Channel: Fatima Barkatulla
London, March 2019
What are the five big lessons from the life of Khadijah (RA)? And how can we apply them to our lives.
Ustadhah Fatima Barkatulla is author of ‘Khadijah, Mother of History’s Greatest Nation.’ In this talk in front of an audience of 500 sisters, she elaborates on 5 powerful lessons that can be distilled from the life of Khadijah (RA):
- LIVE BEYOND YOUR OWN LIFE.
- EXPECT TO BE TESTED.
- STAND FIRM UPON ISLAM EVEN WHEN IT’S TOUGH.
- USE EVERY RESOURCE YOU HAVE FOR ALLAH.
- BE A WISE, DEPENDABLE SOURCE OF COMFORT FOR YOUR FAMILY.
We'll breeze you around the mall, to the sunset in the evening.
Assalamu alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
Nowadays when we hear the name of Khadija, what are the characteristics that people usually highlight about her, I just want you to shout out
that she was loyal.
The popular media, for example, where they ever talk about for the job, what is the main thing they usually talk about?
That she was a businesswoman.
She was the most beloved person to the Prophet sallallahu sallam, the most beloved wife.
This this, that she was older than him. But this point about the businesswoman.
I remember when I was invited to talk about Khadija delanda.
On a BBC radio show, and the main thing that they wanted to highlight about her whole show, was that she was this amazing role model. And the reason why she was an amazing role model was because she was wealthy. And she was a businesswoman. And the way they were kind of painting the image of her was that she was a career woman basically, right, like a modern career woman. And, and the presenter even looked at us and asked him, Why is it that Khadija was such a, you know, progressive career woman and a businesswoman. And, you know, Muslim women nowadays, they're not seen as being like that. And obviously, I could tell from that, that there was they were being very selective about the
characteristics of Khadija that they wanted to highlight.
Because the last the last in the last few years, I have the opportunity to write a book about the life of Khadija Nabila. And it took me a long time, probably 100 hours or more, to research the book, to go into the Arabic sources, to read about what the scholars have said about the prophets, Allah insulin had said about what all sorts of people in the past had said about her, and why she had the status that she had. And I know that although in the West, it sounds like the highlight of her characteristics that she was a businesswoman. To be honest, that was not at all the thing that made me great.
That was a good characteristic of hers that she had, yes, actually that cetera. But that's not what made her have the status of being one of the cool Greatest Women. And as, as Muslim women living in the West, we have to be aware, sometimes certain narratives are pushed to us, to give us an image of what the digital is like over women, Muslim women of the past were like that, actually, if you were to really investigate, that wasn't the focus of their life at all. That's just what some people want us to adopt from their labs. Right.
So what were the characteristics, the key characteristics?
In my investigation, in my research for my book that I found,
we're what you could call a very big pile of life lessons from life. I really thought hard about this after looking at everything. And I would say there are five There are five major life lessons that we can learn from the life of Khadija,
and I'm going to talk to you about them today.
The first big life lesson we can learn from Khadija is
to live beyond our own lives, to live beyond our own lives.
You know, so Pamela, one of the things you realize of the whole journey of her life, after all that she went through, and I can give you some examples of that. You know, she was a woman of high mobility. And she lost that status when she decided to support the profits.
She spent her wealth in the way of Allah she literally bank rolled the dollar she bank rolled Islam. We sitting here in London 1400 years later, we are part of her legions legacy because the message of Islam could not have spread could not have been nurtured and could not have been maintained and funded. If it wasn't for the wealth of Khadija, Ilana. She did.
And then she was boycotted. Things were thrown at her home, her husband, obviously the Prophet sallallahu sallam, he was vilified.
People laughed at her family when she lost his children. Every time a child passed away.
There was like, you know, like the equivalent of the media, the tabloids, right, laughing at her and spreading rumors about her and her family. She went through all of that. And then she went through a boycott. Right? But she was literally, she literally had to leave her home and live in a tent
for a number of years. And after all of that she passed away. Before the Prophet salallahu alaihe salam even went to Medina, before he even met the unsolved she passed away. What does that tell us? It tells us that she never got to see the fruits of her efforts in her lifetime. Right?
She never got to see it. But he was okay because she was living for something beyond her own life.
And the reason why we need to know that systems is that we need to understand that we may not see the fruit of our efforts in our lives. But it's okay. We need to build it anyway. We need to do the work anyway.
