The Greatest Love Story
On Valentine's Day, I'm reminded of what true love is by remembering the marriage of the Prophet Muhammad and Khadijah.
But with Khadijah, it was just about love and respect. After he married her he remained loyal to her until she breathed her last. He took no other wives during their long married life. His loyalty and undying commitment to her is an example of what true love is.
Khadijah, likewise, was a source of immense love, strength, and comfort for the Prophet Muhammad, and he leaned heavily on her on the most important night of his life, when the Angel Gabriel first came to him with a message from God.
As the story goes, while the Prophet Muhammad was meditating in cave of Hira, the Angel Gabriel came to him, revealed the first verses of the Qur'an, and declared to him that he was to be a prophet. The experience terrified the Prophet Muhammad, and he ran home, and sought refuge in his wife’s arms crying, "Cover me! Cover me!" Khadijah was startled by his terror, and after soothing and comforting him, the Prophet calmed down and related to her his experience. He feared he was going mad or being possessed.
Khadijah 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 that his experience was Divine, and he was to be the Last Prophet.
After his ministry began and the opposition of his people became harsh and brutal, Khadijah was always there to support the Prophet Muhammad, sacrificing all of her wealth to support her beloved husband and the cause of Islam. When the Prophet and his family were banished to the hills outside of Mecca, she went there with him. The three years of hardship and deprivation eventually led to her death. The Prophet Muhammad mourned her deeply, and even after her death, the Prophet would send food and support to Khadijah's friends and relatives, out of love for his first wife.
Once, years after Khadijah died, he came across a necklace that she once wore. When he saw it, he remembered her and began to cry and mourn. His love for her never died, so much so, that his last wife, A'isha, became jealous of her. Once she asked the Prophet if Khadijah had been the only woman worthy of his love. The Prophet replied: "She believed in me when no one else did; she accepted Islam when people rejected me; and she helped and comforted me when there was no one else to lend me a helping hand."