Harman Patil (Editor)

'Asma' bint Marwan

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Died  March 624 AD
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ʻAṣmāʼ bint Marwān (Arabic: عصماء بنت مروان‎‎ "'Asmā' the daughter of Marwān") was a female member of the Ummayad clan who lived in Medina in 7th century Arabia. Bint Marwan was known for having ridiculed the people of Medina for obeying a chief not of their kind.

Contemporary assessments

Richard Gottheil, and Hartwig Hirschfeld in Jewish Encyclopedia state: "Some Moslem traditionists, in order to excuse the murder, make Asma a Jewess. It is, however, very doubtful that she was one, although Grätz ("Gesch. der Juden," v. 144) accepts this assertion as a fact."

V. J. Ridgeon sees the certain parallels between Khomeini's declaration of the fatwa against Salman Rushdie and the incident of Asma bint Marwan's execution.

Jane Smith, in her detailed study "Women, Religion and Social Change in Early Islam" points at the high influence of poets at the time Muhammad in Arabia. She states that executions of poets such as Asma, Abu Afak, and those poets who were killed after Muhammad's final victory were the result of Muhammad's fears of "their continuing influence". "This constitutes interesting testimony of the power of their position, as well as of the recited words".

Antonio Elorza, historian and professor at Complutense University of Madrid, reviews Asma's execution and similar cases and suggests that eliminating political opponents by any and all means possible, was common practice during Muhammad's time. Elorza asserts that the psychological effect of such actions by Mohammad cannot be ignored when studying the background of terrorism in Islam.

Contemporary Muslim writers respond to these charges by stating that on top of the stories of both Asma bint Marwan and Abu Afak being graded as weak and fabricated by the majority of Islamic scholars in history, even in the hypothetical stories these two individuals were not simply mocking but also instigating violence against the Muslims and the Prophet Muhammad. "They were inciting their people to rise up to fight and kill the Muslim population, and this made them direct enemy combatants." This falls in the general understanding of the conflict between the non-Muslim Meccans of Quraysh (who are recorded in Muslim tradition as the "Pagan Quraysh") and the Muslims who would migrate to the city of Medina for safety and to escape from the oppression of the non-Muslim Meccans.


'Asma' bint Marwan Wikipedia