- The Prophet, the Father
- The Prophet, the Father of Children
- The Prophet, the Humble and Simple Father
- The Prophet, the Lovely and Merciful Father
- The Prophet, the Father with Objectives and Visions
- The Prophet, the Responsible Father
- The Prophet, the Father-Teacher-Educator
- The Prophet, the Father in-Law
Alhamdulillah; all praise and thanks are due to Allah, Who has made for us, a good example in the Prophet, so we can have easy access to Him and to the Day of Judgement. May His Peace and Blessings be upon the Prophet, the Father of all believers; Habibi Muhammad, his household, his companions and all those who follow his guided path, till the Day of Judgement.
Two weeks ago, in my previous article, ‘The Prophet, The Husband’ (click here to read it), we had a spiritually virtual tour, in which we were advantaged and honoured to take a close look at the Prophet salla Allah ‘alaihi wasallam, as a husband. We also had the opportunity to learn how to present ourselves as husbands, in the light of the life of the ‘Prophet Muhammad, salla Allahu a’laihi wasallam (click here to read about him).
Today, in this article, we are seeking another honour to learn from the life of the Prophet, how fatherly he was, in the hope that we can walk in the light of his fatherliness, an opportunity that will have good impact on our children as parents, on our students as teachers and educators, and on our young ones outside our homes, as neighbours, friends, exemplary adults and role models, insha Allah.
First things first, let’s define fatherliness, with relation to the Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam.
The Prophet was a father, but unlike any other father. In addition to being a biological father, the Prophet was, and is a father to every Muslim (believer). This is because his wives are made mothers to every single believer. The Qur’an says in Surah Al-Ahzab, 33:6:
النَّبِيُّ أَوْلَىٰ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ مِنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ وَأَزْوَاجُهُ أُمَّهَاتُهُمْ
It means, “The Prophet is more worthy of the believers than themselves, and his wives are their mothers”
It was narrated, that whenever Sayyiduna Abdullah Ibn Mas’oud, radhiya Allahu ‘anhu, read this verse, he would add a phrase that means, “And he (the Prophet Muhammad) is their father”. In other words, “The Prophet is more worthy of the believers than themselves, his wives are their mothers, and he is their father.”
This being said, some may argue saying, Allah has declared that the Prophet is not a father to any of us. Why then do I claim here, that the Prophet was, and is still a father to every believer? The verse says in Surah Al-Azhab, 33:40:
مَّا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَا أَحَدٍ مِّن رِّجَالِكُمْ وَلَـٰكِن رَّسُولَ اللَّـهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيِّينَ
It means, “Muhammad is not the father of [any] one of your men, but [he is] the Messenger of Allah and last of the prophets.”
The verse was descended to abolish adoption. We all (most of us) know, that the Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, adopted Zaid, and Zaid was called Zaid Ibn Muhammad, instead of Zaid Ibn Harithah. When the verse was revealed, Zaid was called Zaid Ibn Al-Harithah, following his biological father’s name.
To emphasize on the abolishing of adoption, Allah commanded the Prophet to marry the wife of Zaid Ibn Al-Harithah, when he divorces her. People started to whisper among themselves, especially the non-Muslims and the hypocrites, that Muhammad is marrying his daughter in-law.
Descending the above verse (Al-Ahzab, 33:40) was necessary because, demonstrate to those people, that Zaid is not the [biological] son of Muhammad, and neither does any other man, except his own children (Al-Qasim, Abdullah and Ibrahim) who all died in their childhood.
On the other hand, Allah said in the same Surah, Al-Ahzab, 33:6, that “The Prophet is more worthy of the believers than themselves, and his wives are their mothers.” If the Prophet’s wives are mothers to believers, why can’t he be a father to them?
In addition to the fact that we have to regard him as our father, we have to prioritize his commands and teaching above our own desires, and above the commands of our parents, if their commands contradict with his (the Prophet’s) desire.
Here, it’s important to indicate, what I believe, which I believe that we all know; that the Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, did not leave a male child behind. This means, all his biological descendants relate to him through his daughters.
This being said, the lineage of the Prophet is the most honourable lineage mankind has ever seen. It’s blessed with the existence of the Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam. Therefore, any offspring, which comes out of it, be it from males side (which did not exist) or females, it’s something to cherish and appreciate.
