The Love of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) for His One and Only Beloved Daughter
The following traditions are reported from the Holy Prophet (saww) regarding Fatima (a.s.):
“Fatima is part of me, whoever annoys her, annoys me”. (Al-Bukhari)
“Fatima is part of me, whoever offends her, offends me”. (Al-Tirmidhi)
The love of the Holy Prophet (saww) for his one and only beloved daughter was unprecedented. At a time when ignorant Arabs considered a female child as source of disgrace and a burden upon her family – the Messenger of Allah (SWT) accorded her with highest degree of respect and showered his undying love over her.
‘Aayesha, the wife of the Holy Prophet (saww) has been reported saying: “Never have I seen any one resembling the Messenger of Allah (saww) in his way of standing and sitting more than Fatima-may Allah grant her more honour. When she came in to see him, he would rise to his feet, take her hand, kiss her and seat her where he was seated…” (Fadhail al-Khamsah)
Imam Ja’ffar al-Sadiq (a.s.) has reported that Fatima (a.s.) had said, “When the verse: ‘Do not make the addressing of the Messenger among you like your addressing one another’ was revealed, I feared to call the Messenger of Allah: ‘Father’; So I began calling him Messenger of Allah. He (saww) ignored me two or three times, and finally said, ‘Fatima! This verse was not revealed for you or your family, nor does it include your progeny…Call me Father; It is surely better for the heart and more satisfying for your Lord’.” (Tabari)
He (saww) also called her Umm Abeeha, which means ‘the mother of her father’. (Fatima, the Gracious)
A Lesson from Her Noble Life
One of the most important lessons we learn from the noble life of Sayyida Fatima (a.s.) is that of ‘Al-Hayaa’ which means: “Bashfulness, Sense of Shame or Modesty”.
This is the quality, which Islam desires to see in all Muslims – men and women alike.
The Holy Prophet (saww) has said, “Verily every religion has its conduct and verily the conduct of Islam is Modesty”. (Kanzul-‘Ummaal)
He (saww) also said, “Modesty and Faith are companions attached to each other. If one of them goes away, the other also follows.” (Bihar al-Anwaar)
Modesty in the context of relationship between men and women:
The Holy Quran has praised the modesty and bashfulness of the daughters of Prophet Shua’yb (a.s.).
[After escaping from Egypt, Prophet Musa (a.s.) came to Madyan. Because of wandering in the desert for almost a week, he (a.s.) had become weak and hungry.
In Madyan, Prophet Musa (a.s.) came by a well where he saw some shepherds drawing water from it for their flocks while two girls waited with their flocks for their turn. The shepherds were selfish and did not care for the two girls.
The two girls were Safura and Safra, the daughters of Prophet Shua’yb (a.s.) who had grown very old. Because of their modesty and personal nobility, they could not thrust themselves in to the crowd of males.
Prophet Musa (a.s.) could not tolerate the highhandedness so he went to the girls to help, as they stood quiet and helpless. He (a.s.) first asked the shepherds to help the girls, but when they refused, Prophet Musa (a.s.) himself, with his robust figure and strong arms, drew the huge bowl from the well alone which the shepherds used to pull out jointly and then gave water to the flocks of the girls.
The girls left only to come back with invitation from their old father for Musa (a.s.) to visit him. In praising the approach of one of the girls, the Holy Quran says:
“Then one of the two women came to him walking bashfully.” (28:25)
Once they were in the house of Prophet Shua’yb (a.s.), one of his daughters suggested that he should employ Musa (a.s.) since he was strong and trustworthy. Prophet Shua’yb (a.s.) said, “I know that he is strong but how do you know that he is also trustworthy?”
Thereupon, the daughter revealed,
“O Father! When we invited Musa to come to you, he insisted that we should walk behind him, and point the way by throwing small stone before him. He said he did not belong to the people who cast their eyes upon the backs of women.”] (S V Mir Ahmad Ali)
From the above incident, the point worth noting is that although both exhibited Modesty: the daughter of Prophet Shua’yb (a.s.) and Prophet Musa (a.s.), the Quran is precisely talking about the daughter. This shows that although both should observe Modesty, men and women, Islam does expect women to be ahead of men in this quality.
Muslims have been instructed to lower their eyes and guard their private parts. In addition to this, the women must also not display their adornment to men and must cover themselves in a manner that secures their modesty.
“Say (O Muhammad) to the believing men to lower their eyes and guard their private parts. That is purer for them, Verily Allah is aware of what they do.
And say to the believing women to lower their eyes, and guard their private parts, and not display their adornment..” (24:30-31)
The Holy Prophet (saww) has said, “Modesty is to lower the eyes.” (Meezan al-Hikmah)
Modesty of Sayyida Fatima (A.S.)
Imam Ja’ffar al-Sadiq (a.s.) is reported to have said,
“Ali and Fatima sought the judgement of the Holy Prophet (saww) about their work. He (saww) decided that Fatima (a.s.)’s work has to be inside the house and ‘Ali (a.s.)’s outside. Fatima (a.s.) commented on her father’s judgement:
‘None but Allah knows how much I was pleased when the Messenger of Allah spared me from the difficulty of dealing with men”. (Wasail al-Shia’h)
The Holy Prophet (saww) once asked Fatima (a.s.): “What is the thing which is regarded as a blessing for a woman?” She (a.s.) replied, “She must not see a (Non Mahram) man, and a (Non Mahram) man should also not see her”. (Bayt al-Ahzaan)