PDA

View Full Version : Early Women Islamic Scholars .



mariam.
01-28-2008, 05:59 PM
"O Mankind! Fear your Lord who has created you from a single soul, and from it He created its mate; and from them both, He brought forth multitudes of men and women. Be mindful of Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and revere the wombs that bore you. Surely, Allah is ever watching over you." (An-Nisaa' 4:1)

From the very beginning of the human saga, Allah makes it quite clear that men and women are equal beings created from one single soul, sharing the same father and mother, and subservient unto the same Lord. The verse mentioned above came to the Messenger of Allah (peace upon him) at a time when women were being humiliated and tortured.

Allah says: "…and when the female child, buried alive, will be asked: For what sin was she killed." (At-Takwir 81:8-9) This refers to an ancient practice of the Arabs (and even some modern societies through abortion) who would kill their female children from fear of being humiliated in the community, or out of fear that they would not have the means to provide for them.

Islam came to eradicate these ignorant practices, amongst others, and after twenty-three years of prophetic teachings, it had conferred unto women a status that was previously unthinkable.

The first revelation: "Read in the name of your Lord who created…" (Al-`Alaq 96:1) left the Prophet (peace upon him) severely shaken, for he could not comprehend such an event happening to an unlettered, orphaned, desert Arab.

It is related that he was consoled by Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) who believed in him and comforted him in a time of great need and distress. She was the backbone of his initial efforts for the advancement of the new faith, and a noble business woman of high lineage.

After three years of secrecy he was ordered by Allah to call his own family to the faith. He (peace upon him) gathered his family and openly called upon the tribe of Hashim and the tribe of `Abdul-Muttalib to believe in his message.

Towards the end of the narration of this event, he (peace upon him) specifically says to ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdul-Muttalib (may Allah be pleased with him): "I cannot benefit you on the Day of Judgment." He uttered the same statement to his aunt, Safiyyah bint ‘Abdul-Muttalib and to his daughter, Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with both of them). He added: "Ask me of my wealth in this world, but on the Day of Judgment I cannot avail you in any way."

In this address the Prophet (peace upon him) specifically named two women and one man, demonstrating that women possess independent religious responsibility that has no connection to their gender.

This independence in faith is exemplified by the fact that the wives of Noah and Lot (peace upon them) both rejected faith. Hence, the Qur'an affirms that even the wife of a Prophet is free to believe or disbelieve.

Furthermore, Umm Habibah became a believer while her father, Abu Sufyan, (may Allah be pleased with them both), was a staunch opponent of the Prophet (peace upon him). He possessed neither the power nor privilege to influence her independent choice.

At the second Pledge of `Aqabah, a covenant that involved specific political and strategic obligations, the Prophet (peace upon him) took an oath from both men and women. He was not content to have women confined to their houses, totally divorced from any involvement in public affairs.

Women Perserving the Qur'an

The Qur'an, the most sacred and important source in Islam, was memorized by many of the companions. After the Battle of Yamamah, where a large number of those memorizers were killed, `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) advised Abu Bakr to issue a standardized edition of the entire Qur'an in the dialect of Quraish, whose protection he vouchsafed.

Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) issued such an edition. After his death it passed into the protection of `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), and after his passing, it was given to Hafsah bint `Umar (may Allah be pleased with her) to be carefully guarded and preserved.

During the caliphate of `Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) it was noticed that divergent and erroneous recitations of the Qur'an were emerging among the newly converted non-Arab people in places like and .

`Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) then borrowed the edition of the Qur'an in Hafsah's protection (may Allah be pleased with her) to make six standardized copies to send to the major political and cultural centers in the Islamic realm. He ordered all non-standardized editions to be burned. It is clear here that no one questioned Hafsah's trustworthiness (may Allah be pleased with her), as to whether she had altered the edition vouchsafed to her in any way.

Women and Hadith Studies

In the time of the Companions, the question never arose concerning the validity of learning directly from women. If we were to consider, for example, the books of Prophetic tradition (Hadith), in every chapter you will find women narrating as well as men.

Imam Hakim Naisapuri states: "One fourth of our religion depends on the narrations of women. Were it not for those narrations, we would lose a quarter of our religion."

For example, Abu Hanifah considers there to be four units of supererogatory prayer before the obligatory noon prayer, whereas the remaining Imams say that there are only two. The latter depend on the narration of `Abdullah ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), while Abu Hanifah relies on Umm Habiba (may Allah be pleased with her) and the other wives of the Prophet (peace upon him).

Abu Hanifah argues that since the Prophet (peace upon him), used to pray supererogatory prayers in his house, the narration of his wives (may Allah be pleased with them) is stronger.

Similarly, major events, such as the beginning of the call to the prophetic office, were specifically narrated by women. `Ai'shah alone narrates the tradition detailing the circumstances of the first revelation, as recorded by Imam Bukhari, immediately after the hadith mentioning that actions are judged based on the intention accompanying them.

To give similar examples, we all know that performing ablution is essential for the validity of ritual prayer (salah). A female companion, Rubiyya bint Muawidh ibn Afrah (may Allah have mercy on her), whose family members died in the Battle of Uhud, was a great narrator of Hadith.

Her narrations can be found in Bukhari, Muslim, Ibn Majah, and other compilations. She narrated how the Prophet (peace upon him), performed ablution after actually witnessing his performance of the purificatory ritual.

