Dr. O blogs at Muslim Medicine, a site that strives to serve mostly fresh grade-A certified ẓabiḥah ḥalāl comedy, but has a small selection of serious articles as well.
To my fellow young brothers seeking marriage, ask yourself an honest question. If a sister were to offer you a proposal, and she was wealthier, more educated, and more accomplished than you, but older as well and previously widowed (or divorced) with children, would you seriously consider that proposal? And would your family approve or be supportive of that kind of proposal?
It’s not surprising if your answer is no – and perhaps you have some legitimate concerns, but I would wager that most brothers would probably reject that proposal in a heartbeat because that’s not the kind of woman they or their parents envision when they think of the ideal spouse.
But if the question is reworded to, “Would you consider a proposal from Khadijah (R.A)?” the answer suddenly changes – what brother would say no to this hypothetical, out of reverence for one of the most honored mothers of our ummah - but considering the previous question asked, this answer feels disingenuous because truthfully, in our day and age, women with the same disposition as Khadijah(R.A) have immense difficulty trying to marry.
Place yourself in the mindset of a young Muḥammad (R.A) and for just this moment consider how radically different his sunnah was from the current stigmatization of sisters in the same position as Khadijah (R.A).
Khadijah (R.A)’s Age
A sister’s age is a huge determinant of her eligibility, as societal constructs strike points against her for merely being older. Our cultural norms and traditional standards dictate that wives should always be younger than their husbands, and age gaps as wide as a decade between them are still seen as acceptable, whereas a wife who is more than a couple of years older is seen as an anomaly – something unusual and frowned upon.