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Ramadan 2012 (Spiritual Guides)

Hazrate Ash-Shifa bint al-Harith (R.A)

Hazrate Ash-Shifa (R.A) was by profession a medicine women and the Ash-Shifa in her (R.A) name was given as a title which means “Healing”. Some Scholars have said that her (R.A) real name may have been Laylah.

She was from the tribe of Quraish and embraced Islam before Hijrah and was among the early Muslim women who migrated from Makkah Shareef to Madina Shareef, giving pledge of faith to the Prophet (S.A.W).

Hazrate Ash-Shifa (R.A) was one of the wise women of her time. Literate in an illiterate age, she was skilled in medicine, involved in public administration, and had a strong presence in early Muslim history.

Hazrate Ash-Shifa (R.A) got married to Hazrat Abu Khaythama ibn Hudhayfa (R.A) and gave birth to a boy called Hazrat Sulaiman (R.A). She learnt to read and write while still in Makkah before Islam. Having entered Islam, she (R.A) shouldered the task of educating the Muslim women seeking Allah's (S.W.T) reward. She was known as the first female teacher in Islam. Among the women apprenticed at the hands of Hazrate Ash-Shifa (R.A) was Hazrate Hafsa (R.A), the beloved Prophet's (S.A.W) wife.

Hazrate Ash-Shifa (R.A) said, once Holy Prophet (S.A.W) entered His home while I was there with Hazrate Hafsa (R.A). He said "May you teach that (Hafsa) the protective words concerning an-Namlah (a kind of sores affect one's forehead) as you taught her how to write." (Reported by Abu Dawud)

She (R.A) was famous for such protective words in the pre-Islamic period but after she had embraced Islam and migrated to Madina Shareef, she said to the Holy Prophet (S.A.W), "I would like to show you the incantation I used to make before Islam." The Holy Prophet (S.A.W) said, "Let me see." Having shown him the incantation she used to do, the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) said. "Use such words as protective and healing ones and let Hafsa learn them." The incantation she made was for treating an-Namlah (a disease).

The Holy Prophet (S.A.W) looked after Hazrate Ash-Shifa (R.A) when she came to Madina and assigned her a house. She, like all other Muslim women, loved the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) and learnt much of His sayings.

Hazrate Ash-Shifa (R.A) passed away twenty years after Hijrah.