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The First amongst Women to Embrace Islam was Bibi Khadijah (S.A.)

By: Ayatullah Ja'far Subhani
The advancement of Islam and its penetration into different peoples took place gradually. In the terminology of the Holy Qur'an those persons who preceded all others in embracing and propagating Islam are called as-Sabiqun (the preceding ones), and in the early days of Islam this precedence was in itself a criterion of virtue and superiority and, even amongst these persons, one who preceded another one enjoyed a more honourable position. Hence, we should consult the authentic sources and decide, without any bias, as to who were the first amongst men and women who embraced Islam.
It is an admitted historical fact that from amongst women Khadijah was the first to embrace Islam and there is no contradictory report on this point. We briefly mention here an important historical authority which has been quoted by the historians from one of the wives of the Holy Prophet.
A'isha says: "I was always sorry for not having seen the period of Khadijah and wondered at the kindness and love which the Holy Prophet expressed for her, because her dear husband always remembered her more than anyone else and if he slaughtered a sheep he found out the friends of Khadijah and sent them a share of the meat. One day, when the Holy Prophet was going out of the house, he remembered Khadijah and praised her. Eventually I could not control myself and said very boldly: "She was nothing more than an old woman and Allah has given you a better one".
My words had a very unfavourable effect on the Holy Prophet of Allah. Signs of anger and wrath appeared on his forehead and he said: "It is not at all so... I have not acquired a better one. She believed in my Prophethood when all people were drowned in infidelity and polytheism. She placed her wealth at my disposal in the most trying circumstances. Allah gave me through her issues, which I did not get through anyone else.[1]
Another evidence about Khadijah being the first woman in the world to embrace Islam is the very incident of the commencement of the revelation of the Holy Qur'an, because, when the Holy Prophet came down from the cave of Hira and related the incident to his wife she immediately confirmed her husband's statement and consoled him. Furthermore, she had time and again heard from the fortune-tellers and sages of Arabia about the prophethood of her husband and it was on account of the truthfulness and righteousness of the Hashmite young man that she married him.
[1] Biharul Anwar, vol. XVI, page 8.

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