In analyzing the life of the Holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) in terms of his relationship with his beloved daughter, we can extract numerous lessons about how to live a life filled with love, mercy, and compassion. Unfortunately, we may still find that some cultures see sons as being more valuable than daughters. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh&hp) illustrated the kind of blessings daughters bring when they are born, thus eradicating any notion of superiority of sons over daughters. The Holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) states in a tradition, “Daughters are [like] good deeds and sons are [like] blessings, and a person gets rewarded for his good deeds while he is questioned about the blessings [he receives].”1 From Prophet Muhammad’s interaction with his daughter, Lady Fatimah (p), we witness the ideal father-daughter relationship, mixed with unique lessons that we can apply in our daily lives.

The Blessing of Having Daughters

In the pre-Islamic period, the pagan Arabs viewed their daughters as a curse and a liability. They treated girls harshly to the extent that they would even bury them alive. God speaks to their attitude in the Quran stating, “When the glad news of the birth of their daughter is brought to them, their faces turn gloomy and black with anger.”2

One of the manifestations of the Holy Prophet’s being “a mercy to the worlds” was the fact that he made it clear that girls are one of the greatest blessings to their families. He states, “The blessing of children is having well-mannered daughters. Whoever has one (daughter), [through her blessing] God will protect him from the fire. The one who has two (daughters), God will grant him entrance into Paradise.”3

In another beautiful tradition, a man, while in the company of the Holy Prophet (pbuh&hp), received the news that he had been blessed with a child. The color of the man’s face changed [in disappointment]. The Holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) asked, “What is wrong?” The man replied, “[I am fine].” The Holy Prophet asked the man again to tell him what was wrong. The man replied, “I left my wife in labor, and now I have received the news that she has given birth to a girl.” The Holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) said, “The Earth will carry her, the sky will shade her, and God will provide for her. She is like a rose.”4 The Holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) explained that with a daughter come immense blessings, and she should be treated with love and compassion.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh&hp) and Lady Fatimah’s Relationship

When studying the relationship of the Holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) and his daughter, Lady Fatimah (p), we see that the Messenger of God was the most loving father figure. His love for his dear daughter can only be explained through his own words. The Holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) states, “Fatimah is a part of me; whatever makes her happy, makes me happy. And whatever hurts her, hurts me.”5

In another narration, the Holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) states, “Fatimah is a part of me, and she is my soul that is between my shoulders.”6 He loved her so much that every time he used to travel, Lady Fatimah (p) would be the last person he would visit before he left and the first one he would visit upon his return.7

Furthermore, others also noticed the love that the Messenger of God (pbuh&hp) had for Lady Fatimah(p). When Lady Fatimah (p) entered a room, the Prophet (pbuh&hp) would stand up, kiss her, and greet her with the most beautiful words, just like she did to him.8 Imam Ali (p) also states, “Whenever Fatimah would enter a room the Prophet was in, he would stand up, kiss her hands, and give her his seat. And whenever the Prophet would enter a room that Fatimah was in, she would stand up, kiss his hands, and give him her seat.”9

This teaches us the importance of showing love and affection to our children, for then they will not only be compassionate to their parents but to others around them.

Bits of Advice:

1. Express love to our children: Demonstrating love for our children should be something that we do on a daily basis. In fact, Imam al-Sadiq (p) states in a tradition, “Surely God will have mercy upon his servant due to the intensity of love that he has for his child.”10 And in another tradition, the Prophet considers a man who never kissed his children as amongst the “people of the fire.”11

2. Fulfill our promises: It is important that we recognize how our children see us, especially at a young and impressionable age. We need to cultivate their love and have them build their trust in us. Thus, it becomes imperative to never lie to them and to fulfill our promises to them, for they see their parents as their sustainers.  Imam Ali (p) states, “If you make a promise to your children, make sure you fulfill the promise, for children see [their parents] as their sustainers.”12

3. Treat our children equally: Once the Holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) saw a man with two sons kiss only one of his children and not the other. He (the Prophet) asked, “Why have you not shown the same [love to your other son]?”13 It is vital that we treat all our children equally and not demonstrate more love to one over the other.