It takes visionary people who are willing to not just have you know, think about their own self gratification and the short term gratification of their own lives in their own little families. It takes people who are willing to look beyond that, beyond their own life, to think long term,
to bring about good in this world, and to deal with something that you will be rewarded for in the hereafter. So what we need to do sisters is think long term, think beyond our own lives. What are you going to build, that's going to last beyond your own life? When we will in our everyday actions with our kids, we need to think long term. What attitude Am I instilling in my kids, when I'm telling my daughter not to wear the job because I'm feeling a bit scared because of what's in the news? Or when I tell my son to sort of hide the fact that he's a Muslim? What am I actually storing up for the future? Omar? If my children are afraid, what will their children be like? And what will
eventually be like?
So we need to have that kind of long term thinking my sister's
and the reason why we need to do that is because this is exactly what will revive the
salon. This is exactly what will continue to benefit us when we align our braids, right, no longer able to benefit ourselves. It's those things we left behind in the world that continue to bring benefit to the world
that will continue to benefit us in the grave. So that's the first thing that Elisa was willing to live beyond her own life.
The second big life lesson from the life of Khadija is
that we should realize that
we should expect to be tested.
We should expect to be tested.
Because the greatest people who ever walked on this earth, they were tested. And if they were tested, then we will be tested.
She was tested in so many ways. We know that she lost husbands in the past. She was a widow,
a huge test with young children.
She also lost many children. You know a number of children passed away before the profits after she married the Prophet salallahu alaihe salam.
And there was a there was a time when when the prophet SAW Selim had bought his message and the Horatio trying to put so much pressure on his family.
stop preaching the message that every single day, there would be rocks and Phil holed into her home. Because one of the things I found when I researched was that
the way her house was, she had a part of the home that was covered with a roof. But then there was like an inner courtyard that didn't have any roof. And that's somewhere that maybe she used to sit with her children these different things. But so Pamela, the Quraysh, they wanted to put so much pressure on them, that they would send slaves in hire slaves to go and throw rocks and rubbish and garbage, basically overhaul into that part of her house. And that became her everyday life, right? So if we think we're facing Islamophobia, they were facing Islamophobia on another scale, on a very, very direct scale.
Why do we need to know this? Why do we need to know and learn about the struggles of people like Khadija and the things that they went through? Because then it will help us to realize that this has happened before? You know, we're not some unique generation that is facing a unique dislike or hatred of Islam. No, it's happened throughout Islamic history. And when you know that, and you can you learn how those great people of the past stay the patient, they stayed patient. And when we say patients, we mean, they continue to evade a law, regardless of what was happening, and they continue to send the consent, regardless of what was happening. When we learn about that, it makes us strong,
it strengthens us, it makes us feel like we can do it, too. We can do it, too. We've got them as our role models.
So what do we need to do?
We need to be prepared for challenges. We need to be expecting tests
when and we need to challenge ourselves, to respond to those tests, as our best selves as the best version of ourselves. Right?
If we do this, right, this is it will help us not to lose our mind, when we realize that we are going to face tests, then when those tests come along. You know, we're not shocked. We're expecting them. We're strengthening our character, we're strengthening ourselves for those tests. Unfortunately, sometimes, we as women invest so much time and money into our physical selves, right? We'll spend hundreds of times as a beautician to get our hair done to buy new buyers that we don't even need talking about myself as well. Right? We'll do that. But are we investing in our character? Are we investing in us? because believe me, I've just nearly get 40, right?
Believe me, it's not gonna last forever. It doesn't matter how much money you throw at yourself.
That beauty, that youth
over time, is gonna win. It's just a fact of life. So what's gonna be left? What's gonna be left with you except your character. And if you haven't built up that character, if you haven't built up
your knowledge, you, you know the essence that is you that is not your body as the thing inside your body. We haven't built that up, then what is your worth? Really.
You've only invested in yourself superficially.
So my sister don't neglect that don't neglect that expect to face tests and prepare your character for those tests.
The third big life lesson from the legend Khadija is standing firm upon Islam in difficult difficult times.
Now, there's a scene from from my book, which is from the life of Khadija I'm just gonna read this out to you because it really illustrates what I mean by standing firm firm upon this law, even when it's tough. For her she was firm upon Islam at a time when it wasn't popular to be on the skin. Right? It wasn't fashionable wasn't cool.
But now it's kind of cool to have a beard right. But the brothers who had kept their beards before it was cool to have a beard and Sharla they will have they would have had
A greater reward at that time, right?
So as living in the West, sometimes we feel it's harder for us to be visibly Muslim, we should realize that it's because it's hard means we're gonna get greater reward as well. It's not the same reward somebody who's living in Saudi Arabia, in Pakistan or somewhere where he jobs No, right.
So I'm going to read this, to really drive home to you what it meant when the message came to Khadija. And remember that she was what we would call an upper class woman. She was very sought after everyone had proposed for her everyone wanted to marry her when her husband passed away.
