Daughters of Prophet Muhammad

Muhammad had over a dozen wives and many sex-slaves in his harem. Only two of those women were supposedly fertile. One was the wealthy old lady Khadija, his first wife, whom 25-year-old Muhammad married when she was 40. The second fertile woman was the Egyptian Coptic slave-girl Mariyah, sent from the harem of the Egyptian king after Muhammad sent him a threatening missive, demanding that Muhammad be accepted as the king and prophet of God. Soon after arriving in Muhammad's harem, Mariyah gave birth to a son, who died after a few months. Islamic scholars claim that all the wives of the prophet, mostly in their 20s or pre-20s, were barren and could not bore him any children.

According to Muhammad's biographical scriptures – the hadith and Sira – Muhammad supposedly had four daughters, all of them from Khadija. But hadith scriptures give a high level of coverage of his very loving daughter Fatima, while saying very little about the other three daughters—namely Zainab, Ruqaiyyah and Umm Kulthum.

In Islam, Muhammad is deemed to be the perfect human being and the ideal father, leader and prophet. The Quran also identifies him as “excellent example of human character” for Muslims to follow until the end of the world. We can, therefore, assume that the relationship between Muhammad and Fatima was the ideal father-daughter relationship that all Muslims must try their best to emulate for all eternity. Let us explore the supposedly ideal father-daughter relationship between Muhammad and Fatima in this essay.



The four daughters of Muhammad had grown up to be given in marriage and lived with their husbands. Out of all these families, Muhammad considered the family of Fatima as special and declared that it is the only family that he belonged to. He called Fatima's family ‘Ahlal Baith’, which mean the first royal family. He didn't give this privilege to his other daughters or anyone of his wives.

“…Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) called 'Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husain and said: O Allah, they are my family”. (Sahih Muslim 31:5915)



'A'isha reported that Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) went out one morning wearing a striped cloak of the black camel's hair that there came Hasan b. 'Ali. He wrapped him under it, then came Husain and he wrapped him under it along with the other one (Hasan). Then came Fatima and he took her under it, then came 'Ali and he also took him under it and then said: Allah only desires to take away any uncleanliness from you, O people of the household, and purify you (thorough purifying) (Sahih Muslim 31:5955)

Strange behavior of this father (Muhammad) – taking his youthful married daughter under his own garment.



Narrated 'Ali: Fatima complained of the suffering caused to her by the hand mill. Some Captives were brought to the Prophet, she came to him but did not find him at home 'Aisha was present there to whom she told (of her desire for a servant). When the Prophet came, Aisha informed him about Fatima's visit. Ali added "So the Prophet came to us, while we had gone to our bed I wanted to get up but the Prophet said, "Remain at your place". Then he sat down between us till I found the coolness of his feet on my chest. Then he said, "Shall I teach you a thing which is better than what you have asked me? When you go to bed, say, 'Allahu-Akbar' thirty-four times, and 'Subhan Allah thirty-three times, and 'Alhamdu-lillah thirty-three times for that is better for you both than a servant." (Sahih Al-Bukhari 4:53:344, 5:57:55, 7:64:274, 8:75:330)

As said earlier, Muhammad is regarded in Islamic sources as Al-Insan Al-Kamel (the perfect human being) and Uswa al-Hasna (man with exemplary character). So he must be the exemplary father personality to his daughter Fatima. And strangely, here he comes into the bedroom of his daughter and son-in-law at the dead of night and sits in-between them. Remember that in those days, there was no electricity and Muhammad advised his followers to put off lamps before sleeping. So, Muhammad was sitting in-between his daughter and son-in-law in complete darkness. Strange way and time to interact with one's daughter. We may bear in mind that Muhammad had disowned his adopted son Zaid of 30 years, so that he could marry Zaid's stunningly beautiful wife, Zainab. In return, Muhammad gave his old black slave woman Umm Ayman (Barakha), his father Abdullah's sex-slave, to Zaid.



This incident of Muhammad's entering Fatima’s house at midnight to discuss some useless matter was not a rare or one-off incident. Many hadiths report occasions of Muhammad entering Fatima’s house quite often at the dead of night:

Narrated 'Ali: That one night Allah's Apostle came to him and Fatima and said, "Don't you (both offer the (Tahajjud) (Mid-night) prayer?" Ali said, 'When Allah wishes us to get up, we get up." The Prophet then recited: 'But man is more quarrelsome than anything.' (Sahih Al-Bukhari 2:21:227,6:60:248; Sahih Muslim 4:1701)

Just wonder: Why the prophet had to enter Fatima's bedroom at the dead of night just to ask such silly questions.



