By Dr. Nazmy Khalil Abulata
Translated by :Yasmine Mohummed Moslim
Revised by : Magdy Abd Al-Shafy Abd Al-Gawad
Studying the History of Islam and the holy history of the Life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in a careful objective way, regardless of the misunderstanding of some Moslems today, one will be introduced to the pioneering role of Moslem women. Such a leading role was emphasized through protecting the Call to Islam, martyrdom for the sake of God, sacrifice, consultation, medical treatment, struggle, giving opinion, learning, and bringing up children, all of which are proved by events, facts and true reports of Sunna  and Islamic Histo
1.Khadija, may God be pleased with her, is the first believer in Islam:
When Muhammad, peace be upon him, returned from the Cave of Hira for the first time, he went to Khadija (his wife), May God be pleased with her, and said, "Cover me! Cover me!(out of fear as he has already saw the angel Gabriel ). She covered him till his fear was over and after that he told her everything that had happened and said, "I fear that something may have happened to me." Khadija replied: "Never! By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good relations with your kith and kin, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guests generously and assist the destitute and calamity-afflicted ones." Khadija then accompanied him to her cousin Waraqa bin Naufal, who was an old learned man. Khadija said to Waraqa, "Listen to the story of your nephew, O my cousin!" Waraqa asked, "O my nephew! What have you seen?" Allah's Apostle described what he had seen. Waraqa said, "This is the same one who keeps the secrets (angel Gabriel) whom Allah had sent to Moses.
Imam Ahmed has reported that Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said (about Khadija): “She believed in me when others disbelieved in me, she affirmed my faithfulness when others accused me of lying, and she supported me with her money while others deserted me”.
The pioneering role of Khadiga, may God be pleased with her:
Khadija, May God be pleased with her, played a pioneering role. She never abandoned the Messenger of God, peace be upon him, in trouble. Furthermore, Muhammad, as a man, never devalued the opinion of Khadija, as a woman. He never ignored her advice. Instead, he accompanied her to her erudite cousin where she started the discussion and showed leadership, which was not disapproved by Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. Also, he never felt ashamed that he was weak in the beginning of the receiving the Devine Revelation while she coped well with the situation.This is, actually, a lesson for male degree holders; today some of them degrade women and their role.
2.Sumaya Bint Al-Khayat, may God be pleased with her, the first martyr in the History of Islam:
She encountered the polytheists with strength of a female believer who had a firm will and died of excruciating torture. Although unbelievers used to beat her belly and her private parts with a steel bar as they became filled with rage at her pioneering attitude and resistance. In spite of her slavery and torture, she was strong and venerated. On the contrary, in spite of the pretended mastery of polytheists, they were very humble before her.
What a heroic role! What great honour a Muslim woman had when she became the first martyr in the history of Islam! O slaves of manhood, wake up! O those who have a complex about womanhood, I wonder which man did as Sumaya , may God be pleased with her, did.
3.Asma’, may God be pleased with her, was the first one to have risked her life for Islam (commando ) in the History of Islam:
She played the role of a commissariat for the Immigrants army and the role of an intelligence agency as she used to transmit necessary information of the enemy . It has been narrated in Sahih Muslim that when Al-Hajjaj crucified her son, Abd Allah Bin Al-Zubair, may God be pleased with him, (and sent his messenger to her, she refused to attend his court. So, Al-Hajjaj came to her himself). “How do you find what I did with the enemy of God?”, Al-Hajjaj said. “I find that you ruined his life, while he ruined your hereafter life,” she replied. “I have been informed that you call him: the son of the Woman of the Two Belts. I swear by Allah, I am the Woman of the Two Belts;With one of them, I suspend high the food of the Prophet, peace be upon him, and Abi Bakr, making it out of the reach of pack animals. The other is the necessary belt for a woman . the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, told us that, in Thaqif Tribe, there would be born a great liar and a great assassin . We have seen the lair,(Mussailama), and I do think the murderer is none but you.” Thereupon, he (Al-Hajjaj) stood up and never replied to her.
