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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Fatima al-Fihri

Known For: Founded the University of Qarawiyyin, the oldest degree-granting university in operation.
Dates: Hijri Unkown-266 (AH)
Common Era Unkown-880 (CE)
Country: Morocco

About

Daughter of Mohammed al-Fihri, Fatima al-Fihri, also called Umm al Banine, ‘Mother of the Boys’, is known for creating the oldest academic degree-granting university in existence today, the University of Qarawiyyin.

Fatima and her family were among several families who moved from Tunisia to Morocco during the reign of the Moroccan King Idriss II.

After her husband and her brothers died, she and her sister Mariam inherited a large fortune. Both women wanted to devote their money to pious work that would benefit the community in order to receive the blessing of God. To this end, Fatima built the Al Qarawiyyin mosque, while Mariam built the Al-Andalus mosque. From the 10th to the 12th century, the Al Qarawiyyin mosque developed into a university which became an important centre of education and one of the first Islamic and most prestigious universities in the world. 

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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.