Asma bint Abu Bakur - The Practical Knight
Lady Knights

Kaan Ya Makaan, Fee Qadeem Al-Zamaan…
There was a Place, in Times of Old…

Where a young woman, named Asma, walked alone into the desert in the dead of night. She was not fleeing an unwanted husband, or running away from a cruel family. She was going to deliver desperately needed supplies to her father, Abu Bakur, and his friend. The two men were living in the desert because they had fled Mecca. They hoped to take refuge in another town. If they could find a town brave enough to take them in.

They had been forced to leave Mecca, their city of birth, after assassins had been sent to kill her father's friend. For he was Muhammad, the Prophet of the new religion, Islam, and the concepts God had given him had rocked the very foundations of Mecca. Concepts like Monotheism, the equality of all men and women and an afterlife with a heaven and a hell.

The elders of the Qurashi tribes of Mecca had offered Muhammad PBUH wealth, leadership and even kingship in vain. They had eventually decided that the only way to silence Muhammad PBUH, and end the fledgling religion, was to kill him. In order to accomplish this without starting a civil war, they each chose a youth from their own tribe, armed him with a sword, and then sent them all together to Muhammad's PBUH house. But the youths waited in vain that night, for Muhammad PBUH was safe in the desert with his oldest and most trusted friend, Abu Bakur.

Asma, with all of this on her mind, hurried to the place she was supposed to meet her father and his friend. With a sigh of relief, she found them both safe and sound, waiting for her. She rushed up to them and proudly presented the supplies she had carried, only to realize with growing horror that she had forgotten to bring something to tie the precious supplies to the saddles of the placidly kneeling camels.

Mortified, she looked about for anything that would work and in her distress found herself pressing a hand to her waist to try and calm her rapid breathing. "Of course," she sighed and, with a prayer of thanks to her new God, she quickly removed the length of cloth she used as a belt and ripped it lengthwise in two.

The Prophet PBUH said to her with an approving smile, "God has given you two belts in heaven in place of that belt". Both Asma and her father were filled with joy at this news. But time was growing short and sooner than Asma would have liked, the provisions were securely tied in place, and it was time for the two men to go.

Asma clung to her father and he held her close, trying not to worry about his brave daughter and the rest of his family. It would not take long for the Qurashi elders to realize what had happened and he hoped that his family, by their very vulnerability, would be safe. After all, what man could hold his head up high after having harmed a defenseless woman and defenseless little girls? Killing a grown man was one thing, harming a woman or a child was an act from which no man's honor could ever hope to recover.

"They will be safe," Muhammad PBUH reassured his friend. Abu Bakur felt a great weight lifted from his shoulders when he heard these words. He had never known Muhammad PBUH to be wrong or give false reassurances. That is why, long before Muhammad became the Prophet and Messenger of God, the people of Mecca had referred to him as the "Truthful and Trustworthy One".

Abu Bakur, kissed the top of his daughter's head and told her to return to Mecca and stay quietly in their house. "When we find a place of refuge, I will send word and your brother will bring you to me," he promised.

Reluctantly, and with many looks back, Asma walked back to Mecca and into history as Thaat Al-Nitaqain or "She of the Two Belts".

But her story does not end there. When she had returned to Mecca, she waited bravely for morning, knowing there would be unpleasant questions asked which she must not answer.

Sure enough, when morning came, so did Abu Jahal, a leader of his tribe and a man known for his strength and brutality. When he had been told of the Prophet's PBUH escape, his fury had been a fearsome sight to see. Once the first fiery wave of his rage had passed, Abu Jahal remembered that Abu Bakur, Asma's father, was the Prophet's PBUH closest friend and advisor. Snatching up his sword, he made for Abu Bakur's house, still burning with rage. He hammered on the door with his fist and was surprised when it immediately opened and he found himself facing Abu Bakur's lovely young daughter, Asma.

"Where is your father, girl?!" he demanded.

"I don't know," she replied levelly, hoping her voice didn't betray her wildly beating heart.

Abu Jahal, still beside himself with impotent rage, slapped Asma hard across the face, making her earring fly free with the force of the blow.

Asma stood in the doorway, with lifted chin and defiant eyes. She made no move to defend herself or retreat. Ashamed, and fearing others had witnessed his disgraceful loss of temper, Abu Jahal retreated.

Asma went back into the house and firmly closed the door. After taking a moment to allow her heartbeat to slow and her breathing to settle, she coolly continued her preparations for the family's departure.

An hour or so later, her ancient and blind grandfather arrived at the door. "I hear your father has abandoned you and left you destitute. Is it true?"

"No, Grandfather, it is not true," she replied firmly. She then reached for the empty basket in which her father habitually kept his gold. Quickly, she filled it with rocks from outside, then threw a cloth over it and placed her grandfather's hand on the basket. "See how much he has left for us."

The old man said, "If he has left this for you, then there is no abandonment," and, reassured, he returned to his own home.

Three days later, Asma and her family received word that her father and his friend had found refuge in a distant town named Yathrib. So the small family discreetly slipped out of Mecca and after many long days of grueling travel, they rejoined Abu Bakur in Yathrib, later renamed Al-Medina Al-Munawara (The Brightened City) in honor of the Prophet's PBUH safe arrival. Upon seeing his family, Abu Bakur, ever a gentle man, wept with joy at their safe arrival. Just as his friend, Muhammad PBUH, had promised.

*Written by © 2011. Care to read or leave Comments?

  1. Names, Translations and Aliases:
    • Abu Bakur Al-Siddiq: أبو بكر الصديق عبد الله بن أبي قحافة
    • Abu Jahal: أبو جهل عمر بن هشام.
    • Asma bint Abu Bakur: أسماء بنت أبو بكر الصديق
    • Muhammad : خاتم الأنبياء الرسول محمد صلى الله عليه و سلم

  1. Al-Dhahabi, A. (2004 AD). سير أعلام النبلاء [Biographies of Notable Nobles]. Beirut: International Ideas Home. Volume 1. Page 1086-1088.
  2. Halbi, M. (2006 AD, 1427 H). المائة الأوائل من صحابيات الرسول [The Hundred First Lady Contemporaries of the Messenger] (2nd Ed). Beirut: Dar El-Marefah Publishing & Distributing. Page 5-12.
  3. Qutub, M., Al-Daouk, M., Al-Doemee, A. (2003 AD, 1424 H). نساء حول الرسول - تراجم و قصص [Women About the Messenger - Biographies and Stories]. Beirut: Al-Maktaba Al-Assrya Publishing and Distributing. Page 188-191.

Back to the Top or Go To Comments

Leave a Comment:
There are Facebook comments.
Legacy Comments:

July 18, 2013 - 18:10
Subject: ITeGfLqObsVjnCWocUsb

Hi there! I'm at work surfing aurond your blog from my new iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the fantastic work!

Back to the Top