MESSENGER AND CHILDREN
Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, excelled in every
walk of life. People should not compare him to themselves or
the so-called ‘great personalities’ of their age.
Researchers should look at him, the one to whom angels are
grateful, always remembering that he excelled in every way. If
they want to look for Muhammad, upon him be peace and
blessings, they must search for him in his own dimensions. It
is not possible to reach him using the imaginations of people
like us, who do not even know how to imagine properly, for God
bestowed upon him, as His special favor, superiority in every
Prophet Muhammad is truly the pride of humanity. He lived and
died with honor. Humanity has never witnessed and never will
witness a person like him. Even his contemporaries could not
see him in his full reality. Most of them could not recognize
him. However, the number of his nation who know and respect
him has ever since increased continually.
an extraordinary head of family, a perfect father, and a
unique grandfather. He was unique in every way.
treated his children and grandchildren with extraordinary
compassion and never neglected to direct their faces to the
Hereafter and towards good deeds. He smiled at them, caressed
and loved them, but he did not allow them to neglect the
matters related to their afterlife. In worldly matters, he was
extremely open, yet he was very serious and dignified in
maintaining their relationship with God. He showed how to lead
a humane life, and never allowed them to be neglectful of
their religious duties. He was very careful about this, so as
to keep them from becoming spoilt, and to prepare them for the
life of the Hereafter. He was perfectly balanced. This was
another dimension of his divinely inspired intellect.
hadith narrated by Muslim, Anas bin Malik, honored as the
servant of the Messenger, one who performed this service with
perfect loyalty for ten years without break, says:
have never seen a man who was more compassionate to his
family members than Muhammad.11
so compassionate, so sincere and so open that no one can be
compared to him.
admission were made just by us, it could have been dismissed
as unimportant. However, millions of people, so benign and
compassionate that they would not even offend an ant, declare
and admit that he was unique in that he embraced the whole
being with compassion.
a human like each of us, but God inspired in him intimate
affection for every living being so that he would be able to
establish a connection with all of them. Because of this, he
was full of extraordinary affection toward his family members
his sons had died. His last son, Ibrahim, born of Mary, the
Copt, did not live long either. The Messenger often visited
his son while alive, although he was very busy, who was looked
after by a nurse, and he embraced, kissed, caressed him, and
then returned home.12 When Ibrahim passed away, the
Prophet took him on his lap again, embraced him and described
his sorrow while on the brink of tears. Some were surprised.
He gave them this answer: Eyes may water and hearts may be
broken but we do not say anything except what God will be
pleased with. He pointed to his tongue and said: God
will ask us about this.13 He was the most
compassionate, most merciful of all people.
his grandsons Hasan and Husayn on his back and carried them
around with him. Is it possible for a man of such status to do
such a thing? He did it without hesitation. By doing this, he
also heralded the honor that they would attain later. One day,
when Hasan and Husayn were on his back, ‘Umar came into the
Prophet’s house. When he saw them on such an honored place,
he said, ‘What a beautiful mount you have!’ The Messenger
added immediately: What beautiful riders they are!14
They may not even have been aware of the way the Messenger had
honored them. This special compliment was because of their
position as the future leaders and family heads of the
household of the Prophet. From them were to come the greatest
and most respected ones among saints. His compliment was not
only for his grandsons but for all his offspring. For this
reason, ‘Abd al-Qadir Jilani, a well-known member of the
household of the Prophet, said: ‘The blessed feet of the
Messenger are on my shoulders and mine are on the shoulders of
all saints.’ This statement will probably stand for all
saints to come.
Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, was completely
balanced in the way he brought up his children. He loved his
children and grandchildren very much and instilled love in
them, but, he never let this be abused. None of them dared
deliberately do anything wrong but, if they made a mistake
unintentionally, the Messenger’s protection prevented them
from going astray even the least. He did this by wrapping them
in love and an aura of dignity. For example, once, Hasan or
Husayn wanted to eat a date that had been given as alms. The
Messenger rushed and took it from his hand immediately, and
said: The date given as alms is forbidden to us.15
In bringing them up to be sensitive to the forbidden acts,
even in their childhood, he laid down for us an important
principle of education.
he returned to Madina he would carry children on his mount. On
such occasions the Messenger embraced not only his
grandchildren but also those in his house and those nearby.
