Merits of Aasiya the wife of the Pharaoh and the Believer of the people of the Pharaoh
Hayat Al-Qulub Vol. 1,
By: Allamah Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi
Allah says, And certainly We sent Musa with Our communications and clear authority, To the Pharaoh, Haman and Qarun, but they said: A lying magician. (40:23-24)
When Musa came to them with a sign of authority the people said, kill their sons and leave their daughters alive. They were following the wrong path. The Pharaoh cried in anger, “Let me kill Musa. I am afraid of him that he seeks help from his God. He will spoil your religion and will spread mischief on the land.” One of the believers of the Pharaoh who believed in Allah secretly said, “You want to kill a man who believes in Allah, the Lord of the world? Though he has come to you with an open sign of miraculous staff. If he is a liar, he will suffer and if he is true, he will benefit you with his good deeds. Allah does not help the sinners and liars. O, people of my community, you are ruling and enjoying and settled in your land in Egypt. But say, if Allah’s chastisement comes upon us, who will save us? the Pharaoh said, “I know you, what you are and I also follow your advice and respect you.” A man who believed in Allah in private, said, “O, people! Indeed I am afraid for you, as the community of previous Prophets were disbelievers and they all were destroyed in Divine chastisement.
The peoples of Prophet Nuh, Hud and Salih were also destroyed in chastisement. Allah does not oppress the people. O, my people, fear Allah’s judgment, when you will be thrown in Hell and no one will help you from the wrath. And indeed, Allah sent His apostle Yusuf to you, with clear sign but you did not believe in him until he passed away. You doubted that he was a real Prophet and you said, ‘Allah will not send any other Prophet after him.’ Allah also leaves the sinners and doubters in the dark. Then the believer of Allah asked the people to believe in him so he makes them follow the right path. He said life is short and temporary in the world. O, people you invite me to your wrong path and I invite you to follow the right path. You want me to become a disbeliever and give respect to one who has no knowledge. I call you towards Allah, the Merciful and you invite me to your God. Indeed, the disbeliever will go to Hell. I leave everything on Allah, the Great. He is Knowing and Hearing. Allah kept his believers in his protection and involved the disbelievers, in strict punishment.
Allah has given the example of the Pharaoh’s wife. He is quoted in Holy Qur’an, “When she said, My Lord! Build for me a house in Heaven and deliver me from the Pharaoh and his doing, and deliver me from the unjust people.” (28:11)
The Holy Prophet has said that three persons were the good believers of Allah. i.e. (1) The believer of the Pharaoh’s people (2) ‘Ali Ibn Abi-Talib and (3) Aasiya
The Holy Prophet has said, “Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, Fatimah al-Zahra’, Maryam the daughter of ‘Imran and Aasiya, the wife of the Pharaoh are the four ladies of Paradise.”
Imam Al-Hasan ‘Askari has stated that Prophet Hizqil (Ezekiel) invited the Egyptians towards Allah and towards the Prophethood of Musa and declared Prophet Muhammad one of the best from all Prophets and Imam ‘Ali and the families of other Prophets. He advised the people to avoid the Pharaoh’s lordship. The back-biters said to the Pharaoh that Prophet Hizqil instigates people against him. The Pharaoh said, “He is my cousin and my heir. If he is against with me, he will be punished and if you are wrong in this matter, you will be punished.” Then he ordered Prophet Hizqil to be present in the court. The people asked him to appear to the Pharaoh but he refused to accept the Pharaoh as God. Prophet Hizqil said, “O, Lord! Have you ever heard me lying? the Pharaoh said, “No.” Then he asked the Pharaoh to ask his people, who their God is? They said, “the Pharaoh is our Lord.” Then he asked the Pharaoh to ask them who has created them? They said, “Of course, the Pharaoh.” Then he said to ask them who gives them sustenance and other necessities and who saves them from troubles? They said, “the Pharaoh, our Lord.” Prophet Hizqil said, I witness you and all the people of your court that their God, is my God. The God, who provides all the bounties, livelihood to all, is my God. There is no other God, except He. And O, Lord! I make you and all who are present here as my witness, that I am very much annoyed of other gods except He and I do not believe in them.”
