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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Wives Of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w

The Wives Of Prophet
Muhammad s.a.w

All of the wives of Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) had been good women, perfectly devoted and resigned to Allah and His Messenger. They had complete faith in the Prophet(pbuh) and in his sayings about Allah and His Attributes and about the reality of the hereafter. They were true believers and they never swerved in their views.

They were devout and prayerful, and earnestly punctual in the observance of religious obligations. If ever they happened to miss any of the duties, they were ready to seek forgiveness of the Lord. They were obedient wives, and they carried out all the instructions that the Prophet (pbuh) gave them. They imitated him in his habits, especially in his generosity. They gave away to the needy all that came to them. They did not hoard coins, gold silver, or even food. They adored Allah. They worshipped Him alone, and meticulously they obeyed all of His Commands in letter and in spirit, considering them as a part of worship. Like the Prophet himself, they fasted not only during Ramadan but also on other days. He had a special preference for fasting in Sha'ban. His wives helped him in his missionary ventures. They always gave him moral support, and never refrained from offering financial aid if and when required.

It was only by Allah revelations that Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) was allowed to marry many women: O Prophet (Muhammad) Verily, We made lawful to you your wives, to whom you have paid their Mahr (money given to wife at time of marriage), and those whom your right hand possesses out of prisoners of war whom Allah has assigned to thee; And daughters of thy paternal uncles and aunts; And daughters of thy maternal uncles and aunts, who migrated (from Makkah) with thee; And any believing woman who dedicates her soul to the prophet if the prophet wishes to wed her â€" this is only for thee, and not for the Believers (at large)….. Surah 33 Al-Ahzab, Verse 50. Also equally it was by Allah revelation that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did not marry more women: It is not lawful for you (O Muhammad, to marry more) women after this, nor exchange them for other wives, even though their beauty is pleasing to you, except those whom your right hand possesses; And Allah is always watching over everything. Surah 33 Al-Ahzab, Verse 52 after this revelation Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) did not marry again.

Each one of the Prophetsâ€TM wives were incredible women therefore we should mention each one them along with the characteristics they are most known for.

1) Khadija (R.A) was a lady of dignity and opulence. Khadija was married twice before and had become a widow on both occasions. She was a wealthy businesswoman. Khadija was 40 when she married Muhammad(pbuh). She was a true believer; she was steadfast and devout. She performed all of the rituals of Islam. She observed the stipulated Salat with Muhammad(pbuh). She fasted as Muhammad(pbuh) did. She gave alms, she gave in the cause of Allah all the wealth she had, she didnâ€TMt even think of keeping some for herself. Khadija in fact sacrificed her ease and comfort for the sake of Allah and his messenger. She was submissive and obedient to her husband; she was a devoted wife. She looked after Muhammad(pbuh), she took care of him, she helped him, she co-operated with him, she made all types of sacrifices for him as she realised he had been blessed with divine achievements. She was able to console and comfort him in his early days of his prophethood. Khadija was the first believer. She was the first to publicly declare, (the shadaha) “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” She gave Muhammad unremitting encouragement. Besides Maria, Khadija was the only one of Prophet Muhammadâ€TMs(pbuh) wives to have his children. Their first child, a son whom they named Qasim, died when he was only two years old. They had two more sons called Tayyib and Tahir but they too died in their infancy. However Muhammad and Khadija also had four daughters who survived they were named Zaynab, Ruqayya, Umm Kulthum and Fatima. All of Prophet Muhammadâ€TMs(pbuh) children died in his lifetime except Fatima. Khadija died in December 619 AD, at the age of 65 after a short illness (RA). The Prophet mourned her deeply, they had shared 25 years of marriage together and she had given birth to seven of his children.

2) Saudah (R.A) was married to Muhammad after Khadijaâ€TMs death. Saudah was one of the earliest converts to Islam and had suffered much since she embraced Islam: she and her husband migrated for the sake of Islam. She was left a widow after the death of her husband. Muhammad worried after Khadijaâ€TMs death, as there was no one to look after his children. It was decided that Muhammad needed an affectionate sincere companion who could also look after his children. Saudah was about 50 years old when she married Muhammad in 2 AH (620 AD). Saudah was very obedient and dutiful; in this respect she surpassed all the other wives of the Prophet. She was also very generous, like the prophet and more so than any of his wives except Ayesha. Saudah died in 23 AH from old age (RA).