So, the fatherhood the Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, demonstrated in his life, bypassed his biological children to include any believing Muslim, starting from his time, till the Day of Judgement.
Now, let’s take a look at the children of the Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam.
The Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, married a total of 11 wives in his life. But the maximum number of wives he had at any one time was 9. Among all of them, only two bore children for him. The two were Sayyidatuna Khadijah, and Sayyidatuna Maria Al-Qibtiyyah, radhiya Allahu ‘anhuma.
Sayyidatuna Khadijah, radhiya Allahu ‘anha, had 6 children, whereby Sayyidatuna Maria, radhiya Allahu ‘anha, had one child; may Allah be pleased with them all.
The Prophet’s Children from Sayyidatuna Khadijah
Sayyiduna Al-Qasim, radhiya Allahu ‘anhu: He was the eldest son of the Prophet. He passed away in his childhood. That was in Makkah, before the prophethood of the Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam. The following was nicknamed following his name, as Abul-Qasim and it means, “Fathaer of Al-Qasim.”
Sayyiduna Abdullah, radhiya Allahu ‘anhu: He was born after the Propet was chosen as a Messenger of Allah. He also passed away in his childhood.
Sayyidatuna Zainab, radhiya Allahu ‘anha: She was the eldest daughter of the Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam. She married Sayyiduna Abul Aas Ibn Al-Rabee’, radhiya Allahu ‘anhu, who was her maternal cousin. She died in year 8, after Hijrah, and left a little daughter, Umamah. Umamah is the famous little girl, whom the Prophet, salla Allahu `alaihi wasallam, used to carry during prayers, and when he prostrated, and would put her on the ground until he had finished his prayer and then pick her up again.
Sayyidatuna Ruqayyah, radhiya Allahu ‘anha: She was the first daughter of the Prophet, whom Sayyiduna Uthman married. They migrated together to Abyssinia and finally settled in Madinah. They had one son, Abdullah who passed away at the age of 6. Sayyidatuna Ruqayyah passed away two years after migration to Madinah
Sayyidatuna Ummu Kulthum, radhiya Allahu ‘anha: After the death of Sayyidatuna Zainab, the Prophet offered to Sayyidina Uthman, radhiya Allahu ‘anhu, to marry Sayyidatana Ummu Kulthum. This happened in year 3, after Hijrah. And this is the reason why Sayyiduna Uthman was called “the holder of the two lights’ (Zul Nurain) because he married two of the Prophet’s daughters. It was a great honour that none of the other companions had. Sayyidatuna Ummu Kulthum passed away in Shabaan, year 9 after Hijrah.
Sayyidatuna Fathima Al-Zahraa, radhiya Allahu ‘anha: She was the youngest daughter of the Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam. She married Sayyiduna Ali, radhiya Allahu ‘anhu, in Madinah, 2 years after Hijrah. They had 3 sons and 2 daughters. Al-Hassan, Al-Hussain, Al-Muhsin, Ummu Kulthum and Zainab, radhiya Allahu ‘anhum. Allah bestowed His Favours on Sayyidatina Fatimah, radhiya Allahu ‘anha, as the descendants of the Prophet, salla Allahu `alayihi wasallam, were from the offspring of her sons. Thus, the noblest family, throughout history, continued through them. She resembled the Prophet, more than any of his children did; the way he walked, the way he spoke, the way he sat, and the way he interacted. Sayyidatuna Fatimah passed away 6 months after the passing of the Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam.
The Prophet’s Child from Sayyidatuna Maria
Sayyiduna Ibrahim, radhiya Allahu ‘anhu: He was the only son, which Sayyidatuna Maria, radhiya Allahu ‘anha, bore for the Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam. He was also, ultimately the third and last son (child) of the Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam. He passed away in his childhood, at the age of 18 months.
He treated his children fatherly
When Sayyidah Fatimah used to come to the Prophet, he would stand up; to receive her, take her by his side, give her a kiss, ask her about her wellbeing, and make room for her, to join him in the discussion. The Prophet, salla Allahu `alaihi wa sallam, loved her so much that he said, according to Imam Al-Bukhari:
فَاطِمَةُ بِضْعَةٌ مِنِّي، فَمَنْ أَغْضَبَهَا أَغْضَبَنِي
It means, “Fatimah is a part of me, and whoever makes her angry, makes me angry.”
