the prophet as a father……… a father to whom?
the fatherhood of the prophet, (pbuh), is divided into two parts;
the first one:
the public fatherhood:
this is the prophet's (pbuh) fatherhood to all muslims, as mentioned in the holy quran:" it is the religion of your father ibrâhîm (abraham) (islâmic monotheism). it is he (allâh) who has named you muslims both before and in this (the qur’ân) ".
which means that our master abraham, peace be upon him, is our father and we understand from this that the prophet (pbuh) is a father to every muslim because allah said also in his holy quran: " the prophet is closer to the believers than their selves, and his wives are (as) their mothers.)
this means that the wives of the prophet (pbuh) are mothers to all muslims. and the one whose wife is a mother to us, is a father to us, peace be upon him.
the fatherhood of the prophet (pbuh) is not fatherhood by relationship, but it is fatherhood in belief, worship, and in ethics.
the benefit of the prophet (pbuh) over the muslim is more than that of a real father.
this we can also feel very clear in the prophet's (pbuh) saying:" any muslim –living in his time- who dies having debt, i'll pay it for him"
this is the public fatherhood and our relation to the prophet (pbuh) is a relation in belief, and the proof of that is what we are saying in the 2nd half of at-tashahhud "the prayer statement" :"oh allah, your prayers and blessings be upon muhammad and his followers, as it used to be upon abraham and his followers ".
another proof for that:
the prophet was sitting one day between his companions, hence some of them were saying " salman al-farisy" is our relative "by origin" , but the prophet replied :" salman is from us ,he is our relative"!
salman al farisy is, by the way, from persia and has no arabic roots at all!
how did the prophet relate him to himself? this means that the relation here is a relation of belief and not of origin.
the second kind of relation is:
the special fatherhood: that is his relation to his sons. this kind of fatherhood is divided into two parts:
optional fatherhood and selectable fatherhood
1- the optional fatherhood: is the prophet’s (pbuh) adoption to zeid bin haretha. zeid was a slave owned by the prophet's wife khadieja (may allah be pleased with her). he was stolen when he was young and sold to khadieja, and the prophet was kind to him and treated him the best treatment. when his uncles and his father came to makkah looking for him- before muhammad's legation- zeid was given the choice either to leave with his uncles and father back home or to stay with the prophet; and he chose to stay with the prophet.
they told him:" do you prefer the humiliation of the slavery and you have your uncles and father?" he said:" excuse me, but no one can imagine how it is to live with such a person like muhammad (pbuh). "
then the prophet announced that zeid bin haretha is his son and will inherit him.
adoption was allowed before islam, and in the first years of islam, but it has been forbidden in al madinah, mentioned in the quran :" proclaim their real parentage. that will be more equitable in the sight of allah."
this is an example of an optional fatherhood because the prophet (pbuh) was not obliged to be a father for zeid bein haretha .
2-the selectable fatherhood:ِ
this fatherhood is selected by allah (the almighty); he selected the children of the prophet (pbuh).
the prophet has many daughters and sons but all of them died in his life time except his daughter fatema.
why all of the prophet's sons died very early? scholars concluded from the sunna, that allah (the almighty) chose muhammad to be the last prophet, and so he doesn't want him to have sons, so that people may proclaim their prophecy in succession to muhammad (pbuh). for that allah makes the sons of the prophet die. then his girls died, except fatema, (may allah be pleased with her).
if we look to fatema we find that she married ali (may allah be pleased with him) by an order from allah. ali is the cousin of the prophet, and he is the nearest one in origin to him. allah gave the prophet al hassan and al hussein, his grandchildren, instead of his sons. and so, they became the nearest in relation to him, exactly like being his own sons.
oh lord! we ask you to support us and make us love our prophet muhammad and follow his great example..