The companions would go to learn from her despite the fact that Abu Bakr, `Umar, `Uthman, `Ali, Mu`adh ibn Jabal, and `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with them) were all present in Madinah. She was regarded as the expert in the performance of ablution. Her students included the likes of `Abdullah ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) the great Qur'anic exegete, and also a member of the family of the Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah upon him). He never asked: "Why should I learn from her when I am from the family of the Prophet and great exegete?"

The same is true for Ali Zain ul-Abideen, the great grandson of the Prophet (peace upon him) and a great scholar himself. Their philosophy was to go to whoever possessed knowledge, irrespective of their gender.

Interestingly, there is no single Hadith which has been rejected from a woman on account of her being a fabricating liar. Imam Dhahabi affirms: "There are many men who have fabricated Hadith. However, no woman in the history of Islam has been accused of fabrication." In light of this, if the intellectual integrity of anyone should be questioned, it should be that of men. Women have always truthfully conveyed religious knowledge.

Amrah bint Abdur-Rahman was amongst the greatest of the female Successors, the generation that came after that of the companions of the Prophet (peace upon him). She was a jurist, a mufti, and a Hadith specialist.

The great Caliph `Umar ibn ‘Abdul-`Aziz used to say: "If you want to learn Hadith go to Amrah." Imam Zuhri, who is credited with compiling the first systematically edited compilation of Hadith used to say: "Go to Amrah, she is the vast vessel of Hadith."

During that time, the Judge of Madinah ruled in a case involving a thief from who had stolen something. The judge had ordered that his hand to be severed. When Amrah bint Abdur-Rahman heard of this decision, she immediately told one of her students to go tell the judge that he cannot severe the man's hand because he had stolen something whose value was less than a single gold coin (dinar). As soon as he heard what Amrah had said, he ordered that the man be released, unharmed.

He did not question her authority, nor did he seek a second opinion from other scholars, who were quite numerous in Madinah at the time. They included the likes of Sa`id ibn Al-Musayyib. This incident is recorded in the Muwatta' of Imam Malik, and this ruling is also his opinion in such cases.

One of great Successors, Umm Darda, taught in both Damascus, in the great Umayyad Mosque, and Jerusalem . Her class was attended by Imams, jurists, and Hadith scholars. The powerful Caliph Abdul-Malik ibn Marwan, who ruled an empire stretching from Spain to India, had a teaching license from `Abdullah ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) who was considered the greatest jurist of his time in Madinah.

When `Abdullah reached old age, the people asked him: "Who should we seek religious verdicts from after you?" He replied: "Marwan has a son (Abdul-Malik), who is a jurist so ask him." Hence, Abdul-Malik was endorsed by Abdullah. Yet even Abdul-Malik ibn Marwan would attend the classes of Umm Darda and he would never feel ashamed of learning from her.

Furthermore, he would humbly serve her. It has been recorded that when Umm Darda was teaching she would lean on the shoulder of Abdul-Malik ibn Marwan, due to her being advanced years, to go to mosque for salah. He would help her return to her place of teaching after the prayer.

The fact that these women taught men who were themselves regarded as great scholars indicates the respect and status they had attained.

The mosque of the Prophet (peace upon him) is undoubtedly one of the most sacred places in Islam, and his blessed grave is even more sacred. Around the beginning of the 8th century of the Muslim calendar, Fatima bint Ibrahim ibn Jowhar, a famous teacher of Al-Bukhari, under whom both Imams Dhahabi and Al-Subki studied the entirety of Sahih Al-Bukhari appeared.

When she came for the pilgrimage (Hajj) her fame was such that as soon as the students of Hadith heard that she had reached Madinah, they requested her to teach in the mosque of the Prophet (peace upon him).

Ibn Rushayd Al-Subki, who traveled from Marrakesh , describes one of her classes thus: "She was sitting in front of the blessed head of Prophet (peace upon him), and [due to her advanced years] she would lean on his grave. She would finish by writing and signing the license to transmit her narrations (ijazah ), personally, for all of the Hadiths that were read by every student present."

This, and similarly stories, makes it clear that women can teach in the best of mosques. Pathetically, today there are debates in the Muslim world as to whether they can even come to the mosque for prayer. This is an indication of our ignorance of our own Islamic heritage, and of our digression from the practices of our pious predecessors.

Aishah bint Abdul-Hadi used to teach in the grand mosque of Damascus . She was appointed by the Sultan of that time as the Master of Hadith and taught the compilation of Imam Al-Bukhari. She represented the whole community and they could not find any man better than her. Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani, considered by many to be the greatest of all latter day Hadith scholars, traveled to Damascus and studied more than one hundred books with her.

Today, it would be difficult to find a "sheikh" who even knows the names of her books, to say nothing of having read them. In addition to her intellectual acumen, her chain of narration in Hadith is regarded as the strongest from her generation back to the Prophet (peace upon him). Between her and Imam Al-Bukhari are eight transmitters, and between Imam Al-Bukhari and the Prophet (peace upon him) there are variously, three, four or five transmitters. No other chain of narrators allows one to reach the Prophet (peace upon him) with an equal or smaller number of narrators.

If we consider the great role of women such as Hafsah (may Allah be pleased with her and her father) in the compilation of the Qur'an, and the role of women like Aishah bint Abdul-Hadi in preserving and accurately conveying Hadith, it is clear that the two most fundamental sources of our religion have been secured with the aid and blessing of women.

