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Khadīja. The first wife of Muḥammad, and acknowledged as the first to believe in his message. She was a rich widow in Mecca, who employed the young Muḥammad for several trading journeys, and subsequently married him, at which time it is said that she was about 40 and he 25. She bore him four female children, including Fāṭima, and perhaps two sons, who, did not survive. The ḥadīth inform us that Muḥammad declared her to be one of the four best women of Paradise, along with Maryam, Fāṭima, and the wife of Pharaoh.

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