Inspiring Women in Muslim History That We Should Know
Women are degraded and considered to be solely homemakers; I’m not degrading homemakers. Of course, I appreciate them, but this is about labeling women incapable of entering other fields. If we focus on Muslim history, we will encounter thousands of incidents in which women have taken the lead. Women like Fatima- Al-Fihri and Sutayta al-Mahamili succeeded in education and mathematic fields. They have set the example that women are no less than men.
We don’t have to set a day for women; instead, we can celebrate them every day, and here I’m writing this as a tribute to all the amazing women out there.
Let’s meet some amazing women in Muslim history!
1. Fathim al-Firhi
She was a game-changer in the Islamic community and civilization. Though her hometown was Qayrawan, she moved from there to Fez (now Morocco) with her father. Fathim al-Firhi and her sister played a prominent role in making education one of the essentials for women in those days. The girls grew up in an educated family, and they were competent in hadith and Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence).
Fatima’s inheritance from her father was considerably huge, so she utilized them to build a mosque for the community. Al- Qarawiyin was the first and oldest madrasa (Islamic learning center) that later became the world’s first university. It was established in 859, and students worldwide joined the university to learn Islamic studies, languages, astronomy, and sciences. Thanks to this university for making Arabic numbers popular even in Europe. Hence, the Firhi sisters are among the best examples of Islamic women’s role in Muslim civilization.
Sharika Hafeez’s Medium blog on The Woman Who Founded the World’s First University shares many interesting facts that anyone would love to read.
2. Sutayta al-Mahamali
The daughter of Judge Abu Abdallah al-Hussein was a brilliant lady who had her heart and soul for mathematics. She was a genius in the 10th century, and the world celebrated her knowledge in mathematics. Unfortunately, she has now become a history that people hardly speak about.
Her father guided her, along with many other reputed scholars. Her specialties weren’t in one subject; instead, she was well-versed in hadith, Arabic literature, and jurisprudence. On top of all, she excelled in fara’idh (successoral calculations) hisab (arithmetics), which were also parts of mathematics developed in 987. She invented solutions to some mathematical equations, including algebra aptitude. Many mathematicians have utilized her equations. Her ability to create equations showed that she had tremendous skills in mathematics.
You can also watch this video that shares some more insights about Sutayta.
3. Al-Ijliya Al-Astrulabi (Mariam)
She’s the woman behind astrolabes. She was a 10th-century scientist who was born in Syria. According to ancient Islam, she was the only female astronomer at the time. She was solving problems related to the placement of stars and the sun, and her academic brilliance was beyond best.
Her interest was piqued after seeing her father’s passion for developing Astrolabes. He used to share his insights with his daughter. Mariam had to work with complicated precision and calculations of mathematics. However, she mastered it over time. Her innovative and intricate designs caught the eyes of the city ruler, Sayf Al Dawla, and then she was employed in Aleppo court. Apart from this, she supported timekeeping techniques and navigation.
The Al-Ijliya, the main-belt asteroid 7060, was found by Henry E. Holt and was named after Mariam, and that proved her significant role in the study of Astronomy. Plus, Nnedi Okorafor, a Nigerian American author, penned down a novel termed ‘Binti,’ which was awarded Nebula Award, and the main character revolved around Mariam.
She can be an inspiration for the girls who want to make their dreams in the field of inventions and research.
4. Zaynab Al Shahda
Calligraphy is one of the activities that most Muslims enjoy doing. Zaynab Al Shahda was also one of those people who loved to do calligraphy, and she was famous for her work in hadith and Islamic law (fiqh).
She was too good at what she was doing, so praises kept flooding without a break. She was then appointed as Yaqut’s (last Abbasid Caliph) teacher. Zaynab also did the calligraphies at Musa’s place. She was an established teacher who could brilliantly guide the students on the right path. People made an effort to study and receive ijaza (a license authorized by the professional) from Zaynab.
Her brilliance was proved after she received Siqat al-Dawla due to her strong ties with the Abbasid Caliph, al-Muktafibillah. She considered learning literature and science as her pastime activities.
She is an excellent example for the girls these days. They can prove their point that women were never oppressed in Islam. According to Islam, focusing on a career and building oneself with a superior level of integrity and intelligence wasn’t gender-biased.
5. Queen Amina of Zaria
Amina of Zaria or Warrior queen was another name that she was famous for. She led the military to expand the Hausa people’s territory to North Africa, and it was considered the most massive borders that marked history.
