radhiAllahuanhaThe Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Fatimah is a part of me…”

Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with her) was the only remaining child of the Prophet (peace be upon him). The other children had died during the lifetime of their father. That is why all his fatherly love was then directed towards Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with her). No wonder she was the delight of his eyes.

There was a connected circle around the Prophet (peace be upon him), formed by Khadeejah – her mother, Zaynab, Ruqayyah, Umm Kulthoom, 'Abdullah, Taahir and al-Qaasim. Whenever she came in front of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) with her beautiful and smiling face, he felt as if all of they were standing before him.

Her birth

A great event that shook the entire city of Makkah and that almost caused a war among its different tribes occurred at the same time that Fatimah was born. Yes, it was the rebuilding of the Ka’bah. The Quraysh had resolved to rebuild the House after it had been affected by torrential rainfall that threatened the very foundations of its walls.

They started to rebuild the House enthusiastically and everyone participated in the honour of building it with whatever they could afford of money and effort.

They had hardly just started putting al-Hajar al-Aswad (the Black Stone) back into its place when an argument started as to who should have the honor of carrying it. The disagreement almost led to an open war and members of the tribes actually unsheathed their swords.

The elders of Makkah were concerned about this impending war, and they began thinking of a way to avert this crisis, which may result in severe destructions.

After a long deliberation, Umayah ibn al-Mugheerah, who was one of the wise elders suggested:

“O men of Quraysh! Appoint an arbitrator from among you who will settle for you regarding that which you are disagreeing about. Let him be the first person to enter the sacred mosque.”

They are all pleased with this suggestion and they said, “We agree!”

They all began looking towards the gate awaiting the first person to enter the sacred Masjid.

While they were waiting, Muhammad (peace be upon him), who was known to them as ‘the trustworthy one’, appeared in his splendour, steady and balanced steps. He was then a thirty-five year old young man. When they saw him, they shouted in joy,

‘Here is the trustworthy one, Muhammad, son of ‘Abdullah! We agree that he be the one, Muhammad, son of ‘Abdullah!  We agree that he be our arbitrator!'

Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) wisdom

orangeThe ‘trustworthy one’ listened to their argument- they then asked him to be their arbitrators.

He remained silent for sometime pondering until he was inspired with a solution. He then spread out his garment, put the Black Stone in the middle of it and said,

“Let the leaders of every group hold the edge of the garment and let them all lift it together.”

So they all lifted it until they brought the Stone to its place. The Messenger of Allah then took it with his noble hand and put it in its place.

The news spread all over the city of Makkah and the people were happy that the problem was solved and they were delighted by the trustworthy Muhammad’s wisdom. The happiness of the Arabs about this great event was expressed in poetry and recorded in history. Among the poetic passages composed regarding this event were those of Abu Wahab al-Makhzoomi, the meaning of which goes as follows:

“The tribes quarrelled with one another regarding a best plan,

and this quarrel almost caused a misfortune after happiness.

Because of this, mutual hatred replaced mutual love and the fire war was kindled

When we noticed that the matter was getting worse,

and the people were unsheathing their swords against each other,

we agreed that arbitration should be given -

to the first person who entered with no prior arrangement;

The first person to suddenly enter was Muhammad, the trustworthy. Then we said:

‘We are pleased with Muhammad, the trustworthy.’

kabahgraphicThe entire city of Makkah felt that Muhammad (peace be upon him) put an end to their disagreement and made the leaders of every clan participate in the honour of carrying the Black Stone. This is one of the proofs of Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) wisdom and excellent conduct.

The trustworthy Muhammad (peace be upon him) returned to his house, happy to have solved this problem that had occupied their minds and had almost caused bloodshed among them.

