Khadijah – The Prophet’s beloved, the Princess of Quraysh

By Irfan Ullah Khan

Khadijah - The Prophet's (saws) Beloved; the Princess of Quraish

“She believed in me when the whole world refuted me and she attested to my trueness when the whole world accused me of falsehood. She offered me compassion and loyalty with her wealth when everyone else had forsaken me.”

[Prophet Muhammad (saws): Narrated by Masnad Ahmad]

Khadijah, the first wife of the Prophet (saws), is a figure of great inspiration to the Muslim women.

She was the first to believe in the message of Muhammad (saws).

She proved to be the Prophet’s (saws) steadfast ally at all times.

She shared in all his troubles and difficulties.

She was always the first to offer him cover and support.

She gave him love and advice whenever he needed it.

At the age of forty, a widow and a wealthy business-woman, Khadijah (ra) married the Prophet (saws) when he was twenty-five, in what proved to be a relationship of profound love, loyalty and friendship.

Hadith about Khadijah

Her Background

Khadijah (radhi Allahu anha) was born in Makkah in the year 556 CE. Khadijah (ra) belonged to a tribe of the Quraysh Clan, the Banu Asad. Her father was Khuwaylid bin Asad, and her mother – Fatima bint Zaidah – belonged to the Luayy tribe. Her father was a very popular leader among the tribe of Quraysh, and a very prosperous businessman who died while fighting in the famous battle of Fujjar. Khadijah (ra) thus grew up in the lap of luxury.

Khadijah’s (ra) first husband was ‘Atiq bin ‘A’idh, a respectable figure from the Makhzum tribe. She bore him a daughter named Hindah. After Atiq died, Khadijah married Abu Hala Malak ibn Nabash. She bore him two sons with the (usually feminine) names of Hind and Hala.

Khadijah (ra) was a very distinguished and affluent member of the Quraysh, and was generally regarded as an exceptionally chaste, pure, and abstemious lady. Due to all that, she was known by the by-names Ameerat-Quraysh (“Princess of Quraysh”), al-Tahira (“The Pure One”) and Khadijah Al-Kubra (Khadijah “the Great”).

Khadijah (ra) as a Business Woman

Khadijah (ra) was a wealthy, well-known and prosperous lady in Makkah. She was a merchant and used to send her goods via the trade caravans to Ash-Sham (Syria) and Yemen.

Khadijah (ra) inherited her business from her father. Her astuteness and business ability made her business one of the most widespread businesses among the Quraysh. It is said that when the Quraysh’s trade caravans gathered to embark upon their summer journey to Ash-Sham (Syria) or winter journey to Yemen, Khadijah’s caravan equaled the caravans of all other traders of the Quraysh put together. It is said that she fed and clothed the poor, assisted her relatives financially and provided marriage portions for poor relations.

Trade of the people of Makkah used to be based on travelling to Yemen and Ash-Sham (Syria). Khadijah (ra) did not travel with her trade caravans; she employed others to trade on her behalf for a commission.  The Arab society at that time was a male-dominant society, so we can imagine how hard it would have been for a woman to run her business in such an environment. That’s why she had to hire men to do business for her. It was like companies hire “business managers” today.

Arab trade caravan

Khadijah hires Muhammad (saws) as a Business Manager

In 595 CE, Khadijah (ra) needed an agent for a business trip to Syria. As we know that the society in Makkah was a very corrupt society in the times of jahiliyyah, she was most probably running into trouble with a lot of “business managers” who were not being honest, so she wanted to hire somebody who was trustworthy.

Khadijah (ra) had heard of the integrity, honesty and principled behavior Muhammad (saws).The experience that Muhammad (saws) held working with caravans in his uncle Abu Talib’s family business had earned him the honorific titles Al-Sadiq (“the Truthful”) and Al-Amin (“the Trustworthy” or “Honest”).

Khadijah hired Muhammad (saws), who was then 25 years old, making the deal that she would pay double her usual commission. [Ibn Sa’d’s Tabaqat al-Kabir] Khadijah sent him on a business trip to Ash-Sham and sent one of her servants, Maysarah, to accompany and assist him.