3) Ayesha was married to the Prophet in the 10th year of his prophethood. Ayesha rended a great service to Islam by spreading its teachings and the practices of the Holy Prophet long after his death. Ayesha was very intelligent, able and alert and gained immense knowledge of various problems from the Prophet.

A deep study of this relationship shows that it was basically a spiritual and intellectual relationship. The Prophet found Ayesha at a very high level of spiritual attainment and intellectual understanding of Tawheed (Oneness of Allah) and the knowledge of Islam. Ayeshaâ€TMs stature and character as a woman was of great integrity and knowledge whose love for Allahâ€TMs religion was beyond doubt or question. Ayesha died at the age of 57 (R.A). Ayesha has remained popularly respected and revered by the Muslim world. She narrated over 2210 hadith of the Prophet.

Ayesha could read and write. Ayesha prided herself on being the only virgin that the Prophet ever married and that she had been shown to him by the angel Gabriel. Prophet Muhammad received revelations in Ayeshaâ€TMs presence. Ayeshaâ€TMs love and devotion to Muhammad and his cause made her excel over his other wives in many ways. Ayesha was Muhammadâ€TMs favourite wife. She was a scholar in the Quran, faraid (inheritance), halal and haram (lawful and unlawful things), fiqh (jurisprudence), poetry, medicine, Arabic history and genealogy. She used to give Fatwa (judgement) in her lifetime. Prophet Muhammad died in Ayeshaâ€TMs lap.

4) Hafasah's (R.A) husband died as a martyr at the battle of Badr. Nothing was left by her husband after his death. Hafasahâ€TMs father tried in vain to find a husband for her, finally he went to the Prophet in a rage, and it was then that the Prophet said he would marry Hafasah. They were married in 3 AH (625 AD).

Hafasah was known for her devotion in prayer and fasting. Hafasah was also the rightful custodian of the original copy of the Quran. She passed away in 45 AH (R.A). Sixty Hadith are reported by her.

5) Zainab (daughter of Khuzaimah) (R.A) was very generous and charitable she fed the poor and needy generously. She became widowed after her husband was martyred in the battle of Uhud. She was married to the Prophet the same year but died only a few months after their marriage. She was the only wife after Khadija that died during the Prophetâ€TMs lifetime. She was thirty years old when she died (R.A).

6) Umm Salamah (R.A); her actual name was Hind but she was known as Umm Salamah as she had a son named Salamah from her first marriage. She embraced Islam with her husband and is considered to be one of the earliest Muslims. Umm Salamah was wise and brave. She remained with her husband until the battle of Uhud where he was mortally wounded. She was left with two children Salamah and Zainab. The Prophet proposed to her and they were married in 4 AH. Though all the wives of the Prophet were learned women and possessed great knowledge Ayesha and Umm Salamah had no rivals. Umm Salamah could read the Quran in the style of the Prophet. She narrated 378 hadith. She was very simple and lived a very pious life. She was the last of the Prophetâ€TMs wives to die. She died at the age of 84 in 63 AH (R.A).

7) Zainab (daughter of Jahsh) (R.A) â€" her original name was Barra, which the Prophet changed when she embraced Islam. Zainab had previously been married but within a year she had become divorced. When Zainab and the Prophet were married the Prophet gave a grand feast. A goat was slaughtered and about 300 people enjoyed the feast. Zainab was a beautiful woman; she was pious, kept fast, engaged in prayer at night and spent all of her wealth on the poor and needy. She was truthful, generous, charitable and engaged in the pleasure of Allah. In piety and taqwa (fear of Allah) she was at a very high level.

Zainab was very contented and generous by temperament. She made her living by her own hand and spent it all in the way of Allah. She died in the year 20 AH (R.A). Zainab was excellent at handwork, curing and tanning of skins and cobbling. All the things that she made at home were sold and the money given to the poor and needy. She was unique in the fact that her marriage was conducted by the command of Allah.