Women in Subsaharan Africa succeeded in a wide range of fields during Muslim civilization. Amina was one of the women who did her role as a warrior. Bakwa Turunku was her father and the founder of the Kingdom Zazzau (now Zaria) in 1536.
Amina earned her people’s trust and respect as she led the military with her fantastic military strategy. She was in command between 1588 and 1589. She also used engineering skills during her campaigns, and her fierce military usage stood out among everything else. She was praised and credited for the construction of the Zaria wall.
All in all, it’s clear that women warriors and women leaders weren’t frowned upon during Muslim civilization. Thus, it should get established in the minds of current Muslim society.
If you are interested, you can watch this short clip about Warrior queen, Amina!
Some of the inspiring women in Muslim history have left behind many things that we can still utilize. Their mark on Muslim history isn’t insignificant; instead, it’s highly appreciated and most cherished. These women have influenced the lives of other women who have been struggling to find their individuality.
In Muslim civilization, women from different backgrounds and faiths got together and developed the communities alongside men. Their past work, inspiring lifestyles, and strong-willed personalities have become a guide for the current generation.
Israel is and will always be a crime against humanity
Israel, the misbegotten Zionist entity, on Wednesday, May 5 celebrated the 74th anniversary of its birthday, an allusion to the usurpation by brutal military force of the Arab-Muslim land of Palestine.
In the process, Zionist gangs, armed and funded by wealthy Jews and colonialist Western powers, such as the UK, carried out a well-devised terrorist campaign of indiscriminate murder and violence against the virtually-unarmed and defenseless Palestinian community, during which dozens of hideous massacres, like Dir Yasin, were perpetrated by Zionist gangs, like the Hagana, Irgun, Stern, and others.
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The grisly atrocities forced the vast majority of Palestine’s population at that time, in 1948, to flee their villages lest they face the same fate that the people of Dir Yasin, Tantura, Dawaymeh, and many other hamlets and villages had just faced.
The Deir Yassin massacre took place on April 9, 1948, when 130 Jewish terrorists from the paramilitary terror groups of Irgun and Lehi stormed Dir Yasin near Jerusalem and murdered 107 Palestinian civilians. Other sources, like New York Times, put the number of victims at 200.
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In his Memoirs, the Rvolt, Menachem Begin, the head of the Irgun terror group, who eventually became Israel’s Prime minister, described the Dir Yasin massacre as a real miracle because it cast terror in the hearts of the Palestinian populace, prompting them to leave. Even before Dir Yasin, Begin was branded by the British government as “leader of the notorious terrorist organization and banned from entering the UK.”
Since Dir Yasin 74 years ago, Zionist massacres of Palestinians have never really stopped as successive Zionist governments retained and maintained the original Zionist strategy toward the people of Palestine. This genocidal strategy was aimed at achieving three main goals: Expulsion of the bulk of Palestinians. (There are 7 million Palestinian refugees today), enslaving Palestinians as as “water carriers and wood hewers,” (apartheid), or outright physical extermination. This is not propaganda or media hypes. This is the un-official but authentic ideology of the ruling Zionist establishment, even today.
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In 1967, Israel launched the 6-days war, during which it seized the rest of mandatory Palestine, namely the West Bank which was under the Jordanian rule, and the Gaza Strip, under the Egyptian rule. Thus, Islam’s first Qibla and third holiest religious place, al-Aqsqa, fell under the Zionist occupation.
When East Jerusalem was seized from Jordan, the Israeli army’s rabbi Moshe Goren, strongly advised army generals to blow up the gold-gilded Dome of the Rock, which is part of the Aqsa Mosque. However, a prominent general refused to heed Goren’s exhortations.
Ever since that time, Israel transferred hundreds of thousands of its citizens into the West Bank to live on land that belongs to another people. The purpose of this criminal act is to re-enact the White settlements of the defunct apartheid regime in South Africa and former Rhodesia as well as the Russian demographic presence in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine, pending the annexation of the territory and possible expulsion and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.
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Numerous UN resolutions were issued, ruling that the settlements were illegal and in a brazen violation of international law. Furthermore, Israel consistently refused to consider the West Bank as an occupied territory, insisting that the region was a “disputed” rather than “occupied” land. The Israeli defiance of the UN and its Security Council’s resolutions is attributed to the almost total American submission to the Zionist entity.