When he entered, he was met with the news of the birth of his fourth daughter, Fatimah. His face brightened up and he quickly went to his gracious wife with happiness showing all over his face. He congratulated her on her safe delivery, and he showed how happy he was regarding the birth of their beautiful daughter, who was born on a noble day, in which blood-shed was prevented, swords were sheathed, yet peace and security prevailed — due to Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) wisdom.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) named her Fatimah, after his grandmother who bore the same name. And he nicknamed her az-Zahraa’. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saw in her an auspicious appearance and signs of both blessings and prosperity.

The new baby girl strikingly resembled and looked like her father, which made her even more loved by her parents.

Her up-Bringing

Fatimah enjoyed the great love of her parents and sisters, especially her sister Zaynab, who always pampered her and played with her.

Fatimah grew up as an adolescent in a compassionate Prophetic home, under the Prophet’s care and attention. She therefore started her life with great purity, enjoying abundant refinement, affection and appropriate instructions from her parents.

When Zaynab and Ruqayyah, who had long been caring for her, married and moved to their matrimonial home, she felt an immense loneliness. It was reported that Fatimah wept when Ruqayyah was married, and when her mother asked as to why she was crying, she said:

“Do not allow anybody to take me away from you and my father. I can not bear leaving you!”

Her mother then smiled gently and lovingly and then said, “You will never leave us except if you wish to!”

That was how Fatimah became even more attached to her parents and so very loved by them. Hence Fatimah grew up with great love from her father and abundant compassion from her mother. She saw the great Prophetic quality that her father enjoyed, for his Lord had refined him and did so excellently. She was also greatly impacted by her mother’s pure qualities and praiseworthy attributes. She endeavoured to grow up upon noble character, taking her father as the highest model in all her actions. Allah says:

{Indeed in the Messenger of Allah [Muhammad] you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for [the Meeting with] Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.} (Qur’an 33: 21)

This is how Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with her) grew up upon perfect chastity, self-dignity, love of good deeds and excellent conduct. She drew her character from the teachings of the Prophet of the nation, the Messenger of mercy, the best teacher and educator and the one who guided mankind to the straight path.

Early responsibility

Hardly had Fatimah reached the age of five when she started noticing that her father loved being in seclusion and worshipping in the Cave of Hiraa’. It was then that the following great verses were revealed to him:

{Read! In the Name of your Lord Who has created [all that exists] He has created man from a clot [a piece of thick coagulated blood]. Read And your Lord is the Most Generous. Who has taught [the writing] by the pen. He has taught man that which he knew not.} (Qur’an, 96: 1)

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) announced that Allah had sent him to the entire mankind as a witness, giver of good tiding, a warner, caller unto His way by His permission and an illuminating lamp.

The Qur’anic verses started coming down successively as revelation from Allah, the Exalted. Allah says:

{O’ you [Muhammad] enveloped [in garments}? Arise and warn! And magnify your Lord [Allah]! And purify your garments! And keep away from ar-Rujz [the idols]. And give not a thing in order to have more [or consider not your deeds of Allah’s obedience as a favour to Him]. And be patient for the sake of your Lord [i.e. perform your duty to Allah]! (Qur’an, 74; 1-7)

Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with her) was witnessing this historic and everlasting development in the life of her father. Her father had now assumed a great responsibility of leading and carrying the message of truth to his Ummah. He was to lead a civilization that was the seal for all civilizations, the fundamentals of which are universal and the teachings of which are humane.

Fatimah now felt this new atmosphere in the house of her father; an atmosphere redolent with divine revelation and surrounded by the heavy burden of calling people to the way of Allah in the face of ferocious, unjust and hostile opposition from the Quraysh.

Fatimah also suffered from the evil plans of the disbelievers against her great father. Often times, she wished that she could sacrifice her life for her father’s sake and prevent the Quraysh from harming him. But how could that be possible, while she was still a very young girl?!

There she was, looking at her mother standing beside her father, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) after revelation had come to him in the Cave of Hiraa’. He had returned home with a trembling heart; Khadeejah told her husband, allaying his fears:

“Never! By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good relations with your kith and kin, serve your guests generously, help the poor and the destitute and assist the deserving calamity-afflicted ones.”

