by Shaikh Ibrahim Memon Madani
It had been three days since they were hiding in the cave. Rasulullah (saw) and his close companion, Abu Bakr (ra), were forced to pause their migration from Makkah to Madinah and seek temporary refuge in the cave of Thawr. The disbeliever's hatred for them and the Islam they represented had reached its boiling point. The bounty was set for 100 camels for the person who would bring back Rasulullah (saw), dead or alive.
During this very perilous time, it was very difficult for anyone to send food to the Prophet (saw). None of the other Muslims knew of their whereabouts and even if they did, it was such a delicate situation in which the slightest irresponsibility and lack of shrewdness could endanger the life of the Prophet (saw).
This grand task was undertaken by none other than the young Asma radhiallahu anhaa, the daughter of Abu Bakr (ra). It appears that Allah (swt) had destined that from beginning of the Hijrah to the very end, assistance to Prophet (saw) would come from the house of Abu Bakr (ra).
Every night, Asma (radhiallahu anhaa) would quietly venture towards the shadowy mountains in which laid the cave of Thawr to take food for the Prophet of Allah (saw) and her father. Upon returning from her trip, she would send a shepard to graze his sheep over the footprints she had left. On lookers would assume that this shepard is feeding his sheep at night. Every minute detail and care was taken by this courageous twenty-seven year old woman.
Often, we just glance over this part of the history. If we reflect for a moment, we will realize how difficult it must have been for her to traverse the rocky path at night, constantly turning around to see if anyone is following her to get to Rasulullah (saw), then searching out the small dark cave, the danger of being caught and losing her life lurking over her head, and dearer than that the safety of Rasulullah (saw).
ABU JAHAL'S VISIT
Rasulullah's (saw) migration at night was so secretive that the disbelievers had no clue as to when he left. They had plotted to kill him one particular night and stationed many people, all from different tribes, surrounding his house. The moment he was to come out, they would collectively stab him so that no single tribe would be blamed for the murder. People plan, and Allah (swt) too plans and He is the best of Planners. Rasulullah (saw) was obeying the orders of Allah (swt). He left for his journey from amongst them and they did not see him leaving. After sunrise they knew that Rasulullah (saw) had already left his home.
The chief of the disbelievers, Abu Jahl, quickly headed for Abu Bakr's (ra) home. If anyone knew the whereabouts of Rasulullah (saw), it would be Abu Bakr (ra). Little did he know that he too had left. He began violently knocking at the door. Asma radhiallahu anhaa opens the door to a fuming Abu Jahl who demands, "Where is your father?!!" She wittingly remarked, "How would I know?" This response shows the wisdom and courage of Asma radhiallahu anhaa, who didn't make a statement that would give them away nor did she have to lie. She simply posed a question back.
But Abu Jahl was very intelligent. His gut instinct told him that Abu Bakr (ra) too had left for the migration with the Prophet (saw). Enraged at his apparent defeat, he slapped Asma radhiallahu anhaa across the face with so much force that her earring fell down. Nonetheless, she stood firm and didn't apologize to him for anything. After all, what was there to apologize for? The message of Islam was true and the mission of Rasulullah (saw) was not a crime; it was the simple calling of people to worship the One True God.
TRUST IN ALLAH (swt)
Her grandfather, Abu Quhafaa who was a disbeliever at that time, visited her one day to see how she was doing. He was very old and had become blind. He said to her, "Asma, I think Abu Bakr must have taken all of the wealth and left only you guys behind, empty handed." He continued talking bad about his son and his irresponsibility towards his family over "that Prophet." Asma radhiallahu anhaa couldn't tolerate such belligerence towards the Prophet of Allah (saw). Her taqwa and Imaan refused her to sit and listen to that nonsense. She quickly ran to the corner of home, gathered some pebbles and put them inside a cloth. "Come grandfather, look all this he left behind for us." He touched the cloth and thought it was full with gold and jewelry. His concern was alleviated. Again, Asma radhiallahu anhaa used her intelligence to peacefully silence and comfort her grandfather.
