Fatimah (AS), the Daughter of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

The status of Fatimah, the most beloved daughter of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Khadijah, is so great within the religion of Islam that our last prophet has said: “Fatimah (AS) is part of me, whoever annoys her, annoys me and whoever pleases her, in fact, he/she pleases me” [1] He has also said: “Fatimah (AS) is the leader of the women of the worlds and a role-model for all Muslim women” [2].

 

 

The history of Islam has witnessed the immense respect that the Prophet (PBUH) had for Fatimah Zahra (AS) which also reflects the importance of women in society. In pre-Islamic times when Arabs would bury their daughters alive, Allah revealed the Chapters of al-Kawthar, and Dahr with the birth of Fatimah (AS) to praise her [3].

 

 

According to some Quran commentaries, when the Quraysh tribe [i] said that the Prophet (PBUH) had no offspring, the chapter of al-Kawthar was revealed:

 

Indeed We have given you abundance (al-Kawthar);

So pray to your Lord and sacrifice,

Indeed it is your enemy who is without posterity” (108:1-3).

 

 

Al-Kawthar means the abundant good, i.e., the abundant offspring that the Prophet (PBUH) would have through his daughter Fatimah Zahra (AS) especially after the death of his son (Qasim), which made the Quraysh men say he was cut off from male children. In fact, this was a reply to those people and their effort to weaken the Prophet's spirits just because he did not have a son [4].

 

Lady Fatimah, daughter of prophet Muhammad, Salam Islam

Childhood of the Daughter of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

 

Fatimah (AS), the daughter of prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was born on the 20th of Jumada al-Thani (the sixth month of the Islamic Lunar calendar), five years after Muhammad (PBUH)’s prophetic mission (Be’that).

 

After losing her mother as a young child, she looked after her father so devotedly that Muhammad (PBUH) used to call her “Umme Abiha”, i.e., the mother of her father. This was a really hard time for the family because Abu Talib (the leader of Banu Hashim [ii] and the prophet’s uncle) who was the protector of Muhammad (PBUH) from the animosity of the Quraysh also died in the same year as Khadijah.

 

So in Fatimah’s (AS) early childhood, there was no place for leisure and playing childish games. Rather, she fulfilled an important role accompanied by motherhood characteristics in her father’s life with all the suffering, mockery and humiliation he was facing. She would comfort him, empathize with him, relieve his pain and take care of him with kindness [5].

 

Marriage

 

When it was the right time for the daughter of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Fatimah (AS), to get married, and after her cousin, Ali ibn Abi Talib (AS) proposed to marry her, the Prophet (PBUH) consulted with her and asked if she would accept his marriage proposal. In fact, Muhammad (PBUH) wanted to encourage Muslims to also seek their daughters’ opinions and avoid wrong pre-Islamic beliefs about girls.

 

When Fatimah (AS) was asked about this (Ali (AS)’s proposal), she respectfully sought her father’s advice and the Prophet (PBUH) said: “God has authorized this marriage”. Fatimah (AS) then replied that she was satisfied with what Allah and His Prophet (PBUH) were pleased with.

 

Fatimah (AS) was the model of Prophet’s teaching among women just as Ali ibn Abi Talib (AS) was the best embodiment of his instructions and manly qualities among men; they were the most suitable couple to be married. So after receiving Fatimah’s (AS) consent, their marriage took place in the simplest possible manner [6].

 

A few days later, the Prophet (PBUH) called on his daughter and asked her how she had found her husband. She said that he was the best companion in devotion and obedience to God. Later, he asked Ali (AS) how he had found his wife, and he said that he found her the best companion in giving service to the Creator.

 

Fatimah Zahra (AS) aided her husband in his worldly and religious affairs and cooperated with him in achieving his exalted goals. She was responsible for the household work; made dough, baked bread, and cleaned the house; in return, Ali (AS) vouched to take care of the outside work [7].

