The Prophet sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam was compassionate and wise towards his daughters. He had four daughters, all of whom were born to Khadeejah radhiAllahu `anha. They were: Zaynab, Ruqayyah, Umm Kulthoom and Faatimah. All of them lived until Islam came, and they became Muslim, and all of them died before him except for Faatimah, who lived for six months after he died.
Compassion and wisdom can be seen in many aspects of the way in which the Prophet sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam treated them. For example:
1. Calling His Daughters to Islam
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah radhiAllahu `anhu said: When the words “And warn, [O Muhammad], your closest kindred.” [al-Shu’ara’ 26:214] were revealed to him, the Messenger of Allah said,
“O people of Quraysh (or words to that effect)! Ransom yourselves, I cannot avail you anything before Allah. O Banu ‘Abd Manaaf, I cannot avail you anything before Allah. O ‘Abbaas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, I cannot avail you anything before Allah. O Safiyah, (paternal) aunt of the Messenger of Allah, I cannot avail you anything before Allah. O Fatimah, daughter of the Messenger of Allah, ask me for whatever you want of my wealth, I cannot avail you anything before Allah.” [Bukhari (2602) and Muslim (206)]
2. Taking Care in Sickness and Difficult Times
When the Prophet sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam wanted to go out to Badr, he ordered ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affaan radhiAllahu `anhu to stay with his wife Ruqayyah the daughter of the Messenger because she was unwell.
It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar radhiAllahu `anhu said: With regard to his being absent from Badr – i.e., ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affaan – he was married to the daughter of the Messenger of Allah, Ruqayyah, and she was sick, so the Messenger of Allah said to him, “You will have the reward and the share (of booty) of a man who was present at Badr.” [Bukhari (3495)]
3. Welcoming Them Warmly; Confiding His Secrets to Them and Saying Things to Make His Daughters Happy
It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah, the Mother of the Believers radhiAllahu `anha said:
We, the wives of the Prophet were with him, and not one of us was absent. Fatimah came walking, and her manner of walking was exactly like that of the Messenger of Allah. When he saw her, he welcomed her and said, “Welcome to my daughter.” Then he seated her on his right or his left. He whispered to her and she wept bitterly, and when he saw that she was so upset, he whispered to her again and she smiled. I said to her: The Messenger of Allah singled you out from amongst us to whisper to, then you wept? When the Messenger of Allah left, I asked her: What did the Messenger of Allah say to you? She said: I will not disclose the secret of the Messenger of Allah. When the Messenger of Allah died, I said: I adjure you by the right I have over you, tell me what the Messenger of Allah said to you. She said: Now, yes (I will tell you). When he whispered to me the first time, he told me: “Jibreel used to review the Qur’an with me only once every year, but now he has reviewed it with him twice, and I think that my death is near, so fear Allah and be patient, and I will be a fitting forerunner for you.” She said: So I wept, as you saw. When he saw my grief, he whispered to me a second time, and said, “O Fatimah, does it not please you to be the leader of the believing women, or the leader of the women of this ummah?” She said: So I smiled as you saw me. [Bukhaari (5928) and Muslim (2450)]
6. Hastening to Arrange Their Marriages
Part of the great care that he, sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam, showed in raising his daughters was that he hastened to arrange their marriages to those whom he thought were of good character or strong religious commitment. He married Zaynab radhiAllahu `anha to Abu’l-‘Aas ibn al-Rabee’ al-Qurashi radhiAllahu `anhu who was the son of her maternal aunt Haalah bint Khuwaylid, and he married Ruqayyah to ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan radhiAllahu `anhu. When Ruqayyah died, he gave Umm Kulthoom to him in marriage.
And he married Faatimah radhiAllahu `anha to ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib radhiAllahu `anhu.
7. Enjoining Them to Observe Hijab and Wear Covering Clothing
That was in response to the command of Allah in Surah al-Ahzab Ayah 59,
8. Resolving Disputes between Daughters and Their Husbands
He solved problems between them and their husbands, and he intervened to bring about a reconciliation.
