Asma bint Umais - Diplomatic Answers
Lady Knights

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

Called Al-Madinah where two boys, half-brothers and the sons of very famous fathers, were quarreling in increasingly loud voices.

"I am more important than you," declared one irate boy in shrill tones, "and my father was better than your father!"

Outraged by this declaration, the other boy attempted to shout down his half-brother, "No! I am more important than you and my father was better than your father!"

The two boys' step-father, Ali bin Abi Talib, heard the shrill voices of his step-sons and came out to see what was the matter. When he realized what they were quarreling about he found himself put in a very difficult position.

Ali bin Abi Talib's eldest step-son was the son of his brother Ja'afr bin Abi Talib, who had died in battle while leading a great army. His youngest step-son was the son of Abu Bakur Al-Siddiq, the now deceased first Calipha of Islam. To try and judge which of the two men was the better of the two, and thereby settle the disagreement between the two boys, was an impossible task.

So Ali bin Abi Talib did what many a bewildered father does, he called in the boys' mother, Asma bint Umais.

Asma, when everything was explained to her, was highly amused by her husband's quandary.

She lovingly gathered her two sons into her arms and looked at first the eldest and then the youngest as she spoke, "I have never seen a better young man than Ja'afr, and I have never seen a better older man than Abu Bakur."

Both boys considered their mother's words for a quiet moment. Based on her judgment of their fathers, they felt that they were each the sons of equally important men, and were therefore equally important boys. This was an acceptable compromise to the wounded pride of each boy. As one, the two children accepted their mother's verdict with a mutual nod and happily returned to their play as if nothing had happened.

Relived by the restoration of peace in his household, yet not above needling Asma, Ali bin Abi Talib said to his wife in playful tones, "You have left no place for me (in that ruling)."

Asma smiled and said demurely to her husband the Calipha, "O Prince of the Believers, any three you are the lesser of, are a magnificent three indeed."

Ali bin Abi Talib laughed at the backhanded compliment from his diplomatic wife and peace descended over this happy and loving household once again.

*Written by © 2012. Care to read or leave Comments?

  1. Names, Translations and Aliases:
    • Abu Bakur Al-Siddiq: أبو بكر الصديق عبد الله بن أبي قحافة
    • Ali bin Abi Talib: علي بن أبي طالب بن عبدالمطلب بن هاشم القرشي.
    • Asma bint Umais: أسماء بنت عُميس بن معبد الخثعمية.
    • Ja'afr bin Abi Talib: جعفر بن أبي طالب بن عبدالمطلب بن هاشم القرشي.
  2. At that time, it was the custom for men to propose to the widows of their deceased friends and family members in order to care for said widows and any children they had. Asma bint Umais had been widowed twice when Ali bin Abi Talib proposed to her. Her first husband was his brother Ja'afr bin Abi Talib and her second husband was his friend Abu Bakur Al-Siddiq.
  3. In case anyone is wondering, according to the Biographies of Notable Nobles (سير أعلام النبلاء), both boys were named Muhammad.

  1. 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 19-20.
  2. Al-Dhahabi, A. (2004 AD). سير أعلام النبلاء [Biographies of Notable Nobles]. Beirut: International Ideas Home. Volume 1. Page 973.

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