8) Juwairiyah (R.A) ; Her tribe fought against Prophet Muhammad and his troops. Juwairiyah along with others from her tribe was held captive. The captives were distributed and Juwairiyah gave a deed for her freedom. She was a most beautiful young lady. She captivated every man that saw her. Juwairiyah went the Prophet to seek help in this matter to which the Prophet Replied, “I shall discharge you your debt and marry you”. Juwairiyah accepted this proposal. She was a very devoted worshipper and rememberer of Allah. She was a devoted Muslim. Six traditions of the Prophet are narrated by her. She died in the year 50 AH when she was 65 years old (R.A). She used to fast 3 days a month.

9) Umm Habibah Ramla (R.A) was married to the Prophet in the year 6 AH (628 AD). Previously Umm Habibah had been married; her husband had become Muslim and then after some time converted to Christianity. Umm Habibah was a good Muslim so she left her husband. She was a lady of dignity and lived alone until she received the proposal of Prophet Muhammad, she was immensely pleased to marry the Prophet. She was one of the earliest converts to Islam and was a very good and sincere believer. She was very virtuous, of the highest character, charitable and of great courage. About 65 hadith were narrated by her. She died sometime between 40 and 44 AH (R.A).

10) Safiyah (R.A) belonged to a Jewish tribe. Safiyah and her first husband divorced. She married again but her husband was killed when Muslims fought against her colony. The Prophet married Safiyah. He gave her the choice of joining her people who were captives when they were set free or accepting Islam and marring him. She was intelligent and gentle and said, “I had hoped for Islam…. Allah and his messenger are dearer to me than my own freedom and my joining with my own people”. Safiyah was young and extremely beautiful. She greatly respected Muhammad as Allahâ€TMs messenger. She spared no pain to look after him, care for him and provide every comfort that she could think of. Safiyah had many good qualities; she was intelligent, learned and gentle. Gentleness and patience were her dominant qualities. She died sometime between 50 and 52 AH at the age of 60 (R.A).

11) Maimunah (R.A) original name, which was Barra, had been divorced. Her second husband died and she became a widow. She then married the Prophet. Maimunah was the most virtuous and Allah fearing of all of Prophet Muhammadâ€TMs wives and was the most considerate in treating her relatives well. She died in 51 AH (R.A).

12) Maryam Qibtiyah (R.A) also known as Maria al-Qibtiyah. Maryam and her sister were sent to Prophet Muhammad as gifts. They had been raised in Egypt as Copts, before they reached Madina both girls accepted Islam. Maryam is said to have married Prophet Muhammad(pbuh). Maryamâ€TMs sister was married to Hasan b. Salat.

Maryam was not allotted an ordinary hut where the other wives lived, but a garden house was built for Maryam in upper Madina. Maryam bore a son who was named Ibrahim. Maryam was the only wife beside Khadija to have the Prophetâ€TMs(pbuh) child. Maryam was loved and liked by all the wives as she had brought joy into the Prophetâ€TMs life. The Prophet(pbuh) spent much time with them in their garden home playing with his son. Unfortunately when Ibrahim was only 18 months old, Ibrahim became seriously ill and died.

Maryam spent three years with the Prophet, until his death, and died five years later in 16 AH. During the last five years of her life she remained a recluse and almost never went out except to visit the grave of the prophet or her sonâ€TMs grave.

 =(SAWS)Sallahahu Alaihe Wa Sallam - means may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him.
R.A =Radhiallahu Anha - means may Allah be pleased with her.

There is much more we could say about these amazing women and learn from them... but just for ease I have summarized the main points... Insha Allah this will inspire you to read more about The Wives of Prophet Muhammad."

18 Nov 2007

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh); The Ideal Husband

By Fethullah Gulen

Muslim Intellectual - Turkey

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

Prophet Muhammad personifies the roles of perfect father and husband. He was so kind and tolerant with his wives that they could not envisage their lives without him, nor did they want to live away from him. He married Sawdah, his second wife, while in Makkah. After a while, he wanted to divorce her for certain reasons. She was extremely upset at this news and implored him, "O Messenger of Allah, I wish no worldly thing of you. I will sacrifice the time allocated to me if you don't want to visit me. But please don't deprive me of being your wife. I want to go to the hereafter as your wife. I care for nothing else" (Muslim).