 

It has been narrated that once Imam Ali (AS) saw that Fatimah (AS) had been working so hard that she got blisters on her hands. He decided to ask the Prophet (PBUH) for a housekeeper. But Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that he would teach them something instead that would do them better than having a housemaid. He told them to recite the Tasbih of Fatimah Zahra before sleeping; that is 34 times “Allahu akbar,” 33 times “al-hamdu lillah,” and 33 times “Subhan Allah.”

 

It is strongly recommended to say this Tasbih [iii] as a devotional act after each prayer.

 

Children

 

God bestowed upon Fatimah (AS) and Ali (AS) four children; two sons, Hassan (AS) and Hussain (AS), who were the second and the third Infallible Imams; and two daughters, Zainab (AS) and Umme Kulthum (AS).

 

Fatimah (AS) portrays excellence in her role as a mother and displays a model for all the God-fearing parents in the upbringing of her four children. It has been narrated by a companion of the holy prophet (PBUH) that one day the daughter of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was busy grinding some grain when her older son Imam Hassan (AS) started crying. The companion offered to help her with comforting the child, but Fatimah (AS) preferred to take care of her son herself.  This shows how important it is for a child to have her/his mother around her/him as much as possible since only a mother can truly soothe her child and no one else can be as much of comfort as a mother [8].

 

She always read passages from Quran when she put her children to sleep in the crib and so they all grew up hearing Quran from their infancy, and the words of God became etched upon their young hearts. Through such osmosis, Quran and the children of Fatimah (AS) became inseparable for all time [9].

 

Lady Fatimah, daughter of prophet muhammad

The status of Lady Fatimah (AS), the Daughter of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

 

It has been said that this blessed family vowed to fast for three days if their sons recovered from an illness. They became well, and the family fasted for three consecutive days without eating any food giving away their Iftar (breakfast) [iv] to a beggar, an orphan and a prisoner who arrived at their door and asked for food. The 76th chapter of Quran (Dahr) was revealed in praise of this family and their extremely charitable act in the way of Allah [10].

 

“They fulfill their vows and fear a day whose ill will be widespread. They give food, for the love of Him, to the needy, the orphan and the prisoner, saying, ‘We feed you only for the sake of Allah. We do not want any reward from you nor any thanks.’ Indeed we fear from our Lord a day, frowning and fateful. So Allah saved them from the ills of that day and granted them freshness and joy. And He rewarded them for their patience with a garden and garments of silk” (76:8-12).

 

Fatimah (AS) actually showed such generosity and compassion for the poor that no destitute or beggar ever returned from her door unattended.

 

As well as being an exemplary daughter, a loving and supportive wife and a caring mother, she played an active part as a very powerful, intellectual and aware member of the society.

 

Along with all her feminine qualities, she was well-aware of her rights and whenever necessary stood up for them, instead of suffering like a helpless victim. She would make herself available for people who needed answers or clarifications on complicated issues. Her sermons and sayings are evidence of her strong character and noble mind.

 

She was also a very courageous lady who accompanied the Prophet (PBUH) in many wars. Her genius, wisdom, determination, will-power, piety, patience, knowledge and nobility, both in words and deeds, were inherited from her illustrious father.

 

In short, the existence of Fatimah Zahra (AS), the daughter of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), along with her skills of eloquence, her political and social expertise and powerful foresight, demonstrates how a Muslim woman can attain high spiritual and mystical positions and how a woman can play different roles powerfully, and positively influence the course of history by her social contribution [11].

 

Notes:

[i] A powerful merchant tribe that controlled Mecca and its Kaaba and that according to Islamic tradition descended from Ishmael. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was born into the Banu Hashim clan of the Quraysh tribe.

[ii] A clan of the Quraysh tribe

[iii] The repetitive utterances of short sentences in the praise and glorification of Allah.

[iv] The evening meal with which Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset.

References:

[1] http://www.duas.org

[2] http://www.rohama.org

[3] http://www.imamreza.net

[4] http://www.al-islam.org

[5] http://www.al-islam.org

[6] Ibid.                      

[7] http://www.al-islam.org

[8] http://www.ezsoftech.com

[9] http://www.al-islam.org

[10] http://www.al-islam.org

[11] http://www.imamreza.net