The Prophet, the Grandfather
The tenderness of the Prophet (Pbuh) towards children was spontaneous and natural, almost involuntary.
Although on the pulpit delivering a sermon, the Prophet (Pbuh) could not bear to see his two grandsons, Al-Hasan and Al-Husain, walking and stumbling. He (Pbuh) interrupted his sermon, came down from the pulpit, lifted them up and said, “Truthful are the Words of Allah Who says:
(Your wealth and your children are only a trial.)
(At-Taghabun 64: 15)
I saw these two walking and stumbling in their shirts and I could not have patience until I descended and carried them.”1 About them he (Pbuh) said, “They are my two sweet basils in this world.”
Abu Hurairah narrated, “I went along with the Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) at a time during the day; neither he (Pbuh) talked to me nor I to him until he (Pbuh) reached the market of Banu Qainuqa’. There he (Pbuh) went away to the house of Fatimah and asked, ‘Is the little chap (meaning Al-Hasan) here? Is the little chap here?’ We felt that his mother had kept him in order to bathe, dress, and adorn him. It did not take long before he (Al-Hasan) came running until each of them embraced his companion. The Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) said, ‘O Allah, I love him. Please love him and whoever loves him.’”3
There was a special place in his heart for the young that embraced all children, showing them all the same care and gentleness. Lady ‘Aishah said, “Newborns were brought to the Messenger of Allah r, who used to supplicate Allah’s blessings on them and rub a chewed date in their mouths.”4
Lady ‘Aishah further said, “The first child born into Islam (i.e. in Al-Madinah after emigration) was ‘Abdullah bin Az-Zubair. They brought him to the Prophet r, who took a date and, after chewing it, put it into the child’s mouth. Thus the first thing that went into the child’s stomach was the saliva of the Prophet r.”5
As-Sa’ib bin Yazid t narrated, “My aunt took me to the Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) and said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, my nephew is sick.’ He (Pbuh)caressed my head and supplicated Allah to bless me. Then he (Pbuh) performed ablution. I drank from the water of his ablution, and then I stood behind him and looked at the seal of prophethood between his shoulders, (its size was) like the egg of a partridge.”6
Abu Hurairah t narrated, “The first fruits used to be brought to the Messenger of Allah r, who used to say, ‘O Allah, give us blessings in our city and in our fruits, and in our Mudd and Sa’ (measures of food), blessings upon blessings.’ Then he (Pbuh)gave them to the youngest among the children present with him.”7
- Buraidah bin Al-Hasib, Sunan An-Nasa’iy, Book of Salat Al-Idin, Hadith no. 1567.
- ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar, Sahih Al-Bukhary, Book of Al-Manaqib, Hadith no. 3470.
- Sahih Muslim, Book of Fada’il Al-Shabah, Hadith no. 4446.
- Sahih Muslim, Book of Al-Taharah (Purification), Hadith no. 430.
- Sahih Al-Bukhary, Book of Al-Manaqib, Hadith no. 3620.
- Sahih Al-Bukhary, Book of Ad-Da‘wat (Supplications), Hadith no. 5875.
- Sahih Muslim, Book of Hajj (Pilgrimage), Hadith no. 2438.