When the merits of the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) wives are discussed, there can be no competition for Ummul Momineen Hazrat Khadijah (s.a.). She has innumerable merits to her name with priority in accepting Islam being the single most important one.
Ummul Momineen Khadijah (s.a.) was the first woman to accept Islam as these reports testify. Note these reports are illustrative and not exhaustive. The total number of reports from both sects are too many to list down.
There is consensus on the fact that Khadijah (s.a.) was the first one to believe in Allah and His Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and testify in whatever he (s.a.w.a.) delivered…
- Al-Istiaab v 2 p 459
Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) while introducing, to an outsider, the three persons (a.s.) worshipping facing the Kaaba:
Do you know this youth?
He is Muhammad Ibn Abdullah (s.a.w.a.), my nephew.
Do you know this boy?
He is Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.), my nephew.
Do you know this woman?
She is Khadijah bint Khuwailid (s.a.), his wife.
And this nephew (s.a.w.a.) of mine has informed me that his Lord, the Lord of the heavens and the earth has ordered him to adhere to this religion. By Allah, none on the earth are on this religion except for these three. Khasais p 3
- Tarikh al-Tabari v 2 p 212
- Al-Riyaz al-Nazarah v 2 p 158
- Al-Istiaab v 2 p 459
- Al-Kaamil of Ibn Athir v 2 p 22
- Al-Seerah al-Halabiyyah v 1 p 288
Likewise Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) in Sermon of Qaase’ah announces foremost status of Khadijah (s.a.) in Islam:
In those days Islam did not exist in any house except that of the Prophet of Allah – (s.a.w.a.) and Khadijah, while I was the third after these two. I used to see the radiance of divine revelation and message and inhaled the scent of Prophethood.
- Nahj al-Balaghah Sermon 192
Reason for Ayesha’s jealousy
Ayesha narrates – The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) used to mention Khadijah (s.a.) in the best way. One day in a fit of jealously I said – How often you remember her?! Certainly Allah has already replaced her with someone better (meaning Ayesha)!
The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) retorted – How can Allah replace her with someone better than her? Certainly she believed in me (accepted Islam) when the people disbelieved in me. She testified in my truthfulness when the people rejected me. She spent her wealth on me while the people deprived me of their wealth. Allah, the Almighty, granted her sons while He deprived my other wives of children.
- Musnad Ahmed trad 24,864
Clearly, not only is it widely accepted by Muslims that Ummul Momineen Khadijah (s.a.) was the foremost Muslim, but this also became a matter of friction with the other wives who were deprived of this honour. However, Muslims embellish the other wives with all sorts of titles, while ignoring the status of Khadijah (s.a.) in Islam.