Chapter 2: Hazrat Fatima's Parents
HER FATHER: THE PROPHET (S.A.W.W.)
Her Father was the Prophet of Islam, Hazrat Muhammad (S A,W W ). As we have studied his life under a separate unit (Number one) we do not intend to repeat his biography again.
Before her birth, her two brothers called Qassim and Tahir were born. Both of a them died when still young. Some historians say that the Prophet had also three daughters from Hazrat Khadija (Zainab, Um Kulthum and Ruqaia),
but more reliable historians such as Shahr Ashub say that Hazrat Fatima (S,A) was the only daughter born from Hazrat Khadija We shall discuss on this matter when we look at the life history of Hazrat Khadija.
Hazrat Fatima (A.S) had one step-brother, Ibrahim, who was born from Maria Qibtia. But he, too, died when still young.
HER MOTHER: HAZRAT KHADIJA, DAUGHTER OFKHUWAYLID
All scholars do not agree on her age or on the number of children that she had. Most of the Sunm authors believe that Lady Khadija was a widow of forty-five years when she was married to the Prophet (S. A. W W.) Some of them also say that from this early marriage she had three daughters:
Zainab, Um Kuthum and Ruqaia. Others say that these daughters were born after her marriage with the Prophet (S.A.W.W.).
The majority of Shia scholars and some Sunni scholars too, believed in the following facts:
That at the time of her marriage, Lady Khadija was between twenty-five to twenty-eight years of age;
That she was married only once and that was to the Prophet (S.A.W.W);
That she had only one daughter and that was Hazrat Fatima (AS).
According to a famous scholar of Lucknow India (Hujatul Islam Nasir Husain) Zainab, Um Kulthum and Ruqaia were the daughters of Abu Hind Tamimi When Ins wife died he married Hala, Hazrat Khadija's sister Soon Abu Hind died and Hala, together with the three girls went to live with Hazrat Khadija Because of her kindness and generosity.
Ha/rat Khadija brought up the girls like her nieces As these girls grew in her home and as she loved them like her own daughters, they have come to be regarded as her own daughters And because of her love for them, the Prophet, too, loved them and treated them as his own daughters.
HAZRAT KHADIJA: BEFORE HER MARRIAGE
Her father was Khuwaylid Bin Asad Bin Abdul Uzza Bin Kusay. Her mother was Fatima Bint Zieda. She was a very rich lady in Mecca She was in the business of importing goods from such countries as India and China and exporting them to Syria and Persia.
She had inherited this business from her father and then expanded it using her own ideas and imagination. She had her trade centered in Mecca She hired merchants to take her merchandise to foreign lands and sell for her at a profit.
She would then share the profits with these traders when they came back. One of such traders was Hazrat Abu Talib, the Prophet's uncle. Through Hazrat Abu Talib, the Prophet too joined these trading caravans and travelled to Syria ("Sham").
Although she was a clever business person and was very rich, she was also a very kind and generous lady. She was also religious.
Her cousin, Warka Bin Nawfal nad a good knowledge of religion and was follower of the books revealed to the Prophets of Bani Israel. She was a student of Warka and a follower of true religion of her time. Throughout Arabia people knew her because of her wealth, wisdom and goodness.
Even before she had married the Prophet, she was known as ‘Malikatul Arab’ or the Princess of Arabia, and also as a ‘Tahira’ or the Pure one. She was also called ‘Sayyida’ (or The Leader).
Many chiefs and Princes of Arabia wanted to many her but she refused to get married K .hem From the books of the past and from the discussion she had with Warka, she knew that the last Messenger of Allah was living amongst them.
Her wishes were to get married to him As a matter of fact, scholars use this as a proof that she was never married to any other person other than the Prophet.
Her belief that the last Prophet was living in her society was made strong by a Jewish Rabbi. Once she was at a festival with her friends when an old Jew Rabbi (religious scholar) passed by. He told Hazrat Khadija and her friends that "soon in your town a Prophet will come out.
His name will be Ahmad and lucky will be that woman who he will choose to be his wife". The girls laughed at this scholar. Some of them even threw pieces of stones at him but not Hazrat Khadija. She began thinking very seriously about what he said.
Then she had a dream in which she saw that the sun had come down in her house which became very bright with light. Then the light spread out in all directions. She asked Warka what this meant. He told her that she would be married to a great man who would be a Prophet.
Her investigations made her think that this last Prophet was Hazrat Muhammad (S. A. W.W.).
She became sure that Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.W.) was the last Prophet when she received a complete report from her servant Maisarah about the miracles that he saw take place around Hazrat Mohammad (S.A.W.W.), When he was on his business trip to Syria. For example, he told her how trees would bow down as mark of respect towards Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.W.) and how throughout the journey clouds would shelter him wherever he went.
Hazrat Khadija made a firm decision: 'If I ever get married it will be to Hazrat Mohammad (S.A.W.W.)."
The events which ended with the marriage of Hazrat Khadija with the Prophet (S.A W.W) are recorded beautifully by Allama Majlisi in his book, "Biharul An war"; we shall briefly look at them now.
After she had become sure that Hazrat Muhammad (S.A W.W) was the Last Prophet, she told him of her wishes to marry him.
He in turn discussed this matter with his uncle Abu Talib who passed the word to his family members Safiya, Abu Talib's sister, Safiya, went to Lady Khadija and the marriage proposal was accepted.
