Holy Prophet of Islam as a Father

21 HOLY PROPHET OF ISLAM AS A FATHER (Dr. Qazi Muhammad Barakatullah) Muhammad literally means much praised. Even before he made claim to prophethood, his own people knew him to be Truthful and Trust- worthy (Hisham). The Holy Prophet of Islam was the father of three sons and four daughters. Two sons Qasim and Abdullah, named in the family Tayab and Tahir were born from Hazrat Khadija. Another son, Ibrahim, later on, was born from Hazrat Maria, his coptic wife. The first born was Qasim after whom, according to the Arab custom, the Holy Prophet himself was called Abul Qasim, that is father of Qasim. Qasim died at the age of two before the advent of Islam. Next to Qasim was his eldest daughter named Zainab. Next to her were daughters Ruqayya, Umme Kalsoom, and the youngest of all daughters was Fatima. The youngest offspring of the Holy Prophet and Hazrat Khadija was Abdullah, who passed away as an infant before the coming of Islam. Hazrat Khadija had two children from her previous husbands, from one a son, and from/the other a daughter, and both were called Hind. Apparently, the children remained with the respective families of their fathers, and came to visit her from time to time, to receive affection and gifts. The son, Hind Ibn Abi Hala seems to have been much attached to the Prophet, his stepfather as later, in Islam, he enthusiastically wrote about the Holy Prophet in touching terms: .. his mouth was like a box of rubies full of pearls, his face was more beautiful than the moon when it is full .. This reflects unmistakable intimacy, and an extraordinary love and respect. According to Arab custom, when Zaid bin Harith was offered for sale, the Holy Prophet asked Hazrat Khadija to buy him. So Zaid bin Harith \s bought but set free. The Holy Prophet and Hazrat Khadija then 22 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS adopted him as their son and afterwards he was known as Zaid bin Muhammad. He lived under the Holy Prophet’s protection and became a notably faithful as well as a companion. Hazrat Zainab, the eldest daughter, was married to Abul-As bin Rabi bin Abd Shams. Hazrat Ruqayya and Hazrat Umme Kulsoom were married to Utbah and Utaibah, sons of the Holy Prophet’s uncle Abu Lahab. As time passed and He proclaimed himself to be the Prophet of Islam, Abu Lahab prevailed upon his sons to divorce his daughters Ruqayya and Umme Kulsoom who were later married to Hazrat Usman bin Affan one after the other. Both of them died in the Holy Prophet’s lifetime. Hazrat Fatima, the youngest, was married to Hazrat AH and she was the only child that survived the Holy Prophet. She was stricken with grief by her father’s death with the result that she died within six months of that event. Almighty Allah blessed the Holy Prophet of Islam and Hazrat Maria, his coptic wife, with a son who was named Ibrahim. It was an ecstatic occasion for the Holy Prophet. It was natural that he expressed his affection for the new born. The baby’s mother, HazratMaria, also brought delight for the Holy Prophet. He also generously rewarded the midwife Salma, wife of Abu Rafi. He celebrated the birth with great happiness for he had a strong attachment for him since he had lost his two earlier sons, Al Qasim and Abdullah who were given the family name Tayab and Tahir, at a tender age. His daughters, after they grew to maturity, married and bore children, but only Fatimah survived from all his progeny, Naturally the death of all these sons and daughters who passed away one after the other and were buried by the Holy Prophet’s own hands left him with a severe sense of bereavement. It was, therefore, natural that a father who was so bereaved felt exceedingly joyful and happy at the birth of Ibrahim. Alas, the pleasure that Ibrahim brought to the Holy Prophet did not last long. Soon, the child fell seriously ill. He was moved to a date orchard near Mashabat Umm-i-Ibrahim, where his mother and Sirin, his mother’s sister, looked after him. When his condition worsened and it became apparent that he would not live long, the Holy Prophet was informed and called. He was so shocked at the news that he felt his knees could no more carry him, and asked Abdur Rahman ibn Awf to give his hand to lean upon. The Holy Prophet proceeded immediately to the orchard and arrived in time to bid farewell to an infant dying in his mother’s lap. HOLY PROPHET AS FATHER. 23 His heart was torn apart by the new tragedy, and his face mirrored his inner pain. Choking with sorrow, he said to his son, O Ibrahim, against the judgment of God, we cannot avail of a thing, and then fell silent. Tears flowed from his eyes. The child lapsed gradually, and his mother and aunt cried loudly and incessantly, but the Holy Prophet never asked them to stop. As Ibrahim approached to die, the Holy Prophet with tears in his eyes talked once more to the child: O Ibrahim, were the truth not certain that the last of us will join the first, we would have mourned you even more than we do now. A moment later he said: The eyes send their tears and the heart is saddened, but we do not say anything except that which pleases our Allah. Indeed, O Ibrahim, we are bereaved by your departure from us. The Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, tried to sublimate his sadness and lighten his sorrow. Looking towards Hazrat Maria and Sirin(Hazrat Maria’s sister), he said to them in appeasement that Ibrahim would have his own nurse in Paradise. Umm-i- Burdah, or according to another version, Al Fazl ibn Abbas, washed the body of the child in preparation for the burial. He was carried on a little bed by the Prophet and a number of Muslims to the cemetery of Abu Bakr, where, after a prayer recited by the Prophet, he was laid to rest. The Holy Prophet ordered the grave to be covered in. He filled it with sand, sprinkled on some water, and erected a tombstone. He then said: Tombstones do neither good nor ill, but they help appease the living. Anything that man does, God wishes him well. It is recorded that Holy Prophet said, Had Ibrahim lived he would have been a true prophet. (Kanzul Animal) The death of Ibrahim coincided with the eclipse of the sun, a phenomenon that the Muslims saw as a miracle. They went about saying that the sun eclipsed in sadness over the death of Ibrahim. The Prophet heard them and said: The sun and the moon are signs of God. They are eclipsed neither for the death or birth of any man. On beholding an eclipse, therefore, remember God and turn to Him in prayer. *******************

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