She is an excellent example of self-dignity and pride ..She faced two tyrants stubbornly. One of them is Abu Jabl, 'Amr ibn Hisham, the Pharaoh of this Ummah, according to the title the Messenger of Allab peace be upon him gave him. And the second one is Hajjaj
ibn Yoosuf ath-Thaqafi.
She was a paternal sister of A'ishah and she was some years older than her, for she was born seventeen years before the Prophet peace be upon him was commissioned. Asma' had embraced '.A'ishah since when she was young. She was in fact like a mother to her.
So, '.A'ishah grew up loving Asma', respecting her and giving her due preference. Asma' peace be upon him witnessed the noble Prophetic commissioning in every single aspect. There is no wonder! She was a valuable member of Abu Bakr's household which was - of the all the households of Makkah - the place of refuge and rest for the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him. The Prophet peace be upon him would visit the houses of his earliest Companion occasionally but he would not miss visiting Abu Bakr's house every day. This is according to what '.A'ishah peace be upon him told us.
This was the case until the day of Prophet's migration after thirteen years of calling people to Islam and in which the Muslims met the severest obstinacy and cruelest confrontation from the tyrants of ignorance. All this confrontation increased Asma' in nothing but resilience and strength. The Prophet's movement- in the company of his Companion Abu Bakr to the Cave of Thawr to hide commenced from the house of Abu Bakr. It was from here that roles were apportioned.
'Abdullah ibn Abu Bakr was to go and eavesdrop and get the words and movements of the polytheists. He would then bring the news to the Messenger peace be upon him and his father in the night and then go back to Makkah.
Amir ibn Fuhayrah, the free slave of Abu Bakr and the shepherd of his sheep would herd his flock at the heels of' Abdullah to erase his footprints, so that no one would know his movements. He would then bring the sheep close to the cave, milk them and give the
evening milk to the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him and his Companion.
Asma' would prepare food in their house and would then secretly cany it away far from the sight of the unjust people. Anyone who follows the way from Makkah to the Cave of Thawr through the
rocky and rugged mountainous paths will realize how astute Asma' was.
In the morning of the night of Hijrah, the Quraysh were at a loss because the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him had escaped from his house in between two young men whom the Quraysh had positioned at his door to watch him. He escaped their attention reciting the verse:
And We have covered them up, so that they cannot see.
(Qur'an 36: 9)
He escaped safely and unhurt, surrounded with Allah's care through His noble Angels to the house of Abu Bakr and from there to the Cave of Thawr. Abu Jahl, having become frantic and losing his senses when he heard that the Prophet peace be upon him had escaped came to Abu Bakr's house. He knocked the door and Asma' came out to meet him. She asked her of her father's whereabouts and she replied confidently, proudly and courageously, while noticing the sparkles of fire in the eyes of this tyrant, "I don't know." Facing another unbearable disappointment and unable to control himself, Abu Jahl gave her a very hard slap on her face. That slap was so hard that her rings flew off her ears. But she was unconcerned and rather stood there like a fonnidable dam in front of that tyrant until he tuned back and left.
The history will forever remember this event in the life of Asma'. The truthful believers who fight in the cause of Allah will never forget it; neither will the truthful believing women who fight in
the cause of Allah, who migrate for the sake of Allah and who worship Allah devotedly forget it.
On the day of departure from the cave to Yathrib (which was to be later known as Madeenah), Asrna' prepared the provision for the great journey. But she forgot to include the ribbon for tying the food container and the water skin to the camel. As a clever and smart lady,.
she removed her girdle, tore it into two and used one of them to tie the food container and the other to tie the water skin.
The Messenger of Allah peace be upon him smilingly looked at her and said:
"Indeed, Allah has given you, in exchange for this girdle, two girdles in Paradise." This saying of the Prophet was the greatest testimony and the most honourable one, for that matter, for this woman. It is a great source of pride for her, though she had the modesty and amicability of the believer.
