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Hazrat Mohammed (saw) as a shepherd and a contemplative man

Hazrat Mohammed (saw) as a shepherd and a contemplative manAlthough Hazrat Abu Talib ibn Abd Al-Muttalib was rated as a man of status among the Quraish, his income, was not sufficient to support his family. Now that Hazrat Mohammed (saw) was of mature age, he was naturally inclined to find a job to ease the heavy burden upon his uncle's shoulders. But what kind of job should he engage in to suit his supreme character?

Since he (saw) was destined to become a great Prophet and a sublime leader, to face unrestrained obstinate people, to fight against the superstitious beliefs and wrong customs of the period of ignorance, and to lay the foundations of the magnificent palace of justice and proper laws and regulations, he found it expedient to become a herdsman.

Hazrat Mohammed (saw) would take the sheep and cattle of his relatives and those of the people of Makkah to the surrounding deserts to graze. He (saw) gave his uncle the wages he received in return.

This engagement outside the noisy, agitated environment of the city and away from people's disputes and conflicts gave him an invaluable opportunity to acquire much experience, of which the sweet fruits appeared during his prophethood and time of leadership.

Indeed, during this period, he (saw) acquired many superior human characteristics such as generosity, good temper, magnanimity, good behaviour towards neighbours, tolerance, truthfulness, trustworthiness, and avoidance of vices. Hazrat Mohammed (saw) grew up to become a fine young man. He (saw) became known for his excellent manners, and because of the honesty in his conduct and dealings he was referred to as al-Sadiq (The Truthful One) and al-Amin (The Trustworthy One).

Hazrat Mohammed's (saw) chastity

Hazrat Mohammed's (saw) chastityPsychologists believe that the environment lays the foundations of people's character and their way of thinking and that the principle of harmony causes the people to follow the society's dominant patterns of thought and behaviour.

Although some of these psychologists have gone to extremes in this matter and have regarded this theory as a general and all-embracing principle, according to which all social phenomena without exception may be analyzed, the principle of the effect of the society on people's morale is undeniable.

Therefore, an environment of virtue and health produces pious and normal offspring, and a corrupt, deviated society will naturally lead people into the pit of corruption and deviation. Thus, those who remain untouched by the society's deviating factors, must be exceptional people.

Hazrat Mohammed (saw) lived in a severely polluted environment, the atmosphere of which was darkened with all kinds of moral deteriorations and sins. In the Hijaz, not only the youth, but also the aged had become most shamefully involved in sexual deviations and unchaste. In every alley and neighbourhood, black flags had been hung over some houses as a sign of corruption, inviting un-virtuous people inside.

Hazrat Mohammed (saw) grew up in such a foul society, but though he (saw) remained unmarried until the age of 25, the sordid environment could not affect him the least bit, nor did anybody observe any immoral action springing from him. Both his friends and his enemies regarded him as the best model of chastity and virtue.

Hazrat Khadijah bint Khuwaylid's business proposal

Hazrat Khadijah bint Khuwaylid's business proposalHazrat Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, who was an honourable wealthy woman, used to put her wealth at the disposal of others who traded for her and received wages in return for their services.

As Hazrat Mohammed's (saw) fame for honesty, virtue and trustworthiness spread throughout Arabia and reached Hazrat Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, she started seeking his cooperation. Then she made this proposal to him: 'I will put at your disposal some property plus a servant, Mysara, and pay you more than others'.

Being well aware of his uncle's financial problems due to his old age, low income, and large family, Hazrat Mohammed (saw) accepted Hazrat Khadijah bint Khuwaylid's offer.

Hazrat Khadijah, the daughter of Khuwaylid, was a lady of supreme character. Moreover, at that time, it was common amongst Arabs to disrespect women and kill their daughters. In such a period however, Hazrat Khadijah bint Khuwaylid was famous for titles such as "the pious" or "the Lady of the women of Quraish". Though she was forty years old, her enormous wealth, popularity, and prestige had led many wealthy and powerful Quraish to court her. But she did not accept any of them as her husband and avoided marriage, for she knew well that they either were interested in her wealth or were men whose character she detested. Other narrators, however, record that Hazrat Khadijah bint Khuwaylid was younger at the time of marriage.

