Story From Quran: Asiyah and the Hairdresser of Firaun’s daughter who accepted death but remained Muslim
Bismillah – In the name of Allah, the Most-Merciful, the All-Compassionate.
Asiyah,the wife of Firaun is the blessed lady whom hadith recordeth as the best of the woman of Paradise.Asiyah’s greatness is in the fact that although She was the wife of one of the most Powerful, arrogant and tyrant rulers of Egypt, she was able to see and accept the truth in message of Prophet Moses.For her, wealth, beauty or status was not the main criterion of human excellence; she realized that without faith in God, a human being has nothing.
It was narrated that Ibn Abbaas said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) drew four lines on the ground, then he said, “Do you know what this is?”
We said, “Allaah and His Messenger know best.”
The Messenger of Allaah (pbuh) said:
“The best of the women of Paradise are
- Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid,
- Faatimah bint Muhammad,
- Asiyah bint Mazaahim the wife of Pharaoh,
- and Maryam bint Imraan –may Allaah be pleased with them.”
(Narrated by Ahmad, 2663. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami, 1135)
The Story of the Hairdresser of Pharaohs Daughter
It was narrated that Ibn Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “On the night on which I was taken on the Night Journey (Isra), a beautiful fragrance came to me.
I said: O Jibreel, what is this beautiful fragrance?
He said: This is the fragrance of the hairdresser of Pharaohs daughter and her children.
I said: What is their story?
He said: Whilst she was combing the hair of Pharaohs daughter one day, the iron comb fell from her hand and she said, Bismillaah (in the name of Allaah).
The daughter of Pharaoh said: “My father?”
She said: No. My Lord and the Lord of your father is Allaah.
Daughter said: I will tell him about that.
She said: Yes.
So she told him and the Pharaoh summoned her and said:
O So and so, do you have a Lord other than me?
She said: Yes, my Lord and your Lord is Allaah.
He ordered that a baqarah (lit. “cow”) made of copper be heated up, then he ordered that she and her children be thrown into it.
She said: I have a request to make of you.
He said: What is your request?
She said: I would like my bones and my childrens bones to be gathered together in one cloth and buried.
He said: This will be done for you.
He ordered that her children be thrown into it in front of her, one by one, until they came to the last one who was an infant boy who was still being breastfed.
It was as if she wavered because of him, but he said: O mother, go ahead, for the punishment of this world is easier to bear than the punishment of the hereafter.
So she went ahead.”
Ibn Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:Four infants spoke:
- Eesa ibn Maryam (peace be upon him),
- the companion of Jurayj,
- the witness of Yoosuf
- and the son of the hairdresser of Pharaohs daughter.
Narrated by Imam Ahmad in al-Musnad (1/309), al-Tabaraani (12280), Ibn Hibbaan (2903) and al-Haakim (2/496).
Al-Dhahabi said in al-Aluw (84): This hadeeth has a hasan isnaad. Ibn Katheer said in al-Tafseer (3/15): There is nothing wrong with its isnaad. Its isnaad was classed as saheeh by the scholar Ahmad Shaakir in his commentary on al-Musnad (4/295). Al-Arnaoot said in Takhreej al-Musnad (5/30-31, no. 2821): Its isnaad is hasan.
Thus it is clear that this story is saheeh and is proven from our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
Fir’awn’s wife heard all of this, and this caused her to become a believer.
How Firaun Tortured his Wife Asiyah to death-
The Quran sets Asiyah as an example for the believers to stay away from evil and sin despite the full assualt of the devil:
وَضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا لِّلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا امْرَأَتَ فِرْعَوْنَ إِذْ قَالَتْ رَبِّ ابْنِ لِي عِندَكَ بَيْتًا فِي الْجَنَّةِ وَنَجِّنِي مِن فِرْعَوْنَ وَعَمَلِهِ وَنَجِّنِي مِنَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ
Asiya witnessed the miracles of Musa (A.S) in her husband’s courtroom. She also witnessed the humiliating defeat and admission of Pharaoh’s magicians who ultimately surrendered to the LORD of Musa and Harun (AS).
Qatadah said: “Fir’awn was the most tyrannical and disbelieving person on Earth, and by Allah, his disbelief did not affect his wife when she decided to obey her Lord.”
Abu `Uthman an-Nahdi reported that Sulayman said: “Fir’awn’s wife was tortured in the heat of the Sun. When her torturers would take a break and walk away, the Angels would shade her with their wings, andshe would see her home in Paradise.”
al-Qasim bin Abi Bazzah said: “Fir’awn’s wife asked who won, and it was said to her: “Musa and Harun won.” So, she would say: “I believe in the Lord of Musa and Harun.” Fir’awn said to those around him:
“Look for the largest rock you can find. If she sticks to what she said, throw it on her. If she retracts what she said, she will remain my wife.” When they came to her, she looked towards the sky and saw her home in Paradise. So, she stuck to what she said and her soul was taken, and the rock was thrown on her lifeless body after her soul had been taken.”
May Allah raise us in Our Taqwa and make us an Obedient Servant. Ameen.
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