Aasiyah bint Mazaahim , the wife of Pharaoh
The holy Quran has presented Aasiyah bint Mazaahim as one of the best role models for women.
Aasiyah’s greatness is in the fact that although she was the wife of one of the most Powerful, arrogant and tyrant rulers of Egypt, she was able to see and accept the truth in message of Prophet Moses.
For her, wealth, beauty or status was not the main criterion of human excellence; she realized that without faith in God, a human being has nothing.
God had chosen her to provide refuge to Moses when he was an infant. When her maids brought the cradle of Moses from the river, she insisted to Pharaoh that she wanted to adopt that infant as a child:
And the wife of Pharaoh said, “[He will be] a comfort of the eye for me and for you. Do not kill him; perhaps he may benefit us, or we may adopt him as a son.” And they perceived not. [Quran 28:9]
Aasiyah bint Mazaahim had declared her faith in the message of God after witnessing the miracle of Moses in the Court of Pharaoh; and after witnessing the death of another believing, woman under torture. Pharaoh tried to turn her away from the God of Moses and sought her mothers help. But Aasiyah refused to reject the God of Moses.
[Pharaoh] said, “You believed him before I gave you permission. Indeed, he is your leader who has taught you magic. So I will surely cut off your hands and your feet on opposite sides, and I will crucify you on the trunks of palm trees, and you will surely know which of us is more severe in [giving] punishment and more enduring.” [Quran 20:71]
On Pharaohs order, she was tortured to death.
The Quran sets her as an example for the believers to stay away from evil and sin despite the full assualt of the devil:
And Allah presents an example of those who believed: the wife of Pharaoh, when she said, “My Lord, build for me near You a house in Paradise and save me from Pharaoh and his deeds and save me from the wrongdoing people.” [Quran 66:11]
In this lady, we see the example of supreme sacrifice:
By marrying Pharaoh, Asiya bint Muzahim became the Queen of Egypt, she gained everything that she wanted in this worldly life from the materialistic point of view: the best of clothes, food, palaces, jewels, servants and maids, etc.
But she sacrificed all that to be closer to Allah. And that is why we see her included by the Prophet in the list of the four women who attained the level of perfection.
It was narrated that Ibn Abbaas said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) drew four lines on the ground, then he said, “Do you know what this is?” We said, “Allaah and His Messenger know best.”
The Messenger of Allaah (pbuh) said:
“The best of the women of Paradise are
Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid,
Faatimah bint Muhammad,
Aasiyah bint Mazaahim the wife of Pharaoh,
and Maryam bint Imraan –
may Allaah be pleased with them.”
(Narrated by Ahmad, 2663. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami, 1135)
It was narrated from Anas that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Sufficient for you among the women of the world are Maryam the daughter of Imraan. Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid, Faatimah bint Muhammad and Aasiyah the wife of Pharaoh.” (Narrated and classed as saheeh by al-Tirmidhi, 3878)