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)?