During the trip to Ash-Sham, Maysarah was impressed by the Prophet’s integrity, strength of character, adherence to principles, his amicable dealings and his business abilities.

On the way back from Syria, the Prophet (saws) lay down under a tree to rest for a while. Nestora, a Jewish monk who was known for his knowledge of religion and for his insight, saw him and asked Maysarah who he was. Maysarah told him all about Muhammad (saws) and his reputation for honesty and intelligence. Nestora informed Maysarah that this man would be elevated to Prophethood in the future. Nestora said:

“None but a prophet ever sat beneath this tree.”

It is also narrated that on the same trip, once while Maysarah was standing near Muhammad (saws) as he slept, he saw two angels standing above Muhammad creating a cloud to protect him from the heat and glare of the sun.

Khadijah becomes interested in Muhammad (saws)

Upon returning from Ash-Sham, Maysarah gave accounts of the honorable way that Muhammad had conducted his business, with the result that he brought back twice as much profit as Khadijah (ra) had expected. Maysarah also reported to Khadijah (ra) the accounts about the Jewish monk and the two angles providing shade over Muhammad (saws).

At this, Khadijah (ra) was deeply moved and impressed and became very interested in Muhammad (saws). She found herself attracted to Muhammad (saws) emotionally and thought to propose marriage to him.

One could imagine what she would have been thinking at that time. How could she express her thoughts to him? As Khadijah (ra) was a wealthy woman, many wealthy and noble men from Quraysh had already asked for her hand in marriage, but she had rejected all those proposals. How could she face those nobles of Quraysh whom she refused before? How would her tribe react? What would her family say? And most importantly, would her proposal be acceptable to this young, yet unmarried man of 25 years of age when she was a widowed woman of 40 years of age?

As she pondered over these questions and debated within herself, one night she had a dream in which the sun descended from the sky into her courtyard, fully illuminating her home.

Khadijah (ra) then consulted her cousin Warqah ibn Nawfal, a blind man known for his skill in interpreting dreams, and for his depth of knowledge, particularly of the Torah and the Injil. Warqah said that if what Maysarah had seen was true, then Muhammad (saws) was in fact the prophet of the people who was already expected.

Regarding her dream, Warqah told her not to be alarmed, as this was a very promising dream. The glorious sun she saw descending into her courtyard was an indication that the Prophet (saws) whose advent had been predicted in the Torah and the Injil was to grace her home.

After this meeting with Warqah, Khadijah (ra) became stronger in her desire to marry Muhammad (saws).

Marriage Proposal to Muhammad (saws)

Khadijah (ra) entrusted one of her very close friends named Nafisah bint Manbah to approach Muhammad and ask if he would consider marrying. The following conversation took place between the two:

Nafisah: “Oh Muhammad, what is preventing you from getting married?”

Muhammad: “I do not have enough money to get married!”

Nafisah: “If that was taken care of, then would you accept an invitation to wealth, beauty, repute, and partnership?”

Muhammad: “Who is she?”

Nafisah: “Khuwaylid’s daughter, Khadijah”

Muhammad: “But how can it be?”

Nafisah: “Everything will be taken care of.”

Muhammad: “In that case, I accept”.

[Narrated in Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d]

Nafisah instantly went to Khadijah to tell her the good news. Khadijah’ was overjoyed.

After this, they consulted their respective uncles. Muhammad (saws) told his uncles, Abu Talib and Hamza, about his wish to marry Khadijah (ra). His uncles agreed to the marriage. Khadijah’s father had passed away in the Battle of Fujjar. For this reason, they approached her uncle, Amr bin Asad, to make a formal proposal to Khadijah (ra).  Khadijah’s uncle Amr Ibn Asad accepted the proposal, and the two families began preparing for the wedding.

Khadijah - Muhammad Wedding

The Story of Khadija’s Necklace

During the battle of Badr, Abdul-Aas, son-in-law to the Prophet (saws) and husband of Zainab (ra), was captured along with other non-Muslims from Makkah. At the time, Zainab (ra) was residing in Makkah. In exchange for the freedom of her husband, she offered the necklace her mother had given her at the time of her marriage as payment.

Upon seeing and recognizing the necklace, the Prophet Muhammad (saws) was stirred and overwhelmed with emotion. What an extraordinary moment it was to behold when his eyes shed tears at the memory of her kindness!

