As a young man, Prophet Muhammad worked as a shepherd for the people of Mecca, bringing him a small wage just like past Prophets who were shepherds in their time. Working as a shepherd taught Prophet Muhmmad the art of patience and how to deal with and manage sheep with different personalities, which would help a future leader deal with people with different personalities. Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, did not grow up as many others did consuming alcohol and other harmful things for the soul or body, nor did he ever worship idols. He grew up establishing a reputation for himself as an honest and trustworthy person. In his early twenties, due to his maturity and character, he was invited to participate in the tribe’s legislative body with the leaders of the tribe. He continued to work as a shepherd for more people.
Khadijah, peace be upon her, was the wealthiest businesswoman in Makkah, who inherited a lot of money from her husband, who passed away. She was known for her pureness, nobility, wisdom, and fortune. Her sister had a herd of camels and hired Prophet Muhmmad, along with another person. When the job was complete, the other person who was hired with Prophet Muhmmad told Prophet Muhammad that they should go pick up their wages for the job. Prophet Muhammad asked him if he could go alone because he was too shy. Khadijah heard her sister praise Prophet Muhammad for his nobility, integrity, kindness, good manners, shyness, and other good qualities.
Since Khadijah, peace be upon her, was a lady, she was not able to participate in transactions and trades in person and, instead, invested in business partnerships that would go to Syria and Yemen by sending men to go on her behalf and pay them a fraction of the profits. However, she would often find herself receiving fewer profits than she should have because the men that she hired would pocket some of the profits. She decided to employ Prophet Muhammad to take her merchandise to Syria, even though he was inexperienced. Before he accepted the job, he asked his uncle for permission, who said yes. When Prophet Muhammad returned to Makkah, she noticed triple the profits and blessings than she used to get. She was very impressed with his character and dealings.
Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, made a reputation for being honest, reliable, modest, and good character, even though this was rare to find in Makkah at the time. He was known to his community as ‘the truthful, the trustworthy’ and was trusted by everyone in his community, even by those who did not like him.
Khadijah, peace be upon her, was twice widowed, and many men from her tribe had proposed marriage to her, yet she did not accept any proposals, nor was she thinking about getting remarried. Khadijah’s older friend approached Prophet Muhammad and hinted that Khadijah was interested in marrying him. Khadijah was older than Prophet Muhammad, and Prophet Muhammad was around 25 years old. Prophet Muhammad was interested in marrying Khadijah, so he asked permission from his uncle, who thought it was a good idea because of the type of person Khadijah was. They had a beautiful marriage full of love and understanding. Khadijah supported Prophet Muhammad through his tough years. They had six children together; three sons and three daughters. All the males died in childhood.
His wife Khadijah, peace be upon her, gifted Prophet Muhammad a young servant named Zaid who had been brought as a captive to Mecca and sold to Khadijah, peace be upon her.
When Zaid’s father heard that his son Zaid was in possession of Prophet Muhammad, he traveled to Mecca to offer Prophet Muhmmad a large amount for his son. Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, told Zaid’s father that if Zaid agrees to go back with him, he can take him for no charge. Zaid chose to stay with Prophet Muhmmad because they loved each other so much, and he treated him like his own son. As soon as Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, heard that Zaid chose to stay, he grabbed Zaid by his hand and walked over to the black stone of the Kaaba and publicly announced that he had adopted Zaid. Zaid’s father traveled back home, content that his son was in good hands and happy.