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Weekly word: Khadija

July 28, 2010

Okay, so it’s more of a person than a “word,” but this week we look at Khadija, the first of Muhammad’s sixteen wives.  Just look (h/t Zombietimes) at Khadija in her veiled glory (or scandalous display of neck and face, depending on your point of view):

Khadija, Muhammad's rich, older wife

Chick Publication's illustration of Muhammad & Khadija

But who was this lady?  The love of Muhammad’s life?  Her soul mate?  No—his sugar mama!  From A Dictionary of Non-Christian Religions:

Khadija.  The first wife of the Prophet Muhammad, and during their twenty-four years of married life his only wife.  Khadija was a rich merchant’s widow, who first of all employed Muhammad in her service.  She was said to have been married twice before, with children of her own.  She was about forty years of age, but bore Muhammad seven children.  Their marriage was happy, and Khadija encouraged Muhammad after his visions and during his early preachings, being virtually his first convert.  Her cousin Waraqa (q.v.) was a Christian and no doubt this helped to make her sympathetic to Muhammad’s teaching of one God.  Her death in A.D. 619 was a grievous loss to the Prophet, and only then did he take other wives.*

If you can’t strive (for jihad) with your own wealth (Q. 9:41), why not strive with someone else’s?  Of course, many important men throughout history would never have made it so far if they hadn’t married a rich woman.  Isn’t it inspiring for the prophet of one of the world’s biggest religions to have done so?

In addition to Khadija’s money, Muhammad amassed personal wealth in his lifetime through his role in early Islam including Safi (special gifts from the spoils of war), khums tax revenues (both as the prophet who was entitled to one-fifth of khums and as a Muslim soldier who was entitled to an individual share for four-fifths of the remaining ghanima), and 100 percent of the spoils of Khaybar, the oasis he stole from the Jews.

Muhammad understood that to be Prophet, he needed profit.  Money, both the legal acquisition of and the illegal confiscation of it, were central to fueling Muhammad’s rise to power and the spread of early Islam.

*Parrinder, Geoffrey, A Dictionary of Non-Christian Religions (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1971). 

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15 comments

  1. 21st century version:

    Theresa Heinz and John Kerry.


    • Take away the beard in the drawing & you’re right!


  2. this’s bullshit against our prophit (pbuh)


    • never understood that pubh stuffs ? what is pubh ? some abbreviation ? (Piss be upon him) ?


      • (PBUH) means Peace Be Upon Him, u don’t have the right to disrespect someone’s religion.
        Instead we are muslims, we have the same respect for the Jesus. because he was also a prophet and the same Musas, who was also a messenger sent by Allah (God).

        May God bless you :)


      • #sorry Rahim for my ignorance towards entire religion of ‘peace’, but i have problems in respecting a pedophile, warlord, racist, rapist, slave owner and dealer, pimp leader, and leader of a genocidal squad, which happen to be central characteristic of your prophet as a per islamic theology…

        so can you please change those central characteristic of your prophet, perhaps after that i grew some respect for your religion….

        Mean while, do not forget that where Jesus of Bible is a extremely non-voilent figure, Jesus of koran is as much blood thirsty as Mohammed was… so in short, i do not think, Islam speaks of same Jesus that bible speaks of.


  3. An interesting supplement to this comes from a July 2011 opinion piece in a New Zealand newspaper:

    What a lot of trouble Muhammad’s wives seem to have caused. Though not Khadija, of course, the prophet’s first wife and Islam’s first convert.

    The rich Meccan businesswoman, who would not have been out of place in the 21st century, was Muhammad’s boss. It was she who proposed to the poor, illiterate Muhammad; she who gave him money and status and the four daughters who were his only children to survive infancy; and she with whom he first shared the miraculous vision which gave birth to Islam, after the angel Gabriel passed on the word of God.

    As Geraldine Brooks, a former Middle East correspondent for the Wall Street Journal writes in her fascinating 1995 book Nine Parts of Desire, Khadija was Muhammad’s only wife for 24 years, and it wasn’t until she died that the prophet began receiving revelations from God on the status of women. How different the lives of Muslim women might have been if she’d lived as long as her husband.

    Khadija, the first Muslim woman, “was never required to veil or seclude herself, and never lived to hear the word of God proclaim that ‘Men are in charge of women, because God has made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property [to support them].’ Such a revelation would have come strangely from Muhammad’s lips had Khadija been alive and paying his bills“.

    Six years after Khadija’s death, and after a battle which left many Muslim women widowed, Muhammad had the revelation that endorsed the taking of up to four wives. (This saved the widows from destitution.) Then, needing to forge alliances through marriage with defeated enemies, he had a further revelation exempting himself from the four-wife limit.

    The prophet loved women, wrote Brooks. But as his wives increased in number, so did the “jealousy, intrigue and scandal. Enemies of the new religion harassed the prophet’s wives”. Soon after, “God sent his prophet a message telling him to seclude his wives … Now they were expected to stay hidden behind a curtain in their rooms, going out only when shrouded from head to foot”…


  4. If you are ridiculing the prophet of islam.Tell me about your religious identity.I’ll expose A-Z of it towards you.If you are and illigetimate son of Paul then I’ll naked Christianity.Are you ready?


    • Adeel, what would you say if I told you that my family is Yazidi?


  5. you should not insult the prophet because he is better than any of you can dream to be. stop lying about it and stop your silly pictures you are jealous. also you don’t know your facts.


    • Do do you deny that Khadija was wealthy? Do you deny that Muhammad used her wealth or inherited her wealth upon her death? Do you deny that he obtained Safi from his supporters and khums from the vanquished?

      What are YOUR facts?


  6. the prophets wives CHOSE to cover themselves to respect muhammad and then the other women saw this and followed. your article is nasty and you should really look at yourself you have alot of hate and jealousy inside you. kahdija asked muhammed(PBUH) to marry her… and he was happy because he respected her very much. the prophet was sensitive and kind. who would not want to be his wife! :-D


  7. “Muhammad understood that to be Prophet, he needed profit.”

    Um, sorry, but when Muhammad married Khadija, he didn’t knew yet he would become prophet. And at first Muhammad didn’t even want to be prophet.


  8. Dear Sir/Madam
    Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah,
    Ahlan Sahlan,Mahe Ramadan,
    I am Md.Towheedur Rahman Sikder,I am Muslim,Male from Bangladesh.
    I have old mother,wife and 2 kids,1son&1daughter,my daughter read in college HSC 1st year,and ny son read in class 3,can u help on my bank account some money as like Zakat way of the Allah.I get this money then i started small business in my country,my Father was die b4 10 years,b4 some year i go to KSA for change my luck by work by petro dollar, but i ma cheated in Saudi Arabia by manpower broker,so i am very needy,plz only for my kids education expense, my father was die before 10 years, i have old mother,wife and 2 kids,Allah Bless u, I am Muslim,Plz help me, on the way of Allah,it is online bank,
    My Bank info,
    Md.Towheedur Rahman Sikder.
    Account No-111-101-268240
    Dutch-Bangla Bank Ltd.
    Narayanganj-1400,
    Bangladesh.
    My Postal Address,
    Md.Towheed Sikder,
    142/1,Khanpur Brach Road,
    Narayanganj-1400,
    Bangladesh.
    My email id-towheed57@yahoo.com
    My Isd Cell No+8801731595139


  9. Please, For God Sake, Don’t give blasphemous remarks remarks against our Prophet. Be a grown up person at least. Islam also prohibits to give blasphemous remarks against any other religion’s God/gods. May God give you Hidayat! Omar was the fiercest enemy of Holy Prophet but Allah guided him and now his rules are being followed by Muslim and Non-Muslim Countries..



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