Women and the Transmission of Religious Knowledge in Islam by Professor Asma Sayeed

By Professor Asma Sayeed

Asma Sayeed's ebook explores the heritage of girls as spiritual students from the 1st many years of Islam throughout the early Ottoman interval (seventh to the 17th centuries). targeting women's engagement with ḥadīth, this e-book analyzes dramatic chronological styles in women's ḥadīth participation when it comes to advancements in Muslim social, highbrow, and criminal heritage. Drawing on basic and secondary resources, this paintings uncovers the historic forces that formed Muslim women's public participation in non secular studying. within the strategy, it demanding situations opposing perspectives: that Muslim girls were traditionally marginalized in spiritual schooling, and alternately that they have got been constantly empowered due to early position versions reminiscent of 'Ā'isha bint Abī Bakr, the spouse of the Prophet Muḥammad. This booklet is a must-read for these attracted to the historical past of Muslim girls in addition to in debates approximately their rights within the smooth international. The intersections of this background with issues in Muslim schooling, the improvement of Sunnī orthodoxies, Islamic legislations, and ḥadīth experiences make this paintings a tremendous contribution to Muslim social and highbrow background of the early and classical eras.

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17 Elevated as unrivaled models for the Muslim community, the wives represent a different paradigm from that of other women. It is not only through transmitting Muhammad’s traditions that they participate in shaping religious knowl_ edge. 18 In addition, the Prophet’s behavior with them concerning conjugal or domestic matters was the focus for believers wishing to execute the minutiae of daily life according to the Prophet’s model. Paradoxically, even as Muhammad’s wives were repositories for infor_ mation about him, divine command restricted their interaction with male tradition-seekers.

Isha’s traditions, taken together, reveal her profound involvement in ‘A the daily life of her community. Her commentary found its way into seemingly mundane aspects of a Muslim’s life. 36 In one rather interesting version of these reports, ‘Abd Alla¯h b. 37 Upon waking, he fully immersed his clothes in water. A servant girl reported this to ‘A¯’isha, who interrogated him and ascertained that it had not been a wet dream; therefore no ritual impurity had resulted from it. Had it been a wet dream, she explained, he would only have needed to remove the traces of the impurity (by rubbing it when it dried out, for instance) rather than washing the entire garment.

Cambridge: Islamic Texts Society, 1993), 15–18. ¯ ’isha ‘ala¯ al-Saha¯ba Muhammad b. Baha¯dur al-Zarkashı¯, al-Ija¯ba li-I¯ra¯d ma¯ Istadrakathu ‘A _ _ _ (Beirut: al-Maktab al-Isla¯mı¯, 1970). al-Zarkashı¯, al-Ija¯ba, 118. A Tradition Invented 29 ¯ ’isha asserts the Prophet’s precedent in the In yet another interaction, ‘A face of collective memory loss. Members of the community had denied her request that the funerary bier of Sa‘d b. Abı¯ Waqqa¯s be brought through _ the masjid so that she could pray for him.

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