Khadijah bint Khuwaylid Biography

Khadījah bint Khuwaylid (Arabic: خديجة بنت خويلد‎) or Khadījah al-Kubra [1] (555 CE – 619 CE) was the first wife of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Khadijah was the daughter of Khuwaylid ibn Asad and Fatimah bint Za'idah and belonged to the clan of Banu Hashim.Khadijah's father, Khuwaylid ibn Asad, who died around 585, was a merchant, a successful businessman whose vast wealth and business talents were inherited by Khadijah, who successfully managed her father's business interests and preserved the family's fortune. It is said that when Banu Quraish's trade caravans gathered to embark upon their lengthy and arduous journey either to Syria during the summer or to Yemen during the winter, Khadijah's caravan equaled the caravans of all other traders of Quraish put together. Fatimah bint Za'idah – Khadijah's mother – died around 575, a member of the Banu `Amir ibn Luayy ibn Ghalib tribe and a distant relative of Muhammad.[2]
Khadijah earned two titles: Ameerat-Quraish (Princess of Quraish) and al-Tahira (the Pure One), and Khadija Al-Kubra (Khadija the great) and was said to have had an impeccable character. She used to feed and clothe the poor, assist her relatives financially, and provide for the marriage of those of her kin who could not otherwise have had the means to marry. Another aspect of her character, unusual for her times and unlike the practices of her people Khadijah was said to have neither believed in nor worshipped idols.
By 585, Khadijah , even though she was sought for marriage by many honorable and highly respected men of the Arabian peninsula, throughout which she was quite famous, due to her business dealings. [3]
Khadijah did not travel with her trade caravans, she relied on someone else to act as her agent to trade on her behalf in return for an agreed upon commission. In 595, Khadijah needed an agent to trade in her merchandise going to Syria, and it was then that a number of agents whom she knew before and trusted, as well as some of her own relatives, particularly Abu Talib, suggested to her to employ her distant cousin Muhammad ibn Abdullah who, by then, had earned the honorifics of Al-Sadiq (the truthful) and Al-Amin (the trustworthy).
Muhammad, did not have any official business experience, but he had twice accompanied his uncle Abu Talib on his trade trips and keenly observed how he traded, bartered, bought and sold, and conducted business. It was not uncommon to hire an agent who did not have prior experience; so, Khadijah decided to give Muhammad a chance. He was only 25 years old. Khadijah sent Muhammad word through Khazimah ibn Hakim, one of her relatives, offering him twice as much commission as she usually offered her agents to trade on her behalf. She sent him one of her servants, Maysarah, who was young, brilliant, and talented, to assist him and be his bookkeeper. She also trusted Maysarah's account regarding her new employee's conduct, an account that was most striking, indeed one that encouraged her to abandon her decision never to marry again.
The profits Khadijah reaped from that trip were twice as much as she had anticipated. Maysarah was more fascinated by Muhammad than by anything related to the trip. The trip's measure of success encouraged Khadijah to employ Muhammad again on the winter trip to Yemen. Yemen, at that time, had just been annexed by Persia and a regent of the Persian King, Chosroes I, Anoshervan was ruling the land. This time Khadijah offered Muhammad three times the usual commission. Unfortunately, historians do not tell us much about this second trip except that it was equally profitable to both employer and employee. Some historians do not mention this trip at all.