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5 Methods That Khadijah (RA) and Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ Marriage Challenges Present Norms

Many people have heard the story of Khadijah bint Khuwaylid – the daughter of Quraysh chief Khuwaylid ibn Asad, she was a profitable businesswoman in her personal proper, managing caravans between Mecca, Yemen, and Syria. In line with Muhammad Ibn Sa’advert’s biography of her, when the Quraysh’s commerce caravan vacationers gathered to embark upon their journey to Syria or to Yemen, Khadijah’s caravan equaled the caravans of all different merchants of the Quraysh put collectively [1]. Modern students imagine she inherited the industrial enterprise from her father, Khuwaylid ibn Asad, after which considerably expanded it utilizing her personal entrepreneurial abilities. She subsequently married Prophet Muhammad in 595 AD, and bore him six kids.

The wedding and lifetime of Khadijah (RA) and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is the subject of a terrific many discussions each inside Islamic and secular circles. In a not too long ago revealed ebook titled Justice and Magnificence in Muslim Marriage: In direction of Egalitarian Ethics and Legal guidelines, many teachers have amassed a important examine of Muslim marriages from the angle of Muslim researchers targeted on discovering justice in Muslim household legal guidelines. The ebook examines the theological facet of marriage, in addition to how Muslim marriages are in follow. It goals to focus on ‘adl (justice) and ihsan (goodness and wonder) as essential features of the Muslim marriage.

The chapter Reclaiming Khadīja and Muhammad’s Marriage as an Islamic Paradigm: In direction of a New Historical past of the Muslim Current, Co-authored by teachers Dr Shadaab Rahemtulla and Dr Sara Ababneh, delves deeper into the dynamics of the wedding between Khadijah (RA) and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and extract classes from their union to point out how modern-day Muslims can get away of stereotypical and patriarchal interpretations of marriage.

Dr Sara and Dr Shadaab say that the intention of their chapter is to “ask what a Sunnah primarily based on this sort of marriage [the Prophet’s ﷺ marriage with Khadijah] would appear to be.”

Dr Sara additionally explains that there’s a divergence in fashionable interpretations of the Muslim marriage from seventh century Islam.

“Most of how we envision Muslim marriage in the present day – what we’re really pondering – is conservative, fashionable European, bourgeois household. Older man, youthful lady. He is the breadwinner. She isn’t. And we now have Islamized that. But, after we return to the story of the Prophet and Khadijah (RA), we see a really, very completely different type of marriage.”

The chapter highlights 5 essential features particularly of the wedding of Khadijah (RA) and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ that problem current norms and expectations about marriage that we are able to all study from.

5 Methods That Khadijah (RA) and Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ marriage challenges present norms

1. Khadijah (RA) was older than the Prophet Muhammad

By many accounts, Khadijah (RA) was 15 years older than Muhammad , she being 40 and he 25 once they married. Al-Tabari lists Khadijah’s age as 28 [2]and Ibn Kathir features a report stating that Khadijah may have been 35 and even 25 [3]whereas Muhammad might have been 21 or 23. So whereas her actual age is a supply of debate, what’s agreed upon is that she was older than the Prophet .

2. Khadijah (RA) had been married twice earlier than

Primarily based on the biography of Ibn Sa’advert [4], Khadijah (RA) was first married to Abu Hala ibn al-Nabbash of the tribe of Tamim, and collectively they’d two sons: Hind and Hala. Her second marriage of hers was to Atiq ibn Abid of the tribe of Makhzum, and with him she had a woman additionally named Hind. It’s probably that her first marriage de ella resulted in divorce, whereas her second husband de ella might have died, leaving her a widow.

Dr Sara and Dr Shadaab clarify that in all of Khadijah’s biographies, there appears to be no stigma hooked up to the truth that she was each a divorcee and a widow. Furthermore, it didn’t appear to matter to the Prophet that she was not a virgin. Certainly of all of Muhammad’s wives, solely Aisha had been a virgin when she married him.

3. Khadijah (RA) proposed marriage to Prophet Muhammad

There may be consensus in all accounts that Khadijah (RA) was the one to suggest marriage to Muhammad, not vice versa. In reality, biographical accounts have the precise textual content of the proposal, and in Ibn Ishaq’s work 5 we discover it as such:

“Or they’re of my uncle. I such as you due to our relationship and your excessive status amongst your individuals, your trustworthiness and good character and truthfulness.”

She might not have straight approached Prophet Muhammad , and will have despatched her shut feminine buddy Nafisa to ship it as an alternative. Moreover, following Khadijah’s preliminary proposal, the Prophet’s Uncles approached Khadijah’s father (or presumably her uncle), looking for her hand in marriage. Regardless, we now have a lot to study from her initiation of marriage to Muhammad which is in stark distinction to some Muslim cultures which forbid ladies and their households from approaching males for marriage. Fairly, a girl alongside together with her household should behave coyly, whereas ready for a person to suggest.

4. Khadijah (RA) was the breadwinner

In line with the legal guidelines of seventh century Arabia, one needed to be an grownup so as to inherit, which meant that our Prophet who was orphaned on the age of six, would stay extraordinarily poor. He labored as a shepherd, after which started working for Khadijah the place she would ship him on commerce missions to locations like Syria. His marriage to Khadijah, nonetheless, introduced vital financial adjustments in his life.

