Whistle on a blackboard
“No one in this world can love a girl more than her father.” –Michael Ratnadeepak
According to modern psychology, daughters learn what kind of man they should bond and form relationships with from their fathers. And it is never one-way traffic. Fathers also learn how to be gentle, patient, and loving from their daughters.
If we look into the history of Islam, we find that there is no greater father-daughter relationship than that of the Prophet (PBUH) and Hazrat Fatimah (SA)
She was born when her father (PBUH) had begun spending long periods of solitude in mountains around Mecca. He declared that he is the Messenger of God and she was among the first few privileged to accept that message. When she was nearly ten years old, a group of pagan Quraysh approached the Prophet (PBUH) while he was praying near Kaba (The House of God).
“Menacingly, the group went up to the Prophet and Abu Jahl, the ringleader, asked:
‘Which of you can bring the entrails of a slaughtered animal and throw it on Muhammad?’ Uqbah ibn Abi Muayt, one of the vilest of the lot, volunteered and hurried off. He returned with the obnoxious filth and threw it on the shoulders of the Prophet (PBUH) while he was still prostrating. Abdullah ibn Masud, a companion of the Prophet, was present but he was powerless to do or say anything.”
Hazrat Fatimah witnessed this act of degradation as her father prayed to Allah (SWT). But she didn’t let it embarrass or even frighten her, even at her tender age. Drawing upon her immense respect and love for him, she stood firmly against this oppression, wiped the filth off her still praying father, and railed at the offending parties. The pagan Quraysh, in shock at her reaction and brazenness, said nothing in return.
Fatimah continued to defend her father as he was attacked and suffered insult and injury at the hands of the Quraysh in Mecca.
There is a misconception that a father is merely the breadwinner, the supporter of the household, that his role is primarily that of the finance provider rather than a nurturer. After all, isn’t it the mother’s job to raise the children? Isn’t it the mother’s job to teach her daughters what it is to be a girl, a woman?
This misconception is detrimental to our community. Fathers have an important nurturing role to play in their daughters’ lives. It only takes a glimpse into the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) relationship with his daughter to understand this.
The Prophet (PBUH) had a special place in his heart for Fatimah (SA). Hazrat Aisha (RA) has once commented, “When the Prophet saw her approaching, he would welcome her, stand up and kiss her, take her by the hand and sit her down in the place where he was sitting.”
“I am a princess not because I have a prince, but because my father is a king.” -Anonymous
Now, let us return to generalizations. Needless to say, the emotional attachment with their father benefits girls throughout their lives. Fathers are a role-model for their daughters. They lay the foundation for love, trust, and security. He sets a standard for their daughters by which they will judge other men who come into their life. And a good bond with her father helps a girl to develop self-esteem and confidence.
However, the relationship is not static but changes as the girl develops from a little girl to a young woman. The first phase, also known as the hero dad-princess-daughter phase. It’s an easy and fun phase, where dad is the superhero and daughter is his little darling princess. It has been proven in various studies that girls exhibit less anxiety and ‘withdrawal behaviors’ if they are close to their father.
I have read in various psychology journals that girls whose fathers were absent during the first five years of their upbringing are more likely to be depressed in adolescence compared to girls whose dads left them when they were aged five to ten years.
Irrespective of what the radicals and ‘Women Right Activists’ advocate, the men in the house are the real source of strength and power for their families. Security is vital for girls and if she gets this protection from her dad, then it enables her to thrive in a relatively safe environment. She will be free of inhibitions and it helps to develop self-confidence. On the contrary, fathers’ involvement plays a vital role in daughters’ self-confidence. Fathers who are affectionate towards their little girls provide them a sense of self-worth. If fathers ignore them or treat them harshly, the girls could develop low self-confidence and have self-doubts.
The absence of fathers or inability to deal with conflicts with fathers leads to low self-esteem in young women.
Being more practical and exposed to the harsher world, dads help their girls think logically. They inspire them to become goal-oriented. A man helps his daughter believe in herself and encourages her to follow the reason.
Certain is it that there is no kind of affection so purely angelic as of a father to a daughter. In love to our wives there is desire; to our sons, ambition; but to our daughters, there is something which there are no words to express. -Joseph Addison
So, those of us who neglect family life must change, be less selfishly ambitious and have patience, and give time to our daughters.
Every father-daughter relationship has to undergo different phases of life. Some are easy and fun while some are difficult but important. And instances of fathers taking advantage of their daughter’s innocence and vulnerability are not many but they are not rare too.
Here is a curious story of famous Singer Britney Spears. On Wednesday, 14th July 2021 she won the right to choose her own lawyer to help her end a 13-year-long conservatorship and tearfully pleaded for the court to oust her father immediately from the role of controlling her business affairs.
Note: For more details, readers are advised to go through the article about Britney Spears that is available in the same blog.