daughter of Khuwaylid, Muhammad's first wife. She was a wealthy widow and the employer of Muhammad. After a successful business trip of Muhammad to Syria, she sent her maid Nafisa to propose to him to be married. Muhammad accepted; she was forty and he was twenty-five. She was the mother of Fatima, who became the wife of Ali, the 4th Caliph. The marriage to Khadija gave Muhamamd prestige among the Quraysh, and also time to pursue spiritual contemplation. Muhammad remained faithful to Khadija as long as she lived.
Khadija also tested Gabriel in a strange way.
Their relationship also indicates that before Islam, (some) women were in control of their own lives, able to employ men and even propose marriage to man. All these were lost with the advent of Islam.
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