He consulted his Companions over granting freedom to Abdul-Aas without payment. As a result, the necklace was returned to Zainab (ra), and remained a keepsake memory of her noble mother Khadijah (ra).

However, Abdul-Aas was released on the terms that upon his return to Makkah, he would arrange safe passage for his Muslim wife, Zainab (ra), the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad (saws), to Madinah. [Abu Daud]

Abdul-Aas, proved loyal and true to his word. Upon his return to Makkah, according to his promise, he made arrangements for Zainab (ra) to be transported to Madinah, where the Prophet (saws) was residing.

The Prophet (saws) never forgot the good deed done by his son-in-law. He used to say, “Abu-ul-Aas is a righteous man in that he fulfilled the promise that he made to me.” [Bukhari] It was this very righteousness that enabled Abu-ul-Aas to accept Islam in the end.

‘A’ishah’s (ra) Feeling of Jealousy

‘A’ishah (ra) narrated:

“I did not feel jealous of any of the wives of the Prophet (saws) as much as I did of Khadijah though I did not see her, but the Prophet (saws) used to mention her very often”. [Bukhari]

‘A’ishah (ra) relates that Khadijah died three years before her marriage. Every time, before leaving the house, the Prophet Muhammad (saws) would talk fondly about Khadijah (ra).

“I became weary of hearing of her all the time. For this reason I never felt any indignation against any of the wives except for Khadijah (ra). The Prophet (saws) would say that Allah has given me glad tidings in a revelation of a resting place for her in Paradise. Once, Khadijah’s sister, Hala, came to our house and she asked permission to come in. Due the similarity between her voice and Khadijah’s voice, the Prophet (saws) recognized her beforehand and said, ‘Dear God! It is Hala who has come.’ At this exclamation, I felt a strong sense of indignation and said,

‘O Prophet of Allah! Why is it that of all the old women of Quraish, you keep mentioning only one, she who died a long time ago? Allah has blessed you with better wives than her since then. You mention Khadijah as if there is no woman but her on earth.’

The Prophet Muhammad (saws) took amiss at these words and his face showed such signs of anger that I felt limp. I prayed to Allah that if his anger were to fade today, I would never again in my life say another word against Khadijah. At that point, looking at my countenance, the Prophet Muhammad (saws) said to me,

‘O ‘A’ishah! The truth of the matter is that no one can be better than Khadijah. She believed in me when the whole world refuted me and she attested to my trueness when the whole world accused me of falsehood. She offered me compassion and loyalty with her wealth when everyone else had forsaken me. O ‘A’ishah! What can I do? Love for her runs in my blood and is nestled in my heart.’” [Narrated by Masnad Ahmad]

Hadith about Khadijah

Conclusion

I cannot find any love story more powerful, more spiritually uplifting, and more awe-inspiring than that of the Prophet Muhammad (saws) and Khadijah (ra). It is a shining example of what an ideal marriage is. If a Muslim ever claims that he loves his wife, he must gauge his actions with that of the Prophet (saws). If a Muslimah ever claims that she loves her husband, she must gauge her actions with that of Khadijah (ra)!

The history of Islam wouldn’t be the same without Khadijah (ra). Let us spread this beautiful love story of Khadijah (ra). Use the icons below or on the left-hand side to share this article on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.

Remember, the Prophet (saws) said:

“Convey from me even if it be one ayah (verse), for it may be that the one being informed will comprehend better that the one listening (at present).” [Bukhari]

So let’s share this story all over the internet, insha Allah!

Also give me feedback in the comments section below. How did you feel about this story of the Princess of Quraysh? What lessons, as a husband or wife, do you get from this story of the Prophet’s (saws) house?

And in the end,

Let us give our Salam to this noble and grand woman, one to whom Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, the Master and Creator of this Universe sent His Salam!

Salam to you O Khadijah, Ameerat-Quraysh (“Princess of Quraysh”)!

Salam to you O Khadijah al-Tahira (“The Pure One”)!

Salam to you O Khadijah al-Kubra (Khadijah “the Great”)!

