Scholar of renown: Asmaa bint Yazeed
Edited by Adil Salahi, Arab News Staff

Asmaa bint Yazeed ibn Al-Sakan was a woman from the Ansar, and a companion
of the Prophet. She was distinguished for her sagacity and eloquence.
Indeed, she was nicknamed the “Orator of all Women”. But she was also a
woman of learning, and she reported the Prophet’s Hadith. She was clearly
reliable as a reporter. Abu Dawood, Al-Tirmidhi, Al-Nassaie and Ibn Majah,
as well as other major scholars of Hadith, related a total of 81 Hadiths of
her reporting. As such, she ranks among the best learned of the Prophet’s
women companions.

Asmaa was also keen on jihad, joining Muslim armies on several occasions.
She accompanied the Prophet on his expedition that led to the fall of
Makkah to Islam. She also participated in the great Battle of Al-Yarmook,
against the Byzantines, during the reign of Umar ibn Al-Khattab. She is
reported to have killed nine enemy soldiers, using the pole of her own

In order to appreciate her knowledge we may relate the following story. One
day she came to the Prophet as he was sitting with a number of his
companions. Addressing him, she said: “Messenger of God, may both my
parents be sacrificed for you. ‘This was a traditional phrase of
endearment, used mostly figuratively.’ I am an emissary from women to you.
God has sent you as His messenger to both men and women. We believe in you
and your Lord. Yet we, women, are restricted, home bound. We stay in your
‘i.e. men’s’ homes, give you your pleasure, and bear your children. You,
men, have been favored over us with attending Friday prayer and
congregational prayers in mosques, visiting the sick, attending funerals,
offering the pilgrimage repeatedly, and with what is more than that:
fighting for God’s cause.

When a man goes out intending pilgrimage or jihad, we take care of your
property, sew your clothes, and bring up your children for you. Do we have
a share of your reward?”

The Prophet turned to his companions asking them: “Have you ever heard a
better statement by a woman than this one who is asking about matters of
her faith?” They said: “We would not have thought that a woman would ever
be able to express such meanings as this lady.” The Prophet turned to Asmaa
and said: “Listen, woman, and inform other women who sent you that a woman
who is a goodly wife, keen to please her husband and doing what he likes is
equal to all that.” As she left, she was glorifying God and repeating
statements of His oneness.

May God be pleased with Asmaa, the Prophet’s companion, who obtained from
him this definitive statement that women are in no way less than men in
their faith or their reward. It should be added that the Prophet’s words
stress that the woman should always try to ensure that the atmosphere in
her home is always relaxed and pleasant, so that she leads a happy marital
life and her children grow up in a homely environment. As she takes care of
the future generation, she earns as much reward as man who is assigned the
task of looking after the present generation.

Hafsah bint Seereen

Hafsah bint Seereen was one of the best known scholars of the tabieen
generation, which followed that of the Prophet’s companions. Her brother
Muhammad ibn Seereen ranks high among the tabieen scholars. She learned the
Qur’an by heart when she was 12 years of age, but apparently she excelled
in it to the extent that if her brother, Muhammad, was unsure about a
particular word or phrase in the Qur’an, he would send to her for
clarification, and she always gave an authoritative ruling.

Her reputation as a scholar of the highest caliber was well-established
among her contemporaries. Iyas ibn Mu’awiah says: “I have not met anyone
whom I would place above Hafsah bint Seereen.” He was asked: “What about
Al-Hassan Al-Basri and Muhammad ibn Seereen?” He said: “As for me, I do not
rate anyone above her.” Needless to say, if she is preferred to such
figures who remain quoted for authoritative views even today, and the
preference is stated by a scholar like Iyas, then she must be among the
best scholars of all times.

Hafsah was distinguished in Fiqh, or Islamic jurisprudence, the Qur’an and
the Hadith. She reported Hadiths from her brother Yahya, Anas ibn Malik,
Umm Atiyah of the Ansar, Al-Rabab Umm Al-Raih, Abu Dhubyan Khaleefah ibn
Kaab, Khayrah, who was Al-Hassan Al-Basri’s mother and others. A large
number of scholars learned from her and reported her Hadiths, including her
brother Muhammad, Qatadah, Aasim Al-Ahwal, and Ayyoob. Yahya ibn Maeen, a
great authority on Hadith reporters, rates her as most reliable. Similarly
Ibn Hibban, a distinguished Hadith scholar, mentions her among reliable

Hafsah died in 101 H, corresponding to 720 CE. May God shower His mercy on

Almaa’ bint Ahmad

Almaa’ bint Ahmad ibn Zuhayrah was a scholar of Hadith, known for her piety
and high scholarly standing. She read under many renowned scholars, and was
certified as a scholar by a number of them, such as Al-Alla’ie, Al-Izz ibn
Jumma’ah, Al-Qalanisi, Nassir Al-Deen Al-Fariqi and many more. To be
certified by such scholars who attained a very high scholarly standing is a
proof of her achievement. Hence, it was only natural that younger scholars
should seek to read under her, attend her circle or listen to her as she
taught Hadith. Thus, we read among her students names like Al-Taqi ibn
Fahd, his brother and his son Abu Bakr. She died in Makkah in 818 H,
corresponding to 1415 CE. May God bestow His mercy on her.

Arab News Islam 10 February 2003

Give yourself a chance by studying the Glorious Qur'an and the Sunnah for
you have nothing to lose, yet everything to gain!

“Those who believe, and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance
of Allah: for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find
satisfaction.” (Surah Ra’d 13:28)

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