She was the daughter of Yazid ibn Sakan and Umm Saad bint Khuzaim. Her husband was Abu Saeed Ansari, and Muath ibn Jabal (ra) was her cousin.
Asma bint Yazid (ra) was another woman blessed with eloquence of speech though she was not a poetess. Because of her well-articulated and convincing statements she was given the title of ‘the Woman Orator.’ She was sensitive and at the same time daring. She trained herself for the battles and ardently participated in them.
Desire to Learn
Asma (ra) embraced Islam upon the Dawah call of Musab ibn Umair (ra). After embracing Islam, she wasted no time in seeking knowledge. She was a regular participant of the Prophet’s gatherings and never hesitated from asking questions. She believed that asking questions increased knowledge. One day, acting as an attorney of women, she asked the Prophet (sa):
“Today, I have come into your presence to plead the case for women. Allah (swt) sent you as His Prophet for all mankind – men and women. We women also have had the privilege and honour of swearing allegiance to Allah (swt) and you. We also follow your teachings and your Sunnah. We women live within our houses and fulfil our duties. We are absorbed in looking after our husbands and fulfilling their needs. We see to the upbringing of our children and to the daily function of the household. Men, however, have more opportunities for earning rewards from Allah (swt) because they can do things which we, as women, cannot do. Men attend the congregational prayers in the mosques and special Friday prayers. They participate in the funeral prayer; they also have the privilege of taking part in the Jihad. When they go for Jihad we are left at home to protect their property and look after the family. Are we not also equally deserving of reward from Allah (swt)?”
The Prophet (sa) was impressed by her rational plea and asked the Companions (ra) if they had ever heard a better question than Asma’s.
At other occasions, Asma (ra) asked the Prophet (sa) the proper method of Taharah (purification).
Lessons to draw: Asma’s (ra) asking question reflects her desire to increase her scale in the hereafter. She was not content with her obligatory duties of home management. She wanted to do more. Single sisters complain that their parents do not allow them to go out. Married sisters complain that their children and house chores do not allow them to contribute in the way of Allah (swt). We sit at home and waste our potential. We see in the lives of the Sahabiyat that they were married women with children and domestic responsibilities and yet excelled in their Deen. They never shied away from additional deeds. They knew how to bring a balance between their obligatory duties and voluntary acts. They attended to their domestic responsibilities first and then turned their attention to what they could do in the way of Allah (swt). They did this voluntarily out of love and dedication and never considered it a burden.
Asma’s (ra) one reason for asking question was to gain knowledge herself, and also to share it with those who were less knowledgeable. Many sisters after doing their Islamic education courses either adopt a holier than thou attitude or take a back seat and are only content with their domestic duties and their own worship. They do not reach out to others. If one looks at their own newsfeed, many knowledgeable sisters have the time to share jokes, silly quizzes and their check-ins but when someone asks them a question they reply with: Allahu Alam (Allah knows best). What was the purpose of your Islamic education, sister? You have the time to share unimportant updates but not something of the knowledge that you have?
We see people around us distancing away from the Quran, and we feel no pain for them. Let us follow the footsteps of Asma (ra) and gain knowledge to help other sisters in their learning.
(Adapted from the book: Seerat e Sahabiyat k Darakshan Pehlu by and the lectures of Dr. Farhat Hashmi: Seerat e Sahabiyat)