And she didn't need to marry anyone because she had enough wealth. And she's happy she had a lot of family, right.
And she was a celebrity she was really a celebrity, a very noble and dignified celebrity.
So in this scene, she brings the Prophet sallallahu Sallam to work, and to tell us
about what has just happened to him on the mountain. And what it says.
Then what of course, gleeful expression turned into a worried frown. How I wish that I were young and couldn't live until the time and when people tried to drive you out. he lamented.
Will they drive me out?
the prophets of Allah last Sunday, it was inconceivable to him the grandson of the great,
loved and respected by all
that a day might come when his people would actually disown him. Yes, replied gravely, never has a man come with anything similar to what you have, but that he was treated dependency. If I can live to see that day, I would surely support you with all my might. And as the predictions fair from what I'm causeless, the realization formed from Prophet Mohammed and Khadija
that life would never be the same again.
So from that moment onwards, religious life is not the same when she decided to stand by the prophet. So
that was it. She was letting go of her status in this life.
So she was a Muslim when it was unpopular to be a Muslim.
And the reason why we need to know this is that being a believer, when it's not fashionable to be a believer, gives us a greater reward. Right? We have to get used to the idea that as the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said, Islam began as something strange, and it will return to being something strange. So give glad tidings to the strangers, we have to embrace being strangers, it's okay to be the different ones. It's okay to be the strangers, eventually the world will catch up with us. Eventually, they will
embrace being a stranger.
And the reason why we need to internalize this lesson is that, then when we do face, that difficulty, when it becomes hard to practice Islam, when it becomes hard to be visibly Muslim,
then we won't give up, we won't fall down at the first hurdle.
Will and we realize that we're going to get a reward.
Sometimes, when people say that we shouldn't put so much pressure on sisters, we should, when it feels difficult when there's some attack somewhere. And we feel like Muslims might be in danger. We should just let sisters relaxing. You know, maybe stop or encourage other.
People say that.
And I always think of my own mother.
And I think she used to walk on the streets of we grew up in Hackney.
She used to walk on the streets of Hackney at the time and nobody would. We didn't know anybody who was
in the 70s in the late 70s, early 80s. Nobody wanted. They were Muslims, religion.
My mom was the only woman she's to walk on the street. And every time we pass by somebody, a white person, basically,
he would say something
every time and as kids we just knew just like part of life, that we're gonna go down the street with mom, and she's gonna get called names. The good thing was she didn't understand English.
She really notice. But as kids we notice, right? We notice. And then when we started school, we were the only ones.
when we brought them up, and now so many people were just so normal.
gonna move on now.
No, we've got to be made of stronger stuff. And we've got to remember those women before us who, who observed each other at a time when it was really hard. That was hard. This isn't hard. It's all in our mind. Often, it's in our mind, but it's hard. Right?
So stand firm upon Islam, even when it's tough, I realize that all the things you find harder, because you're in a non Muslim country, is harder to go to the mosque, it's harder to, you know, force yourself away from certain materialistic things. Maybe it's harder to be visibly Muslim, it's hard to do that work to talk to people about Islam to clarify things,
you're going to get greater reward as well. Right?
The fourth big lesson from the life of Khadija is
she use every resource that she had for the sake of Allah.
She gave up well,
that's hard enough, right? To give up your wealth for the sake of Allah.
But probably the greatest thing, she gave up, the greatest two things. Were her status. Right? It's not easy. I mean, even now, when you think of people who are baronesses, and, you know, politicians and people who have reached certain statuses in society, you kind of expect them to be sellouts, right? A little bit. You kind of make excuses for them, like a you know, they have to do the alcohol, you have to do this and that whatever, right? make excuses for them. Because we think that with status comes compromise, right?
Well, I have that status already. And she gave
when she became a Muslim, when she chose Islam, because she chose the truth about this world, this material world. And because of that she gained status in the real place where status matters, and that is in the hereafter. She gave you the greatest status and gender. And that's where it really matters. The reason why we need to know this is
we also have to be prepared to give up our own sources.
So the other reasonable thing that he gave up for the sake of Allah was peace, peace, a life that is easy, peaceful, if he or she was living a comfortable life.
She gave up that peace of mind, just living your life, having a nice house, you're nice to all your nice little family, just take care of your own little nuclear family, she gave that piece up for the sake of
the message of Islam. And that is why the angel came down and gave her glad tidings of a house in general may have holes and jewels. And he said, where there will be no more toys, and no more hardship. Because one of the things that she had to enjoy a lot was a lack of peace. And because of that, a lot promised peace.
So what do we need to do knowing this? realize that everything that we have, we could use it for the sake of Allah, we can be tools for the sake of Allah.