Says Dr. Sara, “It [Muhammad and Khadijah’s marriage] is a very completely different type of dwelling collectively… of being married the place it isn’t related to the person having to be a supplier to ensure that him to really feel as a person or to really feel that he’s fulfilling his husband duties.”

Commenting additional on this, Dr Shadaab says, “Khadijah was the one who had financial energy, and the place the Prophet gained capital was via his relationship to Khadijah. However all through their lifetime of her, he’s depending on her and he or she isn’t depending on him. And at no level does that appear to threaten his sense of manhood from him.”

“​​If we have a look at Hadith stories as a really broad litmus take a look at of how marriage went, we now have examples of the Prophet having disputes together with his different wives, particularly, Aisha. They arrive up. There are quite a lot of Hadith that file love and compassion between them, however there are additionally Hadith that file disputes between them as properly. We’ve nothing of that kind by way of Khadijah. What we do have by way of Khadijah are varied Hadith stories wherein the Prophet continuously praises her.”

5. Khadijah (RA) continued to stay in her home after marriage

Maybe one of the crucial missed facet of Muhammad and Khadijah’s marriage is that it was Prophet Muhammad who moved into her home – a uncommon prevalence in most Muslim and non-Muslim societies. In reality, dwelling contained in the husband’s home varieties the idea for Muslim household legal guidelines around the globe, which require ladies to be obedient to their husbands.

Prophet Muhammad and his “non-hegemonic” marriage to Khadijah

Many Muslims together with a bit of largely male students imagine that polygamy is a sunnah as a result of Prophet Muhammad was polygynous. Certainly, in seventh century Arabia, having a number of wives was the norm. However for the primary 25 years of his marriage to him, the Prophet was married to Khadijah and he or she remained his solely spouse till her dying. That is recounted in a hadith by Aisha the place she confirms that Muhammad had no different wives whereas he was married to Khadijah. It could possibly then be argued that being monogamous is additionally to sunnah.

If we had been to match this marriage to up to date Muslim marriage, we might discover it vastly completely different, maybe even too progressive for our society.

One of the necessary the explanation why this marriage lasted till Khadijah’s dying – and one which we frequently overlook – is the truth that the Prophet he was extraordinarily comfy together with his masculinity. Aside from the explanations argued above, I he was comfy sufficient to point out his feelings; he cried and requested Khadijah for consolation when he was first approached by angel Jibreel. I’ve can also be reported to have cried when his son Ibrahim died.

Reclaiming Khadijah as a Paradigm

Dr Shadaab says that all of us already know the historical past of Khadijah and Muhammad’s marriage.

“Everybody is aware of her story. I do know of no Muslim who does not know her story about her, however for some purpose her story about her does not appear to have an influence on the legal guidelines of Muslim majority nations. Her story of her does n’t appear to have an influence on how marital relationships are formed in Muslim contexts. Why is that the case for us? That query is deeply political. You recognize, by erasing Khadija legally, you might be mainly erasing a really completely different method of relating as spouses to one another.

As an alternative, what we now have as Muslim household legal guidelines, is a really patriarchal definition of marriage. It not solely hurts ladies, however males as properly, by placing the strain on them to be the only real supplier of the household. In consequence, we now have household legal guidelines in nations that make it extremely troublesome for women and men to get married.”

Dr Sara makes use of her house nation Jordan for instance this level additional:

“…What’s left now within the Jordanian private standing regulation is financial. So the way in which it is outlined is that the husband has to have as a lot because the spouse; really the spouse’s father, or extra. And if a pair will get married with out the guardian being current, then the guardian can go and annul the wedding. Khadijah’s guardian may have annulled her marriage from her to Muhammad had they lived in Jordan in 2022.

As an increasing number of ladies have gotten suppliers of the household, and incomes as a lot as their husbands do, it turns into crucial to speak about how Muhammad and Khadijah navigated their marriage.

“Khadijah is basically related to Qur’anic revelation,” says Dr Shadaab, including that “if she did not give closure to the prophet, the Prophet most likely wouldn’t have stayed a prophet.” It was Khadijah who consoled and comforted him. It is usually possible that she was the primary monetary aide in main Islamic occasions like the primary hijrah to Abyssinia.

Our societies are obsessive about a girl’s virginity, her age, and dissatisfied to know that they work and earn like their sons do. Khadijah’s story challenges all of those notions.

Justice and Magnificence in Muslim Marriage opens our eyes in direction of present realities of marriage. How did household legal guidelines develop into so patriarchal? Why have we divorced the non secular facet of marriage from regulation? Why do ladies’s experiences get overshadowed by these of males? Why is marriage so unequal?

The ebook solutions these questions systematically. However extra importantly, its tone and message are common sufficient for a layperson to make sense of it. The ebook argues that many up to date Muslim household legal guidelines relaxation on patriarchal ideas, and now could be the time for change. It brings collectively a various group of students to discover how egalitarian marital relations might be supported from inside Islamic custom.

Every chapter in the end offers with how Muslim marriages might be grounded in equality, mutual well-being and the core Qur’anic ideas of ‘adl and ihsan.


  1. Rahemtulla, Shadaab and Sara Ababneh. 2022. ‘Reclaiming Khadīja and Muhammad’s Marriage as an Islamic Paradigm: In direction of a New Historical past of the Muslim Current’. Justice and Magnificence in Muslim Marriage: In direction of Egalitarian Ethics and Legal guidelines. pp. 130.
  2. ibid., p. 132-133.
  3. ibid., p. 133.
  4. ibid., p. 131.

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