I have wanted to share these stories about the amazing women throughout Islamic history and their achievements and I thought as it was International Women’s Day recently I would share them starting from this month. I’m not sure how many parts there will be yet but I hope you will enjoy reading about these amazing women!
The first woman I want to share with you all is Nusaybah bint Ka’ab who is one of my favourite female companions of the Prophet (pbuh). She was such an amazing woman, strong, confident, courageous and she didn’t let societal and cultural norms from achieving great things. She was a fierce warrior and fought alongside the Prophet (pbuh) and her husband and son. She was known for how fearsome she was both in battle and outside and she was an activist too.
This was a woman who the Prophet (saw) prayed for her and her family that they will be his companions in Jannah.
She was an early convert to Islam, from among the Ansar (people who were from Madina). She was renowned for her courage on the battlefield and was present in many important events. She was at the pledge of Aqaba, battle of Uhud, Khaybar, treaty of Al-Hudaybiyyah and the battle of Yamama.
She was one of two women who pledged their allegiance to the Prophet (saw) at Aqaba, just like the men. The only difference being that the Prophet (saw) didn’t shake her hand. Once she became Muslim she dedicated her time to the education and training of women in Islam.
At the battle of Uhud she was one of the few companions who continued to fight when most started to retreat from the battle when rumours spread that the Prophet (pbuh) had been killed. She protected the Prophet (saw), fighting with a bow and arrow and then with a sword. Alongside her, her sons and husband also protected the Prophet (saw). During this battle she suffered from several wounds. She suffered from more wounds in the battle of Yamama.
Speaking about the battle of Uhud, Umar (ra) said that he heard the prophet (saw) say “I did not turn right or left in the battle of Uhud but that I saw her fighting near me.”
After the death of the Prophet (saw) under the khalifah of Abu Bakr (ra) she fought against Musaylima (a false prophet) and when asking for permission to fight, Abu Bakr (ra) said, “We know your worth in war, so go out in the name of Allah.” At this time she was around 60 years old. It was during this battle that her hand was cut off.
She was such a fierce, strong woman who even the most prominent companions respected and admired. Which considering that these were people who lived in a very patriarchal society was not common.
She also wasn’t afraid to go to the Prophet (saw) and ask questions or speak her mind about what was troubling her to gain clarity. She would even go on behalf of other women who felt too shy to speak out in a public gathering.
She even spoke to the Prophet (pbuh) saying that women should be given exclusive access to him on a regular basis to study from him as the men would often take up all his time when asking questions during the lectures or gatherings. So then there was women’s only classes and they could still attend the general gatherings as well.
She was the one who went to the Prophet (saw) and to ask why the Quran only mentioned men and women were deprived of importance. This resulted in an ayah being revealed because of her. I just love her strength and determination in advocating for women’s rights!
There are so many more amazing women throughout Islamic history and we don’t get to see or learn about them and they are often left out of western history teachings but they are there and they were amazing!
These are the women I grew up hearing stories about, the women that I drew inspiration from and were my role models from a young age. So I thought that I would share some of my favourite Muslim women throughout history with you all. I will be sharing more soon!