Her father was Habib ibn Kuwayb, from the Thaqif tribe, who was considered a foreigner in Mecca. Her mother, Umayma, was from the Quraysh. Umayma's father, Abdullah, was from the Taym, the same clan as Abu Bakr; and her mother, Ruqayqa bint Khuwaylid, was a sister of Khadija and a member of the Asad clan.
Al-Nahdiah had a daughter, whose father is unnamed. It is sometimes asserted that Al-Nahdiah's daughter was named Umm Umays. This is due to the ambiguous wording of Ibn Saad's account. However, Ibn Ishaq makes it clear that Umm Umays and Al-Nahdiah's daughter were two different people.
Al-Nahdiah and her friends Umm Umays and Zunnira were among the earliest converts to Islam. When the lower-class Muslims were persecuted for their faith in the period 614-616, these three slaves were among those who were tortured.
One day Al-Nahdiah and her daughter were instructed to grind some flour. Their mistress was saying, "By Allah, I shall never set you free," just as Abu Bakr was passing. He immediately said, "Take back that oath." The woman replied: "I take it back. You corrupted them, so you can set them free." They agreed to a price, and Abu Bakr declared: "I will take them, and they are manumitted. Return her flour to her!" Al-Nahdiah responded, "Shouldn't we finish grinding it first?" Although not legally obliged, they completed the task before following Abu Bakr.
- Ismail ibn Umar ibn Kathir. Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya. Translated by Le Gassick, T. (2000). The Life of the Prophet Muhammad, vol. 4 p. 462. Reading, U.K.: Garnet Publishing.
- Muhammad ibn Saad. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir vol. 8. Translated by Bewley, A. (1995). The Women of Madina, p. 180. London: Ta-Ha Publishers.
- Muhammad ibn Ishaq. Sirat Rasul Allah. Translated by Guillaume, A. (1955). The Life of Muhammad, pp. 143-144. Oxford: Oxford University Press.