Umm Imarah was a great fighter for Allah’s cause. She was a righteous and a devoted Muslimah. Nusaybah bint Kab converted to Islam during the early days. She was present at the second pledge of Al- Aqabah at which she swore allegiance to the Prophet, along with her first husband Zaid ibn Asim who died after the Battle of Badr. Nusaybah was also present at the Battle of Uhud with her second husband Ghaziyah ibn Amr and her sons, Abdullah and Habib. Nusaybah fetched water and helped the injured. Nusaybah bought a sword, a bow and a quiver of arrows, in addition to the bandages and water skin. Not long after the battle had begun, she reached the place where the Prophet had taken up his position on relatively high ground. He was with his closest companions and the battle was going in favour of the Muslims.

The Muslims continued to advance until the way into the enemy camp was opened. They were tempted by the booty and began to surge into the enemy camp seeking plunder. The fifty archers chosen to guard the rear of the army saw their companions taking spoils of war and felt that they would lose out. So neglecting the Prophet’s command not to leave their posts no matter what happened, they left, assuming that the battle was finished. Their commander Abdullah ibn Jubair, was left with only a few archers.

When the enemy realized what was happening, they set off for the post where the archers were stationed and killed the remaining few. Then the enemy cavalry attacked the unguarded ranks of the believers. Some faithful Muslims fought on, but the tide had turned against them. Once Nusaybah realized this she got her sword and her quiver of arrows and started shooting. Ibn Qamiah a man from one of the outskirts of makkah was shouting, ” Where is Muhammad? May I not survive if he survives.” Then Ibn Qamiah recognized the Prophet and struck at him. The blow was averted by Talhah, who was standing next to the Prophet. Talhah then threw himself in the direction of the sword and they closed around the Prophet to protect him. Umm Imarah was a part of the human barrier which protected the Prophet. Ibn Qamiah stuck her and she struck him, but he was wearing two coats of armour which protected him from her blows.

Umm Imarah had the following to say about the battle of Uhud, “The people had left the Prophet exposed and only a few, not more than ten, remained my husband and my sons and I were among them defending him and the people were moving around in a defeated state. I did not have my shield with me. The Prophet saw a man with a shield, so he said, ‘Give your shield to someone who is fighting?’ So the man gave it to me and I used it to defend the Prophet .”

Nusaybah continued fighting, treating the wounded and carrying water for them. Her son was wounded and his blood was flowing. However, she was totally oblivious to her son’s condition until the Prophet said, “Bandage your wounded.” Thereupon she went to her son and wrapped the wound while the Prophet stood looking at her. After she had bandaged the wound, she said to her son, “Rise and fight the people.”

The Prophet said, “And who is capable of bearing what you bear, Umm Imarah?”

Nusaybah was wounded thirteen times during the battle of Uhud. The Prophet said ” whether I looked to the right or the left, I saw Nusaybah fighting round me.”

Nusaybah was present at he pledge of Ridwan when Muslims swore to stand by the Prophet until death.

The people thought well of Nusaybah also. When Umar ibn Al- Khattab came with some very fine cloth, some people said, “Surely, this cloth is worth such and such. Why don’t you send it to Safiyah bint Ubaidah, the wife of Abdullah ibn Umar?” someone else said, “Send it to the one who has more right to it then her, Umm Imarah, Nusaybah bint Kab, for I heard the Prophet say,, ‘On the day of Uhud, whether I looked to the right or left, I saw Nusaybah fighting round about me.'”

Nusaybah then later took part in the fighting against Musailimah in Yamamah. She went to Abu Bakr who was Khalifah at the time, to seek permission to join the expedition with Khalid against Musailimah. Abu Bakr said. “We know your worth in war, so go out, in the Name of Allaah.” Abu Bakr committed her to Khalid ibn Al- Walid’s charge and she fought bravely at Yamamah. She was wounded in eleven different places and had her hand chopped off. Her son, Habib, was killed.

After Musailimah had been defeated and killed and the war was over, Nusaybah returned to her house. Khalid ibn al Walid came there to treat her hand with hot oil, to seal the wound and stop the bleeding. The hot oil was more painful than having her hand cut off. There is a story that Ikrimah narrated, that Nusaybah went to the Prophet, and said, “I see that everything goes to men, and I do not see anything mentioned for women.” Then the verse was revealed:

“For Muslim men and Muslim women, for believing men and believing women, for devout men and devout women, for truthful men and truthful women, for patient men and patient women, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give sadaqah, for fasting men and fasting women, for men who guard their private parts and women who guard, and for men who remember Allah much and women who remember, Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward.” (Surah Ahzab 33:35)


Read About The Rightly-Guided Companions of the Prophet (SAW)







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