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About the Author

Irfan Ullah Khan is a Marriage Transformation Coach helping married Muslim couples achieve happiness in their marriage by learning and adopting the beautiful Islamic ahkam related to family. He is also author of two books: "The 8 Love Languages" and "Better Love with Better Half". >>> Click here to connect with him on Facebook!

Leave a Comment:

(54) comments

Ch. Nadeem A. Rauf September 21, 2015

Dear Irfan, I am deeply impressed with this blog very good initiative to portray the soft and real image of Religion Islam and importance of Women in Islam.

Reply
    Irfan Ullah Khan September 21, 2015

    Jazak Allah Khair brother Nadeem for appreciating the effort.

    Alhumdu lillah! May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala help us spread the beautiful ahkam of Islam related to marital life!

    Reply
Mohamed Ismail September 21, 2015

Dear brother,
Please let us read first completely to share. unlock the content.

Reply
    Irfan Ullah Khan September 21, 2015

    Brother Ismail; you don’t need to share to unlock. You just need to click “Like” or “+1”. By this small gesture of support, you are helping us increases our reach, and also getting part of the ajar, insha Allah! 🙂

    Reply
MOHAMMED HANEEF September 21, 2015

Dear Brother,

“JAZAKALLAHU KHAIRAN” for sharing such a wonderful love story of
Ummul Muimineen Khatijatul kubra and Prophet Muhammed (SAWS).
Subhanallah! No modern day love stories can never come near it.

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Amina September 21, 2015

Ma shaa Allah!Very inspiring, a remarkable lady ;khadija,may Allah be pleased with her was an ideal wife,a lady of high integrity and humility.A role model for every muslimah.May Allah SWT enable us emulate her noble virtues.May Al-Rahmanil Raheem unite us all with her in Jannatul Firdhaus.

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    Irfan Ullah Khan September 22, 2015

    Ameen. I so much wish that we meet them both in Jannah, insha Allah!

    Reply
Rabeearh September 21, 2015

This is indeed a heart touching,inspiring and emotional story May Allah unite us all in Jannah together with our Beloved Prophet(saw) along with his loving family Amin, Jazakumullahu Khair.

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Ahmad Sharrif September 22, 2015

What an excellent work. A must read for any Muslim Husband and Wife. JAZAKAALAHU KHAIRAN.

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    Irfan Ullah Khan September 22, 2015

    Wa iyyakum brother Ahmad. That’s why we need to spread this story, so that it reaches to as many Muslim husbands and wives as possible. So do share with your friends on Facebook and Twitter!

    Reply
murtala Abdullahi September 22, 2015

Thank you very much today I learn a lot I didn’t know about he most wonderful woman that has ever live, Khadijat (RA)

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irfan ullah khan September 26, 2015

Mashallah brother irfan your endeavor regarding this fabulous piece of article is outstanding. May Allah accept your efforts. It is very beautifully portraying the life of a successful woman. Actions like Hers are needed in the life of a dawah carriers ‘wives nowadays.Jazakallah this article should be sent to all newspapers, magazines and websites so that real image of Islam is spread. Jazakallah brother

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Mujeeb September 26, 2015

Impressive…!! A great article that is much needed in today’s society where love stories only remains in movies and serials.

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Rahma November 5, 2015

JazakAllahu khairan.

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Ya Umma November 13, 2015

Ma sha Allah god bless you. What a wonderful and pure story im litterally in tears lay Allah gives us our beloved lother Khadeeja (ra) ‘s character and faith.
SoubhanAllah

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    Irfan Ullah Khan November 13, 2015

    Jazak Allah Khair sister for the duas. The story is definitely inspirational; it even brought tears to my eyes when I was writing it!

    Reply
saviera November 20, 2015

where can i find the references of this writings? it’s very good

Reply
    Irfan Ullah Khan November 21, 2015

    The references to all ayahs and ahadith/narrations are already provided in the article, i.e. the book of hadith or seerah mentioned.

    Reply
Rukshanda November 20, 2015

Thank you! I cried from beginning to end, truly the most beautiful love story ever, an inspiration to all husbands and wives, feeling so overwhelmed. Keep sharing ?