The Messenger did not divorce her, nor did he stop visiting her.

Once he noticed that Hafsah was uncomfortable over their financial situation. "If she wishes, I may set her free," he said, or something to that effect. This suggestion so alarmed her that she requested mediators to persuade him not to do so. He kept his faithful friend's daughter as his trusted wife.

Separation Calamity

All of his wives viewed separation from the Messenger of Allah as a calamity, so firmly had he established himself in their hearts. They were completely at one with him. They shared in his blessed, mild, and natural life. If he had left them, they would have died of despair. If he had divorced one of them, she would have waited at his doorstep until the Last Day.

After his death, there was much yearning and a great deal of grief. Abu Bakr and `Umar found the Messenger's wives weeping whenever they visited them. Their weeping seemed to continue for the rest of their lives. Muhammad left an everlasting impression on everyone. At one point, he had nine wives and dealt equally with all of them and without any serious problems. He was a kind and gentle husband, and never behaved harshly or rudely. In short, he was the perfect husband.

Each of his wives thought that she was his most beloved.

A few days before his death, he said, "A servant has been allowed to choose this world or his Lord. He chose his Lord" (Al-Bukhari). Abu Bakr, intelligent and smart, began to cry, understanding that the Prophet was talking about himself. His illness got worse daily, and his severe headache caused him to writhe in pain. But even during this difficult period, he continued to treat his wives with kindness and gentleness. He asked for permission to stay in one room, as he had no strength to visit them one by one. His wives agreed, and the Messenger spent his last days in `A'ishah's room.

Most Beloved

Each wife, because of his generosity and kindness, thought she was his most beloved. The idea that any man could show complete equality and fairness in his relationships with nine women seems impossible. For this reason, the Messenger of Allah asked God's pardon for any unintentional leanings. He would pray, "I may have unintentionally shown more love to one of them than the others, and this would be injustice. So, O Lord, I take refuge in Your grace for those things beyond my power." (At-Tirmidhi).

What gentleness and sensitivity! I wonder if anyone else could show such kindness to his children or spouses. When people manage to cover up their lower inborn tendencies, it is as if they have done something very clever and shown tremendous willpower. But they sometimes expose these very defects unconsciously while bragging of their cleverness. The Messenger, despite showing no fault, sought only God's forgiveness.

His gentleness penetrated his wives' souls so deeply that his departure led to what they must have felt to be an unbridgeable separation. They did not commit suicide, as Islam forbids it, but their lives now became full of endless sorrow and ceaseless tears.

The Messenger was kind and gentle to all women, and advised all other men to follow him in this regard. Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas described his kindness as follows:

`Umar said: One day I went to the Prophet and saw him smiling. "May God make you smile forever, O Messenger of God," I said, and asked why he was smiling. "I smile at those women. They were chatting in front of me before you came. When they heard your voice, they all vanished," he answered still smiling. On hearing this answer, I raised my voice and told them, "O enemies of your own selves, you are scared of me, but you are not scared of the Messenger of God, and you don't show respect to him." "You are hard-hearted and strict," they replied. (Al-Bukhari )

The Messenger discussed matters with his wives as friends.

`Umar also was gentle to women. However, the most handsome man looks ugly when compared to Joseph's beauty. Likewise, `Umar's gentleness and sensitivity seem like violence and severity when compared to those of the Prophet. The women had seen the Messenger's gentleness, sensitivity, and kindness, and so regarded `Umar as strict and severe. Yet `Umar shouldered the caliphate perfectly and became one of the greatest examples after the Prophet. He was a just ruler and strove to distinguish right from wrong. His qualities enabled him to be caliph. Some of his qualities might seem rather severe; however, those very qualities enabled him to shoulder very demanding responsibilities.


The Prophet did consult with his wives. The Messenger discussed matters with his wives as friends. Certainly he did not need their advice, since he was directed by revelation. However, he wanted to teach his nation that Muslim men were to give women every consideration. This was quite a radical idea in his time, as it is today in many parts of the world. He began teaching his people through his own relationship with his wives.

