Being a Muslim woman in Islam is not a simple task. It means facing various challenges that come with being a woman but also facing the challenge of living as a Muslim in society.
Women are often judged and stereotyped by their appearance and religion. Moreover, they are often seen as weak, submissive, and unable to contribute to society. But that is not the case for many women who live life as Muslims in Islam.
In Islam, women are expected to obey their husbands and fathers, dress modestly, and not speak out against their husbands or fathers. Women are also seen as mothers and caretakers of their homes, while men are seen as breadwinners.
The Struggles of Being a Muslim Woman
There are many struggles that Muslim women endure. The first is the physical struggle. The hijab and abaya are the most visible symbols of Islam, but they also represent a woman’s modesty and dignity. These clothes can be uncomfortable in hot climates, and they can be restrictive in some social settings.
The second struggle is internal. Muslim women have to deal with the pressure of upholding their religion’s standards and society’s expectations for women to be beautiful and sexualized at all times. The hijab and abaya provide a shield from society’s gaze, but it does not protect them from the internal pressures of being a woman in today’s world.
10 Inspiring Women Who Are Changing The Muslim Ummah
The women of Islamic history had a significant impact on the development of Islam and also on Muslim life even today. We, as a community, owe a debt of gratitude to their illuminating legacy by fostering settings conducive to women’s participation in the development and comprehension of the faith.
Here are ten instances of some of the most inspirational women in Islam:
Ø Khadija Bint Al-Khuwaylid
The Prophet Muhammad’s first wife, Khadija bint al-Khuwaylid, is still regarded as one of the most influential and heroic individuals in Islamic history. She is frequently lauded for providing funds and support for the Prophet and Islam in its early years, earning the title “Mother of Believers.”
Ø Fatima Bint Muhammad
Fatima, the Prophet Muhammad’s and Khadija’s daughter, was claimed to be very intelligent and received instruction from the Prophet on the truth and theology of Islam. Despite having witnessed some of the most trying times in the early history of Islam, her faith and loyalty to God remained amazingly strong.
Ø Zainab Bint Ali
Zainab, the wife of Ali ibn Abu Talib and the daughter of the Prophet’s daughter Fatima, is still regarded as one of the most significant figures in Islamic history. Through her brave devotion to her family and her faith, Zainab has persevered through a period of turbulent inter-fighting and the horrible Battle of Karbala.
Ø Aisha Bint Abu Bakr
After Khadija passed away, the Prophet’s wife Aisha is credited with relating more than 2,000 hadith, or the sayings and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad. Many Muslims still follow many Muslims today follow many of the hadith that Aisha herself reported, concerning the Prophet’s personal life and his sunnah, as well as other religious topics like inheritance, pilgrimage, and more.
Ø Hafsa Bint Umar
One of the Prophet Muhammad’s wives, Hafsa bint Umar, is credited with over 60 hadith, or the sayings and deeds of the Prophet. After her first husband, Khunais ibn Hubhaifa passed away, Hafsa received marriage proposals from the Prophet Muhammad’s friends Uthman and Abu Bakr. Both declined to wed Hafsa, but the Prophet intervened and married her a little over a year after she had become a widow.
Ø Sumayyah Bint Khayyat
Sumayyah bint Khayyat, regarded as the first Muslim martyr, was one of the first people to defy the Quraysh rulers of the time and was slaughtered due to her devotion to God. Sumayyah, a formerly enslaved person born into slavery but subsequently gained her freedom, converted one of the first households to Islam after marrying Yasir Ibn Amir.
Ø Umm Al-Darda Al-Soghra
Umm Al-Darda was considered a prominent figure since her early years in the early 7th century, making her one of the most significant and influential female intellectuals in Islamic history. Umm Al-Darda is famous for defying conventional gender expectations by worshipping in the mosques’ men’s rows and studying the Quran among her male friends.
Ø Nafisa Bint Al-Hassan
Nafisa bint Al-Hassan, the great-great-granddaughter of the Prophet Muhammad, was recognized for her devotion and intelligence; a mosque in Cairo is now named in her honour. After living much of her life in Egypt, Nafisa rose to prominence as one of the most sought-after thinkers of her era. Furthermore, she taught two of the most well-known thinkers of the day, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal and Abu Abdullah Mohammed Idris Al-Shafi’i. The teachings of Al-Shafi’i and Ibn Hanbal, in turn, gave rise to the Shafi’i school of thought and the Hanbali school of thinking, two of the primary Sunni schools of thought.
Ø Fatima Al-Samarqandi
Al-Samarqandi, born in what is now modern-day Uzbekistan in the 12th century, was among her era’s most renowned academics and jurists. She even issued her fatwas. Her transmissions of the hadith of the Prophet Mohammed were among the most reputable and trustworthy due to her mastery of Hanafi legal theory and the theology and sciences underlying hadith.
Ø Shuhdah Al-Baghdadiyyah
Al-Baghdadiyyah, known affectionately as Fakhr an-Nisa, “The Pride of Womankind,” and “The Writer of Baghdad,” was one of the most renowned female calligraphers and lecturers of the 12th century. She was a native of Iran and the daughter of eminent scholar Abu Nasr Al-Dinawari. Moreover, she fostered a remarkable sense of intellect and capacity for memorizing hadith.