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Guest Impressions

Fatima - The Daughter of the Prophet peace be upon him

Translation of a talk by Amr Khalid in Arabic by Mona Soueid

The sons of the Prophet were al-Qasim, Abdullah, Tahir/Tayib, and the daughters were Zaynab, Ruqayya, Umm Kulthoom and Fatima.

She was born five years before her father was sent as a Prophet. Mohammed was 35 years old when she was born. She was born during the year when the Ka’bah was being rebuilt. She became a Muslim when she was 5 years old, as soon as her father was sent as a Prophet. She was the youngest Muslim in Islam.

What does the name Fatima mean? It comes from the word ‘fitam’ which means the one that is kept away from evil and bad character. Fatima has four nicknames. Does anyone know them? They are 'Zahraa’, ‘Batuul’, ‘Umm al-hasan wal-husayn’ and the last is the nicest nickname ‘Ummu Abeeha’. From the extent of her love and affection for the Prophet, and the fact that she was always with him and trying to defend him, just as a mother has these feeling towards her child, so she became known as ‘Umm Abeeha’ by the Sahaba and scholars. She was called Zahraa because she greatly resembled the Prophet in that she was white and her cheeks were a rosy, pink colour, or as some scholars say it is because she is the flower of the Prophets peace be upon him life. Why is she called Batuul? The word Batuul is used to refer to Maryam the mother of Jesus peace be upon him. Fatimas worship resembled Maryams worship as well as her modesty and so she was called Batuul. The Prophet said that, ‘Fatima is the sayidat of the women of Paradise after Maryam’.


My intention is for us to love her greatly because she was greatly loved by the Prophet peace be upon him. The Prophets peace be upon hims extent of love for her was beyond the normal bounds. For example, the Prophet peace be upon him would say, ‘Fatima is a part of me, he who upsets her, upsets me’. There is a hadith where the Prophet  peace be upon him says, ‘Me, Fatima and al-Hasan and al-Husayn and he who loves us comes on the Day of Judgement while the people are being held to account and they sit with us while we eat and drink until people have finished being questioned by Allah’ (Hadith in Tabarani). The Prophet peace be upon him has a hadith where he talks about what will happen on the Day of Judgement, talking about the intercession where everyone is afraid and they require some one to intercede for them. The Prophet peace be upon him says, 'All the Prophets that Day will be saying, “myself, myself”, except me, I will say “O my Lord, my Ummah, my Ummah, O my Lord I do not ask you for my sake nor for the sake of Fatima my daughter”’.


Also if the Prophet peace be upon him would be seated and Fatima would enter he would get up and kiss her between her eyes, all the time. And therefore when he was about to die, she could tell because he was unable to stand up to kiss her. These days fathers don’t even know how to hug their daughters let alone greet them with a kiss. Look at the affection, softness and sweetness of the Prophet peace be upon him.

If the Prophet peace be upon him was traveling and entered alMadina, the first thing he would do when he enters al Madina is he enters the Masjid and prays 2 rakat and then he goes and visits Fatima. And if he was leaving Madina the last thing he would do before leaving is to go and see her. Look at our Prophet peace be upon him, and this affection and how important she was to him.


Amongst all this love for her, the Prophet peace be upon him still would not be biased in dealing with her. The Prophet peace be upon him said, “By Allah, if Fatima the daughter of Mohammed stole something Mohammed would chop off her hand”. Many parents love their kids and so they end up oppressing others because of it, and so they ruin the child. Look at his equality or justice near his love.

So why is all this love for Fatima and all this honour in that she is the sayidat of the women of Paradise? One of the reasons is that she is the product of the Prophets peace be upon him upbringing and therefore she resembled him the most. She had the greatest resemblance to the Prophet peace be upon him in appearance, character, walking. Aisha radi allahu anha says, “I have never seen anyone resemble the Prophet in his way of dealing with people, or character more than Fatima”. She also said, ‘I have never seen a greater resemblance in the style of walking of the Prophet peace be upon him, then of Fatima. Aisha also said, ‘I have never seen anyone more truthful or more modest than Fatima other than her father - the Prophet Mohammed’.


Imagine her maturity. When she was 18yrs old the Prophet peace be upon him was married to nine women. She never backbit any of them or said anything displeasing about any of them. Can you imagine that situation now with one of us, the punch-ons that would happen with the mother in-law?


