Uhud was the first battle in which Muslim women took part, and they greatly contributed by giving water to the fighters and treating the wounded. The heroic acts and true faith of these women clearly appeared in this battle; they went out to quench the thirst of the Muslims and treat their wounds, and some of them were even countering the blows targeting the Messenger, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam. The women who participated in the Battle of Uhud included the Mother of the Believers ‘Aa‘ishah, Umm ‘Umaarah, Hamnah bint Jahsh Al-Asadiyyah, Umm Saleet, Umm Sulaym and a group of Ansaari (helper) women, may Allah be pleased with them all. [Muslim]
Tha‘labah bin Abu Maalik, may Allah be pleased with him, said,
‘Umar bin Al-Khattaab once distributed some garments amongst the women of Madeenah. One good garment remained, and one of those present with him said, “O Commander of the Believers, give this garment to your wife, the [grand] daughter of the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam.” They meant Umm Kulthoom, may Allah be pleased with her, the daughter of ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him. Thereupon ’Umar, may Allah be pleased with him said, “Umm Saleet has more right [to have it].” Umm Saleet was amongst the women of the Ansaar who had given the pledge of allegiance to the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam. She [i.e. Umm Saleet] would carry the water skins for us on the Day of Uhud. [Al-Bukhari]
A- Giving Water to Thirsty Mujaahids
It was narrated on the authority of Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said, “On the Day [of the Battle] of Uhud when [some] people had retreated and left the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, I saw ‘Aa‘ishah bint Abu Bakr and Umm Sulaym hurrying with their water skins with their robes tucked up so that the bangles around their ankles were visible. [In another narration it was said, “Carrying the water skins on their backs.”] They would then pour the water into the mouths of the people, return to fill the water skins again and came back again to pour water in the mouths of the people.” [Al-Bukhari]
Ka‘b bin Maalik, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “I saw Umm Sulaym bint Milhaan and ‘Aa‘ishah carrying water skins on their backs on the Day of the Battle of Uhud. [Also], Hamnah bint Jahsh was giving water to the thirsty and treating the wounded, and Umm Ayman was giving water to the wounded.”
B- Healing the Wounded and Comforting the Bereaved
It was narrated on the authority of Anas bin Maalik, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, would take Umm Sulaym, may Allah be pleased with her, and a group of women of the Ansaar with him in his battles to give water to Muslims and treat the wounded. [Muslim]
Abdur-Razzaaq, may Allah have mercy upon him, narrated on the authority of Az-Zuhri, may Allah have mercy upon him, that women would attend battles with the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, give water to the fighters, and treat the wounded. [Al-Bukhari]
It was narrated on the authority of Ar-Rubayyi‘ bint Mu‘awwith, may Allah be pleased with her, that she said, “We were with the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, [in his battles] to give water, treat the wounded and carry the dead to Madeenah.” In another narration, she said, “We used to go with the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, in his battles to give water and serve the fighters, and return the wounded and dead to Madeenah.” [Al-Bukhari]
It was narrated on the authority of Abu Haazim that when Sahl bin Sa‘d, may Allah be pleased with him, was asked about the wounds of the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, he said, “By Allah, I know who washed the wounds of the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, and who poured water [for washing them], and with what he was treated. [Sahl added], Faatimah, the daughter of the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, would wash the wounds, and 'Ali bin Abu Taalib would pour water from a shield. When Faatimah saw that the water aggravated the bleeding, she took a piece of a mat, burnt it, and inserted its ashes into the wound so that the blood was congealed [and the bleeding stopped].” [Al-Bukhari]
C- Defending Islam and the Messenger, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, with the Sword
Umm ‘Umaarah Nusaybah Al-Maaziniyyah, may Allah be pleased with her, was the only woman who engaged in fighting in the Battle of Uhud. Dhamarah bin Sa‘eed reported on the authority of his grandmother who was giving water to the fighters in the Battle of Uhud, saying that she heard the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, saying:
“The status of Nusaybah bint Ka‘b today is better than that of so-and-so and so-and-so.” He said that because he saw her fighting fiercely, tying up her clothes up to her waist until she suffered thirteen wounds. When she died [in later years], I was among the women performing Ghusl [ritual purification] for her and counted all thirteen wounds of hers. [She added], I saw Ibn Qami‘ah hitting her shoulder and causing her a deep wound that she remained seeking a cure from for one year.
When the caller of the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, announced their march to Hamraa‘ Al-Asad, she put on her clothes to go, but she could not due to her bleeding. We stayed that night treating her wounds until the morning. When the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, returned from Hamraa’ Al-Asad and upon reaching his home, he sent ‘Abdullaah bin Ka‘b Al-Maazini, a brother of Umm ‘Umaarah, to ask about her. After asking about her, he returned to the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, and informed him that she was fine, and the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, was pleased to hear that.
Husayn Al-Baakiri commented on the participation of Nusaybah bint Ka‘b, may Allah be pleased with her, in the battle, saying, “Concerning the setting out of women for participation in battle with men, the only authenticated narration was the story of Nusaybah. Nusaybah joined the fight under necessity when she saw the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, in danger after the retreat of the Muslims. Umm ‘Umaarah was in a situation in which carrying a weapon is obligatory on the one who is able to, regardless of the gender.”
Dr. Akram Dhiyaa‘ Al-‘Umari commented on the traditions about the participation of women in the Battle of Uhud, saying, “These traditions indicate that it is permissible to utilize women if there is a necessity to treat and serve the wounded, if temptation is not [feared or] possible. They are required to wear proper Islamic dress and maintain their chastity. If the enemies attack them, they should fight to defend themselves. Jihaad is only obligatory upon men unless the enemies attack the lands of Muslims. In the latter case, it would be obligatory on all inhabitants, men and women, to fight.”
Mr. Muhammad Ahmad Baashumayl said,
Uhud was the first battle in Islam in which Muslim women fought the polytheists. Only one woman was authentically reported to have taken part in this battle, and defended the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam. Also, it was known that she did not set out for the battle for the purpose of fighting, since she was not recruited as the men were; rather, she joined the Battle of Uhud to see what Muslims were going to do and if it was possible to offer help for them, such as giving water to the wounded and the like.
Besides, the woman who fought in the Battle of Uhud was elderly, and she went to the battle in the company of her husband and two sons who were among the Muslim troops. Her moral character and religious upbringing was a great asset for her. Thus, there is no comparison between such a great female Companion and contemporary female soldiers, who wear uniforms, and take pleasure from elements of temptation and allurement. These elements are a distinguished quality that contemporary female soldiers have and try their best to expose to men. Incomparable, indeed!
Moreover, the men of this age are not like those living in the era of the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, in terms of magnanimity, constant observance of Islam, chastity and manliness. All the soldiers with whom a woman took part in the Battle of Uhud with, were the cream of the Muslim Ummah (nation) and a symbol of nobility, magnanimity, manliness and observance of Islam. Thus, it is not correct at all to use the participation of that woman in the Battle of Uhud as a Sharee‘ah-based rule to permit the recruitment of women to battles, side by side with men, in this age as a key member in the army. Analogy is impossible, even false in this case.