She was no random coincidence. She was not an anomaly — ‘a woman who broke free from the ways of her culture to do something great’. She was rather the direct result of the very culture and community she grew up in.
According to the photographer, she had a number of attendants and was dressed extremely finely in a “robe of rich Turkish tissue of silk and gold”. Her dress covered most of her face, with only her hand visible. The purpose of the visit had been to impress upon the young queen the advantages of becoming a French colony. But she vehemently resisted.
Many men rejected the verses in Wallada’s poems because they were not “womanly” but this pushed her to write even more. She was a woman who took criticism as a tool to come back stronger, making her poems passionately vivid and influential.
Aleppo’s diplomatic position was never as strong as it was under the rule of Queen Dhayfa Khatun. Besides her diplomatic strength, however, Dhayfa took a special interest in architecture and sponsored learning in Aleppo where she founded two schools.
As a queen, Al-Khayzuran improved the condition of women. She was committed to removing the harmful structures that prevented women from living their full lives. She was also very charitable, especially to women.
The knowledge that once upon an Islamic empire, in a golden city of wisdom, walked a woman who wove law and algebra together with utmost perfection that her history couldn’t be completely obliterated gives us hope that what once was, could definitely be again, and perhaps has started to become.
Çambel’s intellectual capacity had always been running in front of her academic identity as an archaeologist. She may have written fewer publications than many, but has left behind monumental institutions, trajectories in managing, and, more significantly, a generation inspired by her vision.
On one incident, during Hajj, she asked the Prophet (PBUH) why he was still in Ihram, when he had instructed the sahabah to take off their Ihram.
It goes without saying that women were the primary narrators of the customs related to matters pertaining to women. However, there are many instances where women narrated on general issues. One renowned Ḥadīth is narrated by al-Rubayyi’ bint Mu’awwidh in which she describes the Prophet’s wuḍhūʾ. Her knowledge on this was so accurate and detailed that various scholars travelled to great lengths to hear this Ḥadīth from her.
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.