Fatimah Al-Juzdani, a great scholar from Isfahan in present-day , read one of the great books of Hadith, Al-Mu`jam Al-Kabeer, with Abu Bakr ibn Rida, who himself studied the entirety of the book with its author, Imam At-Tabarani. This book has been published in thirty-seven volumes (unfinished). After mastering the book, she subsequently taught it many times.

Not a single scholar alive today has studied this book, or even part of it with a teacher. Furthermore, we do not have a single narration of this book except from women, because it was forgotten by the male Hadith scholars.

In the time of Ibn Taymiyya, there were other scholars like Imam Dhahabi, Al-Mizzi, Al-Birzali, Tajuddin Al-Subqi, and a little later, Ibn Kathir, Ibn Al-Qayyim, Ibn Nasiruddin Al-Dimishqui, and Hafidh Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani. This was the golden age of Hadith, when the development of Hadith literature and teaching was at its peak. Not only were these men scholars, they were also reformers of their society.

At this very time, there was a woman in , who was also known for her scholarship and the powerful positive influence she had on society. She helped in the reformation of communities in Damascus and Cairo by enjoining good and forbidding evil.

Ibn Kathir, the student of Ibn Taymiyya, has written in his highly acclaimed work of history, Al-Bidaya wal-Nihaya: "She reformed society by enjoining good and forbidding evil, she accomplished what men are unable to do, that is to say, she did more than the male scholars of her time." This testimony was written by a man. Hence, no one can say it is the biased opinion of a woman, and thereby question its authenticity. This was a golden age full of proactive, confident and talented women.

Hisham ibn `Urwah ibn Zubair (may Allah be pleased with him), is the teacher of Imam Malik, Abu Hanifa, Sufyan al-Thawri, Saeed Qahtan, and is acknowledged as a great Hadith scholar of that era. The most reliable Hadiths narrated by him, found in both Bukhari and Muslim, are those he narrates from his wife, Fatimah bint Mundhir. Sadly, many Muslim men today would not marry a woman more knowledgeable than themselves. The men of our past would proudly marry and learn from them.

One of the best compilations in Hanafi fiqh is the masterpiece Badaya al-Sanaya by Imam Kasani, whose wife was Fatimah Al-Samarqandiyya, daughter of Ala'addin Al-Samarqandi. This book is a commentary on Tuhfat al-Fuqaha' written by the latter. Fatimah was a great expert in Hadith and other religious sciences.

Imam Kasani's students narrate: "We saw our teacher at times would leave the classroom when he could not answer a certain difficult question. After a while he would return to elucidate the answer in great detail. Only later on did we learn that he would go home to put the same question to his wife in order to hear her explanation." Clearly, he depended on his wife in his scholarly life.

Not only were women scholars allowed to give binding religious verdicts (fatwas), but if they differed with their male contemporaries there would be absolutely no objections concerning their pronouncements. This was apparent from the earliest period. Illustrative of this is the opinion of Fatimah bint Qais (may God be pleased with her), who said that a husband need not provide support for his irrevocably divorced wife during her period of waiting (‘iddah). She based her opinion on a narration from the Prophet (peace upon him).

Despite the fact that `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) and other senior companions disagreed with her, based on their understanding of a verse in the Qur'an, they did not question her faith, impose sanctions on her, nor did they prevent her from continuing to narrate the Hadith and issuing her fatwa.

This incident is interesting in that it presents the opinion of a woman that advances a ruling that is not deemed favorable to woman. In so doing she opposes an opinion advanced by men that is deemed favorable to women. If this incident had occurred in our times it would have surely been the point of much contention and discussion.

The above are just some of the evidence that establishes the enormous contribution of women to the Islamic scholarly enterprise. The book it is excerpted from contains many more arguments and can be found at http://www.interfacepublications.com.

I hope that this article empowers us to help women attain the status and dignity that was given to them by our pious predecessors, based on the inspiration they received from the leader of all the prophets, our exemplary master, Muhammad, the chosen one, (peace and mercy of God upon him).

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwi.
peace
Reply

Login/Register to hide ads. Scroll down for more posts
UmmSqueakster
01-28-2008, 07:29 PM
I have this book on my "to get" list, and now I'm bumping it up near the top. This is one of the traditions of the sahabi and the salif that I'm really hoping the muslim world will rekindle inshaAllah.
Reply

chosen
01-28-2008, 08:55 PM
Hi..to be truthful I didnt really read your post..I was however intriqued by the title...I have a question..can you tell me the names of any recent female islamic scholars
Reply

mariam.
01-28-2008, 09:00 PM
Originally Posted by Janaan
I have this book on my "to get" list, and now I'm bumping it up near the top. This is one of the traditions of the sahabi and the salif that I'm really hoping the muslim world will rekindle inshaAllah.
that's not impossible, If we change ourselves .. Insha'allah
Reply

Welcome, Guest!
Hey there! Looks like you're enjoying the discussion, but you're not signed up for an account.

When you create an account, you can participate in the discussions and share your thoughts. You also get notifications, here and via email, whenever new posts are made. And you can like posts and make new friends.
Sign Up
جوري
01-28-2008, 09:04 PM
there you go
Renowned female Scholar: Aminah Assilmi


Aminah is a renowned female scholar of Islam she travels around the United States to give lectures , her personal story has admired hundreds of individuals ,she is also President of International Union of Muslim Women , the organization that has many achievements under its belt.

"I am so very glad that I am a Muslim. Islam is my life. Islam is the beat of my heart. Islam is the blood that courses through my veins. Islam is my strength. Islam is my life so wonderful and beautiful. Without Islam I am nothing, and should Allah ever turn His magnificent face from me, I could not survive." Aminah

It all started with a computer glitch.

