Rufaida al-Aslamia the 7th century expert Nurse


Rufaida Al-Aslamia, a woman ahead of her time, born in the 7th century in Medina, Rufaida Al-Aslamia’s life and work epitomize compassion, leadership, and innovation. As the first Muslim nurse and a prominent figure in early Islamic history, her legacy continues to inspire and shape the fields of healthcare and humanitarianism.

The Early Years and Nursing Expertise

Rufaida Al-Aslamia grew up in a society where women were often marginalized, but she defied societal norms by pursuing a career in nursing. Her passion for healthcare led her to develop exceptional nursing skills, earning her a reputation as a proficient caregiver and healer.

During the time of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, Rufaida Al-Aslamia became known for her dedication to caring for the wounded and sick. She played a pivotal role in treating the injured during battles, demonstrating her commitment to the welfare of others, regardless of their faith or background.

During her rounds, Rufaida came across a soldier with a severe head injury. Recognizing the critical nature of his condition, she immediately attended to him. Employing her knowledge of herbal medicine and innovative healing techniques, she skillfully treated his wound and provided the care he needed to recover.

Leadership and Organization

Recognizing Rufaida Al-Aslamia’s exemplary skills and innate leadership qualities, the Prophet Muhammad appointed her as the supervisor of a mobile medical camp during the Battle of Khaybar. This pioneering initiative marked the first-ever recorded instance of a formalized nursing service in Islamic history.

Under Rufaida’s supervision, a comprehensive healthcare system was established. She organized teams of nurses, assigned roles, and provided medical aid to soldiers and civilians alike. Her ability to manage and coordinate resources efficiently ensured that those in need received timely and effective care.

Legacy and Impact

Rufaida Al-Aslamia’s contributions to healthcare and humanitarianism had a lasting impact on both the Islamic world and the broader field of nursing. Her approach emphasized the provision of holistic care, combining physical healing with emotional support. She recognized the importance of empathy and compassion in nursing, setting a precedent for future generations of caregivers.

Rufaida’s legacy also influenced the development of hospitals and medical institutions in the Islamic world. Her methods laid the groundwork for the establishment of the earliest hospitals, where medical care was provided to all, regardless of their ability to pay. Her dedication to healthcare equity and accessibility continues to resonate in modern healthcare systems worldwide.

The Rufaida Al-Aslamia Nursing School is a prominent nursing institution located in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. It is affiliated with the Rawalpindi Medical University and offers various nursing programs to educate and train aspiring nurses.

Also read- Sumayyah bint Khabbat: The First Martyr of Islam

Inspiration and Empowerment

Rufaida Al-Aslamia’s story serves as a beacon of inspiration for women globally, reminding us of the strength, resilience, and intelligence that women possess. Her life defied societal constraints and shattered glass ceilings, empowering women to pursue their dreams and contribute meaningfully to society.

Today, Rufaida Al-Aslamia is revered as a role model for aspiring nurses and healthcare professionals. Her pioneering spirit and unwavering dedication to serving others continue to shape the principles of patient-centered care, human dignity, and the importance of education in the nursing profession.


Rufaida Al-Aslamia’s remarkable life and work as the first Muslim nurse stand as a testament to the power of compassion, leadership, and innovation. Through her selflessness and expertise, she laid the foundation for modern nursing practices and the provision of holistic care. Her legacy resonates in the hearts of those who are inspired by her story, and her contributions continue to make a profound impact on healthcare and humanitarianism to this day.

FAQs on Rufaida Al-Aslamia

Who was Rufaida Al-Aslamia?

Rufaida Al-Aslamia was an early Muslim woman who lived during the time of Prophet Muhammad in the 7th century. She was from the tribe of Aslam, which was a sub-tribe of the larger Arab tribe of Quraysh. Rufaida is recognized for her significant contributions to the field of nursing and is often considered the first nurse in the world.

What did Rufaida Al-Aslamia do?

Rufaida Al-Aslamia played a pivotal role in providing healthcare and nursing services during the time of Prophet Muhammad. She established a tented hospital called “Al-Suffa” in Medina, which served as a center for treating the wounded and providing care to the sick. Rufaida personally attended to the patients, performing tasks such as dressing wounds, administering medication, and providing emotional support.

Why is Rufaida Al-Aslamia considered the first nurse in the world?

Rufaida Al-Aslamia is often regarded as the first nurse in the world due to her pioneering efforts in organizing and delivering healthcare services. She demonstrated the qualities of a compassionate caregiver, taking care of the injured and sick individuals in her community. Rufaida’s establishment of Al-Suffa hospital, along with her active involvement in nursing and healthcare, marked a significant milestone in the history of nursing.

What are some of Rufaida Al-Aslamia’s contributions to the field of nursing?

Rufaida Al-Aslamia made several noteworthy contributions to the field of nursing, including:

  1. Establishing the first documented hospital in Islamic history, known as Al-Suffa, which provided medical care and nursing services to the community.
  2. Demonstrating excellent nursing skills by dressing wounds, providing medication, and offering emotional support to the patients under her care.
  3. Training other women in basic healthcare and nursing skills, thus creating a network of competent caregivers in the community.
  4. Advocating for the importance of cleanliness and hygiene in healthcare settings, emphasizing the prevention of diseases and infection control.

Rufaida Al-Aslamia’s contributions set an example for future generations of nurses and served as a foundation for the development of the nursing profession.

How can I learn more about Rufaida Al-Aslamia?

To learn more about Rufaida Al-Aslamia, you can explore various resources such as books, articles, and online platforms that focus on Islamic history, nursing history, or women’s contributions to healthcare. Some recommended sources include:

  1. “Great Women of Islam” by Mahmood Ahmad Ghadanfar: This book provides a brief account of Rufaida Al-Aslamia’s life and contributions along with other notable Muslim women.
  2. Islamic history and nursing history websites: Visit reputable websites that cover Islamic history or nursing history, as they may feature articles or references related to Rufaida Al-Aslamia.
  3. Academic journals and research papers: Scholarly articles in the fields of nursing history, Islamic studies, or women’s studies might discuss Rufaida Al-Aslamia and her contributions in more depth.
  4. Local Islamic centers or mosques: Reach out to your local Islamic community centers or mosques to inquire about any educational programs, lectures, or resources they may have on Muslim women’s contributions in history.