Who was the 1st wife of the Prophet Muhammed? The 1st wife of the Prophet was Khadija bint Khuwaylid and she was a remarkable woman who has done incredible things in her lifetime. While brilliant and just as important as the other people who have helped the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) with spreading the message of Islam, somehow the women in his life who have helped him are not talked about often enough. In this series: The Mother of Believers, we will talk about every wife the Prophet has married and hopefully, we will do them justice. So let’s get to it!
1. Who was the Prophet Muhammed’s 1st wife?
The first wife of the prophet was Khadija bint Khuwaylid. She was born into a life of privilege, being the daughter of an important leader of the Quraysh tribe in Mecca. The Quraysh tribe was not only wealthy, they were very important as well, meaning that she could quite easily have lived a life of luxury if she would have wanted it. That was however not the person she was. Many sources describe Khadijah as incredibly business savvy and intelligent. She owned the businesses of her late father and both her first and second husband who both died in the war.
When her father died, she was the one who took charge of the family business. When her second husband died, she took over his business and combined it with her late father’s. Her business was larger than all of the Quraysh trades combined, at the most acclaimed with an irrefutable reputation.
1.1 Khadijah was a businesswoman
Khadijah was intelligent and business savvy. When her father died she took over his business, although she was grieving. When her first husband died as a result of the war in Arabia at that time, she took over his business and did the same when her second husband died. Khadijah went through many hardships in her life but managed to acquire more than enough wealth to take care of her children (which she had from her first two husbands)
Although the society in which she was born was male-centric, she earned two titles: Ameerat Quraish (Princess of Quraish) and at-Tahira (the Pure One). This was all because of her personality and virtuous character. Even though being of noble birth might have had something to do with it. Her business was larger than all of the Quraysh trades combined, and the most acclaimed with an irrefutable reputation!
When Khadijah was 40 years old, she was known in Arabia as a powerful, smart, independent woman, and many men wanted to work for her. One of those men who ended up working for her was the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH).
1.2 Khadijah and her first two marriages
Khadijhas was married to three men in total. Her first and second husband died in wars, leaving her widowed and her children fatherless. Khadijah luckily had the means to take care of herself and her children. However, being a kind, beautiful and very successful woman, made her interesting to many highly respected men in Arabia. She, however, was not interested in marrying a third time. Khadijah knew her own worth and was therefore very particular in who she would marry. Not only that, but she had also lost two husbands already and wars were still brewing in Arabia. Not wanting to lose another husband, she adapted to being a widowed woman, taking care of herself and her family.
2. The Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) and Khadijah
2.1 How did the Prophet and Khadijah meet?
Love happens when you least expect it. That was the case for Khadijah, who decided she would remain unmarried. The Prophet and Khadijah met through the work of all places! Khadijah never went on trade campaigns, she hired business agents who would travel and trade for her. Many men wanted to work for her and she selected a hard-working young man named Muhammad. The Prophet had already made a reputation for himself before he became what he is known for now. He was described as al-Amien (the trustworthy) and Sadiq (the sincere). He was only 25 years old when he accepted the job and proved to be a wonderful employee and a kind and ethical man.
Knowing this about the Prophet, Khadijah concluded that he would be a suitable life partner. She entrusted her friend Nafisa to approach him and ask if he would consider marrying her. The prophet hesitated because he had no money to support a wife. Khadijah, being well off, decided that that did not matter to her. Muhammad agreed to meet with Khadijah, and after this meeting, they consulted their uncles. The uncles agreed to the marriage, and Muhammad’s uncles accompanied him to make a formal proposal to Khadijah.
At the time of the marriage, Muhammad was 25 years old and Khadijah was 40 years old. Muhammad and Khadijah were married to each other for 25 years. Although their age difference was 15 years, there was never a question of their devotion to each other. After her death, Muhammad took other wives.
2.2 What was the Prophet’s and Khadijah’s marriage like?
Their happy union resulted in Khadijah bearing several children. Their first child, a son whom they named Qasim, died when he was only two years old. Two more sons, called Tayyib and Tahir, were also born, but they too died in their infancy. After Muhammed (PBUH) became a prophet, he and Khadijah had four daughters who survived: Zaynab, Ruqayya, Umm Kulthum and Fatima. Khadijah is the only one of his wives to bear the Prophet (PBUH) children who survived to adulthood.
