It is said that when Quraish's trade caravans gathered to embark upon their lengthy and arduous journey either to Syria during the summer or to Yemen during the winter, Khadijah's caravan equaled the caravans of all other traders of Quraish put together.Since Khadijah did not travel with her trade caravans, she had always had to rely on someone else to act as her agent to trade on her behalf and to receive an agreed upon commission in return. In 595 A.D., Khadijah needed an agent to trade in her merchandise going to Syria, and it was then that a number of agents whom she knew before and trusted, as well as some of her own relatives, particularly Abu Talib, suggested to her to employ her distant cousin, Muhammad ibn Abdullah (ص). By then, young Muhammad (ص) had already earned the honoring titles of as-Sadiq, the truthful, and al-Amin, the trustworthy. Before embarking on his first trip as a businessman representing Khadijah, Muhammad (ص) met with his uncles for last minute briefings and consultations, then he set out on the desert road passing through Wadi al-Qura, Midian, and Diyar Thamud, places with which he was familiar because of having been there at the age of twelve in the company of his uncle, Abu Talib, father of his cousin and later son-in-law Ali (ﻉ). She simply fell in love with Muhammad (ص) just as the daughter of the Arabian prophet Shu`ayb had fallen in love with then fugitive prophet Moses (ع) as we are told in 28:25-26 of the Holy Qur’an (in Surat al-Qasas).
Then she offered herself in marriage to him, and they agreed that he should speak to his uncles and she would speak to her uncle, `Amr son of Asad, since her father had died. It was Hamzah, despite being relatively young, whom the Hashemites delegated to represent them on this marriage occasion, since he was most closely related to them through the clan of Asad; his sister, Safiyya, had just married Khadijah's brother, `Awwam. It was Abu Talib, Muhammad's uncle, who delivered the marriage sermon saying,
All praise is due to Allah Who has made us the progeny of Ibrahim (Abraham), the seed of Isma`eel (Ishmael), the descendants of Ma`ad, the substance of Mudar, and Who made us the custodians of His House and the servants of its sacred precincts, making for us a House sought for pilgrimage and a shrine of security, and He also gave us authority over the people. This nephew of mine, Muhammad (ص), cannot be compared with any other man: If you compare his wealth with that of others, you will not find him a man of wealth, for wealth is a vanishing shadow and a fickle thing. Muhammad (ص) is a man whose lineage you all know, and he has sought Khadijah daughter of Khuwaylid for marriage, offering her such-and-such of the dower of my own wealth.
Nawfal then stood and said,
All praise is due to Allah Who has made us just as you have mentioned and preferred us over those whom you have indicated, for we, indeed, are the masters of Arabs and their leaders, and you all are worthy of this (bond of marriage). The tribe (Quraish) does not deny any of your merits, nor does anyone else dispute your lofty status and prestige. And we, furthermore, wish to be joined to your rope; so, bear witness to my words, O people of Quraish! I have given Khadijah daughter of Khuwaylid in marriage to Muhammadibn Abdullah for the dower of four hundred dinars.
Then Nawfal paused, whereupon Abu Talib said to him, "I wished her uncle had joined you (in making this statement)." Hearing that, Khadijah's uncle stood and said, "Bear witness, O men of Quraish, that I have given Khadijah daughter of Khuwaylid in marriage to Muhammadibn Abdullah." After his marriage, Muhammad (ص) moved from his uncle's house to live with his wife in her house which stood at the smiths' market, an alley branching out of metropolitan Mecca's long main bazaar, behind the mas`a, the place where the pilgrims perform the seven circles during the hajj or `umra.
In that house Fatima (ع) was born and the revelation descended upon the Messenger of Allah (ص) many times. This house, as well as the one in which the Prophet of Islam (ص) was born (which stood approximately 50 meters northwards).
By the time Khadijah got married, she was quite a wealthy lady, so wealthy that she felt no need to keep trading and increasing her wealth; instead, she decided to retire and enjoy a comfortable life with her husband who, on his part, preferred an ascetic life to that of money making. The Messenger of Allah (ص) had no desire to accumulate wealth; that was not the purpose for which he, peace and blessings of Allah with him and his progeny, was created. He was created to be the savior of mankind from the darkness of ignorance, idol worship, polytheism, misery, poverty, injustice, oppression, and immorality. He very much loved to meditate, though his meditation deepened his grief at seeing his society sunk so low in immorality, lawlessness, and the absence of any sort of protection for those who were weak and oppressed.
Among Khadijah's merits was her being one of the four most perfect of all women of mankind, the other three being: Fatima (ع) daughter of Muhammad (ص), Maryam bint `Umran (Mary daughter of Amram), mother of Christ (ع) and niece of prophet Zakariyya (Zacharias) and Ishba (Elizabeth), and `Asiya daughter of Muzahim, wife of Pharaoh. The Prophet of Islam (ص) used to talk about Khadijah quite often after her demise.
