Asiya was the Queen of Egypt when the water current carried Moses’ (PBUH) cradle into Pharaoh’s palace. Asiya immediately fell in love with the young baby carried in the basket. She pleaded with her husband, “(Here is) joy of the eye, for me and for you. Do not slay him. It may be that he will be of use to us, or we may adopt him as a son.’ And they perceived not (what they were doing).” (28: 9) She must have realized that the baby was an Israelite boy. She knew that the soldiers will kill him, since Pharaoh decreed that all Israelite male babies should be killed. It seems that she was successful in convincing her husband to spare the boy’s life. Moses’ (PBUH) life was spared and grew up in the palace of the Pharaoh.
Asiya must have watched him closely growing up in the place. She must have realized that he is not like all other boys, because when Moses (PBUH) called Pharaoh to believe in God, she was the one who accepted the guidance and believed in God. The Quran does not tell us how and when she believed in God, nor does the Quran tell us what happened to her when Pharaoh discovered that she was a believer. But the Quran immortalized her as an example for all believers, “And God sets forth, an example of the believers, the wife of Pharaoh. She said, ‘My Lord, build for me, in nearness to You a mansion in the Garden, and save me from Pharaoh and his doings, and save me from the wrongdoers.’” (66: 11) God praises the wife of Pharaoh who had the courage, wisdom, and strength to believe even though she was living in the midst of a disbelieving environment. She disowned Pharaoh and his evil deeds. In her, the reader of these verses finds the highest example of sacrifice all for the sake of her faith. The verses assign a high rank for the wife of Pharaoh and she has been cited as an example for all believers, men and women.
Asiya was the Queen of Egypt. She must have belonged to the royal family, a family of gods. But she must have been searching for the truth and found it in what Moses (PBUH) brought. She gave up all the glory, the power, and the comfort of the life in the palace and chose to believe in the One True God. This required great courage and sacrifice. The reward is that God used her as an example for all believers.