Islam Revolutionized the Position of Women
The Qur’anic Word, Kawthar
Muhammad is heir to all of them, the family’s honor, and inheritor of a new kind of wealth which is neither based upon blood nor earth nor money but the phenomenon of revelation. Born of faith, jihad, revolution, thought and humanity, he is a beautiful weave. Of the values, he receives the highest spirit. Muhammad is joined to the history of mankind, not to that of Abdul Muttalib, Abd Manaf, the Quraish nor the Arabs. He is the inheritor of Abraham, Noah, Moses and Jesus and Fatima is his only heir.
We gave you kawthar, oh Muhammad For your Creator, establish the prayer and sacrifice a camel. It is he, that very hated enemy of yours who is cut‑off.
He, your enemy with ten sons is cut‑off. He is useless, cut‑off without the highest form of inheritors. `We gave you Kawthar, ‑ Fatima.' It is in this way that Revolution appears in the depths of the conscience of time.
Now, a daughter becomes the owner of the values of her father, the inheritor of all the honors of her family. She is the continuation of the chain of great ancestors, the continuation which began with .Adam and passes through all of the leaders of freedom and consciousness in the history of mankind. It reaches Abraham and joins Moses and Jesus to itself. It reaches Muhammad. The final link in this chain of Divine justice, the rightful chain of truth is Fatima, the last daughter of a family who had anticipated a son: Muhammad had known what the hands of fate had in store for him. And, Fatima, also, had known who she was. Yes! This school of thought created such a revolution. A woman, in this religion, is freed like this. Isn't this the religion of Abraham and they, his heirs?
The Honor Bestowed Upon a Female Slave
Nobody has the right to be buried in a mosque. The greatest mosque in the world is the Masjid al haram in Mecca. The Kaaba. This house belongs to God. It is devoted to God. It is the direction to which all of the ritual prayers are oriented. The house is ordered by Him and Abraham builds it. It is a house which the Prophet of Islam is honored with the mandate of freeing. He frees this `House of Freedom', circumambulates it and goes down in prostration towards it. All of the great prophets of history are servants of this house. But no prophet has the right to be buried here. Abraham built it but he is not buried there and Muhammad frees it but he is not buried there. In the whole history of humanity, there is only one and one person only who has been given this privilege. God of Islam honored one person with this honor to be buried in His particular house, to be buried in the Kaaba. Who?
A woman. A slave. Hagar [the second wife of Abraham and mother of Ismail]. God orders Abraham to build the greatest house of worship of humanity and, alongside it, the grave of this woman. Humanity must forever gather around the tomb of Hagar and circumambulate there.
The God of Abraham, chooses a woman from among this great human society as his unknown soldier, a mother, and she, a slave. In other words, God chose a creature who, in all systems of humanity, lacks nobility and honor.
The Honor Bestowed Upon the Prophet's Daughter
Yes, in this school of thought such a revolution took place. In this religion, a woman is freed in this manner. This is how Islam appreciates the position of womanhood. And once more the God of Abraham has chosen Fatima. Fatima, a girl, replaces a son as the inheritor of the glory of her family, maintaining the honorable values of their ancestors and continuing the family tree and credibility.
In a society that feels the birth of a daughter to be a disgrace which only burying her alive can purify, where the best son-in-law a father could hope for her to have is called `the grave': Muhammad knows what fate has done to him and Fatima knows who she is.
This is why history looks in amazement at the way Muhammad behaved towards his young daughter, Fatima, the way he spoke with her and the way he praised her.
We Will come to see that the house of Fatima is next to the house of Muhammad. Fatima and her husband, Ali, are the only people who live next to the Prophet's mosque. They are of the same house as he is and there is only a courtyard of two meters separating the two houses. Two windows; facing each other, open the house of Muhammad to the house of Fatima. Every morning the Prophet opens his window and greets his young daughter.
We will see that whenever the Prophet goes on a journey, he knocks at the door of Fatima's house and he says good‑bye to her. Fatima is the last person who bids farewell to him. Whenever he returns from a‑ journey, Fatima is the first person he seeks out. He knocks on the door of her house and he asks how she is.
In some of the historic documents, it is recorded that the Prophet would kiss the face and hands of Fatima. This sort of behavior is more than just the relationship of a kind father and his daughter. A father kisses the hands of hit daughter, and that, his youngest daughter! Such behavior in such an environment strikes a revolutionary blow to the families and inhumane relationships of that environment. `The Prophet of Islam kisses the hands of Fatima.' Such a relationship opens the eyes of important people, politicians and the majority of the Moslem people gathered around the Prophet in amazement towards the greatness of Fatima.
