|Asma' bt. Abi Bakr b. Abi Quhafa
|Abu Bakr (father) • Al-Zubayr b. al-'Awwam (spouse) • Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr (son)
|27 years before hijra
|Place of Birth
|Place(s) of Residence
Asmāʾ bt. Abī Bakr b. Abī Quḥāfa (Arabic: اَسْماء بنت ابی بکر بن ابی قحافه, d. 73/692) was one of 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.
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.
Asma', daughter of Abu Bakr was known as Dhat al-Nitaqayn. About her title, they have said that "nitaq" meant "skirt" and since she wore two skirts on each other, she was called Dhat al-Nitaqayn. Another meaning of "nitaq" is "apron" and it is said that when the Prophet (s) and Abu Bakr wanted to make their immigration toward Medina, she tore her apron in two parts and wrapped their travel provisions with it and thus she was called Dhat al-Nitaqayn and for that, the Prophet (s) prayed for her. However, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani said, "This report is mentioned in Sahih Muslim and there is no mention of granting her the mentioned title by the Prophet (s) there."
Also, when the people of Syria went to fight with Abd Allah b. Zubayr, sarcastically called him "Ibn Dhat al-Nitaqayn" (O the son of Dhat al-Nitaqayn), and they considered this a bad title for him and his mother. Maybe, this can suggest that the first opinion about this title was correct; because, based on the latter opinion, there would be no room for criticism, and it would be a cause of honor and the people of Syria who were Abd Allah b. Zubayr's enemy would refrain from admiring his mother anyway, let alone in the war with him.
Al-Hajjaj b. Yusuf too sarcastically called Abd Allah with this title, and was admonished by Asma'. Abd Allah himself expressed pride in having this title through a poem from Abu Dhu'ayb Hadhli.
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.
- A narrator of hadiths from the Prophet (s): about 60 hadiths are narrated from Asma' (who is considered by Ibn Habban as reliable) concerning prayer, hajj, zakat and Islamic issues. People such as 'Ibad b. 'Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr, 'Urwa b. al-Zubayr, Ibn Abi Malika, 'Abd Allah b. 'Abbas and Fatima bt. Mundhir narrated hadiths from her.
- 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'.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from اسماء دختر ابوبكر in Farsi WikiShia.