She had an enormous amount of patience. She went through a lot. Her mother died when she was 10yrs old, and so she lived alone. And she saw her father who was known as ‘the truthful and trustworthy’ being hit and hurt. And she lived through the mihna. And her father migrated and left her, and she then migrated after him. And she lost her 3 sisters and then her brothers also died. She was patient through all of this. She saw her father as he was dying between her hands. When we simply hear about the story of the Prophets death we get emotional, can you imagine Fatima’s situation. She was patient in her lifestyle, as her husband Ali was poor and she would have nothing to eat.


She was also one of the only ones who lived through the stages of Islam from the moment that her father was made a Prophet until his death. The only other person was Abu Bakr, so they witnessed everything that happened to the Prophet and they also shared in the suffering right from the start until the end. As a result, she became the person she is.


Lets look at her life in Mecca as a child. From when she was born until she was 5yrs old, when she started maturing, she used to see her father climb up to the cave and then her mother would take her up also to see her father while in the cave. She would see her mother give some food to her father and she would comfort him and then they would return. Her mother is Khadija, and her father is the Prophet peace be upon him, her husband Ali, her children Hasan and Husayn. Once she found her father as he came back from the cave shivering and saying, ‘cover me, cover me’ and she started hearing that this man – her father is now the Prophet of Allah for this nation. And the Prophet peace be upon him after becoming a Messenger, gathered all his relatives and he began saying, ‘Oh Banu Hashim save yourselves from the fire, Oh Banu AbdulMuttalib save yourselves from the fire, Oh Abbas the uncle of the Prophet save yourself from the fire, Oh Safiyya the aunt of the Prophet save yourself from the fire, Oh Fatima the daughter of Mohammed save yourself from the Hell fire, for I can do you know good in front of Allah’. She was five years old at the time, and from then she decided that she wanted to be a Muslim and to help her father, not just simply be the daughter of the Prophet. Fatima used to always follow or accompany her father wherever he would go, she would try to help him if he needed anything, or protect him if anyone would try to harm him, while she was only 6 or 7 yrs old. She used to witness her father being harmed and hit. That’s why when we read the seerah of the Prophet peace be upon him, whenever the Prophet peace be upon him would be in a harmful situation someone would come to his aid- it would be Fatima. She would not be out playing with the girls her age, she would be looking out for her father. And compare us, all we care about is getting this guy to like me, or fixing up my makeup, or going shopping for the 10th pair of jeans. We need to feel that we are individually responsible for this religion. The religion is not just for the Prophet Mohammed or for the daughter of Mohammed, or for the sahaba - it is for all of us.


Once she saw her father while he was in Sujood, Uqba ibn Abi Mu’ayt came and placed the guts of a dead animal on the Prophets peace be upon hims back while he was praying. The Prophet peace be upon him stayed in his position, and Fatima ran to her father and removed the filth off his back while she was crying. The Prophet saw her crying and said, ‘Don’t cry my daughter for indeed Allah will make your father victorious’.


And a number of times the Prophet peace be upon him would enter his house full of soil, because the Kuffar would throw at him the soil, she would run to him before her other sisters get to him and she would start wiping off the dirt from him, while she would be crying. And again the Prophet peace be upon him would tell her, ‘Don’t cry my daughter for indeed Allah will make your father victorious’.


She also witnessed her father and mother being surrounded and isolated in shi3b (like a prison where Quraysh placed all the muslims in an area of the desert) Banu Talib for three years, and all she would eat is the tree leaves. She was 13 yrs old at the time. So from 13-16yrs old she was in shi’3b banu Talib, eating the leaves off the trees with the sahaba. And after that was finished she was shocked to find that her mother was dying. All of this happened to Fatima. After about 2 or 3 months her mother Khadija died. The strange thing is that a girl who is 16yrs old and her mother is dying said, ‘By Allah I can only say “We belong to Allah and to him we shall return, Oh Allah reward me for the death and loss of my mother, Oh Allah I do not know whether I should be upset at the death of my mother or whether I should be happy in regards to what she was given glad tidings of in Jannah/Paradise’. Just before Khadija died, Jibreel came down to the prophet and said ‘give glad tidings to Khadija of a Palace in paradise. And tell her that Allah says Salam to her’.