Murad was born in the village of Kocho in Sinjar District, Iraq. Her family, of the Yazidi ethno-religious minority, were farmers. At the age of 19, Murad was a student living in the village of Kocho in Sinjar, northern Iraq when Islamic State fighters rounded up the Yazidi community in the village, killing 600 people – including six of Nadia's brothers and stepbrothers – and taking the younger women and girls into slavery. That year, Murad was one of more than 6,700 Yazidi women and girls taken prisoner by Islamic State in Iraq. She was captured on 15 August 2014. She was held as a slave in the city of Mosul, where she was beaten, burned with cigarettes, and raped. She successfully escaped after her captor left the house unlocked. Murad was taken in by a neighbouring family, who were able to smuggle her out of the Islamic State controlled area, allowing her to make her way to a refugee camp in Duhok, northern Iraq. She was out of ISIS territory on early September 2014 or in November 2014.