Centuries before, it is believed that Abraham himself built The Ka’ba with a black stone that had fallen from the sky. Between the Abrahamic reign and the Islamic era, there existed a void in which Mecca was a safe haven where even the most savage groups would be in peace with their enemies. Therefore it was the perfect spot for trade; here you could find spices and cultures traded and sold with each other.
In his late youth, Muhammad frequently followed with his uncle on their caravan trips across the Arabian Peninsula. Amongst the businessmen and buyers he was nicknamed “the truthful, the trustworthy” due to his moral character. Khadija, a prominent businesswoman, took a liking to him and subsequently proposed to marry him.
Khadija was born to a father who was a successful merchant in their Quraysh tribe of Mecca. She inherited her father’s skills in a time in history where society was male-dominated and dangerous. Upon her father’s death, she took over the business and traded goods through the primary commerce centers at that time, from Mecca to Syria and to Yemen, hiring the most trustworthy men of character to brave the dangerous trade routes.
Khadija was 40 when she married the 25 year old Muhammad, therefore most Shia muslims believe that she only bore him one daughter which was Fatima. The common Sunni view is that Khadija bore him six children including Fatima, Ruqaie, and Um Kalthum. Shia muslims claim that Ruqaie and Um Kulthum were Khadija’s sister’s children that were taken in and adopted by their aunt Khadija and her husband, Muhammad.
Ten years later Mecca was flooded and massive chunk of The Cube/Ka’ba of Mecca was damaged. The Quraysh tribe didn’t know who to bestow the honour to return the holy black stone back to its place. Therefore, it was decided that the next person to enter the Meccan region would be the person to do it. Coincidentally, Muhammad was the next person to enter the region and was thereby chosen to place it in it’s current place in the corner on the massive structure.
Then came the age of ignorance where chaos reigned and reason took a backseat; many historians claim pagans performed their pilgrimage rites naked in Mecca. It was a dark time and even Muhammad and his influential family suffered some economical decline. People did not have the knowledge that we do about sex and fertilisation, these topics were not explored or explained as they are today. Poverty loomed and for fear, many people resorted to female infanticide. Other historians attribute this emergence of rite as a misogynistic phenomenon. Whether it was a way of contraception or a statement to elevate male dominance, it swept the Arabian Peninsula.
The Life of Muhammad The Prophet by Allamah Sayyid Sa’eed Akhtar Rizvi
Some Observations on Infanticide in Medieval Muslim Society by Avner Giladi