She was a Southern Baptist girl, a radical feminist, and a broadcast journalist. She was a girl with an unusual caliber, who excelled in school, received scholarships, ran her own business, and were competing with professionals and getting awards – all these while she was going to college. Then one day a computer error happened that made her take up a mission as a devout Christian. Eventually, however, it resulted into something opposite and changed her life completely around.

It was 1975 when for the first time computer was used to pre-register for a class in her college. She was working on her degree on Recreation. She pre-registered for a class and then went to Oklahoma City to take care of a business. Her return was delayed and she came back to college two weeks into the class. Making up the missed work was no problem for her, but she was surprised to find that the computer mistakenly registered her for a Theatre class, a class where students would be required to perform in front of others. She was a very reticent girl and she was horrified to think about performing in front of others. She could not drop the class for it was too late

Failing the class was also not a choice, for she was receiving a scholarship that was paying for her tuition and receiving an ‘F’ would have jeopardized it.

Advised by her husband, she went to her teacher to work out some other alternative to performing, such as preparing costumes, etc. Assured by the teacher that he would try to help her, she went to the next class and was shocked by what she saw. The class was full of Arabs and “camel jockeys”. That was enough for her. She came back home and decided not to go back to the class anymore. It was not possible for her to be in the middle of Arabs. “There was no way I was going to sit in a room full of dirty heathens!”

Her husband was calm as usual. He pointed out to her that God has a reason for everything and that she should think about more before quitting. Besides, there was the scholarship that was paying her tuition. She went behind locked doors for 2 days to think about. When she came out, she decided to continue the class. She felt that God gave her a task to convert the Arabs into Christianity.

Thus she found herself with a mission to accomplish. Throughout the class, she would be discussing Christianity with her Arab classmates. “I proceeded to explain to them how they would burn in the fires of hell for all eternity, if they did not accept Jesus as their personal savior. They were very polite, but did not convert. Then, I explained how Jesus loved them and had died on the cross to save them from their sins. All they had to do was accept him into their hearts.” They still did not convert, and so she decided to do something else: “I decided to read their own book to show to them that Islam was a false religion and Mohammed was a false Prophet”.

At her request, one student gave her a copy of the Qur’an and another book on Islam. With these two books she started on her research, which she was to continue for the next one and half years. She read the Qur’an fully and another fifteen books on Islam. Then she came back to the Qur’an and re-read it. During her research, she started taking notes that she found objectionable and which she would be able to use to prove that Islam was a false religion.

Unconsciously, however, she was changing from within which did not escape the attention of her husband. “I was changing, just in little ways but enough to bother him. We used to go to the bar every Friday and Saturday, or to a party, and I no longer wanted to go. I was quieter and more distant.” She stopped drinking and eating pork. Her husband suspected her of having an affair with another man, for “it was only for a man that a woman changes”. Ultimately, she was asked to leave, and she soon found herself living in a separate apartment

"When I first started to study Islam, I did not expect to find anything that I needed or wanted in my personal life. Little did I know that Islam would change my life. No human could have ever convinced me that I would finally be at peace and overflowing with love and joy because of Islam."

Throughout these times, she continued studying Islam and although she was changing subtly from within, she remained a devout Christian. Then one day, there was a knock on her door. It was a man in traditional Muslim robe, who appeared to her as a “man in a long white night gown with a red and white checkered table cloth on his head”. His name was Abdul-Aziz Al-Sheik and he was accompanied by three other men in similar dress. She was very offended by Muslim men coming to her in nightgowns and pajamas. She was further shocked when Abdul-Aziz told her that he understood that she waited to be a Muslim. She replied that she was a Christian and she did not have any plan to become a Muslim. However, she had some questions to ask if they had the time.

At her invitation, they came inside. She now brought up the questions and objections that she noted down while she was researching. “I will never forget his name”, she said of Abdul-Aziz who proved to be a very patient and soft-mannered person. “He was very patient and discussed every question with me. He never made me feel silly or that a question was stupid.” Abdul-Aziz listened to every question and objection and explained it within the proper context. “He explained that Allah had told us to seek knowledge and questions were one of the ways to accomplish that. When he explained something, it was like watching a rose open – petal by petal, until it reached its full glory. When I told him that I did not agree with something and why, he always said I was correct up to a point. Then he would show me how to look deeper and from different directions to reach a fuller understanding.”

It would not be long before she would externally submit to what she had already been submitting to internally during the last one and half years. Later in that same day, this Southern Baptist girl would declare in front of Abdul-Aziz and his companions: “I bear witness that there is no god but God and Mohammed is His Messenger.” It was May 21, 1977.

Conversion to Islam, or to any other religion for that matter, is not always a simple thing to do. Except for a few fortunate ones, a new Muslim usually face consequences. The convert may face isolation from family and friends, if not pressure to go back to the family faith. Sometimes, a convert may even face sever economic hardship, as in the case of those who are asked to leave the house because of converting to Islam. Some converts are fortunate to continue to be well respected by family and friends, but most of them face minor to severe hardship especially during the first few years after the conversion.

But the difficulty that Aminah Assilimi had to go through and the sacrifice that she had to make for the sake of her conviction and faith is almost unheard of. There are few who could rely so much on Allah as she did, standing firm and meeting the challenges, making sacrifices, and yet maintaining a positive posture and influencing people around with the beauty of what she found and believed in.

