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ASMA:

Arab poetess, contemporary with Mohammed; daughter of Marwan; was married to an Arab of the tribe of the Banu Ḥatmah. After the murder of the Jewish poet Abu 'Afak, who, in spite of his great age, had instigated the members of his tribe against Mohammed, Asma composed some verses condemning the deed. Mohammed despatched 'Umair, the only member of her tribe who had embraced Islam, to punish her; and he assassinated her while asleep, surrounded by her children.

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.

Bibliography:
  • Ibn Hisham, Das Leben Muhammeds, ed. Wüstenfeld, p. 995;
  • Hirschfeld, in Revue Etudes Juives, x. 16.
G. H. Hir.
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