Islam Encourages Learning which Encompasses Science, Wisdom, and Religion

In the Holy Quran, God speaks about the stages of man’s embryonic development:

 We created man from an extract of clay.  Then We made him as a drop in a place of settlement, firmly fixed.  Then We made the drop into an alaqah (leech, suspended thing, and blood clot), then We made the alaqah into a mudghah (chewed substance)… 1 (Quran, 23:12-14)

Literally, the Arabic word alaqah has three meanings: (1) leech, (2) suspended thing, and (3) blood clot.

In comparing a leech to an embryo in the alaqah stage, we find similarity between the two2 as we can see in figure 1.  Also, the embryo at this stage obtains nourishment from the blood of the mother, similar to the leech, which feeds on the blood of others.3

 

Figure 1: Drawings illustrating the similarities in appearance between a leech and a human embryo at the alaqah stage. (Leech drawing from Human Development as Described in the Quran and Sunnah, Moore and others, p. 37, modified from Integrated Principles of Zoology, Hickman and others.  Embryo drawing from The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 73.)

The second meaning of the word alaqah is “suspended thing.”  This is what we can see in figures 2 and 3, the suspension of the embryo, during the alaqah stage, in the womb of the mother.

Figure 2: We can see in this diagram the suspension of an embryo during the alaqah stage in the womb (uterus) of the mother. (The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 66.)  (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

Figure 3: In this photomicrograph, we can see the suspension of an embryo (marked B) during the alaqah stage (about 15 days old) in the womb of the mother.  The actual size of the embryo is about 0.6 mm. (The Developing Human, Moore, 3rd ed., p. 66, from Histology, Leeson and Leeson.)

The third meaning of the word alaqah is “blood clot.”  We find that the external appearance of the embryo and its sacs during the alaqah stage is similar to that of a blood clot.  This is due to the presence of relatively large amounts of blood present in the embryo during this stage4 (see figure 4).  Also during this stage, the blood in the embryo does not circulate until the end of the third week.5  Thus, the embryo at this stage is like a clot of blood.

 

Figure 4: Diagram of the primitive cardiovascular system in an embryo during the alaqah stage.  The external appearance of the embryo and its sacs is similar to that of a blood clot, due to the presence of relatively large amounts of blood present in the embryo. (The Developing Human, Moore, 5th ed., p. 65.)  (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

So the three meanings of the word alaqah correspond accurately to the descriptions of the embryo at the alaqah stage.

The next stage mentioned in the verse is the mudghah stage.  The Arabic word mudghah means “chewed substance.”  If one were to take a piece of gum and chew it in his or her mouth and then compare it with an embryo at the mudghah stage, we would conclude that the embryo at the mudghah stage acquires the appearance of a chewed substance.  This is because of the somites at the back of the embryo that “somewhat resemble teethmarks in a chewed substance.”6 (see figures 5 and 6).

Figure 5: Photograph of an embryo at the mudghah stage (28 days old).  The embryo at this stage acquires the appearance of a chewed substance, because the somites at the back of the embryo somewhat resemble teeth marks in a chewed substance.  The actual size of the embryo is 4 mm. (The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 82, from Professor Hideo Nishimura, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.)

Figure 6: When comparing the appearance of an embryo at the mudghah stage with a piece of gum that has been chewed, we find similarity between the two.


A) Drawing of an embryo at the mudghah stage.  We can see here the somites at the back of the embryo that look like teeth marks. (The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 79.)
B) Photograph of a piece of gum that has been chewed.
(Click on the image to enlarge it.)

How could Muhammad  have possibly known all this 1400 years ago, when scientists have only recently discovered this using advanced equipment and powerful microscopes which did not exist at that time?  Hamm and Leeuwenhoek were the first scientists to observe human sperm cells (spermatozoa) using an improved microscope in 1677 (more than 1000 years after Muhammad ).  They mistakenly thought that the sperm cell contained a miniature preformed human being that grew when it was deposited in the female genital tract.7

Professor Emeritus Keith L. Moore8 is one of the world’s most prominent scientists in the fields of anatomy and embryology and is the author of the book entitled The Developing Human, which has been translated into eight languages.  This book is a scientific reference work and was chosen by a special committee in the United States as the best book authored by one person.  Dr. Keith Moore is Professor Emeritus of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.  There, he was Associate Dean of Basic Sciences at the Faculty of Medicine and for 8 years was the Chairman of the Department of Anatomy.  In 1984, he received the most distinguished award presented in the field of anatomy in Canada, the J.C.B. Grant Award from the Canadian Association of Anatomists.  He has directed many international associations, such as the Canadian and American Association of Anatomists and the Council of the Union of Biological Sciences.

