3.4 Trade for Khadija
He had no ambition to earn more money or gain social status. He was tranquil, happy with his sheep. But his uncle who loved him dearly wanted more for him than tending sheep. Abu Talib had many children and was not well enough off to help his nephew. Nevertheless he wanted for Mohamed the position in society that he felt was his due and so he was on the lookout for a suitable job for him.

One day he heard that Khadija, the daughter of Khuwaylid, wanted to hire a man from Quraysh to trade for her. Khadija was a very beautiful woman of intelligence and ability. She was extremely wealthy for she had inherited much money from her deceased husband. Many of the greatest of Quraysh had asked for her hand but she had refused them all, preferring to remain unattached and to attend to her trade and financial affairs.

When Abu Talib heard that she wanted someone to trade for her, he called his nephew and said,

"Nephew, I am not a wealthy man and times are hard for us. I have heard that Khadija has hired so-and-so for two bakras, but I won't accept that for you, would you like me to speak to her?"

"As you wish," said Mohamed.

So Abu Talib went to Khadija and said,

"Khadija, would you like to hire Mohamed? You have hired so-and-so for two bakras, but we shan't accept less than four for Mohamed."

Always gracious, Khadija said,

"Had you asked this for a loathsome stranger I would have agreed, so how much more when you ask it for someone near and dear."

Mohamed's uncle returned and related to his nephew what had taken place, saying,

"This is provision that Allah has sent you."

Mohamed left with Maysara, Khadija's man, whom Abu Talib had charged to take good care of him. On route the caravan passed by the ancient ruins of Madian and Thamud, peoples who had rejected the message from Allah and in consequence had been destroyed. Mohamed knew nothing of this as yet. They journeyed on to Al-Sham where he saw landscapes of luxurious vegetation and gushing rivers, very different from the austere and stark desert scenes.

Intelligent and honest, Mohamed was able in his trade for Khadija to bring back more profit than those before him. His upright and modest nature earned him the liking and respect of Maysara. When the caravan reached the AI-Zahran Pass on its return journey towards Mecca, Maysara said to Mohamed,

"Mohamed, go to Khadija ahead of us and tell what Allah has done for her at your hands, she will be most grateful."

So Mohamed rode alone and reached Mecca towards noon. Khadija was standing on the balcony of her house. She recognized him as he approached on his camel and went down to receive him.