Fatima bint Asad was the wife of the Prophet’s ﷺ uncle Abu Talib and the mother of Jafar ibn Abi Talib and Ali ibn Abi Talib. She also had two other sons, Aqeel ibn Abi Talib and Talib ibn Abi Talib. When the Prophet’s ﷺ mother died, Abu Talib and Fatima bint Asad raised him in their home like a son. Abu Talib used to hold Mohammed ﷺ as the example to the other children as he was always neat and dignified compared to the other boys. Abu Talib also realized that when Mohammed ﷺ ate with the other children, the food would be sufficient but when he didn’t eat with them, the food wasn’t enough for them.
Fatima bint Asad looked after the Prophet ﷺ all the way until adulthood. He would say that he remembers she would go hungry to feed him and he respected her so highly. When she walked into a room, he would stand up to greet her and address her as ‘mother’. Fatima bint Asad was also one of the first people to convert to Islam after the Mohammed ﷺ declared himself a prophet. She endured the three-year economic and social boycott in Mecca and migrated to Medina with the other Muslims.
She was not only like a mother to the Prophet ﷺ but she was mother in law to his daughter Fatima and the mother of the fourth Caliph in Islam and one of the greatest Generals. She had many great roles.
According to Anas ibn Malik, when Fatima bint Asad passed away, the Prophet ﷺ sat beside her and said, “My dear mother, may Allah keep you under His Protection. Many times you went hungry in order to feed me well. You fed me and clothed me on delicacies that you denied yourself. Allah will surely be happy with these actions of yours. And your intentions were surely meant to win the goodwill and pleasure of Allah and success in the Hereafter.” The Prophet ﷺ used his shirt to cover her and lowered her into her grave himself. The only other people he did this for were his wife Khadijah (RA), his son born by Khadejah (RA) who died in infancy and Abdullah Mazni (Zulbajadain).
*Fatima’s relationship with the Prophet ﷺ and her connection with so many important people in our history helps us to see yet another example of the high status that is given to mothers and women in the society at that time. Fatima’s legacy is essentially her children, mainly Ali, Jaffar, and in this case we can also say Mohammed ﷺ. What I have found with reading about these women of the past is that we are able to see many different kinds of roles that Muslim women had and it helps us discover more about what our roles should be as Muslim women, or rather the endless possibilities we have to be who we want to be. Many people might say that the only roles for women in Islam are as a mother or wife, and we have seen through this blog that it is not true. However, on the other side of the coin, it is refreshing to have a religion that glorifies your role as a mother, especially in a society in which the only definition of success is that which you obtain through a career. This is a story of a successful woman. No, she was not a fast flying business woman or had a fancy career. She was a mother. A mother to a man who became the fourth Caliph of Islam. A mother to a man who was one of the greatest Generals in Islam. The mother in law to one of the four greatest women of all time. And a mother to the last Prophet ﷺ. Her legacy is still being talked about today in 2012. Wouldn’t you say that she was successful? Doesn’t that make it so easy, or rather give opportunity, for so many Muslim women to be successful?
*This is kind of a random thought. I have noticed there are so many Fatimas and Zainabs at that time! I think its because these were the Prophet’sﷺ favorite names.
Ghadanfar, Mahmood Ahmad., Jamila Muhammad. Qawi, Sheikh Safiur-Rahman. Al-Mubarakpuri, Muhammad Ayub. Sapra, and Muhammad Farooq. Great Women of Islam: Who Were given the Good News of Paradise. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Darussalam, 2001. Print.
04 Jan 2016
28 Oct 2015