Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fatimah bint Muhammad Radi Allahu ta'ala Anha

Fatimah bint Muhammad Radi Allahu ta'ala Anha
Fatimah RA was the fifth child of Muhammad Sallallahu Alyhi Wa Sallam and Khadijah RA. She was born at a time when her noble father had begun to spend long periods in the solitude of mountains around Makkah, meditating and reflecting on the great mysteries of creation.

This was the time, before the Bithah, when her eldest sister Zaynab RA was married to her cousin, al-Aas ibn ar Rabiah. Then followed the marriage of her two other sisters, Ruqayyah RA and Umm Kulthum RA, to the sons of Abu Lahab, a paternal uncle of the Prophet Sallallahu Alyhi Wa Sallam. Both Abu Lahab and his wife Umm Jamil turned out to be flaming enemies of the Prophet Sallallahu Alyhi Wa Sallam from the very beginning of his public mission.

The little Fatimah thus saw her sisters leave home one after the other to live with their husbands. She was too young to understand the meaning of marriage and the reasons why her sisters had to leave home. She loved them dearly and was sad and lonely when they left. It is said that a certain silence and painful sadness came over her then.

Of course, even after the marriage of her sisters, she was not alone in the house of her parents. Barakah RA, the maid-servant of Aminah RA, the Prophet's Sallallahu Alyhi Wa Sallam mother, who had been with the Prophet Sallallahu Alyhi Wa Sallam since his birth, Zayd ibn Harithah RA, and Ali RA, the young son of Abu Talib were all part of Muhammad's Sallallahu Alyhi Wa Sallam household at this time. And of course there was her loving mother, the lady Khadijah RA.

In her mother and in Barakah RA, Fatimah RA found a great deal of solace and comfort in Ali RA, who was about two years older than she, she found a "brother" and a friend who somehow took the place of her own brother al-Qasim who had died in his infancy. Her other brother Abdullah, known as the Good and the Pure, who was born after her, also died in his infancy. However in none of the people in her father's household did Fatimah RA find the carefree joy and happiness which she enjoyed with her sisters. She was an unusually sensitive child for her age.

When she was five, she heard that her father had become Rasul of Allah, the Messenger of Allah. His first task was to convey the good news of Islam to his family and close relations. They were to worship Allah, Almighty alone. Her mother, who was a tower of strength and support, explained to Fatimah RA what her father had to do. From this time on, she became more closely attached to him and felt a deep and abiding love for him. Often she would be at his side walking through the narrow streets and alleys of Makkah, visiting the Kabah or attending secret gatherings off, the early Muslims who had accepted Islam and pledged allegiance to the Prophet Sallallahu Alyhi Wa Sallam.

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