Hasan and Husain played on him, whilst he was praying.
When his son, Ibrahim, radhiya Allahu ‘anhu, fell ill, he was always by the boy’s side. And he humanely shed tears, when the child death was confirmed.
He visited his children’s houses constantly
One of the unique things the Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, did to strengthen his relationship, as a father, with his children, was to pay a personal visit to his daughters’ (children) house.
He had numurously paid visits to Sayyidah Fatimah’s house, for the sake of better bonding, and as part of carrying out fatherhood responsibility.
He didn’t wait for the children to visit him, as many fathers, especially, do in our days.
He reacted wisely to ignorant companions
On the basis that, the Prophet was a father to all believers, a man once came to the Prophet (from nowhere) while he was sitting among the companion. The Prophet, was wearing his only piece of clothes. The man asked for the cloth which the Prophet was wearing.
The companions certainly became agitated and some even wanted to take things into their own hands. The Prophet called upon everyone to remain calm. He then borrowed some clothes from Amr Ibn Al-‘Aas, put it on, and gave the one on his body to the man.
The man was thankful, and said, “O Rasulallah, I’m not in desperate need of it, but I asked for it, so I would be burried in it, when I die.”
All the companion there became amazed, and were wondering why none of them thought of such an idea before.
The point it, the Prophet, went down, to the level of the layman, attended to his needs, and ensured he had set good example for his Ummah, in future.
A beduine man came to the Prophet, and held tight his neck collar, and asked the Prophet, to give him from the money Allah has bestowed upon him, which is neither his father’s money, nor his mothers.
Again, the companions, angrily stood to handle the man. But the Prophet asked everyone to let him, alone with the beduine.
He took the man home, got him some food, and gave him some money. He then asked the man, “Are you satisfied now?” The man said, “Yes.”
The man then, declared his Shahadah, and embraced Islam, at that moment.
The moral of this story is that, the Prophet has extremely excercised patience, and accommodated the aggression of the man, and eventually secured additional one into (or) for Islam.
One of the best qualities observed from the Prophet (and all his qualities are the best!), is that, he allowed himself to come down, to the level of the child he encounters, in order to communicate with him, or in order to make the child’s day. He could even call a child; with a (nick) name that pleases the child, and makes him look forward to more conversation, with him, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam.
This is what we can understand, in the Hadeeth narrated by Sayyidina Anas Ibn Malik, radhiya Allahu ‘anhu, and reported by Imam(s) Al-Bukhari and Muslim, in an encounter, which his (Anas’) brother had with the Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam. He said:
كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَحْسَنَ النَّاسِ خُلُقًا. وَكَانَ لِي أَخٌ يُقَالُ لَهُ أَبُو عُمَيْر. وَكَانَ إِذَا جَاءَ قَالَ: يَا أَبَا عُمَيْرٍ، مَا فَعَلَ النُّغيْرُ
It means, “The Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, was the best of people, in good conduct. I used to have a brother, called (by nickname), Abu ‘Umair. Whenever he came, the Prophet would say to him: O Abu ‘Umair! Where is Nughair?”
Nughair is a small bird, which Abu ‘Umair, used to play with. If Anas, could be so impressed about the Prophet’s way of interacting with his brother, what then would be the impression of the brother, himself?
In another instance, Jabir Ibn Samurah Samurah, radhiya Allahu ‘anhu, narrated, in a Hadeeth, reported by Imam Muslim, that he prayed along with the Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, in the mosque. The Prophet then went to his family and Jabir also went along with him. When he met some children (on the way). He began to pat the cheeks of each one of them. He also patted Jabir’s cheek and Jabir experienced coolness or fragrance of the hand of the Prophet, as if it had been brought out from the scent bag of a perfumer.
Here the Prophet did a little thing with the kids, but look at how far the impact, has gone with Jabir Ibn Samurah, radhiya Allahu ‘anhu, the narrator of the Hadeeth.
As much as he felt warmth for the presence of children, he felt sad for loosing them. An example is when his son, Ibrahim the 18 months old passed away.