Hazrat Mohammed's (saw) journey to Damascus (Second business trip around 23 years of age)

Hazrat Mohammed's (saw) journey to DamascusWhen the commercial caravan of the Quraish was ready to start moving towards Damascus (Syria) and Hazrat Mohammed (saw), too, had made provisions for the trip and was about to join the caravan, Hazrat Khadijah bint Khuwaylid ordered her servant, Mysara, to accompany him to Damascus and be always ready to serve him.

Obviously, it is not possible to explain in detail this historical journey, and we content ourselves with mentioning the following points: This journey brought about many blessings and much good fortune, such as enormous profits in commerce, the manifestation of Hazrat Mohammed's (saw) wonderful personality to the people in the caravan, the meeting with the Christian monk, the prediction of his prophecy, and the preliminary causes of an auspicious matrimonial union. When the trading was over, the caravan returned from Damascus.

Mysara explained the trip to Hazrat Khadijah bint Khuwaylid in detail, reporting the huge, unprecedented profits they had gained. She also spoke about Hazrat Mohammed's (saw) excellent character and his generosity, as well as his many other virtues manifested during this journey.

Upon hearing this and hearing about the predictions of a learned Jewish man about his divine character and his marriage with the most honorable woman of the Quraish, Hazrat Khadijah bint Khuwaylid not only started to cherish his love in her pure heart, but also came to realize that he was her ideal husband.

Also, her uncle, Warqa ibn Nawfal, had talked to her about the predictions of the last prophets and about the good news of his marriage with Hazrat Khadijah bint Khuwaylid. These words, too, added to her love and enthusiasm.

But how was she to talk to him about her desire and heavenly affection? This was not so easy for Hazrat Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, who was herself the most respected woman of the Quraish.

Hazrat Khadijah bint Khuwaylid's proposal of Marriage

Hazrat Khadijah bint Khuwaylid's proposal of MarriageHazrat Khadijah bint Khuwaylid asked Nafisa, who was her close friend and whom she always trusted with her secrets, to speak to Hazrat Mohammed (saw) about marriage. Nafisa went to him and asked, 'Why do you not get married?' He answered, 'My living conditions and financial situation do not allow me to get married'. Nafisa said, 'Will you agree to get married if this problem is solved and a rich, beautiful, and honorable woman from a well-known family asks you to marry her?'

Hazrat Mohammed (saw) asked, 'who is this woman you are talking about?' Nafisa answered, 'Hazrat Khadijah bint Khuwaylid'.

Hazrat Mohammed (saw) said, 'How is it possible? She has rejected the proposals of many of the Quraish aristocrats and rich men. Would she marry me?' Nafisa said, 'This union is possible and I will arrange it.'

When he (saw) became quite sure of Hazrat Khadijah bint Khuwaylid's inclination towards marriage with him, Hazrat Mohammed (saw) talked to his uncles about the matter. They were very pleased with this good news, and they attempted to arrange the marriage for their blessed nephew. And finally this auspicious marriage was celebrated with special ceremonies.

Hazrat Mohammed (saw) spent 25 years of his life with Hazrat Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, who was not only a loving wife for him, but also his best and most helpful mate. This period is considered to be the best period of his married life.

Some of the researchers have said that Hazrat Fatima al-Zahra (sa) was her only child; however, most scholars say that she had other children as well.

Hazrat Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, peace be upon her, was the first woman who believed in Hazrat Mohammed's (saw) divine prophecy. She chose to marry Hazrat Mohammed (saw) who was financially in a lower class. After marriage, she devoted all her wealth in spreading Islam. Hazrat Mohammed (saw) said: "Khadijah's wealth was the most useful wealth I ever had." In the 6th year after Hazrat Mohammed's (saw) appointment, when Muslims were surrounded in an area called "Sheb-E-Abu Talib", Hazrat Khadijah bint Khuwaylid used her wealth and power among Quraish to help surrounded Muslims. She spent all of her wealth for Muslims to the extent that before her demise, she had nothing left. As saying goes, "Islam did not rise except through Ali's sword and Khadijah's wealth."

Hazrat Khadijah bint Khuwaylid was so devoted to her husband and showed such great sympathy and self-sacrifice for him and for the promotion of his religion that not only did he love her dearly and respect her highly during her lifetime, but even after her death. Each time he remembered her, his blessed heart filled with sorrow and he wept at her loss. Hazrat Khadijah bint Khuwaylid's brilliant sun of life set at the age of 65 in 619 CE, ten years after the actualization of prophetic mission of Hazrat Mohammed (saw).

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Islamic Moral Stories is designed by Akramulla Syed Last Updated: Friday, February 12, 2010