Khadeejah (may Allah be pleased with her) then supported her husband with her life and wealth, sharing with her husband all the difficulties he faced in course of delivering the message of His Lord.

This glorious and everlasting stand of Khadeejah could not go unnoticed by Fatimah, though she was then a young girl. It rather stirred her thoughts and reactions and she began to follow in the same footsteps as her mother.

***

It was a great responsibility - and this was what Allah willed and whatever He wills He does - Fatimah, the Prophet’s young daughter, had to utter the statement of Tawheed, declaring the oneness of Allah, during the first years of her life and to grow up pure and purified from the filth of idols. She had to follow the religion of Islaam, the pure and straight religion, which Allah has chosen for His servants.

{So set you [O’ Muhammad] your face towards the religion [of pure Islamic Monotheism] Haneef [worship none but Allah Alone],-Allah’s Fitrah [i.e. Allah’s Islamic Monotheism] with which He has created mankind. No change let there be in Khalqillah [i.e. the religion of Allah – Islamic Monotheism]:  that is the straight religion...} (Quran, 30:30)

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) started calling his people to Islaam with resolution and power of faith. He patiently bore the persecution of the disbelievers and their denying of him because he found strength, support and assurance in the verses of the glorious Qur’an. He also found in his beloved wife a demonstration of great faith and enormous support that helped him to fulfil the message for which Allah (the Mighty, the Glorious) selected him and assigned him to deliver to mankind.

We have mentioned earlier that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and his Companions were being daily persecuted by the Quraysh. Fatimah also experienced pain due to the polytheists’ denial of her father whom she greatly loved.

The greatest pain she experienced at the beginning of the Da’wah was the vicious boycott in which the Muslims were boycotted, along with members of Banoo Haashim clan, in the valley of Aboo Taalib. The boycott shows its toils on her health; the resultant hunger and pain made her physically weak throughout her life.

A great calamity

In spite of her tender age, Fatimah suffered a great calamity that filled her heart with sorrow and distress. Soon after she came out of the tormenting boycott, her mother suddenly fell ill and became bed-ridden. She was completely taken-aback and affected by the suffering which afflicted the purest and the noblest of all mothers.

It did not take long before Khadeejah died in her illness. Fatimah and her sisters were severely grieved by the death of their mother. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was also immensely grieved by the death of his precious, supporting and dutiful wife.

The Makkan period of thirteen years was extremely hard upon the Muslims generally and the Prophet’s household particularly. Young Fatimah witnessed many of the events of those years. She witnessed the migration of her sister, Zaynab and her sister's husband ‘Uthman along with many Muslims to Abyssinia.

She witnessed the disbelievers placing harmful and dirty things on her father while she was crying and screaming, her father telling her, “My daughter, do not cry, for certainly, Allah will protect your father!”

She witnessed the revelation of the verses of the Qur’an, by she would become extremely happy. Especially when she would hear clear verses of Allah’s Book being soothingly recited by her father, it would lighten her pain and sorrow.

After the death of her mother, she found herself amid great responsibilities towards her father while he was facing difficult and bitter situations in his call to the way of Allah. It was with Umm Kulthoom, her sister, that she shared these great responsibilities as she tried to ease things for young Fatimah. We must not forget to mention here the household of the Prophet’s uncle, ‘Abbaas ibn ‘Abdul-Muttalib. For, they helped the young Fatimah alot. His wife, Umm al-Fadhl was among the women who had embraced Islaam and believed in Allah and His Messenger. She was indeed like a compassionate mother towards the Prophet’s daughters.

Fatimah was very patient and forbearing. She doubled her efforts, bore the difficult events with patience and endured, hoping her reward from Allah. She stood beside her father, so as to try and compensate him for what he lost by the death of her mother. In turn the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) gave his daughter Fatimah abundant love, affection, compassion and care. For, which heart was more loving than Muhammad’s (peace be upon him), and which compassion was greater than his?!