Don't give up your deen. Don't give up your principles for the sake of Satan.
Be willing to do the difficult things, be willing to have the difficult conversations
for the sake of having a higher status in the hereafter.
And the fifth lesson, my sisters, from the life of Khadija is
to be a source and to be a dependable source of comfort
for the people in your life.
When the Prophet salallahu alaihe salam was shaken, he wanted Khadija when he doubted himself he wanted
when he came down the mountain and he he thought he was going mad.
All he wanted was Khadija and the only one who could give him comfort was Khadija
she was so wise, even in that difficult moment. She didn't. She didn't give her husband a barrage of questions a barrage of
thing is right and come home so late.
She was while
she's patient, and then she didn't have the wisdom and the foresight taken to
So you see,
and because of that, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam never forgot. He never forgot she was an unforgettable woman.
Even after, as you know, you know, she always remembered her. Even after the battle, whether he saw her necklace, in the run some money that had been sent
for his daughter's husband, his daughter was Madeline still married to a non Muslim, right, saying that she was married to
a non Muslim man. And he had been forced to fight in the battle his brother. And then when he had been caught as again as a prisoner of war, he was lined up shackled with other prisoners. And there was a big pile of wealth that had been sent from the people in America to ransom or the prisoners of war.
And his daughter also was in Makkah still, and she had sent her jewelry to ransom her husband.
And the Prophet sallallahu Sallam when Costa Pilate ran some money, he noticed a special necklace there. And it was a rant called nelia necklace made of carnelian stones from Yemen.
And he picked it off, and he recognized immediately that this was an actress of Khadija
that she had given to her daughter on her wedding. And he began to cry. He was so
when the Sahaba saw this, and they wondered what happened. And he said,
this is from Xena.
And he said, if you don't mind, he says to the Sahaba, if you don't mind, return her prisoner to her.
And this necklace, as
I said, Of course we don't mind. But he was so moved because it reminded him of the job.
And then as we know, I should have Dylan who was so jealous of Khadija because the prophets kept mentioning her. He kept mentioning to the point that she said,
Why do you still remember a lady is long gone. Right? An old lady, she's long gone. And the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam said to her and rebuked her. And after this, I should never said anything about Khadija again, because she realized high status this woman had. He said she had faith in me when people rejected me. She believed in me when the people disbelieve me, she supported me with her wealth, and people prevented wealth from me, and a lot blessed me with children,
and not through any other wife.
So my sisters, what can we learn from this?
learn and know your power sisters, the power of femininity, the power of femininity, you never hear the words power and femininity together, right.
But our femininity has a unique and special power. That's what
she was irresistible. She was uncomfortable, she was wise. And she was very feminine, she didn't need to be like a man in order to have a status.
Our femininity means that we can use our qualities as women to influence the people in our lives, and to be a source of comfort. And to not be ashamed of that. You know, the great women of the past, they were not ashamed to be supporters of men of great men, behind his mother, his mother, she was right. She didn't become famous as the author of this book, etc, etc.
But that doesn't diminish his status. In fact, she gets reward for credit for bringing a better body and all the work of the party brought about.
She might not be more famous than him.
But she hasn't seen this with a lot.
And she has in fact, a greater role because in a in a way she's the architects. She's the one who was the visionary who built into being who he was. Without, he wouldn't have. He was a little blind boy. What would he have done if his mother didn't believe in him and work hard for him.
So my sisters, we need to not be ashamed. In fact, we need to be proud to support
The men in our lives
and our families, we need to be a source of comfort for them. Believe me, we have the power to change the culture of our households in a way that nobody else does. And it is hard. I know it's hard. There are times when the culture in your household is going really gone really bad.
But as a woman, you have the power to change that. If you believe in
to support the people in our lives and see sources of comfort and wisdom, that strengthen ourselves to the point that we, we know our families know that anything difficult that happens. We're not the first person is going to fall down. We're going to be the strong one, we're going to be the unshakable
just like each other.
More than lifting is tearing families apart for assistance. Because we have this man versus woman attitude, right?
Women and men are competing against each other husbands and wives comparing each other's roles comparing who gets more time to do what they want to do.
But we are here to complement one another. Just as Abuja, complimented the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, and we should be proud of that.
The teacher was shamed of that at all. And it didn't diminish her status at all.
She was, as we know, one of the four Greatest Women who ever lived.
So much so I'm going to recap those five qualities live beyond your own life.
Number two, expect to be tested. Number three, stand firm upon Islam, even when it gets tough. Number four, use every resource you have for the sake of Allah.
And number five, be a wise dependable source of comfort for your family and the people in your life.
inshallah, with that, I will leave you with a love and
a shadow and that