She is Umm al Mu’minin Sayyidah Khadijah bint Khuwaylid al Qurashiyyah al Asadiyyah radiya Llahu ‘anha, the wife of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the very first to attest to his Nubuwwah. She was the Queen of the women of the universe in her era and the mother of Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam children besides Ibrahim radiya Llahu ‘anhu. She was the very first to bring faith in him and believe him, before everyone else. And she gave him solace and composure. Her virtues are abundant. She is from those women who reached perfection. She was intelligent, dignified, religious, chaste, and magnanimous, from the people of Jannat. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would praise her, intensify in honouring her, and give her superiority over all the Ummahat al Mu’minin. Her esteem and prestige in his eyes is that he never married prior to her, she bore many children for him, and he never married while being married to her. He never experienced grief, sorrow, fear and the like until she departed from this worldly abode, after which he experienced the same. She was definitely a beautiful partner.
Hafiz Ibn Kathir states after discussing the preference between her and Umm al Mu’minin Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha:
و الحق أن كلا منهما لها من الفضائل ما لو نظر الناظر فيه لبهره و حيره و الأحسن التوقف في ذلك و رد علم ذلك إلى الله عز و جل و من ظهر له دليل يقطع به أو يغلب على ظنه في هذا الباب فذاك الذي يجب عليه أن يقول بما عنده من العلم و من حصل له توقف في هذه المسئلة أو في غيرها فالطريق الأقوم المسلك الأسلم أن يقول الله أعلم
The truth is that both of them possess so many excellences that when someone studies them, he is left impressed and amazed. The safest is to adopt tawaqquf (not to pass judgement) in this matter and refer the knowledge of this to Allah―the Mighty and Majestic. Whoever has an emphatic proof or strong one in this regard, is bound to express his view according to the knowledge he possesses. And whoever acquires tawaqquf in this matter or any other matter, then the upright stance and safest path is to say: Allah knows best!
Taqi al Din al Subki says:
و الذي نختاره و ندين الله تعالى به أن فاطمة أفضل ثم خديجة ثم عائشة
The stance we choose and we make Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala witness over it, is that Fatimah is the most superior, followed by Khadijah, and then Aisha.
Al Salihi comments after quoting al Subki’s statement:
و الكلام في التفضيل صعب فلا ينبغي التكلم إلا بما ورد و السكوت عما سواه و حفظ الأدب
To discuss who is more superior is difficult. Hence, it is not appropriate to speak except on the basis of the traditions that have reached (us) and to remain silent on the rest, maintaining respect all the way.
Al Bukhari, Muslim, al Tirmidhi, and al Nasa’i have reported from Hisham ibn ‘Urwah from―his father from―’Abdullah ibn Jafar from―’Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu who reports that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
خير نسائها مريم بنت عمران و خير نسائها خديجة بنت خويلد
The best woman of her time was Maryam bint ‘Imran and the best woman of her time was Khadijah bint Khuwaylid.
Ibn Kathir clarifies:
أي خير زمانها
The best of her time.
Ibn Kathir transmits:
و روى شعبة عن معاوية بن قرة عن أبيه قرة بن إياس رضي الله عنه قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم كمل من الرجال كثير لم يكمل من النساء إلا ثلاث مريم بنت عمران و آسية امرأة فرعون و خديجة بنت خويلد و فضل عائشة على النساء كفضل الثريد على سائر الطعام
From Muawiyah ibn Qurrah from―his father Qurrah ibn Iyas radiya Llahu ‘anhu who relates that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam declared:
Many men reached perfection. But only three women reached perfection viz. Maryam bint ‘Imran, Asiyah the wife of Firoun, and Khadijah bint Khuwaylid. The superiority of Aisha over other women is as the superiority of tharid over other dishes.
Ibn Marduyah narrates it in his Tafsir. This is a sahih isnad till Shu’bah and after him. They say: The common factor between the three women, Asiyah, Maryam, and Khadijah is that two of them nurtured an appointed nabi and gave them an excellent upbringing, and then believed in them. Accordingly, Asiyah nurtured Sayyidina Musa ‘alayh al Salam and displayed much kindness to him and brought faith in him when he was appointed a nabi. Similarly, Maryam looked after her son in the best and most grand way and believed in him when he was sent as a Messenger. Sayyidina Khadijah radiya Llahu ‘anha expressed her desire to marry Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and spent her wealth for the same as has been already mentioned and she believed him as soon as revelation from Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala began descending upon him. 
Ibn ‘Abdul Barr stated in al Isti’ab fi Ma’rifat al Sahabah:
لا يختلفون أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم لم يتزوج في الجاهلية غير خديجة و لا تزوج عليها أحد من نسائه حتى ماتت و لم تلد له من المهاري غيرها و هي أول من آمن بالله عز و جل و رسوله صلى الله عليه و سلم و هذا قول قتادة و الزهري و عبد الله بن محمد بن عقيل و ابن إسحاق و جماعة قالوا خديجة أول من آمن بالله من الرجال و النساء و لم يستثنوا أحدا
They do not dispute over the fact that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not marry in the era of jahiliyyah besides Khadijah and that he did not get married to any of his other wives while married to her, until she passed away and that none of his wives bore children for him besides her. She is the first to believe in Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. This is the view of Qatadah, al Zuhri, ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Aqil, Ibn Ishaq, and a number of others.
They affirm: Khadijah is the very first to believe in Allah from all the men and women, without any exception.
Ibn al Athir confirms:
أول امرأة تزوجها و أول خلق الله أسلم بإجماع المسلمين لم يتقدمها رجل و لا امرأة
She is the first woman he married and the first of Allah’s creation to embrace Islam by the consensus of the Muslims. No man or woman preceded her.
