(Sayyidah Aasiyah bintu Muzaahim [radhiyallahu ‘anha] – Part One)

Sayyidah Aasiyah bintu Muzaahim (radhiyallahu ‘anha) was the wife of Fir‘aun, the ruler over Egypt. Fir‘aun was one of the worst and most cruel tyrants that the world has ever seen, and he did not hesitate to torture and kill anyone who defied him and refused to worship him. Despite the danger that she faced through defying her husband, Sayyidah Aasiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) still brought imaan in Allah Ta‘ala.

It was perhaps this great sacrifice which she had underwent for the sake of her imaan and Deen that secured her a very high rank and lofty position in the sight of Allah Ta‘ala. She thus ranks among the five greatest women whom the world has ever seen, viz. Sayyidah Aasiyah, Sayyidah Maryam, Sayyidah Khadeejah, Sayyidah ‘Aaishah and Sayyidah Faatimah (radhiyallahu ‘anhunna).

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has mentioned her virtue in many ahaadeeth, some of which are:

In one hadeeth, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) bore testimony to the high rank of Sayyidah Aasiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) saying, “From the women of the world, (the following women are) sufficient for you (as examples of the best and most pious of women. They) are Sayyidah Maryam bintu ‘Imraan, Sayyidah Khadeejah bintu Khuwailid, Sayyidah Faatimah bintu Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), and Sayyidah Aasiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhunna), the wife of Fir‘aun.” (Sunan Tirmizi #3878)

On one occasion, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) drew four lines on the ground. He then asked the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum), “Do you know what this is?” They replied saying that Allah and His Rasool (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) know best. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) then explained his illustration saying, “The best women of Jannah are: Khadeejah bintu Khuwailid, Faatimah bintu Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), Aasiyah bintu Muzaahim, the wife of Fir‘aun, and Maryam bintu ‘Imraan (radhiyallahu ‘anhunna). And the superiority of ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) over all other women (in the comprehensiveness of her nature, temperament and personality) is like the superiority of the thareed dish over all other foods.” (Musnad Ahmad #2668)

In another narration, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has said, “Many men have attained perfection, however, among the women only Aasiyah, the wife of Fir‘aun, and Maryam bintu ‘Imraan (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) have attained perfection.” (Saheeh Bukhaari #3411)

Certain narrations (which have been classified as weak by the muhadditheen) even mention that Sayyidah Aasiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) will be bestowed with the honour to be one of the wives of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) in Jannah. (Tabraani – Majma‘uz Zawaaid #15236/7/8)

Insha-Allah, incidents and important lessons from her life, will be discussed in the parts to follow.