As we approach the end of the Islamic calendar year, one of the anniversaries we come across is that of the event of Mubahila. This event highlights just how important the Holy Prophet’s family was to him and sets a clear example for all Muslims to follow. The event is well documented both through Qur’an and Ahadith:
Should anyone argue with you concerning him, after the knowledge that has come to you, then say: ‘Come! Let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, our souls and your souls, then let us pray earnestly and call down Allah’s curse upon the liars’. (Qur’an 3:61)
This verse refers to the famous event of Mubahila which took place in the year 10 A.H between the Holy Prophet and the Christians of Najran, and is mentioned in many well-known books of Hadith from both Sunni¹ and Shi’a² schools.
During religious discussions between the Holy Prophet and the Christians of Najran, the Christians refused to accept the Holy Prophet’s teachings about Jesus. The Holy Prophet suggested invoking a Mubahila- a prayer that those who are truthful are saved, and those that don’t, perish.
On the morning of 24th Dhul Hijjah, the Holy Prophet emerged at the appointed time carrying Hussain in his arm with Hasan holding his hand, followed by his daughter Fatima, and son in law, Ali. Tradition states that the Christians were surprised when they saw the Holy Prophet’s family accompanying him.
When the Christian delegation saw a woman, two children and only one man with the Prophet, they were frightened and worried and said to the Messenger of Allah: “We will pay you whatever pleases you so excuse us from the Mubahila”. Then the Messenger of Allah made a settlement with them and they left.
There are countless traditions from the Holy Prophet about his close family and their position, as well as narrations highlighting his interactions and mannerisms with them- essentially setting an example for us all:
The Messenger of God (peace be upon him and his progeny) said: “Be affectionate to your children and have pity on them. Fulfil your promises to them for they see that you provide for their maintenance.” ³
The Messenger of God (peace be upon him and his progeny) said: “When a person makes his family happy, God creates a being from that pleasure who asks forgiveness for him until the Day of Resurrection.” ⁴
The Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) recited this verse: “O you who have faith! Save yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones.” (Qur’an, 66:6). His companions asked, “How could we protect them?” Prophet answered, “Bid them what God likes, and forbid them what He does not like.” ⁵
Aisha narrates: “Whenever she (Fatima, the daughter of the Holy Prophet) would enter upon the Prophet, he would stand to her and kiss her, and he would sit her in his sitting place.” ⁶
The Holy Prophet said: “He who wishes that his sustenance be increased for him and his death day be delayed, then he should pay attention to his kinsfolk.” ⁷
The Holy Prophet said: “Honour your children and train them well, you will be forgiven by Him.” ⁸
Aisha reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The best of you are the best to their families, and I am the best to my family.” ⁹
The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “If anyone has a female child, and does not bury her alive, or slight her, or prefer his children (i.e. the male ones) to her, Allah will bring him into Paradise”. ¹⁰