This sort of behavior on the part of the Prophet of Islam teaches humanity and mankind to come and to release themselves from the habits and the fantasies of history and traditions. It teaches man to come down from the Pharaoh like throne, to put aside his pride and rough oppression and to bow his head when confronted by a woman. It teaches a woman to reach towards the glory and beauty of humanity and to put aside her old and new feelings of inferiority, humility and baseness.
This is why the words of the Prophet not only show the kindness of a father but also bring out her responsibilities and strict duties. He shows his appreciation for her and speaks about her in the following terms: `The best women in the world were four: Mary, Assiyeh [the wife of Pharaoh who brought up Moses], Khadijah and Fatima.' `God is satisfied with her contentment and becomes angry from her anger.' `The contentment of Fatima is my contentment, her anger is my anger. Whosoever loves my daughter Fatima loves me. Whosoever makes Fatima content makes me content. Whosoever makes Fatima unhappy makes me unhappy.' 'Fatima is a part of my body. Whosoever hurts her, has hurt me, and whosoever hurts me has hurt God.'
Why all this repetition? Why does the Prophet insist upon praising his young daughter? Why does he insist upon praising her in front of other people?'Why does he want all of the ,people to be aware of his special feelings towards her? And finally, why does he so emphasize the contentment and anger of Fatima? Why does he so often repeat the word `hurt' in relationship to Fatima.
The answer to this is very sensitive and important. It is clear. History has answered it all: The secret of these wondrous actions will be unveiled in the near future, in the few short months after the death of her father.
The Mother of her Father
History not only always speaks of the `great ones', it only attends to them. Children are always forgotten. Fatima is the youngest child in the family. Her childhood passes in a storm. Her birth date is debated. Tabari, ibn Ishaq and Sirah ibn Hashim mention five years before the Prophet's mission. Morravej al Zahib Masoudi mentions the opposite, five years after the Prophet's mission. Yaqubi takes the middle, but not exactly, by recording, `after the revelation'. Thus, there is a difference of opinion among the recorders of the Traditions. The Sunnis, then say, five years before the mandate of the Prophet and the Shiites say five years after his mission.
We leave this discussion to the scholars so they can enlighten us as to the exact date of her birth. We are concerned with Fatima herself and the reality of Fatima. Whether she is born before or after the mission of the Prophet does not concern us here. That which is clear is that Fatima remained in Mecca alone. Her two brothers die when they are infants and Zaynab, her oldest sister, who acts as the mother of this beloved child, goes to the home of Abi al Aas. Fatima bitterly accepts her absence. Then it is Roqiyyeh and Umm Khulthum's turn. They marry the sons of Abu Lahab, and Fatima remains even more alone. This is if we accept her birth as having been before the mission of the Prophet. If we accept the second, then, essentially, from 'the time she opened her eyes, she was alone. At any rate, the beginning of her life coincides with the heavy mandate of the Prophet. It is filled with great struggles, difficulties and punishments whose shadows fall upon the house of the Prophet.
While her father bears the mandate of consciousness for mankind upon his shoulders and suffers the enmity of the enemies of the people, her mother nurses her beloved husband. With the initial experiences of childhood, Fatima tastes the suffering, sadness and anger of life. Because she is very young, she can move about freely. She makes use of this freedom to accompany her father. She knows her father has no life of his own to be able to take hold of his child's hand and walk freely and easily down the streets and into the bazaar. He always goes alone. In the wave of the town's enemies and enmity, he swims with dangers on all sides. The ‑small girl, who knows her father's fate, never lets him go alone.
Many times she sees her father standing amidst a crowd of people. He speaks to them softly and they, in turn, harshly send him away. Their only answers are to make fun of him and show him enmity. He feels lonely and friendless again: But quietly and patiently, he gathers, another group together. He begins his speech all over again. At the end, tired and having brought forth no result, like fathers of other children who return home from their jobs, he also returns home seeking a bit of rest and then returns once more to his work.
History reminds us that once when he had gone into the Masjid al haram, and is called bad names and is beaten, Fatima, a small child, is standing alone a short distance from the scene. She watches and then returns home with her father.
The day when he has prostrated himself in the mosque and his enemies throw the intestines of a sheep at him, suddenly, little Fatima, reaches towards her father, picks it up and throws it away. Then with her small, loving hands, cleans her father's head and face, comforts him and returns him to their home .
People who see this thin, weak girl, alone, beside her champion father, see how she comforts him. She supports him through his troubles and sufferings. With her pure, child‑like behavior, she sympathizes with him. It is because of this that she comes to be called ummi abiha, the mother of her father.