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Asma' bt. Abi Bakr

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Sahaba
Asma' bt. Abi Bakr
Personal Information
Full Name Asma' bt. Abi Bakr b. Abi Quhafa
Lineage Quraysh
Well-Known Relatives Abu Bakr (father), Al-Zubayr b. al-'Awwam (spouse), 'Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr (son)
Birth 27 years before hijra
Place of Birth Mecca
Muhajir/Ansar Muhajir
Place(s) of Residence Mecca, Medina
Death/Martyrdom 73/692
Burial Place Mecca
Religious Information
Migration to Medina

Asmāʾ bt. Abī Bakr b. Abī Quḥāfa (Arabic: اَسْماء بنت ابی بکر بن ابی قحافه, (d. 73/692) was one of the Prophet Muhammad's (s) Sahaba and one of the first people who converted to Islam. She was al-Zubayr b. al-'Awwam's wife and 'Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr's mother. On one account, al-Zubayr divorced her at the request of his son, 'Abd Allah. Asma' lived a long life. She lived a few days after the murder of her son, 'Abd Allah, and died at the age of 100.

Biography

Asma' was born 27 years before Hijra in Mecca. She was 10 years older than her sister, 'A'isha. She converted to Islam when she was a child at the request of her father, Abu Bakr b. Abi Quhafa. She was the 18th person who converted to Islam. Asma' was married to al-Zubayr b. al-'Awwam, and they had children. Their marriage was the first temporary marriage in Islam.

Her best-known children are 'Abd Allah and Mus'ab. Asma' was one of the Muslims who migrated from Mecca to Medina. She accompanied al-Zubayr in the Battle of Yarmuk. However, she and al-Zubayr got divorced after a while, and she stayed in Mecca together with her son, 'Abd Allah, until his murder. It is said that 'Abd Allah forced his father to divorce Asma'. It is said that al-Zubayr strongly beat her, so she took refuge to her son, 'Abd Allah, and stayed with him until his murder.

She lived a long life. After her son's murder, she became frail and blind. There is controversy over the time of her death. However, it is certain that she died a few days after her son's murder.

The Revelation of a Qur'anic Verse about Asma'

On some accounts, the Qur'anic verse, 60:8, was revealed about her. When Qatila bt. 'Abd al-'Uza, Asma's mother, went to her with some gifts, she rejected her gifts and refused to let her come inside her house because she was not a Muslim. She then asked the Prophet Muhammad (s) about this and the Prophet (s) permitted her to accept her mother's gifts. The story was narrated by her son, 'Abd Allah. Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti cited the story both from 'Abd Allah and Asma' herself. However, some exegetes of the Qur'an hold that the verse was revealed about Banu Hashim.

Characteristics

  • Poet: Asma' composed poems as well. However, only 7 verses of poems remained from her, and the attribution of 3 of them to her is doubtful.
  • Interpreter of dreams: Asma' was an interpreter of dreams. Sa'id b. Musayyib, one of the best-known interpreters of dreams, learned it from Asma'.

References