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Muslim Women in History

 Women Role Models

"The best women of mankind are four: Mariam daughter of Imran, Assiya wife of Pharoah, Khadija daughter of Khuwailid, and Fatima daughter of the Messenger of Allah."  - The Prophet Muhammad (narrated by Anas, recorded in Bukhari and Muslim

Women have always played an important role in the Muslim community

Despite the stereotypes, Muslim women have always played a vital role in the Muslim community, and not only in traditional roles.  Early Muslim women served the community through scholarship, teaching, nursing, and other important activities.  Among them:

Asma bint Abu Bakr - a noble woman known for her intelligence and generosity

Aishah bint Abu Bakr - known for her spirit and good memory, she became a teacher to other Muslims and a narrator of hadith

Barakah - the only person who was with the Prophet (peace be upon him) from his birth to his death

Fatimah bint Muhammad - the Prophet's daughter was deeply devoted to him, and spent her time in prayer and worship

Hafsa bint Umar - a women who was not afraid to speak her mind

Khadija bint Khuwailid - the Prophet (peace be upon him) described her: ""She believed in me when no one else did; she accepted Islam when people rejected me; and she helped and comforted me when there was no one else to lend me a helping hand."

Nasibah bint Ka'b - a "woman warrior" - she fought in the battle of Uhud and others

Ramlah bint Abu Sufyan - a courageous woman who embraced Islam despite the protests of her father, a fierce enemy of the Muslim community

Rumaysa bint Milhan - known for her bravery and excellent character

Sawda bint Zama - a widow who was the first Muslim to emigrate to Abbyssinia

Umm Salamah - one of the first believers, she remained steadfast despite persecution

Sister Mohja Kahf wrote a series of articles for Usenet outlining the lives of some of the lesser-known Muslim women in history.  From Naseeba bint Ka'b to  Azdah bint al-Harith, the lives of these women give important insight into the nature of women's lives in the early centuries of Islam.

Far from being downtrodden, meek slaves to the men in their lives, these women served Allah and their community with bravery and wisdom.  Muslim women look to them as role models, may Allah be pleased with them all.


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