In 1981, during the Seventh Medical Conference in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, Professor Moore said: “It has been a great pleasure for me to help clarify statements in the Quran about human development.  It is clear to me that these statements must have come to Muhammad from God, because almost all of this knowledge was not discovered until many centuries later.  This proves to me that Muhammad must have been a messenger of God.”9  (To view the RealPlayer video of this comment click here Video Clip).

Consequently, Professor Moore was asked the following question: “Does this mean that you believe that the Quran is the word of God?”  He replied: “I find no difficulty in accepting this.”10

During one conference, Professor Moore stated: “….Because the staging of human embryos is complex, owing to the continuous process of change during development, it is proposed that a new system of classification could be developed using the terms mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah (what Muhammad  said, did, or approved of). 

The proposed system is simple, comprehensive, and conforms with present embryological knowledge.  The intensive studies of the Quran and hadeeth (reliably transmitted reports by the Prophet Muhammad’s  companions of what he said, did, or approved of) in the last four years have revealed a system for classifying human embryos that is amazing since it was recorded in the seventh century A.D. 

Although Aristotle, the founder of the science of embryology, realized that chick embryos developed in stages from his studies of hen’s eggs in the fourth century B.C., he did not give any details about these stages.  As far as it is known from the history of embryology, little was known about the staging and classification of human embryos until the twentieth century.  For this reason, the descriptions of the human embryo in the Quran cannot be based on scientific knowledge in the seventh century.  The only reasonable conclusion is: these descriptions were revealed to Muhammad from God.  He could not have known such details because he was an illiterate man with absolutely no scientific training.”11  (View the RealPlayer video of this comment Video Clip).

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The Quran on the Origin of the Universe

The science of modern cosmology, observational and theoretical, clearly indicates that, at one point in time, the whole universe was nothing but a cloud of ‘smoke’ (i.e. an opaque highly dense and hot gaseous composition).

This is one of the undisputed principles of standard modern cosmology. Scientists now can observe new stars forming out of the remnants of that ‘smoke’ (see figures 10 and 11).

Figure 10: A new star forming out of a cloud of gas and dust (nebula), which is one of the remnants of the ‘smoke’ that was the origin of the whole universe. (The Space Atlas, Heather and Henbest, p. 50.)

 

Figure 11: The Lagoon nebula is a cloud of gas and dust, about 60 light years in diameter. It is excited by the ultraviolet radiation of the hot stars that have recently formed within its bulk. (Horizons, Exploring the Universe, Seeds, plate 9, from Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc.) (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

 

The illuminating stars we see at night were, just as was the whole universe, in that ‘smoke’ material. God has said in the Quran:

Then He turned to the heaven when it was smoke… (Quran, 41:11)

Because the earth and the heavens above (the sun, the moon, stars, planets, galaxies, etc.) have been formed from this same ‘smoke,’ we conclude that the earth and the heavens were one connected entity. Then out of this homogeneous ‘smoke,’ they formed and separated from each other. God has said in the Quran:

Have not those who disbelieved known that the heavens and the earth were one connected entity, then We separated them?… (Quran, 21:30)

Dr. Alfred Kroner is one of the world’s renowned geologists. He is Professor of Geology and the Chairman of the Department of Geology at the Institute of Geosciences, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany.

He said: “Thinking where Muhammad came from . . . I think it is almost impossible that he could have known about things like the common origin of the universe, because scientists have only found out within the last few years, with very complicated and advanced technological methods, that this is the case.”2

(To view the RealPlayer video of this comment click here Video Clip).

Also he said: “Somebody who did not know something about nuclear physics fourteen hundred years ago could not, I think, be in a position to find out from his own mind, for instance, that the earth and the heavens had the same origin.”3

(View the RealPlayer video of this comment Video Clip).

