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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Kecia Ali

Known For: Author and professor on Islam and gender
Country: United States

About

Kecia Ali is a Muslim feminist scholar who focuses on Islamic jurisprudence and women in early and modern Islam. After completing her undergraduate studies at Stanford University, she earned a PhD in religion from Duke University, where she was a James B. Duke fellow. 

From 2001 to 2003, she was a research analyst for Brandeis’s Feminist Sexual Ethics Project, an initiative aimed at exploring the sexual ethics of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Her work with the project developed into a book entitled: Sexual Ethics and Islam: Feminist Reflections on Qur’an, Hadith and Jurisprudence, that was published in 2006. After stints at Harvard Divinity School and Brandeis University as a research associate and a postdoctoral fellow, she joined Boston University as an assistant professor of religion. 

With Oliver Leaman, Kecia coauthored Islam: The Key Concepts in 2007. The book is a concise guide to Islam that addresses issues from the role of women in Islam to jihad to the Quran and theology. Marriage and Slavery in Early Islam, Kecia’s systemic analysis of how different schools of Islamic jurisprudence conceptualized marriage, appeared in 2010.

Forthcoming is a biography of the 9th century jurist al-Shafi’i that focuses on his role as an influential early legal thinker in Islam. Another current project is The Lives of Muhammad, in which Kecia examines biographies by both Muslim and non-Muslim authors across history in order to show the interdependence between discourses in Islam and the West about Prophet Muhammad’s life.

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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.