Who was Rufayda Al Aslamiya the first Muslim female nurse, given tributes by Aga Khan University during oath taking ceremonies

Rufaida Al-Aslamia (also transliterated Rufaida Al-Aslamiya)(Arabic: رفيدة الأسلمية‎) was the first female Muslim nurse – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Rufayda Al-Aslamiyyah is a woman from the tribe of Aslam in Madeenah; it is for this reason that she was called Al-Aslamiyyah. She was a woman from the women of Ansaar, and she had a tent by Muhammad’s mosque (in Madeenah) where she used to treat the sick as reported by Al-Bukhaari in “Al-Adab Al-Mufrad”, in a Hadeeth which was classified by Al-Albaani as Saheeh [sound]

When Sa’d Ibn Mu’aath was injured in the battle of Al-Khandaq (The Trench), Muhammad ordered that he be placed and treated in her tent.

However, we have not come across any evidence that suggests that she used to go out in some battles to treat the injured. However, this matter is confirmed about other female Companions among whom was Umm ‘Atiyyah, Umm Sulaym, Hamnah Bint Jahsh, Layla Al-Ghifaariyyah (the wife of Abu Tharr), Umm Ayman, and Rubayyi’ Bint Mu’awwith.

Moreover, Anas Ibn Maalik said: “Muhammad used to go out to the battles taking Umm Sulaym and some other women of the Ansaar with him; when he fights in the battle, they [i.e. the women] would give water to the soldiers and treat the injured.”


Recognized as the first Muslim nurse. Her full name was Rufaidah bint Sa’ad of the Bani Aslam tribe of the Khazraj tribal confederation in Madinah. She was born in Yathrib before the migration of Muhammad. She was among the first people in Madina to accept Islam and was one of the Ansar women who welcomed Muhammad on arrival in Madina.

Rufaidah’s father was a physician. She learned medical care by working as his assistant. Her history illustrates all the attributes expected of a good nurse. She was kind and empathetic. She was a capable leader and organizer, able to mobilize and get others to produce good work. She had clinical skills that she shared with the other nurses whom she trained and worked with. She did not confine her nursing to the clinical situation. She went out to the community and tried to solve the social problems that lead to disease. She was both a public health nurse and a social worker.

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Historical, Cultural, and Contemporary Influences on the Status of Women in Nursing in Saudi Arabia

While nursing historians in Europe and America identify Florence Nightingale as the founder of modern nursing, Middle Eastern countries attribute this status to Rufaida, a Muslim nurse.

Rufaida Al-Asalmiya. Published records testify that Rufaida Al-Asalmiya, who practiced at the time of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), was the first Muslim nurse (Kasule, 2003; Mansour & Fikry, 1987). While nursing historians in Europe and America identify Florence Nightingale as the founder of modern nursing, Middle Eastern countries attribute this status to Rufaida, a Muslim nurse (Jan, 1996). Tales of Rufaida’s heroic deeds have been handed down verbally from generation to generation of Saudi nurses and continue to be savoured by many modern Saudi nurses.

source: Nursing World Org

Aga Khan University’s Lamp Lighting Ceremony, May 23, 2012

Beacon of Hope: One hundred and twenty nine nursing students from Aga Khan University School of Nursing and Midwifery Diploma in Nursing and BSc Nursing programmes participated in the 31st Lamp Lighting Ceremony.

Paying tribute to the first Muslim nurse, Rufayda Al Aslamiya and the pioneer of the nursing profession, Florence Nightingale the students pledged to “… care for the sick with all the skill and understanding I possess, without regard to race, creed, colour, politics or social status, sparing no effort to conserve life, to alleviate suffering and to promote health.”

Source AKU Edu


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