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Fatimah is Fatimah: Lady Khadijah (SA) Dies (Part 11)

SHAFAQNA- The dark years of confinement ended. Khadija lived to see the salvation of the Muslims and to care for her beloved husband and her noble and loyal daughters. The Prophet (PBUH) experienced his first great victory over the Quraysh. But the destiny which had been sent to change our history allowed no peace or pleasure, for two great tragedies fell upon him simultaneously.

Abu Talib and Khadija both died within a few days of each other and within a few days of their freedom. Abu Talib had raised the orphan Muhammad (SAW) and had made up for his missing father, mother and his grandfather, Abdul-Muttalib. He had looked after the young man, Muhammad (PBUH), and cared for him. He had found work for him in the service of Khadija. Finally, it was he who acted as the father at the marriage of Lady Khadijah (SA) and Muhammad (PBUH).

He had supported the prophecy of Muhammad (PBUH). With all of his influence, character, personality and social credit, he had protected him. He even bore the three years in confinement, bore the difficulties and hunger and yet remained with him. It was because of him that the Prophet (PBUH) was saved from death and the horrible torture which his companions suffered. Now, he had lost Abu Talib, his only protector against the anger, danger and hatred of the city.

And Khadijah (SA) was the woman who had given up the privacy of their life to his destiny the woman who at forty or forty five had married Muhammad, the twenty five year old orphan and poor shepherd. He came to know her through love with the faith of a fellow sufferer and thinker. He sought refuge in her from the difficulties of poverty and life. He received the kindness of a friend and the love of a mother which he had never had. He benefited from her advice and the great protection which she gave him.

Later, when he was appointed as God’s Prophet (PBUH), she was with him, step by step. She was beside him, beside his heart, beside his spirit. During the whole time of the thunderstorm of difficulties, fears, dangers, loneliness, during years of hatred and enmity, during battles, fights and treacheries, she was with him from the first moment of the revelation until the final moments of her death. She was with him during all of the moments of his life. She gave all of her life, love, faith, and wealth at the moment when he needed it most.

Now the Prophet (PBUH) had lost his protector and compassionate, fellow sufferer, the first person who believed him, the greatest giver of sympathy and, finally, the mother of his Fatimah (SA). Fatimah (SA) had lost her mother.

Difficulties and tortures increased. Abu Talib had died. The Prophet (PBUH) was left defenseless before hatred. Hatred and enmity became violent when they witnessed the patience, perseverance and faith of the Prophet (PBUH) and his companions. The roots of hatred become firmer and more merciless. The Prophet (PBUH) was very much alone. Abu Talib was no longer in the city, and Khadija was no longer at home.

Fatima now more than ever sensed the heavy burden of the hatred and grudges. She was called ‘the mother of her father’. At the time that her sisters went to their husbands’ homes, she was still tied to her mother’s skirts. Mother, I never want to replace this home with another one. Mother, I will never leave you,” Fatima may have said. Lady Khadijah (SA) smiling, may have answered, “They all say that and we say, ‘My daughter, the time will come.”‘ Fatimah, imploringly, might have continued, “No. I will never leave my father. No one will separate me from him.” Her mother would then remain silent.

Fatima sensed she had such a mandate. Her message was not a child’s desires. Her faith in her mandate gained strength when she heard her father speak.

How surprising that the Prophet (PBUH) called upon her in the presence of the leaders of the Quraysh and the leaders of the Hashimi tribe and the Abd Manafs. Her? A young girl? She alone and only she from among her family?

The child-like feelings and loving kindness of the young girl, who hundreds of times reiterated that she would never marry and that she would never leave her father, were growing into a serious covenant and took on the quality of a responsibility and a commandment.

The first years of her life coincided with the first years of the mission and the difficulties and tortures of the beginning of the mandate. Fatimah (SA), from among all of the children of the Prophet (PBUH), was the worthiest to bear the suffering to bear the heavy weight of the responsibilities of the mandate which lay upon her father’s shoulders. She was aware of her fate and so were her mother and father.

On one of the last days of her life, Khadija, worried, turned to her and said, “After me what things will you see, my daughter. My life will end today or tomorrow. Zaynab (SA) and Ruqiya (SA), your two sisters, are at peace beside their kind husbands. My mind is not worried about Umm Kulthum (SA) because her age and experience are enough to keep her. But, you, Fatima, are drowned in difficulties. You have to suffer many sorrows and tribulations which increase daily.”

Fatima, who shared in bearing the burdens which had been placed upon her father’s shoulders, answered, ‘Rest assured, mother. “Don’t worry about me. The idol-worshipping Quraysh will torture and punish Muslims and they will show no mercy. The souls and hearts of Muslims must rejoice in accepting this despotic torture.”

Fatima was the most worthy, having suffered great torture. She was special because the blessing of being the daughter of the Prophet (PBUH) was offered to her and because of the kindness and respect which continue to be shown her.


Part of a Series:  Fatemeh is Fatemeh by Dr Ali Shariati

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