successful businesswoman.
She comes from a very noble family. There is no record that she ever bowed towards any idols. There is absolutely no record of her being a corrupt woman or any stain of unethical business practice against her name. In fact, she was known for her honesty, integrity, respect and treating her employees kindly and fairly.
These are the salient features of Lady Khadija al-Qubra (s.a) before Islam, as recorded in history.
It is very difficult to establish what her net worth was at the time. Historians have gone to great lengths to make a determination, but this opens itself to exaggeration of the real number.
For example, historians have documented that she had 80,000 camels, 400 slaves, a house filled with silk and classical antiques.
However, the point that is emphasized in this, is that she was indeed extremely wealthy with a very comfortable lifestyle, while she most importantly had a well-directed moral compass. This is Lady Khadija al-Qubra (s.a) before Islam.
CONTROVERSIAL QUESTIONS ABOUT LADY KHADIJA AL-QUBRA (S.A)
Lady Khadija al-Qubra (s.a) then comes across our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAWA). This same Khadija (s.a) now embraces a different direction to life compared to before.
First of all, the noble, moral character (akhlaq) of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) had an exceptional influence over her. As a result, she decided to marry him.
- Was she married before? This is a controversial question in historical records. Some say yes, but the researched opinion indicates that she was never married.
- How old was she when she married Rasulullah (SAWA)? Some records show that she was 40 years old, but the researched opinion calculates her age to have been between 27 – 30 years old at the time of marrying our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAWA).
- Did she have children before marriage, based upon the view of her being married before? She did have children under her custody, but they were the children of her sisters. One of the titles given to Lady Khadija (s.a) before the advent of Islam is Ummul Aytaam (mother of orphans). This fact is even recorded in the history of Jahiliyyah (era of ignorance).
Similarly, one of her attributes before Islam was that she was the shelter of the poor in the Meccan society.
LADY KHADIJA AL-QUBRA (S.A) AND HER MARRIAGE TO OUR BELOVED PROPHET MUHAMMAD (SAWA)
Lady Khadija al-Qubra (s.a) was the first wife of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) and they were married for 25 years. This means the prime of his life was with Lady Khadija (s.a), Ummul Mu’mineen. At the same time, the most difficult time of the life of Rasulullah (SAWA) was also with Lady Khadija (s.a). This means that they were together through the best times and the hardest times!
The most difficult part of the life of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) was in Mecca, where she stood by him steadfastly through those horrific days. The opposition, torture, sanctions, pressures which were all levelled against Rasulullah (SAWA) did not deter her in her commitment to him.
She was so dear to Rasulullah (SAWA), such that he shared his most important secrets of his life, and of this whole world, with nobody other than Lady Khadija (s.a). When Rasulullah (SAWA) received the first revelation from Almighty Allah (SWT), namely the first verse of Surah Alaq (chapter 96 of the Holy Quran), he confided in nobody other than his dearest Lady Khadija (s.a) about this divine experience:
اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ
“Read in the name of your Lord Who created.”
What is truly remarkable is that Lady Khadija (s.a) did not demand proof from Rasulullah (SAWA) when he relayed what he had experienced. This historical fact is a great illustration of her full trust and confidence she had in Rasulullah (SAWA). He told her he received divine revelation, to which she replied to him stating that she had already seen all the signs on his forehead that he is the divine Prophet promised in the earlier divine scriptures.
She accepted his revelation immediately, making her the first to embrace Islam, standing firmly alongside our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) during the good and most difficult days of their life together.
LADY KHADIJA AL-QUBRA (S.A) WAS THE MOST BELOVED WIFE OF RASULULLAH (SAWA)
There is clearly no point of debate regarding which of the wives Rasulullah (SAWA) loved the most. It is none other than Lady Khadija al-Qubra (s.a). The simple proof is that he did not marry another woman, for as long as he was married to Lady Khadija (s.a).