Source: http://www.islam-guide.com/frm-ch1-1-c.htm

Fasting and Its Wisdom

Fasting is a form of worship consisting in abstaining from food, drink, and sexual activity between dawn and sunset. This worship is performed every year over the lunar month of Ramadan for 29 or 30 days.

By training us for the qualities of patience, self-control and staying away from carnal desires – all of which qualities are a must in the struggle of life – fasting perfects our moral state. It is a shield that protects the honor and dignity of human beings from the never-ending urges of the carnal self for eating, drinking and copulating. Fasting also helps those who perform it reach moral beauties such as resoluteness, perseverance, contentment, determination, and patience.

By having us experience neediness and hunger, fasting reminds us of the value of the bounties upon us. Fasting consequently fills our hearts with praise and thanks to Allah as well as mercy and helpfulness towards His subjects. Thus, fasting is the most effective medicine in setting aside antisocial negativities such as grudge, jealousy, and envy.

It is no wonder that fasting was imposed as obligatory not just on this nation but also on prior ones. Allah the Exalted commands:

“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may learn self-restraint. Fasting is for a fixed number of days…” (Al-Baqara (The Cow), 2:183-184)

For fasting to be spiritually useful, one needs to strictly avoid misbehavior such as lying, slandering, backbiting, tale-bearing, swearing and cursing, fighting, and all kinds of bad acts and sins.

The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) recommends the believer who is fasting to show calm in the face of any rudeness. In this way the fasting person moves away from bad manners.

Fasting ensures that a person is healthier and more productive. We can observe this in trees. Trees fall asleep in the winter after dropping all their leaves, they do not even accept water into their roots until spring comes and ice melts. After these few months of fasting, when spring arrives, trees achieve greater productivity as can be observed from the abundance of leaves and flowers.

Even minerals need fasting. Engines and machines are stopped after they work for a long while. This resting helps them regain their earlier strength.

The medical community informs us that fasting fewer than thirty days would not be effective and fasting more than forty days would become habitual and would not be as beneficial as giving a break to eating and drinking in certain periods. In recent times with a new healing method practiced in the West, chronic illnesses are healed by short or long-term fasting depending on the situation of the patient.

Fasting also helps mental and spiritual characteristics work healthier.
Let’s also remember that the purpose of fasting is not to torture the body and put it under undue burden. The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) recommended to wake up for the ritual pre-dawn meal (sahur) when fasting and to hasten in breaking the fast when the sun sets (iftar).

Thus, the real goal of fasting is to fulfill the duty of being a subject to Allah, to tame the carnal self and achieve piety, and to form an environment with which Allah would be pleased by improving the individual and the society.

Source: Expert from The Final Divine Religion: Islam by Dr. Murat Kaya

Why Did Prophet Muhammad Married Aisha When She Was Only 9?

1-It was a divine inspiration:

Before describing the rationale behind this married relation, let it be known that the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) married Sayyida Aisha not of his own desire rather it was a Divine inspiration. Read the following Hadith;

Narrated ‘Aisha:

That the Prophet said to her, “You have been shown to me twice in my dream. I saw you pictured on a piece of silk and some-one said (to me). ‘This is your wife.’ When I uncovered the picture, I saw that it was yours. I said, ‘If this is from Allah, it will be done.” {Bukhari :: Volume 5 :: Book 58 :: Hadith 235}

2-It was not out of his physical desires:

The Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) did not marry Sayyidah Aisha out of his physical desires. One need to note that for first 54 years of his life he had only one wife. His only wife till 50th year of his life was Sayyida Khadija. He spent his entire youth with her and she was a two time widowed woman, 15 years elder to him. For next four years his only wife was Sayyidah Sa’uda.

3-Age of Marriage in Old Ages:

One must first understand that 1400 years ago was very different than now, times have changed and so have humans. 1400 years ago it was something very common to marry young girls, in fact they were not considered young girls, and rather they were considered young women back then. It is a historic fact that girls from the ages of 9 to 14 were being married in Europe, Asia, and Africa, in fact even in the United States girls at the age of 10 were also being married just more than a century ago.

Yet with these facts no historian claims that all these people were sick perverts, historians would call anyone who made such a claim to be arrogant and very stupid who has no grasp or understanding of history.

