Welcome to the eighth enlightening post of Medicine Through Islamic History series By The Desert Rose.
So far, we have discussed the role of Muslim physicians and surgeons in medicine. However, it is also important to educate and inform our readers on the impact muslim women had in medicine.
The first muslim female nurse, surgeon and social worker in Islamic history was Rufaydah bint Saad Al-Aslamiyyah. Her father, Saad Al-Aslamiy was a physician and she was able to increase her medical knowledge and skills through assisting him during his consultations.
She had a kind and devoted nature and took care of the wounded casualties in field hospitals during many battles in which Prophet peace and blessings be upon him participated in such as Battle of Badr that took place on 13th March 624 Hijri.
Moreover, she trained other women to become nurses. Her other roles in healthcare was a social worker where she was able to solve social matters that were linked to various conditions. She also cared for orphans and the disabled.
Therefore, Rufaydah made a profound influence on the duty of care towards patients and is recognised each year by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in collaboration with the University of Bahrain where a student who excelled well in nursing care is awarded by a panel of medical staff members. The prize is called ‘Rufaydah Al-Aslamia Prize in Nursing’.
Jan, R. (1996). Rufaida Al-Asalmiya, the first Muslim nurse. The Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 28(3), 267-268.