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FIGHTING WOMEN OF ISLāM
Umm ʿUmara Nasiba
Bint Kaʿb Al-Ans.ariyya  rad.yAllāhu ʿanhā
by Sh. G. F. Haddad

Imām al-Bayhaqī narrated in his Dalā'il al-Nubuwwa ("The Marks of Prophethood") through Mūsā ibn ʿUqba and ʿAbd al-Rah.mān ibn Khālid ibn Musāfir, from Ibn Shihāb, from Saʿīd ibn al-Musayyab:

Ubay ibn Khalaf [the Meccan] swore, when he paid his ransom [after being captured at Badr]: "By Allāh! I have a steed which I am feeding every day a portion of corn, and I shall kill Muh.ammad riding it!" News of this reached the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ who said: "Nay, I shall kill him if Allāh wills." [At Uh.ud] Ubay came dressed in his armor on top of his horse, shouting, "May I not survive if Muh.ammad survives!" He charged the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ, intent on killing him. Mūsā ibn ʿUqba said that Saʿīd ibn al-Musayyab said that several men among the Believers intercepted him. Then the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ ordered them to clear the way.  “ They said: 'Messenger of Allāh! Shall one of us turn to face him?' He said: 'Leave him!' When he approached, the Prophet ﷺ took the spear from al-H.ārith ibn al-S.imma [al-Badrī]. One of the witnesses said - as was related to me [Kaʿb ibn Mālik] - that the Prophet ﷺ jumped up with a motion that sent us scampering away from him like gadflies off the back of a camel.”
The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ sighted the clavicle (tarquwa) of Ubay ibn Khalaf showing through a gap between the helmet and the breastplate. He speared him there. Ubay fell off his horse but no blood came out of his wound. Saʿīd said he broke a rib. Thereupon was revealed the verse { You threw not when you did throw, but Allāh threw } (8:17). His friends came and found him drooping like a tired bull. They said: "What is ailing you? It is only a scratch!" But he reminded them of what the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ had said - "I shall kill Ubay" - crying, "  “By Allāh! If he hit me only with his spittle he would kill me! Did he not say 'I shall kill him'?” By the One in Whose Hand is my soul! If the wound I just received were in the people of Dhūl-Majāz they would all die!" He died on his way to Makka.

Narrated - except for the bracketed segments - from the Companion al-Musayyab ibn H.azn by al-H.ākim in the Mustadrak (2:327=1990 ed. 2:357) with a sound chain per al-Bukhārī's criterion; mursal from his son Saʿīd ibn al-Musayyab by Ibn Saʿd in the T.abaqāt al-Kubrā (2:46); and - in part - by al-Wāqidī in his Maghāzī (1:250); also, without mention of the broken rib and the verse, mursal from ʿUrwa ibn al-Zubayr by Abū Nuʿaym in his Dalā'il al-Nubuwwa (p. 483 #415). Cf. al-Suyūt.ī, al-Khas.ā'is. al-Kubrā (1:352-353), al-Qurt.ubī's (7:385) and Ibn Kathīr's Tafsīr (1:416), his Bidāya (4:32), Ibn al-Qayyim's Zād al-Maʿād (3:178, 188), and the Sīra H.alabiyya (2:511).

The first bracketed [ “ ... ”] segment is narrated from Kaʿb ibn Mālik by al-Wāqidī in his Maghāzī (1:251-252), Ibn Ish.āq in his Maghāzī (#511), and through the latter Ibn Hishām in his Sīra (4:33), Ibn Abī ʿAs.im in al-Jihād (2:601-602 #253), al-T.abarī in his Tārīkh (2:67), and Abū Nuʿaym in his Dalā'il (p. 482 #414) cf. Ibn H.ibbān, al-Thiqāt (1:229), al-Kilāʿī, al-Iktifā' (2:77), and Ibn Kathīr, Tafsīr (1:416-417) and Bidāya (4:32).

The second bracketed segment [ “ ... ”] is narrated mursal from Miqsam ibn Bujra the freedman of Ibn ʿAbbās by ʿAbd al-Razzāq (5:355-357 #9731) through his Shaykh Maʿmar ibn Rāshid cf. Khas.ā'is. (1:353) and by Ibn Hishām (4:33) through Ibn Ish.āq.

Dhūl-Majāz is an oasis of Hudhayl behind ʿArafa where a market was held in pre-Islamic times cf. Yāqūt, Muʿjam al-Buldān (5:55 and 5:58). After this encounter the Prophet ﷺ bugled to head for H.amrā' al-Asad. Al-Dhahabī, Siyar (3:521).

Among those who stood their ground around the Prophet ﷺ and intercepted Ubay ibn Khalaf as he was charging him were Mus.ʿab ibn ʿUmayr who got killed and UMM ʿUMARA NASIBA BINT KAʿB al-Ans.āriyya al-Khazrajiyya al-Najjāriyya al-Māziniyya, together with her husband Ghaziyya ibn ʿAmr and her two sons Khubayb ibn Zayd ibn ʿAs.im - whom Musaylima later cut to pieces - and ʿAbd Allāh ibn Zayd al-Māzinī who killed Musaylima at al-Yamāma and got killed at al-H.arra in 63. She got gashed in her shoulder, among the twelve wounds she suffered in that battle. The Prophet ﷺ praised her during battle and later. She nursed her shoulder-wound for a full year. In recounting the battle, she referred to Ubay ibn Khalaf as Ibn Qami'a - "Son of Trash." She also saw the battle of H.unayn and her hand got cut off at the bloodiest battle of al-Yamāma. Her brother ʿAbd Allāh ibn Kaʿb al-Māzinī fought at Badr. Al-Dhahabī documents all of this in the chapter devoted to her in his Siyar Aʿlām al-Nubalā' ("Lives of the Standard-Bearers of the Nobility") (3:520-523 #146).

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad ©






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2002-02-24

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