Even in Indo-Pak Sub-Continent girls used to be married at 12-13 even 50-60 years ago. And those ‘girls’ infact raised much better families. There were less family problems then. A simple analyses of the divorce rate then and know would certainly make it clear that maturity level earlier used to be different i.e. people used to come of age rather quickly.

4-Child Brides in Byzantine Empire:

http://www.roman-emperors.org/aggiefran.htm

Visit this link to see how common were the child brides in the Byzantine Empire.This article clearly states;”Child brides, whether Byzantines or foreign princesses, were the norm rather than the exception, especially from the late twelfth century”.

5-The Pagans of the Prophet’s time:

The fact that it was a completely acceptable thing can also be seen from the response of the pagans at that time. No Muslim or even pagan objected to the marriage because it was widely practiced. And even until today in 3rd world countries (Muslims and non-Muslims), little girls as young as 9 or 10 do get married. Anyway, the reason no one objected was to the Prophet’s marriage was:1-People used to have very short life-spans in Arabia. They used to live between 40 to 60 years maximum. So it was only normal and natural for girls to be married off at ages 9 or 10 or similar.2-Marriage for young girls was widely practiced among Arabs back then, and even today in many non-Muslim and Muslim countries

6-Engagement with Jubair bin Mutim:

It ought also be noted that Sayyidah Aisha ( RA) was engaged to Jubayr son of Mut’im before Prophet Muhammed (Peace be upon him. This indicates the age of marriage and engagement in Prophet’s time. However, the engagement was later nullified by Jubayr’s parents due to Abu Bakr (RA) embracing Islam.Doesn’t this indicate there was nothing bad in marrying a 9 year girl at that time?She must have been even younger when she was engaged to Jubair

7-Sayyidah Aisha was fit for marriage:

Furthermore as to the Holy Prophet’s marriage with Sayyidah Aisha, something people will notice is that the completion of the marriage was done when Sayyidah Aisha was 9 years old, not when she was 6, and there is a reason for that. The reason why this happened is because Sayyidah Aisha had been through puberty by the age of 9, and in Islam a female who under-goes puberty is considered a lady and is fit for marriage.
If we read the hadiths, we find that right before Sayyidah Aisha got married off to the Holy Prophet that she was sick and not feeling too well:

Narrated Sayyidah Aisha:

The Prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six (years). We went to Medina and stayed at the home of Bani-al-Harith bin Khazraj then I got ill and my hair fell down. Later on my hair grew (again) and my mother, Um Ruman, came to me while I was playing in a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me, and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She caught me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. I was breathless then, and when my breathing became all right, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said, “Best wishes and Allah’s Blessing and a good luck.” Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah’s Apostle came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of age.” {Sahih Bukhari Volume 5, Book 58, Number 234}

So as we can see, Sayyidah Aisha got ill and her body was going through some changes, indicating that she was going through her puberty.

8-Sayyida Aisha never showed her displeasure:

Another striking thing to observe is that among hundreds of her narrations there is not even a single one showing her displeasure about this marriage. Hence, she had no problem with this relation. Infect it is manifest from several traditions that she loved the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) too much and even felt some sort of jealousy when she found others around him. Does this not prove that she was extremely happy about this marriage? So, when she herself had no problem at all then what’s the matter of concern for others?

9-A 9-year old Thai girl gave birth:

A 9 old girl can become a mother. If you don’t believe me then see here is the proof;

The news item is from the New Straits Times, 10/3/2001.

In our world today, we still have people who marry very young girls. Why should we object to someone who married a 9-year old girl 1400 years ago, when we still practice it today? The girl above even gave birth at the age of 9!

10-It was absolutely legal:

Prophet Muhammad’s marriage with Aisha was 100% legal and acceptable by all laws and Divine Religions. It is important to know that girls during the Biblical and Islamic days used to be married off at young ages when they either had their first periods, or their breasts start showing off. In other words, when they turn into “women”, then they get married off. It was quite different for men on the other hand, because physical power and the ability of living an independent life had always been and will always be a mandatory requirement for men to have in life. So men waited much longer than women in terms of getting married. The guy had to develop both his body and mind before he was ready for marriage. That is why you see girls as young as 9 or 10 were married to men as old as 30 or even older. The culture back then and in many of the world countries today (NON-MUSLIM ONES TOO) is quite different than what you live in today.And there is no divine law which is broken in marrying a girl of nine at any costs.

11-Her parents never objected:

Sayyidah Aisha’s mother and the Muslim women back then were O.K with her marriage. It was part of the Arab custom and still is in many of the Muslim and non-Muslim countries today for girls to marry at a very young age. When a girl’s body starts showing up (her breasts and her height and physical size), then she would be ready for marriage
The only reason why Sayyidah Aisha’s father, Abu Baker Al Sidique, broke her engagement with Jober is because he was a non-Muslim. Later, a woman named Kholeah Bint Hakeem suggested for Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him to marry Sayyidah Aisha, because the Prophet and Abu Baker became best friends. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) engaged Sayyidah Aisha for 3 years before he married her.

12-Muslims never concealed it:

Had there been any bad thinking regarding this marriage in minds of the people at that time. Muslims would have tried there best to conceal at that time. But they didn’t.

13-Refuting unjust Pagan views:

There were many baseless traditions in practice among the Arabs in those days. So Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was usually ordered by the Almighty ALLAH to refute such traditions through personal examples. Similar is the case of Prophet Muhammad’s marriage with Umm al Momineen Aisha (R.A.)

1-For a bad omen, Arab considered Shawwal a month prohibited for marriage. Sayyidah A’isha’s betrothal and departure from her parent’s house took place in Shawwal. This changed the ridiculous custom.

2-Another bad custom was that the Arabs did not give the hands of their daughters to those who they “called” their brothers (though were not actual brothers). This was the objection raised by Abu Bakr himself, when the Prophet (peace be upon him) made the proposal. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) then told him that a brother in faith was not an actual blood brother to be placed in the prohibited category.

14-Great Wisdom behind this marriage:

Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) marriage with Sayyidah Aisha at that age was indeed a great blessings for all the Muslims ever since. Most of the matters related to cleanliness, married relationship and other household issues have been cleared due to her narrations. She lived a long time after the death of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and continued to teach the Ummah about matters of daily routine and great importance.

15-What was Sayyidah Aisha famous for ??

Well what was her specialty? I ask the critics.

Was it beauty?

Was it wealth?

No it was religion!Thus proving the DIVINE LOGIC.

Arwa Bin Zubair says, “I did not find anyone more proficient (than Aisha ) in the knowledge of the Holy Quran, the Commandments of Halal (lawful) and Haram (prohibited), Ilmul-Ansab and Arabic poetry. That is why, even senior companions of the Prophet used to consult Aisha in resolving intricate issues”.
(Jala-ul-Afham by Ibn Qaiyem and Ibn Sa’ad, Vol.2, p.26)

Also see this;

Abu Musa al-Ashari says: “Never had we (the companions) any difficulty for the solution of which we approached Aisha and did not get some useful information from her”. (Sirat-I-Aisha, on the authority of Trimidhi, pg. 163)

INDEED ALLAH KNOWS THE BEST!!!

Khadijah(ra): A Case Study in Libertarian Feminism.

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Khadija umm ul’ muminin (r.A), the first and most beloved wife of the Prophet Muhammad (saws), a shinning example for post modern women. Particularly those strong, independent Muslim women with an entrepreneurial spirit. I see her as one of histories finest examples of libertarian feminism in action.

In a society dominated by men, where most women were treated as a little more than chattel, Khadija excelled. Not only did she excel as a woman in a male dominated society. she dominated her male counterparts in the usually exclusive area of commerce. How was she able to do this? Was it through a state apparatus mandating gender based pay or hiring quotas? No.was it through the power and influence of the Prophet (saws)? No, Khadija (ra) passed long before hijra and Muhammad (saws)’s political ascension. Some if not  many, will argue it was by circumstance. That her previous marriage had left her in a state to make this all possible. which may be right only partially. It was her abilities dedication and intuitiveness that made her a commercial power house in 7th century Arabia. Anyone can run a successful business and run it into the ground, it takes talent, foresight and hard work to inherit a successful business and make it better.

In a society where modern Liberal Feminism teaches that immodesty is equal to power, and that rejecting if not destroying traditional family gender roles, is synonymous with liberation. Khadija offers a historic refutation of this mindset, she was able to do the all the ‘empowered modern woman’ seeks to do and she did it without the force of the state, without rejecting her societal role as a woman. And she did it without compromising her modesty or integrity. she accomplished all this through the strength of her own character, making her far more inspirational than any NOW or CODE PINK spokesperson.