On one hand, we see her contentment with her father having taken all the wealth and no complaints to the grandfather. And on the other, we see trust in Allah (swt) and the dedication of Abu Bakr (ra) who took all of his wealth in case Rasulullah (saw) need anything during the journey or in Madinah. And so it happened that the masjid of the Prophet (saw) was bought with the money Abu Bakr (ra) gave to Rasulullah (saw).
HONORED DAUGHTER, WIFE, & MOTHER
Asma radhiallahu anhaa was amongst the early few who accepted Islam and accordingly, was amongst the Al-Sabiqoon. She was the daughter of Abu Bakr Al-Siddique (ra), the wife of Zubair bin Awwam (one of the ten Sahabi guaranteed Paradise by Rasulullah (saw)), and the mother of Abdullah bin Zubair (ra). He was such a devout person that Sahabah (ra) themselves used to call him, "the pillar of the masjid." This was because he used to stand for such duration in Salah that pigeons would come sit on him thinking he was a pillar of the masjid.
Asma radhiallahu anhaa also had the great honor of being the first woman amongst the Muhajireen to give birth in Madinah. This was highly significant because some people had spread rumors that they had performed a very powerful black magic which will prevent any of the Muhajireen women from having children. The Sahabah (ra) became increasingly concerned as time passed and no one child was being born. Abdullah's (ra) birth brought everyone great joy and relief.
Asma radhiallahu anhaa always encouraged her son from childhood to sit in the company of the Prophet (saw). This is a theme we see in the lives of all the virtuous noteworthy people of the past; they spent ages in the company of the pious and the learned.
As this young boy is attending the lectures of Rasulullah (saw) and traveling with him, the love between the two was continually increasing. Sometimes, Rasulullah (saw) would request Abdullah (ra) to perform errands.
One day, Rasulullah (saw) had some blood drawn. He gave it to Abdullah (ra) to dispose of and provided discrete instructions: "Dispose of it in some safe place where no one would step on it". Abdullah (ra) was only a young child. He thought about where he could put it where no one would step on it, but anywhere he went, he realized if he could go there, so could someone else. So this young boy thought the best thing is for me to just drink this blood. This way it will be disposed and the command fulfilled.
"Where did you dispose of the blood I gave you?" asked Rasulullah (saw). "I drank it, O Prophet of Allah (saw)". He admonished him saying, "You are not supposed to drink blood, it is forbidden". After Abdullah (ra) left, Rasulullah (saw) told the Sahabah (ra), "Whosever's blood is mixed with mine, the hellfire will not touch him." What a great certificate Asma radhiallahu anhaa had: Her father, husband, and son have all been guaranteed safety from the Hellfire.
In the year 63 Hijrah, Abdullah bin Zubair (ra) was chosen to be Khalifah of the Muslims in Hijaaz. This was after the reign of Yazid. After he was appointed Khalifa, Abdul Malik bin Marwaan opposed him. Abdul Malik appointed Hajjaj bin Yusuf with tremendous army to attack him in Makkah. The army was so large that most of the supporters of Abdullah (ra) deserted him and decided not to fight.
Abdullah (ra) went to his mother for advice. "Mother, all the people have left me. What do you think I should do?" She responded, "Son, what do you mean by asking this?" He said, "Mom, I only have a few people willing to fight with me. If I don't surrender, surely these people will be killed as would I." She boldly responded, "Son, if you are fighting for the Deen of Allah (swt), then why give up? And if it was for your own ego or to obtain position, then no one is worse than you on the face of this earth." He continued, "Mom, it is only for the sake of Allah (swt). But I fear that after they kill me, they will mutilate my body and it will be very difficult for you to bear this." She finally responded, "Son, what are you talking about? The goat never worries of what will happen to it after it is killed. The skinning afterwards never hurts the goat nor does he worry about it."
Abdullah (ra) was martyred at the age of 72, leaving behind his old widowed mother. Asma radhiallahu anhaa set a superb example for all of our women and certainly, what else is to be expected from the daughter of Al-Siddique? May Allah (swt) grant them the highest place in Jannah for their sacrifices for the Ummah and may He give us tawfeeq to preserve their efforts and sacrifices. Ameen!!!