Fatimah bint Muhammad
She was the youngest daughter of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and his favorite. She married his cousin 'Ali bin Abi Talib and was the mother of the great martyrs of Islam, Hasan and Hussein. She was born in Makkah a few years before her father was granted Prophethood. Though both Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and Khadijah already had three daughters before her they expressed great happiness at her birth. Going against the accepted custom, her mother did not send her beloved youngest daughter away to be breast fed in any of the surrounding villages, but kept her with her and nursed her herself. She loved her too much to entrust her to anyone else's care. Some years later her father was declared by Allah to be His Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and last Messenger.
She and her mother and sisters Zaynab, Ruqayya, and Umm Kulthum accepted Islam. She spent her early years under the loving and tender care of her parents. Zeal for the defense of what is sacred and love of the righteous was ingrained in her.
Before Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) proclaimed himself the Last Prophet of Allah Almighty, he was the most popular, loved and respected man among the Quraysh. But once he announced himself to be the Allah's Prophet and Messenger, his whole life seemed to turn around. The streets he previously frequented were strewn with thorns and filth and garbage was thrown on him from balconies and rooftops. Elaborate plans were made to murder him. Naturally, all these trials and tribulations could not but leave a mark on his home life. Fatimah was passing the impressionable years of her childhood in the shadow of these events. Yet, her maturity was such that she faced all this with remarkable patience and determination.
She fought like a courageous little tigress to defend her father and protect him. She would stand in front of him to shield him from the attacks of devilish men like Abu Jahl, 'Utbah and Shaybah.
On one occasion, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) went into the sanctuary of Makkah with some of his Companions and started to pray, the disbelievers had just then sacrificed a camel. The filth and bowels of the camel were lying there, when a horrible idea came to Abu Jahl. He asked who among his friends would like to lift all that filth and pile it on the back of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) 'Uqbah bin Abi Mu'it, the lowest of the low among his friends, got up shrugged his shoulders with satanic glee, and said he would perform the task. And he lifted up the bloody filthy mess and piled it on the Prophet's back while he was in the act of prostrating before Allah. All of them then broke into peals of uncontrollable devilish laughter. When news of this dastardly act reached Fatimah, she rushed to the sanctuary. Removing with her little hands the impurity, furious at the brutal treatment given to her beloved father, she scolded the disbelievers. When the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) finished his prayers, he lifted his hands in supplication and appealed to Allah to hold these men, Abu Jahl bin Hisham, Shaybah bin Rabi'ah, 'Uqbah bin Abi Mu'it and Umayyah bin Khalaf, in His relentless grip. These devils became very nervous because they knew that any supplication made at the sanctuary in Makkah is never rejected by Allah Almighty. And the Prophet's prayers were answered.
Once Abu Jahl was sitting with the disbelievers in front of the Ka'bah, they were planning how to eliminate this man for the 'crime' of rejecting the idols. They hated him for propagating the Oneness of Allah and for proclaiming himself as His Last Prophet and Messenger. Fatimah happened to pass by and heard him. She was so terrified of what these barbarians could do to her father that she went running to tell him of their dastardly plot. As she wept she told him they had sworn in the names of their most famous idols to kill him. All of them would attack him the moment he stepped out of his house. Innocently she asked him what would happen now. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) told her to have faith in Allah, as He was her father's Protector.
Once Fatimah passed by Abu Jahl bin Hisham on the street and he, for no reason, gave her a slap across the face. She went to Abu Sufyan, the leader of the Quraysh, and complained to him about Abu Jahl's uncivilized behavior. Abu Sufyan took her with him to the place where the barbarian was still sitting, and told her to slap him in exactly the same way as he had done. When she went home and narrated this incident to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) he was very pleased at Abu Sufyan's sense of justice and fair play. He then prayed that he should accept Islam as the true religion. His supplications for Abu Sufyan were accepted and he finally swore allegiance to Allah and His Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)
Seven years had passed since Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) declared himself to be Allah's chosen Prophet. The whole might of the Quraysh had not been able to silence him and his Message; the people who answered the call of Allah were persecuted and tortured in every way possible. When Hamzah bin 'Abdul Muttalib and 'Umar bin Khattab accepted Islam the whole of Makkah was shaken. The people started pushing the leaders to take some action. They decided to boycott the Muslims, socially and economically, even food and water was withheld. The Muslims went into a state of siege in Shi'b Abi Talib which lasted for three years.
The richest woman of Makkah, Khadijah, and her daughters the youngest stood like rocks by their father. They would give their lives for him. And in a sense little Fatimah did, because this mental and physical ordeal affected her health and physique for the rest of her life.
Soon after the siege of was lifted, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and Fatimah and her sisters went through the trauma of losing their beloved Khadijah, and his greatest supporter and defender, his uncle Abi Talib. Fatimah was facing all these troubles and experiencing them first hand side by side with her father. It was also at this time that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) went to Ta'if with the Message of Islam. they welcomed him with stones and he left injured and bleeding, he prayed to Allah to guide them to the right path.
Umm Kulthum and Fatimah started weeping when they saw his condition. He affectionately wiped away their tears and consoled them. He said it was inevitable that Allah would help to spread His religion and make it triumph against all odds. Easier times were bound to follow the hard and difficult days.
And sure enough Mus'ab bin 'Umair who was the Prophet's ambassador to Al-Madinah gave the good news that the people there were being drawn into the fold of Islam. They invited Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) to settle in their city, and promised to help him in any way they could. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) accepted their invitation and with the consent of Allah Almighty decided to migrate to Al-Madinah. He left his two daughters at home in Makkah, with his new wife Sawdah bint Zam'ah.
He sent for them later, and thus these three ladies also had the privilege of becoming migrants for the cause. But the disbelievers could not bear to see them all moving out either. Some mischievous elements caught hold of them on the outskirts of Makkah. One evil Qurayshi youth, Huwayrith bin Naqith started jabbing at the camel on which the Prophet's daughters were riding, and the camel reared up in the air, and the two girls fell down. When he saw this he ran away.
When they reached their destination, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) received them. He was very happy to see them alive and well. Those whom Allah Almighty protects, no one can harm them.
When Fatimah was eighteen years old and prominent personalities started proposing for her, but the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said he was waiting for a sign from Allah. One day 'Ali came to see the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) but he was very shy and diffident and seemed to be holding something back. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) realized what was on his mind and asked him if he came to propose marriage to Fatimah. 'Ali answered that he had. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) asked Fatimah what she thought of the proposal. She started to weep silently. He then told her that 'Ali was a learned, kind-hearted and brave young man. Fatimah accepted her father's decision. He then asked 'Ali if he had some money for the dowry. 'Ali replied that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had seen his life from the cradle and knew his financial position very well. Then the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) asked him where his shield was, and said that would be the dowry for Fatimah. 'Ali sent it to the market with his slave to be sold and got four hundred Dirhams for it. This he gave to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) who asked him to keep the money and buy some things for the house and perfume for the wedding. Then he asked his esteemed companions to attend the ceremony.