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    Irfan Ullah Khan November 21, 2015

    Alhumdu lillah sister Rukshanda that the story inspired you strongly! 🙂

    Reply
Zainab Habibullah December 5, 2015

AsSalaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu
I loved this story it also so made understand fully the relationship between our
Beloved Prophet (saw) and his beautiful wife. My sadness is that I and could not
easily read the entire story as I am not on face book or tweeter or an social media.
I know you want people to share this story and I would with the young girls in my Center where I teach Islamic Studies. There are other ways to share this beautiful story please make it available for all.

Thank you

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Waleed December 6, 2015

Very knowledge able

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Abdul Quadr December 8, 2015

May Almighty Allah increase your knowledge,understanding,imman,& continue to bless you and your household as he did for Prophet Ibrahim(as) and our beloved Prophet Mohammed(saws) Ameen.

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Anor December 8, 2015

Let this story be a true testament to all mankind what real love is by our beloved prophet ( pbuh). We inferior mortals are just words but no action.
May Allah give us strength to love our wife’s with sincere and passion.

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Kamran Sabir December 9, 2015

Al hamdu lillah, one of the best love story in the world i have ever read.
Salam upon the whole family of Rasool Allah saww.

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Nafisa December 12, 2015

Subhan Allah! What are a very beautiful story that left me in tears.Right from childhood i’ve been hearing about this story but never heard of the indept and indeed am impressed and wish for this in my life. Ya Allah bestow all the women of Islam the patience and wisdom of the beloved wife of Rasululllah.May her gentle soul rest in peace (Ameen).

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    Irfan Ullah Khan December 13, 2015

    Alhumdu lillah, that the story is constantly inspiring many brothers and sisters. May Allah accept it from me. And ameen to all your duas sister Nafisa.

    Reply
shittu December 14, 2015

This is a great lesson for all Muslim brothers and sisters who are planning to get married

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    Irfan Ullah Khan December 14, 2015

    Jazak Allah Khair for stopping by. I completely agree with what you said! 110%!!! This story is a true inspiration for those brothers and sisters planning to get married soon.

    Reply
Bilal December 18, 2015

Respected Brother,
Very impressive, i just have one question.
1. I hope this is not a Shia based site.

Reply
    Irfan Ullah Khan December 27, 2015

    Jazak Allah Khair for appreciating. We don’t believe in sectarianism. This website is for Muslims! Allah (swt) says in the Quran: “Wa huwa-ssamakumul Muslimeen”. So Allah gave us the name of Muslimeen! And therefore, I prefer to be called a Muslim only!

    Reply
Khalepha Ahmad Daud December 21, 2015

What a great work may Allah blessed you

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Ibrahim December 27, 2015

I read the massage and understood the concept. It’s inspiring it took me to read late night when I saw the message in my inbox at Twitter. Jazaka Allah.
Pls if yu can inbox such stories n more to my watsAp number. +254724324717. My name is ibrahim.

Reply
    Irfan Ullah Khan December 31, 2015

    Glad to know that it inspired you even at late night! 🙂

    We don’t have a facility to send articles, etc through Whatsapp, but you can subscribe to us with your email and you will be notified on email whenever new articles are published on our blog.

    Reply
Waliyyat Abdulganiyyu December 28, 2015

Alhamdulillah for making us muslims nd for blessing us with such a leader nd a great teacher as muhammad(SAW) and also for giving us such a mother to islam as khadijah al kubra (ra). i so much appreciate this love nd relationship history of our beloved prophet(SAW) nd his beloved wife nana khadikah (ra).i pray that Allah in His infinite mercy help us to thread in their path in sha Allah . salam alaikhum waramatulillahi wabarakatohu

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Sarfaraz December 29, 2015

Irfan sahib salaam alaikum, while I have read this history many times over 50 years, it is your personalised presentation which makes it more effective. It is written as if in the present moment and touches the heart more. That it is about the greatest human in the Universe, Rasool (saw) and one of the greatest women ever (ra), it is even more significant. What a combination they must have been. Allah guide us all to follow the path of righteousness.
On a slightly different note, I think you have mentioned the superlative Master of the Universe twice. in my thinking that title belongs to Allah, so would suggest you review it. Just a suggestion from someone who has very little knowledge but is sincere.
The translation of the word ‘sarwar’ can also mean Chief. So sarwar e kainaat title given by later people, I think ascribes that title Chief of the Universe…not what you seem to translate to.
Great work and please continue this.
Allah hafiz

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    Irfan Ullah Khan December 31, 2015

    Alhumdu lillah brother Sarfaraz that the story inspired you.

