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Activity 1: Story – Khadijah, First Woman of Islam (10 minutes), Workshop 14: Islam 2—Contemporary Issues

In "Building Bridges," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Read the story so you will be comfortable presenting it.

Description of Activity

Participants hear and discuss the story of Khadijah, first wife of the Prophet Muhammad.

Tell or read the story. Ask participants for their initial reactions. What did they think of the story?

Ask participants if they had heard of Khadijah before. Ask for their impressions of her as a businessperson. As a spouse? As a friend? Continue discussion with questions such as:

  • Khadijah's level of independence was unusual. What made this possible?
  • Khadijah turned down a number of marriage proposals, continuing to run a business and raise her small children alone. Then, she proposed to Muhammad, an uncommon occurrence at that time. Did Khadijah need a life partner to thrive and be happy? What if Muhammad had said no—what do you think Khadijah would have done?
  • Women in Islamic societies typically do not have equal opportunities or rights as men. Does this seem at odds with the reverence Muhammad gave Khadijah?
  • As a successful and influential person in Mecca, do you think Khadijah would have been remembered in history if she had not married Muhammad? Why or why not?
  • The mother is considered a very important figure in Muslim society. How might have Khadijah's great virtue and personal power contributed to this view of mothers and motherhood?
  • Khadijah was an excellent manager of money. She chose, however, to use every penny of her wealth to protect Muhammad, other Muslims, and to support the growth of Islam. Are you committed to anything that strongly? If Unitarian Universalism were under threat, what would you be willing to do to protect and support it? Would you give all your wealth and possessions for its welfare? Would you want your family to? Why or why not? That level of commitment is undeniably powerful; do you see it as a good thing? Why or why not?

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Last updated on Wednesday, October 26, 2011.

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