Muhammad was orphaned at an early age. He once remarked that, “Heaven lies at the feet of mothers.” As the father of four daughters in a society that prized sons, he told other fathers that, if their daughters spoke well of them on the Day of Judgement, they would enter paradise.
Beginning from the time of Muhammad’s marriage to his first wife Khadijah, women played an important role in his religious career. According to Muslim sources, Khadijah was the first person Muhammad spoke to about his initial, terrifying experience of revelation. She consoled him and became the first convert to Islam. She remained a confidant and source of support throughout their entire marriage. Though men commonly took more than one wife in 7th Century Arabia, Muhammad remained in a monogamous marriage with Khadijah until her death, when Muhammad was in his fifties.