By Nigar Ataulla, New Age Islam
“The Story of Khadija, the First Muslim and the Wife of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh)” is a book by Saniyasnain Khan, the man who runs the Delhi-based Goodword Books, among India’s leading publishers of Islamic books. He also hosts a weekly TV programme, “Islam For Kids” on ETV Urdu, and has over 100 children’s book to his credit. He is the winner of this year’s Sharjah Children’s Book Award—which he won for precisely this book.
Although the book describes itself as being “for kids”, others, too, will love it. It provided me many new insights into the life of Hazrat Khadija (May God be pleased with her). I had read books and even heard some sermons before where the writer or speaker expounded on Hazrat Khadija’s many qualities and asked women to emulate her. Reading this book made me better understand why.
The book discusses in a very beautiful way the humane aspects of the Prophet’s first wife, her contribution to the Prophet’s life, and the moral and emotional support that she gave the Prophet before the announcement of his prophethood, and after that, too.
Reading the book, you will learn that Hazrat Khadija played a very prominent role in business, sending caravans with goods from Makkah to Syria. She took decisions on her own. She delegated work to others. She was never fearful of “what people would say.” In fact, the Prophet himself conducted business with her guidance.
When the Prophet was bestowed with the responsibility of calling people to Islam, he gave up his business activities and took up the task of preaching full-time. Hazrat Khadija placed all her wealth at his disposal, and her entire fortune was used in the cause of Islam. She was also personally involved in the task of spreading the message of God. She would arrange for meals where people met her and she would tell them about God’s message.
Among the many lovely things I learned from the book is that after the Prophet married Hazrat Khadija, his family life did not come in the way of his meditations. Often, he would sit in the cave atop Mount Hira, thinking and reflecting on life. Hazrat Khadija would send her little daughters with food and water so that he would not be hungry and thirsty. She gave the Prophet complete spiritual support, too.
You can better appreciate the lofty qualities of Hazrat Khadijah, as this book will tell you, when you learn about how, when the Quraysh discovered that the Prophet’s mission was growing stronger among the inhabitants of Makkah, they imposed a total social boycott on the Prophet’s family. The hatred of the Quraysh was so strong that soon the Prophet, Hazrat Khadija, their children, Abu Talib and his family and all those who accepted Islam were forced to leave their homes in Makkah. They had to take refuge in an open plot of land called Shi’b Abi Talib, just outside the town. They had to live in tents, like a refugee camp, for almost three years, facing hunger, disease and poverty. But Hazrat Khadija did not complain. She bore these difficulties with great patience and endurance. Her presence was a support to the Prophet. When Hazrat Khadija passed away, the Prophet was heartbroken and called that year, ‘the year of sorrow.’
The text of the book is accompanied by endearing illustrations of Arabian houses, tents, camels, caravans, pots, carpets, and jewellery that take you back to a distant period. While you reading the book, you feel you are almost there yourself!
Hazrat Khadija’s story brings out an invaluable lesson for each of us—of how to lead a purposeful life. Do not put away this book (if you don’t have children) or give it only to your kids to read (if you have them) just because it says it is “for kids”—you’ll discover, once you begin reading, that its appeal transcends all barriers of age.
Read the book in solitude and silence if you want to experience a feeling of being part of the desert dunes, camels, the Makkan houses, the starry skies, and then realize how Hazrat Khadija teaches us, through her amazing story, the purpose of life.
You can get the book by writing to Goodword Books, 1, Nizamuddin West Market, New Delhi-110013. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org