A role model can be defined as a guide, pattern, and as a leader. The term "role model" seeks to identify a person who possesses certain characteristics, which people admire and choose to follow. Different people choose different role models in their lives and try to live their life in accordance to what they see in that role model. A role model may have impact in a single aspect of one's life, or it may have impact on many or all aspects of a person's life. Naturally one's life, goal, and motive may then be shaped and constructed based on his/her role model.
One, who chooses Islam as his school of life, has actually chosen a way and goal that has been based on human nature. Thus such a person will search for a character that possesses all the special characteristics that the school of monotheism has offered in each aspect of life in order to reach his goal of perfection.
In the following verse, the Noble Qur'an introduces Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), the prophet of Islam, as the best and perfect role model:
"Certainly there is in the Messenger of Allah an excellent example for him who hopes in Allah and the latter day and remembers Allah much." (Noble Qur'an, 33:21)
Through a deep study of the life of Lady Fatemah Zahra (pbuh), one can slightly understand her exalted human personality. She is similar to her father, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in terms of her divine and humane character. Her similarity to her father is a truth that can be easily understood through her father's sayings about her. As the narrator quotes, Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) came out while holding the hand of Lady Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) in his hand. He said:
"(For) him, who does not know her, she is Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad, she is a part of me, she is my soul, which is (located) between my two sides. Certainly, him who harms her has harmed me; and him who harms me has indeed harmed Allah."
Other than being similar to the Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), which in itself is a complete and perfect proof of her being a role model, there are many other examples that prove her as a perfect and excellent model.
For example, Aisha bint Abu Bakr and some others have narrated that the Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has said:
"O Fatimah! Glad tidings be upon you, for the almighty Allah (SWT) has selected you above the women of the worlds and the women of Islam, which is the best religion."
Let it be noted that the Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) holds such an esteemed character that all of his sayings, behaviors, and manners are proof for us. He talks according to what is revealed to him and through his deep knowledge and insight. If he is silent about a person, or when he praises, or disgraces another, it is thoroughly true. As the Noble Qur'an notes:
"Nor does he speak out of desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed." (Noble Qur'an, 53:3-4)
The messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has honored his daughter and has greatly praised her. Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) praises of Lady Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) is not out of a fatherly love and affection. As a matter of fact the praises are due to the actual existence of such valuable moralities in Lady Fatimah al-Zahra (pbuh). She is really great and pure; by praising her, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) seeks to make her real personality clear for others.
Allah (SWT) has selected Prophet of Islam and the Infallible Imams (pbut) as perfect human beings, role models, and guides for all. Similarly, Lady Fatimah al-Zahra (pbuh) is a model for all people of the world, be it man or woman. Truly, following her footsteps is following the Messenger of Allah and the Infallible Imams (pbut).