Starting soon iA, Muslims for Liberty, with the assistance of our new female writer, will begin releasing installments in a new 3-4 part series on the life of The Mother of the Believers Khadija bint Khuwaylid (rA). Each part will deal with a specific aspect of her life from personal to business and commerce. We hope to offer  a unique, educational, and eye opening look into the life of this truly powerful woman from Islamic history.

Khadija Umm ul Muminin: Strength, Character, Intellect: Defining Strong Women.

Written by ‘Amira Mustafa’

Khadija umm ul muminin (r.a), one of the most extraordinary and inspiring women of her time, and she is the epitome of independence for postmodern women.

What makes this woman so special?

Born in 7th century Arabia, in a society that favored men and treated women as mere chattel Khadija (r.a) broke the stereotypical gender roles placed on women well before the existence of the feminist movement. She managed her own business, supported her family alone and maintained her modesty all within a culture dominated by men.

This was a society where customarily a man would take his new born daughter into the woods, put her in a hole, throw dirt on her till she was covered and her cries could be heard no more; her crime? She was not born a male.

This is a backward society where the oppression of women was widely accepted and practiced with no laws to uphold her basic human rights.

How is it that a woman such as Khadija (r.a) was able to succeed and live on her own terms in a backward society such as pre-Islamic Arabia? She had strength, integrity and wisdom well beyond her years, qualities that qualified her as the best candidate to eventually be the mother of believers and the pillar of strength for the Prophet (saw) later in life.

From her childhood Khadija possessed noble qualities and a patient heart. She grew up into a pious, quiet, intelligent young woman. Due to her moral virtues she was often referred to as ‘Taahirah’ (pure/virtuous one), she was also known for her compassionate heart and generosity as she used her wealth to help the poor, the needy, the widows and the orphans.

Her father was a well-known chief of Makkah, a successful merchant and a leader of one of the most powerful tribes amongst the Quraish was her guardian and teacher. It is no secret that because of her noble back ground and respectable reputation she became one of the most sought after women in Makkah.

She married Young, to a merchant named Abu Hallah, she remained happy with him and gave birth to 2 children. A few years later Abu Hallah became ill and died, Khadijah was overcome with grief at the loss of her husband. Later she married Ateeq ibn Aziz a rich merchant, they lived happily together but he too passed away during his business trip to Syria, leaving her a widow once more. Several respected and influential men of the Quraish tried to seek her hand in marriage, but after the loss of her second husband she resolved that she would not marry again and decided to live an independent life. Shortly after the death of her husband, her father passed away. This was a great loss to Khadija, and she now took it upon herself to run the business herself.

In order to run the business successfully Khadija employed trade agents to travel with her trade caravans and trade on her behalf in return for commission on the sales. She worked hard and soon earned the reputation of an intelligent merchant and a woman of great dignity and wealth. While some would dismiss this accomplishment based on the fact that Khadija inherited her wealth and business I would like to point out that running a successful business and maintaining a profit is no easy feat. Anybody can inherit a lot of money, but not everybody can manage and maintain it. Just ask MC Hammer. Business guru Donald trump himself has filed bankruptcy at least 4 times, yet in 7th century Arabia we have a single woman running a successful business that not only made a sizeable profit but was the top business in a male dominated industry. “It is said that when Banu Quraish’s  trade caravans gathered to embark on their lengthy journey either to Syria during the summer or Yemen in the winter, Khadija’s caravan equaled the caravans of all the Quraish put together.”

In a time where there were no schools or universities teaching the art of business and commerce, where women were discouraged from becoming educated and self-reliant, Khadija (r.a) is a shining example of independence and intelligence. She was a self-taught business professional who managed and controlled her own wealth and did not allow cultural standards to dictate the way she lived her life.

