Sunday, June 13, 2010

Fatima Zahra: The Mother of her Father

The prophet had mentioned to look up to three women as role models ( OK may be five), Mary, Asiya and Fatima. All the three played leadership roles defying the prevalent norms of the society, leaders set the tone for the others to follow. I believe, articles like these help the kind of womanship we need to encourage and look up to.

Mike Ghouse

Fatima Zahra: The Mother of her Father- By Arif M Khan ( Courtesy- Sunday Guardian )

June 13, 2010

Sometime around AD 616, a man was offering his prayers at the house of God in Makka. Close to him were sitting some leading persons of Makkan aristocracy. They were angrily discussing how the teachings of this man have impacted their underclass particularly slaves, who were now asserting their human rights and posing a serious threat to the Makkan establishment.

The aristocrats decided to insult and humiliate the preacher. One of them procured abdominal remains of a slaughtered camel and placed it between the shoulders of the devotee when he went down in prostration. Among the onlookers there were some who resented persecution but they were in no position to protest against the rich and powerful. They stood there as helpless spectators while the tormentors laughed and made fun of the preacher.

But not long before, a young girl appeared on the scene, severely rebuked the tormentors and removed the intestines from the back of the preacher. The preacher was none other than Prophet Mohammed and the young girl was his daughter Fatima. The history says that for next six years till his migration to Medina, Fatima followed her father like a shadow and bravely protected him against the heartless persecutors. During the time when Makkans had imposed a ban on the prophet and his family, Fatima is singled out as having endured the hard times with great dignity and patience.

Fatima is portrayed by history as a young girl moving by her father through the streets of Makka, braving hatred, taunts, mockery and contempt. Whenever the father was overwhelmed by the adversaries, she threw herself upon him as a protective shield. With her beautiful small hands, she cleaned the garbage they threw upon him and nursed the wounds they inflicted on him. She comforted him with her affectionate words and brought him back to the safe environs of their home.

The relationship between the doting father and protecting daughter has become a legend in Islamic history. The enthusiasm and zeal of the daughter earned for her the title of “Mother of her father” (Umm Abiha). It is for these reasons that the Islamic tradition holds her up as a model of suffering, patience, generosity, wisdom and valiant heroism finally culminating in martyrdom.

A study of the life of Fatima establishes one fact beyond any doubt that her ethical and moral purity posed no obstacle in the performance of what she perceived to be her social responsibilities. If she fiercely protected her father in Makka, in Medina she stood for her husband, who was sidelined after the death of holy Prophet. This was at a time when many people gathered in her house to console and comfort the bereaved daughter.

The new political establishment in Medina viewed these gatherings with suspicion. Maulana Shibli in his book ‘Umar Farooq’ has quoted from a historical report saying that at one point Hadrat Umar standing at the gate of Fatima’s house threatened: “O daughter of Prophet, we love you more than others but if these gatherings continue then I shall set fire and burn your house”. The men inside felt apprehensive but Fatima was undeterred, she came to the door and by sheer force of her eloquence made the threatening group retreat in haste.

Fatima received another blow when she was denied her legacy and the grazing land of the Fadak was confiscated. Her husband withdrew from public arena to devote himself to academics, but she refused to give up. She publicly pursued her cause and made sharp criticism of the new rulers. She lived only six months after the death of her father and told her husband to bury her during the night to ensure that her funeral is not attended by people who made her unhappy.

Such was the first daughter of Islam, Fatima Zahra, who played important public role and spent all her life protecting her father and defending her husband. Now compare this with Deoband fatwas which seek to reduce Muslim daughters into dumb dolls by imposing veil and secluded life. If Fatima was product of Islamic teachings then these fatwas surely lack in religious merit and substance.

(Arif M Khan is former Union Minister)



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quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.