Madina was totally engulfed in confusion and anxiety. The Companions of the Prophet PBUH had assembled around his house with tearful eyes and grieving hearts. The reports pouring out from the house revealed that his condition was extremely precarious and there was very little optimism in his recovery. It culminated that only a few moments of his precious life remained.
The Companions of the Prophet were yearning of have a glimpse of their beloved Prophet PBUH from close, but situation demanded that none except the members of the family visit him. The Prophet PBUH kissed his grandsons, Al-Hasan and Al-Husain and recommended that they be taken care of. He advised his wives to remain steadfast in their remembrance of ALLAH. As the relentless pain kept torturing, He turned to wife Aisha and said: “I feel as if death is approaching.” He ordered the people to perform the prayers and be good to slaves. He repeated it several times. The misery of our times is that we are callous with this advice.
The honoured daughter Hazrath Fatimah RA was sitting beside her father’s bed. She kept gazing at his illuminated face and witnessed 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 PBUH, 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 Qur’an: “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.” [Al Imran 3:144]
The Prophet’s love for his only surviving child was one of the most sublime manifestation of human sentiments, so much so that he never proceeded on a journey without bidding farewell to his daughter and upon his return he first sought her audience. 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.” (Bukhari)
Throughout the Prophet’s illness Fatimah remained beside him. The Prophet PBUH signalled her to speak to him. She brought her head close to her father’s head and conversed with him in low tones. The people around were unaware of what transpired between them. When the Prophet PBUH ceased talking, Hazrath Fatimah RA 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 pleasant mood with smiling lips. Those present were amazed to observe these two antithetical conditions, and requested Fatimah RA to enlighten them. She replied: “I am not going to divulge the secret of the Prophet of ALLAH”.
After the passing away of the Prophet PBUH, on the insistence of Hazrath Aisha RA, Hazrath Fatimah RA broke her silence 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 profusely. 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”. [Tabaqat Ibn Saad].
When the pang of death initiated, Aisha RA leant Prophet PBUH against her. She mentioned: It was a great Divine favour on me that the Prophet PBUH breathe his last in my room, while I am still alive. He departed between my chest and neck whilst leaning against me. ALLAH SWT enjoined his saliva with mine at his demise. ‘Abdur-Rahman Ibn Abu Bakr came in with a Siwak (tooth stick) in his hand, while the Prophet’s head was in my lap. I noticed that he was looking at the Siwak. So I asked him: “Would you like me to have it?” He nodded in the affirmative. I took it and gave it to him. As it was too hard for him, I asked him again: “Shall I soften it for you?” Again, he nodded in the affirmative. So I softened it with my saliva and he passed it (on his teeth). There was a water container available at his hand with some water in. He put his hand in it and wiped his face with it and said: “There is no God but ALLAH. Verily, death is full of agonies.” (Bukhari)