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How the Prophet Raised His Daughters - I

Saturday 27/03/2010

All historians agree that the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), had four daughters, and they all witnessed the advent of Islam, became Muslims and joined the journey of Hijrah (emigration) to Madeenah. His daughters were: Faatimah, may Allah be pleased with her, who was born five years before the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), became a prophet and was given the mission of prophethood and the message of Islam; Zaynab, may Allah be pleased with her, who was married to Al-‘Aas ibn Ar-Rabee’, may Allah be pleased with him; and Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthoom, may Allah be pleased with them both, who were married to ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan, may Allah be pleased with him, as ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan married Umm Kulthoom after the death of Ruqayyah, may Allah be pleased with the three of them.

 
Only Allah The Almighty knows the wisdom behind the fact that the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), had four daughters; however, some scholars maintain that this could have been due to the following reason:
  • Before Islam, the Arabs considered having a daughter to be a dishonor and believed that daughters deserved to be buried alive. Allah The Almighty Says (what 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.}[Quran 16:58] It was mentioned in the interpretation of this verse that the father suppressed his grief over the fact that a daughter was born to him. “Keep it in humiliation” refers to the fact that fathers who did not bury their daughters alive, humiliated them, did not entitle them to receive inheritance, did not care for them, and favored their sons over them. Allah The Almighty willed that the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), would be the father of daughters in order for him to be a role model for all believers and to teach them the rights and status of women that were granted by Islam. It was a turning point in the life of women that the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), had daughters. ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “By Allah, in Jaahiliyyah [pre-Islamic ignorance] we did not use to care the least about women until Allah revealed His verses regarding them and granted them certain rights.”
  • Another reason was to protect the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), against any possible false accusation that he relied on the support of his sons, as relying on one’s sons was the custom of the Arabs at that time. The religion that was revealed to the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), spread on earth as it is the truth - the only truth. The truth is always strong enough to prevail. In Jaahiliyyah, the Arabs would wish to have sons only because they would support them and help them to protect their possessions, dignity and status. They would hate having daughters because they feared their shame and humiliation, until the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), was sent with the religion of Islam that is the final religion and the one that Allah The Almighty approves for His slaves. Allah The Almighty Says (what means):
  •  {And whoever desires other than Islam as religion - never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers.}[Quran 3:85]
  •  {This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.} [Quran 5:3]
 
Islam preserved the rights of daughters and granted them their due status. Islam promises those who look after their daughters and treat them well an abundant reward. Moreover, Islam made bringing daughters up and supporting them one of the ways of pleasing Allah The Almighty and entering His Paradise. It was narrated on the authority of Anas ibn Maalik, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), said: “The one who supports two girls until they grow up, he and I will be on the Day of Judgment like this [and he put two of his fingers together].”  In this Hadeeth, the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), put his fingers together in order to express his closeness in Paradise to the person who brings up two girls. ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, narrated,
 
A woman along with her two daughters once came to me asking [for some alms], but she found nothing with me except a date which I gave to her. She [took it and] divided it between her two daughters and did not eat anything herself. Then, she got up and went away. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) then came in and I told him about this story. He said:Whoever is put to trial by having daughters and treats them kindly [with benevolence], then these daughters will be a shield for him from the Hellfire.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
 No bounty or reward is greater than this.
 
In spite of the great reward that is promised to those who support their daughters and treat them well, some people feel no joy when a daughter is born to them and instead display their distress and sadness! This kind of reaction is an ignorant one and shows dissatisfaction with the decree of Allah The Almighty. Some parents are negligent regarding educating and advising their daughters and they do not care for them properly. If man comprehended the religion of Allah The Almighty, knew his duties, knew what is lawful, and what is unlawful, and followed the example of the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), in every aspect of his life, he would live in comfort and happiness. He would also know how to worship Allah The Almighty, how to deal with his fellow Muslims, family, and wife, and how to bring up his children. This is because Islam guides us to all that is good and warns us against all that is evil.
 
How the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), Raised His Daughters as Children
 
The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) was delighted when his daughters were born. He felt joy when his daughter Faatimah, may Allah be pleased with her, was born and thought of her as being tremendous good fortune. He named her Faatimah and nicknamed her Az-Zahraa’. She was given the epithet of “Umm Abeeha” (the mother of her own father).
 
Here, the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), taught us a great lesson. He taught us that the one who is granted daughters should be happy and praise Allah The Almighty for the offspring that He has granted him. The parent has to intend to raise them well and to marry them off to pious, competent husbands so that he would thereby receive a great reward. Faatimah, may Allah be pleased with her, was the fourth and youngest daughter of the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ).
 
During early childhood, parents have to look after their young children and provide them with their physiological and psychological needs. At the early stages of the child’s life, the mother shoulders the greater part of the responsibility of caring for her children. At this age, children are usually closer to their mothers. Khadeejah, may Allah be pleased with her, was keen on looking after her children. After delivering, she would give them to someone to foster them in the open air of the desert so that the child would grow up to be eloquent and courageous, as the inhabitants thereof were known for these two qualities. This was the custom of the people of Quraysh, unlike what some mothers do, nowadays, when they give their children to servants and nannies to bring them up, who are known for their tampered creed and evil behavior, and thus affect the children of today in this manner.
 
During this stage of childhood, parents should introduce their daughters to the teachings of Islam, the rules of sound ‘Aqeedah (creed), recitation of the Quran, Salah (prayer), and wearing Hijab so that they would be used to this from their very early days.

 

How the Prophet Raised His Daughters - II

How the Prophet Raised His Daughters - III

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