Monday, August 26, 2013

Ten Muslim Women Everyone Should Know


Fazeela Siddiqui, program manager for Women's Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE), put together a list of ten of the most important Muslim women from the 7th century to the present for the Huffington Post. "Contrary to popular belief," she notes, "Muslim women have served as revolutionary and heroic leaders." Some, she says, "have been jailed, ridiculed and harangued for their activism; yet, their strength and faith always persevered." You can see a slideshow with pictures and a brief biography of each of the ten women.

Anousheh Ansairi, pictured above, is the first Muslim woman in space. Students could research these women and develop presentations. Below is a list of the women with their accomplishment. For many, I have provided a clickable link that will give you more information.

  • Fatima al-Fihri:, (Morocco, unknown-880C.E.): founded of the oldest degree-granting university in the world? 
  • Nana Asma'u, (Nigeria, (1793-1864):  was one of the first advocates for Muslim women. 
  • Sultan Raziyya, India, 1205-1240): She was a Sultan of Delhi from 1336 to 1240. In the 19th century, she traveled throughout the Middle East and northern Africa educating women in poor and rural regions. 
  • Laleh Bakhtiar, USA, 1938-Present): Her “The Sublime Quran” is first translation by an American of the Quran into English. 
  • Shirin Ebadi, Iran, (1947-Present): the first Muslim woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for promoting democracy and human rights in Iran. 
  • Daisy Khan, (USA, 1958-Present): founded the Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE) which works for women’s rights in Islam. 
  • Anousheh Ansari USA, (1966-Present): In 2006, she became the first Muslim woman to go into space. 
  • Dr. Amina Wadud (USA, 1952-Present): the first female imam to lead a mixed-congregation prayer.

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