These are only some snatches of the courage of Asma (a woman), May God be pleased with her, who were one who confronted the tyrants, Al-Hajjaj, (a man who was a case in point) and supported reformers and prophets (the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and immigrants with him, may God be pleased with them).
4.Umm Salama, a woman who rescued Muslims from ruin:
On the day of Al-Hudaibiya Treaty, people disobeyed the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and therefore, Muslims were about to ruin. God has protected them with the wisdom of Umm Salama, may God be pleased with her, and her good advice. Imam Al-Bukhari has reported that: “when the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, concluded Al-Hudaibiya Peace Treaty with Quraish Tribe, he said to his companions: ‘Get up and butcher your sacrifices then have your head shaved’. By God, no one did so although he repeated his order three times. When none of them got up, he went to Umm Salama (his wife) and told her about what people did. She said: ‘O Prophet of God, do you want them to follow your order? Go out, do not speak to any of them till you butcher your she-camel (sacrifice) and call your barber to shave your head’. He got out and did not speak to anyone till he did that, viz. butchered his sacrifice and called his barber to shave his head. When Muslims saw that, they got up, butchered their sacrifices and shaved the heads of each other”. It is the fraternity of Islam appearing in how Umm Salama rescued Muslims from the disobedience of their Prophet. Furthermore, he, peace be upon him, never devalued her advice, as some men do nowadays (with their wives). Instead, he followed her advice. I wonder if men today try to draw a lesson from that.
5.Umm Atiya, may God be pleased with her, defended men:
Imam Al-Bukhary reported that the husband of Umm 'Atiyya participated in twelve military campaigns (Ghazawats) with the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. Umm Atiya accompanied him in six of them. Imam Muslim narrated on the authority of Umm 'Atiyya, the Ansarite, who said: I took part with the Messenger of God, peace be upon him, in seven battles. I used to stay behind in the camp of men, cook their food, treat the wounded and nurse the sick.
On the day of the Battle of Uhud, when men ran away, she resisted and defended the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. So, she used to stand up for Muslim men and their Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
6.The first military field hospital established by a Muslim woman:
It is mentioned in the history of Islam that Raffida, may God be pleased with her, set up the first mobile military field hospital in the History of Islam. She pitched a field tent where medical care was provided for the wounded.
In short, had we try to mention the glorious feats of women in the History of Islam, we would find that such pioneering feats are countless. I wonder how far women nowadays tread in the steps of those of the early age of Islam.
(1)Sunna: The deeds, sayings, and silent approvals of the Prophet Muhammad; this constitutes the second source of Shari'a (the Islamic Law). It is obligatory for Muslims to follow the Sunna as well as the Quran.
(2)Al Jaami` Al-Saheeh, Vol.1, No.1-3 and Sahih Muslim, Book 1, Number 0301.
(3)Al Jaami` Al-Saheeh, Vol.1, No.1-3and Sahih Muslim, Book 1, Number 0301.
(4Asma' bint Abi Bakr (died 73 A.H.) : A meritorious female Companion, she was one of the first to adopt Islam. She was called "the Woman of the Two Belts" because she split her belt to bind the food she carried to Abu Bakr and the Prophet on their Migration journey. She composed good poetry, and was the last woman immigrant to die.
(5When disbelievers agreed to the Treaty (of Hudaibiya), one of the things he stipulated then, was that the Prophet should return to them (i.e. the pagans) anyone coming to him from their side, even if he was a Muslim; and would not interfere between them and that person. The Muslims did not like this condition and got disgusted with it. disbelievers did not agree except with that condition. (Al Jaami` Al-Saheeh, Vol.3, No.3-874).
(6)Al Jaami` Al-Saheeh, Vol.3, No.3-891
(7)Sahih Muslim, Book 19, Number 4462