Before the time when the Prophet Muhammad (SalAllahu alayhi wasalam) began to disseminate Allah’s Word, there were many Arabs who preferred their sons to their daughters.
Sons were strong they could work hard they could bring great benefits to their parents and their family. But daughters being girls were weak or so the Arabs thought. Not only that, girls were a nuisance and were a burden and an expense on a family.
Many Arab fathers had no use for girls and when a daughters was born to them instead of a son they did not feel at all pleased. Some of them got very angry at the birth of a girl and buried her alive.
Fortunately, though not many Arab fathers were like the man who went to the Prophet and confessed to a truly terrible crime.
This father had once been an idol worshipper like all the Arabs before the Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) came among them and showed them the way of Islam. Before he became a Muslim, the Arab had had a daughter a sweet little girl and kissing him. Whenever her father called this little girl came running towards him always ready to show her love.
One day the Arab called her and of course she ran to his side. He told her for a long walk and the girl skipped and hopped happily beside her father as they went along the poor little thing She never thought that a dreadful fate awaits her.
Before long the father and his daughter came to a well. Suddenly without warning he grabbed her lifted her up and throw down the well. The little girl was dreadful frightened and cried out in terror shrieking “Daddy Oh Daddy”.
But the father refused to listen to her pleas and her cries for help. Instead he threw a load of earth down the well to bury his daughter and then he went home and left her to die.
It was a heartrending story. The father was full of remorse and guilt for the dreadful murder he had committed. The girl’s father would have to suffer his guilt for the rest of his life.
Naturally the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) was appalled when he heard what the father had done. His heart ached with sorrow.
Tears welled up in his eyes and spilled down his face and into his beard. The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) wept so much that his face and beard became very wet and the hairs on his beard were all straggly with water.
When his friend saw the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) weep like this they became very unhappy and felt their eyes, too fill with tears.
All the same they knew it was right for the Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) to shed so many tears for the poor little girl who had died such a terrible death.
For had he not taught his people that they should love. All children both boys and girls? Had he not said: ‘Allah loves he who loves and looks after family especially the girls’?
And was the Prophet (SalAllahu alayhi wasalam) not the greatest friend the children of the world have ever had?