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

When Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) was blessed with nubuwwah, he invited Fir‘aun and his people to Allah Ta‘ala. The wife of Fir‘aun, Sayyidah Aasiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha), brought imaan in him. However, out of fear of her husband and his cruelty, she kept her imaan a secret. (Al-Kaamil fit Taareekh vol. 1, pg. 161)

Later, on the momentous occasion when Nabi Moosa and Nabi Haroon (‘alaihimas salaam) were challenged by the magicians of Fir‘aun, Sayyidah Aasiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) became worried for the welfare and safety of Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam). Hence, during the contest between him and the magicians, she was in a state of distress and anxiety. An onlooker would assume that her anxiety was on behalf of her husband, Fir‘aun, whereas she was actually worried for the sake of Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam). Thus, she continued to make du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala to assist him and bless him with victory. (Al-Bidaayah wan Nihaayah vol. 1, pg. 360)

Finally, the occasion arrived when Fir‘aun mercilessly killed his daughter’s handmaiden on account of her bringing imaan in Allah Ta‘ala (as discussed here). On that occasion, Sayyidah Aasiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) saw the handmaiden being tortured. Allah Ta‘ala lifted the veils of the unseen from her eyes, and hence as the handmaiden died, Sayyidah Aasiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) observed that angels had arrived to take her soul and escort her to the next realm. On seeing this, her imaan in Allah Ta‘ala and conviction in Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) became so strong that when Fir‘aun thereafter came to her, she boldly said to him, “May you be destroyed! How bold you are in defying Allah Ta‘ala!” Fir‘aun sarcastically replied, “Perhaps you have been overcome by the same madness that overcame the handmaiden!”

Sayyidah Aasiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) responded, “I am not mad. Rather, I have brought imaan in Allah Ta‘ala who is my Rabb, your Rabb and the Rabb of the worlds!” When Fir‘aun heard Sayyidah Aasiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) proclaim her imaan, he called her mother (in order to make her reason with her daughter). He said to her, “Your daughter has been afflicted with the same madness that afflicted the handmaiden.” Fir‘aun then threatened saying, “I take an oath that she will either die (from my torture), or she will disbelieve in the Deity of Moosa (‘alaihis salaam).”

The mother of Sayyidah Aasiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) then tried to convince her to obey Fir‘aun. However, Sayyidah Aasiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) staunchly responded, “As far as committing kufr and disbelief in Allah Ta‘ala is concerned, then by Allah, never will I do so!”

When Sayyidah Aasiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) refused to relent, Fir‘aun commanded his people to drive four pegs into the earth. He then had Sayyidah Aasiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) tied to these pegs and left her to bake under the harsh and relentless heat of the sun. However, whenever the soldiers of Fir‘aun would leave her, Allah Ta‘ala caused the angels to shade her with their wings.

Finally, Fir‘aun said to his soldiers, “Look for the biggest rock that you can find (and threaten her with it). If she remains firm on her imaan, then cast the rock onto her, and if she relents and takes back her statement of imaan then she will be my wife once more.”

As her death approached, Sayyidah Aasiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) made du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala. Her du‘aa is recorded in the Quraan Majeed in the following words. She said:

رَبِّ ابْنِ لِي عِندَكَ بَيْتًا فِي الْجَنَّةِ وَنَجِّنِي مِن فِرْعَوْنَ وَعَمَلِهِ وَنَجِّنِي مِنَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ​

O my Rabb! Build for me by You a palace in Jannah, and save me from Fir‘aun and his action (i.e. his torture), and save me from the oppressive people. (Surah Tahreem v11)

Allah Ta‘ala accepted the du‘aa of Sayyidah Aasiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) and removed the veils of the unseen, allowing her to see the angels and her palace in Jannah. On beholding this splendid and wonderful sight, Sayyidah Aasiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) began to laugh. Observing this, Fir‘aun remarked, “Look at the madness of this woman! She is undergoing torture, yet she is laughing!”

Sayyidah Aasiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) remained firm on her imaan and did not comply with the wish of Fir‘aun. Thereafter, when the soldiers raised the rock to cast it down on her body and crush her to death, Allah Ta‘ala extracted her soul from her body, saving her from the pain and suffering. Hence, when the rock was thrown onto her body, it was already lifeless.

(Al-Kaamil fit Taareekh vol. 1, pg. 161, Musnad Abi Ya’laa #6431 and Tafseer Tabari vol. 10, pg. 8115)


1. Sayyidah Aasiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) knew of the tyranny and cruelty of her husband, and she knew the torture she would suffer if she defied him and brought imaan in Allah Ta‘ala. However, when she brought imaan in Allah Ta‘ala, and the imaan settled firmly in her heart, she was prepared to face any difficulty for the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala. On account of her strong imaan, she was even prepared to be tortured rather than forego her imaan. Hence, we understand that the key to gaining firmness in Deen is to strengthen the imaan. When the imaan is strong, a person will place the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala before everything else.

2. The magnificent rewards which Allah Ta‘ala prepares for His loyal servants are such that if we had to see them, we would happily tolerate any punishment and torture. However, the test of this world is the test of imaan and believing in the unseen. We believe in these bounties, as Allah Ta‘ala and Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) informed us of them, and hence we must remain loyal and obedient to Allah Ta‘ala, though we have not seen these bounties.