PROPHET MUHAMMAD ﷺ- AS A FATHER
In the pre-Islamic period, the pagan Arabs hated to have daughters. They used to bury female children alive. There were only two evil choices to decide on: either to keep a girl as a thing of sufferance and contempt, bringing disgrace on the family or to get rid of her by burying her alive. They believed that sons were only the source of strength and prosperity, but daughters only made them subject to humiliating raids. A striking example of such belief was represented by ‘Abdul- Muttalib when he swore that if, he had got ten boys, he would have slain one of them as a sacrifice to Allah.
Meanwhile, the Prophet (pbuh) had four daughters and two sons. The two sons soon died young. The athiests of Quraish rented their personal spite and venom against the noble Prophet (pbuh) by taunting him with the loss of his two infant sons by Khadija. Furthermore, someone said, leave him alone, he would die without leaving a successor.
Accordingly Allah the Almighty revealed the surah of at-Takathur to give a warning against boast and rivalry concerning acquisitiveness of whatever kind, of wealth or offspring. Allah also revealed the surah of al-Kawthar to rebuke the disbeliveers who taunted the Prophet with the loss of his sons. Allah the Almighty says: Competition in [worldly] increase diverts you. Until you visit the graveyards. No! You are going to know.Quran Surah At- Tabkathur: 1-3
The Prophet as a Kind Father
Whenever Fatima (may Allah be pleased with her) enters the Prophet’ s room, he used to welcome her tenderly and kiss her. Such a love is not consecrated for his daughters only but also for his grandsons and the whole Muslim children. Al-Bukhari reported that Usama Ibn Zayd Ibn Hantha related that the Prophet (pbuh) would hold me and let me sit on one of his knees and al-Hassan on the other. Then he hugged us and said, “O Allah may You have mercy on them both because I have mercy on them.” (Reported by AIl-Bukhari)
In Sahih Al-Bukhari, it is reported on the authority of Anas Ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) that, “The Prophet (pbuh) entered upon his son, Ibrahim, while he was dying. Thereupon, the eyes of the Prophet (pbuh) started to shed tears. ‘Abdur-Rahman ibn ‘Awf said to him, “You too, Messenger of Allah!” The Prophet (pbuh) commented, “O ibn ‘Awf, it is a mercy and repeated it twice and said, “The eyes shed tears, the heart is grieved, but we do not say anything, except what pleases Allah and for your death we are very sad, O Ibrahim.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari)
Parents are created loving their children. They give them great concern, affection and care. Without such an innate love, the parents might not keep patient to rear their children. Those who do not love their children are surly odd people. Children need love and care to be brought up in a wholesome manner. The Prophet (pbuh) set a great example in rearing his children. He treated them kindly and affectionately. ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) said, ”Once, a. nomad came to the Prophet (pbuh) and said, “You kiss your children but we do not. The Prophet (pbuh) said, “What should I do with you if Allah stripped mercy from your heart!?” (Reported by Al-Bukhari)
Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) also related, “Once the Prophet (pbuh) kissed al-Hassan Ibn Ali before al-Aqra Ibn Habis at-Tamimi. Al-Aqra wondered, “I have ten children but I have never kissed any one of them.” Then the Prophet (pbuh) looked at him and said, “Whoever does not have mercy on people, Allah does not have mercy on him.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari)
Prophet with other kids
Barida (may Allah be pleased with him) , related, “One day, the Prophet (pbuh) was delivering a speech when al-Hassan and al-Hussain came joggling and falling in their red shirts until the Prophet (pbuh) get off and carried them up. Then he said Allah the Ever Truthful said: (Your riches and your children may be but a trial.) Qur’an Surah At-Taghabun 15
When I noticed these two boys walking and falling I could not keep patient until I interrupted my speech and carried them up.” (Reported by at-Tirmidhi)
Al-Bukhari also reported on the authority of Abu Qutalah that he said, “Once the Prophet went out carrying Umamah bint Abu al-As on his noble shoulder. Then he started to pray while she was still on his shoulder. When kneeling, he placed her and when raising he hoisted her.” (Reported by al-Bukhari)
The Prophet (pbuh) would also protrude his tongue to Al-Hassan Ibn Ali who in turn would notice the redness of the Prophet (pbuh) tongue and then hurry to him. When visiting his companions of the Helpers, he would be surrounded by children then he would supplicate Allah for them, wipe their heads and greet them. All of these acts express the prophet’s kind treatment and love towards children. Eventually, let us conclude this aspect of the prophet’s life by the following astonishing account.
When having a new bom child, the Prophet set a good example by slaughtering an animal to celebrate his birth. Likewise, he was also an example of patient father when his son died.
The Prophet As A Serious Father
In addition to being kind and affectionate towards his children, he was also a serious one when noticing any mistake or a danger engulfing them. For example, when the Prophet (pbuh) noticed his daughter. Fatima wearing a necklace of gold he got angry and did not greet her as usual. “Fatimah bint Hubairah came to the Messenger of Allah [SAW] with a big ring on her hand.” He (the narrator) said: “This is what I found in the book of my father, a huge ring.”- “The Messenger of Allah [SAW] started hitting her hand, so she entered upon Fatimah, the daughter of the Messenger of Allah [SAW], and complained to her about what the Messenger of Allah [SAW] had done. Fatimah took off a gold chain from her neck and said: ‘This was given to me by Abu Hasan.’ The Messenger of Allah [SAW] came in and (ﷺ) the chain in her hand. He said: ‘O Fatimah, would you like the people to say that the daughter of the Messenger of Allah [SAW] has a chain of fire in her hand?’ Then he went out, without sitting down. Fatimah sent the chain to the market and sold it, and she bought a slave with the money, and set him free. He was told of that and he said: ‘Praise be to Allah, Who has saved Fatimah from the Fire.'” Sunan an-Nasa’i 5140
In the hadith concerning the Mukhzumi woman who committed a theft, the Prophet had a serious and severe attitude. No intermediary, however noble even if the issue concerns the nearest people to him, can intercede to abolish or relieve a punishment ordained by Allah. The Prophet (pbuh) rebuked the intercessor, Usama Ibn Zayd, his beloved companion by saying, “Do you intercede to vitiate a punishment leglized by Allah. Then he started to deliver a speech. He said, “O people, those who lived before you would only punish the weak when committing a theft and leave the noble. By Allah, had Fatima bint Muhammad committed a theft, I would have cut off her hand.” Sahih al-Bukhari 3475(Vol. 4, Book 55, Hadith 681)and Sahih Muslim 1688 ]