Nusaybah was an Ansari woman. She was a newlywed when she, her husband, and her sister decided to embrace Islam. They went with a delegation of 72 men and 2 women of the Ansar to meet the Prophet ﷺ at Aqabah in Mina and say their shahada. Al Waqidi narrated from Ibn Abi Sa’sa’ that Nusayba said,

“The men were shaking hands with the Messenger of Allah ﷺ on the night of the pledge of Aqabah, giving their allegiance, while Abbas, the Prophet’s ﷺ uncle, was holding his other hand. When it was my turn and that of my sister, my husband, Arabah Ibn Amr said, ‘Messenger of Allah ﷺ here are two women who came with us to swear allegiance to you.’ The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, ‘I accept their pledge with the same term that I accepted yours. I do not shake women’s hands.’” (This is because it is forbidden to make physicial contact with a person of the opposite sex that is not a mahram-someone of their family whom they cannot marry, like a sister, brother, uncle, parent, etc.- but the women’s pledges were just as binding as the men’s)

Nusaybah went back to Madinah and devoted herself to learning and applying everything she could about Islam. She had two sons from a previous marriage, Abdullah and Habeeb, who also embraced Islam. With her current husband, she had a daughter Khawlah and a son Tameem.

What Nusayba is most known for is her participation in the battles. The first time was during the Battle of Uhud, which took place 3 years after Hijra in the month of Shawwal at Mount Uhud. Nusaybah was there with all the other women and her job was to give water to the thirsty troops. The Muslims were winning when some of the archers disobeyed the Prophet ﷺ and abandoned the posts they were given. Then the tide turned against the Muslims and in that moment the Prophet ﷺ was left without people to defend him. So Nusaybah grabbed a sword and some bow and arrows and rushed to the Prophet ﷺ not letting anyone get near him. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Whenever I turn left and right on the day of the Battle of Uhud, I always saw her fighting in my defense.” Nusaybah was quickly followed by her husband and sons. The Prophet ﷺ upon seeing how the whole family had rushed to his defense said to her, “From where can anyone get courage like you, Oh Um Ammarah. Oh Allah make this family my companions in Paradise.”

Upon hearing this, Nusaybah was so happy and she no longer care what happened to her and started to fight even harder. Um Sa’eed bint Sa’d ibn Rabee narrated that Nusaybah said, “I went out in the forenoon with a water vessel in my hand. I came to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ while he was with his companions and the Muslims seemed to be winning the battle. When the Muslims were in danger of being defeated, I hurried to the side of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. I engaged in fighting and started protecting the Messenger of Allah ﷺ with a sword, while at the same time shooting arrows until I was injured.”

Nusaybah suffered around 12 wounds but the deepest was on in her shoulder. She fainted from the pain and when she awoke her first question was about the wellbeing of the Prophet ﷺ.  It took a year for her shoulder to heal, forming a cavity between her neck and shoulder. Nusayba won a medal for her heroic efforts in the Battle of Uhud.

After that battle, Nusaybah’s family experienced difficult trials and were it not for their faith in Allah, they would not have been able to get through them. One of them involved her son Habeeb. He was sent by the Prophet ﷺ with a delegation to the clan of Banu Haneefah to speak with Musaylamah the Liar, who claimed to be a prophet. Habeeb delivered the message from Prophet Mohammed ﷺ to Musaylamah, after which Musaylamah asked him if he believed that Mohammed ﷺ was the Messenger of Allah. Habeen answered yes. “Do you believe I am the Messenger of Allah?” asked Musaylamah. “I cant hear you,” replied Habeeb. Musaylamah was outraged and he ordered Habeeb to be tortured by cutting off his limbs until he testified that Musaylamah was the messenger. Habeeb died that night. The Prophet ﷺ, Umar, and Abu Bakr brought Nusaybah the news and tried to console her.  She was shocked and vowed to be the one to kill Musaylamah. Even after the death of the Prophet ﷺ, Umar and Abu Bakr used to regularly visit her to check up on her and honor her.

It was Nusayba that told the Prophet ﷺ that she is only hearing about men in the Noble Quran after which this verse was revealed:

{Verily, the Muslims men and women, the believers men and women, the men and the women who are obedient to Allah, the men and women who are truthful, the men and women who are patient, the men and women who are humble, the men and women who give Sadaqat (Zakat), the men and women who observe fast, the men and the women who guard their chastity (from illegal sexual acts), and the men and women who remember Allah much with their hearts and tongues, Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (Paradise)} (Quran 33:35)

In addition to the battle of Uhud, Nusaybah participated in the Treaty of Hudaybiyah, the Battle of Khaybar, Umrat al Qada and witnessed the conquest of Mecca and was a participant in the the Hunayn and Yamama campaigns. Nusaybah, along with the other women who took part in battle, was given a fair share of booty taken during the war. In the Battle of Khaybar, there were twenty women who were fighting alongside the men, including Nusaybah. She received expensive dresses, jewelry and 2 dinars.

It was during the battle of Yamama, which took place during Abu Bakr’s caliphate, that Nusaybah got the chance to defeat Musaylamah. By then she was 60 years old and graying but nonetheless she got herself ready for battle like all the men. Abu Bakr could not convince her to not fight since her knew about her vow. However, she ddint get to Musaylama first. Ironically, it was Wahshi ibn Harb, the man who killed Hamza in the Battle of Uhud. He killed Musaylama with the same javelin but Nusayba swooped in with her sword in his stomach for the final blow.

That last battle left Nusaybah with eleven new wounds. By the time she returned to Madinah, she breathed her last breath and surrendered her soul.

Nusayba wasn’t just known for her courage on the battle field but she was also a narrator of Hadith and some of her Hadith contained Fikh, Islamic Jurisprudence. She will always be remembered as a strong Muslim woman.


*I love this verse of the Quran that came down when Nusayba asked why women weren’t mentioned. Its like Allah wants to reaffirm and remove any doubt of the equality of men and women.

*It’s amazing how the Muslim army had women. If you look at prominent Western armies, they only recently in the past 50-60 years started letting women fight alongside the men. 1400 years ago, Muslim women already gained their equality and freedom.

*I am constantly astounded by how strong these women were. May Allah bless them.

Qub, Muammad ʻAlī. Women around the Messenger. Riyadh: International Islamic House, 2007. Print.

Ghadanfar, Mahmood Ahmad., Jamila Muhammad. Qawi, Sheikh Safiur-Rahman. Al-Mubarakpuri, Muhammad Ayub. Sapra, and Muhammad Farooq. Great Women of Islam: Who Were given the Good News of Paradise. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Darussalam, 2001. Print.
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  1. Jazak Allah khair! This is such an inspirational story of an amazing woman. I’m so thankful for these narratives of women companions of the Prophet, peace be upon him.

  2. Amal Alganem Says: April 24, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Her Name is Nusaibah Bint Ka’ab. I know that Musailamah appeared with his false claim of prophecy after prophet Mohammed died, and it was Abu Baker who sent Habib to him before the Redda war started. I’ll try to review my information.

  3. […] you study our history, we learn that Muslim women did so much more than we know. For example, Nusayba bint Kaab was actually carrying a sword alongside the Prophet ﷺ during the battle of Uhud. She was not […]

  4. jazakallah but i was just wandering if there was anyting about the way she passed away

  5. Reblogged this on Empowering Body, Mind and Soul and commented:
    Umm Amaara!
    One of the bravest women in Islamic History!

  6. I never thought that any female will join battle if she is older than 45
    She used to go to war and also managed to go when she was 60
    She is the bravest women I’ve ever read about, really

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