Nusayba bint Ka’b al-Ansariyah


Saudi Arabia

Known for

Early Convert to Islam and First Female to Fight in Defense of Islam


Hijri Unknown~70 (AH); Common Era Unknown~690 (CE)

Nusayba bint Ka’b al-Ansariyah


Nusayba, also known as Umm Omara and al-Maziniyyah, was an early convert to Islam and the first female to fight in defense of the religion. Nusayba was a part of the Banu Najjar tribe living in Medina during the time of the Prophet. She was one of only two women who partook in the second pledge of allegiance to Islam by newly converted Muslims. After converting, she fought alongside the Prophet against the Meccans in the Battle of Uhud, Battle of Hunain, Battle of Yamama, and the Treaty of Hudaibiyah. Although initially accompanying the warriors in battle to provide assistance, Nusayba began fighting when, at the Battle of Uhud, the Prophet’s archers turned against him and the battle turned from a victory to a defeat. Nusayba rushed to the Prophet’s side to protect him from the arrows of the opposition. After the Prophet died, she continued to be revered as a loyal convert, and lived through the rule of Abu Bakr and Umar ibn Al-Khattab. There is ambiguity about the end of her life but it is certain that she is currently buried in Mecca.


”Woman of Distinction - Nusaybah bint Ka’b: The Woman Warrior of Islam,” Al-Shindagah, Sept-Oct 2004, at Jennifer Heath, The Scimitar and the Veil (Mahwah: HiddenSpring 2004).
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