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09. Marriage

Seeratul Muhammad ﷺ

By the time Muhammad (PBUH) was twenty-five, he was famous for his honesty. He was respected by everyone, even the elders of Makkah. The purity of his nature increased with the years. It seemed he had knowledge that other people did not have. He believed in one God and he worshipped Him with all his heart and soul. Muhammad (PBUH) was the finest of his people, the most kind, truthful and reliable person in Makkah. 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 Mount Hira, a cave not far from Makkah, thinking about Allah. Among the Quraysh was a respected and wealthy woman named Khadijah. She was involved in trade and on hearing of Muhammad’s reputation, she 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 the 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 Makkah. 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 Makkah, Maysarah told Khadijah everything about the trip and what he had noticed about Muhammad’s character and behaviour. 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 firstborn, 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 Makkah. 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 wise old man of the Quraysh decided to begin, then everybody followed him. They worked until they reached down to the first foundation that Ibrāhīm had built. As soon as they began to remove the stones of this foundation, however, the whole of Makkah 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 honour 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 man 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. 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 centre of it. Then, he asked a man from each tribe to hold one edge of the cloak and raise it together to the height where the stone should be seen. When this was done, he took the stone off the cloak and put it into place himself. This chapter shows how all the Quraysh respected and trusted Muhammad (PBUH) and how by his wisdom and good sense, he was able to keep the peace.

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