Umm ‘Atiyyah Al-Ansaariyyah
Umm ‘Atiyyah Al-Ansaariyyah, may Allah be pleased with her, was one of the eminent female Companions who enriched the historical record of women in the fields of Jihaad (struggle), Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) and Hadeeth (narration).
Her name is Nusaybah bint Al-Haarith Al-Ansaariyyah. She was one of the earliest women of the Ansaar (helpers) to embrace Islam. She used to go to the battlefield with the army to serve water to the soldiers, nurse the injured, and prepare food for the army.
Umm ‘Atiyyah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “I attended seven battles with the Messenger of Allah . I would guard their belongings while they were away, cook their food, treat the wounded and nurse the sick.” [Muslim]
During the Battle of Khaybar, Umm ‘Atiyyah was one of the twenty women who went with the Messenger of Allah, , to obtain the reward of Jihaad. [At-Tabaqaat Al-Kubra]
Umm ‘Atiyyah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “When Zaynab, the daughter of the Prophet died, he said to us: ‘Wash her an odd number of times -- three or five times -- and put camphor or camphor-like [substance] the last time, and after you have washed her, inform me.’’ [ Muslim]
Umm ‘Atiyyah, may Allah be pleased with her, was knowledgeable about Fiqh and was a narrator of Hadeeths. She narrated forty Hadeeths, six of which are in Saheeh Al-Bukhari and Saheeh Muslim.
The Hadeeths of Umm ‘Atiyyah were narrated by Abu Daawood, At-Tirmithi, An-Nasaa’i and Ibn Maajah . Anas ibn Maalik, may Allah be pleased with him, was among the Companions who narrated some of her Hadeeths. Some of the Taabi‘oon (successors) who narrated her Hadeeths are: Muhammad ibn Seereen, his sister Hafsah bint Seereen, Umm Sharaaheel, ‘Ali ibn Al-Aqmar, ‘Abdul-Malik ibn ‘Umayr and Ismaa‘eel ibn ‘Abdur-Rahmaan .
Umm ‘Atiyyah, may Allah be pleased with her, is the one who said, “We were forbidden to follow funeral processions, but not strictly.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Umm ‘Atiyyah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “At the time of giving the pledge of allegiance to the Prophet, one of the conditions was that we would not wail, but it was not fulfilled except by five women and they are Umm Sulaym, Um Al-‘Alaa’, the daughter of Abu Sabrah (the wife of Mu‘aath), and two other women; or the daughter of Abu Sabrah and the wife of Mu‘aath and another woman.”[Al-Bukhari]
Ibn Hajar said, “If this is not a Shaath (contradicting) report; the five women are: Umm Sulaym, Umm Al-‘Alaa’, Umm Kulthoom, Umm ‘Amr and Hind. However, I believe the fifth woman was Umm ‘Atiyyah, the narrator of the Hadeeth.”
This Hadeeth indicates a clear virtue of those women.
‘Iyaadh said, “This Hadeeth means that only five women of those who took the pledge of allegiance with the Prophet along with Umm ‘Atiyyah, actually fulfilled it.” [Fat-h Al-Baari]
Ibn Hajar said, “Wailing is absolutely prohibited according to all scholars.” [Fat-h Al-Baari]
Umm ‘Atiyyah, may Allah be pleased with her, died in Basra as she had moved there during the last years of her life. Many people benefited from her knowledge. Many Companions and Taabi‘oon learned a great deal from her, especially the manner of washing the dead. She was nearly seventy years old when she died.