Prophet, salla Allaahu `alaihi wasallam, was holding him, while in deep sorrow. After the boy’s soul departed the Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, wept over his son and said:
إِنَّ العَيْنَ تَدْمَعُ، وَالقَلْبَ يَحْزَنُ، وَلا نَقُولُ إِلا مَا يُرْضِي رَبَّنَا، وَإِنَّا بِفِرَاقِكَ يَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ لَمَحْزُونُونَ
“The eyes are shedding tears and the heart is grieved, and we will not say except what pleases our Lord. O Ibraahim! Indeed we are grieved by your departure.”
The essence of fatherhood is to be hopeful for yourself, and for the future of your child[ren]. This hope reflects in the kind of name you choose for your child and its meaning. It also has a great deal of impact of the upbringing you provide for your child and ultimately the frequency of du’a you make for the child. There’s no way a father with objectives will choose a name he doesn’t understand for his new born baby. Neither will he neglect the importance of raising his child righteously.
The Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, took this to the utmost level of priority. Not only that he implemented it on his own children and grandchildren, he also equally applied it on the children of his blessed companions, radhiya Allahu ‘anhum.
He chose meaningful names for his children
A child’s life starts with the kind of name we choose for him, once he’s born. Thus, choosing the inspiring name is significant in the life of any child, for he or she may live the meaning of the name. Children with good names are likely to lead good life. And there’s fear, that children with offensive names, may lead offensive life.
The Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, changed names of males and female, young and adults. Some even included his own wives. He did that for good. He did that when he found them (the names) offensive, demoralizing, aggressive or unrighteous, too praising for the person.
According to Sayyiduna Abdulllah Ibn Umar, radhiya Allahu ‘anhuma, the Prophet changed a woman’s name who was called ‘Aasiyah, to Jameelah.
Aasiyah means, “Disobedient” whereby “Jameelah” means “Pretty”
When the Prophet married Sayyidatuna Zainab Bint Jahsh, radhiya Allahu ‘anha, her name was Barrah, and the Prophet changed it into Zainab.
When Abu Hurairah, radhiya Allahu ‘anhu, converted into Islam, his name was Abdul-Shams (Servant of the Sun). The Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, changed it to Abdul-Rahman (Servant of the Most-Beneficent).
He raised his children righteously
The Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, encouraged parents to ensure they provide good upbringing for their children.
Rasulullah s.a.w. said in a Hadeeth narrated by Imam Abu Dawud, authenticated by Shaikh Al-Albany, which says:
مُرُوا أَوْلادَكُمْ بِالصَّلاةِ وَهُمْ أَبْنَاءُ سَبْعِ سِنِينَ، وَاضْرِبُوهُمْ عَلَيْهَا وَهُمْ أَبْنَاءُ عَشْرٍ، وَفَرِّقُوا بَيْنَهُمْ فِي المَضَاجِعِ
It means, “Instruct your children to establish Solat, when they are seven years old, and discipline them for it, when they are ten years old, and separate them in bed.”
Good upbringing which comprises of providing the child with his or her basic right of childhood, as well as making him or her realize his or her Creator. It’s also important that they learn to develop sense for privacy, because failure to learn that at home, will negatively affect outsiders, outside the house.
The importance of raising children righteously lays on its tremendous effect in this world and in the Hereafter, both on the child and on his parents alike.
As for the child himself, there’s a good news for him, in accordance to what Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah, radhiya Allahu ‘anhu, narrated, that was authenticated by Imam(s) Al-Bukhari and Muslim, that Rasulullah, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, said:
سَبْعَةٌ يُظِلُّهُمُ اللهُ فِي ظِلِّهِ يَوْمَ لاَ ظِلَّ إِلا ظِلُّهُ، إِمَامٌ عَادِلٌ، وَشَابٌّ نَشَأَ فِي عِبَادَةِ اللهِ، وَرَجُلٌ قَلْبُهُ مُعَلَّقٌ بِالمَسَاجِدِ، وَرَجُلانِ تَحَابَّا فِي اللهِ؛ اجْتَمَعَا عَلَيْهِ وَتَفَرَّقَا عَلَيْهِ، وَرَجُلٌ دَعَتْهُ امْرَأَةٌ؛ ذَاتُ مَنْصِبٍ وَجَمَالٍ، فَقَالَ إِنِّي أَخَافُ اللهَ، وَرَجُلٌ تَصَدَّقَ بِصَدَقَةٍ، فَأَخْفَاهَا حَتَّى لاَ تَعْلَمَ شِمَالُهُ مَا تُنْفِقُ يَمِينُهُ، وَرَجُلٌ ذَكَرَ اللهَ خَالِياً فَفَاضَتْ عَيْنَاهُ
It means: “There are seven; whom Allah will shade with His shadow, on the day when there will be no shade, except His: the just ruler; a young man who grew up worshipping his Lord; a man whose heart is attached to the mosque; two men who love one another for the sake of Allah; they both met and parted on that basis; a man who is called by high ranked and beautiful woman, and he says: “I fear Allah”; a man who gives in charity and conceals it, to such an extent that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives; and a man who remembers Allah secretly, and his eyes fill up.”
