Prophet Muhammad




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By: Ahmed A. Syed


Our Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) said that Sayyidatina Asiyah (Alayhassalam) is one of the four greatest women in human history, along with Sayyidatina Maryam (Alayhassalam), the mother of Nabi ‘Isa (Alayhissalam); Sayyidatina Khadija (Rady Allahu Anha), the wife of our Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) and Sayyidatina Fatima az-Zahra, (Rady Allahu Anha), the daughter of our Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam).

Sayyidatina Asiyah (Alayhassalam) was one of the richest and powerful women of her time due to being married to the Pharaoh (Firʻawn in Arabic). The Pharaoh was one of the most powerful, arrogant and tyrannical rulers of his time. He was known for his extreme cruelty and not only rejected Allah (Subhanahu wa Taʻala), but proclaimed himself to be god. When the Pharaoh was advised that a Prophet would come in the future and overthrow him, he immediately ordered the killing of all newborn boys so that he would remain in power forever. Nabi Musa (Alayhissalam) was born during this time, but Allah (Subhanahu wa Taʻala) protected him, and inspired his mother to place him in a cradle into the river Nile.

Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) says in Surah Al-Qasas, Verse 7:
“We sent this inspiration to the mother of Moses: "Suckle (thy child), but when thou hast fears about him, cast him into the river, but fear not nor grieve: for We shall restore him to thee, and We shall make him one of Our Messengers.”
One day the maids of Sayyidatina Asiyah (Alayhassalam) found a cradle with a baby floating in the river. They brought the baby to Sayyidatina Asiyah (Alayhassalam) who immediately fell in love with the baby. Sayyidatina Asiyah was chosen to take care of one of the greatest Prophets of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala), Nabi Musa (Alayhissalam). Although the Pharaoh was one of the most evil men in human history, he loved his wife. She pleaded with him and succeeded in not only allowing the baby to live, but to raise the child in their own household.
Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) tells us in Surah Al-Qasas, Verse 9:
“And the wife of Pharaoh said: “(Here is) joy of the eye, for me and for thee: slay him not. It may be that he will be of use to us, or we may adopt him as a son.” And they perceived not (what they were doing)!”
Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) then inspired Sayyidatina Asiyah (Alayhassalam) to offer the mother of Nabi Musa (Alayhissalam) to live in their household and wet nurse the baby, allowing for the mother and son to be reunited again. Truly Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) is the Best of Planners!
Nabi Musa (Alayhissalam) grew to become the Prophet that the Pharaoh feared and began calling people to worship Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala). But Nabi Musa (Alayhissalam) had only a few followers because most people feared being subjected to the cruel torture of the Pharaoh. But when Sayyidatina Asiyah (Alayhassalam) came to know of the new faith, she immediately recognized it as the truth and became a Muslim. She was a woman of pure natural belief.
For many years, Sayyidatina Asiyah (Alayhassalam) worshipped Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) and prayed in secret in fear of the punishment from her husband. However, her secret was eventually discovered to the point that the Pharaoh desperately tried to persuade her not to believe in Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala). But her faith was unwavering and she remained steadfast in her belief in Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala). Her stature is so great that Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) made her an example for all the women to follow and her prayer is mentioned in Surah At-Tahrim, Verse 11:
“And Allah sets forth as an example to those who believe, the wife of Pharaoh: Behold she said: "O my Lord! Build for me, in nearness to Thee, a mansion in the Garden (of Paradise), and save me from Pharaoh and his doings, and save me from those that do wrong.”
Sayyidatina Asiyah (Alayhassalam) was a queen with all the riches in the world. She was surrounded by disbelief and injustice. She was even married to the Pharaoh, a man known for his extreme cruelty and rejection of God. But she fully submitted herself to Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) and remained steadfast through all her trials and tribulations. And this is why she is one of the four greatest women in human history!