By: H. Adam
Muslims may forget but Islam cannot forget that in its infancy, it were Abu Talib and Khadijah, peace be upon them, who protected it. They made Islam invulnerable. Abu Talib protected the sapling of Islam from the tempests of misbelief and heathenism; and Khadija irrigated it with her wealth. She did not let the sapling of Islam die from draught. In fact, she didn’t even let it wilt from neglect.
Protecting Islam was, for Abu Talib and Khadijah, peace be upon them, their foremost duty. Islam was their first love, and it was a love which they passed on, as their “legacy” to their children.
If they – Abu Talib and Khadija, peace be upon them, – had protected the tree of Islam from its enemies in the lifetime of Muhammad Mustafa, peace be upon him and his pure progeny, and had “irrigated” it with vast quantities of gold and silver, their children and their grandchildren protected it from its enemies after his death and irrigated it with their blood. Their blood was the most sacrosanct blood in all creation. After all, it was the blood of Muhammad Mustafa, peace be upon him and his pure progeny, himself – the Last and the Greatest of all Messengers of Allah, and the Chief of all Apostles and Prophets.
Khadija, peace be upon her, was an “eye-witness” of the birth of Islam. She nursed it through its infancy, through its most difficult, and through its most formative years. Islam was given shape and design in her home. If any home can be called the cradle of Islam, it was her home. She “reared” Islam. If any home can be called the “axis” of Islam, it was her home; Islam revolved around her home. Her home was the “home” of Quran Majid -the Book of Allah, and the religious and political code of Islam. It was in her home that Gabriel was bringing Revelations from Heaven for ten years.
Without a doubt, Islam means the practice of the house of Khadijah, peace be upon her; and without a doubt, Quran Majid is the “dialect” of her family. Her daughter, Fatima Zahra, and her grand-children, Hasan and Husain, peace be upon them, grew up “speaking” Quran. She has the same relationship to Islam and Quran Majid that light has to the eyes, luster to a pearl; and fragrance to a rose.
Khadijah, peace be upon her, has collected more “firsts” in the history of nascent Islam than anyone else. She was the first wife of the last messenger of Allah. She was the first Believer. She was the very first mortal to declare that the Creator was only One, and that Muhammad was His messenger. Next to her husband, she was the very first individual who heard the Voice of Revelation. She was the first person who offered prayers to Allah with her husband. Whenever he went into the presence of Allah, she was his constant companion. She was the first Mother of Believers. She was the only wife of Muhammad Mustafa who did not have to co-exist with a co-wife. All the love, all the affection and all the friendship of her husband, were hers and hers alone -exclusively!
She died on the tenth of Ramadan of the tenth year of the Proclamation of Islam, and was buried in Hujun above Makkah. Muhammad Mustafa, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his pure progeny, himself descended into her grave to lie in it for a few moments. After the burial, he smoothed the earth on her grave.
Thus died Khadijah, peace be upon her,
Peace on Khadijah to whom Allah sent His greetings and salutations.
Peace on Khadijah for whom Allah built a palace of pearls in Paradise.
Peace on Khadijah, the best of women.
One month after her death, Muhammad Mustafa, peace be upon him and his pure progeny, had to sustain another shock in the death of Abu Talib, his uncle and guardian, peace be upon him, and the bulwark of Islam.
The death of these two personalities – Khadijah and Abu Talib, peace be upon them, – was the greatest shock that the Apostle of God had to endure in the fifty years of his life. The two lamps of his life were extinguished. He was overwhelmed with sorrow. He called the year of their death “the Year of Grief.”