A reward for a child who was given righteous upbringing is a secured place in Jannah, insha Allah!
As for the parents, there’s also a good news for them. Rasulullah, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, said in a Hadeeth reported by Abu Hurairah, radhiya Allahu ‘anhu, and authenticated by Imam Muslim:
إِذَا مَاتَ الإِنْسَانُ انْقَطَعَ عَمَلُهُ إِلَّا مِنْ ثَلاثٍ: إِلا مِنْ صَدَقَةٍ جَارِيَةٍ أَوْ عِلْمٍ يُنْتَفَعُ بِهِ أَوْ وَلَدٍ صَالِحٍ يَدْعُو لَهُ
It means, “When the son of Adam dies, all his good deeds come to an end except three: ongoing charity, beneficial knowledge or a righteous son who will pray for him.”
The reward for raising a child righteously is a guaranteed du’a, in the time one, as a parent is going to need it the most.
He constantly prayed for his children
Among other things, which the Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, did as a parent, in educating and raising his children, is constant prayers for them. This included his children, his grandchildren, and children of his companions alike. This is because, providing the basic needs or provision, education, and guidance are limited to human capability, but du’a ensures the child is granted protection, which can’t be provided by human, neither parents, nor loved ones, but only Allah, subhanahu wata’alaa.
There are countless times, in which the Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, would caress the heads of children and make du’a (pray) for them.
According to Imam Al-Bukhari, the Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, used to recite Ruqyah (spiritual healing) for Al-Hasan and Al-Husain, radhiya Allahu ‘anhuma, and say:
أُعِيذُكُمَا بِكَلِمَاتِ اللَّهِ التَّامَّةِ، مِنْ كُلِّ شَيْطَانٍ وَهَامَّةٍ، وَمِنْ كُلِّ عَيْنٍ لاَمَّةٍ
It means, “I seek refuge in the Complete Words of Allah for both of you, from any mingling devil, and from any blaming eye (witch eye).”
He also prayed for Al-Hasan, radhiya Allahu ‘anhu and said, according Abi Hurairah:
اللَّهُمَّ أَحِبَّهُ، فَإِنِّي أُحِبُّهُ
It mean,s “O Allah! Grant him Your Love, for I love him.”
The companion, Yusuf Ibn Abdullah Ibn Salam, radhiya Allahu ‘anhu, said, that the Prophet salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, often called him by name and patted his head.
Another companion, Amr Ibnu Hurais radhiya Allahu ‘anhu described how his mother took him into the presence of Rasulillah, and how Rasulullah patted his head and prayed that he would always receive his daily bread.
When Abdullah Ibn Utbah, radhiya Allahu ‘anhu, recalled that when he was five or six years old, the Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, patted his head and prayed for him; that he would have many descendants and live long life.
The Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, ensured he did his best to ensure happiness of his children.
All the characters we’ve discussed so far require ‘a big deal’ of responsibility, before one can achieve them, no matter how God-conscious, knowledgeable or wealthy one may be. Being a visionary father for the benefit of your children, by providing them the needs, ensuring them education and presenting them as responsible, sensitive, human beings to the society is not an easy task. However, the Prophet achieved it, to teach us that we are required to follow his footsteps in order to achieve that too.
He stood on his feet to get righteous husbands for his daughters. Sayyiduna Uthman, radhiya Allahu ‘anhu, was a perfect husband, for both Sayyidatina Ruqayyah and Ummu Kulthum, radhiya Allahu ‘anhum. Sayyiduna Ali, radhiya Allahu ‘anhu, although he was financially incapable, was an excellent husband for Sayyidatina Fatimah Al-Zahraa, radhiya Allahu ‘anha.
