Jeddah: Muslim women have played a pivotal role in the scientific and non-scientific advancement of Muslim societies throughout Islamic history ever since the revelation of the Holy Qur’an but some historians, both old and modern, tried to hide their contributions, Al Arabia reported.
Quoting Saudi social activist and senior member of the National Society for Human Rights Suhaila Zain Al-Abideen the report said female scholars learned from male scholars and taught male scholars as well. Many female scholars wrote books and acted as authorities on religious issues.
Therefore, Muslim women were not stay-at-home moms; on the contrary, they had strong roles in society. At the time, the West did not have any impact on Muslim communities, the report said.
"However, women have been marginalized since 1494. Because of this marginalization, the illiteracy rate among Muslim women has reached 66 percent", Al-Abideen said.
Among the most prominent female scholars was Umm al-Dardaa al-Sughra, who died in 700 AD. She was an authority on “ahadith” (The traditions of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him) and several great scholars of the time attended her classes such as Hasan al-Basri, a great scholar, theologian, and judge who died in 728 AD.
The celebrated scholar Muhammad Ibn Sirin and Abu Bakr Ibn Hazm, a great judge of Madinah, also attended her classes.
Umm al-Dardaa al-Sughra al-Dimashqiyyah or Umm al Dardaa the Younger was a 7th-century jurist and scholar of Islam in Damascus and Jerusalem. She is not to be confused with Umm al-Dardaa, wife of Abu Dardaa, the companion of the Prophet (Peace be upon him).
This great female scholar, known for her in-depth fatwas, held classes inside Damascus Mosque where she explained complicated juristic viewpoints to her students, both male and female. Even the Umayyad Caliph Abdul Malik Bin Marwan attended her classes.
Another prominent female scholar was Nafisa Bint Al-Hassan, the granddaughter of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). She grew up in Madinah where she participated in the sessions of great scholars, such as Imam Malik Ibn Anas and learned from them.
She was an eminent scholar who taught two of the great scholars of the time: Abu Abdullah Muhammad Idris Al-Shafi’i and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, who were two of the four great imams. The former’s legacy on juridical matters and teaching led to the Shafi’i School of Jurisprudence while that of the latter led to the Hanbali School of Jurisprudence.