1. Makarim al-akhlaq, p. 219.
2. The Holy Quran 16:58, from the Muhammad Sarwar translation of the Quran.
3. Bihar al-anwar, vol. 101, p. 91.
4. Makarim al-akhlaq, p. 219.
5. Ayan al-Shia, vol. 1, p. 307.
6. Bihar al-anwar, vol. 43, p. 54.
7. Ayan al-Shia, vol. 1, p. 307.
8. Ayan al-Shia, vol. 1, p. 307.
9. Ayan al-Shia, vol. 1, p. 307.
10. Al-kafi, vol. 6, p. 50.
11. Al-kafi, vol. 6, p. 50.
12. Al-kafi, vol. 6, p. 50.
13. Wasail al-Shia, vol. 21, p. 487.

1. روي عن النبي صلى الله عليه واله أنّه قال “البنات حسنات والبنون نعمة، فالحسنات يثاب عليها والنعمة يسأل عنها”.
2. (وَإِذَا بُشِّرَ أَحَدُهُم بِالْأُنثَىٰ ظَلَّ وَجْهُهُ مُسْوَدًّا وَهُوَ كَظِيمٌ)
3. روي عن النبي صلى الله عليه واله أنه قال “نعم الولد البنات المخدرات من كانت عنده واحدة جعلها الله سترا من النار، ومن كانت عنده اثنتان أدخله الله بها الجنة”.
4. روي أنّه أتى رجلٌ النبيَّ صلى الله عليه وآله وعنده رجل فأخبره بمولود فتغير لون الرجل، فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وآله ,مالك؟ فقال] الرجل[ خير، قال ]النبي صلى الله عليه واله[
قل، قال: خرجت والمرأة تمخض فأخبرت أنها ولدت جارية، فقال له النبي صلى الله عليه وآله”الأرض تقلها، والسماء تظلها، والله يرزقها، وهي ريحانة تشمها.”
5. روي عن النبي صلى الله عليه واله أنّه قال “فاطِمَة بَضْعَةٌ مِنّي يَسُرّنِي مَا يَسُرّها وَيُغْضِبُني مَا يُغْضِبُها”
6. روي عن النبي صلى الله عليه واله أنّه قال ” فاطِمَة بَضْعَةٌ مِنّي وَهِيَ قَلْبِيْ وَهِيَ روُحِي التي بَيْنَ جَنْبِيّ”
7. روي أنّ النبيَّ صلى الله عليه واله كان إذا سافر كان آخر الناس عهدا به فاطمة وإذا قدم من سفر كان أول الناس به عهدا فاطمة.
8. روي أن النبيَّ صلى الله عليه واله إذا دخلت عليه ]فاطمة عليها السلام[ قام إليها فقبلها ورحب بها كما كانت تصنع هي به.
9. روي أن النبيَّ صلى الله عليه واله كان إذا دخلت عليه ]فاطمة عليها السلام [ قام إليها فاخذ بيدها فقبلها وأجلسها في مجلسه وكانت إذا دخل عليها قامت إليه فأخذت بيده فقبلته وأجلسته في مجلسها.
10. روي عن إبي عبد الله ]الصادق عليه السلام[ أنّه قال ” إن الله ليرحم العبد لشدة حبه لولده”.
11. روي عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال: جاء رجل إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وآله فقال: ما قبلت صبيا قط، فلما ولى قال رسول الله: هذا رجل عندي أنه من أهل النار.
12. عن كليب الصيداوي قال: قال لي أبو الحسن عليه السلام “إذا وعدتم الصبيان ففوا لهم فإنهم يرون أنكم الذين ترزقونهم”.
13. نظر رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وآله) إلى رجل له ابنان فقبل أحدهما وترك الآخر، فقال له النبي (صلى الله عليه وآله) “فهلا واسيت بينهما”.

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