Thursday, April 9, 2015

6 works depicting the life and times of Nusaybah Bint ka'ab - The Woman Warrior of Arabia




Nusseibeh bint Ka’ab (also Umm Ammarah), a member of the Banu Najjar tribe living in Medina, was an early convert to Islam. She was one of two women  to personally pledge directly to the prophet Muhammad.

The Battle of Uhud

There were many virtues attributed to Nusaybah, yet she is most remembered for taking part in the Battle of Uhud (625). 

Abdullah bin Rowahah at the battle of Uhud

The Battle of Uhud (Arabic: غزوة أحد‎ Ġazwat ‘Uḥud) was fought on Saturday, March 19, 625 at the valley located in front of Mount Uhud, in northwestern Arabia. It occurred between a force from the Muslim community of Medina led by the prophet Muhammad, and a force led by Abu Sufyan ibn Harb from Mecca. 




Whilst outnumbered, the Muslims gained the early initiative and forced the Meccan lines back. However, during the battle, a breach of orders by the Muslim archers allowed a surprise attack from the Meccan cavalry, which brought chaos to the Muslim ranks. Many Muslims were killed, and even the Prophet himself was badly injured. 

Nusayba b. Ka’b as depicted in the MBC TV Series ‘Umar'

At that point, Nusaybah, who was bringing water to the fighters and tending the wounded, went forward, with her sword unsheathed and her bow in her hand, to join the small group who were standing firm with the Prophet, acting as a human shield to protect him.


When a horse-mounted Meccan attacked her, she pulled on the horse's bridle and plunged her sword into its neck, toppling the horse on top of its rider. Witnessing this, the Prophet called to Abdullah to help his mother and the pair dispatched the struggling rider. Abdullah was wounded himself, as a Meccan cut across his left arm, and Nusaybah treated him, picking her sword back up, and advanced on her son's attacker, cuting his leg off with a blow of her sword. He fell to the ground where he was killed by other fighters.

But the battle was lost and the Muslims had to withdraw up the slopes of ‘Uḥud. The Meccans did not pursu, but marched back to Mecca declaring victory.