Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the Father and Husband


Saudi Gazette

Although Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) carried the world’s weight of responsibility on his shoulders, calling people to Allah and teaching Islam, he (peace be upon him), valued family and cared deeply about his family members. To learn how women are viewed in Islam or how women should be treated, one is to look at the Prophet (peace be upon him), and how he interacted with his daughters, wives, and the women in his community.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) loved his daughters dearly and he never made them feel marginalized or unimportant because they were women, or because they were daughters not sons. He loved his daughters, took pride in them, and he was never ashamed to show his affection towards them in public.

Although the youngest of his daughters, Fatima had always been a source of comfort, support, and strength for her father in those early difficult days in Makkah, when the men of Quraysh scorned and hurt the Prophet (peace be upon him). She was never intimidated or afraid to defend her father in public, and he never reprimanded her for her strength and outspokenness when it came to speaking the truth and defending justice.

After the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his family migrated to Madinah, Ali bin Abi Talib, the Prophet’s cousin asked for Fatima’s hand in marriage. Although the Prophet (peace be upon him) approved of Ali, he consulted with Fatima to make sure that she consented to the marriage. He never forced any of his daughters into marriage against their will.

Whenever Fatima visited the Prophet (peace be upon him), he would stand up for her to greet her, and give her his place to sit. She, in turn, would kiss his forehead. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) loved Fatima and he loved her sons, and he was often seen kissing and playing with his grandsons. He (peace be upon him) was kind and gentle with his family.

When the Prophet (peace be upon him) was preparing for the Battle of Badr against the disbelievers of Quraysh, the Prophet’s daughter, Ruqayyah fell ill. The Prophet (peace be upon him) asked her husband, Uthman bin Affan to remain with Ruqayyah to tend to her and care for her, rather than leaving her and participating in this extremely decisive battle. Uthman obeyed the Prophet and stayed with his wife during her illness, and she died later in the month, before the Muslim army returned to Madinah from the Battle of Badr.

In his entire life, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) never struck or even raised his hand to hit a woman or a child, ever.

When calling his daughter or wife, he chose beautiful nicknames to make them feel special. He called Fatima Al-Zahraa, meaning the shining one. He called Aisha, his wife, Al-Homairaa, due to her red, rosy cheeks.

After the death of Khadijah, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) remarried, and Allah gave special permission only to the Prophet to marry nine wives, and each marriage was for a very specific reason. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) respected each of his wives, treated them justly, listened to their grievances and opinions, and cared about their feelings. No matter what ordeals he may have been going through outside the home, he always took the time to talk to his wives, console them, and show them that he loved them.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) was sensitive to the feelings of his wife, Aisha. He recognized when Aisha was upset, what upset her, what made her sad, and he tried to cheer her up.

Aisha reported that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) once said to her, “I know well when you are angry or pleased with me.” I said, “How do you know that?” He replied, “When you are pleased you say ‘By the Lord of Muhammad’ but when you are upset, you say ‘By the Lord of Abraham.’” I said, “Yes, I do not desert except your name.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

That is our Prophet, making light of an agitated situation, making his wife smile when she is upset.

In the home, he helped with household chores. Aisha, his wife, stated, “He always joined in household work and would at times mend his clothes, repair his shoes, and sweep the floor. He would milk, tether, and feed his animals and do the household shopping.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) respected his wives, acknowledged the wisdom of the women in his life, and went to them for advice.

When a group of Muslims along with the Prophet (peace be upon him) trekked to Makkah intending to perform the pilgrimage, Quraysh prevented them from proceeding. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) signed the treaty of Hudaibiyah and Quraysh promised to allow the Muslims to perform the pilgrimage the following year. Some of the companions disagreed with the terms of the treaty and they were disappointed that they were unable to perform the pilgrimage. When Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) instructed them to shave their heads and discard their pilgrimage clothes and return to Madinah, at first the companions did not follow the Prophet’s instructions.

Umm Salama, the Prophet’s wife, was intelligent and she advised the Prophet to go out in front of his companions and have his head shaved. She figured that if they saw him shaving his head, they would follow his actions, and that would be better than simply telling them to do so. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) took Umm Salama’s advice, and she was right.

In Madinah, the women of his community complained to the Prophet (peace be upon him) that the men spent more time with him and they learned directly from him, and the women wanted to learn and they had questions to ask. The Prophet (peace be upon him) assigned a day of every week for the women to gather for a lecture at his mosque, and he would give them time to ask their questions.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) even knew and appreciated the woman who had no place but the mosque to live and she was responsible for the cleaning and upkeep of the masjid. One day, he noticed she was not at the masjid; he was concerned so he asked his companions about her. When they told him she died at night, he asked why they had not informed him. He asked where her grave was so he could offer the funeral prayer for her.

The Messenger of Allah did not swear, cuss, use profane language, curse others, or spread obscenity. The Prophet’s character can be summarized in the eloquent verse in the Holy Qur’an which describes him, “You are of the highest noble character.” (Chapter 68, verse 4)

It is no wonder why his wives, his daughters, his companions, and his servants loved him so much, more than they loved their own souls.