It was her wisdom and keen observation skills that lead her to hire the Prophet (saws) as her agent in the caravan business. She sent her servant Maisarah to assist him and be his book keeper, and upon their return Khadija was surprised to see that the profits she reaped were much more than she anticipated. Her servant Maisarah awestruck by Muhammad (s.a.w.s) recounted his extraordinary experience during their journey and sang his praises. Impressed by his exceptional character and shy demeanor she grew fond of him and hinted to a confidant , Nafisa, to find out if he would be interested in her. A strong, independent, wealthy woman with rich powerful men vying for her hand in marriage Khadija once again tears down conventional cultural standards and proposes to a man much younger than her with no wealth of his own and offers to support him herself. Clearly this is a woman that does what she wants, even now, such an arrangement is subject to criticism from all cultures. How many people would scoff at such an arrangement? Can you imagine the media frenzy if Oprah Winfrey decided to marry a broke sheep herder with no formal education? Even today, 600 years later in a time where women are the majority in the workforce and are free to exhort their independence such a relationship is criticized and the woman is labeled with derogatory terms such as a ‘door mat’ or ‘sugar momma’ in a weak attempt to delegitimize a loving relationship. Yet Khadija (r.a) a shy, modest woman chooses to ignore social propriety and proposes to a man below her social class without even batting an eye.

After marriage, and faced with difficulty Khadija r.a. remained a pillar of strength for her husband, when he was would retreat to the Cave of Hira she supported him and understood that he was distraught over the moral degeneration in Makkah. She continued to run her business and maintained her powerful status in society while loving and caring for her family. When her husband ran to her terrified after receiving the first revelation in the cave, he went to her for comfort and to seek her wise counsel. This is a great relationship of true love; he respected her and sought her advice first and foremost above anyone else in his family. And even though she knew hard times were approaching she did not recede her support, in fact she increased her support and held her composure. While he was frantic she comforted him and offered to take him to someone that would know more about what he had seen.

 

‘The Prophet (SAW) feared he was losing his mind or being possessed. Khadijah (RA) put all his fears to rest:

“Do not worry,” she said, “for by Him who has dominion over Khadijah’s soul, I hope that you are the Prophet of this nation. Allah would never humiliate you, for you are good to your relatives, you are true to your word, you help those who are in need, you support the weak, you feed the guest and you answer the call of those who are in distress.”

She then took him to her cousin, Waraqah ibn Nawfal – a scholar well-versed in the Judeo-Christian scripture – and he confirmed to the Prophet (SAW) that his experience was Divine and he was to be the Last Prophet.’

She always reassured her husband when he was in trouble and faced adversity by reminding him of his virtues and assuring him that Allah would never forsake his righteous servants. She kept herself calm and did not panic or freak out whenever problems arose.

A woman with power and such a noble reputation could easily leave her husband and return to the luxury and acceptance she has been nurtured with all her life, yet she remained devoted to him through his troubled times, advised him and supported him when nobody else would.

Prophet Muhammad (saw) always remembered Khadija tul Kubra (r.a) and moaned,:

     “Never did Allah (SWT) give me a better wife than Khadija. She hailed my mission at a time when everybody shouted against it. She lent me the support of her conviction when there was hardly a believer. She enlivened my heart when I felt lonely and deserted. Khadija’s love was given to me by Allah (SWT). How could I forget her?”

Indeed, such a strong liberated woman with brains and beauty is the archetype of a loving life companion. This is the first person to embrace Islam, a woman. A woman with power, freedom, intelligence and independence chose by her own right to be the first Muslim to accept Islam and dedicated the rest of her life to its cause. She is truly the mother of believers, her strength and support is the back bone of the Islamic movement and its success.

‘She nursed it through its infancy, through its most difficult, and through its most formative years. Islam was given shape and design in her home. If any home can be called the cradle of Islam, it was her home. She “reared” Islam. If any home can be called the “axis” of Islam, it was her home; Islam revolved around her home’

As we face a society of moral decline, which pushes the idea that for a woman, to be successful, must conform to societal pressures to behave a certain way. That to be successful in a ‘man’s world’ a woman needs to disregard her femininity and adopt a cut throat masculine demeanor, or she might not survive.

Here we have an example of a woman who did it all without compromising her virtue her love for others kept her strong and resilient is it any wonder that she is revered by Muslims all over the world as one of the most important women in history.

“Narrated ‘Ali: The Prophet said,:

“The best of the world’s women is Mary (at her lifetime), and the best of the world’s women is Khadija (at her lifetime).”

(Sahih Bukhari: Book #58, Hadith #163)”

 

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