A few years ago during a televised debate with an Israeli official, I confronted him with the settlements problem as he claimed that it was Israel that really wanted peace and that the Palestinians were the party that displayed intransigence. I asked him rather tersely if he thought that a peace-loving country would build 300 colonies on occupied territories and transfer hundreds of thousands of its citizens to live on land that didn’t belong to them. He was dumbfounded.
Clearly, the brazen Israeli insolence and arrogance of power stem from the absolute, unlimited, and total backing the Jewish state receives from the United States due to the overwhelming influence of American Jewry on the US government, congress, and political life in America.
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I remember one American writer saying half-jokingly that the Palestinians will not be liberated from the Israeli occupation until America is freed from Zionist domination. The Zionist stranglehold on the American government was described amply and analyzed elaborately by the late Jewish intellectual Alfred Lilienthal in his monumental book “The Zionist Connection: What price peace.”
The Palestinians remain the ultimate reversioner
Despite its military might, economic prosperity, and international connections, Israel still lacks the legal and moral legitimacy.
In ancient times and the Middle Ages, military conquests gave conquerors sovereignty over occupied territories. However, in the modern era, sovereignty, especially de jure sovereignty, can not be acquired or gained through war. Otherwise, the occupation by Nazi Germany of 8 European states would have been perfectly legal and compatible with international law. The same thing applies to the Iraqi invasion and occupation of Kuwait nearly 30 years ago. The same thing can be said about the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
So what makes the Israeli occupation of Palestine, both in 1948 and 1967, different from the Nazi occupation of Europe, the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, and the Russian occupation of Ukraine. In truth, Israel and the Zionist movement have no convincing answer for this crucial question. Instead, they indulge in legalistic sophistry, historical prevarication, and verbal juggling
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Some Zionist apologists try to outsmart themselves by arguing that Israel came under attack and that the occupied territory were won in a war of self-defense.
However, international law experts make it very clear that coming under attack gives a country the right to repel the attack, but not occupy territories. Thus, the acquisition of territory by military force is absolutely illegal under the international law. This is the reason most countries don’t recognize Israeli sovereignty over both East and West Jerusalem as the city, indeed the entirety of Palestine was conquered by military force, which gave Israel only a de facto sovereignty, but no de Jure sovereign whatsoever.
Needless to say, authentic de jure sovereignty would require all the normal qualifications of sovereignty, which Israel obviously lacks.
Hence, Israel should be viewed as a belligerent occupying power, irrespective of how many countries recognize it and have diplomatic and economic relations with it.
According to Hal Draper ” At the present time Israel is a belligerent occupant of the city (Jerusalem) and is bound by the laws governing such occupation.”
Headly Cook, an international law expert believes that Israel among all countries of the world possesses not a single inch of territory which she could assuredly proclaim to be her own in perpetuity.(2)
This is why, Palestinians, and Muslims in general, are strongly advised not to ascribe any legal or moral legitimacy to Israel, an entity that has been and continues to be a crime against humanity. (end)
(1) Draper, Hal. the Status of Jerusalem, p. 163
(2)” (Cook, Headly, Israel: A blessing and Curse, London 1960, p. 168)
Muslim OBC Reservation scrapped by BJP government of Karnataka
Muslim Reservation under OBC scrapped by the BJP government of Karnataka. On March 30, the BJP government in Karnataka announced a cabinet decision to eliminate the 4% Muslim OBC quota, which had been allocated to the two most powerful communities in the state, the Lingayats and Vokkaligas. Muslims have been considered a backward class in Karnataka for more than 100 years. Following closely behind, the government granted 101 Scheduled Castes (SC) internal reservations. Both of these choices have been the subject of heated political discussion. The state has become one of the most communally polarised in India due to the policies of the Basavaraj Bommai-led BJP government, particularly the most recent official statement regarding the updated reservation formula.
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Why did the BJP make this decision?
The BJP was under pressure since the community led by Kudalasangama Seer Sri Jayamruthyunjaya Swami has been fighting for 2A status in the OBC list for the community for two years. The community derives strength from the numerically significant Panchamasalis, a sub-sect among Veerashaiva-Lingayats. The decision was made well before the Vokkaligas exerted any significant pressure on the BJP, which is trying to take over the Vokkaliga-dominated Old Mysore region.
An allegedly pre-dated government order regarding the transfer of category was published two days after the announcement of the elections and the rationale provided for this new reservation formula is blatantly communal, defying even the ‘neutral’ language of administration, reports The Wire.