For example, the conditions laid down in the Treaty of Hudaybiyah disappointed and enraged many Muslims, for one condition stipulated that they could not make the pilgrimage that year. They wanted to reject the treaty, continue on to Makkah, and face the possible consequences. But the Messenger ordered them to slaughter their sacrificial animals and take off their pilgrim attire. Some Companions hesitated, hoping that he would change his mind. He repeated his order, but they continued to hesitate. They did not oppose him; rather, they still hoped he might change his mind, for they had set out with the intention of pilgrimage and did not want to stop half way.

Noticing this reluctance, the Prophet returned to his tent and asked Umm Salamah, his wife accompanying him at that time, what she thought of the situation. So she told him, fully aware that he did not need her advice. In doing this, he taught Muslim men an important social lesson: There is nothing wrong with exchanging ideas with women on important matters, or on any matters at all.

She said, "O Messenger of God, don't repeat your order. They may resist and thereby perish. Slaughter your sacrificial animal and change out of your pilgrim attire. They will obey you, willingly or not, when they see that your order is final" (Al-Bukhari).

He immediately took a knife in his hand, went outside, and began to slaughter his sheep. The Companions began to do the same, for now it was clear that his order would not be changed.

The Messenger encouraged us through his enlightening example to behave kindly with women.

Counsel and consultation, like every good deed, were practiced by God's Messenger first within his own family and then in the wider community. Even today, we understand so little about his relationships with his wives that it is as if we are wandering aimlessly around a plot of land, unaware of the vast treasure buried below our feet.

Two Halves

Women are secondary beings in the minds of many, including those self-appointed defenders of women's rights as well as many self-proclaimed Muslim men. In Islam, a woman is part of a whole, a part that renders the other half useful. We believe that when the two halves come together, the true unity of a human being appears. When this unity does not exist, humanity does not exist - nor can prophethood, sainthood, or even Islam
Our Prophet encouraged us through his enlightening words to behave kindly to women. He declared, "The most perfect believers are the best in character, and the best of you are the kindest to their families" (Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi). It is clear that women have received the true honor and respect they deserve, not just in theory but in actual practice, only once in history - during the period of Prophet Muhammad.

This World or the Next

The wives of the Messenger were given the choice of remaining with him or leaving:

[O Prophet, say to your wives: "If you desire the life of this world and its glitter, then come! I will provide for your enjoyment and set you free in a handsome manner. But if you seek God, His Messenger, and the Home of the Hereafter, verily God has prepared for you, the well-doers among you, a great reward."] (Al-Ahzab 33:29)

A few of his wives who wanted a more prosperous life asked, "Couldn't we live a little more luxuriously, like other Muslims do? Couldn't we have at least a bowl of soup every day, or some prettier garments?" At first sight, such wishes might be considered fair and just. However, they were members of the family that was to be an example for all Muslim families until the Last Day.

The Messenger reacted by going into retreat. The news spread, and everyone rushed to the mosque and began to cry. The smallest grief felt by their beloved Messenger was enough to bring them all to tears, and even the smallest incident in his life would disturb them. Abu Bakr and `Umar, seeing the event in a different light as their daughters were directly involved, rushed to the mosque. They wanted to see him, but he would not leave his retreat. Eventually, on their third attempt, they gained entry and began to rebuke their daughters. The Messenger saw what was happening, but only said, "I cannot afford what they want" (Muslim).

The Qur'an declared [O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women] (Al-Ahzab 33:32).

Others might save themselves by simply fulfilling their obligations, but those who were at the very center of Islam had to devote themselves fully so that no weakness would appear at the center. There were advantages in being the Prophet's wives, but these advantages brought responsibilities and potential risks. The Messenger was preparing them as exemplars for all present and future Muslim women. He was especially worried that they might enjoy the reward for their good deeds in this world and thereby be included in [You have exhausted your share of the good things in your life of the world and sought comfort in them](Al-Ahqaf 46:20).

