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Naseebah bint Ka'b also known as Umm 'Umarah  was an eminent woman, her story is not just a set of biography but also a big and important lesson for all of us; till the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "O Allah! Make this family my friends in Paradise."

 

Naseebah was also an Ansariyyah. She was from the famous Banu Najjar tribe. Her two sons were martyred and her brother Abdullah bin Ka'b was also a companion of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in the Battle of Badr. She was renowned for her courageous exploits in the battlefields. She was a faithful and loyal wife, and a loving mother, and had remarkable patience and forbearance. Also she was very learned in the Quran and Hadith, her life makes pleasurable and instructive reading for the growth and development of one's faith.

The fortunate Ansar in Al-Madinah who converted to Islam by the teachings of Mus'ab bin 'Umair went to a particular mountain pass to pledge allegiance to Allah and His Messenger for the second time. There were about seventy-two men and two women. One of the women was Umm 'Umarah and the other was Umm Muni' Asma' bint 'Amr bin 'Adi. This is called Bay'atul-'Aqabah Ath-Thaniyah (second pledge of allegiance) in Islamic history. When Umm 'Umarah returned to Al-Madinah after making this pledge of allegiance, she devoted herself to the education and training of women in accordance with the teachings of Islam.

Umm 'Umarah was married the first time to Zaid bin 'Asim Al-Mazni. and she bore two sons by him named Abdullah and Habib both of whom were among the Companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). A boy Tamim, and a girl Khawlah, were born from her second marriage which was to Ghazyah bin 'Amr Mazni.

Umm 'Umarah took part in the Second Bait-ul-'Aqabah, the Battle of Uhud, the Battle of Hunayn, the war of Yamamah, and the Treaty of Hudaybiyah. Her skill with the sword in the battle of Uhud astonished those who saw her. The Prophet said that in whichever direction he turned in the battlefield he could see her defending and protecting him.

She herself describes a very critical stage in the battle of Uhud. The Mujahidin of Islam were on the verge of defeat and they were scattering. She, along with her two sons, and husband tried to surround the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in order to ward off and repel any attack on him. She had a sword in one hand and a shield in the other. If the enemy had been on foot and not on horseback, they would have slain all of them. When one of the enemies attacked her she warded off the attack with her shield; she then pulled at the bridle of the horse to turn it around. Taking this opportunity, she plunged her sword into the horse's back. The wounded horse fell, taking the rider with him. Seeing this, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) called out to 'Abdullah bin Umm 'Umarah to help his mother. And together she and her son finished off the enemy soldier. During the battle the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) looked pleased, and then he noticed that Umm 'Umarah was bleeding from the shoulder; he asked 'Abdullah to bandage his mother's wound and said that they were a truly great family. He invoked Allah's blessings on them, and prayed that they should be his friends in Paradise as well.

Both Umm 'Umarah and 'Abdullah were overjoyed when they heard these auspicious words from the lips of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). At the same time they were inspired to greater heights of heroism and returned to the attack with renewed vigour till the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) smiled when he saw the heroism and courage of both mother and son, and said, 'From where can anyone get courage like you, O Umm 'Umarah?'

During this battle she sustained at least twelve major wounds; the deepest one, the one on her shoulder, it was so deep that she fainted; and it took a year for it to heal. When she regained consciousness her first question was about the well-being of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), rather than about her own sons or husband. When she learned that he was fine, she thanked Allah. Besides the battle of Hunayn and the conquest of Makkah, Umm 'Umarah fought valiantly in the battle against Musaylamah Al-Kadthab. She sustained eleven wounds and her arm was cut. Her son, Habib bin Zaid Ansari was martyred in this battle, slain by Musaylamah himself.

Her other son, 'Abdullah bin Zaid was martyred in the Battle of Hurrat. This war was fought in the year 63rd, after Hijrah, on stony black ground (Harrah) to the east of Al-Madinah.

Umm 'Umarah and some other women also took part in a war with the Banu Quraythah. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) gave them part of the booty taken during this war. These were the terms of equality practiced by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). She was also active during the Treaty of Hudaybiyah and twenty women took part in the Battle of Khyber too; one of them was Umm 'Umarah.

During his caliphate, Abu Bakr Siddiq sent the army to test the challenge of the army of Musaylamah. Umm 'Umarah was also in the army. She was about sixty years old at the time, and her son 'Abdullah bin Zaid was also with her; he was one of those who finally killed this man.

Umm 'Umarah held a very special place among the women Companions. When the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) saw the valour and sacrificing spirit of the whole family - husband, wife, and sons - in the most intense part of the battle of Uhud he prayed that Allah might have Mercy on that family.

Umm 'Umarah requested him to pray that they should have the good fortune to be with him in Paradise. It was then that he prayed that they should be his friends in Paradise.

"Allah will be pleased with them and they with Him." [Noble Quran 98:8]

 

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