Umm Umara (r. anha)
The Muslims of Madinah received the Prophet and those who believed in him with open arms. They were impatient to embrace them. 75 people, 2 of whom were female, went to Aqaba in order to invite meet the Messenger of Allah and to invite him to Madinah. One of those two women was Umm Umara, whose real name was Nasiba.
Umm Umara became a Muslim thanks to Mus’ab bin Umayr, whom the Prophet (pbuh) sent to Madinah so that he would teach Islam to the people of Madinah. She had a strong belief. She did not hesitate to offer to sacrifice her life in the way of Allah and his Messenger. As a matter of fact, during the most violent moment of the Battle of Uhud, she used her body as a shield for the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). Her name was included in the pages of history thanks to her heroism. We will listen to the incident from her:
“I went to Uhud. I wanted to see what the Muslims were doing. I had some water with me. I approached the Messenger of Allah. He was with the Companions. The Muslims were winning. However, they started to lose soon. The Companions around the Prophet were moving away or dying. There were very few people left around him.
I was worried that the Messenger of Allah would be harmed. I went toward him immediately. I started to fight against the polytheists. I was trying to drive the polytheists away from the Messenger of Allah with my sword and arrows. Meanwhile, I was wounded.
There were only 10 people around the Messenger of Allah. I, my sons and my husband were fighting in front of the Messenger of Allah against the polytheists and trying to drive them away. The Messenger of Allah saw that I did not have a shield. He said to someone who had a shield, 'Give your shield to the one who fights.' I took that shield and started to protect myself.
Meanwhile, a cavalier hit me. I protected myself with my shield. I hit his horse in the legs with my sword. The horse fell on its back. The man fell down. When the Messenger of Allah saw it, he said to my son, ‘O son of Umm Umara! Help your mother!'"
The fight was going on like that. Lady Nasiba acted like a moth to a flame around the Messenger of Allah. She moved around him. After the battle, the Messenger of Allah appreciated her sacrifice by saying, 'On the Day of Uhud, I saw Umm Umara fighting on my left and right as I turned my head'
During the battle, Umm Umara’s son was wounded. She felt very sorry. She did not feel sorry because of her compassion toward her son but because of being unable to protect the Prophet. That was what distressed her son too. She went toward her son. She wrapped his wound and said, "O my son! Get up and continue fighting the polytheists." Her heart did not find it appropriate for her son to fail to protect the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). The Prophet (pbuh) praised her for this sacrifice by saying, “O Umm Umara! Can everybody put up with what you endure?”
Umm Umara’s son got up immediately and went on fighting the polytheists. Meanwhile, the Prophet (pbuh) saw the polytheist that wounded her son passing in front of them. He said, "That is the man that wounded your son." Umm Umara, the great mujahid of Islam, took action and cut the man's legs with her sword. The Prophet smiled when he saw it.
The polytheists were attacking from all directions. They wanted to kill the Messenger of Allah. Ibn Qamia, who was a ferocious polytheist, approached the Prophet. He wounded the Prophet on the face and broke two of his teeth. When Umm Umara saw that the Prophet's face was in blood, she attacked Ibn Qamia. She hit him a few times but he had put on two armors. Therefore, her blows did not affect him. Meanwhile, she was wounded on the shoulder by a polytheist. Some Companions came and drove Ibn Qamia away.
When the Prophet saw that she was wounded, he told her son Abdullah, “Bandage your mother's wound.” Then, the Prophet gave this lucky family the following glad tiding:
“May Allah’s bounties be on you! Your mother's rank is superior to such and such people. Your father's rank is superior to such and such people. Your rank is superior to such and such people. May Allah show mercy on your family!”
Lady Nasiba heard what he said. She was very happy. However, she wanted to make use of this opportunity. She said, “O Messenger of Allah! Pray for me so that I will be your neighbor in Paradise. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) did not want to hurt her feelings. He opened his hands and prayed: “O Allah! Make Umm Umara and her family my neighbors and friends in Paradise!” Then, she became extremely happy. She said, “That is enough for me. From now on, any misfortune that will hit me is insignificant.”
At the end of the Battle of Uhud, it was seen that she was wounded in 12-13 places. The most severe one was in her shoulder. She had it cured in about one year.
Umm Umara had a different place in the eye of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). He sometimes visited her and asked about her health. Once, he visited her and asked how her wound was. He talked the people in the house for a while. Umm Umara became very pleased due to his visit. She prepared a table and invited the Messenger of Allah to eat. However, she did not sit at the table. The Prophet called her to the table but Hz. Umm Umara said, “O Messenger of Allah! I am fasting." The Prophet became pleased that she was fasting and said to her,
“When people eat in the presence of a person who is fasting, the angels pray for him/her until the table is put away.”
Along with the Battle of Uhud, Umm Umara also joined the Battle of Khaybar and Hunayn with the Prophet. She also joined the expedition of Umrah with him.
Lady Nasiba was also a good mother. She educated her children in the best way. She brought them up as mujahids. These self-sacrificing children never hesitated to tell the truth even if it would risk their lives.
It was after the death of the Prophet. While Habib, son of Umm Umara, was going to Madinah from Amman, he met Musaylima al-Kadhdhab, the impostor, on the way. Musaylima asked Habib, “Do you approve the prophethood of Muhammad?” Hz. Habib said, “Yes, I do.” Musaylima asked, “Will you not witness that I am also a messenger of Allah?” This heroic Companion said, “I will never say such a thing." Musaylima cut Hz. Habib’s arm off. Habib did not accept what he asked. Then, Musaylima cut off his other arm and asked again. Hz. Habib said "No" again relying on the power of his belief. Musaylima got very angry and martyred him.
When Umm Umara heard this news, she showed patience and steadiness. His attaining the endless bliss relieved her sorrow. She brought him up for these days. What distressed her the most was the fact that this impostor, who claimed to be a prophet, was still active alive. She said, “If Muslims prepare an army to fight this oppressor, I will draw my sword and join the army.” She waited for it impatiently.
Finally, the day she was waiting for came. Hz. Abu Bakr prepared an army and sent it against Musaylima under the command of Hz. Khalid. Umm Umara joined the army with her son Abdullah.
The two armies encountered in Yamama. A very severe battle took place. Umm Umara fought heroically. She was wounded in several places of her body. Eventually, the army of Musaylima was defeated. Hz. Abdullah wounded Musaylima severely. Then, Wahshi killed Musaylima and sent him to Hell.
When Umm Umara heard that Musaylima was killed, she prostrated. She thanked and praised Allah for showing her this moment.
When the army returned to Madinah, Hz. Abu Bakr visited this heroic woman. He said to her, "I hope you will get well soon." He continued showing her respect and entertaining her during his caliphate.
Hz. Umar also showed her respect and entertained her. He visited her from time to time. He gave her several presents.
It is not known where and when Umm Umara died.
May Allah be pleased with them!
 Tabaqat, 8: 412-415.
- The Battle of Uhud
- Habib bin Zayd (r.a.)
- Salim (r.a.)
- Zubayr bin Awwam (r.a.)
- Umm Kulthum (r.anha)
- Were there any handicapped companions during the time when the Prophet (PBUH) lived? How did the Prophet (pbuh) treat them?
- Umm Sulaym (r.anha)
- The Battle of Badr
- Umm Waraqa (r. anha)
- Ikrima bin Abi Jahl (r.a.)