She lost most of her friends, for she was “no fun anymore”. Her mother did not accept her becoming a Muslim and hoped that it was a temporary zeal and that she would soon grow out of it. Her “mental health expert” sister thought that she lost her mind. She attempted to put her in a mental health institution.

Her father was a calm and wise man. People would come to him for advice and he could comfort anyone in distress. But when he heard that his daughter became a Muslim, he loaded his double-barrel shotgun and started on his way to kill her. “It is better that she be dead rather than suffering in the deepest of Hell”, he said.

She was now without friends and without family.

She soon started wearing hijab. The day she put it on, she was denied her job. She was now without family, friends, and job. But her greatest sacrifice was yet to come.

She and her husband both loved each other very much. But while she was studying Islam, her husband misunderstood her for her apparent changes. She became quieter and stopped going to the bar. Her changes were visible to him and he suspected her of having affair with another man, for whom she must have been changing. She could not explain to him what was happening. “There was no way to make him understand what was changing me because I did not know.” Eventually he asked her to leave and she started living separately.

After she openly accepted Islam, it went worse. A divorce was now inevitable. This was a time when Islam was little known, much less understood for what it is. She had two little children whom she loved dearly and whose custody should have rightfully be given to her. But in a grave violation of justice, she was denied their custody just because she became a Muslim. Before giving the formal verdict, the judge offered her a harsh choice: either renounce Islam and get custody of the children, or keep Islam and leave the children. She was given 20 minutes to make a decision.

She loved her children very dearly. It is perhaps the worst nightmare that a mother can have: asked to willfully leave her child - not for one day, month, or year, but forever. On the other hand, how could she keep the Truth away from her children and live as a hypocrite? “It was the most painful 20 minutes in my life”, she said in an interview. Those of us who are mothers and fathers, especially of young children, little imagination is needed to feel the pain and torment that she must have passed every second in those 20 minutes. What added further to her pain was that according to doctors, she could never bear another child because of certain complications. “I prayed like I had never done before … I knew that there was no safer place for my children to be than in the hands of Allah. If I denied Him, there would be no way in the future to show my children the wonders of being with Allah.”

She decided to retain Islam. Her two dear children – one little boy and one little girl – were taken away from her and given to her ex-husband.

For a mother, is there a sacrifice greater than this – a sacrifice that is done for no material reason but only for faith and conviction?

“I left the court knowing that life without my babies would be very difficult. My heart bled, even though I knew, inside, I had done the right thing” . She found comfort in the following verse of the Qur'an:

There is no god but He,-the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is there can intercede in His presence except as He permitteth? He knoweth what (appeareth to His creatures as) before or after or behind them. Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth. His Throne doth extend over the heavens and the earth, and He feeleth no fatigue in guarding and preserving them for He is the Most High, the Supreme (in glory). (Quran 2: 255)

Perhaps the air of Colorado was too thin for justice. Or perhaps there was a plan in Allah’s greater scheme of affairs. Aminah Assilimi later fought back and took her case to the media. Although she did not get custody of her children again, a change was made in the Colorado law that one cannot be denied child custody on the basis of his or her religion.

Indeed Allah’s love and mercy engulfed her so much that, as if, she has been granted the touchstone of Islam. Wherever she goes, people are touched by her beautiful words and Islamic manners and become Muslim.

By accepting Islam, she became a changed person, and a much better person. So much so that her family, relatives, and people around her started appreciating her mannerism and the faith that brought about such changes in her. Despite her family’s initial reaction, she remained in touch with them and addressed them with respect and humility, just as the Qur’an enjoins the Muslims to do. She would send cards to her parents on different occasions, but she would always write down a verse from the Qur’an or the Hadith without mentioning the source of such beautiful words of wisdom. It was not long before she started making a positive influence among her family members.

The first to become Muslim was her grand mother. She was over 100 years old. Soon after accepting Islam, she died. “The day she pronounced Shahada, all her misdeeds had been erased, while her good deeds were preserved. She died so soon after accepting Islam that I knew her “book” was bound to be heavy on the good side. It fills me with such a joy!”

Next to become Muslim was her father, the one who wanted to kill her after she became Muslim. Thus he brought alive the story of Umar ibn Khattab. Umar was a companion of the Prophet who persecuted the early Muslims before he converted to Islam. When he heard one day that his sister became a Muslim, he went out with an open sword to kill her. But upon hearing some of the verses from the Qur’an that his sister was reciting, he recognized the truth and went straight to the Prophet and accepted Islam.

Two years after she (Assilmi) accepted Islam, her mother called and said that she appreciated her faith and hoped that she would keep it. Couple of years later, she called again and asked her about what one would need to do to become a Muslim. Assilmi replied that one had to believe that there is only One God and Muhammad was his Messenger. “Any fool knows that. But what do you have to do?”, she asked again. She replied that if that is what she believed, then she was already a Muslim! At this, her mother said, “Well … OK. But let’s not tell your father just yet”.

She was not aware that her husband (Assilmi’s step father) had the same conversation with her a few weeks earlier. Thus the two lived together as Muslims for years in secret without knowing that the other was also a Muslim. Her sister who wanted to put her in mental institution accepted Islam as well. She must have realized that becoming Muslim is indeed the most healthy and sound thing to do.

Her son, upon becoming adult, accepted Islam. When he turned 21, he called her and said that he wanted to become a Muslim.

