Ustadha Zaynab Ansari, in partnership with Muslimah Media, speaks in a 6-part series about women who are documented in the Quran.
Aasiyah, wife of the Pharaoh
Aasiyah is significant in many ways. Firstly, she is connected to Prophet Musa, one of the five greatest Prophets and the most-mentioned in the Quran. She played a huge role in his life, saving him from certain death and raising him to adulthood. Her care enabled him to grow up to be the man who lead the liberation of the people of Israel. Secondly, she displayed immense courage, standing up for her faith even against her own husband.
A Maternal Figure
Prophet Musa was born at a time when the Pharaoh was killing all the newborn boys of the Banu Israel, to ensure that they did not defeat him. His mother was divinely inspired to put him in a basket and release him into the river. He was found by Aasiyah and her attendants. Aasiyah, who did not have children of her own, convinced the Pharaoh to allow her to adopt him. He agreed, and the young Prophet Musa was raised in the royal palace.
Eventually, Allah revealed the message to Musa. He confronted the Pharoah with it, and asked him to release the Banu Israel. He performed many miracles to prove himself. Aasiyah witnesses all this, and said, “I believe in the Lord of Musa.” In a beautiful prayer preserved in the Quran, she asked Allah to build her a house in Jannah with Him, and free her from the evildoers. Because of her faith, she was tortured to death by her own husband, the Pharoah.
Her story may have ended tragically in a material context. But it is preserved in the Quran to this day, along with the promise of her high rank in Paradise.