Life in the Prophet's house was uncomfortable. For this reason, either explicitly or implicitly, his wives made some modest demands. As their status was unique, they were not expected to enjoy themselves in a worldly sense. Some godly people laugh only a few times during their lives; others never fill their stomachs. For example, Fudayl ibn `Iyad never laughed. He smiled only once, and those who saw him do so asked him why he smiled, for they were greatly surprised. He told them, "Today I learned that my son `Ali died. I was happy to hear that God had loved him, and so I smiled" (Abu Nu`aym, Hilyat al-Awliya'). If there were such people outside of the Prophet's household, his wives, who were even more pious and respectful of God and regarded as Mothers of the Believers, would certainly be of a higher degree.

It is not easy to merit being together with the Messenger in this world and the hereafter. Thus, these special women were put to a great test. The Messenger allowed them to choose his poor home or the world's luxury. If they chose the world, he would give them whatever they wanted and then dissolve his marriage with them. If they chose God and His Messenger, they had to be content with their lives. This was a peculiarity of his family. Since this family was unique, its members had to be unique. The head of the family was chosen, as were the wives and children.

The Messenger first called `A'ishah and said, "I want to discuss something with you. You'd better talk with your parents before making a decision." Then he recited the verses mentioned above. Her decision was exactly as expected from a truthful daughter of a truthful father: "O Messenger of Allah, do I need to talk with my parents? By Allah, I choose Allah and His Messenger" (Muslim).

`A'ishah herself tells us what happened next: "The Messenger received the same answer from all his wives. No one expressed a different opinion. They all said what I had said." They did so because they were all at one with the Messenger. They could not differ. If the Messenger had told them to fast for a lifetime without break, they would have done so and endured it with pleasure. However, they endured hardship until their deaths.

Some of his wives had enjoyed an extravagant lifestyle before their marriage to him. One of these was Safiyyah, who had lost her father and husband and had been taken prisoner during the Battle of Khaybar. She must have been very angry with the Messenger, but when she saw him, her feelings changed completely. She endured the same destiny as the other wives. They endured it because love of the Messenger had penetrated their hearts.

Mothers of the Believers

The Messenger was the perfect head of a family.

Safiyyah was a Jew. Once, she was dismayed when this fact was mentioned to her sarcastically. She informed the Messenger, expressing her sadness. He comforted her saying, "If they repeat it, tell them, 'My father is Prophet Aaron, my uncle is Prophet Moses, and my husband is, as you see, Prophet Muhammad, the Chosen One. What do you have more than me to be proud of?'"

The Qur'an declares that his wives are the Mothers of the Believers (Al-Ahzab 33:6). Although 14 centuries have passed, we still feel delight in saying "my mother" when referring to Khadijah, `A'ishah, Umm Salamah, Hafsah, and his other wives. We feel this because of him. Some feel more love for these women than they do for their real mothers. Certainly, this feeling must have been deeper, warmer, and stronger in the Prophet's own time.

The Messenger was the perfect head of a family. Managing many women with ease, being a lover of their hearts, an instructor of their minds, an educator of their souls, he never neglected the affairs of the nation or compromised his duties.

The Messenger excelled in every area of life. People should not compare him to themselves or to the so-called great personalities of their age. Researchers should look at him, the one to whom angels are grateful, always remembering that he excelled in every way. If they want to look for Muhammad they must search for him in his own dimensions. Our imaginations cannot reach him, for we do not even know how to imagine properly. God bestowed upon him, as His special favor, superiority in every field.

Ideal Father & Grandfather

Prophet Muhammad was an extraordinary husband, a perfect father, and a unique grandfather. He was unique in every way. He treated his children and grandchildren with great compassion, and never neglected to direct them to the straight path and to good deeds. He loved them and treated them tenderly, but did not allow them to neglect matters related to the afterlife. He showed them how to lead a humane life, and never allowed them to neglect their religious duties or to become spoiled. His ultimate goal was to prepare them for the hereafter. His perfect balance in such matters is another dimension of his divinely inspired intellect.

