بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the name of Allāh, The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Verily, the Muslims (those who submit to Allāh in Islām) men and women, the believers men and women (who believe in Islāmic Monotheism), the men and the women who are obedient (to Allāh), the men and the women who are truthful (in their speech and deeds), the men and the women who are patient (in performing all the duties which Allāh has ordered and in abstaining from all that Allāh has forbidden), the men and the women who are humble (before their lord — Allāh), the men and the women who give Sadaqāt (i.e. Zakāt and alms), the men and the women who observe Saum (fast) (the obligatory fasting during the month of Ramadān, and the optional Nawāfil fasting), who guard their chasity (from illegal sexual acts) and the men and the women who remember Allāh much with their hearts and tongues. Allāh has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (i.e. Jannah) (Paradise) — Al-Qur’ān [33:35]
All praises are due to Allāh [ﷻ] the Almighty,the Lord of all that exists. May Allāh’s [ﷻ] peace and blessing be upon his His final Prophet and Messenger, Muḥammad [ﷺ], his family and his Companions.
Mu’mīneen Brothers and Sisters
This post is about the Great Women of Islām, who were given the good news of Paradise. Those, who were pure and virtuos women of Islām. Who were honored during the very lifetime of the Prophet Muḥammad [ﷺ]. The Sahābiyāt (Women Companions) were the noble women who were the contemporaries of the Prophet Muḥammad [ﷺ]. Their achievements and influence are found in every sphere of that momentous period in the history of the world, when the whole of humanity would be transfigured forever. They were as active in religion as in politics, as courageous in war as in the peaceful and persuasive propgation of the teachings of Islām. These noble selfless women could be found in the battlefields amongst the foremost ranks of those taking part in Jihād. They were to be found in the political arena, in the field of education, in the courts of Islāmic jurisprudence, in the interpretation of Shari’ah, in trade and commerce, in agriculture, in medicine and in nursing. In short, there was no sphere that did not benefit from their intellect, their wisdom and their gentle yet firm strength of character.
Among the many services that one can render to Islām, is to fight in the battlefields. Few, if any, examples of such zeal, determination, preservance and courage can be found in history.
When the disbelievers attacked the Muslims during the Battle of Uhud, only a few devoted followers were left to fight with the Prophet Muḥammad [ﷺ]. At this critical stage, the Woman Companion, Umm ‘Ammārah [ر] shielded him with her body and warded off the enemy with her sword as well as her bows and arrows. When Qaniah got within striking distance of the Prophet Muḥammad [ﷺ], it was she who bore the brunt of his attack. She had a deep wound on her shoulder, yet she continued to attack him with her sword.
Against Mussailmah Kaththāb, she fought so courageously, that she suffered a dozen wounds and lost an arm.
In the battle of Ahazab (the battle of Trench), the Companion Safiyyah [ر] displayed brilliant military strategy in handling the Jewish attack, and slew one of the Jews.
In the Battle of Hunanin, Umm Salim [ر] set out to attack the enemy with her sword.
In the battle of Yarmook, Asmā’ bint Abu Bakr [ر], Umm Abbān [ر], Umm Hakeem [ر], Khawlah [ر], Hind [ر] and the Mother of believers Juwairiah [ر] displayed extraordinary valor. Asmā’ bint Yazid [ر] killed nine enemy soldiers. In the year 28th after Hijraj, Umm Harām [ر] took part in the attack on Cyprus.
The Mother of the believers ‘Aishah [ر], Umm Salim [ر] and Umm Salit [ر] were among those who were very proficient at nursing the wounded.
Umm ‘Atiyah [ر] took part in seven battles, and fought during the rule of the Caliph ‘Umar Farooq (raḍiyu l-Lāhu ‘anhu).
It was Fātimah bint Khaṭṭāb [ر] who converted her brother ‘Umar ibn Al-Khaṭṭāb (raḍiyu l-Lāhu ‘anhu); he was to become one of the bravest and most faithful of the Companions of the Prophet Muḥammad [ﷺ]. It was Umm Salim [ر] who convinced her husband, Talhah (raḍiyu l-Lāhu ‘anhu), and it was Umm Hakim [ر] who convinced her husband Ikrimah (raḍiyu l-Lāhu ‘anhu) to accept Islām. Umm Shareek Dosiah [ر] very discreetly worked among the women of the tribe of Quraysh to spread Islām.
Another aspect of missionary work is to preserve the religion in its pristine form, and protect it from any modifications, impurities and innovations that may creep in because of cultural or traditional practices already prevelant in society. This very important work of preserving the purity of Islām was performed by many of the Sahābiyāt; most prominent among whom was ‘Aishah [ر].
