On Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday

As Muslims around the world celebrate the birth of Prophet Muhammad, I’d like to share an important milestone in his life: how Khadijah, his first wife, who was older than him, a successful business woman from a powerful tribal clan, convinced her extremely proud father, to marry her off to an impoverished orphan.

The FIRST narration 220,

Ibn Abbas said that the Prophet sought Khadijah’s hand in marriage but her father did not agree. So Khadijah prepared some food and drinks and provided them for her father and the Quraish dignitaries. They ate, drank and became intoxicated. When this happened, Khadijah said to her father,

‘Muhammad has sought my hand in marriage so you should marry him to me.’

Thus she was married to the Prophet.

On this occasion, Khadijah applied khuluq (a type of Arab perfume) to some new clothes which she made her father wear.

Later, when her father sobered up, he felt that khuluq had been applied to the new clothes that he was wearing and asked about the matter.

When Khadijah narrated that he had married her to Muhammad, son of Abdullah, her father replied,

‘How can I give your hand in marriage to an orphan of Abu Talib? By my life this can never happen!’

Thereupon Khadijah sad, ‘Do you not fee ashamed? Do you put your own self to disgrace in the eyes of the Quraish? Will you tell them that at the time you were intoxicated?’

Thus she remained saying such things until her father agreed to this match.

In the SECOND narration,


Jabir ibn Sunnah said the Prophet used to graze goats. Later on he gave it up and he and his companions started to look after camels instead. They looked after the camel’s of Khadijah’s sister for payment. When they returned from some journey, Khadijah’s sister owed some people a debt, but the Prophet did not accompany them as he felt ashamed of going there.

When they arrived, Khadijah’s sister asked about Muhammad, and his companions said that he did not come with them as he felt bashful. To this, she said,

‘I have never seen a man more bashful, more chaste and such and such.’

Hearing these praises, Khadijah developed a soft spot in her heart for Muhammad.
As a result, later, Khadijah sent an emissary to Muhammad asking to see her father with regards to marriage. At this the Prophet said,

‘Your father is a wealthy man and he will not agree to this.’

At this Khadijah sent the message, ‘Go to him, and I am sufficient to speak on his behalf. But you should meet him when he is intoxicated.’

Consequently, the Prophet did accordingly, and her father agreed to the marriage.

The next morning, when people congratulated Khadijah’s father on her marriage, he said in surprise, ‘Have I married her?’ He left his place in anger and asked Khadijah about this. She said,

‘This is true and now you should not put yourself to shame by showing any weakness regarding your decision about Muhammad as he is such and such a man’

Khadijah praised Muhammad so much that her father agreed to the marriage.

[Source: Ibn Hajr al-Haithami, Vol IX p 220 & 222]


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