The Spotlight

This is the stories section. Here, we bring to light the stories of Muslim women of the past.

The Lioness of Makkah: A Glimpse into the Life of Lady Hafsah bint Umar
The Spotlight

The Lioness of Makkah: A Glimpse into the Life of Lady Hafsah bint Umar

Her marriage to the Prophet (PBUH) took place in Sha’aban on the third year of the Hijra (and not after Uhud as commonly thought) at the age of 21 or 22 till his death when she was 27. She loved the Prophet (PBUH) dearly. After her marriage to the Prophet (PBUH), she had an inquisitive nature, often immersed herself in studying the deen, and would engage him and ask him questions about the deen. On one such incident, during Hajj, she asked the Prophet (PBUH) why he was still in Ihram, while he had instructed the sahabah to take off their Ihram. Then the Prophet (PBUH) replied that he couldn’t remove his Ihram until his sacrificial animals were slaughtered. And from this incident the fatwa was obtained, about a type of Hajj (Qiran) where the one doing Hajj couldn’t remove the Ihram, until the animals were sacrificed, as opposed to another type of Hajj called Tamattu’.

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'And the Male is Not Like the Female': What We Can Learn from Hannah, the Mother of Maryam.
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‘And the Male is Not Like the Female’: What Can We Learn from Hannah, the Mother of Maryam?

Hidden behind her layers of disappointment was a sense of rebellion which was expressed when she made her complaint to God: ” My Lord! I have given birth to a girl “. The emotions evoked were those of sadness and confusion. She knew that the environment in which she lived did not value the female child, practically forbidding women from having access to the sacred realm. Deep inside her, she wanted to trust in God, that in spite of having a female child, her wish for her child to be dedicated to the service of God could still materialise,

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On the Agency of Muslim Women: Visiting the Life of Aisha Bint Talhah bin Ubaydullah
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On the Agency of Muslim Women: Visiting the Life of Aisha Bint Talhah bin Ubaydullah

In our modern world, this incident would have an entire community swearing and condemning a woman for daring to leave her marital home in a state of anger, let alone staying at her aunt’s for a period of four months. Muslim women today, are told that to step foot outside their matrimonial home without their spouse’s permission is tantamount to stepping into the fire of hell. There is a lot of oppression and spiritual blackmail going on in our communities against women and if these issues are not addressed, they’re going to have a devastating effect on our ummah.

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Lady Hind bint Abi Umayya: The Fierce Woman Who Asked the Difficult Questions
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Lady Hind bint Abi Umayya: The Fierce Woman Who Asked the Difficult Questions

Hind bint Umayya asked questions that God responded to by way of revelation. She once asked the prophet why men were always mentioned in the Quran and not women, and God answered her question by revealing the famous ayah 35 of surah Ahzab.

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Zainab Cobbold: The First Scottish Muslim Woman
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Lady Zainab Cobbold: The First Scottish Muslim Woman

It seems that Zainab’s relationship with, and conversion to, Islam had an effect on the relationship with her family and more specifically, her marriage. She and her husband separated in 1922. Following his death in 1929; she began seriously pursuing the prospect of being able to perform Hajj. Zainab became the first Muslim woman born in Britain to perform Hajj; not only this but she also wrote a book of her accounts and this was published — Pilgrimage to Mecca. Zainab was aged 65 when she performed Hajj in 1933.

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Revisiting History: The Pre-Islamic Arab Story of Queen Al-Zabbāʾ of Tadmur
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Revisiting History: The Pre-Islamic Arab Story of Queen Al-Zabbāʾ of Tadmur

From, Al-Tabari’s account, Al-Zabbāʾs all-consuming quest for revenge renders her a tragic character, which is evident towards the end of the play when ʿAmr captured Tadmur and walked into Al-Zabbāʾs room. However, in Maḥmūd Diyāb’s very recent account of this history, although al-Zabbāʾ is perfectly resigned to her fate and is ready to poison herself, ʿAmr refuses to kill her for one reason.

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Celebrating Women's History: 5 Historical Muslim Women You Need to Know About
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Celebrating Women’s History: 5 Historical Muslim Women You Need to Know About

It is more heartwarming that we are taking ownership of our past and present narratives and allowing the phenomenal women of the past to shape our present and future. According to Arzoo Ahmed, founder of Muslim Women Histories, “The story of Islamic scholarship is a story of men and women, in which women were left unacknowledged.” TMWT is committed to unearthing and spotlighting the stories of these women and while this is fundamentally the goal of this platform, we will be more focused on producing content centred around celebrating women’s history in women’s history month.

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The Rising Tide of Female Scholarship: Ribaat Academic Institute Produces its First Set of Graduands
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The Rising Tide of Female Scholarship: Ribaat Academic Institute Produces its First Set of Graduands

Having fulfilled all the requirements for the Ribaat Teacher Certification, sixteen women from diverse parts of the world graduated from the Ribaat Academic Institute, a women-only madrasah that offers a comprehensive curriculum of courses in traditional Islamic Sciences, the Arabic language, and the Tajwid of the Holy Quran to women around the world.

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Queen Bilqis of Sheba: An Powerful Black Muslim Leader Exemplified in the Qur'an
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Queen Bilqis of Sheba: A Powerful Black Muslim Leader Exemplified in the Qur’an

The Qur’an’s description of Queen Bilqis is undeniable proof that a woman can be a head of state and that her femininity would rather serve her well by bringing her closer to her people and their daily realities. In Queen Bilqis’ example, her logical reasoning prevailed in managing the affairs of the state.

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Jackie Yi-Ru Ying: First Scientist to be Elected as a Member of the US National Academy of Engineering
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Jackie Yi-Ru Ying: First Scientist to be Elected as a Member of the US National Academy of Engineering

Today, Jackie has more than 190 primary patents, 41 of which have been licensed to multinational companies and start-ups in the field of nanomedicine, drug delivery, medical implants, cell and tissue engineering, and medical devices. She remains a powerful inspiration for Muslim women everywhere in the field of science and technology, encouraging many more women to study and work in the ever-growing and important field of STEM.

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