The Spotlight

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

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

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
The Spotlight

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
The Spotlight

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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Three Muslim Women Listed on TIME Magazine's 2021 Next 100 Leaders of the Future
The Spotlight

Three Muslim Women Listed on TIME Magazine’s 2021 Next 100 Leaders of the Future

It is essential to spread more success stories of Muslim women to not only end misconceptions and damaging stereotypes but to reinforce the truth that Muslim women have the unfettered freedom to be whoever they want to be. This month, Time Magazine announced the Next 100 leaders to watch in the world, amongst which are these three powerful Muslim women.

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Hajiya Gambo Sawaba: Activist, Philantropist and the Most Jailed Politician in Nigeria
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Hajiya Gambo Sawaba: Activist, Philanthropist and the Most Imprisoned Politician in Nigeria

In the early years of her activism, many women in northern Nigeria observed purdah, a form of social seclusion, Gambo went from house-to-house to speak to them. This displeased the Native Authority in Kano and, in 1952, she was hauled before the conservative Alkali (Magistrates) Court, on charges of “drawing out women who were in purdah”. The court sentenced her to three months in prison; the first of 16 prison sentences she would serve during her lifetime.

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Najah Aqeel: Changing the Rule for Muslim Girls in Volley Ball
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Najah Aqeel: Changing the Rule for Muslim Girls in Volley Ball

Seeing the challenge that lay ahead of her, Najah wiped her tears and got to work. She was not about to allow an exclusionary rule stand in the way of her ambition, With the support of her school and the American Muslim Advisory Council, she was determined to change the rule with the hope that no Muslim athlete wearing the hijab in Tennessee or elsewhere, would encounter the same obstacle.

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The Black Women of Tichit: Caravan Leaders and Saharan Scholars
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The Black Women of Tichit: Caravan Leaders and Saharan Scholars

Through their activities, they brought a lot of revenue to Tichit and enriched many families. This was perhaps the reason for the popular Mauritanian proverb, “The woman is the man’s trousers” (Limra’ sirwal al-rajul), for it was a testament to the fact that the women of Tichit were providers and protectors for their husbands and, by extension, their family.

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The Spotlight

Centring Historical Black Muslim Women: Nana Asma’u Bint Usman Dan Fodio

The rule of Usman Dan Fodio was revolutionary, improving the status of women and ensuring that they had equal rights as their male counterparts. Little wonder Nana Asma’u, his daughter became the epitome of women’s liberation at the time. West African Muslims glorify her, celebrate her efforts in expanding the rights of women to intellectualism and to active participation in the affairs of society, reasserting rights that had been selfishly snatched away in preceding generations.

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Umm Al-Darda As-Sughra: The Expert Scholar, Jurist and Leader
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Umm Al-Darda As-Sughra: The Expert Scholar, Jurist and Leader

Umm Ad-Darda’ was held by Iyas ibn Mu`awiyah, as an important scholar of hadith of the time and a judge of undisputed ability and merit, to be superior to all the other hadith scholars of the period, including the celebrated masters of hadith like Al-Hasan Al-Basri and Ibn Sirin.

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Al-Khansa: A Mistress of Ancient Arab Poetry
The Spotlight

Al-Khansa: A Mistress of Ancient Arab Poetry

Patriarchal studies along the years had relegated her work as emotional, typical of a woman, and even hysteric and obsessive. However, in a world, where Arabs believed themselves the fathers of poetry, her poetry would not have risen to popularity let alone survived had it just been emotional or beautiful.

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