Their love and mercy for each other grew over the years. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) never stopped loving Khadijah, although he married several more wives in later years and loved them all. Khadijah could never be replaced and always had a special place in his heart. The prophet’s third wife Aisha asked him if Khadijah had been the only woman worthy of his love. The Prophet (PBUH) replied:
“She believed in me when no one else did; she accepted Islam when people rejected me, and she helped and comforted me when there was no one else to lend me a helping hand.”
When the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) turned 40 years, their lives took a radical turn that would test them and their relationship.
2.3 Khadijah was the 1st Muslim woman
Many qualities of Khadijah were wonderful, but the most interesting thing was that she, unlike most of her people, did not believe nor worship idols (this was very normal at the time). She, however, became the first Muslim after the Prophet Muhammed. Muhammad’s prophethood began during his marriage to Khadija when he received the first of God’s revelations through the Angel Gabriel. This revelation left him frightened and feeling alone when no one believed in him. In the difficult years that followed in which the leaders of the Quraish did everything in their power to stop the Prophet from spreading his message, Khadijah was his loyal wife and source of help and comfort to him.
She also financially supported him so he could preach and sustained him in this way for the rest of her life. She supported his followers when they needed it. Khadijah protected Muhammad with her political power and influence. She gave her earnings to the poor and others in need and was a pious, modest woman.
2.4 The 1st wife of the Prophet is the example for others
Khadijah was one of history’s most remarkable women. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) stated that the four greatest women of mankind were:
- Khadija bint Khuwaylid
- Fatima bint Muhammad (his youngest daughter)
- Mary bint Emran (the Virgin Mary)
- Asiya bint Muzahim (the wife of Pharaoh)
Khadijah was estimated to be around sixty-five years old at the time of her death, three years before Prophet Muhammad’s. The Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) always held her up to both men and women as the example of intelligence, virtue, and devotion to family and God.
3. Who were the Prophet’s other wives?
The Prophet married 11 wives in total (although there are some discussions on the exact number).
- Khadijah bint Khuwaylid
- Sawdah bint Zam’a
- Aisha bint Abu Bakr
- Hafsah bint Umar ibn Al-Khattab
- Zaynab bint Khuzaymah
- Umm Salamah bint Abu Umayyah
- Juwayriyah bint al-Haarith
- Zaynab bint Jahsh
- Umm Habibah bint Abu Sufyan
- Safiyyah bint Huyayy ibn Akhtab
- Maymunah bint al-Haarith
I talk about the other women in the category “Mother of Believers“. If you want to know more, please have a look! Do you want to help the other Muslim sisters in your life acquire more knowledge on this topic? Share my blog with them and follow me on Social Media!
Your Classy Muslim Sister
- Zeidan, A. (2020, 15 October). Khadijah | Biography, Women, & Islam. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Khadijah
- Writer, H. S. (2020, 23 January). Khadijah (RA). Hadith of the Day. https://hadithoftheday.com/khadija-ra/
- Wikipedia contributors. (2020, 1 December). Khadija bint Khuwaylid. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khadija_bint_Khuwaylid
- Al-Jibouri, Y. T. (2020, 21 January). Khadijah, Daughter of Khuwaylid, Wife of Prophet Muhammad. Al-Islam.org. https://www.al-islam.org/articles/khadijah-daughter-khuwaylid-wife-prophet-muhammad-yasin-t-al-jibouri
- Ibn Kathir: Wives of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). (z.d.). Islam Awareness. retrieved 6 December 2020, van https://www.islamawareness.net/Muhammed/ibn_kathir_wives.html
- Qutb, M. (z.d.). Women Around the Messenger, retrieved 6 December 2020, van https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7246644-women-around-the-messenger?rating=5
- Ghadanfar, M. (n.d.). Great Women of Islam. Great Women of Islam Who Were given the Good News of Paradise. Retrieved 6 December 2020, from https://files2.shewaya.com/files/67868.pdf