The Prophet's "Nikah" was read by Hazrat Abu Talib. In this sermon ("Khutba") Hazrat Abu Talib not only said that he was on the religion of Hazrat Ibrahim (AS), but he also hinted that Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.W) was the Prophet of Allah. He called Hazrat Muhammad (S. AW W) as “Ashraful Makhlukat” (or The Best of Creation).
As “Mohar”, (Price of marriage that the groom has to give to the bride) Hazrat Abu Talib gave on behalf of his nephew twenty camels and 400 measure of gold.
Also Hazrat Abu Talib arranged the marriage feast ("Walima") for three days, serving free lunch to all people of Mecca, to honour this marriage of Hazrat Muhammad to Hazrat Khadija.
As a marriage gift. Hazrat Khadija gave a very expensive piece of cloth to Warka He refused to take it saying, "What use do I have for such an expensive worldly gift9 What I need from you as my gift is your husband's promise that he would help me with vt (Freedom From Hell) on the Day of Judgement." According to Allama Majlisi, this promise was given by Hazrat Khadija.
HAZRAT KHADIJA'S SERVICES TO ISLAM
After marrying the Prophet (S.A.W.W.), she gave him all her wealth, knowing how much he would need this wealth for Islam very soon. The Prophet(S.A.W.W) and Hazrat Khadija spent very little of this wealth for themselves for fifteen years.
After fifteen years of a quite life, then the Prophet (S.A.W.W) told people about his Prophethood. The people of Mecca, especial the Quraish, became his greatest enemies.
They began to make his life and that of his helpers very difficult. Because of that he was left alone. His two greatest supporters at this time were his uncle Abu-Talib and, of course, his wife Hazrat Khadija.
Hazrat Khadija helped the Prophet of Islam in two ways. Firstly, she believed in his claim that he was the Prophet ai>* encouraged him to go ahead with his mission. She was o:.
his side any time he needed her. When he went to piay at cKaba' she went with him and prayed behind him. When his enemies threw dirt on him she helped him clean himself. When they hurt him, she nursed him. When he was boycotted by the Quraish and went to live in the estate of Hazrat Abu-Talib, she went with him to look after him and help him through life.
She stayed there for three years and died just after the end of the boycott because of hunger and exhaustion. Secondly, when people of Mecca began to accept the Prophet's invitation to become Muslims, they had to go through a lot of trouble. They could not earn enough to buy their daily food and other requirements. The Prophet had to do this for them. Also, some of the new7 Muslims had to leave Mecca to go to Abysinia.
All this required money The money was provided by Hazrat Khadija. Her money was also used to free slaves.
One wonders if Islam would really survive without Hazrat KhaJija's wealth. Her contribution to Islam can be compared with only that of Hazrat Abu-Talib who used his power as head of his clan to support the Prophet (S.A.W.W), and All who used his sword for Islam.
The Prophet (S.A.W.W) used to say, "No property has ever been so useful to me as Khadija’s”, and, "Religion (Islam) succeeded only through Ali's sword and Khadija's wealth."
Her sacrifices for Islam were so valuable to Allah, that he mentions them in the Quran in chapter MCI 11 Verse 8 "And he found you in need, and made you independent (through wealth)".
Also He (Allah) would send Salaams to her when she was alive! It is mentioned in "Sahih Bukhari" and in "Masnad" of Ibne Hambal that Gibrael came to the Prophet (S.A.W.W) and said, "O Messenger of Allah! This is Khadija. She has come carrying a bowl of broth or food or drink. When she comes to you give her greetings from her Lord (Allah) and from me..."
On her death, she was awarded a very high position in Paradise as confirmed from the following event.
After Lady Khadija's death, Hazrat Fatirna (S.A), who was still a child, asked the Prophet (S.A.W.W), "Where is my mother?" Before he could answer hen the Angel Gibrael came with the reply from Allah saying, "Your Lord commands you to inform Fatima that Allah sends His blessings to her and He also says:
'Your mother is in a special house (in heaven) the corners of which are made of gold and the poles of which are of rubies It is located between Asya's and Mariam's houses’”.
The Prophet (S.A.W.W), too, valued Hazrat Khadija’s works towards Islam all his life Every time he remembered her after her death, he did so with praise on his tongue and tears in his eyes.
Once, the Prophet (S.A.W.W) mentioned the name of Lady Khadija in Aisha's presence; this annoyed Aisha, who said, "She was an old lady and Allah replaced her with a better one for you."
The Prophet (S.A.W.W) was angered by what Aisha had said and he replied, "Allah did not give me (any other wife) better than her She accepted me when others rejected me She believed me when others were doubting me.
She shared her wealth with me when others kept their away from me and Allah gave me children only through her."
Tabari, the famous Sunni scholar reports that the Prophet (S.A.W.W) used to praise Khadija saying, "The best women of Paradise are Khadija (daughter of Khuwailid).
Fatima (the daughter of Mohammad (S.A.W.W)), Maryam (daughter of Imran), and Asya (the daughter of Mudaim, the wife of Pharoah) "
It is reported through Aisha that whenever a lamb vas slaughtered, the Prophet (S.A.W.W) would choose the best parts of it and send them to some women. When isha complained, the Prophet (S.A.W.W) told her that this women were very good friends of Khadija and therefore they were being honoured for that.
One last honour which was given to Hazrat Khadija because of her services to Islam is so far as she was alive the Prophet did not many any other woman. He gave his complete attention to her.