Fatimah eventually returned to live in a house close to that of the Prophet as together they shared in the joys and the triumphs, the sorrows and the hardships of the crowded and momentous Madinah days and years.
In the middle of the second year after the Hijrah, her sister Ruqayyah fell ill with fever and measles. This was shortly before the great campaign of Badr which Uthman, her husband, missed staying by her bedside. Ruqayyah died just before her father returned.
On his return to Madinah, one of the first acts of the Prophet was to visit her grave with Fatimah going with him; the first bereavement they had suffered within their closest family since the death of Khadijah. Fatimah was greatly distressed by the loss of her sister. The tears poured from her eyes as she sat beside her father at the edge of the grave, and he comforted her and sought to dry her tears with the corner of his cloak.
The bereavement which the family suffered by the death of Ruqayyah was followed by happiness when to the great joy of all the believers Fatimah gave birth to a boy in Ramadan of the third year after the Hijrah. The Prophet spoke the words of the Adhan into the ear of the new-born baby and called him Al-Hassan which means the Beautiful One. One year later, she gave birth to another son who was called Al-Husain, which means "little Hassan" or the little beautiful one. Fatimah would often bring her two sons to see their grandfather who was exceedingly fond of them. Later he would take them to the Mosque and they would climb onto his back when he prostrated. He did the same with his little granddaughter Umamah, the daughter of Zaynab.
In the eighth year after the Hijrah, Fatimah gave birth to a third child, a girl whom she named after her eldest sister Zaynab who had died shortly before her birth. This Zaynab was to grow up and become famous as the "Heroine of Karbala". Fatimah's fourth child was born in the ninth year after the Hijrah; also a girl Fatimah named her Umm Kulthum after her other sister who had died the year before after an illness.It was only through Fatimah that the progeny of the Prophet was perpetuated. All the Prophet's male children had died in their infancy and the two children of Zaynab died young. Ruqayyah's child Abdullah also died when he was not yet two years old. This is an added reason for the reverence which is accorded to Fatimah.
|At the Battle of the Trench, she played a major supportive role together with other women in preparing food during the long and difficult siege.|
Although Fatimah was so often busy with pregnancies and giving birth and rearing children, she took as much part as she could in the affairs of the growing Muslim community of Madinah. Before her marriage, she acted as a sort of hostess to the poor and destitute. As soon as the Battle of Uhud was over, she went with other women to the battlefield and wept over the dead martyrs and took time to dress her father's wounds.
At the Battle of the Trench, she played a major supportive role together with other women in preparing food during the long and difficult siege. In her camp, she led the Muslim women in prayer and on that place there stands a mosque named Masjid Fatimah, one of seven mosques where the Muslims stood guard and performed their devotions. Fatimah also accompanied the Prophet when he made Umrah in the sixth year after the Hijrah after the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah. In the following year, she and her sister Umm Kulthum were among the mighty throng of Muslims who took part with the Prophet in the liberation of Makkah. It is said that on this occasion, both Fatimah and Umm Kulthum visited the home of their mother Khadijah and recalled memories of their childhood and memories of jihad, of long struggles in the early years of the Prophet's mission.
Her Father’s Beloved
In Ramadan of the tenth year just before he went on his Farewell Pilgrimage, the Prophet confided to Fatimah, as a secret not yet to be told to others:
"Jibril recited the Quran to me and I to him once every year, but this year he has recited it with me twice. I cannot but think that my time has come."
On his return from the Farewell Pilgrimage, the Prophet did become seriously ill. His final days were spent in the apartment of his wife Aishah. When Fatimah came to visit him, Aishah would leave father and daughter together.
|... one of the companions noted that he did not see Fatimah laugh after the death of her father|
Fatimah replied: "He first told me that he would meet his Lord after a short while and so I cried. Then he said to me: 'Don't cry for you will be the first of my household to join me.' So I laughed."
Not long afterwards the noble Prophet, peace be upon him, passed away. Fatimah was grief-stricken and she would often be seen weeping profusely; one of the companions noted that he did not see Fatimah laugh after the death of her father.
One morning, early in the month of Ramadan, just less than five months after her noble father had passed away; Fatimah woke up looking unusually happy and full of mirth. In the afternoon of that day, it is said that she called Salma bint Umays who was looking after her. She asked for some water and had a bath. She then put on new clothes and perfumed herself. She then asked Salma to put her bed in the courtyard of the house. With her face looking to the heavens above, she asked for her husband Ali.
He was taken aback when he saw her lying in the middle of the courtyard and asked her what was wrong. She smiled and said:
"I have an appointment today with the Messenger of God."
Ali cried and she tried to console him. She told him to look after their sons, Al-Hassan and Al-Husain and advised that she should be buried without ceremony. She gazed upwards again, then closed her eyes and surrendered her soul to the Mighty Creator.
Fatimah, the resplendent one, was just twenty nine years old.
Related Links:Lady Fatimah: The Prophet’s Daughter (Part 1)
Dying Young The Prophet's Middle Daughters
A Woman of Perfection The Youngest Daughter of the Prophet
Torn Between Two Loves The Story of Zainab, the Prophet's Eldest Daughter
A Blessed Child Al-Hasan ibn Ali (The Grandson of the Prophet)