Asma' later married az-Zubayr ibn al-' Awwam. Az-Zubayr was not wealthy. He had only a horse on which he fought in the way of Allah. So Asma' lived with him in that great discomfort.
Her son, 'UlWah narrated from her that she said, "Az-Zubayr married me while he owned nothing but his horse. So I would feed it, take care of it and mark it. I would also grind the kernels and I would carry the kernels from az-Zubayr's finn."Asma' found nothing wrong in serving her husband and her home and taking part in shouldering the responsibilities. Perhaps, she carried the greatest responsibility. All that did not have any impact on her self-dignity. It rather increased her in resilience and strength. She was one of the first and the most brilliant female students who leamed from the Prophet's teachings. Perhaps, her stand against I;Iajjah ibn Yoosuf though she had become old and her age was close to one hundred years, and she
had become frail and lost her sight is the best indication of her perpetually young heart and brilliance of her great faith. Her son, 'Abdullah was defeated in his battle against Hajjaj in Makkah after a historically unparalleled battle and gallantry written down on pages of history with illuminating words.
She said about her situation: "When az-Zubayr married me, he had neither land, nor wealth, nor slave, nor anything else like it, except a camel to get water and his horse. I used to graze his horse, provide fodder for it, look after it and ground dates for his camel. Besides this, I grazed the camel, made arrangements for providing it with water and patching up his leather bucket and kneading the flour. I was not very good at baking the bread, so my female neighbors used to bake bread for me and they were sincere women. And I used to carry on my head, the date-stones from the land of az-Zubayr which the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam had endowed him and it was a distance of two miles from Madeenah. One day, as o was carrying the date-stones upon my head, I happened to meet Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, along with a group of his Companions. He called me and told the camel to sit down so that he could make me ride behind him. I felt shy to go with men and I remembered az-Zubayr and his Gheerah (Gheerah is the sense of pride that a man has which causes him to dislike his wives, daughters or sisters from being seen or heard by strangers. It is this gheerah which makes a man protective about his women) and he was a man having the most gheerah. The Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam understood my shyness and left. I came to az-Zubayr and said: "The Messenger of Allaah met me as I was carrying date-stones upon my head and there was with him a group of his Companions. He told the camel to kneel so that I could mount it but I felt shy from him and I remembered your gheerah." Upon this az-Zubayr said: "By Allaah, the thought of you carrying date-stones upon your head is more severe a burden to me than you riding with him."
I led this life of hardship until Abu Bakr sent me a female servant who took upon herself the responsibility of looking after the horse and I felt as if she had emancipated me." (Reported in Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (eng. Trans. Vol.7 p.111 no.151))*
The hero, 'Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr fell in that battle and Hajaj ordered him crucified. He vowed that he would not bring him down from the cross until his mother interceded on his behalf, thereby wanting to crush her sense of pride and dignity. But she never did!
Ibn as-Sakan reported on the authority of Yahya at-Taymi from
his father that he said: "I entered Makkah after Ibn az-Zubayr was killed and I saw him crucified. I saw his mother Asma' who was a tall, blind old woman.
She went to Haijaj and stood before him and said, 'Is it not time for this rider to dismount?' Hajaj responded, 'He is a hypocrite! But his mother retorted, 'No, he was never a hypocrite. He was rather a constant performer of voluntary fasting and prayer.' Haijaj then said, 'Go away, you old and senile woman.' She again retorted, 'I am not senile. I have heard the Messenger of Allah (*) saying that there would come out ofthe tribe of Thaqeef a liar and a ruthless murderer.
As for the liar, we have already seen him, as for the ruthless murderer, it is you.'"
The tyrant Hajjaj could not find any way to suppress this believing, truthful and persevering woman. And he had no other choice than to bring the corpse of 'Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr down
from the cross. Asma' only lived for few days after this event and then died.
May Allah be pleased with her and please her!
* She was referring to Musaylamah the Liar; he was also of the Thaqeef tribe.