Loyalty and Commitment in the Life of Sayyidah Khadeejah:

on raising sons and daughters for marriages of peace


“O you who have believed, fulfill [all] contracts.”


يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَوْفُوا بِالْعُقُودِ


“… and they have taken from you a solemn covenant”


وَأَخَذْنَ مِنكُم مِّيثَاقًا غَلِيظًا


Sometimes when we complain of the way men view us and treat us, we forget that after all they were raised by us. I am not denying the effect of their masculine nature and that of society; I am merely drawing attention to the fact that we are a strong influence in the lives of future husbands – and wives. It is easier to think of our children in terms of their future careers and to prepare them for that than it is to think of their future roles in marriage. Yet a successful marriage is more important in my opinion than a successful career. A family is the building block of society and if its members are fulfilled and balanced that spills over into success in all aspects of society more so than a particular career.
Commitment in marriage means to be dedicated to making the marriage not only work but to flourish as well, which is not always possible and almost never easy. Commitment in marriage means to be strong and capable and to feel responsible. It is to take into your hands the solving of problems, the planning of solutions, the implementing of steps toward making things better. It is to see marriage as something that needs your continuous nurturing and tending. It is not a span of romance and then the rearing of children; it is not the coexistence with another with whom you have little in common; it is not something that once established you may set aside and move on to other things in life. It is a living relationship that requires constant care, a bubbling pot within which other relationships are cooked; and you must keep tasting and stirring, adding ingredients and checking the heat under.
Today, too many individuals have lost the values that make family life possible. They are dazed and dazzled with all that is being offered them of personal pleasures; they are drowning in personal crises and problems; but worst of all they are ill-prepared.  No one told them what to expect or how to fix what may go wrong.  For the unfortunate of us who were not privy to a long lasting marriage and all the constant work it took and takes to keep it healthy, depression and despair may follow the least argument or disagreement. And so it is that divorce is no longer the safety valve for absolute misery or the last resort after both sides have tried their very best, rather it has become the first solution one thinks of at the slightest discomfort, inconvenience or pain.
Which brings us to Sayyidah Khadeejah, Mother-of-the-believers, married to the best of men. Can we raise our daughters to emulate her? Can we raise our sons to emulate the Messenger (SAW) in his loyalty to her? Watch how her undying support of every kind is not affected by how much time he can give or spend with her. Three years before his Prophet-hood, he was drawn to meditating in the cave of Hira’. Watch how her dedication to the marriage continues and is unflagging. Then for years, as he (SAW) strove to spread Islam and then had to contend with danger to his life and harm, watch how she sets her wants aside realizing certain things cannot be helped and how she focuses on what he needs of her not what she isn’t getting of him. So it is that she stands by his side throughout those difficult years in Mecca to the peak of persecution and the end of her life, which comes shortly after the three years of boycott, when leaves were eaten and urine was drunk. Watch the Messenger (SAW) honor all her acquaintances, relatives or friends, out of loyalty to her. Listen to him praise her years later; it wasn’t her cooking or looks, it wasn’t her clothes or figure, it wasn’t the makeup or hair-do.  Listen to what he admired in her, “…she believed me when people belied me, she comforted me with her wealth and herself and God granted me children from her.”  Can we raise sons to see such qualities as the most attractive qualities in a woman? Can we raise sons to appreciate the greatness in a woman and to take her as his supporter and friend?
There is a dire lack in today’s society regarding dedication to anything. Commitment is fast becoming a dying art, and loyalty…loyalty is being replaced by the culture of ‘disposable’ and ‘improved’. And yet human nature has not changed. We still need to feel the security of unfailing care and loyalty. Dedication is still a requirement of success, and we will always need a family to grow in and return to for renewal and rest.
And so it is we need to foster these qualities in our children, nephews, nieces and students. And so it is we must reveal the facts of life to them early: that marriage means dedication and loyalty, as much as it means pleasure and love; and that hard work is required to keep it intact. That difficulties and hardships are part and parcel of life and that no human is perfect, therefore enjoy your spouse’s good points and work on improving your bad.
How can we train our children to be good husbands and wives? Perhaps we can by modeling patience, forgiveness, devotion and a sense of humor. Perhaps we must start early, fostering such qualities in all their relationships. Perhaps the key is to tutor them in seeking pleasure from the reward that Allah Most High grants to those who treat others well. Once they are married, our role is reduced to good counsel and continuous dua’. May Allah allow us to bring back peace to the fabric of society, one home at a time.


6 responses to “Loyalty and Commitment in the Life of Sayyidah Khadeejah:”

  1. Zaynab

    Thank you so much for these lessons. I am honored to count myself as a humble student of yours and wish I could have benefited more from your instruction when I was in your presence so many years ago.

  2. Ameen.

  3. Thahira

    Beautiful, this has opened my mind and ameen

  4. tabarak Allah, beautiful and so wise. May Allah help us to be wives like Khadijah and help us to raise children upon those values. When you wrote, “For the unfortunate of us who were not privy to a long lasting marriage and all the constant work it took and takes to keep it healthy, depression and despair may follow the least argument or disagreement” – I saw the story of the first 5 years of my marriage, with me not knowing how to “be” married since I came from a home that broke when I was 3. Alhamdolillah that my husband is the product of a strong family and never considered divorce an option when I thought it was inevitable. What a blessing, thank God we’ve stuck it through, and may Allah make me better and better.

  5. Beautiful story, I never thought of Sayida Khadija’s life in this way. What woman would put up with her husband spending such a long time away from home meditating? Sub7anAllah, may Allah give us patience and wisdom.

  6. susan vincent

    Bismillah. Alhumdulillah for this beautiful true story-alahumma sali mohammad sala lahu alayhi wa salim

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