Fatimah bint Asad radhiallahu anha belonged to the Hashimite clan. Her grandfather was Hashim, the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam’s great-grandfather. She was married to the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam’s uncle Abu Talib. The Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam lived with Fatimah bint Asad radhiallahu anha and Abu Talib from the age of 8.
She was the mother of Ali radhiallahu anhu and the mother-in-law of the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam’s daughter Fathima radhiallahu anha. She looked after the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam as well as she looked after her own children. She was among the first people to accept Islam along with her son Ali radhiallahu anhu and endured the economic and social boycott of three years with the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam.
He respected her so highly that whenever she visited him he would stand up and receive her with great love, addressing her as ‘Mother’. He would visit her house and have some rest there. When the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam got the news of her death, he went to her house and prayed for her: ‘My dear mother, may Allah keep you under His Protection. Many times you went hungry in order to feed me well. You fed me and clothed me on delicacies that you denied yourself.’
He gave his own shirt to be used as part of her shroud and placed her in her grave with his own hands. When people asked him the reason for these extraordinary favours, he replied: ‘After Abu Talib, nobody gave me a more kind treatment than Fatimah bint Asad. I gave her my own shirt so that she will get a heavenly garment in Paradise. I myself lay down in her grave so that the hardships of the grave are minimized.’
She was thus one of the people for whom the good news of Paradise was given by the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam.