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16 June 2019 CE | 13 Shawwal 1440 AH
Explanation below

Hadith Explanation

Aasiya, the Queen of Egypt

Abu Hurairah (radi Allahu anhu) narrated that Firaun (the Pharaoh) had tied his wife Aasiya in four fetters, two each in her hands and feet. When the guards of Firaun went away, the angels would provide her with shade and she would exclaim: “My Lord, build for me a house in the Garden, in Your Presence, and deliver me from Firaun and his doings and deliver me from the evil doing people.” (Quran 66:11) So Allah disclosed her house in Paradise to her. [Abu Yala, As-Suyuti]

In Surah Tahreem, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has presented the example of Aasiya to the believers, so that she is remembered for all times to come. Aasiya bint Mazahim was the wife of Firaun and thus the queen of Egypt. She rejected Firaun’s claim to divinity, believed in the message of her adopted son Musa (alaihis salam), and was a believer in the unity of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala). When Firaun learnt of her Islam he had her cruelly tortured.

Torture is unbearable for anyone, but a queen is additionally weakened by habits. Yet, faith is such a power that it can allow one to endure every kind of injustice and cruelty. Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) does not forsake those who endure persecution for His sake. Rather, He is with them at every step and strengthens them with special forces so that their condition becomes bearable for them. Thus also were angels sent to Aasiya who provided her with shade and showed her her palace in Jannah.

Salman al-Farisi (radi Allahu anhu) narrated: “During her torture, Aasiya suffered excruciating pain at the hands of her prosecutors, and sometimes the angels would cover her with their wings, and this protected her from feeling pain, and she would be able to see her dwellings in Paradise, and towards which she kept on aspiring.” [Hilyat-ul Awliya wa Tabaqaat al-Asfiya by Imam Abu Naim al-Asfahani]

Similar experiences are narrated by people who have undergone extreme torture because of being Muslim. Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) often sends angels to such people who report that all of a sudden they stop experiencing the pain. Other miracles also happen for them. One person reports that when he was released the state of his eeman was such that he could understand the communication of ants. For others, food and drink appears, as it did for Khubaib (radi Allahu anhu) before his crucifixion by the Quraish.

“In another narration of the above hadith, it is reported that during her torture, suddenly, Aasiya looked up and smiled, and whatever physical toryure descended upon her, it felt painless, and that boggled the minds of her torturers, who immediately stopped and called their master to witness, but when Pharaoh arrived, Aasiya had passed away.” [Hilyat-ul Awliya wa Tabaqaat al-Asfiya by Imam Abu Naim al-Asfahani] It is the scene of Jannat that they are shown, or the beautiful angels who come to receive them, that puts a smile on the face of the Shuhada.

We also learn from this hadith that guidance is not some kind of property that one can inherit. There have been prophets whose wives have been disbelievers, while here we see that the wife of the most tyrannical disbeliever, living in the most luxurious conditions of her time, accepted belief in Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) and patiently bore the consequences of her Islam. The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) told us that she is one of the four perfect women to have ever lived. [Stories From The Hadith by Mohammad Zakariya Iqbal]

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