Umm Amara aka Nusaeba bint Ka'ab - The Fierce Knight
Lady Knights

Kaan Ya Makaan, Fee Qadeem Al-Zamaan…
There was a Place, in Times of Old…

Just outside of Medina, called the Mountain of Uhud; around which a great battle was being fought. At first, the Muslims had the upper hand but the Muslim archers stationed on the mountain of Uhud disobeyed their orders and did not hold their positions. As a result, the tides of war rose in favor of the invading Qurashis of Mecca. Soon panic spread through the Muslim lines and many otherwise brave men took to their heels.

Amongst those on the plains before Uhud mountain was Umm (mother of) Amara. She was a middle aged woman with two grown sons and a husband fighting with the others for the Muslims' right to exist. Umm Amara was busily carrying water to the exhausted Muslim combatants and caring for the wounded when she suddenly became aware of scores of fighters streaming past her.

She stood, looked around and was horrified when she realized that the people who were passing her had been panicked into fleeing. Even more horrifying was the sentence that was being repeated over and over by the fleeing Muslims, "Muhammad is dead! Muhammad is dead!"

Umm Amara snatched up a discarded sword and ran toward the roiling battle, the adrenaline in her veins causing the blood to sing in her ears as her feet pounded across the uneven ground. She struck down those who attacked her and wove through the fierce fighting, praying to find Muhammad PBUH who she had seen not long ago. Repeating over and over in her mind was a desperate prayer that he be alive and well.

Suddenly, right before her eyes, there was Muhammad PBUH. He stood there bleeding and surrounded by about a dozen staunch Muslims defenders. Umm Amara thought her heart would burst with joy when she saw him alive and on his feet. Then she saw that among those who surrounded the Prophet PBUH were her two sons and her husband and her heart swelled with pride. She raced forward, narrowly avoiding swinging swords and spear thrusts and took her place among those who defended the Prophet Muhammad PBUH.

This small group who had stood their ground were fighting for their lives. Umm Amara pulled up her skirts, tied them around her waist and used her sword like one born to it. As she fought, the Prophet Muhammad PBUH worried about her safety. He saw that all she had was a sword so he called to a fleeing warrior who had a shield, "Throw your shield to those who fight!"

The fleeing warrior threw down his shield as he passed and continued on his way. Umm Amara snatched up the shield and used it to block the deadly swinging sword of a mounted warrior. She then slashed at the leg of the rider's horse causing it to fall and toss its rider. The Prophet Muhammad PBUH was busy fighting off the determined Qurashis who were specifically targeting him. Nevertheless he saw the now horseless warrior making for Umm Amara. Worried for her but unable to reach her in time, he called out to her nearby son, "Ibn Umm Amara (Son of the Mother of Amara)! Your mother! Your mother!"

Whirling, Umm Amara's son rushed to her aid and together they defeated the horseless warrior, just in time to face more warriors. Then more warriors and more warriors and still more warriors, in an endless stream of ferocious enemies. One thought sustained her through the never ending fighting: She was determined that today, Muhammad PBUH would NOT die.

During one of his many fights, Umm Amara's son, Abdullah, was seriously wounded. Too busy fighting for his own life as well as the lives of those around him, he paid his gushing wound no heed. When the Prophet PBUH saw the blood running so very freely from the young man's wounds, he called over the roar of the battle, "Stanch that blood!"

When Umm Amara heard this, she pulled bandages from the bag she had been carrying and went to her son. Quickly and efficiently she sat him down and bound up his wound. When she was satisfied that the bleeding was under control, she said to her son, "Stand up, my son! Fight!"

"Who is as strong as you, Umm Amara?!" the Prophet PBUH said to her, amused and awed by her brave heart.

Just then a warrior launched himself at them, the same warrior who had wounded Umm Amara's son so grievously. With this in mind, Umm Amara stepped forward and slashed at him angrily with her sword, felling him instantly.

"Show me where Muhammad is!" a great voice bellowed, "May I die today if he does not!"

Muhammad PBUH and his companions turned and beheld Ibn Qumae'a, a fierce and renowned Qurashi warrior, riding straight at them. Without hesitation, Musab bin Umair and those who stood nearest to Ibn Qumae'a's charge engaged him. With them was Umm Amara who slashed fiercely and tirelessly at Ibn Qumae'a. Enraged by the actions of this bold and warlike woman, Ibn Qumae'a changed his focus to her. With one mighty swing, he brought his sword down on her shoulder, just where it met her neck, cutting her deeply and causing the blood to run in rivers down her clothes and body.

Ever alert to the wellbeing of his fellow fighters, the Prophet PBUH saw Umm Amara get wounded and called out urgently to her nearby son who carried a sling, "Shoot, Ibn Umm Amara! Your mother! Your mother! Bind her wound! O' God, make them my companions in heaven!"

When Umm Amara heard Muhammad PBUH speak that prayer she smiled and said, "I don't care what happens to me after this!"

After Umm Amara's son had finished binding her wound, Umm Amara climbed laboriously to her feet and picking up the sword that seemed heavier than Uhud Mountain, she continued to fight. The fact that the world around her seemed to be made of never ending chaos and blood and roaring did not deter her from standing her ground.

Despite being wounded thirteen times, Umm Amara stood tall and strong all through that day. She defended the Prophet PBUH and those around him and they in turn defended her. It seemed like the day and the fighting would go on forever, but like everything in this world, it came to an end. The Battle of Uhud was considered both a victory and a defeat by both sides. The exhausted warriors returned bloody and wounded to their own towns and their own homes, neither side sure who had won and who had lost.

Thanks to Umm Amara and her family and the others who stood their ground that day, when the Muslim army regrouped and returned to Medina, the Prophet PBUH was with them. Though he had been wounded many times, he was very much alive, which is all that Umm Amara had desperately hoped and prayed for at the beginning of that grim day.

*Written by © 2011. Care to read or leave Comments?

  1. Names, Translations and Aliases:
    • Ibn Qumae'a: ابن قميئة
    • Muhammad : خاتم الأنبياء الرسول محمد صلى الله عليه و سلم
    • Umm Amara aka Nusaeba bint Ka'ab: أم عمارة نسيبة بنت كعب الأنصارية

  1. Al-Dhahabi, A. (2004 AD). سير أعلام النبلاء [Biographies of Notable Nobles]. Beirut: International Ideas Home. Volume 3. Page 4013-4014.
  2. Halbi, M. (2006 AD, 1427 H). المائة الأوائل من صحابيات الرسول [The Hundred First Lady Contemporaries of the Messenger] (2nd Ed). Beirut: Dar El-Marefah Publishing & Distributing. Page 154-164.
  3. Qutub, M., Al-Daouk, M., Al-Doemee, A. (2003 AD, 1424 H). نساء حول الرسول - تراجم و قصص [Women About the Messenger - Biographies and Stories]. Beirut: Al-Maktaba Al-Assrya Publishing and Distributing. Page 224-231.

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