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The Extraordinary Love of the Prophet for Zahra

إذا اشتقت إلى الجنة قبّلْتُ نحرَ فاطمة

“Whenever I long for paradise, I kiss the throat of Fatimah.1

All of the historians and masters of the hadith have written that the Prophet (S) had an astonishing attachment to his daughter, Fatimah.
It is certain that the Prophet’s affection was not only because of their relationship as father and child, even though this sentiment swelled the prophet’s being. The phrases and words the Prophet (S) spoke when he expressed his affection for his daughter Fatimah (s.a.) showed that there are other standards being propounded.
This affection is one of a kind. Love of the beloved of God is love of God.
From the many narratives that have come to us on this subject it is enough to just mention the following ones from the famous books of shi’a and sunni;

ما كان أحد من الرجال أحب إلى رسول اللّه من عليٍّ ولا من النساء أحب إليه من فاطمة16

“There is no man more loved by the Prophet (S) than “the commander of the Faithful” Ali (a.s.) and no women more loved than Fatimah (s.a.).”

It is interesting that a large group of these hadiths were reported by Aisha.
When this honourable verse was revealed.

لا تَجْعَلوا دعاء الرّسولِ بينَكم كدعاء بعضكم بعضاً

“Make not the calling of the messenger among you as your calling of one another.2

The Muslims did not address the prophet as “O’ Muhammad” anymore, instead they said: “O’ Messenger of God.”

تقول فاطمة(عليها السلام) لمّا نزلت الآية الشريفة هبت رسول اللّه أن أقول له يا أبه. فكنت أقول: يا رسول اللّه، فأعرض عني مرةً واثنين أو ثلاثاً، ثم أقبل عليَّ فقال: يا فاطمة إنّها لم تنزل فيك ولا في أهلك ولا في نسلك، أنت مني و أنا منك، إنّما نزلت في أهل الجفاء والغلظة من قريش، أصحاب البذخ والكبر ثم أضاف هذه العبارة الروحية العجيبة قولي يا أبه فإنّها أحيى للقلب وأرضى للرّب

Fatimah (s.a.) says:
After this verse was revealed I didn’t dare call my father as (father dear!), and when I went to him I would say, “O’ Messenger of God”.
One or two times I repeated this address.
I saw that the prophet (S) became upset and turned face away from me. The third time he turned to me and said:
“O’ Fatimah this verse was not revealed for you, and not for your family, and descendents. You are of me and I am of you. This was revealed in relation to the oppressors and bad-disposition, ill-mannered of Quraish.”
Then he added this surprising spirit-nurturing sentence:
“Say (father dear), for this word is more life giving for the heart and more pleasing for God” 3

Yes, the soothing music of Fatimah’s “father dear” did the same thing to the prophet’s soul as a spring breeze would to the tree’s delicate blossoms.
In another hadith it has come to us that the Holy Prophet (S) was so eager for Fatimah (s.a.) that whenever he went on a trip the last person to bid him farewell was Fatimah. And when he returned from a trip the first person to rush to see him was Fatimah.
This hadith was also narrated by many of the narrators of hadiths, both shi’a and sunni; that the Prophet (S) said:

من آذاها فقد آذاني ومن أغضبها فقد أغضبني من سرها فقد سرني ومن سائها فقد سائني

“Whoever harms her has harmed me and whoever angers her has made me angry;
Whoever makes her glad has made me glad, and whoever saddens her has made me sad.”4

Without doubt the exalted personal identity of Fatimah (s.a.), her bright future, and the position of the Gnosticism, faith and worship, necessitated all of this respect. This being because all of the lmams were of her offspring and she was the wife of the great man of Islam “The commander of the Faithful”, Ali (a.s.).
But the Prophet (S) with this action wished to make the people understand another fact, and to make clear the perspective of Islam on another basis, creating a revolution in thought and culture, saying:
“A girl is not a creature that should be buried alive.
See, I kiss my daughter’s hand, I seat her in my place and grant her so much respect and greatness.”
A girl is a human being, just as all other human beings, she is a blessing of God’s blessings. She is a godly affection.
A girl may, just as a boy, traverse the degrees of perfection and find her way to the limits of God’s esteem.
And in this way the collapsed worth of women in that dark environment was restored.

  • 1. From “Fadhael-Al-Khamsah” vol. 3 pg. 127
  • 2. Qur’an Surat An-Nur 24:43; Translation from M. M. Pickthall
  • 3. 320 “Manaqib Ibn-shahr Ashub”, vol. 3 pg. 320
  • 4. 132 الفضائل الخمسة، ج3، ص“Alfadhael Al-Khamsah” vol. 3 pg. 132

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