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#19: Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها: The First Believer

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بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم
الحمد لله رب العالمين الذي منّ علی المؤمنين اذ بعث فيهم رسولا من انفسهم يتلوا عليهم ايته و يزكيهم و يعلمهم الكتاب و الحكمة و ان كانوا من قبلُ لفي ضلال مّبين

After the Prophet’s ﷺ first encounter with Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام, he ﷺ rushed towards Makkah. His blessed heart was racing and filled with pure awe and majesty due to the Qur’aan that was now preserved within it. Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها was waiting in their home when suddenly, she saw the Prophet ﷺ rush inside in a frightened and shocked state. The Prophet ﷺ called out to her:

زَمِّلُونِي زَمِّلُونِی

“Cover me! Cover me!”

Sayyidah Khadijah RA rushed to cover the Prophet ﷺ in a blanket and console him ﷺ until he felt calmer. The Prophet ﷺ then addressed her and told her the shocking events of the cave as he ﷺ said:

لَقَدْ خَشِيتُ عَلَى نَفْسِی

“I fear that something may happen to me.”

Though the events were clear and undeniable, the Prophet ﷺ was extremely worried. In addition to the unbearable power of the Qur’aan in his heart, the effect of the Tajalliyy (Manifestation of Divine Glory) was coursing through his body. Exposure to the realities of the spiritual realm and – even more so – being in contact with Allah سبحانه و تعالی in any form is extremely powerful and can feel absolutely unbearable for a normal human being. In fact, on the day of judgement, even the mighty prophets such as Sayyidinaa Aadam – Nooh – Ibraahim – Musa – ‘Isa علیهم السلام will all not be able to address Allah سبحانه و تعالی, due to the infinite might, power and majesty of the Lord of the Worlds. Yet this was no ordinary human being, nor just a Prophet, he ﷺ was the greatest of creation and the leaders of all the Prophets ﷺ. His heart and body were being initiated to bear heights of Divine Majesty that no other creation was destined to.

Nevertheless, this was the first time he ﷺ experienced such a phenomenon, which out of this world. The Prophet ﷺ knew the enormous weight of Prophethood, to bear the responsibility of conveying the words of Allah ﷺ to mankind, and to fulfil your Fardh (Obligation) to your creator when it seems impossible that people will listen. In addition, the Prophet’s ﷺ immense humility would naturally mean that he ﷺ would not jump to conclusions and see himself as worthy of such greatness, though – in reality – there was no one more worthy in all of creation. Owing to these factors, the Prophet ﷺ was frightened and extremely worried about what just happened.

Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها, understood this and Allah سبحانه و تعالی placed it in her heart to say exactly what His beloved Prophet ﷺ needed to hear:

كَلاَّ وَاللَّهِ مَا يُخْزِيكَ اللَّهُ أَبَدًا۔ إِنَّكَ لَتَصِلُ الرَّحِمَ، وَتَحْمِلُ الْكَلَّ، وَتَكْسِبُ الْمَعْدُومَ، وَتَقْرِي الضَّيْفَ، وَتُعِينُ عَلَى نَوَائِبِ الْحَقِّ

“Never! By Allah! Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good relations with your relatives, you help the poor and the destitute, you honour your guests generously and assist those rightfully in need amidst calamity.”

With these words, Allah سبحانه و تعالی granted Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها immense resolute and guided to her to rise and take the Prophet ﷺ to the one whom Allah سبحانه و تعالی had placed in their vicinity for the purpose of this night.

Tٓo The House of the Waraqah

The vicinity of Makkah – though founded by Sayyidinaa Ibraahim علیه السلام – was drowned by paganism, with no trace of divine scripture or any Abrahamic faiths. In addition to this, they only spoke Arabic, whilst the remains of all Prophetic scripture were in non-Arab languages such as Aramaic or Syriac. Furthermore, a lot of people did not even have a high level of literacy in their own language of Arabic, let alone reading ancient scripture. Yet, Allah سبحانه و تعالی had placed one man in this vicinity, whose life was prolonged for the sake of this day. A man who Allah سبحانه و تعالی guided to learn the language of Abrahamic scripture, and allowed him access to study them. Scriptures which were filled with the prophecies of the Final Messenger, and the Final Revelation of Allah سبحانه و تعالی, as every prophet had foretold their nation. Scriptures which contained verses such as:

לאחר הגלות לבבל: יכניה היה אביו של שאלתיאל; שאלתיאל היה אביו של זרובבל;

