Madina was totally engulfed in confusion and anxiety. The companions of the Prophet had gathered round his house with tearful eyes and grieved hearts. The reports which were pouring out from the house showed that his condition was extremely serious and there was very little hope of his recovery. This showed that only a few moments of his precious life were left.
A number of the companions of the Prophet were desirous of seeing him from near but his serious condition would not permit that anyone except the members of the family should visit the room in which he was lying.
The honoured daughter and the only souvenir of the Prophet viz Lady Fatimah was sitting beside her father's bed. She was looking at his sacred face and could see that the perspiration of death was flowing down his face and forehead. With a heavy heart tearful eyes and choked throat she was reciting the following verse which Abu Talib had recited in praise of the Prophet: "The luminous face in whose honour rains are sought from the clouds. The person who is the asylum for the orphans and the guardian of the widows".
At this moment the Prophet opened his eyes and said to his daughter in a low voice: "This is a verse which Abu Talib recited about me. It will however be better if instead of the same you recite this verse of the Holy Quran: "Muhammad is but a messenger. The messengers have already passed away before him. Will it be that when he dies or is slain you will turn back on your heels? He who turns back does no hurt to Allah and Allah will reward the thankful". (Surah Ale Imran 3:144)
The Prophet Speaks To His Daughter
Experience shows that on account of excessive preoccupations the sentiments of big personalities with regard to their children become dim because absorption in world affairs keep them so busy that their sentiments for their children remain suppressed. However great spiritual personalities are an exception to this rule. Notwithstanding their great targets and universal ideals and ever-increasing activities they possess such extensive and great souls that inclination towards one part does not keep them from the other parts.
The Prophet's love for his only child was one of the most sublime manifestations of human sentiments so much so that he never proceeded on a journey without saying farewell to his daughter and when he returned from a journey he first of all went to see her. He accorded her great respect as compared with his wives and used to tell his companions: "Fatimah is a part of my body. Her pleasure is my pleasure and her anger is my anger."
Whenever the Prophet saw Fatimah (as) he was reminded of Khadijah (as) the most pious and most kind woman of the world who endured extraordinary hardships and spent her enormous wealth in the path of the sacred mission of her husband.
Throughout the period of the Prophet's illness Fatimah (as) remained by the side of his bed and was not away from him even for a moment. Suddenly the Prophet made a sign to her asking her to speak to him. The Prophet's daughter bent a little brought her head near him and conversed with him in low tones. The persons who were present round the Prophet's bed did not become aware of what they talked about. When the Prophet ceased talking Lady Fatimah wept bitterly.
However soon after this the Prophet made a sign to her again and spoke to her in low tones. This time she raised her head in a happy mood and with smiling lips. Those present were surprised to observe these two antithetical conditions at one and the same time and they requested Fatimah to inform them of her conversation with the Prophet. She replied: "I am not going to divulge the secret of the Prophet of Allah ".
After the passing away of the Prophet, Fatimah (as) informed them of the factual position on account of the insistence of A'isha and said: "In the first instance my father informed me about his death and stated that he was not likely to recover from his illness. Hence I began weeping. However when he talked to me for the second time he told me that I would be the first person from amongst his Ahl al-Bayt who would join him. This made me happy and I understood that I would be joining my dear father very soon''