When talking about female inspiration and empowerment, who better to look at other than the one whose character, personality, and faith were so exceptional that to this day, she is called 'The Best of Women' & 'The Mother of the Believers'
A mother we have never seen nor heard, a mother we may have never regarded as our mother, a strong and devoted mother whose name is Khadijah Bint Khuwaylid (R.A). Khadijah (R.A) was the first-ever Muslim to exist on Earth, the first to believe in Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) 's Prophethood, and his first and most beloved wife.
There is so much to learn from Khadijah (R.A) 's life, it will be impossible for us to cover everything, but we will attempt to highlight a few lessons or teachings from which we can gain some inspiration and hopefully embed into our lives to grow stronger as a true Mominah. The following highlights how Khadijah (R.A) taught us to be empowered through modesty.
1. TAQWA, THROUGH MODESTY
As described by scholars, Taqwa means "God-fearing Piety," or simply put, Taqwa is to follow the commandments of Allah in the best possible manner. Khadijah (R.A) had the quality of Taqwa so powerfully embedded in her nature that she was amongst the exceptional few who lived a straight life even in the days of jahiliyyah (ignorance) before Islam was introduced. Khadijah (R.A) guarded herself against the immoral practices and social standards of her society rather than falling victim to society's social pressures and prevalent trends. She kept herself away from sin and withheld her nobility, integrity, generosity, intelligence, and faithfulness. As an example, people of her time worshipped idols, but Khadijah (R.A) knew better than to take part in such an act.
2. BUSINESS THROUGH MODESTY
Khadijah (R.A) inherited her parent's wealth and business. After their passing, she continued to run the business and hired trustworthy men to maintain her trades. This may seem like something small now, but back in that era when women had no education nor social status, Khadijah (R.A) became a role model for Arab women. Through her hard work, wisdom, intelligence, and integrity, Khadijah (R.A) transformed her business into one of the greatest businesses in Makkah. Khadijah (R.A) succeeded in a male-dominant society without ever compromising her modesty or integrity. Through this, Khadijah (R.A) achieved the reputation of 'al-Tahira' (The Pure One).
3. LOYALTY, LOVE, AND COMPASSION THROUGH MODESTY
Khadijah (R.A) was one of the wealthiest women in the Arabian Peninsula. However, it is narrated that when she passed away, there was not even a piece of bread in her house. Why? Because Khadijah (R.A) sacrificed her wealth in the way of Islam. She went above and beyond by giving all that she had in the way of Allah. She put her husband's needs before her comfort or luxuries. Instead of complaining about her situation, Khadijah (R.A) continued to support her husband because she truly believed in spreading Allah's word. Khadijah (R.A) was the one who enabled and encouraged the Prophet (S.A.W) to spread his message to the people. She supported the Prophet (S.A.W) emotionally, spiritually, and financially. She offered her wealth and status in society to help him and Islam. Khadijah (R.A) was there for the Prophet (S.A.W) during his most challenging times, never falling short of her love, faith, support, or encouragement.
On one occasion, when asked about Khadijah (R.A), the Prophet said, "She believed in me when nobody else did, she embraced Islam when people disbelieved me, and she helped and comforted me when there was none to lend me a helping hand." As a result of her immense courage, support, and faith, the Prophet (S.A.W) loved no one more than Khadijah (R.A) during his lifetime.
Not only did she give in the way of Allah and the Prophet (S.A.W), but she was also compassionate and dedicated to helping the poor and needy. She supported orphans, widows, and the sick and even helped poor girls get married and prepared their dowry.
Undoubtedly, Khadijah (R.A) was one of history's most remarkable women. She is an excellent role model for Muslimahs, one from whom we can take so much inspiration. Her modesty, piety, loyalty, courage, compassion, and resiliency show us what amazing things a woman can accomplish without compromising their modest individuality. She will remain a timeless example of strong & empowered, modest women.