‘Behind every successful man there is a woman’.
In Islam, women are not considered as maids of the households rather it acknowledges women’s equality with men in many aspects. Allah subhanahu wa taala stated in the Holy Quran:
"And among His signs is this: that He created mates for you from yourselves that you may find rest and peace of mind in them, and He ordained between you love and mercy. Certainly, herein indeed are signs for people who reflect." [30:21]
Throughout Islamic history, women have played a major role in spreading Islam and our Beloved Prophet peace be upon him have praised the following: his youngest daughter, Fatimah may Allah have mercy upon her, his beloved wife Khadijah may Allah have mercy upon his soul, Maryam alayhi salam and Asiya the wife of Pharoah. These diamonds are core role models and legendary beacons of productivity and balance of how we as Muslim women can divide our time fairly between family, work, home and Islam to reach our ultimate goal; Jannatul Firdous. A place free of pain, hardship and sorrow and replaced with eternal happiness, relief and ease. Let’s look at one of these prime examples, Fatima may Allah have mercy upon her.
A passionate worshipper who put a hard effort in looking after her home and daily chores was both a dutiful wife and daughter and had a stance in the community for helping the poor and needy as well as manners. Often, she would give all her food to the poor and remained hungry. She would never complain no matter how difficult the circumstances were. Aisha may Allah have mercy upon her said:
‘I did not see any one resembling the Blessed Prophet (pbuh), regarding all manners, more perfectly than Fatima, the daughter of the Messenger of Allah.’
She and her husband who was the Prophet peace be upon his cousin, Ali ibn Abi Talib may Allah have mercy upon him led a simple but content life and had two sons: Hassan and Hussain whom was very dear and fond to Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. They also had two daughters Zaynab and Umm Kalthum may Allah have mercy upon them. Her relationship with Prophet Muhammad peace be upon was very close and it shone with pure love and affection that he said once:
‘Fatima is part of me, and he who makes her angry, makes me angry’ [Al-Bukhari].
He usually visited her house. Her childhood was a shadow of trials and tribulations as her father underwent hardship spreading Islam in Makkah in a time of ignorance. Thus, she grew with patience and determination. She courageously protected her father and wept when she saw him bleed. She comforted her father. Once, the disbelievers sacrificed a camel. At the time, Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him was praying with his companions. Abu Jahl dared his friends to put the bowels and filth on Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him’s back. Uqbah ibn Abi Mu’it took up of the offer and piled it on the Prophet peace be upon him’s back. When Fatima heard of this; she ran to her father, she removed the filth with her hands from her beloved father’s back and scolded the disbelievers due to the brutal treatment they performed towards him. When Prophet peace be upon him completed his prayer, he lifted his hands to supplicate Allah to hold Abu Jahl, Uqbah and those involved. The Prophet peace be upon him’s supplications were answered.
Fatima may Allah have mercy upon her even helped during the battles by nursing the wounded. After her mother’s death, she would devoutly look after her father. When he passed away, she was saddened and lived only a few months after him.
Fatima was an exemplary for every Muslim woman. A woman of courage, piety and righteousness. Her aim in life was to serve Islam. May Allah subhanahu wa taala allow us all to learn from this jewel of Islam on how to find the right balance between deen and duniya. Ameen.