It is important to stress here the role played by Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) throughout those years ridden with events, some extraordinary and others deeply painful. She was the one who had first noticed and then chose Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) for his honesty, his fairness, and the nobleness of his character. And against usual practice, she had the courage to propose marriage to him through her friend Nufaysah. Their union was to bring them happiness, sorrow, and grief: they lost their two sons, Qasim and Abdullah, in infancy and only their four daughters survived.
This family destiny was difficult enough, but among the Arabs, the birth of a daughter was considered shameful; tradition reports how much, on the contrary, Prophet Muhammad and his wife Khadijah surrounded their daughters with deep love and constant care, which they never hesitated to express in public.
When at the age of forty, Prophet Muhammad received the first revelation of Quran, it was to his wife he immediately turned, and she was the first to stand by him and comfort him. During all the previous years, she observed a man whose nobleness of character was a distinctive feature. When Prophet Muhammad came back to her from the cave of Hira, troubled and assailed with deep doubt as to what he was and what was happening to him, she wrapped him in her love, reminded him of his qualities, and restored his self-confidence.
The first revelations were both an extraordinary gift and a terrible trial. He was alone and confused; he turned to his wife, who immediately lent him comfort and support. From that moment on, there were two of them facing the trial, trying to understand its meaning, answering God’s call and following the path of spiritual initiation. In this respect, Khadijah is a sign of God’s presence at the heart of Muhammad’s trial; Khadijah was to be the first to accept Islam, and throughout the first ten years of Muhammad’s Islamic mission, she was to remain at his side, an unfailingly faithful Companion. Her role in the Prophet’s life was tremendous. She was for twenty-five years, his only wife, whose presence alone protected the Prophet, but who also underwent with him rejection by his kin, persecution, and isolation. He loved her so much. Khadijah received the good news of his election by God; she was independent, dignified, and respected, then, as a wife, strong, attentive, faithful, and confident; she was a pious Muslim, sincere, determined, and enduring. Muhammad, the last Prophet of God, was not alone, and one of the clearest signs of God’s bounty and love for him was a woman in his life, his wife.
In the light of her presence and of the role she played in his life, one can grasp the multiple possible meanings in a Quranic verse that was to be revealed much later, which describes the relationships between husband and wife:
‘They are your garments as you are their garments.’ (Quran, Surah Al-Baqarah, 2: 187)
She had been the garment that protects (emotionally as much as physically), conceals (weakness and doubts as well as riches), and brings warmth, strength, status, dignity and modesty.
Prophet deeply mourned over the death of his wife Khadijah, in an honest burst of tender emotions: She believed in me while the people disbelieved me.
And she trusted in me while the people belied me.
And she helped and comforted me, in person and wealth, when the people would not. God provided me with children by her.