أَوْ يُدْفَعُ ٱلْكِتَابُ لِمَنْ لَا يَعْرِفُ ٱلْكِتَابَةَ وَيُقَالُ لَهُ: ٱقْرَأْ هَذَا. فَيَقُولُ: لَا أَعْرِفُ ٱلْكِتَابَةَ

“Then the book shall be delivered to him who is unlettered, saying, “Read this.” And he shall say, “I cannot read.” (The Bible, The Book of the Prophet Isaiah, 29:12)

Such verses which had been preserved from thousands of years before the life of the Prophet ﷺ, and continue to be till this day. This man would be studying such scriptures, in the extremity of old age. Unbeknown to him, Allah سبحانه و تعالی had chosen him and made him live long enough to witness to this night of power. This man, was none other than Waraqah ibn Nawfal, the cousin of Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها.

Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها arrived at the house of Waraqah at this hour of night. She entered with the Prophet ﷺ and explained to Waraqah in regards to what happened. Waraqah then asked the Prophet ﷺ for his account of what had transpired in the cave and what he ﷺ saw. Waraqah had become frail and lost his eyesight in his extreme old age, yet as soon as he heard this, he became elated and exclaimed:

هَذَا النَّامُوسُ الَّذِي نَزَّلَ اللَّهُ عَلَى مُوسَى صلى الله عليه وسلم يَا لَيْتَنِي فِيهَا جَذَعًا، لَيْتَنِي أَكُونُ حَيًّا إِذْ يُخْرِجُكَ قَوْمُكَ

“This is the same Namus (a name given to Jibra’eel علیه السلام in the Jewish canon), whom Allah had sent to Moses! I wish I were young and could live up to the time when your people would turn you out!”

Hearing this was intriguing and alarming. In addition to the eventful nature of this night, the Prophet ﷺ had just been told that he would face such difficulty and challenges in his mission that his own people would exile him from the homeland of his father, away from Kaa’bah. The Prophet ﷺ naturally asked:

أَوَمُخْرِجِيَّ هُمْ  

“Will they drive me out?”

Waraqah replied:

قَالَ نَعَمْ، لَمْ يَأْتِ رَجُلٌ قَطُّ بِمِثْلِ مَا جِئْتَ بِهِ إِلاَّ عُودِيَ، وَإِنْ يُدْرِكْنِي يَوْمُكَ أَنْصُرْكَ نَصْرًا مُؤَزَّرًا

“Yes, never has a man come with the likes of what you have brought, except he was treated with hostility; and if I should remain alive till the day when you will be turned out then I would support you strongly.”

Waraqah then kissed the blessed forehead of the Prophet ﷺ as their meeting came to a close. (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Ibn Hisham, Ibn Ishaaq)

After this night, Waraqah passed away within a very short period of time, and the Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said regarding him:

رأيت ورقة على نهر من أنهار الجنة

“I saw Waraqah, by a river from the rivers of Jannah” (Zurqani, Bayhaqi)

In addition to meeting with Waraqah, Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها strove to become such a pillar of support to the Prophet ﷺ, that she continued her search through the night to find further clarity and ease for the heart of the Prophet ﷺ. Through her endeavours she came to know of a man called Addas, a slave who would work in the grapevines outside of Makkah that belonged to one of the elite leaders of Makkah: Utbah ibn Rabi’ah. She wished to seek answers from Addas who was a follower of the Christian faith, in the hope that he may know something additional about the events that had transpired. (Ibn Ishaaq)

The Mission Begins

As the night finally came to a close, the Prophet ﷺ and Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها could now return to their home, but their lives would never return to the way they were. Our Master Muhammad ﷺ was now the Prophet of Allah سبحانه و تعالی. His blessed heart contained the words of the Qur’aan, and possessed a growing recognition of Allah سبحانه و تعالی, besides whom there is none worthy of worship. His heart was increasing with pure love and yearning for the Lord of the Worlds سبحانه و تعالی, who chose him as his Final Prophet and Messenger.

Mean whilst, Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها was now the wife of the final and greatest Prophet in all of mankind. She was blessed to be the first to hear the glad-tidings of Prophethood, and the first to believe in them, as her heart was filled with Imaan (Faith) since the moment she heard the words of the Prophet ﷺ. She was now the First Believer to proclaim:

لَا اِلٰهَ اِلَّا اللّٰه مُحَمّدٌ رَسُوْلُ اللّٰه

“There is no god but Allah! Muhammad ﷺ is the Messenger of Allah!”

Join us tomorrow as we continue with our next article: “The Dawn of Prophethood”

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