Asmā' bint Abi Bakr
She was Abu Bakr's daughter. Her mother was Qutaylah bint Abd-al-Uzza, and she was the full sister of Abdullah ibn Abi Bakr. Her half-sisters were Aisha and Umm Kulthum bint Abi Bakr, and her half-brothers were Abdul-Rahman ibn Abi Bakr and Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr. She also had a stepmother from the Kinana tribe, Umm Ruman bint Amir, and a stepbrother, al-Tufayl ibn al-Harith al-Azdi. The historians Ibn Kathir and Ibn 'Asakir cite a tradition that Asma was 10 years older than Aisha; but according to Al-Dhahabi, the age difference was thirteen to nineteen years.
Early Life: 595–610
Islam in Mecca: 610–622
When Muhammad and Abu Bakr sought refuge in the cave of Thoor outside Mecca on their migration to Medina in 622, Asma used to carry food to them under cover of dark. When the Muhammad and Abu Bakr left the cave, Asma tied the goods with the two belts of her cover, and for this ingenuity she received from Muhammad the title Dhat an Nitaqayn meaning She of the Two Belts.
Medina: 623 onwards
Asma found her new neighbours to be "sincere women". She was a poor baker, and they used to make bread for her. She and Al-Zubayr arrived in Medina with "neither property nor slave nor any possession in the earth other than his horse." Asma used to feed the horse, taking it out to graze and grinding date-stones for it. Muhammad gave Al-Zubayr some date-palms in Medina, and Asma used to carry date-stones on her head from the garden to their home, a journey of about two miles. One day she passed Muhammad, who offered her a lift home on his camel, but fearing her husband’s jealousy, she modestly refused. Al-Zubayr told her, however, that she should have accepted rather than carry such a heavy load on foot. When Abu Bakr eventually gave them a slave, Asma said that "it was as if he had set me free."
Her mother Qutayla bint Abduluzza came to visit her in Medina, bringing gifts of dates, ghee and mimosa leaves. Asma would not admit her to the house or accept the gifts until she had sent her sister Aisha to consult with Muhammad. Muhammad advised that it was correct for Asma to show hospitality to her mother”
Asma and Al-Zubayr had eight children.
- Umm al-Hasan.
- Urwa, a major transmitter of ahadith.
Asma was unhappy in her married life, for Al-Zubayr was "the most jealous of people" and "hard on her." He took three additional wives in Medina, and "whenever Zubayr was angry with one of us, he used to beat her until the stick broke." She complained to her father, who advised her: “My daughter, be patient. When a woman has a righteous husband and he dies and she does not remarry after him, they will be reunited in the Garden.” Another of Al-Zubayr's wives, Umm Kulthum bint Uqba, also complained of his "harshness" and "pestered" him into divorcing her after only a few months.
Al-Zubayr eventually divorced Asma "and took Urwa, who was young at that time."
The Battle of Yarmouk
The Battle of Yarmouk in 636 is regarded as one of the most decisive battles in military history. The Muslims were hugely outnumbered by the Romans but, with the help of the women and the young boys amongst them, they drove the Roman Empire out of Syria.
Women like Hind bint Utbah and Asma bint Abi Bakr were instrumental in the Battle of Yarmouk. The earliest histories pay great tribute to Asmā's bravery there. Al-Waqidi wrote that the Quraysh women fought harder than the men. Every time the men ran away, the women fought, fearing that if they lost, the Romans would enslave them.
Asma's opposition to Yazid
Asma’s son, Abdullah, and his cousin, Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr, were both grandsons of Abu Bakr and nephews of Aisha. When Hussein ibn Ali was killed in Karbala, Abdullah, who had been Hussein’s friend, collected the people of Mecca and rose up against Yazid. When he heard about this, Yazid had a silver chain made and sent to Mecca with the intention of having Walid ibn Utbah arrest Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr with it. In Mecca and Medina Hussein’s family had a strong support base, and the people were willing to stand up for them. Hussein’s remaining family moved back to Madina. Eventually Abdullah consolidated his power by sending a governor to Kufa. Soon Abdullah established his power in Iraq, southern Arabia, the greater part of Syria and parts of Egypt.
Yazid tried to end Abdullah's rebellion by invading the Hejaz, and he took Medina after the Battle of al-Harrah followed by the siege of Mecca. His sudden death ended the campaign and threw the Umayyads into disarray, with civil war eventually breaking out. After the Umayyad civil war ended, Abdullah lost Egypt and whatever he had of Syria to Marwan I. This, coupled with the Kharijite rebellions in Iraq, reduced his domain to only the Hejaz.
Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr was finally defeated by Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, who sent Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf. Hajjaj was from Ta’if, as were those who had killed Hussein. Abdullah asked his mother Asma what he should do, then left to take on Hajjaj. Hajjaj’s army defeated and Abdullah on the battlefield in 692. The defeat of Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr re-established Umayyad control over the Empire.
Asma was 17th person who became Muslim and she was 10 years older than her sister, Aisha. She passed away ten days after death of her son while she was 100 years old and all of her teeth were healthy. It was in the year 73 AH
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Original text: وكانت هي وأختها عائشة وأبوها أبو بكر الصديق، وجدها أبو عتيق، وابنها عبد الله، وزوجها الزبير صحابيين رضي الله عنهم. وقد شهدت اليرموك مع ابنها وزوجها، وهي أكبر من أختها عائشة بعشر سنين.
English translation: She, her sister Aisha, her father Abu Bakr, her grandfather Abu Atiq, her son Abdullah, and her husband al-Zubair were Companions - God bless them -. She participated in the Battle of Yarmouk with her son and her husband, and she is ten years older than her sister Aisha.
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