In this context, the Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wasallam, mediated between his daughters and their husbands, whenever there were misunderstanding in their houses.
Once, the Prophet, entered Sayyidina Ali and Sayyidatina Fatimah’s house. He found that they were not in good terms. He called them and sat between the two of them. He held Sayyidina Ali’s hand and held Sayyidatina Fatimah’s hand. He brought the two hands together, and rubbed his belly with them. He then look at Sayyidah Fatimah on his and at Sayyidina Ali on his left and smiled at them. They couldn’t help, but to smile back at him and at each other. Case was settled.
The Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, was undoubtedly, a teacher to mankind. He was certainly, an educator.
An educator or Murabbi, unlike a teacher, is the one lives what he teaches in his day-to-day interactions. Therefore, he does ‘walk the talk’ at all time, as possible.
The Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, demonstrated this in his life, as a father. He was a father-teacher-educator. He his Ummah, how to do it right, and how to act upon what he taught.
The Prophet was once on the back of a camel, with Abdullah Ibn Abbas (his young cousin) on his back. The Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, seized the opportunity of Abdullah Ibn Abbas’ presence with him, to teach him, something, that did not only benefited him, it’s also beneneficial to any young man who wants to grow up, righteously. It also works as reference for parents and educators.
The Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, said to him, in a Hadeeth by Imam Al-Tirmizhi:
يَا غُلاَمُ إِنِّي أُعَلِّمُكَ كَلِمَاتٍ احْفَظْ اللَّهَ يَحْفَظْكَ احْفَظْ اللَّهَ تَجِدْهُ تُجَاهَكَ إِذَا سَأَلْتَ فَاسْأَلْ اللَّهَ وَإِذَا اسْتَعَنْتَ فَاسْتَعِنْ بِاللَّهِ وَاعْلَمْ أَنَّ الأمة لَوْ اجْتَمَعَتْ عَلَى أَنْ يَنْفَعُوكَ بِشَيْءٍ لَمْ يَنْفَعُوكَ إِلاَّ بِشَيْءٍ قَدْ كَتَبَهُ اللَّهُ لَكَ وَلَوْ اجْتَمَعُوا عَلَى أَنْ يَضُرُّوكَ بِشَيْءٍ لَمْ يَضُرُّوكَ إِلاَّ بِشَيْءٍ قَدْ كَتَبَهُ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكَ رُفِعَتْ الْأَقْلاَمُ وَجَفَّتْ الصُّحُفُ
It means, “O young man, I shall teach you some words [of advice] : Be mindful of Allah, and Allah will protect you. Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him in front of you. If you (have need to) ask, ask of Allah; and if you seek help, seek help from Allah. Know that even if the Nation (or the whole community) were to gather together to benefit you with something, they would not benefit you with anything except that which Allah has already recorded for you, and that if they gather together to harm you with something, they would not be able to harm you with anything except that which Allah has already recorded against you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried.”
The Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, was once eating with the companions. With them, was a boy, by the name, Umar Ibn Abi Salamah, who was raised up in the house of the Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, (Son of Ummu Salamah, radhiya Allahu ‘anha,) He used to play around with his fingers in the eating bowl, while sharing with others.
The Prophet taught him the basic etiquettes of eating, when he said to him, in a Hadeeth, reported by Imam(s) Al-Bukhari and Muslim:
يَا غُلام! سَمِّ اللَّهَ، وَكُلْ بِيَمِينِكَ، وَكُلْ مِمَّا يَلِيكَ
It means, “O young man, mention the Name of Allah, eat with your right hand and eat from what is close to you.”
The Prophet once saw Al-Hasan eating dates from charity. He taught him, that the household of the Prophet does not eat from charity (sadaqah), and asked him to throw it away. Al-Hasan, had to learn, and threw out the dates from his mouth.
We learn from above Hadeeth(s) and situations, that children learn through the observation they make, in their surroundings. But, sometimes, there’s a need for the child to be told. Not only it will benefit him, it will also last with him, forever.
