Muslim women are always perceived as poor dominated underdogs of society. We often think that if a girl is wearing hijab or niqab it means that she is uneducated or lacks control of her own life.
If you are thinking that Muslim women have suffered since the genesis of Islam, then you are wrong. You will be surprised to know that that were many remarkable women whose contributions to society were extraordinary.
Here is a list of women who played a very important role in Islamic history as businesswomen, entrepreneurs, scholars, poets, rulers and warriors.
1. Khadijah or Khadīja bint Khuwaylid
Khadīja bint Khuwaylid was not only the first wife of Prophet Muhammad, but she was also one of the most successful women of her time. Even before her marriage, Khadīja bint Khuwaylid was a merchant and one of the elite figures of Mecca.
Although she was fifteen years older than the Prophet, she took a strong step and sent a marriage proposal to him.
Khadija is an example before everyone who feels that women are unable to take control of their own lives.
2. Sumayyah bint Khayyat
One of the most important figures in Islam is Sumayyah bint Khayyat as the first woman martyr who sacrificed her life for Islam. Before accepting Islam she was a slave in Mecca. Later, she married Yasir ibn Amir and they accepted Islam, following the footsteps of Prophet Muhammad. Abu Jahl, who was the cruel emperors and a hater of Islam, started torturing Sumayyah in the most humiliating, barbaric, and disgusting ways possible to convince her to give up Islam. But she held strongly to her faith in the face of such suffering too.
To everyone who thinks women cannot be strong and assertive, here's an ideal.
3. Rābi‘a al-‘Adawīyya
Rābi‘a al-‘Adawīyya was ever first mystic or Sufi in the history of Islam. Although she was born in a very poor family of Iraq, she always raised her hands to thank Allah for giving whatever she had. She is considered to be the founder of Sufism and Divine Love. Rābi‘a al-‘Adawīyya was the one who said, "Love God for His own sake, rather than the fear of hell and an expectation of paradise". One of her poems quoted.
Who says women cannot think for themselves?
4. Al-Malika al-Ḥurra Arwa al-Sulayhi
When it comes to Muslim women who chronicled their name in history, how can we forget Arwa b. Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Sulayḥī? She ruled Yemen from 1067 to 1138. She was the first woman to be conferred with the title ‘Hujja’. She was not only a stupendous leader but also a well-versed scholar of religious sciences, Qur’an, Hadith, as well as poetry and history. Some chroniclers described her as the combination of incredible beauty and intelligence. She was the first woman in Islam to be bestowed with such prestigious titles and to have such authority in the religious hierarchy. She is perhaps the single, most important example of an independent queen in Muslim history.
In a time when women are treated like objects, Al-Malika al-Ḥurra Arwa al-Sulayhi’s story is an inspiration
5. Aisha bint Abi Bakr
Aisha Bint Abi Bakr has a special place in our list; she is an example of how a woman can be the most important pillar a man’s life. Her life is proof that a woman can exert influence over men and women and provide them with inspiration and leadership. Although she had no degree (there was no university at that time) her vast treasure of knowledge was obtained when she was quite young.
She was a daughter of a well-read father and she continued her father’s legacy when she married Prophet Muhammad.
She was a great supporter of Prophet Muhammad during his life; even after his death, she continued his work for the society for over 44 years.
This iconic lady proves that a woman's existence can also be independent of her husband.
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