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Women in classical Islamic scholarship and society

Printed From: History Community ~ All Empires
Category: Regional History or Period History
Forum Name: Post-Classical Middle East
Forum Discription: SW Asia, the Middle East and Islamic civilizations from 600s - 1900 AD
Printed Date: 17-Jan-2022 at 01:28
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.56a -

Topic: Women in classical Islamic scholarship and society
Posted By: Hamoudeh
Subject: Women in classical Islamic scholarship and society
Date Posted: 16-Dec-2005 at 23:08

There are a few books and sources I would like to recommend in regard to this topic:  

1) - Muslim Women: A Biographical Dictionary , written by `Aysha Bewley

Islam has always provided an incredibly flexible environment in which women may flourish and achieve their true potential. Looking back to the time of the Prophet, may Allah (swt) bless him and grant him peace, women were extremely active in all areas of life. The negative stereotype of the role of Muslim women, which is often trumpeted in the media, stems from ignorance of the reality of the position of women in Islam. This dictionary is a comprehensive reference source of women throughout Islamic history from the first century A.H. to roughly the middle of the thirteenth century A.H. A perusal of the entries shows that Muslim women have been successful as, for example, scholars and businesswomen as well as fulfilling their roles as wives and mothers for the past fourteen centuries. In an age when limiting perspectives have come to be the norm, this is a most timely work.

2) - Women Scholars of Hadith written by Dr. Muhammad Zubayr Siddiqi and taken from his book - The Hadith for Beginners .

Apart from these women, who seem to have specialized in the great Sahih of Imam al-Bukhari, there were others, whose expertise was centered on other texts. Umm al-Khayr Fatima bint Ali (d.532/1137), and Fatima al-Shahrazuriyya, delivered lectures on the Sahih of Muslim.25 Fatima al-Jawzdaniyya (d.524/1129) narrated to her students the three Mu'jams of al-Tabarani.26 Zaynab of Harran (d.68/1289), whose lectures attracted a large crowd of students, taught them the Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal, the largest known collection of hadiths.27 Juwayriya bint Umar (d.783/1381), and Zaynab bint Ahmad ibn Umar (d.722/1322), who had travelled widely in pursuit of hadith and delivered lectures in Egypt as well as Medina, narrated to her students the collections of al-Darimi and Abd ibn Humayd; and we are told that students travelled from far and wide to attend her discourses.28 Zaynab bint Ahmad (d.740/1339), usually known as Bint al-Kamal, acquired 'a camel load' of diplomas; she delivered lectures on the Musnad of Abu Hanifa, the Shamail of al-Tirmidhi, and the Sharh Ma'ani al-Athar of al-Tahawi, the last of which she read with another woman traditionist, Ajiba bin Abu Bakr (d.740/1339).29 'On her authority is based,' says Goldziher, 'the authenticity of the Gotha codex ... in the same isnad a large number of learned women are cited who had occupied themselves with this work."30 With her, and various other women, the great traveller Ibn Battuta studied traditions during his stay at Damascus.31 The famous historian of Damascus, Ibn Asakir, who tells us that he had studied under more than 1,200 men and 80 women, obtained the ijaza of Zaynab bint Abd al-Rahman for the Muwatta of Imam Malik.32 Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti studied the Risala of Imam Shafii with Hajar bint Muhammad.33 Afif al-Din Junayd, a traditionist of the ninth century AH, read the Sunan of al-Darimi with Fatima bin Ahmad ibn Qasim.34

3) - Dhikr al-Niswa al-Muta`abidat al-Sufiyyat (Early Sufi Women), written by Shaykh `Abdul Rahman al-Sulami

Early Sufi Women is the earliest known work in Islam devoted entirely to women's spirituality. Written by the Persian Sufi AbŁ 'Abd ar-Rahman as-Sulami (d. 1021), this long-lost work provides portraits of eighty Sufi women who lived in the central Islamic lands between the eighth and eleventh centuries C. E. As spiritual masters and exemplars of Islamic piety, they served as respected teachers and guides in the same way as did Muslim men, often surpassing men in their understanding of Sufi doctrine, the Qur'an, and Islamic spirituality. Whether they were scholars, poets, founders of Sufi schools, or individual mystics and ascetics, they embodied a wisdom that could not be hidden.

4) - Nafisa al-Tahira , excerpted from From the Light of Ahl al-Bayt: My Spiritual Experiences Unveiled written by Imam Metawalli al-Sha`rawi

Sayyida Nafisa had many titles by which she was known among the people, derived from her many different miracles (karamat ). She is known as Nafisat al-`ilmi wal-ma`rifat, (the Rare Lady of Knowledge and Gnosis) because of what she achieved and accumulated from knowledge of the Family of the Holy Prophet (s). Sayyida Nafisa hosted most of the scholars of her time, experts in jurisprudence, hadith, and Qur`anic explanation. But by far the greatest scholarly gatherings were those she hosted for the pillars of Islam and the pious of her time . Among these pillars of Islam and fiqh was Imam al-Shafi`i who had moved to Egypt from Baghdad in 109 H., five years after Sayyida Nafisa's arrival in Cairo.


Posted By: NicoleThomas
Date Posted: 30-Jan-2019 at 05:06
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Posted By: NicoleThomas
Date Posted: 01-Feb-2019 at 09:16
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Posted By: red clay
Date Posted: 01-Feb-2019 at 10:26
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