(Sayyidah Aasiyah [radhiyallahu ‘anha] – Part Two)

Before the birth of Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam), Fir‘aun saw a dream in which a fire approached from the direction of Baytul Muqaddas and burnt the houses of Egypt, as well as all the Coptics (the people of Fir‘aun), but left the Banu Israa-eel untouched. When he awoke, he was terrified and thus called the fortune tellers and magicians to enquire from them the interpretation of his dream. They explained that it meant that a male child will be born among the Banu Israa-eel who will become the cause of the destruction of the Egyptians and the end of his kingdom.

Fir‘aun thus ordered that every male child of the Banu Israa-eel be killed. His efforts escalated to such an extent that he mobilized a team to search for and monitor the pregnant women of the Banu Israa-eel and even allotted this task to the mid-wives. They would estimate their delivery dates and would arrive to see whether the newborn child was a male or female. If it was the former, the child would immediately be killed mercilessly.

When the mother of Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) conceived him, neither did anyone come to know of it, nor were the signs of pregnancy apparent on her. Her stomach did not increase in size and her colour did not change during the entire pregnancy. Hence, none of Fir‘aun’s men bothered or interfered with her.

Eventually, the day came when a new light had illuminated the earth through the birth of Kaleemullah, Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam). No one knew of his birth besides his mother’s sister. His mother thus concealed him for three months and looked after him during this time. However, when she feared for his life, she made a trunk (box) for him, placed him in it and placed this trunk in the river, as per inspiration from Allah Ta‘ala. Allah Ta‘ala mentions in the Quraan Majeed:

وَأَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَىٰٓ أُمِّ مُوسَىٰٓ أَنْ أَرْضِعِيهِ ۖ فَإِذَا خِفْتِ عَلَيْهِ فَأَلْقِيهِ فِى ٱلْيَمِّ وَلَا تَخَافِى وَلَا تَحْزَنِىٓ ۖ إِنَّا رَآدُّوهُ إِلَيْكِ وَجَاعِلُوهُ مِنَ ٱلْمُرْسَلِينَ​

“We inspired the mother of Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) saying, ‘Suckle him. Then once you fear about him, cast him in the river and do not fear and do not grieve. Surely, We are going to return him to you and We will make him one of (Our) Messengers.’” (Surah Qasas v6)

The trunk that was carrying Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) continued to float during the night until the river cast it to the shore near the palace of Fir‘aun. The next morning, while Fir‘aun was at the shore, he caught sight of this trunk. Seeing it, he became curious and asked his servants to bring the trunk to him. When they brought it before him and opened it, to their utter amazement there was a male child of the Banu Israa-eel. Fir‘aun became furious since he had ordered that every male child be killed. He thus exclaimed, “How did this child avoid being slaughtered whereas I have commanded the mid-wives not to conceal any newborn child!”

When Sayyidah Aasiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha), the wife of Fir‘aun, saw Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam), she was overwhelmed and her heart was consumed with his love. She thus said to Fir‘aun,

قُرَّتُ عَيْنٍ لِّى وَلَكَ ۖ لَا تَقْتُلُوهُ عَسَىٰٓ أَن يَنفَعَنَآ أَوْ نَتَّخِذَهُۥ وَلَدًا​

“(He may be) a delight of the eye for me and you. Do not kill him. Perhaps he will be of benefit to us or we may take him as a son.”

Fir‘aun responded, “Perhaps he will be of benefit to you. As for me, I do not wish to benefit from him.” Regarding this, Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) mentioned, “Had the enemy of Allah (i.e. Fir‘aun) said the same thing which his wife had said regarding (Nabi) Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) i.e. ‘Perhaps he will benefit us’, Allah Ta‘ala would have benefited him through him (Nabi Moosa [‘alaihis salaam]). However, he refused due to the misfortune which Allah Ta‘ala had (already) decreed for him.”

Fir‘aun either did not have any children or only had daughters, hence, he felt ashamed and allowed that this child’s life be spared for the sake of his wife. Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) thus grew up under the care of Sayyidah Aasiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) in the palace and home of the very person who was killing all the male children in the hope actually killing the very child he was now taking care off.

On one occasion, when Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) was a baby, he was seated in the lap of Fir‘aun when he slapped Fir‘aun and yanked his beard. This enraged Fir‘aun who addressed Sayyidah Aasiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) saying, “This (boy) is (clearly) my enemy!” He then intended to summon his soldiers to come and kill the baby.

Seeing the danger, Sayyidah Aasiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) immediately intervened and said to Fir‘aun, “Take it easy! He is just a baby, who doesn’t understand what he is doing!” Thereafter, to convince Fir‘aun that Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) could not understand what he was doing, she brought out two trays. One tray contained a precious gem, and the other contained a burning ember. If he went towards the precious gem, then it would be an indication that he could understand. On the contrary, if he went towards the burning ember, it would mean that he could not understand.

As the two trays were placed before him, Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) went towards the precious gem. However, before he could reach it, Sayyiduna Jibreel (‘alaihis salaam) came and turned his hand towards the ember. He then picked up the ember and placed it in his mouth, but threw it out when he felt it’s heat. This was the cause for the stutter which Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) had in his speech.

(Mustadrak Haakim #4097, Al-Bidaayah wan Nihaayah vol. 1, pg. 282 and Tafseer Qurtubi vol. 14, pg. 51)


1. In order to protect his kingdom from that one male child of the Banu Israa-eel, Fir‘aun went to the extent of killing thousands of innocent children in the process. He was deceived by his strength and his army, not realizing that he was actually feeding and sheltering the very one who was destined to put an end to his kingdom. This is undoubtedly a clear sign of the power and might of Allah Ta‘ala. As believers, we should endeavour to develop complete yaqeen (conviction) in Allah Ta‘ala. One way of achieving this is to repeatedly read and ponder over such incidents of the amazing power of Allah Ta‘ala.

2. The love and care which Sayyidah Aasiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) showed to Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) as a child, was perhaps the cause for her being blessed with the great bounty of imaan later on. We should therefore never underestimate any good deed or act of kindness, for we do not know which action may become the means of us enjoying great material or spiritual bounties from Allah Ta‘ala.  

3. A single statement uttered by a person, can become a means of abundant goodness and immense benefit for him, or a cause of great deprivation and untold misery. Hence, Sayyidah Aasiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) benefitted tremendously from the good statement which she uttered, whilst Fir‘aun was ruined because of his wrong utterance. It is therefore imperative for one to be extremely careful with regards to the usage of his tongue.