Narrated 'Uqba bin Al-Harith: I saw Abu Bakr carrying Al-Hasan and saying, "Let my father be sacrificed for you; you resemble the Prophet and not Ali," while Ali was laughing at this. (Sahih Al-Bukhari 5:57:93)

Narrated Isma'il bin Abi Khalid: I heard Abii Juhaifa saying, "I saw the Prophet, and Al-Hasan bin 'Ali resembled him…." (Sahih Al-Bukhari 4:56:744)

Grandchildren get roughly one-fourth of their genes from the grandfathers and may have some resemblance to their grandfathers. But they are supposed to have greater resemblance to the father from whom they get roughly half their genes. But it is very strange that Hassan – the first son of Ali and Fatima – resembled grandfather Muhammad, and had no resemblance of father Ali.



It may just be mere coincidence that Fatima’s first son Hassan resembled his grandfather Muhammad and had no resemblance of his father Ali. But when Fatima's second son Husain also had resemblance of Muhammad even more, it certainly sounds very fishy:

Narrated Muhammad: Anas bin Malik said, "The head of Al-Husain was brought to 'Ubaidullah bin Ziyad and was put in a tray, and then Ibn Ziyad started playing with a stick at the nose and mouth of Al-Husain's head and saying something about his handsome features." Anas then said (to him), "Al-Husain resembled the Prophet more than the others did." (Sahih Al-Bukhari 5:57:91)



Narrated Sahl bin Sa'd: Allah's Apostle went to Fatima's house but did not find 'Ali there. So he asked, "Where is your cousin?" She replied, "There was something between us and he got angry with me and went out….” (Sahih Al-Bukhari 1:8:432, 5:57:53, 8:74:297)

Mainstream Islamic narratives tell that Muhammad was the son of Abdullah, and his son-in-law Ali was the son of Abdullah's brother Abu Talib. So, Muhammad and Ali were first cousins of each other and Ali was Fatima's uncle. But in the above hadith, Muhammad calls Ali to be Fatima's cousin. How is that possible? It is only possible if Muhammad was the son of his supposed grandfather. It may be mentioned that after Muhammad's supposed father Abdullah died, his mother Amina was living in his grandfather Abdul Muttalib's house. Only after for 4 years of Abdullah's death, Amina gave birth to Muhammad.


Fatima screens Muhammad as he takes bath

Bukhari 8:73:179


Narrated Um Hani: (the daughter of Abu Talib) I visited Allah's Apostle in the year of the Conquest of Mecca and found him taking a bath, and his daughter, Fatima was screening him. When I greeted him, he said, "Who is it?" I replied, "I am Um Hani, the daughter of Abu Talib." He said, "Welcome, O Um Hani!" When the Prophet had finished his bath, he stood up and offered eight Rakat of prayer while he was wrapped in a single garment. When he had finished his prayer, I said, "O Allah's Apostle! My maternal brother assumes (or claims) that he will murder some man whom I have given shelter, i.e., so-and-so bin Hubaira." Allah's Apostle said, "O Um Hani! We shelter him whom you have sheltered." Um Hani added, "That happened in the forenoon."

Another feather in the cap of excellent father-daughter relationship between prophet Muhammad and Fatima. Muhammad needed screening while taking bath means that he was undressed. Why his youthful daughter would have to do the job of screening him when he had thousands of male followers around him.



Narrated Zayd ibn Arqam: I was sitting with the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him). A man came from the Yemen, and said: Three men from the people of the Yemen came to Ali, quarreling about a child, asking him to give a decision. They had had sexual intercourse with a woman during a single state of purity.

He said to two of them: Give this child to this man (the third person) with pleasure. But they (refused and) cried loudly. Again he said to two of them: Give the child to the man (the third person) willingly. But they (refused and) cried loudly. He then said: You are quarrelsome partners. I shall cast lots among you; he who receives the lot, will acquire the child, and he shall pay two-thirds of the blood-money to both his companions. He then cast lots among them, and gave the child to the one who received the lot. The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) laughed so much that his canine or molar teeth appeared. (Abu Dawud 12:2262)

This hadith give idea about the sexual promiscuity in the Arab society during the prophethood and rule of Muhammad. Prophet Muhammad was happy to resolve the dispute and even made fun of it. There are multiple such hadiths in the hadith. Muhammad's own sexual character, including his maintaining a harem of more than a dozen wives and many sex-slaves plus marrying his own daughter-in-law, points to the fact that Muhammad was just a product of the same sexual order of the then Arab society, if not a worse one.

Before we conclude this finest father-daughter relationship between Muhammad and Fatima, let us see how Prophet Muhammad used to give captured girls from his share of war-booty to Fatima's husband to have sex with:

The apostle gave Ali a girl called Rayta; and he gave Uthman a girl called Zaynab; and he gave Umar a girl whom Umar gave to his son Abdullah. (Ibn Ishaq, p. 878)

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