Fatima, the Mother of her Father 1

Lady Fatima, the lady of light has an elevated status in the eyes of Allah due to her childhood sacrifices and support towards the religion of Islam. She is ‘the mother of her father and is an axis to great qualities. The mutual affection between Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.W) and her is unique and holds a very prominent position in father-daughter relationship.Abu-Faraj al-Isfahani in his Isnad narrated from Imam Sadiq (A.S) from his father: “Verily, Fatima (S.A) was surnamed ‘Omme Abiha’.”(1)

‘Omme Abiha’ or ‘The Mother of her Father’ is one of the best-known titles of Lady Fatima (peace be upon her). This title sounds quite peculiar for many people especially those who are less familiar with the Arabic language. This lecture is a humble interpretation of the abovementioned Hadith. I shall by the Will of Allah suggest 10 reasons because of which she enjoyed this unique title.

Fatima was the daughter of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.W), the wife of Imam Ali (A.S), the mother of the only two Masters of the Youth of Paradise- Imam Hasan and Imam Husain- and the mother of the 11 infallible Imams (peace be upon them all). She is the elite of the elite women of the past, present and future.

She was an infallible martyr and a human huri. She was the crystallization of piety, chastity and real devotee of the Almighty Allah. Her virtues are so numerous that the Messenger of Allah said about her: “If beauty were a person it would be Fatima, Nay! She is greater. Indeed, Fatima is my daughter and the best of the people of the earth in her origin, dignity and honour.”(2) Fatima had a short life in this world and as her husband Imam Ali (A.S) has described, “She joined her father very soon.” Yet, her life was so rich with abundant blessings so much so that she became al-Kauthar and the fountain of the Prophetic blessings.

Childhood

Fatima was born during the Prophetic mission and when the Prophet of Islam had reached his perfection. She was the only child of the house of Prophet Muhammad and Sayyeda Khadija (S.A). Her conception was heavenly blessed with the paradisiacal fruit gifted to her father at the time of his ascension. She was brought up in a house wherein revelation and the words of God were constant. She witnessed the descending and ascending of the angels. Her physical growth accomplished with her mental and spiritual growth and hence she became an infallible lady who enjoyed the sublime virtues of her father, the holy Prophet of Islam.

After the demise of her mother

Lady Khadija died 10 years after the Prophet of Islam declared his mission and left her five-year-old daughter an orphan. The richest lady of Quraiysh at the time of her death could not even afford a simple shroud for her burial and hence she requested her daughter to ask her father to shroud her with his own cloak after her death. Fatima was since the only memory of Khadija for the Prophet of Islam. After the painful death of her mother the young Fatima dedicated herself to her father, the Messenger of God.

During the hardship of Makka she was not only a supportive daughter but a comrade. After her marriage with Imam Ali in Medina, initially her house was quite a distance from the mosque which would make traveling to the Prophet quite difficult. Thus, the Prophet arranged that the young couple live in the house of Haritha bin No’man whose house was near the house of the Prophet.(3)

The Female Comrade of the Prophet

Fatima was not the type of girl who sat at home weaving or sewing with no social responsibility. Her exalted spirit had made her from the very early stages of her life, endeavor for the spread of Islam with her father. Once, the Prophet of Islam was inviting people to Islam inside the Masjidul Haraam. Abu Jahl made some of his puppets pour rubbish onto the Prophet. Fatima; the female comrade of the Prophet immediately ran towards her father and with her small hands cleaned the head and the shoulders of the Prophet of Islam.

Many a time the infidels of Quraiysh stoned the Messenger of God and the young Fatima was sometimes shielding her father with her own body. Her care and compassion towards the Messenger of God was so motherly and passionate. Every time the Messenger of God came home Fatima was dusting the hair and face of the Prophet. It was due to all this compassionate conduct of Fatima that the Messenger of God had such tremendous love for her. The role of Fatima in her support and the spread of Islam was so vital that according to Imam Ali (A.S) she was considered the second pillar of Islam. After the martyrdom of Fatima Zahra (S.A) Imam Ali stated, “The messenger of God was the first column of Islam and Fatima was the second and the Islamic Ommah today has lost its second column too.

Fatima During the Islamic Battles

Fatima was a woman and as such jihad was not obligatory on her. Nonetheless, she was an active participant and a supporter of the Muslim warriors along with her father and husband. During battles, Fatima had the responsibility of nursing the wounded soldiers and repairing their artillery. When the rumor about the martyrdom of the Messenger of God was spread in Medina during the battle of Ohud, Fatima mobilized some of the ladies of Medina to the battlefield.

When she saw her father’s, teeth broken and bleeding she was in tears and hugged the Messenger of God. Shia and Sunni historians have narrated that during the severe time of the battle of Ohud whereat blood was flowing from the head and the face of the Prophet, the companions had tried to stop the bleeding of the wounds, to no avail. It was Fatima who then immediately burnt a straw mat and poured its ashes onto the wounds and stopped the blood from flowing.(4)

Addressing Her Father

After the battle of Ohud, an Ayah was revealed to the Messenger of God to discipline his companions. It was customary for Arabs to call each other with their names without any title and as such they would only call the Prophet of Islam with his first name, Muhammad, the Messenger of God was also too humble to request them to address him otherwise. It was under these circumstances that the Almighty Allah revealed:

“Make not the calling of the Messenger among you as you are calling one of another.”(5)

Upon the revelation of the Ayah, Muslims were commanded to address the Prophet with the title of Messenger of God. Lady Fatima narrated, “After the revelation of the Ayah, I wondered whether I could still address my father as ‘father’ and thus I called him ‘O Messenger of God’. Upon hearing that my father immediately replied, “My dear Fatima, that rule was not for you, you call me O father for indeed this is more reviving for my heart and more pleasing your Lord.”(6)

Thus, Fatima was the only exception of the above Ayah of which she gained part of her everlasting title ‘The Mother of Her Father`.

Continue in the next article: ( Fatima, the Mother of her Father 2 )

NOTES:

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1. Beharul-Anwaar, vol43 p.19 from Maqatelu-Talebin

2. Fara`edoh-Samtayn vol.2 p.68

3. ibn Sa’ad, al Tabaqaat vol 8 p14

4. Safinatul Behar vol.1 p140, Sahihul Bukhari vol.4 p.72

5. The Holy Quran 24:63

6. Ibn al-Maghazeli, al Manaqeb p367