    Regarding the point regarding using the phrase “Master of the Universe” for the Prophet (SAWS), the sentence being used was this: “The Master of the Universe (saws) did not marry anyone else while this pure woman was alive.” and these are not my own words, these are being quoted from Seerah ibn Hisham. And I also like your suggestion regarding using “Chief of the Universe” for it, instead of “Master of the Universe”.

    Thank you for the appreciation and encouragement to continue. Insha Allah, soon I will be writing more articles about the beautiful “Family System” of Islam. Keep me in your duas.

    Reply
Ahmad Paaweri December 31, 2015

Very inspiring story to be adopted in modern Islamic families.May Almighty Allah increase you ln knowledge.

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Noridah January 7, 2016

Jazak Allah Khair brother irfan, it’s very beautifull love story i’ve ever read. Ma sha Allah.
Salam to you O Khadijah, Ameerat-Quraysh (“Princess of Quraysh”)!

Salam to you O Khadijah al-Tahira (“The Pure One”)!

Salam to you O Khadijah al-Kubra (Khadijah “the Great”)!

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    Irfan Ullah Khan January 8, 2016

    Wa iyyakum sister Noridah. Glad that the story inspired you. Alhumdu lillah!

    Reply
Abdul Hakim January 30, 2016

I really love the post; it is spiritually nourishing. Well done, may Allah reward you abundantly.

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Yusuf Jassat February 2, 2016

Wonderful and well expressed May Allah reward you Ameen.

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Abdulhameed Babalola February 9, 2016

Salam Alaykum Brother Khan, Great work. I have shared it on my facebook page more times today. also on my whatsapp list. so Interesting. Jazakumullah Khayran Kesiran

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    Irfan Ullah Khan February 11, 2016

    Jazak Allah Khair brother Abdulhameed for sharing to your FB page and Whatsapp list. May Allah (swt) give you ajar for that.

    Reply
Ai'shah February 13, 2016

MashaAllah…. i couldnt help crying so tourching …. blessings n salutation to my most honorable loving Muhammed pbuh and adoring Khadijah RA … my Allah continue his blessings on the house of our Nabiyi Muhammed… i wish i too live in the time of Muhammed pbuh….

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    Irfan Ullah Khan February 13, 2016

    Sister Ai’shah, insha Allah we can strive hard to follow Islam, so that we can live with the Prophet (SAWS) and Khadijah (RA) and other sahaaba, in Jannah insha Allah.

    Reply
aisha April 27, 2016

i can’t stop my tears from falling
nicely written
Jazak Allahu khairan

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Dilruba Begum March 26, 2017

Masha’Allah lovely story! What do you do if your husband doesn’t adopt anything from the sunnah or Quran in your marriage? I have just separated from my husband of almost 5 years and he has put close to zero effort in making our marriage work. I have had to be so patient and teach him manners and qualities to become a better husband that it has affected me greatly. We also share a 20 month old son so I am always exhausted but my husband does not want to change his way of life for me or my son and wants to stay the same as he was before marriage? I lived with his mum in the same house and his family entering our home as they pleased which made his priority to me and my son very low. This affected me in every way but I carried on even with his abuse and his families abuse of not being able to meet their standards/ expectations as a daughter in law to their mother. What does Islam, the Quran and sunnah have to say about how to deal with this situation? How do I begin to cleanse my heart of the emotional connection, love, mercy and affection I had for my husband? How do I, as his wife of almost 5 years and mother to his son try and forget that he was never emotionally connected to me or my son? How do I try to ignore or come to an understanding that he was never mine in the first place? His intention of marriage was not for the sake of marriage, love mercy or care and the rights Allah has given a male and a female but for his own agenda; which was to fulfill his duty to his mother and/ or family? Please tell me where I would go or who I would talk to in order to get some sort of closure or understanding from an Islamic point of view so my pain and distraught is less. Thank you. Jazakallahu khairan

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