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Story 59: Nasibah

Nasibah or Nusaybah, also called Umm Ammarah, after her son Ammarah, or daughter of Ka'b, had a scar on her shoulder which was still visible and was a reminder of a serious wound and a reflection of her past. For the younger girls and women, who had not lived in the era of the Messenger of God (S), whenever they happened to see the scar on her shoulder, they asked her with extreme curiosity about the tragic incident which had resulted in her wound. They longed to hear about the exciting adventure of Nasibah in the battle of Uhud from her own lips.

Nasibah never thought that she would fight, shoulder to shoulder in the battle of Uhud with her husband and two sons, defending the Holy Prophet (S). She had a water bag on her shoulder to provide water for the wounded. She also had bandages made of cloth to dress the wounds of the injured. She was not expecting to do anything else that day.

At the outbreak of the battle, the Muslims had imposed a major defeat on the enemy, though they were few in number, ineffective and lacked sufficient ammunition. The enemy took flight and deserted the battlefield.

However, it did not last, due to the negligence of some of the sentries’ detachment at the Aynayin Hills. The enemy launched a surprise attack from the rear, the tables were turned, and a great number of Muslims were dispersed far from the Holy Prophet (S).

When Nasibah was confronted with this situation, she put the water bag down and picked up a sword and began fighting. At times she used a sword and at times a bow and arrow. She picked up a shield left by a man who had fled and made use of it. Suddenly she became aware of an enemy soldier shouting, “Where is Muhammad? Where is Muhammad? Show him to me!”

She advanced towards him rapidly and inflicted a few blows on him. Since he was doubly armoured, the sword thrusts had little effect on him. However, when he struck back, the enemy soldier inflicted such a heavy blow on Nasibah ’s unprotected shoulder that it required treatment for a year. Seeing the blood gushing from her shoulder, the Holy Prophet (S) called one of her sons and said, “Dress your mother’s wound immediately!” He dressed the wound and she began fighting again.

At that moment, she saw that one of her sons had been injured. She dressed his wounds with the cloth bandages which she had brought with her. The Holy Prophet (S) enjoyed seeing this woman’s courage, and he smiled. After dressing her son’s wounds, she said, “My son! Move quickly and prepare to fight!” No sooner did the words pass her lips, then the Holy Prophet (S) pointed out a man to Nasibah and said, “This is the one who injured your son.”

Nasibah assaulted him like a lioness and struck her sword on his leg. He fell to the ground. The Holy Prophet (S) said, “Well done! You have taken your revenge. Thank Allah Who granted you victory and appeased your desire!”

A number of Muslims were martyred; others were wounded. Nasibah herself sustained many injuries, and was at death’s door. After the battle of Uhud, to ensure safety from the enemy, the Holy Prophet (S) ordered the army to immediately march towards Hamra ul-Assad. Despite being in a critical state, Nasibah wanted to accompany them, but the severity of her wounds prevented her from doing so.

On their return from Hamra ul-Assad, the Holy Prophet (S), before entering his house, sent someone to inquire about Nasibah ’s health. Being informed of her well-being, the Holy Prophet (S) was pleased.1

  • 1. Ibn Abi al-Hadid, v. 3, p. 568.