Rasulallah (SAWS) is the supreme example of a family man. He was a loving husband, an affectionate father and a doting grandfather. As a family man, Khadija(R.A) was his only wife. Even later on in life, when he had married several women as the part of his mission, he used to cherish the loving memory of the faithful Khadija(R.A)
His marriages were not for pleasure, but were a humanitarian means to further the cause of Islam, as is evident from the women he married. In the case of Sawda, Umm Salama and Zainab bint Khuzaima, it was to take care of poor and helpless widows well in their middle ages, while the marriage to Juwairiyah was to grant her freedom from captivity. Still others such as those to Umm Habiba, Safiya, Ayesha, Hafsa and Maimoona were meant for uniting some prominent Arab tribes, who were often at loggerheads with each other, and also to safeguard the internal political status of the newfound Islamic State. And the marriage to Zainab bint Jahsh was for the sake of enacting a new law, because she was the divorcee of his adopted son Zaid bin Harithah. Zaid was brought as a slave to the Prophet(SAWS) and after living for some time, he refused to go with his own parents and Prophet adopted him. As the Noble Qur’an testifies, Rasulallah (SAWS) married her in order to put an end to the prevalent belief that adopted sons were like real sons and their parents right on them will no longer be there and they had to change their name to the adopted father. Quran abolished this by the marriage no one except the Prophet(SAWS) would have doen that time due to the social pressure. In short, the philosophy behind his marriages was entirely revolutionary and ushered in positive changes in ignorant Arabia.
Rasulallah (saw) was an affectionate father and his surviving child, daughter Fatima al-Zahra (R.A), was dearer to him than life. His famous saying (Hadith): “Fatima is a part of me, and whoever annoys her (in fact) annoys me,” stands as a firm testimony to this fact. History is a witness that he used to stand up to greet his daughter. Many prominent and wealthy Arabs had approached him for Fatima al-Zahra’s (R.A) hand, but he politely refused them, and according to divine commandment married her to his faithful cousin Imam Ali (R.A). Hence Fatima al-Zahra (R.A.) and Ali (R.A) were the parents of his two grandsons Imam Hasan (R.A.) and Imam Husayn (R.A); through whom the continuity of Prophet Muhammad’s (saw) noble progeny has been ensured. Imam Hasan (R.A) and Imam Husayn (R.A) were the coolness of his eyes and he affectionately doted on them. They used to play with him and accompany him to the mosque. Once when the two grandsons were seated on his shoulders, a companion (Sahabi) remarked: “What and excellent mount”, to which Rasulallah (saw) retorted “What excellent riders too”.
Thus, Prophet Muhammad’s (saw) behavior with his illustrious household (Ahlul Bayt) is a lesson for us. It was not blind love of a doting father or grandfather as some may misinterpret but was something divinely ordained as is clear from several verses of the Noble Qur’an and the following ahadith:
Rasulallah (saw) is reported to have said that “whoever loves them [his grandsons] loves me and whoever hates them hates me”, “al-Hasan and al-Husayn are the chiefs of the youth of Paradise and Fatima is the chief of their women”, “al-Husayn is from me and I am from him.” Rasulallah (saw) looked toward Ali, Fatima, al-Hasan and al-Husayn, and then said, “I am in war with those who will fight you, and in peace with those who are peaceful to you.”
Therefore, it is obligatory for all Muslims to love and respect his chosen family, and adhere to their radiant path, which is the only way to save the Ummah (Muslim Community or Nation) from pitfalls. Praise be to Almighty Allah (SWT), the Lord of the Universe.