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Double-faced Politics of the BJP
In order to demonstrate its commitment to secularism, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been reaching out to Pasmanda (Backward) Muslims in North India. However, in the southern state of Karnataka, the same BJP has transerred socially and educationally backward Muslims from the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category of society to the forward caste grouping, known as the Economically Weak Section (EWS). This clearly shows the double-faced politics of the BJP in India.
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The Justification of the BJP Government
The BJP has used a 2010 ruling by the Andhra Pradesh High Court as a justification, which declared reservations for Muslims under the OBC quota as illegal, to support the withdrawal of the OBC quota for Muslims (Category II B). It has been maintained that the 1994 decision by the H. D. Deve Gowda administration to include Muslims in the OBC category was not supported by any factual facts.
No new reports or studies were cited for the change in the OBC status of Muslims. Chief Minister Bommai and Union Home Minister Amit Shah only said there is no provision in the Constitution for reservations for religious minorities reports The Indian Express.
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Rallies organized by the Muslims
In the meantime, rallies were organised by the Muslim community in Karnataka in areas like Vijayanagara, calling for the reinstatement of the reservation that had been granted to them under the “2B” category after Muslim Reservation under OBC scrapped by the BJP government. JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy took aim at the BJP administration on Monday, claiming that it planned to abolish the reservation in order to incite animosity between Muslims and Hindus and to gain electoral advantage. “The objective behind the decision is the policy of divide and rule employed by the BJP. They think that if Muslims hit the streets (to protest), they will benefit from it. Fortunately, Muslims have remained peaceful,” he said.
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Communities are Protesting the BJP-led Policy
On Monday (March 27), a large protest organised by the Banjara, Bhovi, Koracha, and Korama communities in Shivamogga district, Karnataka, descended into violence when people started throwing stones at former chief minister BS Yediyurappa’s home. Banjara leader Sharda Pooryanaik, a former Shivamogga Rural (SC) JD(S) MLA, said in a media interview that “The government should have held consultations with various caste groups before bringing the changes…There have been demands for a proper caste census to arrive at the quota requirements.”
The Banjara community, a Scheduled Tribe in Karnataka but also on the list of Scheduled Tribes in bordering states like Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, was at the forefront of the protest on Monday. The Banjaras, who are part of the group that has been given a 4.5 percent quota, are displeased with the government because they “were earlier able to corner a large chunk of the Dalit quota due to their enterprising nature, and now fear their share will be restricted to only 4.5 percent of the total,” The Indian Express reported. This is according to the leaders of the most backward SC groups in the Shivamogga region, where the demonstrations took place after reservation under OBC got scrapped by the BJP government
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Agitations criticized by the BJP
The agitations have been criticised by BJP officials, who claim that the Congress is behind it. Local Congress leaders have incited [the demonstration], according to CM Bommai. They are inciting violence because they cannot stand that the BJP has brought social justice to these communities. The Banjara community must resist giving in to this. The BJP has always stood up for the neighborhood and will do so in the future.
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Will Turks choose Erdogan again?
On 14 May, Tens of millions of Turks will go to the polls to elect a President for the Turkish Republic. The main contenders are the incumbent veteran President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in office since 2014, and Kemal Killicdaroglu, a candidate of a six-party alliance for the Presidential race in Turkey.
The Presidential race in Turkey will be hotly contested, as opposition parties seem determined to oust the Quasi-Islamist leader, Erdogan.
Killicdaroglu, a fierce secularist, who hails from the heterodox Alavi sect, doesn’t hide his ambitions to return Turkey to the pre-Erdogan era, when the powerful military-backed quasi-fascist secular establishment, suppressed all public Islamic expressions, including the Islamic Hijab for women as well as Quranic schools.
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Indeed, this utterly undemocratic “deep state”, which viewed itself as the ultimate guardian, custodian and guarantor of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s legacy, had carried out several coups against elected governments, keeping Turkey, the important NATO member-state and one of the most important Muslim countries, democratic only nominally, but effectively authoritarian. In 2002 the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi; AKP), a party with Islamic roots, swept the parliamentary elections.
It came to power under the leadership of Abdullah Gul, Party leader Erdogan was found ineligible to serve in Parliament or as Prime Minister because of a 1998 conviction related to him publicly reciting a few verses of poetry deemed as incompatible with the Republic’s secular principles.
The international community observes closely the Presidential and parliamentary race in Turkey. Western powers, particularly the US, France, and Germany, in addition to Israel and the international Masonic movement, left no stone unturned in order to overthrow the Erdogan regime and replace it with another subservient regime that would keep Turkey revolving in the American orbit.
