Umm Umara belonged to the family of Banu Najjar. She was a woman of extraordinary ability, velour and excellence. She loved the Prophet more than her own self and her family and the Prophet also had a great regard and affection for her. Owing to her extreme love for Allah’s Deen (religion) and His Messenger, even the very prominent Companions took a pride in knowing her. She was one of the two women who took part with seventy three men in the Second Covenant of ‘Aqabah with the Prophet during the Pilgrimage before the Hijrah (Tabaqat), Ibn Sa’d).
She participated in the Battle of Uhud and supplied drinking water to the fighting men and attended the wounded. When the Muslim force was retreating, Umm Umara threw away the water bag, took hold of a sword and shield, and began to defend the Prophet. The polytheists (mushrikun) attacked the Prophet again and again, but she, along with other Companions, defended him very bravely. It was a very delicate moment and very many brave men had lost their spirits but this courageous woman remained firm in her place defending the Prophet against heavy enemy attack. When one enemy, flashing his sword, attacked the Prophet, Umm Umara took it on her shield and then struck the leg of his horse with such force that both the horse and the rider fell to the ground. The Prophet, seeing this, called her son Abdullah to help his mother. He jumped, and with one stroke of his sword, sent that polytheist to hell. At the same time, another enemy rushed on her son and injured him on the left arm, then went away. In the meantime, the same man who had wounded Abdullah came to attack the Prophet again, and he said, “Umm Umara, be careful. He is the same man who wounded Abdullah.” Umm Umara fell on him with vengeance and struck him such a blow with her sword that he fell down in two pieces. The Prophet, seeing this, smiled and said, “Umm Umara, you have well avenged your son.”
Ibn Qamiyah suddenly attacked the Prophet and his sword fell on the Prophet’s armour, causing two links of its chains to pierce the Prophet’s cheek and blood came running down from his face. It had happened suddenly. Umm Umara became desperate and rushed forward and stopped Ibn Qamiyah. He was a famous rider of the Quraish but Umm Umara, without fear or hesitation, attacked him with courage. As he was wearing two coats of arms, her sword did not do any damage and he had the chance to attack again. This time, Umm Umara received a wound on her shoulder which left a deep hole in it, but Ibn Qamiyah did not dare stand there and rode away swiftly on his horse (Ibn Hisham). Blood was flowing from her wound and the Prophet himself attended to it and applied a bandage and, mentioning many names of his brave Companions, said, “By Allah! Today Umm Umara showed more courage than all of them.” Umm Umara asked the Prophet to pray that she should be in his company even in Paradise. The Prophet prayed for her with great humility in these words: “O Allah! Put them in my company in Paradise.” Umm Umara was very pleased at this and instantaneously these words were on her tongue, “Now I do not care about any suffering in the world.”
When the battle was over, the Prophet did not go home until he heard from Abdullah ibn Ka’b that Umm Umara was well. The Prophet used to say that on the day of Uhud, wherever he looked, to the right or to the left, he saw Umm Umara fighting. According to one report, she received twelve wounds in the Battle of Uhud. According to Ibn Sa’d, after the Battle of Uhud, she participated in the Covenant of Ridwan at Hudaibiyah, the Battle of Khaibar, Umrat al-Qada and the Battle of Hunain. According to one report, she also accompanied the Prophet in the Victory of Makkah expedition.
In the time of Abu Bakr, Umm Umara took part in the battle of Yamamah against Musailimah Kadhdhab. He had murdered her son Habib in a very brutal and beastly way. When she heard about it, she bore it patiently, but swore that either Musailimah would be killed or she would give her life. In this battle, she saw Musailimah and advanced towards him, receiving wound upon wound, but making headway towards him with her spear. In this struggle, she received twelve wounds and lost one of her arms. Reaching Musailimah, she was about to launch her attack with her spear, when simultaneously, two weapons struck him and he fell in parts on the ground. When she raised her eyes, she found her son Abdullah standing close to her and also saw Wahshi (the killer of Hamza) standing nearby. She then prostrated herself before Allah in thankfulness.
Umm Umara loved the Prophet very passionately and was even ready to sacrifice her life or anything else for him. The Prophet also had a deep affection for her and occasionally paid a visit to her in her house. It is reported that once the Prophet went to her house and she offered him some food. The Prophet said, “When something is eaten before a person who is fasting, the angels send darud on him (or her).” Then the Prophet ate in front of Umm Umara (Musnad, Ahmad and Isabah).
According to one report, after the Prophet, Abu Bakr Siddiq used to go to Umm Umara’s house to enquire about her. Umm Umara has narrated a few ahadith.