Fatima’s (RA) role as a mother was just as historic as her other roles, as her children were so profound in Islamic history.
In addition to being so much like her father, Fatima (RA) also resembled her mother’s character more than any of her sisters. Before Fatima (RA) actually became a mother, she was already “motherly,” as we know by her nickname, Um Abeeha, or her father’s mother. She had that caring, loving characteristic by nature and was also like a mother to her three older sisters.
Her first son, Al Hassan, was born in Ramadan in the 3rd year after Hijrah (migration to Medina). When the Prophet ﷺ asked Ali what he named his first grandson, Ali replied Harban (war). The Prophet ﷺ kindly suggested that they name the child something with quite the opposite meaning, Al Hassan, which means good or beautiful. One year later, in the month of Shaban, a second son was born. When the Prophet ﷺ asked Ali what he named his second grandson, Ali again replied Harban. The Prophet ﷺ again suggested a name with the opposite meaning, Al Hussein. There was a third son, Al Mohsin (also changed from Harban by the Prophet ﷺ) who died in infancy. We know all the Sunna related to what to do when a child is born from what the Prophet ﷺ did with Fatima’s (RA) children.
In the 5th year Hijri, Fatima (RA) was pregnant when her sister Zainab passed away. Ali took the baby girl born that year to the Prophet ﷺ to name and he chose Zainab after his daughter whom he was still mourning. That was a difficult time for the Prophet’s ﷺ family as Rukkaya and Um Kulthoom also passed away all within the same two years. In the 7th year Hijri, Fatima (RA) gave birth to another girl and named her after Um Kulthoom.
Fatima’s (RA) children grew up in a very happy household. Their household was one in which their parents loved each other and loved them and their father set an example to the boys as to how to love and respect their sisters. The Prophet ﷺ was overjoyed with his grandchildren and would say that they are the leaders of the youth of paradise. Sometimes the Prophet ﷺ would take Al Hassan and Al Hussein and carry them wherever he went. When people asked him who these children were, he would say that they are his daughter’s sons and he would love all those who loved them. Another time, the Prophet ﷺ was making sujood (prostrating) when Al Hassan, Al Hussein, and Zainab came and starting jumping and playing on his back. The Prophet ﷺ took an especially long time making sujood and when he was finally done praying, Fatima (RA) came to him worried and asked him why he took so long in sujood. He responded that the children were enjoying playing and jumping on his back and he didn’t want to ruin their fun.
Fatima (RA) time as a mother was short and she did not live long enough to see her children as adults. She passed away when they were very young. However, her lessons and upbringing stayed with them as they grew older. Before she passed, she gave 7 year old Zainab two words of advice. The first was to be a mother to her brothers and care for them. The second was be a mother to the Umma (people, brotherhood) of Mohammed ﷺ (kunni umman li ummet Mohammed ﷺ). Zainab took that to heart and grew up taking care of orphans, the elderly and all those who were in need. Al Hassan and Al Hussein were great warriors and left a great legacy. Most importantly, the boys and their father Ali, knew the importance of getting a woman’s opinion and would always get Zainab’s advice on many issues, including those of battle and leadership.
May Allah bless us all with children who are as great as these.
*Islam is a peaceful religion even when it comes to naming children. The first thing we can learn is the importance of naming your children something positive and a name that has a good meaning. I heard, and I am not positive on this, that there are some names that you are actually not suppose to name your children because they are so negative. If anyone knows anything about this they can post below.
*Women make men. It is one of the greatest blessings that we have to be mothers. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Your mother, your mother, your mother.” Three times. No matter what restrictions society might put on you, you have a natural blessing to raise a boy into the type of man you would like to see in the world and to raise a girl into the type of woman you would be proud of. That is the most profound way we can create change, and that is a gift from God. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, when you educate the women, the children come up more educated and successful.
*Fatima’s (RA) daughter Zainab has an incredible story which we will discuss soon Inshallah.
Read the rest of the series:
Part 1-Early life
Part 2-Love and Marriage
Part 4-Fatima, the mother
Part 5-The Legacy
Quṭb, Muḥammad ʻAlī. Women around the Messenger. Riyadh: International Islamic House, 2007. Print.
“Amr Khalid- Assayida Fatima.” YouTube – Broadcast Yourself. Web. 10 Jan. 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuUTkOxsg8o>.
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