Through his compassion he conquered their hearts.
loved all children. He loved Umama, his granddaughter, just as
he loved Hasan and Husayn. He often went out with her on his
shoulders. He even placed her on his back while praying. When
he went to prostrate, he put her down and when he had finished
he took her on his back again.16
showed this degree of love to Umama so as to teach how to
treat girls to a society that used to bury their daughters
alive only a decade previously. Among those people, the
Messenger’s care for his granddaughter was novel and had
never been seen before.
is no discrimination between son and daughter in Islam. The
Messenger himself showed this. How can there be? One of them
is Muhammad, the other is Khadija; one is Adam, the other is
Eve; one is ‘Ali, the other is Fatima. For every great man
there is a great woman.
the daughter of the Messenger, is the mother of all members of
the household of the Prophet. She is our mother, too. As soon
as Fatima entered, the Messenger would stand, take her hands
and make her sit where he had been sitting. He asked about her
health and family, caressed her and paid her many compliments.
loved her like his own self, and Fatima, knowing how fond he
was of her, loved him more than her own self. Her great
mission was to be the seed for the saints and godly people.
She always watched her father and his method of calling to
Islam. For this reason, she wept and groaned when the
Messenger gave her the news of his impending death, and
rejoiced when he told her that she would be the first to
follow him.17 Her father loved her, and she loved
her father. The Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings,
was totally balanced even in his love for Fatima. He trained
her for the heights to which the human soul should rise.
Messenger brought up Fatima, as well as the other members of
his family and also his Companions, in a way to prepare them
for the Hereafter. Human beings were created for eternity.
They cannot be satisfied except through eternity and the
Eternal Being. Therefore, human beings want nothing but Him,
and they long for Him either consciously or unconsciously. The
essence of all religions and the message of every Prophet was
about the Next World. For this reason, the Messenger always
sought to prepare his followers for the eternal peace and
permanent bliss while himself giving to them a sample of that
peace and bliss which they would taste in his presence. Fatima
once came to the Messenger with a necklace (a bracelet,
according to another version). He said to her: Do you want
people - inhabitants of the earth and the inhabitants of
heavens - to say that the daughter of the Prophet is holding
(or wearing) a chain from Hell?
loved them and directed them towards the Hereafter, to the
otherworldly and eternal beauties, and to God. His words were
enough for Fatima. For those words were coming from a man
whose throne was established in her heart and who had
conquered all her faculties. For this reason, Fatima said:
immediately sold the necklace, bought a slave and
emancipated him, and then went to the Messenger. When I
told him what I had done, he rejoiced. He opened his
hands and thanked God: All thanks to God who protected
(my daughter) Fatima from Hell.18
Fatima did not commit a sin by wearing the necklace, however,
the Messenger wanted to keep her in the circle of the muqarrabin,
those who were made near to God. Our master’s warning was
due to taqwa, fear of God, and qurb, nearness to
Him. This was, in a sense, a neglect of worldly things, and an
example of the sensitivity befitting the mother of the
household of the Prophet, which represents the Muslim nation
until the Last Day. To be a mother of godly men like Hasan,
Husayn and Zayn al-‘Abidin was certainly no ordinary task.
The Messenger was preparing her to be the mother of Ahl al-Bayt
first, and then the mother of ‘Abdul Qadir al-Jilani,
Muhammad Baha’ al-Din al-Naqshband, Ahmad Rifai’, Ahmad
Badawi, al-Shadhili and the like. As if he said to her: ‘My
daughter! You are to marry a man and go to a house from which
many golden ‘rings’ will consequently come. Forget that
golden chain on your neck and concentrate on becoming the
mother for the ‘golden chains’ of saints who would appear
in the spiritual orders of Naqshbandiya, Rifaiya, Shadhiliyyah
and the like.’ It was difficult to fulfill the role of
mother of the great ones while wearing a golden necklace. For
this reason, the Messenger was more severe with his own
household than others in these kinds of matters. He reminded
them of the straight path by turning their faces towards the
other world, closing all the windows opening on the ‘world’
and telling them, What you need is God.