The subsequent wives of Rasulullah (SAWA), after the passing of Lady Khadija (s.a), narrate that he use to remember her day and night, and could not confine her to the annals of history. They narrate that if there was a sheep slaughtered in the house of Rasulullah (SAWA), then he would make it a point for a share of the meat to be sent to the family and friends of Lady Khadija (s.a).
For Rasulullah (SAWA), this was one way of keeping the memory of Lady Khadija al-Qubra (s.a) alive!
One of the wives of Rasulullah (SAWA) narrate that his incessant memory of Lady Khadija al-Qubra (s.a), long after she had passed, reached a point where she raised the concern with him. Rasulullah (SAWA) replied with the following mind-blowing statement, which is overwhelmingly recorded by Sunni and Shia compilations of Hadith:
“Khadija (a.s) and where is there a comparable to Khadija (s.a)?”
This is enough to understand Lady Khadija al-Qubra (s.a)! For Rasulullah (SAWA), nobody could replace Lady Khadija (s.a)! Rasulullah (SAWA) continued by saying that she believed in him, when nobody else did, to the point where people denied him. He further explained that Khadija (s.a) helped and supported him, sacrificing for the sake of Almighty Allah (SWT) with her extreme wealth.
Rasulullah (SAWA) further explained that Almighty Allah (SWT) only gave him offspring from Lady Khadija al-Qubra (s.a).
The Hadith from Rasulullah (SAWA) explaining her special love continues, where he says that Almighty Allah (SWT) commanded him to give glad tidings to Lady Khadija al-Qubra (s.a), namely that she has a house in Paradise, where there will be no stress and everything will be available to her in abundance.
One of the early allies of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAWA), by the name of Abu Sa’id al-Khudri narrates that after Rasulullah (SAWA) returned from the Heavenly ascension (Mi’raj), Angel Jibra’eel came with a message to convey the choicest greetings (salaams) of Almighty Allah (SWT) and him (Angel Jibra’eel) to Lady Khadija al-Qubra (s.a). How special is this?!
This is where Lady Khadija (s.a) read the well-known salaam which we commonly hear being read after Salaah by our Sunni brethren:
اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ السَّلاَمُ وَمِنْكَ السَّلاَمُ تَبَارَكْتَ يَا ذَا الْجَلاَلِ وَالإِكْرَامِ
“O Allah, You are As-Salam, From You is all peace, blessed are You O Possessor of majesty and honour.”
LESSONS FROM THE LIFE OF LADY KHADIJA AL-QUBRA (S.A)
There are some very important characteristics to highlight from the response of Rasulullah (SAWA) to the concern raised by one of his wives:
- The supreme faith of Lady Khadija al-Qubra (s.a) in our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAWA).
- The exceptional support of Lady Khadija al-Qubra (s.a) to Rasulullah (SAWA). This goes beyond her extraordinary financial support to the Prophetic mission. When everyone else denied and rejected him, she unequivocally accepted him and stood by him.
- Lady Khadija al-Qubra (s.a) gave up everything for Islam.
It is a well-accepted fact of history about the extraordinary levels of wealth which Lady Khadija (s.a) had, where she had everything of the best in her house, before the advent of Islam. However, once the mission of Islam started, all her wealth got redirected to Islam. This level of dedication and sacrifice reached the point where there was no kafan (burial shroud) available for Lady Khadija (s.a) upon her passing.
LADY KHADIJA AL-QUBRA (S.A): MAKE A DEAL WITH ALLAH (SWT) AND YOU WILL ALWAYS PROSPER
I would like to share one crucial lesson from the life of Lady Khadija al-Qubra (s.a), in light of verses 29 and 30 of Surah Faatir (chapter 35 of the Holy Quran) which I opened up this discussion with. The lesson is that you will NEVER lose if you make a deal with Almighty Allah (SWT).
Lady Khadija (s.a) was well aware of this, which is truly remarkable since she was an extremely successful businesswoman. She knew what the real business is, and therefore gave up everything for her deal with Almighty Allah (SWT), because she knew that will never go bankrupt, as referred to in these verses. That is why she gave everything, from her wealth, her life, her luxuries, you name it.
