The Circumstances Surrounding Muhammad’s Marriage to Khadija

Muslim tradition teaches that Muhammad starting working for a very wealthy merchant woman named Khadija bint Khuwaylid who was fifteen years his senior. Muhammad eventually married her at the age of twenty-five when she was forty years old.

The Islamic sources unashamedly admit that Khadija financed Muhammad until she died, enabling him to pursue his religious fantasies and delusions of grandeur:

And he also said: (Did He not find thee) O Muhammad (destitute) poor (and enrich (thee)) with the wealth of Khadijah; and it is also said this means: and made you content with that which He gave you? The Prophet said: ” Yes, O Gabriel! ” (Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs; bold emphasis mine)

What makes this marriage rather embarrassing is that the Muslim narrations state that Khadija’s father married her off to Muhammad in a drunken state, when he was inebriated!

After sobering the next day, he was shocked to discover that he had actually given his daughter in marriage to Muhammad:

Al-Waqidi: They also say that Khadijah sent a message to the Messenger of God inviting him to take her, meaning that they should marry. She was a highly respected woman, and the whole of Quraysh would have been eager to marry her and would have spent much money to that end had they aspired to it. She called her father to her house, plied him with wine until he was drunk, slaughtered a cow, anointed him with perfume and clothed him in a striped robe; then she sent for the Messenger of God and his uncles and, when they came in, her father married him to her. When her father recovered from his intoxication, he said, “What is this meat, this perfume, and this garment?” She replied, “You have married me to Muhammad b. ‘Abdallah.” “I have not done so,” he said. “Would I do this, when the greatest men of Mecca have asked for you and I have not agreed?” (The History of al-Tabari: Muhammad at Mecca, translated and annotated by W. Montgomery Watt and M.V. McDonald [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany, NY 1988], Volume VI (6), p. 49; bold emphasis mine)


Al-Bayhaqi related, through Hammad b. Salama, from ‘Ali b. Zayd, from ‘Ammar b. Abu ‘Ammar, from Ibn ‘Abbas who said, “Khadija’s father married the Messenger of God to her at a time when he (her father) was – and I think this is what he said – drunk!

Then al-Bayhaqi stated that Abu al-Husayn b. al-Fadl al-Qattan related to him, as did ‘Abd Allah b. Ja’far, as did Ya’qub b. Sufyan, who said that he was told by Ibrahim b. al-Mundhir, and by Umar b. Abu Bakr al-Mu’ammili and by ‘Abd Allah b. Abu Ubayd b. Muhammad b. ‘Ammar b. Yasir, from his father from Muqsim b. Abu al-Qasim, the mawla of ‘Abd Allah b. al-Harith b. Nawfal, that ‘Abd Allah b. al-Harith related to him that ‘Ammar b. Yasir, whenever he heard people discussing the marriage of the Messenger of God to Khadija and embellishing it as they did, would tell them, “I know better than anyone else about his marriage to her. I was his companion and his close friend. One day I was out with the Messenger of God and when we came to al-Hazura we passed by Khadija’s sister who was seated on a fine-coloured camel she had for sale. She called to me and I went over to her, while the Messenger of God stood there waiting for me. She said, ‘Would that friend of yours like to marry Khadija?’

“So I went back to him and told him and he responded, ‘Indeed I certainly would!’

“I then reported to her what the Messenger of God had said and she suggested, ‘Come and visit us tomorrow.’ When we did so next day we found that they had slaughtered a cow and dressed Khadija’s father in ceremonial clothes; and his beard had been dyed yellow. I spoke with her brother and he with his father, who had been drinking wine. The brother told him of the Messenger of God and of his reputation and asked him if he would conduct his marriage. And so he did marry him to Khadija. They cooked the cow and we ate from it, after which her father went to sleep. When he woke up he was sober and he said, ‘What’s this I’m wearing, what’s this yellow and why this food?‘ His daughter who had spoken to ‘Ammar replied, ‘It was your son-in-law Muhammad son of ‘Abd Allah who gave you the ceremonial outfit and he who presented the cow to you, and we slaughtered it when you married him to Khadija.’

He denied having concluded this marriage with him and stormed off, shouting, to al-Hijr. Banu Hashim brought out the Messenger of God and they all went off to talk to him. Khadija’s father demanded, ‘Where’s this man of yours you claim I married to Khadija?’ The Messenger of God made his presence known to him. Having looked at him, her father then said, ‘If I already performed his marriage, then so be it. If I didn’t before, I do so now!’”

Al-Zuhri stated in his works of biography that her father married her to him when he was drunk. His account is similar to the foregoing. Al-Suhayli (similarly) related it. (Ibn Kathir, The Life of the Prophet (Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya), Translated by Professor Trevor Le Gassick, Reviewed by Dr Ahmed Fareed [Garnet Publishing, 1998], Volume 1, pp. 192-193; bold emphasis mine)

You can’t make this stuff up even if you tried!

As I have said before, the really miracle of Islam is that there are people who actually believe Muhammad was a prophet, the Quran is God’s word, and Muhammad’s Allah is truly God. Now that truly is a miracle, yet not from God but from the evil one whose aim it is to deceive people away from the true God (Cf. Deuteronomy 13:1-10; Matthew 24:23-25; 2 Corinthians 11:1-4, 13-15; Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12; 1 John 2:18; 4:1-6; Revelation 13:1-18).

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