Sixteen years after the divorce, her ex-husband also accepted Islam. He said that he had been watching her for sixteen years and wanted his daughter to have the same religion that she had. He came to her and apologized for what he had done. He was a very nice gentlemen and Assilimi had forgiven him long ago.

Perhaps the greatest reward for her was yet to come. Assilmi later married another person, and despite the doctors’ verdict that she could never conceive another child, Allah blessed her with a beautiful boy. If Allah (swt) makes a gift to someone, who can prevent Him? It was truly a wonderful blessing from Allah (swt), and so she named him “Barakah

The sacrifice that Assilmi made for the sake of Allah (swt) was tremendous. And so Allah (swt) turned in mercy to her and rewarded her with enormous blessings. Her family discarded her after she accepted Islam, and now by Allah’s mercy, most of them are Muslim. She lost her friends because of Islam, and now she is being loved by so many. “Friends who loved came out of nowhere”, she said. Allah’s blessings came upon her so much that wherever she goes people are touched by the beauty of Islam and accept the Truth. Both Muslims and non-Muslims now come to her for advice and counseling.

She lost her job because of wearing hijab, and now she is the President of the International Union of Muslim Women. She delivers lectures nationwide and is on high demand. It was her organization that successfully lobbied for the “Eid Stamp” and had it approved by the United States Postal Service, but it took many years of work. She is now working on making the Eid Day as a national holiday.

She has tremendous trust on Allah’s love and mercy and she never looses faith on Him. She was once diagnosed with cancer some years ago. Doctors said that it was in an advanced stage and that she would live for another year. But her faith in Allah (swt) remained strong. “We must all die. I was confident that the pain I was experiencing contained blessings.” As a brilliant example of how much one can love Allah, she mentions about a friend of her named Kareem Al-Misawi who died of cancer when he was in his 20’s:

"Shortly before he died, he told me that Allah was truly Merciful. This man was in unbelievable anguish and was radiating with Allah’s love. He said: “Allah intends that I should enter heaven with a clean book.” His death experience gave me something to think about. He taught me of Allah’s love and mercy."

All praise is due to Allah, she continues to live in good health. She now thinks that having cancer was the greatest blessing that she ever had.
http://www.famousmuslims.com/Aminah%20Assilmi.htm

Although most Muslim female scientists are scattered all over the world advent to the dissolution of the Muslim empire.. you can still find us, even if we are not getting much air time.

peace
Reply

جوري
01-28-2008, 09:08 PM
here is another article

Sunday, February 25, 2007
The Muhaddithats: Muslim Female Scholars in History

Did you know that there has been at least 8,000 women Islamic scholars in the past 1400 years? I didn't. Here is an intriguing story from today's New York Times Magazine. It is interesting that Prince Turki al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia has agreed to publish the forty volume biography of these women. Let us see if Saudi women -or for that matter men- will acutally have access to this biography or if it will be considered too incendiary for KSA's fossilized religious establishment.

A Secret History

By CARLA POWER
Published: New York Times Magazine, February 25, 2007

For Muslims and non-Muslims alike, the stock image of an Islamic scholar is a gray-bearded man. Women tend to be seen as the subjects of Islamic law rather than its shapers. And while some opportunities for religious education do exist for women — the prestigious Al-Azhar University in Cairo has a women’s college, for example, and there are girls’ madrasas and female study groups in mosques and private homes — cultural barriers prevent most women in the Islamic world from pursuing such studies. Recent findings by a scholar at the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies in Britain, however, may help lower those barriers and challenge prevalent notions of women’s roles within Islamic society. Mohammad Akram Nadwi, a 43-year-old Sunni alim, or religious scholar, has rediscovered a long-lost tradition of Muslim women teaching the Koran, transmitting hadith (deeds and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad) and even making Islamic law as jurists.
Akram embarked eight years ago on a single-volume biographical dictionary of female hadith scholars, a project that took him trawling through biographical dictionaries, classical texts, madrasa chronicles and letters for relevant citations. “I thought I’d find maybe 20 or 30 women,” he says. To date, he has found 8,000 of them, dating back 1,400 years, and his dictionary now fills 40 volumes. It’s so long that his usual publishers, in Damascus and Beirut, have balked at the project, though an English translation of his preface — itself almost 400 pages long — will come out in England this summer. (Akram has talked with Prince Turki al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia’s former ambassador to the United States, about the possibility of publishing the entire work through his Riyadh-based foundation.)
The dictionary’s diverse entries include a 10th-century Baghdad-born jurist who traveled through Syria and Egypt, teaching other women; a female scholar — or muhaddithat — in 12th-century Egypt whose male students marveled at her mastery of a “camel load” of texts; and a 15th-century woman who taught hadith at the Prophet’s grave in Medina, one of the most important spots in Islam. One seventh-century Medina woman who reached the academic rank of jurist issued key fatwas on hajj rituals and commerce; another female jurist living in medieval Aleppo not only issued fatwas but also advised her far more famous husband on how to issue his.
Not all of these women scholars were previously unknown. Many Muslims acknowledge that Islam has its learned women, particularly in the field of hadith, starting with the Prophet’s wife Aisha. And several Western academics have written on women’s religious education. About a century ago, the Hungarian Orientalist Ignaz Goldziher estimated that about 15 percent of medieval hadith scholars were women. But Akram’s dictionary is groundbreaking in its scope.
http://levantdream.blogspot.com/2007...holars-in.html


Not very difficult to do a google search..

peace
Reply

mariam.
01-28-2008, 09:11 PM
Originally Posted by chosen
Hi..to be truthful I didnt really read your post..I was however intriqued by the title...I have a question..can you tell me the names of any recent female islamic scholars
there is alot of them in Arab world, but I think you can't get them If I tell you the names of those female islamic scholars.
Reply

mariam.
01-28-2008, 09:15 PM
Aminah Assilmi .. yeah I hear about her.
thank you sister.
Reply

جوري
01-28-2008, 09:16 PM
Originally Posted by mariam.
Aminah Assilmi .. yeah I hear about her.
thank you brother.
I am a sister..


