This Ramadan, a couple of my cousins and I began reading a book entitled, “The Companions of the Prophet,” by AbdulWāhid Hāmid that’s been sitting on my shelf since last year. While enjoying the first three chapters in our story-time session yesterday, I couldn’t understand what took me so long to start the book. All praises are due to God, for now that I actually started, I get to experience the true tales with my cousins. If anyone cares to join us, let me know. We’re one Google+ Hangout away.
One of the Companions we read about yesterday was the daughter of our Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, Fātimah. The chapter highlighted the close and loving relationship she had with her father. As a young girl, she witnessed the abuse he endured from the Quraysh and the determination with which he still delivered Allah’s message.
An account that really stuck out from her chapter was in regards to her marriage with ‘Alī. I feel the narration can only best be depicted through a straight excerpt:
In the second year after Hijrah, [Fātimah] received proposals of marriage through her father, two of which were turned down. Then ‘Alī, the son of Abū Tālib, plucked up the courage and went to the Prophet ﷺ to ask for her hand in marriage. In the presence of the Prophet ﷺ, however, ‘Alī became over-awed and tongue-tied. He stared at the ground and could not say anything. The Prophet ﷺ then asked:
“Why have you come? Do you need something?”
‘Alī still could not speak, and then the Prophet ﷺ suggested:
“Perhaps you have come to propose marriage to Fātimah.”
“Yes,” replied ‘Alī.
At this, according to one report, the Prophet ﷺ said simply:
“Marhaban wa ahlan – Welcome into the family,” … Another report indicated that the Prophet ﷺ approved and went on to ask ‘Alī if he had anything to give as mahr. ‘Alī replied that he didn’t. The Prophet ﷺ reminded him that he had a shield which could be sold.
‘Alī sold the shield to ‘Uthmān for four hundred dirhams and as he was hurrying back to the Prophet ﷺ to hand over the sum as mahr, ‘Uthmān stopped him and said:
“I am returning your shield to you as a present from me on your marriage to Fātimah.”
The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ himself performed the marriage ceremony for his daughter, about 19-years-old, and ‘Alī, about 21. This story and the remainder of the chapters resulted in many awws and wows. They’re stories of the Companions and the Prophet ﷺ told in unique ways that made them very relatable to us for what seemed like the first time. That’s what makes a character in a book or movie so appealing, right? To what extent we can relate to a character is oftentimes directly proportional to the love and attachment we have for her/him.
You know how you can’t stop thinking about a movie or a book for a few good days after you’ve seen/read it and you feel the need to tell everyone about the genius plot? That’s the effect these stories had, Alhamdulillah.
The best part is, these aren’t merely stories. They’re real-life occurrences that happened to our true role models. It was amazing to feel a connection with those people who dedicated their lives to Allah and helped spread the word of Islam so the message could reach us today, more than 1400 years later.
I can’t wait to read the next chapter.