Both Muslim and Bukhari indicate in their respective Sahih books that among Khadijah's merits was the fact that the Lord of Dignity ordered Jibraeel (Gabriel), peace with him, to convey His regards to her. Gabriel said to Muhammad (ص): "O Muhammed! Khadijah is bringing you a bowl of food; when she comes to you, tell her that her Lord greets her, and convey my greeting, too, to her." When he (ص) did so, she said: "O Allah! You are the Peace, and is the source of all peace, to you peace returns, Praised and Exalted are You, O One with the Greatness and Honor, and may with Gabriel be peace."
اللهم أنت السلام و منك السلام و اليك يرجع السلام، تباركت و تعاليت يا ذا الجلال و الاكرام، و على جبرائيل السلام
Lord! You are the peace; from you is the peace, and to you returns the peace; Praised and Exalted are You, O One with all the Greatness and Honors
Khadijah died of an attack of fever on the tenth or eleventh day of the month of Ramadan, ten years after the start of the Prophetic mission (in the year 619 A.D.), 24 years after her marriage with Muhammad (ص), and she was buried at Hajun in the outskirts of Mecca. The Messenger of Allah (ص) dug her grave and buried her... Funeral prayers (salat al janaza) had not yet been mandated in Islam. It is reported that by the time she died, her entire wealth had already been spent to promote Islam; she left not a single gold dinar nor a single silver dirham, nor anything more or less...
يَا أَيَّتُهَا النَّفْسُ الْمُطْمَئِنَّةُ ارْجِعِي إِلَى رَبِّكِ رَاضِيَةً مَّرْضِيَّةً، فَادْخُلِي فِي عِبَادِي وَادْخُلِي جَنَّتِي
O soul that are at rest! Return to your Lord, well-pleased (with Him), well-pleasing (Him), so enter among My servants, and enter into My garden. (Qur'an, 89:27-30)
Musa (AS) meets the Women at the well
And when he arrived at the well in Madyan, he found there a group of men watering (their flocks), and besides them he found two women who were keeping back (their flocks). He said: “What is the matter with you?” They said: “We cannot water (our flocks) until the shepherds take back (their flocks): And our father is a old man.” (1)
So he watered (their flocks) for them; then he turned back to the shade, and said: “O my Lord! Truly am I in (desperate) need of any good that you may give me!” (2)
Afterwards one of the (girls) came (back) to him, walking bashfully (shy). She said: “My father invites you so that he may reward you for having watered (our flocks) for us.” So when he came to him and narrated the story, he said: ” Do not fear: (well) you have been saved from unjust people.” (3)
One of the (girls) said: “O my (dear) father! Employ him: truly the best of men for you to employ is the (man) who is strong and trustworthy”….
He said: “I intend to wed one of my daughters to you, on condition that you serve me for eight years; but if you complete ten years, it will be (grace) from you. But I intend not to place you under any difficulty: you will find me, indeed, if Allah wills, one of the righteous.” (4)
He said: “Let that be the agreement between me and you: whichever of the two terms I fulfil, let there be no ill-will to me. Allah is a witness to what we say.”
This is a wonderful story that teaches us how to meet the stranger, showing kindness to the other, putting trust in God, the modesty of young women and voluntary work etc.
(1) These two young women were standing to one side with their flock waiting for the shepherds to take away their flocks. Its thought that they were standing separately so as not to mix with the men. Musa asks them what’s the matter? He is concerned for them and wants to help them. When they tell him their difficulty he immediately sets on the task of watering their flock. He does the work competently and quickly. He then makes an earnest appeal to God “O Lord I desperately need whatever good you have in store for me”. For seven days he had been travelling and did not have a proper meal one, he had been living on leaves and herbs.
(2) The Quran describes the girls walking ‘modestly’ and with ‘shyness’ and a sense of shame. Here in lies the real beauty of religious women – modesty.
(3) The girls told their father Shoaib, a Prophet of God, who may have been eagerly waiting for Musa. He sends one of them to fetch him. The Question often asked here is how could Musa accept the invitation of a strange woman? Since the prophet has warned “ be careful about any situation when you could be accused of wrong doing”. Imam Razi replies, “there’s no problem walking with a woman with caution and piety”. Another question arises here; Musa had performed a voluntary act for the pleasure of God, so why would he seek a wage for it? It appears that Musa agrees to go with her to see the old man for blessing not to be paid. Infact when Shoaib presents him the meal, Musa refuses, saying I do not take wage for my voluntary work. Shoaib tells him its not wage it’s our hospitality.
Another related question is posed, how could Shoaib send his young daughter to fetch a strange young man? Razi says “ Necessity makes the forbidden things permissible”. This is why his daughters looked after the flock and had to water them.
(4) Shoaib invited Musa to stay with him and at an appropriate time made this incredibly amazing offer to him. Here we see the patriarch (the male head of a family or tribe) the leader of the family making an important decision that they accepted their father’s decision happily.
The Story of Prophet Musa, Prophet Shu^ayb & his daughters – PART 2
All praise is due to Allah The Exalted, and may Allah raise the rank of our beloved Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, his kind relatives and companions, and protect his nation from that which he feared for them thereafter
We began speaking to you about our dear Prophet Musa ^alayhis-salam, about his courteous behaviour and inspiring conduct with the two sisters whom he helped by giving water for their sheep to drink.
