This month we want to talk about fathers and daughters, because this February, we mark the life of two very special persons in the world of Islam. Lady Fatima Zahra(a), daughter of the Prophet Muhammad(s) and wife of Imam Ali(a), the first Imam of the Shi‘a, and the second person is their daughter Lady Zeinab Kobra.
Before Islam the Arabs of Arabia did not like to have girls, they preferred to have boys. They found girls a nuisance and a burden. Then the Prophet Muhammad(s) came, bringing the ignorant Bedouins guidance from God about the value of girls. He provided them with the best example of how to love a daughter through his relationship with his beloved, devoted daughter, Fatima Zahra(a). It was not by coincidence that God blessed the Prophet with a girl from whom his descendants came forth. The relationship between the Prophet and his daughter, Fatima, was a special one. Their relationship became a role model for other fathers and daughters. For exampl, every time Fatima came into a room, the Prophet would stand up to show his respect for her daughter. If Fatima was in a room, the Prophet would knock before entering. When the Prophet died, everybody was stunned by the sadness Fatima showed. Fatima was so important to the Prophet that he nicknamed her ‘the mother of her father’. It was due to receiving such unconditional love that Fatima Zahra(a) succeeded in giving unconditional love, affection and respect to her husband Imam Ali(a), and of course to their children, among whom was lady Zeinab. We hear that Zeinab, although very young, comforted her father through the illness that led to Fatima’s demise. Zeinab showed the same unconditional love to her brothers, particularly to Imam Husayn(a) during the event of Ashura. She safeguarded and nursed the next Imam in line, Imam Sajjad(a)during his illness and difficult times. Poets and authors have written many books and poems about her bravery in the palace of Yazid. She became known as Zeinab al kobra (the Great).
In image1, Ghazaleh Kamrani, our illustrator, has shown love and affection between a little girl and her father. The image shows the girl on the shoulder of her father who is fulfilling his responsibility to look after his daughter. He has taken her to a fairground to play and spend quality time together. This is what fathers and daughters normally do.
In image 2, the father is old, wheelchair-bound, and vulnerable. His daughter, now a young adult, is comforting him and by looking after him giving him the same unconditional love and affection that he once showed her.
Next time your father asks you to do something for him remember this. You have fathers for a special purpose and God gave you to them for a special purpose. Love and respect are certainly some of our duties towards them. Remember that God loves those who love their parents. Take care and God bless all fathers.