:w:
Reply

mariam.
01-28-2008, 09:19 PM
Islamic Revival Led by Women

Syria, virtually alone in the Arab world, is seeing the resurrection of a centuries-old tradition of sheikhas, or women who are religious scholars.
By KATHERINE ZOEPF DAMASCUS, Syria. Aug 29, 2006.

Enas al-Kaldi stops in the hallway of her Islamic school for girls and coaxes her 6-year-old schoolmate through a short recitation from the Koran.
“It’s true that they don’t understand what they are memorizing at this age, but we believe that the understanding comes when the Koran becomes part of you,” Ms. Kaldi, 16, said proudl.

In other corners of Damascus, women who identify one another by the distinctive way they tie their head scarves gather for meetings of an exclusive and secret Islamic women’s society known as the Qubaisiate.
At those meetings, participants say, they are tutored further in the faith and are even taught how to influence some of their well-connected fathers and husbands to accept a greater presence of Islam in public life.
These are the two faces of an Islamic revival for women in Syria, one that could add up to a potent challenge to this determinedly secular state. Though government officials vociferously deny it, Syria is becoming increasingly religious and its national identity is weakening. If Islam replaces that identity, it may undermine the unity of a society that is ruled by a Muslim religious minority, the Alawites, and includes many religious groups.
Syrian officials, who had front-row seats as Hezbollah dragged Lebanon into war, are painfully aware of the myriad ways that state authority can be undermined by increasingly powerful, and appealing, religious groups. Though Syria’s government supports Hezbollah, it has been taking steps to ensure that the phenomenon it helped to build in Lebanon does not come to haunt it at home.
In the past, said Muhammad al-Habash, a Syrian lawmaker who is also a Muslim cleric, “we were told that we had to leave Islam behind to find our futures.”
“But these days,” he said, “if you ask most people in Syria about their history, they will tell you, ‘My history is Islamic history.’ The younger generation are all reading the Koran.”
Women are in the vanguard. Though men across the Islamic world usually interpret Scripture and lead prayers, Syria, virtually alone in the Arab world, is seeing the resurrection of a centuries-old tradition of sheikhas, or women who are religious scholars. The growth of girls’ madrasas has outpaced those for boys, religious teachers here say.
There are no official statistics about precisely how many of the country’s 700 madrasas are for girls. But according to a survey of Islamic education in Syria published by the pan-Arab daily Al Hayat, there are about 80 such madrasas in Damascus alone, serving more than 75,000 women and girls, and about half are affiliated with the Qubaisiate (pronounced koo-BAY-see-AHT).
For many years any kind of religious piety was viewed here with skepticism. But while men suspected of Islamist activity are frequently interrogated and jailed, subjecting women to such treatment would cause a public outcry that the government cannot risk. Women have taken advantage of their relatively greater freedom to form Islamic groups, becoming a deeply rooted and potentially subversive force to spread stricter and more conservative Islamic practices in their families and communities.
Since intelligence agents still monitor private gatherings that involve discussion of Islam, groups like the Qubaisiate often meet clandestinely, sometimes with women guarding the door to deter interlopers.
The group is named for its founder, a charismatic Syrian sheikha, Munira al-Qubaisi.
A wealthy woman in her 50’s living in Damascus, who has attended Qubaisiate meetings and who asked that her name not be used because she feared punishment, provided a rough description of the activities.
A girl thought to be serious about her faith may be invited by a relative or a school friend to go to a meeting, the woman said. There, a sheikha sits on a raised platform, addresses the assembled women on religious subjects and takes questions.
Qubaisiate members, the woman said, tie their head scarves so there is a puff of fabric under the chin, like a wattle. usually with long colored coats, she said.
.
Hadeel, a Syrian woman in her early 20’s who asked to be identified only by her first name, described how her best childhood friend had become one of the “sisterhood” and encouraged her to follow suit.
“Rasha would call and say, ‘Today we’re going shopping,’ and that would be a secret code meaning that there was a lesson at 7:30,” Hadeel said. “I went three times, and it was amazing. They had all this expensive food, just for teenage girls, before the lesson. And they had fancy Mercedes cars to take you back home afterward.”
Hadeel said she had at first been astonished by the way the Qubaisiate, ostensibly a women’s prayer group, seemed to single out the daughters of wealthy and influential families and girls who were seen as potential leaders.
“They care about getting girls with big names, the powerful families,” Hadeel said. “In my case, they wanted me because I was a good student.”
Women speaking about the group asked that their names not be used because the group is technically illegal, though it seems the authorities are increasingly turning a blind eye.
“To be asked to join the Qubaisiate is very prestigious,” said Maan Abdul Salam, a women’s rights campaigner.
Mr. Abdul Salam explained that such secret Islamic prayer groups recruited women differently, depending on their social position. “They teach poor women how to humble themselves in front of their husbands and how to pray, but they’re teaching upper-class women how to influence politics,” he said.
The Islamic school where Ms. Kaldi, the 16-year-old tutor, studies has no overt political agenda. But it is a place where devotion to Islam, and an exploration of women’s place in it, flourishes.
The school, at the Zahra mosque in a western suburb of Damascus, is a cheerful, cozy place, with soft Oriental carpets layered underfoot and scores of little girls running around in their socks. Ms. Kaldi spends summers, vacations and some afternoons there, studying and helping younger children to memorize the Koran. Her work tutoring has made her an important figure in this world; many of the younger girls greet her shyly as they pass.
The school accepts girls as young as 5, who begin memorizing the Koran from the back, where the shortest verses are found. The youngest girls are being taught with the aid of hand gestures, games and treats.
The atmosphere is relaxed. The children share candy and snacks as they study, and the room hums with the sound of high-pitched voices reciting in unison. Several girls, preparing for the tests that will allow them to progress to higher-level classes, swing one-handed around the smooth columns that support the roof of the mosque, dreamily murmuring verses aloud to themselves.
After girls in the Zahra school have committed the Koran to memory, they are taught to recite the holy book with the prescribed rhythm and cadences, a process called tajweed, which usually takes at least several years of devoted study. Along the way they are taught the principles of Koranic reasoning.
It is this art of Koranic reasoning, Ms. Kaldi and her friends say, that most sets them apart from previous generations of Syrian Muslim women.
Fatima Ghayeh, 16, an aspiring graphic designer and Ms. Kaldi’s best friend, said she believed that “the older generation,” by which she meant women now in their late 20’s and their 30’s, too often allowed their fathers and husbands to dictate their faith to them.
They came of age before the Islamic revivalist movement that has swept Syria, she explained, and as a result many of them do not feel an intellectual ownership of Islamic teaching in the way that their younger sisters do.
“The older girls were told, ‘This is Islam, and so you should do this,’ ” Ms. Ghayeh said. “They feel that they can’t really ask questions.
“It’s because 10 years ago Syria was really closed, and there weren’t so many Islamic schools. But society has really changed. Today girls are saying, ‘We want to do something with Islam, and for Islam.’ We’re more active, and we ask questions.”
Ms. Ghayeh and Ms. Kaldi each remember with emotion the day, early in President Bashar al-Assad’s tenure, when he changed the law to allow the wearing of Islamic head scarves in public schools and began allowing soldiers to pray in mosques.