These persistent efforts to destabilize the Erdogan regime culminated in an attempted coup on 15 July 2016, when a faction of the Turkish military carried out a coordinated attempt to topple the Turkish government.
The bloody attempted coup was eventually crushed by the vigilant Turkish people who stubbornly refused to be robbed of their earned liberties, civil rights and dignity. The failure of the coup attempt made Muslims around the world breathe a sigh of relief as Turks proved to the entire world that Turkey was not just another Banana republic or a playground for any foreign power’s intelligence agency.
Needless to say, Western powers and Israel, which had expected to hear the “good news” of Erdogan’s death, arrest or escape, didn’t hide their frustration and indignation at the failure of the attempted coup. Thus, Turkey remained a thorn in the side of the anti-Islamic powers in Europe and North America.
Turkey must not lose its Islamic face
I realize I am not in a position to lecture, or even advise Turkey, the Turkish people as to whom they should elect as their President in the Presidential race.
None the less, for the sake of truth, and history, certain things must be amply clarified.
As a long-time observer of Turkish affairs since the 1970s, I believe it was thanks mainly to Erdogan’s leadership that Turkey is what it is today, namely a modern, powerful, preposterous and independent state.
Thanks to Erdogan, Turkey has a modern industrial infrastructure, a powerful modern army and as well as a vigorous economy. Turkey is also a chief regional and world player. This active role proved effective and vital in managing the Ukrainian crisis, the Middle East, NATO, and even Africa.
There is no doubt that the present state-of-affair of Turkey is a thousand times better than it ever was during the pre-Erdogan era when the “Attaturk Cult” dominated the country, crippling creativity, Innovation and progress, and maintaining a tight grip on civil rights and liberties.
Erdogan’s achievements, both domestically and externally, are too numerous to be listed in this short piece.
Domestically, He restored Turkey’s Islamic face without suppressing Western-style freedoms. The Turkish leader came under all sorts of pressure from Western countries to change course.
However, he smartly stayed his course until he achieved his goals. In fact, Erdogan can be a role model for many Arab and Muslim leaders who are more or less at America’s beck and call.
His courageous decision to reconvert the AyaSophia Mosque in Istanbul from a museum into a place of worship was met with widespread satisfaction in Turkey and throughout the Muslim world.
Moreover, Erdogan’s decision to host millions of Syrian refugees, fleeing a deadly rampage of terror, organized by their criminal sectarian regime, testified to the Turkish leader’s moral and Islamic credentials, despite the numerous security risks and the hefty financial burden inured by the Turkish economy.
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More to the point, Erdogan’s adopted a brave stance, protecting millions of Syrians from what it would have been a real genocide by the army of Bashar Assad and his Russian and Iranian backers.
Regionally, Turkey under Erdogan became a premier supporter of the just Palestinian cause. Every Palestinian man, woman and child in Gaza and the West Bank, including Jerusalem, can easily see and feel the positive and tangible impact of Turkish contributions, which bolstered Palestinian steadfastness in the face of Israel’s Nazi-like oppression and occupation.
Moreover, Turkey’s brotherly intervention in places like Libya and Qatar prevented anti-Islamic terrorist forces, like those of Khalifa Hafter, from having a free season on the Libyan people.
Libyans know too well what Hafter’s gangs would have done had they seized the chance to enter Tripoli and other towns in Western Libya.
More to the point, the deployment of Turkish troops in Qatar effectively thwarted efforts by the UAE and Saudi Arabia to overrun the small and peaceable Gulf Emirate, ransack it, savage its proud people and replace its leadership by another that is at Donald Trump’s and Jared Kushner’s beck and call.
Erdogan: The rising star must keep rising
Today, Turkey is an important and influential country on the regional and international arena.
Turkey’s political, economic and military power is undoubtedly a great asset for the entire Islamic Umma as well as for peace in the region and the world. Hence, the upcoming presidential race in Turkey is crucial for the Country’s reputation.
It is hoped that Turkey will continue its march toward national fulfilment, economic growth and military aggrandizement.
It is also hoped that Turkey will soon overcome the devastating effects of the recent earthquake, which hit South Western Turkey and North Western Syria, killing and injuring tens of thousands of people and destroying tens of thousands of buildings.
I know recovery and rehabilitation will be a formidable task and a tremendous challenge. However, it seems that the Turkish government is doing a fairly good job, accommodating the affected families and rebuilding the destroyed infrastructure, including quake-resistant homes for survivors and affected people.
Let us all hope for a successful presidential race in Turkey.
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