Muslim Women: Past and Present

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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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Cemalnur Sargut

…standing at a teacher’s desk and inherent with the ability to unite the inner and outer forces of humanity as a single power, she must be one of the exceptionally unique ones who come to this earth with the attribute of a human being originating from the mist of love.

Cemalnur’s teacher Samiha Ayverdi

photo of Cemalnur Sargut Photo courtesy of Cemalnur Sargut.

Known For: Spiritual teacher
Dates: 15 Safar 1372 AH –
3 November 1952 CE –

Country: Turkey

About

Cemalnur Sargut is the President of the Turkish Women’s Cultural Association, Istanbul (TURKKAD), founded by her teacher, Samiha Ayverdi in 1966. Under her leadership TURKKAD works to organize international symposiums and address a wide range of people who would like to apply solutions to today’s problems in the Sufi view that knowledge is a state to be practiced and worship is a journey toward love.

In 2009, Cemalnur initiated a chair of Islamic Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she has been giving lectures since 2000. A similar initiative is to be launched at Peking University, China. The desired outcome of these academic efforts is to build a spiritual bridge between the east and the west and to teach Sufism, through daily practice in addition to scholarly study.

Cemalnur was born in Istanbul in 1952. After receiving her BSc in Chemical Engineering, she taught Chemistry for 20 years. Born into a Sufi family, she was interested in philosophy and examined the lives of great philosophers when she was young. Upon her teacher, Samiha Ayverdi’s request, she started to work on the Quran, conducted a comparative study on Rumi’s Masnavi and started giving Masnavi lessons to young people when she was 24. Since then she has reached millions of people.

Apart from her studies on Sufism, Cemalnur publishes books of commentaries on the Quran chapters compiled through the commentaries of such great Sufi masters as Kenan Rifai, Rumi, Ahmed-er Rifai, Abdulkadir Jilani, Ibn-i Arabi, Mısri Niyazi, Jili, Shams and Sultan Veled. She continuously serves people by giving spiritual discourses and teachings on Rumi’s Masnavi and Ibn Arabi’s Fususu’l Hikem.

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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.