They told their dear father Prophet Shu^ayb ^alayhis-salam about Prophet Musa ^alayhis-salamand about how polite and well-mannered he was. They also told their father how strong ProphetMusa was as he managed to lift the large rock sealing the water-well on his own, a task ordinarily requiring 10 men to do.
Prophet Musa ^alayhis-salam lifted that rock with the power and strength that Allah bestowed upon him.
Indeed, Allah is the Creator and Most-Powerful; He is the One who gave us the strength to carry out our deeds, therefore lifting a rock, be it a small or a large rock, is created by Allah.
Allah the Exalted said:
واللهُ خَلَقَكُم وَمَا تَعْمَلُون
which means: [Allah created you as well as your actions]. Therefore that which Prophet Musa^alayhis-salam did, was by the Will and by the Creating of Allah. He lifted the large rock on his own and gave the sheep water to drink, helping the two sisters. They informed their father and asked him to return the favour to Prophet Musa for his help.
Prophet Shu^ayb was extremely delighted with the pleasant news and sent one of his daughters to invite Prophet Musa ^alayhis-salam over. Upon her father’s request one of the daughters went to Prophet Musa ^alayhis-salam and asked him to walk back with her to her father who wished to reward him for his kindness.
Prophet Musa ^alayhis-salam stood up to return with her to her father’s house, and told her to walk behind him and to direct him along the way. He explained to her that the reason for his request was based on his fear that the wind might blow and define the shape of her body under her garments if she were to walk in front of him. This illustrates the remarkable quality of chastity all the Prophets of Allah possess.
That's correct; these are the attributes of the great Prophets of Allah; Truthfulness, trustworthiness, courage, and chastity. There is not a prophet who is ill-mannered or draws his eyes lustfully with desire on marriageable women. Allah protected them from such dispraised acts. And so, the daughter walked modestly behind Prophet Musa ^alayhis-salam, as he requested, and directed him along the way until they reached her father's house, ProphetShu^ayb peace be upon him.
Prophet Musa ^alayhis-salam told Prophet Shu^ayb his story in detail since birth and his reasons for leaving Egypt. Upon hearing Prophet Musa’s account, Prophet Shu^ayb assuringly said to him: "Do not worry, for you have survived the unjust folk, Pharaoh and his recruits who have no power here in the lands of Madyan".
One of Prophet Shu^ayb's daughters kindly requested that her father employs Prophet Musa^alayhis-salam as he had immense physical strength, and was a truthful and trustworthy person. She also informed her father about what Prophet Musa had requested of her to do on the way home.
Prophet Shu^ayb ^alayhis-salam, who was so delighted with the news, met this good act with another good act of his own. He offered his daughter (Saffura) to Prophet Musa in marriage. Prophet Musa accepted this kind offer and agreed to take care of Prophet Shu^ayb’s sheep for 8 years, and was also given the option of continuing on for 10 years. Prophet Musa ^alayhis-salam being one of the greatest and most patient Prophets of Allah, worked for Prophet Shu^aybfor the whole 10 years, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him.
My dear brothers in Islam; Allah ta^ala says:
"هَلْ جَزَاءُ الإحْسَانِ إلا الإحْسَان"
which means: [Indeed, goodness should be the return for goodness].
Indeed, after hearing such a notable story of Prophet Musa and Prophet Shu^ayb ^alayhimas-salam, many lessons are learnt. Among these lessons is that Prophet Shu^ayb gave his daughter in marriage to a man only after making sure that he was religiously righteous, and this is the basis upon which a marriage in Islam should be founded. This is the basis which conforms to what the last of all prophets, Muhammad sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam came with: <<If a man of good religious character and conduct proposes to one's daughter, then let one marry his daughter to him. If one does not, there will be mischief and great corruption on Earth>> narrated by Imam al-Bayhaqiyy.
Unfortunately today, if a young man comes to ask for a daughter's hand in marriage; we witness many fathers paying absolutely no concern towards anything other than his financial status. Ask firstly about the level of obedience this young man has towards His Creator. Did he seek the personal obligatory knowledge of the religion? Is he consistent in performing the five obligatory prayers? Is he attentive to all lawful and unlawful issues? These are the questions you should ask to ensure that you are leaving your daughter in the care of a person who truly fears Allah subhanahu wa-ta^ala.
And we also learn from this story the importance of women walking behind their men whilst in the street as it acts as a form of protection for them, and the permissibility of the woman to leave her home for the purpose of employment (if it is lawful), and the importance of appreciating people and their kindness by treating them cordially. In addition, it also teaches us to conduct dealings with people who are obedient to Allah, and who can be trusted with money, among many other lessons.
We humbly ask Allah to grant us a righteous ending, and the ability to adhere to the path of the great Prophets of Allah and their righteous followers. Amin.
Page # 18 Jweber and Zulfa
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