would lead their whole lives looking to the other world. For
this reason, the Messenger purified, as a sign of his love,
his most beloved ones from all worldly rubbish, not allowing
worldly dust to ‘soil their robes’. He turned their faces
towards the exalted realms and prepared them for being
man is with whom he loves’. If you love the Prophet
Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, you will be on his
path, and those who are on his path will be together with him
in the world beyond. To prepare his family and Companions for
this gathering, the Messenger loved and embraced them, and
used this love efficiently.
and Muslim gave another example of his education system. It
was narrated by ‘Ali, who said:
had no servant in our house. Fatima did all the
housework by herself. We lived in a house with just a
small room. There, Fatima lit a fire and tried to cook.
She often singed her clothes while trying to increase
the fire by blowing. Moreover, she baked our bread and
carried water. Her hands became covered in callouses
from turning the millstone and her back also became so
because of carrying water. Meanwhile some prisoners of
war were brought to Madina. The Messenger gave them to
those who applied. I suggested to Fatima to ask for a
servant from her father. And she did.
went to my father, but he was not at home. ‘A’isha
said that she would tell him when he came, and I
returned home. As soon as we went to bed, the Messenger
came in. We wanted to get up, but he did not let us and
sat between us. I could feel the cold of his foot on my
body. He asked what we wanted and I explained the
situation. The Messenger, in an awesome manner, said:
‘O Fatima! Fear God, and be faultless in your duties
to Him! (Fulfill all the obligatory deeds that God
ordered and be loyal to your husband.) I should say to
you another thing: When you want to go to bed, say Subhana-llah
(All glory be to God) and al-hamdu li-llah (All
praise be to God) and Allahu akbar (God is the
greatest) thirty three times each. This is better for
you than having a maid.’19
meant: ‘I am turning your faces to the other-worldly realms,
and there are two ways for you to reach them and be together
with me there: fulfilling your duties in perfect servitude to
your Lord and fulfilling your duties to your husband. If a
maid takes your responsibilities, this may make you deficient.
You must have two wings in order to fly to the higher ranks.
How can a man or woman become a perfect slave of God? How can
a person become a perfect human being and fulfill all of his
or her obligations? It is your duty to find the answers of
of all, become a perfect slave of God. Then, become a perfect
human being by performing your duties to ‘Ali, a great man
who represents all the saints from among his descendants, so
that you may be with me in Heaven where all the perfect things
and perfect human beings shall come together.’
cannot help but digress to mention a fact about ‘Ali. The
Messenger gave him his daughter without any hesitation,
because he deserved being the husband of a Prophet’s
daughter and a Son-in-law of a Prophet. He was the king of the
saints, and was created in this nature. The Messenger, one
day, said to him:
‘Ali! The offspring of every other Prophet came from
himself, however mine will come from you.20
is the father of the offspring, grandchildren, of the Prophet,
namely, the household of the Prophet. For this reason, to obey
‘Ali means to obey the Messenger, and to obey the Messenger
means to obey God. Also, those who love ‘Ali should love the
Prophet and follow his Sunna.
11. Muslim, “Fada’il,”
Muslim, “Fada’il,” 62.
Bukhari, “Jana’iz,” 44; Muslim, “Fada’il,” 62; Ibn
Ma’ja, “Jana’iz,” 53.
Hindi, Kanz al-‘Ummal, 13.650.
Hanbal, 2.279; Muslim, “Zakat,” 161.
16. Bukhari, “Adab,” 18; Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, 8.39.
17. Muslim, “Fada’il,”
98, 99; Bukhari, “Manaqib, ” 25.
18. Nasa’i, “Zinat,”
Bukhari, “Fada’il al-Ashab,” 9; Muslim, “Dhikr,” 80,
Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, Lemalar, 4. Lema.