14 Nov The Road to Marriage.Part3
The time had come for the union that would shape their lives. Before long, the sons of Abdul Muttalib, Abu Talib, Abbas and Hamza would set off to ask for the hand of Khadija for Muhammad. Although the couple had given their consent, the usual rituals between the families had to take place, and the match had to be made known to the public through this process. First, Abu Talib took word:
“Praise be to Allah who has given us the honor to be of the lineage of Ibrahim, descendants of Ismail! Verily it is He who has made our kin the server of the people, He who has honored us as protectors of His house, put us in the service of the Haram, the Prohibited Place; it is He who has made His house a place the direction to which all turn their faces, a place where all feel secure. It is He who has favored us when it comes to judging people.”
This address that he chose before he started to speak of the matter made clear the earnestness of the situation. Attaining the respect of people could be acknowledged on no clearer terms. Then he said the following to the seated members of the family:
“When it comes to Muhammad, the son of my brother, the son of Abdullah. Whoever should challenge him, he shall be beaten. Although he may not have much by way of money and possessions, he is above all by way of honor, nobility, courage, intellect and virtue. Money and possessions are like shadows that disappear; they last only a short while. However, there is great news about him, new and happy tidings about his future that will leave everyone in awe! He is asking for the hand of Khadija who is your sister, and as dowry, he wants to give her twelve ukiyya and one nash some of which is to be paid now and some later.”
In response to the request of the groom’s family, the bride’s family also had words to say. After Abu Talib, Khadija’s uncle Amr ibn Asad stood up and said similar laudatory words about Khadija’s virtue. Khadija’s father was not present; he had died in the battles of Fijar and the daughter of Khuwaylid had grown up an orphan just like the Messenger of Allah. He said the following:
“Just like you say, praise be to Allah, Who has favored us among others in the aspects that you have mentioned! There is no doubt that we are the leaders among Arabs, and so are you. No one among the Arabs can deny your virtue or honor or your right for pride. I bear witness by the same lineage that we come from and our shared honor that I, O you people of Quraysh, wed the daughter of Khuwaylid, Khadija to Muhammad, the son of Abdullah, with the dowry that has already been mentioned.”
Abu Talib, who felt the responsibility of the moment over his shoulders, wanted to hear the consent of the other relatives who were also present at the occasion, so he said: “I want the other uncles to participate in this acceptance.”
Upon this, another uncle who was present took word: “I call you to be witnesses, O Quraysh, that we have wed Muhammad, the son of Abdullah, to Khadija, daughter of Khuwaylid,” and thus he reiterated the transaction of marriage.
The usual rituals had thus been performed, and now it was time for the wedding ceremony. Soon that too would take place. The sheep and camels were slaughtered, and people had gathered for the celebration. Thus a life of hardship but mutual understanding and peace would start for the couple, a shared life of 25 years. Abu Talib, who was going through very difficult times himself, was very happy; he was sitting on the side, thanking Allah who had opened up such a gate of happiness for him. It was of course not solely Abu Talib who was happy about this union. The Meccans had sincerely approved of this match, such that some of them would put this auspicious event in verse, reciting it to each other.