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Spotlight on Strong Female Companions of the Prophet (PBUH)

To know anyone, you have to know those closest to them—those who shaped them, taught them, inspired them, and cared for them.

In this way, to know the Prophet (PBUH), you have to know who the people around him were. To be sure, he was supremely influential.

He shaped the lives of his companions in incredible ways. His legacy is still shaping our lives today.

But like any other human being, he was also influenced by others.

Thankfully, Allah (SWT) surrounded the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) with many amazing people, including some very strong women.

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Here is a very brief look at some of the great qualities these women possessed:

Barakah- The Mother

Barakah (may Allah be pleased with her- RA), was a servant in the family of Muhammad (PBUH) long before Muhammad was even born.

She looked after the affairs of her mother and father with great devotion and commitment.

Once, Barakah (RA) narrated what Muhammad’s (PBUH) mother, Aminah, said:

O Barakah! I have seen a strange dream,’

Something good, my lady’, I asked.

[Aminah said], ‘I saw lights coming from my abdomen lighting up the mountains, the hills and the valleys around Makkah.’

Do you feel pregnant, my lady?

Yes, Barakah,’ she replied. ‘But I do not feel any discomfort as other women feel!’

‘You shall give birth to a blessed child who will bring goodness,’ I said.

When Aminah gave birth to Muhammad (PBUH), Barakah (RA) was the first person to hold him. Early in his childhood, Aminah, while on a journey, became seriously ill with fever and passed away.

Barakah became like a mother to the orphan child when he was in the care of his grandfather and then his uncle.

Spotlight on Strong Female Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) - About Islam

She continued to look after and care for Muhammad into adulthood, as a mother would look after her own child. She stayed with the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) even after his marriage to Khadijah (RA).

And when the message of Allah came to Muhammad, Barakah was one of the first people to accept Islam.

Barakah was warm, protective, and nurturing and became like a second mother to the Prophet (PBUH) who was orphaned so young.

He called her “ummi”, meaning mother in Arabic.

Rufaydah- The Doctor

During the battle of the Trench, Mu’adh (RA) sustained a serious injury for which he sought medical treatment.

Spotlight on Strong Female Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) - About Islam

It is in this instance that we first come across the name Rufaydah. Her medical skills, and her clinic, which was a simple tent called ‘Rufaydah’s tent’.

From her job experience, Rufaydah became very skilled in healing broken bones, wounds of war, etc.

She was keen, compassionate, and resourceful.

It was said that she sought whatever means were available to her to treat those in her charge.

Remarkably, she never asked for a fee for the treatment she gave, instead spending her own money on her patient’s needs. [ii]

Al-Khansa – The Poet

Al-Khansa (RA) was a true artist who saw beauty in language.

She started crafting poems at an early age, but was timid and never produced more than a few lines.

That was until she retreated into her art when faced with the loss of her brother. In her sorrow, she refined her talent and produced sophisticated and bountiful verses.

She attained fame for her skill in language.

Al-Khansa (RA) embraced Islam in Madinah and pledged her loyalty to the Prophet (PBUH). The Messenger of Allah once heard her recite poetry and asked her to continue.

The Prophet encouraged her in her art and loved to hear her recite. [iii]

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