Therefore, it’s not appropriate, when some parents today, choose to let their children misbehave (unknowingly) without correcting them, or teaching them the right thing, if they are compared to the Prophet’s instances, in which he corrected and taught children, to do things rightly.
The Prophet, the Fair Father
The Prophet Muhammad, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, was sent in a time, when girls were unwanted, and as a result, parents would find any possible mean to get rid of their daughters, after they were delivered. They used to bury them alive. Those who kept them alive, mistreated them, humiliated them and denied them their basic rights as legitimate children.
This is what the Qur’an confirmed in Surah Al-Nahl, 16:58:
وَإِذَا بُشِّرَ أَحَدُهُم بِالْأُنثَىٰ ظَلَّ وَجْهُهُ مُسْوَدًّا وَهُوَ كَظِيمٌ * يَتَوَارَىٰ مِنَ الْقَوْمِ مِن سُوءِ مَا بُشِّرَ بِهِ،أَيُمْسِكُهُ عَلَىٰ هُونٍ أَمْ يَدُسُّهُ فِي التُّرَابِ، أَلَا سَاءَ مَا يَحْكُمُونَ
It means, “And when one of them is informed of [the birth of] a female, his face becomes dark, and he suppresses grief. He hides himself from the people because of the ill of which he has been informed. Should he keep it in humiliation or bury it in the ground? Unquestionably, evil is what they decide.”
Among the missions of the Prophet, was to emphasize to his Ummah, on the importance of treating children with equality, regardless of their gender.
Sayyiduna Al-Nu’man Ibn Basheer, radhiya Allahu ‘anhu, said in a Hadeeth, authenticated by Imam Al-Bukhari:
أَنَّ أَبَاهُ أَتَى بِهِ إِلَى رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، فَقَالَ: إِنِّي نَحَلْتُ ابْنِي هذَا غُلاَمًا، فَقَالَ: أَكُلَّ وَلَدِكَ نَحَلْتَ مِثْلَهُ قَالَ: لاَ، قَالَ: فَارْجِعْهُ
It means, “his (Al-Nu’man’s) father came to the Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, and said: I have given this son of mine a slave. The Prophet said: Did you give the same to all of your children? He said: No. The Prophet then asked him to return the slave.”
The Prophet, as he was a father, he was also a real father in-law. We all know, that, his daughter Ruqayyah was married to Sayyidina Uthman, radhiya Allahu ‘anhuma, and she subsequently passed away, in the lifetime of the Prophet. The Prophet offered his other daughter, Ummu Kulthum, radhiya Allahu ‘anha, to Sayyidina Uthman, radhiya Allahu ‘anhu. Unfortunately, Sayyidah Ummu Kulthum also passed away, in the life of the Prophet. The Prophet had no other unmarried daughter, yet he wished if he had another unmarried daughter, he would have given her, as another wife, to Sayyidina Uthman, radhiya Allahu ‘anhu.
This counts good in favour of Sayyidina Uthman, as it indicates his good manners, to the effect, that every father, in the weight and value of the Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, could give him his daughter to marry, one after another.
It also demonstrates the quality the Prophet possessed, as a father in-law, who valued his son in-law, and strived to ensure his happiness.
In the marriage life of Sayyidina Ali and Sayyidatina Fatimah, radhiya Allahu ‘anhuma, the Prophet often paid them personal visits. He also played as a mediator between them, when they had misunderstanding at home.
Today, fathers don’t’ want their daughters to have misunderstanding with their spouses, but should there be any, they find no problem in causing for divorce to happen, rather than reconciliation and settlement, just like we’ve seen in the story of Sayyidina Ali and Sayyidatina Fatimah, radhiya Allahu ‘anhuma, when the Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, interfered to get them back to good terms.
This is Rasulullah, the Prophet, the father. He couldn’t transform his children, whom lived to see him, righteously, if he wasn’t a righteous father. The righteousness of a father benefits his children even more, after the death of the former. And in the Hereafter, righteous parents are reunited with their righteous family members.
May Allah guide us, and grant us the strength to follow the righteous path of the Prophet, the Father, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam. May He also bless us with righteous children, who will pray for us in the time we will need it, the most. Ameen.
In our next article, we will also discuss and share “The Prophet, the Relative”, insha Allah. So stay tuned.
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Allah knows best.
Allahu Hafiz 🙂