It was narrated that Sahl ibn Sa’d said: The Messenger of Allah sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam came to the house of Fatimah and he did not find ‘Ali in the house. He said, “Where is the son of your uncle?” She said: There was something between me and him, and he got angry with me and went out; he did not take a nap in my house. The Messenger of Allah said to someone, “Go and look where he is.” He came and said: O Messenger of Allah, by Allah, he is in the mosque, sleeping. The Messenger of Allah came to him and he was lying down. His cloak had fallen from his back and he had gotten dusty. The Messenger of Allah started wiping it from him, saying, “Get up, Abu’l-Turab, get up Abu’l-Turab.” [Bukhari (4300), Muslim (2409)]
9. Supplicating for Daughter’s Husband
The Prophet sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam felt sorry for his daughter who was absent, and he interceded for her husband who had been captured by the Muslims, and stipulated that he should send her to Madeenah. This points to the kindness of the Prophet sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam towards his daughters, and that he was very fond of them; in addition to that he wished them well and wanted to save them from the environment of kufr lest they be tempted. He loved for his daughters what they loved for themselves of good, especially when it had to do with their husbands or children.
It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah said: When the people of Makkah sent a ransom for their prisoners, Zaynab sent some wealth as a ransom for Abu’l-Aas, among which she sent a necklace that had belonged to Khadeejah, and she had given it to her to wear when she married Abu’l-Aas. When the Messenger of Allah saw it, he felt very sorry for her, and he said, “If you wish, you may release her prisoner and return what belongs to her?” They said: Yes. And the Messenger of Allah made him promise to let Zaynab come to him. And the Messenger of Allah sent Zayd ibn Haarithah and an Ansaari man and said, “Wait in Batn Ya’jaj (a place on the outskirts of Makkah) until Zaynab passes by you, then stay with her and bring her to me.” [Abu Dawood (2629) and classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood]
Shaykh Muhammad Shams al-Haqq al-‘Azeemabaadi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “He felt sorry for her” means, for Zaynab, because she was absent and was alone, and he remembered the time of Khadeejah and her companionship, because the necklace had belonged to her.
‘Awn al-Ma’bood al-‘Azeem (7/254).
10. Participating in the Aqeeqah of His Daughters’ Children
It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas radhiAllahu `anhu that the Messenger of Allah sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam offered ‘aqeeqah for al-Hasan and al-Husayn, a ram for each. [Abu Dawood (2841)]. According to a report narrated by al-Nasaa’i: two rams for each. Shaykh al-Albaani said: this is more sound.
11. Checking on His Daughters
He checked on his daughters with their husbands, and advised them not to focus on the pleasures of this world.
It was narrated from ‘Ali radhiAllahu `anhu that Faatimah radhiAllahu `anha complained about the pain caused to her hand by the mill, and some prisoners had been brought to the Prophet sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam, so she went but did not find him, but she met ‘Aa’ishah radhiAllahu `anha and told her. When the Prophet came, ‘Aa’ishah told him about Faatimah coming to her. The Prophet came to us, and we had gone to bed. We started to get up, but the Prophet said, “Stay where you are.” Then he sat between us, until I could feel the coolness of his foot on my chest. Then he said, “Shall I not teach you something better than what you asked for? When you go to your bed, magnify Allah thirty-four times, glorify Him thirty-three times and praise Him thirty-three times. That is better for you than a servant.” [Bukhari (3502), Muslim (2727)]
12. Caring Continued Even After Their Death
The Prophet’s care for his daughters continued even after they died.
It was narrated that Umm ‘Atiyyah al-Ansariyyah radhiAllahu `anha said: The Messenger of Allah sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam entered upon us when his daughter died, and said, “Wash her three times, or five, or more than that, if you see fit, with water and lotus leaves, and put camphor in the last time, or a little camphor. And when you have finished, let me know.” When we had finished, we let him know, and he gave us his waist-wrapper and said, “Put it next to her body.” [Bukhari (1195), Muslim (939)]
The daughter in question here was Zaynab, as is stated clearly in a report narrated by Muslim.
And Allah knows best.
Published with slight modifications from islamqa.info.