Prophet Hizqil told them indirectly that he believes in Allah only and not their Lord. They could not understand what he said and whom he meant. The Pharaoh became very angry and said that they have created a rift between them. They are liable for his severe punishment because they wished to create disturbance in his kingdom and spoil relationships. As a punishment, he ordered his people to make them sleep, putting their legs on their breasts and nailed their hands and legs and sawed their flesh from their bones. Allah, the Great, kept his Prophet safe from the Pharaoh’s punishment.
‘Ali Ibn Ibrahim has narrated that a believer of Allah, from the family of the Pharaoh kept his belief secret for six hundred years. He was suffering some kind of disease. His fingers fell off. He was raising his hands towards the people and inviting them to Allah. so Allah made him safe from their fraud.
Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq has narrated that the Pharaoh gave him much trouble, but Allah saved him.
Al-Qutb al-Rawandi has narrated that the Pharaoh sent two of his men to bring Hizqil. They found him on a mountain in prayer. They saw animals around him and decided to arrest him. But Allah, the Great, ordered an animal as tall as camel to come in between and attacked them until Hizqil was free from prayer. When he saw them he feared and prayed to Allah to save him the Pharaoh’s harassment. “You are my Lord and I trust you. You are my owner and I believe in You. O Allah! I request you, if they intend to attack me, let the Pharaoh come over them and if they are good, help them and guide them.” Seeing him, the two men returned. While returning one said to another, “I will keep secret about Hizqil. What will we get if he is killed.” Another said, “We will inform the Pharaoh about him.” When they came to the Pharaoh, he told him, what they had seen but the first one did not say anything. When Hizqil came to the Pharaoh, he asked his two men, who was their God? They said, ‘You’. Then the Pharaoh asked Hizqil, who is his God? Hizqil said, ‘Their and my God is same’. The Pharaoh thought that Hizqil believed in him. He became very happy and killed the man who had given information about Hizqil. After this incident that man became the follower of Prophet and was killed with other magicians by the Pharaoh’s order.[ There are different opinions of different authors. In many books it is recorded that there were three people who verified the Prophets. They were Mu’min Ale the Pharaoh, Mu’min Ale Yasin and best of them ‘Ali Ibn Abu-Talib]
Thalabi has written that Prophet Hizqil was one the companions of the Pharaoh. He was the same person who made a coffin for the mother of Musa. Some has said that he was the treasurer of the Pharaoh. He kept his belief secret for a hundred years, until Musa overcame the magicians. On that day Prophet Hizqil declared himself as a believer of Allah. So he was killed by the Pharaoh who killed the other magicians also.
Hizqil’s wife was a dresser of the daughters of the Pharaoh and she was good and believed in Allah. One day a comb slipped from her hand, so she said ‘Bismillah’. The daughter of the Pharoah asked whether she has uttered this word for his father. She said, No. She has uttered this word for Allah, the Great. The daughter of the Pharaoh said she will inform her father and she did. The Pharaoh called her with her children and asked her “Who is her God”? She said “Allah, my Lord and your Lord is same and He has created all on the earth and in the Heaven.”
The Pharaoh ordered a large stove of copper and lighted it with fire. Then he called Hizqil’s wife with her children near it. She said her last desire is that their bones be buried in the earth. The Pharaoh agreed to do so. He put them one by one in the heated stove. The last tiny babe, who was suckling, said to his mother by the permission of Allah. “O, mother! Be patient, Allah is with you.”
Aasiya, the wife of the Pharaoh belonged to The Israelites. She was pious and believed in Allah and she prayed secretly. When the Pharaoh burnt the wife of Hizqil, she watched the Angels taking her soul to heaven and Aasiya’s faith increased. The Pharaoh came to her and told her what had happened. Aasiya became very sad and said to her husband “Shame on you! What a shameful task you did against the law of Allah!” The Pharaoh said, “You have became mad, like that woman. She said that she believes in Allah, who is the Lord of the world.”
The Pharaoh became very angry and called Aasiya’s mother and said that her daughter has become mad. “Tell her not to believe in Musa’s Lord or she will be killed.” Her mother tried but she refused to believe the Pharaoh.
By the order of the Pharaoh his executioner drove pegs in her. Musa passed and prayed for her. Allah, the Merciful relieved her pain and Aasiya prayed to Him to make a house for her in Heaven. Allah revealed to her to look at the sky. She looked up and became happy and satisfied to see her house in the Heaven.