International Women’s Day is on the 8th of March. This is the day where we celebrate women’s achievements, increase visibility, promote equality, and raise awareness against bias.
We want to use this opportunity to celebrate and honour an influential woman of Islam, Khadija (RA). She was the first wife of the Prophet Muhammed (SAW), the first Muslim woman, and the mother of Islam and all believers.
The Businesswoman of Quraysh
Khadija (RA) was a fearless, beautiful soul ahead of her time, breaking many conventions. She was a businesswoman named the Ameerat-Quraysh (Princess of Quraysh) and the Al-Tahira (The Pure One).
Her life was full of events that taught us about courage, virtue, and humility, making her an inspiring female role model who had an entrepreneurial spirit. Read on to learn about some of the remarkable things you may not have known about her.
Fearless. Independent. Intelligent.
Khadija (RA) lived amid a deeply problematic period, where forced marriage and the murder of newborn girls were widespread. Widows were seen as outcasts, and women did not have the right to initiate divorce, inherit money, or own property and businesses.
She was married and widowed twice before marriage to the Prophet Muhammed (SAW). Despite living in an era that shunned widows and did not allow women to be business owners, she fearlessly inherited her father’s business and took it to new heights. Prejudice and danger surrounded her, but Khadija (RA) never allowed that to affect her work and the power of her presence.
Her business quickly grew to become the largest, most successful of all Quraysh trades. She broke all conventions of her time, and her success meant she was highly respected by all, earning her the title of “Princess of Quraysh.” Many people also called her “The Pure One” as she was wealthy but still kind. Khadija (RA) always worked with honesty and generously gave her earnings to orphans, widows, and the sick.
Her intelligence and integrity were respected highly by so many that she often received proposals from wealthy men (which she declined). Khadija (RA) only married again when she met the virtuous Prophet Muhammed (SAW). Not only did she break conventions of her time, but her marriage with him (SAW) was also considered unconventional.
Traditionally, widows never remarried, and men married younger women, proposing to women themselves. Anything else was unheard of. In Khadija’s (RA) case, she did remarry, and she sent her proposal to the Prophet Muhammed (SAW) herself when she was 40 years old, and the Prophet Muhammed (SAW) was 25. Their loving marriage was monogamous, meaning the Prophet (SAW) did not marry anyone else until after her death.
The One We Can Learn From
It is clear from Khadija’s (RA) story that women and widowed women have a high status in Islam. She is the mother of all believers, the first Muslim woman ever, and was loved deeply by our Prophet Muhammed (SAW). The Princess of Quraysh was also a courageous, intelligent businesswoman who had a pure heart and used her wealth to help orphans and widows.
We should all aim to take a leaf out of her book by being kind, honest, and strong in the face of challenges. This International Women’s Day, follow in her footsteps and honour her by helping widows and orphans.
Widow and Orphan Food Parcels
At Orphans in Need, we channel a lot of our efforts into providing aid and support to the most vulnerable members of society, and in a lot of cases, this includes widows. Like when Khadija (RA) was alive, there are still instances of bias and prejudice against widowed women, with many unable to support themselves and their children and, instead, having to beg for basic survival necessities.
Through our Widow and Orphan Food Parcels Appeal, we aim to put women’s minds at ease by supplying them with essential food parcels that will allow them to sustain themselves and their children. This removes the worry and burden of finding food, allowing them to retain some of their dignity without having to beg for food.
Follow in the footsteps of Khadija (RA) and show generosity to orphans and widows by helping women less fortunate than yourself and giving to our Widow and Orphan Food Parcel Appeal. Just £30 will sustain a family of five living in Africa or Asia for a whole month, making a real difference to women’s and children’s lives.
In many countries where we work, conflict is a part of daily life. This means many married women lose their husbands to the effects of war, and in many cultures, when their husband dies, so does their sole source of income and security. With so many girls and women denied the opportunity to get an education, many widows are left with no transferable skills and, therefore, no opportunity to gain sustaining employment.
With lots of countries still practising derogatory laws that don’t allow women to inherit property and businesses, many widows stand to lose their homes, leaving them completely vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. You can elevate and empower these women by donating to our Widow Homes Appeal.
With your kind donations, we can build a fully functioning home for a widow and her children, inclusive of a kitchen, bathroom, separate bedrooms, bedding, and food parcels to sustain the whole family. This most basic form of security will alleviate the pressures faced by widowed women trying to support their families. It will offer them protection from the streets and relieve the stigma many are resigned to.
Support Women Around the World This International Women’s Day
In many parts of the world, women continue to face barriers and restrictions when trying to support themselves and their families, and they are regarded as lesser than men. Islam teachings say that women have a high status, and in the way of Khadija (RA), they are strong, powerful, and resolute when allowed the opportunity to flourish.
Support women around the world to exceed their potential and flourish by donating to one of our Widow Appeals this International Women’s Day.