Those changes have been popular among Sunnis, who make up 70 percent of the country’s population, but they carry political risks for a government that has long been allergic to public displays of religious fervor.
The government has been eager to demonstrate in recent years, through changes like these and increasing references to Syria’s Islamic heritage in official speeches, that it does not fear Islam as such.
During the weeks of war between Israel and Hezbollah, the government frequently used references to the Islamic cause and to the “Lebanese resistance,” as Hezbollah is called in the Syrian state-controlled news media, to play to the feelings of Syrians and consolidate its support. But it is still deeply anxious about Islamic groups acting outside the apparatus of the state, and the threat that they may lose to state control.
The girls at the madrasa say that by plunging more deeply into their faith, they learn to understand their rights within Islam.
In upper-level courses at the Zahra school, the girls debate questions like whether a woman has the right to vote differently from her husband.

“People mistake tradition for religion,” Ms. Kaldi said. “Men are always saying, ‘Women can’t do that because of religion,’ when in fact it is only tradition. It’s important for us to study so that we will know the difference.”

Pasted from www.islamfortoday.com
Reply

chosen
01-28-2008, 09:42 PM
one name..I was kind of hoping for a bunch..and the one you give me travels in the united states giving lectures....what I was really looking for were the names of female islamic scholars teaching in islamic countries...
Reply

UmmSqueakster
01-28-2008, 09:55 PM
Female scholars don't usually have the big name recognition famous male scholars have.

The wife of my sheikh, Ustadha (teacher or master) Umm Sahl, is a scholar in her own right and teaches her husband's students as well.

I think we'll be seeing many more female scholars (inshaAllah) as women continue to increase their study of sacred knowledge and become certified to teach.
Reply

Mishko
01-29-2008, 06:31 AM
Informative post, thankyou!
Reply

mariam.
01-29-2008, 10:49 AM
Originally Posted by chosen
one name..I was kind of hoping for a bunch..and the one you give me travels in the united states giving lectures....what I was really looking for were the names of female islamic scholars teaching in islamic countries...
as what sister Janaan said: Female scholars don't usually have the big name recognition famous male scholars have.

but that not mean they are not exist.
did you read my reply number 10?
Reply

itsme
01-29-2008, 12:47 PM
Originally Posted by Mishko
Informative post, thankyou!
very informative i'd say and very enlightening too. jazaakallah khair sis Mariam and sis PurestAmbrosia.
Reply

Hey there! Looks like you're enjoying the discussion, but you're not signed up for an account.

When you create an account, you can participate in the discussions and share your thoughts. You also get notifications, here and via email, whenever new posts are made. And you can like posts and make new friends.
Sign Up

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-12-2015, 08:03 PM
  2. Replies: 12
    Last Post: 09-29-2009, 02:16 PM
  3. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-21-2008, 10:02 PM
  4. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-22-2006, 11:36 PM
  5. Replies: 13
    Last Post: 07-17-2006, 07:05 PM

IslamicBoard

Experience a richer experience on our mobile app!