Muslim Women: Past and Present

Recommend a Muslim Woman

Throughout the ages, from the earliest days of Islam to contemporary times today, Muslim women have been and continue to be active leaders in their communities and countries across the world. This directory is a growing archive of leading Muslim women scholars, activists, writers, politicians, artists, religious and spiritual leaders, civil society leaders and more. Please contribute to this archive by suggesting Muslim women to be featured through our recommendation form.

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Asma Afsaruddin

Any kind of human effort undertaken for a noble and moral purpose is jihad. My struggle right now to find the right words to convey information from which I hope others will find benefit is jihad. I like to think that from the moment I get up till I go to bed at night I am engaged in jihad everyday as I strive to do my research, teach my students, and fulfill my other obligations (such as replying to your questions), while also trying to better myself and society around me to the extent that I can.

Asma Afsaruddin

photo of Asma Afsaruddin

Known For: Professor, Indiana University, Shura Council Member
Country: United States

About

Asma Afsaruddin is Professor of Islamic Studies in the Department of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures at Indiana University, Bloomington and received her Ph.D in Arabic and Islamic studies from Johns Hopkins University. Professor Afsaruddin’s fields of specialization are the religious and political thought of Islam, Qur’anic hermeneutics and hadith, and gender. She has previously taught at both Harvard University and the University of Notre Dame. In fall 2003, Professor Afsaruddin was a visiting scholar at the Centre for Islamic Studies at the School for Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London, UK. 

Professor Afsaruddin is the author and/or editor of four books, including The First Muslims: History and Memory and Excellence and Precedence: Medieval Islamic Discourse on Legitimate Leadership. She has also written over fifty research articles, book chapters, and encyclopedia entries on various aspects of Islamic thought and has lectured widely in the US, Europe, and the Middle East.

Professor Afsaruddin is currently chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy in Washington, D.C, and a member of the advisory board of Karamah, the women’s and human rights organization based in Washington, D.C. She frequently consults with US governmental and private agencies on contemporary Islamic movements, inter-faith, and gender issues. Among her current research projects is a book manuscript about competing perspectives on jihad and martyrdom in pre-modern and modern Islamic thought. Professor Afsaruddin’s research has won funding from the American Research Institute of Turkey, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

This search feature will enable you to find Muslim women alphabetically by their first names. Many Muslim names have alternative spellings once rendered into English so if you cannot find the name you are looking for, please try the general search tab where you can enter keywords of your choice.
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This search feature will enable you to find Muslim women chronologically by the Common Era century. We are actively building the archive of Muslim women leaders from the past, as well as from today, and we would welcome your recommendations of women to feature. Please complete our “Recommend Muslim Women” form and check the site again in the near future as we actively expand this section of the portal with your suggestions.
This search feature will enable you to find Muslim women by their Country. We are actively building the archive of Muslim women leaders from the past, as well as from today, and we would welcome your recommendations of women to feature. Please complete our “Recommend Muslim Women” form and check the site again in the near future as we actively expand this section of the portal with your suggestions.
This search feature will enable you to find Muslim women leaders by entering the keyword(s) of your choice. If you cannot find a particular woman that you are looking for, please let us know by completing our “Recommend Muslim Women” form and check the site again in the near future as we actively expand this section of the portal with your suggestions.