Anas ibn Malik, the Messenger's servant for 10 continuous years, says, "I have never seen a man who was more compassionate to his family members than Muhammad." (Muslim) If this admission were made just by us, it could be dismissed as unimportant. However, millions of people, so benign and compassionate that they would not even offend an ant, declare that he embraced everything with compassion. He was a human like us, but God inspired in him such an intimate affection for every living thing that he could establish a connection with all of them. As a result, he was full of extraordinary affection toward his family members and others.

All of the Prophet's sons died. Ibrahim, his last son, died in infancy. The Prophet often visited his son before the latter's death, although the Prophet was very busy. Ibrahim was looked after by a nurse. The Prophet would kiss and play with him before returning home. (Muslim) When Ibrahim took his last breaths, the eyes of the Prophet started shedding tears. `Abdur-Rahman ibn `Awf said, "O Allah's Messenger, even you (weep)!" The Prophet said, "O Ibn `Auf, this is mercy." Then he wept more and said, "The eyes shed tears and the heart grieves, and we will not say except what pleases our Lord, O Ibrahim ! Indeed we are grieved by your separation." (Al-Bukhari)

The Messenger was completely balanced in the way he brought up his children. He loved his children and grandchildren very much, and instilled love in them. However, he never let his love for them be abused. None of them deliberately dared to do anything wrong. If they made an unintentional mistake, the Messenger's protection prevented them from going even slightly astray. He did this by wrapping them in love and an aura of dignity. For example, once Hasan or Husain wanted to eat a date that had been given to be distributed among the poor as alms. The Messenger immediately took it from his hand, and said, "Anything given as alms is forbidden to us." (Ibn Hanbal, Muslim) In teaching them while they were young to be sensitive to forbidden acts, he established an important principle of education.

Whenever he returned to Madinah, he would carry children on his mount. On such occasions, the Messenger embraced not only his grandchildren but also those in his house and those nearby. He conquered their hearts through his compassion. He loved all children.

He loved his granddaughter Umamah. He often went out with her on his shoulders, and even placed her on his shoulders while praying. When he prostrated, he put her down; when he had finished praying, he placed her on his back again. (Muslim) He showed this degree of love to Umamah to teach his male followers how to treat girls. This was a vital necessity; only a decade earlier, it had been the social norm to bury infant or young girls alive. Such public paternal affection for a granddaughter had never been seen before in Arabia.

The Messenger proclaimed that Islam allows no discrimination between son and daughter. How could there be? One is Muhammad, the other is Khadijah; one is Adam, the other is Eve; one is 'Ali, the other is Fatima. For every great man there is a great woman.

As soon as Fatimah, the daughter of the Messenger, entered the room where the Messenger was, he would stand, take her hands, and make her sit where he was sitting. He would ask about her health and family, show his paternal love for her, and compliment her.

Fatimah, knowing how fond he was of her, loved him more than her own self. Her great mission was to be the seed for godly people. She always watched her father and how he called people to Islam. She wept and groaned when the Messenger told her that he would die soon, and rejoiced when he told her that she would be the first family member to follow him. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) Her father loved her, and she loved her father.

* This article was taken, with slight modifications, with kind permission from theauthor's website.
is an influential Turkish Muslim intellectual who inspired a series of social activities, including a transnational education and business network, interfaith dialogue forums, and multicultural encounters. Fethullah Gulen.

Song for Gaza

WE WILL NOT GO DOWN (Song for Gaza)

(Composed by Michael Heart)
Copyright 2009

A blinding flash of white light
Lit up the sky over Gaza tonight
People running for cover
Not knowing whether they're dead or alive

They came with their tanks and their planes
With ravaging fiery flames
And nothing remains
Just a voice rising up in the smoky haze

We will not go down
In the night, without a fight
You can burn up our mosques and our homes and our schools
But our spirit will never die
We will not go down
In Gaza tonight

Women and children alike
Murdered and massacred night after night
While the so-called leaders of countries afar
Debated on who's wrong or right

But their powerless words were in vain
And the bombs fell down like acid rain
But through the tears and the blood and the pain
You can still hear that voice through the smoky haze

We will not go down
In the night, without a fight
You can burn up our mosques and our homes and our schools
But our spirit will never die
We will not go down
In Gaza tonight