Shahdah “the Writer”



Known for

Calligrapher and One of the Most Distinguished Islamic Scholars (ulema)


Hijri Unknown-574 (AH); Common Era Unknown-1178 (CE)

Shahdah “the Writer”


Shahdah ”the Writer” was a great authority on hadith and an exquisite calligrapher. She was also known as Fakhr an-Nisa, or ”Pride of Womankind,” and Shuhda bint al-Ibari bint Abi Nasr Ahmad al-Ibari and lived for a time in Al Andalus or Muslim Spain. Shahdah was educated by her father, Abu Nasr, and several prominent hadith scholars. She married ‘Ali ibn Muhammad, who later became a companion of the caliph Al-Muqtadi and who founded a college and a Sufi lodge. Shahdah became extremely well-known in her own right, due to the high quality of her hadith transmissions and her strong scholarship. Throughout universities and mosques in Baghdad, she lectured on Sahih al-Bukhari, which she also taught, as well as other hadith collections. Shahdah’s role has significant importance, because women were not given official positions in the mosque at that time. However, she maintained an authoritative voice and her teachings of the hadith were widespread.