The great prize which Almighty Allah (SWT) granted Lady Khadija al-Qubra (s.a) in this world was a most sublime daughter, namely Fatima Zahra (s.a), as referenced in verse 1 of Surah Kauthar (chapter 108 of the Holy Quran):
إِنَّا أَعْطَيْنَاكَ الْكَوْثَرَ
“To thee have We granted the Fount of Abundance.”
Hence, Lady Khadija al-Qubra (s.a) became the mother of all the descendants of Rasulullah (SAWA) until the Day of Judgement! Lady Khadija (s.a) became the mother of all the Imams of Ahlul Bait (a.s), including the mother of the saviour of humanity, the Imam of our time, Imam Mahdi (atfs).
This is the business which Lady Khadija (s.a) made with Almighty Allah (SWT), and the crucial lesson that we should not think that we are losing when we give for the sake of Almighty Allah (SWT), as the promised rewards are exponentially greater. This point is again re-affirmed in the first part of verse 173 of Surah Nisa (chapter 4 of the Holy Quran):
فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ فَيُوَفِّيهِمْ أُجُورَهُمْ وَيَزِيدُهُمْ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ
“Then as for those who believe and do good, He will pay them fully their rewards and give them more out of His grace.”
He is the One who knows, He is the One who is forgiving, and he is the One who is the most appreciative. These are the crucial lessons we learn from the life of Lady Khadija al-Qubra (s.a), which we should apply in our lives. Let’s give in the path of Almighty Allah (SWT) and make a deal with Him! Surely, this is the best deal, as promised in the Holy Quran.
The best time to make a deal with Almighty Allah (SWT) is Ramadaan, Insha Allah!
RIGHT WING ZIONISTS CAUSE MORE THAN 100 PALESTINIANS TO BE INJURED
The continuous injustice and oppression committed by the Zionist extremists do not even allow Palestinian Muslims to worship in Masjidul Aqsa in this sacred month of Ramadaan. More than 100 people have been injured in the latest clashes between these oppressed Palestinians and ultra-orthodox, right wing Zionist extremists at Bayt al-Maqdis, Jerusalem.
Have we heard any country raise their voice of opposition to this? Clearly not, and this once again highlights the double standards in this world of human rights. This deception of human rights and the deception of the West being the guardians of human rights, who shout about peace and democracy when it suits their interests!
UGLY FACE OF FRANCE HYPOCRISY ONCE AGAIN EXPOSED
Also, in this week’s news was a research report regarding the Rwanda genocide in 1994, where 800,000 people were killed. This report unequivocally states that France bears significant responsibility of enabling the regime to kill hundreds of thousands of people.
They were well aware of this wholesale massacre of the people, but did not do anything. Instead, they unashamedly continued supporting that brutal regime in Rwanda.
It is this same France which fights for freedom of expression, hurting the feelings of roughly 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide, through insulting our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAWA). France became very sensitive to the retaliation from infuriated Muslims, but behind the scenes we see the ugly reality of the leadership of this supposed modern civilization, and so-called champions of human rights.
The same people who fight with us on why Islam does not allow abortion, regarding it Haraam, and the rights of women in Islam, and capital punishment being against humanity, etc. This is what they fight with us on, but we can see through this report what their real face is, with their participation in heinous crimes behind the scenes.
The blood and lives of hundreds of thousands of people in Rwanda who were butchered is clearly not a big deal for them, nor do they believe they owe a sentence of apology for what they did. This is the harsh reality of the world we live in!
PRIORITIZE THE SPIRIT OF SHARING AND CARING THIS RAMADAAN
The month of Ramadaan is speeding away. The spirit of Ramadaan indeed includes the spirit of sharing and caring. We live in a society where numerous families are suffering. This Ramadaan will not be rewarding if we do not share and care for those in desperate need.
As I said throughout this Jumuah sermon, let us each make a deal with Almighty Allah (SWT). We are guaranteed to never be a loser in such a divine deal. It is the promise of Almighty Allah (SWT) that He will reward us with more!
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