Lamya's Corner

"There was for Saba, aforetime, a sign in their homeland [Yemen] two gardens to the right and to the left . . . be grateful to Him[Allah] . . .But they turned away, and We sent against them the flood released from the Dams [Maarib dam]" (Qur'an. Saba:15-16)

Al-Shifa Bint Abdullah Assignment July 24, 2010

Filed under: Leadership Training Camp — lamyaalmas @ 6:57 pm

Today we talked about a notable female companion, Al-Shifa bint Abdullah (raa), who entered Islam during the earliest stages of the Prophet’s message. She (raa) endured, as did the early Muslims, the persecutions inflicted upon them by both the leaders and people of Quraysh until Allah (swt) permitted them to migrate to Al-Madinah.  In Al-Jahiliyyah, she was skilled in the art of Ruqyah (healing through supplication). After embracing Islam she demonstrated this skill–Ruqyah–to the Prophet (saw) for permission to either continue, modify, or stop it altogether. See how conscientious she was that all she did conformed to Islam. The Prophet (saw) not only asked her to continue performing Ruqyah, but even suggested she teach it to his wife Hafsah bint Umar ibn Al Khattab (raa).

Al-Shifa was among the few individuals, at the time of Jahliyyah and the early days of Islam, who were literate –i.e. could read and write. Al-Shifa (raa) taught these skills to Muslim women, including Hafsah (raa). She sought the reward and pleasure of Allah (swt) and is known today as the first female teacher Islam. In Musnad Ahmed it is reported that the Prophet (saw) made a very special arrangement for Hafsah’s education with Shifa bint Abdullah (raa), who taught her the art of writing.  This probably has a connection with the fact that all the biographers report that the Prophet (saw) after obtaining all the handwritten portions of the Qur’an compiled, he (saw)kept a copy with Hafsa (raa) rather than any of his (saw) other wives.

Ruqyah and literacy weren’t the only two strengths of Al-Shifa,  indeed Umar ibn Al Khattabl  when he was caliph (raa),  appointed her as officer, or wali, in the administration of the marketplace. Al-Shifaa was probably the first Muslim woman to hold an official position in public administration.


Al-Shifa was empowered by the skills that Allah (swt) blessed her with, and showed her gratigue by  using them to benefit the Muslim Ummah of her time. What skills do you think we Muslim women currently need to empower us, and in turn use to benefit our current Muslim Ummah (and in the long run bring about the establishment of Islam on earth once more Insha Allah)?


2 Responses to “Al-Shifa Bint Abdullah Assignment”

  1. Sada Muhammad Says:

    As salam alikum, Bismilah,

    Good question…

    I think we should first learn our deen, primarily, Quran. Once we have a good understanding of our roles and obligations to and before Allah, then we should each learn what strengths(and weaknesses) we possess and build upon those. Through various activities we are able to learn more about what strengths we have. Hopefully we can start this with our daughters at a very young age so that by the time they are “adults”, they have developed Islamically and go forward successfully into their lives be it through family or careers (and/or both). It seems we are doing this backwards at times. We push ourselves and our daughters towards secular education and careers, and then as we get older, we begin to refocus on our Islam. We could do so much more (and avoid so many unnecessary matters) if we learn our deen first which will allow us to focus on what is needed in the ummah.

    The best empowerment for this is our eeman. The best way to increase our eeman is through Quran. So getting back to the Quran and most importantly implementing what we know is what I think (and what history has shown) will bring about the establishment of Islam on the earth once more. We don’t have to look very far, “what we need we have at home”.

  2. Wa Alaikum Assalaam Sister Sada–
    Yes, what we need we have as you so beautifully said “right here at home” but we always looking in the wrong places–and whatever we find will always be imperfect in comparison. Our only reference should be the Qur’an and Sunnah and everything else either conforms to them, or is OUT ! Very good point maa sha Allah. Jazaaki Allah Khayr for sharing ! 🙂

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