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The Believing Queen: Asiyah bint Muzahim

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Read the story of the wife of Pharaoh, Asiyah bint Muzahim, who was the first to believe in Prophet Moses and endure the severe torture of Pharaoh for the sake of God.

She grew up as a queen in the palaces of Pharaoh enjoying the life of kings. She also saw the brutality of power, the tyranny of the absolute ruler, and the obedience of the followers and the parish. However, the light of faith has illuminated her soul, penetrated her heart and lightened her insight. She quickly became bored with the life of misguidance and sought refuge in the shades of faith. She supplicated God to save her from this life. He answered her supplication and made her an example for the believers. She is Asiyah bint Muzahim (may Allah be pleased with her.

God said,

And Allah presents an example of those who believed: the wife of Pharaoh, when she said, “My Lord, build for me near You a house in Paradise and save me from Pharaoh and his deeds and save me from the wrongdoing people.” (At-Tahrim 66:11)

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: «The best women of Paradise are Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, Fatima bint Muhammad, Aasyah bint Muzahim, the wife of Pharaoh and Maryam bint `Imran.» [Ahmed]

She is Asiyah bint Muzahim, the wife of Pharaoh, whom the Qur’an made an everlasting example for the believing truthful woman. As she knew the path of truth, she paved it without fear of the falsehood and the injustice of her people. She had unshaken faith in Allah. Thus, the threats and warns of Pharaoh did not discourage her from moving on in her faith or keep her away from the way of guidance and truth. She made a fruitful business with God and sold the high standing, palaces and life of the queens in return for a big price, a house in paradise.

Lady Asiyah was mentioned in the story of Moses (peace be upon him) when Allah revealed to the mother of Moses to place him in a box and throw this box in the river. The waves took the box towards the shores where the palace of Pharaoh lied. The maids took the child and brought him to the wife of Pharaoh who loved him so much Moses once she saw him in the box.

Pharaoh attempted to kill Moses, as he used to do with all children born to the Israelis, but his wife asked him to keep Moses alive to substitute for her neediness to children. It is the care of God who protected Moses from Pharaoh and made Moses live in the house of Pharaoh himself, as He says:

And We inspired to the mother of Moses, “Suckle him; but when you fear for him, cast him into the river and do not fear and do not grieve. Indeed, We will return him to you and will make him [one] of the messengers.” And the family of Pharaoh picked him up [out of the river] so that he would become to them an enemy and a [cause of] grief. Indeed, Pharaoh and Haman and their soldiers were deliberate sinners. And the wife of Pharaoh said, “[He will be] a comfort of the eye for me and for you. Do not kill him; perhaps he may benefit us, or we may adopt him as a son.” And they perceived not. (Al-Qasas 28:7-9)

The Lady Asiyah was of pure nature, conscious mind and kind heart. She denied the madness that her husband has and did not believe that his claims of Godhood or Lordship.

When Moses grew up and moved to Midian to escape the oppression of Pharaoh and his soldiers, then returned to Egypt again – after being sent by God – the wife of Pharaoh was among the first ones who believed in Moses, which was quickly discovered by Pharaoh. He became mad with her as he did not imagine that his life partner would once disbelieve in him and disobey him. He inflicted severe punishment upon her to get back to her old belief but she remained locked on the faith of God and beard the painful aches.

Pharaoh gave orders to his soldiers to cast her down, and tie her between four pegs and mercilessly whip her. She endured this extremely painful torment patiently. Therefore, he commanded the soldiers to put a quern on her chest and to throw a big stone on her. She implored Allah to protect her from Pharaoh and his work.

Allah accepted her supplication and she passed away to move to Paradise for which she beard all this torture. She deserved to be on of the women of paradise. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Many men reached perfection but none among the women reached perfection except Mary, the daughter of ‘ `Imran, and Asia, Pharaoh’s wife. And the superiority of `Aisha to other women is like the superiority of Tharid to other kinds of food.” (Al-Bukhari)

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Source: Translated and adapted from a book entitled “Mashaheer An-Nisaa’ Al-Muslimat” (Famous Muslim Women) by Sheikh `Ali bin Nayif Al-Shahud.

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