THE PROPHET’S MARRIAGE
By the time Muhammad (pbuh) was twenty-five he was famous for his honesty. He was respected by everyone, even the elders of Mecca. The purity of his nature increased with the years. It seemed he had an inner knowledge that other people did not have. He believed in one God-Creator of the world-and he worshipped Him with all his heart and with all his soul. Muhammad (pbuh) was the finest of his people, the most kind, truthful and reliable person in Mecca. He was known among Quraysh as ‘the trustworthy’ (al-Amin) because of the good qualities Allah had given him. He spent many quiet hours in a cave in Mount Hira’, not far from Mecca, thinking about Allah.
Among Quraysh was a respected and wealthy woman named Khadijah. She was involved in trade and on hearing of Muhammad’s reputation, sent for him and asked him to take her goods and trade with them in Syria. Muhammad (pbuh) agreed and left for Syria with one of Khadijah’s caravans. With him went her slave, Maysarah, and they spent a great deal of time talking together. Maysarah soon came to admire Muhammad (pbuh). He thought he was quite different from all the other men of Quraysh.
Two unusual events took place during this journey which puzzled Maysarah very much. The first happened when they stopped to rest near the lonely home of a monk. Muhammad (pbuh) sat under a tree while Maysarah was busy with some work. The monk came up to Maysarah and asked, ‘Who is the man resting under the tree?’
‘One of Quraysh, the people who guard the Ka’bah’, said Maysarah. ‘No one but a Prophet is sitting beneath this tree’, replied the monk. The second event occurred on the journey back to Mecca. It happened at noon, when the sun is at its hottest. Maysarah was riding behind Muhammad (pbuh) and as the sun grew hotter he saw two angels appear above Muhammad (pbuh) and shield him from the sun’s harmful rays. The trading was very successful and Muhammad (pbuh) made more profit for Khadijah than she had ever received before. When they arrived back in Mecca Maysarah told Khadijah everything about the trip and what he had noticed about Muhammad’s character and behavior.
Khadijah was a widow in her forties and as well as being rich and Highly respected she was also very beautiful. Many men wanted to marry her but none of them suited her. When she met Muhammad (pbuh), however, she thought he was very special. She sent a friend to ask Muhammad (pbuh)why he was not married. Muhammad (pbuh) said that it was because he had no money, to which the friend replied: ‘Supposing a rich, beautiful and noble lady agreed to marry you?’ Muhammad (pbuh) wanted to know who that could be. The friend told him it was Khadijah. Muhammad (pbuh) was very happy, because he greatly respected Khadijah. He went with his uncles, Abu Talib and Hamzah, to Khadijah’s uncle, and asked his permission to marry her. The uncle gave his permission and soon after, Muhammad (pbuh) and Khadijah were married.
Their marriage was a joyful one and Muhammad (pbuh) and Khadijah were well suited. Their life together, however, was not without some sadness. They were blessed with six children, two sons and four daughters. Sadly their first born, a son called Qasim, died shortly before his second birthday, and their last child, also a son, only lived for a short time. Happily, their four daughters-Zaynab, Ruqayyah, Umm Kulthum, and Fatimah-all survived.
For a few years Muhammad (pbuh) lived a calm and quiet life as a merchant in Mecca. His wisdom benefited many people. One such time was when Quraysh decided to rebuild the Ka’bah. It was a difficult decision for them because they had to knock it down before rebuilding it and the people were afraid that Allah might be angry with them for knocking down His sanctuary. At last one of the wise old men of Quraysh decided to begin, then everybody followed him.
They worked until they reached down to the first foundation that Abraham had built. As soon as they began to remove the stones of this foundation, however, the whole of Mecca began to shake. They were so afraid that they decided to leave these stones where they were and build on top of them.
Each tribe brought stones and they built the Ka’bah up until they reached the place where the black stone was to be set. They then began to argue about who should have the honor of carrying the black stone and lifting it to its place in one of the corners of the Ka’bah. They almost came to blows but fortunately one of the men offered a solution. He suggested that they should be guided by the first person to enter the place of worship. They all agreed and as Muhammad (pbuh) was the first to enter everyone was pleased, because they all trusted him. They told him the cause of the argument and he asked them to bring a large cloak. They did as he asked, and after spreading the cloak on the ground he placed the black stone in the center of it. Then he asked a man from each tribe to hold one edge of the cloak and together to raise it to the height where the stone should be see. When this was done, he took the stone off the cloak and put it into place himself.
This story shows how all Quraysh respected and trusted Muhammad (pbuh) and how, by his wisdom and good sense, he was able to keep the peace.