It is greatly probable that Muhammad ( S.A.W), who had grown up an orphan, was exposed to considerable hardships in life. However, with his marriage to the business woman, Khadeeja (rØ§), it is also probable that there was, naturally, a considerable rise in his standard of living. As the husband of Khadeeja, the possibility that he would have been prone to the constraints of a financial kind is remote indeed. The marriage of Muhammad ( S.A.W) to Khadeeja took place fifteen years before his attaining prophethood. This means that it was only after fifteen years of his having led a life of financial security that Muhammad ( S.A.W) came on to the scene with the claim that he was a messenger of God and that the Qur'an constituted the word of God. If the attainment of wordly profits was his motive, his financial position should have become stronger after he made the claim. But what was it that actually transpired?
Says Aysha (rØ§), the wife of the Prophet, 'As there was no food cooked in our house, the cooking place would go without a fire being lit for one or two months at a stretch. Ours was a diet of dates and water. Some times it would be the milk of goats and the dried shells of dates which those from Medina would bring us.'
Aysha was once recalling the past days to a person. The subject of narration was the poverty s which the Prophet and his family endured after the migration. She then talked of an occasion in which they worked in the house in total darkness. 'Was not there a lamp?' enquired the person. She then replied thus: 'If the oil to burn the lamp was in our possession, instead of burning it, we would have drunk it to satisfy our hunger.'
This by no means, was the situation that was prevalent only in the first years of the Prophet's mission. Even after Muhammad (S.A.W) had assumed the position of the powerful sovereign of a vast realm his condition was not very much different. Let the inner sanctum of the ruler of the Islamic empire be described in the words of Umar (r), his own companion:
'I never saw anything save three pieces of leather in a corner and a little barley in the room of the Prophet. I wept at this. The Prophet asked, 'Why is it that you cry?' I said: 'O messenger of Allah! How will I hold back my tears? I see the imprint of the palm leaves on thine own body. I am also aware of the contents of this room.O messenger of Allah! Beseech Allah for the ample means of thine own sustenance. For, while the rulers of the Persian and Roman people - the Chosroes and the Caesars - live in the luxury of gardens beneath which rivers flow, the chosen messenger of Allah should live in abject