Imam al Nawawi rahimahu Llah states:
إنه الصواب عند جماعة من المحققين فقال فخفف الله بذلك عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فكان لا يسمع بشيء يكرهه من الرد عليه فيرجع إليها فتثبته و تهون عليه
This is accurate according to a large group of muhaqqiqin.
Through this, Allah eased the burden from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He would not hear anything which he disliked, of rejection etc. and then return to her, except that she would grant him comfort and relief.
Al Tabarani narrates with a jayyid (reliable) isnad as well as al Dulabi from Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha:
كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه و آله و سلم إذا ذكر خديجة لم يكد يسأم من ثناء عليها و استغفار لها فذكرها ذات يوم فاحتملتني الغيرة إلى أن قلت لقد عوضك الله من كبيرة قالت فرأيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم غضب غضبا شديدا سقط في جلدي فقلت اللهم إنك إن أذهبت عني غضب رسول الله لم أذكرها بسوء ما بقيت قالت فلما رأى رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم الذي قد لقيت قال كيف قلت والله لقد آمنت به إذ كفر بي الناس و صدقتني إذ كذبني الناس و رزقت من الولد إذ حرمتيه مني فغدا بها علي و راح شهرا
When Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would speak of Khadijah, he would not tire from praising her and seeking forgiveness for her. One day he mentioned her, so I was overcome with possessiveness so I blurted, “Allah has substituted you from an old lady.”
I saw Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam becoming extremely furious that I started shivering. I thus submitted, “O Allah, if You remove from me Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam anger, I will never speak negatively of her as long as I live.”
When Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saw my pitiable condition, he said, “What did you say? By Allah, she had faith in me when people rejected me. She believed in me when people belied me. And she was blessed with children, while you were deprived of the same from me.” He continued mentioning her virtues for one month thereafter.
و عن ابن عباس رضي الله تعالى عنهما قال خط رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم في الأرض أربعة خطوط فقال تدرون ما هذا فقالوا الله و رسوله أعلم فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم أفضل نساء أهل الجنة خديجة بنت خويلد و فاطمة بنت محمد و آسية بنت مزاحم امرأة فرعون و مريم بنت عمران
Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma reports that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam once drew four lines on the ground.
He then asked, “Do you know what this is?”
They replied, “Allah and His Rasul know better.”
Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then explained, “The most superior women of Jannat are Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, Fatimah bint Muhammad, Asiyah bint Muzahim―the wife of Firoun, and Maryam bint ‘Imran.”
She passed away four―or five―years before hijrah on the 17th night of Ramadan; three years prior to Isra’ according to the correct view. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam descended into her grave to bury her. She passed away at the ripe age of 65.
She has been guaranteed Jannat in the ahadith of Sayyidina Ibn Abi Awfa, Sayyidina Abu Hurairah, Sayyidah Aisha, Sayyidina Ibn ‘Abbas, Sayyidina Ibn ‘Umar, and Sayyidah Fatimah al Zahra’ radiya Llahu ‘anhum. I will suffice on the most authentic of these:
فعن إسماعيل بن أبي خالد قال قلت لعبد الله بن أبي أوفى أكان رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم بشر خديجة ببيت في الجنة قال نعم بشرها ببيت في الجنة من قصب لا صخب فيه و لا نصب
Ismail ibn Abi Khalid relates, “I asked Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Awfa, ‘Did Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam give glad tidings to Khadijah of a house in Jannat?’
He replied, ‘Yes, he gave her glad tidings of a house in Jannat of jewels wherein there will be neither noise nor fatigue.’”
Al Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmed, and others narrated it.
Al Suhayli elucidates in al Rawd al Unf:
Usage of the word house here and his affirmation of the same, without saying a palace has a suitable meaning for the situation. This is owing to the fact that she was the nurturer of the house of Islam and there was no house of Islam on the face of the earth besides hers when she accepted iman. Moreover, she is the first to build a house in Islam by marrying Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and expressing her desire of the same. Recompensation of an action is stated by usage of the word of the action, although the reality is far beyond…
With regards to his usage of the word qasab (jewels) and not lu’lu’, although the meaning is the same; his selection of this word is due to the same mushakalah mentioned above and muqabalah using the recompense similar to the action. Undoubtedly, she secured the jewel of precedence to iman, to the exclusion of all men and women besides her. The Arabs name the winner, muhriz li al qasab (securer of the jewel). Eloquence demanded that wording resembling her action be utilised in all the words of the hadith. So ponder!
 Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 110 with conciseness.
 Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 3 pg. 372. Dar Ibn Kathir.
 Fath al Bari, vol. 7 pg. 139.
 Subul al Huda wa al Rashad, vol. 11 pg. 162.
 Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 3249; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2430; Sunan al Tirmidhi, Hadith: 3877; al Sunan al Kubra, Hadith: 8354.
 Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 3 pg. 129.
 Al Isti’ab fi Ma’rifat al Sahabah, vol. 2 pg. 87.
 Usd al Ghabah, vol. 1 Biography: 1337.
 Al Taqrib wa al Tafsir li Ma’rifat Sunan al Bashir wa al Nadhir, pg. 21.
 Al Mu’jam al Kabir, vol. 16 pg. 319; al Dulabi: al Dhurriyyah al Tahirah, pg. 17.
 Musnad Ahmed, Hadith: 2668; al Mu’jam al Kabir, vol. 22 pg. 407; al Mustadrak, vol. 3 pg. 204.
 Al Tabaqat, vol. 8 pg. 18.
 Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 109; al Isabah, vol. 7 pg. 600; Subul al Huda wa al Rashad, vol. 11 pg. 157.
 Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 1699; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2433; Musnad Ahmed, Hadith: 19151.
 Similarity; resemblance; likeness.
 Al Rawd al Unf, vol. 1 pg. 414.Back to top