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  • Writer's pictureRaghad Bushnaq

The Prophetic Fostering Example

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his wife Khadija (may Allah be pleased with her) had several biological children together. Yet, they did raise several children who were not their biological offspring.The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) set a powerful example of fostering and caring for children.


The most famous of these children is Zaid ibn Haritha (may Allah be pleased with him) was a slave who was gifted to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) by his wife Khadija (may Allah be pleased with her). Zaid was originally from the tribe of Banu Kalb and was captured and sold into slavery as a child. He was then brought to Mecca and purchased by Khadija, who gave him as a gift to her husband, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) took Zaid into his household and treated him like his own son. He freed Zaid from slavery and legally adopted him, making him his heir and giving him the name Zaid ibn Muhammad (Zaid, the son of Muhammad). This act of adoption was significant in pre-Islamic Arabia, where adoption was not a common practice, and it established a precedent for Muslims to follow in caring for orphaned and abandoned children. Zaid grew up in the household of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and became one of his closest companions. He was known for his bravery, his piety, and his loyalty to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He fought alongside the Prophet in several battles, including the Battle of Uhud and the Battle of the Trench, and was considered one of the most skilled warriors of his time. In addition to his military exploits, Zaid was also known for his scholarship and his piety. He was one of the early converts to Islam and played a key role in spreading the message of Islam throughout Arabia. He also had a reputation for his generosity and his concern for the poor and needy. Zaid's story is an example of the importance of showing kindness and compassion to orphaned and abandoned children, and of the significance of adoption in Islam. It also highlights the close relationship between the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions, and the important role that they played in the early history of Islam.


The story of Zaid's adoption is mentioned in the Quran, which says: "Allah has not made for any man two hearts within him; nor has He made your wives whose backs you liken to the backs of your mothers as your mothers, nor has He made your adopted sons your [true] sons. That is [merely] your saying by your mouths, but Allah says the truth, and He guides to the [right] way" (Surah Al-Ahzab, 33:4-5).

This verse shows that the Prophet's relationship with Zaid was not one of a biological father and son, but rather an example of fostering and caring for a child in need. The Prophet's relationship with Zaid was based on love, compassion, and a sense of responsibility towards a child who needed his care.

Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him), grew up in the household of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and was raised as his own son. Ali went on to become the fourth caliph of Islam, and is revered as one of the most important figures in Islamic history.

He was the son of his cousin. He was born in Mecca, approximately 23 years before the Hijrah (migration of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) from Mecca to Medina). Ali grew up in the household of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and was raised like his own son. He was known for his intelligence, his piety, and his bravery, and he played a key role in the early history of Islam. Ali was one of the first people to accept Islam, and he was only about ten years old at the time. He became one of the closest companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and played a key role in several of the early battles of Islam, including the Battle of Badr and the Battle of Uhud. After the death of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), Ali became the fourth caliph (leader) of the Muslim community. His leadership was marked by his commitment to justice and his efforts to uphold the principles of Islam. He is remembered for his wisdom, his piety, and his dedication to the cause of Islam. Ali is also known for his relationship with the Prophet Muhammad's daughter, Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with her). They were married shortly after the Hijrah and had several children together. Fatimah is considered one of the most important women in Islamic history, and her relationship with Ali is seen as an example of the importance of family and the role of women in Islam. Ali's legacy continues to be celebrated by Muslims around the world, and he is considered one of the most important figures in Islamic history. His commitment to justice and his dedication to the principles of Islam serve as an example for Muslims to follow in their own lives.

Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) was another child who was raised in the household of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Anas was the son of Malik ibn Nadr, a close companion of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who died during the Battle of Uhud. After his father's death, Anas was entrusted to the care of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who raised him as his own son. Anas grew up in the household of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and became one of his closest companions. Anas went on to become one of the most prominent figures in early Islamic history, and is remembered for his knowledge, piety, and devotion to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He is also known for his role as the personal attendant of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and for his detailed accounts of the Prophet's daily life and habits. Anas' upbringing in the household of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is seen as a testament to the Prophet's kindness and generosity, and his commitment to caring for orphaned and abandoned children. It serves as an example for Muslims to follow in their own lives, and a reminder of the importance of showing compassion and kindness to those in need.

In addition to Zaid, Ali and Anas; the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also raised several other children who were not his biological offspring. These included Umama bint Abi al-As, the daughter of his close companion Zayd ibn Haritha, and Salim mawla Abi Hudhayfa, who was a former slave that was freed and raised by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).


The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) treated these children with love and kindness, and they became beloved members of his family. Their upbringing in the household of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is seen as a testament to his compassion, kindness, and generosity. The Prophet's example of fostering and caring for children is an important one for Muslims to follow. It reminds us of the importance of providing love and support to children who are in need of care and guidance, and of the role that we can all play in building strong, supportive communities.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) was a devoted father and took an active role in the upbringing of his biological children too. The Prophet had four daughters: Zainab, Ruqayyah, Umm Kulthum, and Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with them all). He loved them dearly and was known to be very affectionate towards them. He also had two sons, both of whom died in infancy.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) instilled strong values of kindness, compassion, and generosity in his children, and he set an example for them to follow in his own life. He taught them about the importance of prayer and worship, and he encouraged them to seek knowledge and to be honest and just in their dealings with others.

One of the most well-known stories of the Prophet's relationship with his daughter Fatimah is the story of her marriage to Ali ibn Abi Talib. The Prophet arranged the marriage and paid for the wedding expenses himself, despite his own modest means. He also gave Fatimah and Ali a piece of land as a wedding gift, which they used to build their home. The Prophet's example of being a caring and loving parent serves as an inspiration to Muslims today. It reminds us of the importance of family and the responsibility that we have to raise our children with love, compassion, and a strong foundation in the teachings of Islam.


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