Sayyidatuna Asma b. ʿUmays رَضِیَ اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْہَا

Godly Women

Sayyidatunā Asmā b. ʿUmays رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ عَنْهَا

Muhammad Bilal Sa’eed Attari Madani

Sayyidatunā Asmā b. ʿUmays رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ عَنْهَا is from the notable, early converts to Islam who answered the Prophet’s call before most people. As a woman of great learning and erudition, she was hailed as a scholar among the female companions and went on to become a central transmitter of hadith. Her knowledge of Shari’ah was complimented with a deep insight into dream interpretation. Senior companions such as Sayyidunā Umar رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ would have their dreams interpreted by her. (Al-Isābah, vol. 8, p. 6)

Blessed marriage

She married Sayyidunā Ja’far b. Abī Tālib رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ, better known by his epithet, Jaʿfar al-ayyār. (Al-Isābah, vol. 8, p. 15)


Facing persecution at the hands of the oppressive regime of Makkah, she and her husband joined the Muslim delegation who migrated to Ethiopia in search of a safe abode where they could freely observe their faith in peace. Later, she migrated to the newly established state of Madinah; thus earning the rare virtue of having migrated twice for Allah’s sake. (Usd al-Ghābah, vol. 7, p. 17)

Kindness of Mustafa

The Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was very kind to and supportive of Sayyidatunā Asmā رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ عَنْهَا and her children. On one occasion, the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم went to her home to meet her children. Upon entering, he asked her to bring the ‘children of Jaʿfar.’ As soon as they appeared, Allah’s Messenger صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم enveloped them in a warm embrace and began to cry. Sayyidatunā Asma رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ عَنْهَا was moved and asked, ‘Messenger of Allah, perhaps you have received some news about Jaʿfar?’ The Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم replied, ‘Yes, he was martyred today.’ Seeing her overcome with grief, the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم advised her to be patient and said, ‘Asma! You should neither speak inappropriately nor beat your chest.’ (Adapted from Tabaqāt Ibn-e-Sa’d, vol. 8, p. 220, summarised) To further support her in this difficult time, he and his family prepared food for Sayyidatunā Asma رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ عَنْهَا and her bereaving family. The Emissary of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم also reduced the sitting period (ʿIddah) for her from 130 days to only three days: ‘Mourn for three days, then do as you wish.’ (Jāmi’ al- Hadīth, vol. 4, p. 89, Hadith 10362) That was an exclusive dispensation for her. Otherwise, the sitting period of a widow is 130 days (4 months and 10 days). (Al-Fatawa al-Ridawiyyah, vol. 30, p. 529)

Second marriage

In 8 AH, six months after the martyrdom of her husband, Sayyidatunā Asma married Sayyidunā Abū Bakr al-iddīq رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ. Together, they had a son, Muhammad b. Abī Bakr. Following the passing away of Sayyidunā Abū Bakr رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ, she married Sayyidunā ʿAli al-Murtaā رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ. They had a son, Yaḥyā. (Sīrat-i-Mustafā, p. 675)

Du’a of Mustafa

On the occasion of Sayyidatunā Fāimah’s marriage, the Beloved Prophet  صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم went to the home of Sayyidatunā Faimah رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ عَنْهَا while Sayyidatunā Asmā رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ عَنْهَا was there. He صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم asked, ‘What has made you remain here?’ to which she رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ عَنْهَا answered, ‘Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم! May my mother and father be sacrificed upon you! I came to serve Sayyidatunā Fāimah رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ عَنْهَا and see to her needs.’ Hearing this, his blessed eyes filled with tears and he صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم supplicated, ‘O Asma! May Allah Almighty fulfil all of your needs in this world and the Hereafter.’ (Al-Raud al-Fāʾiq, p. 278, summarised)

Her Request

The famous exegete, Sayyid Muhammad Naʿīm-ud-Dīn Muradabādī رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه writes the following in Tafseer Khazain-ul-Irfan, under verse 35 of Surah Ahzaab:

When Sayyidatunā Asmā رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ عَنْهَا returned from Ethiopia with her first husband, she رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ عَنْهَا asked the noble wives of the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم whether any verses had been revealed about women. When they replied in the negative, she turned to the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, ‘My Master! Women are at loss because they are not described in as good a manner as men.’ Thereafter, this blessed verse was revealed which listed and praised ten ranks of women alongside men. (Khazāʾin al-ʿIrfān, p. 761)




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