Asma bint Abu Bakr (ra), the daughter of the Prophet’s closest companion Abu Bakr Sideeq (ra), the sister of the Prophet’s beloved wife ‘Aishah (ra), the wife of another companion of Rasoolullah (saw) Zubair ibn al-Awwam (ra), and the mother of another eminent companion Abdullah ibn az-Zubair. She has a lot to her credit. When Abu Bakr Sideeq (ra) accepted Islam, he rushed to spread the message in his family. While his wife Qutaylah bint Abdul Uzza refused, his two children including Asma (ra) readily embraced it. She is a woman known for her piety, farsightedness, courage and generosity.
Let’s look at her characteristics individually.
When the Prophet (saw) and Abu Bakr (ra) were seeking refuge in the cave of Thawr, Asma (ra) came to deliver them food and water. But she did not have a piece of rope or string to tie the food with. Acting on instinct, she tore her girdle (or waist-wrapper) into two and tied the items to the camels. This act got her the title of Dhaat al-Nitaaqayn (she of the two girdles).
She was the daughter of the man who rushed to serve Allah (swt) and the Prophet of Allah (saw). She grew up seeing her father looking for solutions and helping others rather than creating hurdles or panicking. And when she was in a tough situation herself she did not refrain from looking for solutions.
Lessons to draw: Become a problem solver. Look for opportunities. If Allah (swt) has put you in this, He will definitely bring you out. Have you considered all the options?
When the Prophet (saw) and Abu Bakr (ra) left for Madina, their greatest enemy Abu Jahl began searching for them frantically. Not finding them anywhere, he came to Abu Bakr’s house enraged and asked for him. Asma (ra) replied that she did not know where her father was. Abu Jahl, drowned in insolence, slapped Asma (ra) hard. But this courageous woman did not falter or betray her father’s secret.
Lessons to draw: Be strong. Life will throw you challenges that you need to stand up to. Fear none because our belief is: “Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us,” (9: 51).
Intelligence and Wisdom
Each time that the Prophet (saw) called out to people to spend in the way of Allah (swt), we read that Abu Bakr (ra) was the foremost and the most generous. Upon seeing all that he brought, he would be asked if he left anything for his dependents. He would reply that he left Allah and His Prophet (saw) for them. When the command to migrate came, Abu Bakr (ra) gathered all his wealth and financed the journey.
His father, Abu Quhafa, was not unaware of his son’s benevolence. When he learnt of his son’s migration to Madina he said to his granddaughter that their father had put them in adversity and deprived them of himself and property. Asma (ra), the courageous daughter of a brave man, did not allow her grandfather’s comments to weaken her resilience. Instead of complaining of her father’s attitude, she replied, “No, he left so much to us.” She covered some stones and brought them to her grandfather and said, “This is what he left.” Abu Quhafa being blind could not see what he was touching, he said, “There is no blame if he left that.” Asma (ra) not only covered up for her father, but she desired to comfort her grandfather as well.
Lessons to draw: Keep your private matters private. Complain less and become a source of comfort, instead. Cover up for others and Allah (swt) will cover up for you, in sha Allah.
(Adapted from the book: Seerat e Sahabiyat k Darakshan Pehlu by and the lectures of Dr. Farhat Hashmi: Seerat e Sahabiyat)