Leading the prayers and calling the Athān (Call for Prayer), is another important aspect of religious life. Although women cannot lead men in prayers, they can do so with assemblies of women. Many women contemporaries of the Prophet Muḥammad [ﷺ] performed this task as well. ‘Aishah [ر], Umm Salim [ر], Umm Waraqah [ر] and Sa’dah bint Qamāmah [ر] were some of the prominent among these.
In fact, Umm Waraqah [ر] turned her house into a place of prayer for women; the Athān was given there by a lady Mu’aththin for the women’s congregation, and Umm Waraqah [ر] performed the duties of Imām in leading the prayers.
The Sahābiyāt (Women Companions) played a prominent role in politics as well. Caliph ‘Umar (raḍiyu l-Lāhu ‘anhu) so valued Shifa’ bint ‘Abdullah [ر] for her politcal intelligence and insight that he very often consulted with her. He often gave her the responsibility of running the affairs of state related to trade and commerce.
There are various subjects, an understanding of which are essential for a thorough knowledge of Islām and its tenets. Qirā’at interpretation and commentary, Shari’āh, Fiqh, study of Hadīth, all are important aspects of Islāmic studies. Many of the women Companions were experts in these fields. ‘Aishah [ر] memorized the Qur’ān as did Hafsah [ر], Umm Salmah [ر], Umm Waraqah [ر]. Hind bint Aseed [ر], Umm Hishām bin Harithah [ر], Zaidah bint Hayyān [ر], Umm Sa’ad bint Sa’ad [ر]; all knew portions of the Qur’ān by heart. 2,210 Aḥadīth are associated with ‘Aishah [ر] and 378 with Umm Salmah [ر].
Asmā’ bint ‘Umais [ر] was famous for her interpretation of dreams.
Some of the Sahābiyāt also ran business. Khadijah bint Khawaylid [ر] was a very successful businesswoman and used to send trading caravans to different countries. To name a few, Khawlah [ر], Maleekah [ر], Thaqafiyah [ر], Bint Fakhariyah [ر], Saudah [ر] were all successful businesswomen.
Umm Salmah [ر] used to recite the Qur’ān with Tajweed, which was a difficult skill and much appreciated.
The strength of character and noble qualities of Khadijah bint Khawaylid [ر], the first wife of Prophet Muḥammad [ﷺ] earned her the honor of being greeted by Allāh through his Angel Jibril [عليه السلام]. She was the first person to have an abiding faith in the uttrances of the Prophet Muḥammad [ﷺ] and to accept Islām as her religion and her way of life. She was an image of faithfulness, integrity, truth, modest good manners and nobility; generous, wise and understanding. It was in her house, that the Prophet Muḥammad [ﷺ] recieved the revelations of Allāh, through Angel Jibril [عليه السلام].
‘Abdullāh bin ‘Abbās (raḍiyu l-Lāhu ‘anhu) narrated, that one day Prophet Muḥammad [ﷺ] drew four lines on the earth and asked his Companions if they understood what these lines stood for. They respectfully replied that he knew better. He [ﷺ] then told them, that these lines stood for the four foremost ladies of the universe. They were Khadijah bint Khawaylid [ر] (The mother of all the believers), Fātimah bint Muhammad [ر] (Leader among the women of Paradise), Maryam bint Imrān [ر] (the mother of Prophet ‘Isā) and ‘Āsiah bint Mazāhim [ر] (the wife of the Pharaoh).
‘Aishah [ر] was chosen by Allāh as a bride for Muḥammad [ﷺ]. Āyāt had descended from the heavens from Allāh on her behalf.
Sumayyah bint Khabāt [ر] was one of the first seven people (Abu Bakr Siddique, ‘Ali bin Abi Talib, Khadijah, Zaid bin Hārithah, Sumayyah bint Khabāt, ‘Ammār bin Yāsir, Bilāl bin Abi Rabāh) to be enlightened by Islām and swear allegiance to the Prophet Muḥammad [ﷺ]. She had the distinction of being the first martyr of Islām.
Asmā’ bint Abu Bakr Siddique [ر] was known by the title ‘Thāt An-Natāqeen‘. When the Prophet [ﷺ] and Abu Bakr Sidique prepared to set off for Al-Madīnah, Asmā [ر] packed the eatables into a leather bag, but there was no rope to tie up the mouth of the bag. So, she divide her girdle (belt) into two and used one part to tie up the leather bag and the Prophet [ﷺ] blessed her and gave her the news of Jannah for her.
May Allāh be pleased with them and they with Him.
So my dear sisters, Islām has granted you a status never known before to women. Ittaqullāh (Fear Allāh) and do the good for paradise lies in your feet.
“Verily, Allāh has purchased of the believers their lives and their properties for (the price) that theirs shall be the Paradise.” — Al-Qur’ān [9:111]
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allāh’s (ﷻ) Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allāh (ﷻ) Alone Knows Best and He (ﷻ) is the Only Source of Strength.