A Page from ‘Muslim Women: A Biographical Dictionary’ (Part-1)

A page from ‘Muslim Women: A Biographical Dictionary’. A book by Aisha Abdurrahman Bewley

Abbādiyya: The slave of al-Mu`tadid `Abbād, the ruler of Seville (deposed 483/1081), she was an excellent writer, poet and linguist and lived in Seville, Spain.

`Abbāsa: (Patron) (d. 182/798) The sister of the Abbasid Khalif, Hārūnar-Rashīd (d. 193/809). Harun married her to his close friend, Ja`far al-Barmakī, whose family had great influence and position in the government, on the condition that the marriage would not be consummated, so that she could attend their deliberations. When Harun discovered that the marriage has, in fact, been consummated, this brought about the downfall of the Barmakī family, following the execution of Ja`far in 187/803. Nothing more is heard of `Abbāsa after this.

`Abda ad-Dāriyya: (Sufi) A Sufi in Damascus in the first half of the 3rd/9th century. She was the sister of the famous Sufi, Abu Sulaymān ad-Dārānī (d. 205/820-21). Her sister, Amina was also a Sufi. As-Sulamī mentioned that she has a high level of intelligence and knowledge of the deen and her aphorisms are much quoted.

`Abdabint `Abd al-Rahman b. Mus`ab al-Ansariyya: (Sc) AHadith scholar. Al-`Attar (d.331/943) and at-Tabarani (d. 360/971) related from her.

`AbdabintBishr: (Scholar) A woman transmitter of Hadith from the third generation, who gave public classes in Hadith. She was the grand-daughter of `Abida al-Madaniyya, who transmitted Hadith from Malik b.Anas.

`Abdabint Khalid b. Safwan: (Scholar) A scholar who related from her father. Ibn Hibban mentioned her as being reliable and Qadi `Iyad cites her.

`Abdabint Shawwal: (Sufi) (d. ca. 180/796) One of the famous students of the famous Sufi, Rabi`a al-`Adawiyya. She was her servant and was present when she died.

`Abdusabint al-Harith: (Sufi) An early Sufi from Damaghan, northern Iran.

`Abida al-Madaniyya: (Sufi). She was the slave of Muhammad b. Yazid and learned a large number of Ahadith in Madinah, particularly those of Malik b. Anas (d. 179/795).Her master gave her to an Andalusian, who set her free, married her and brought her to Andalusia. She is reported to have transmitted 10,000 Ahadith.

`Abidabint Muhammad al-Juhaniyya: A poet, writer and calligrapher who lived in Baghdad in the 4th/10th century. At-Tanukhi reports that he saw her reciting one of her poems at a gathering held on the `Eid in 317/929 by the Buyid ruler, `Adud ad-Dawla. She also wrote a satire about one of the Wazirs.

`AbishKhatun: (Ruler) (d. 686/1286-7) The grand-daughter of the Atabeg Abu Bakr (623/1226 – 664/1260). She married Mengu-Temur, the son of Hulegu, and Hulegu gave her her father’s throne, thus making her the last of the Salghurid dynasty of Fārs, Iran. She ruled from 661/1263 to 686/1287.

Abrha al-Habashiyya: (Companion) ‘Abraha, the Abyssinian.’ She was one of the servants of the Negus of Abyssinia who was with Umm Habiba, when the Negus performed the marriage of Umm Habiba with the Prophet.

Achi: (Sufi) ‘The Shawl-wearer.’ A Naqshbandi Sufi who lived in the 9th/15th century, from Tabriz, Turkey.

Al-Adur al-KarimaJahati’t-Tawashi: (Ruler) (d. 762/1361) ARasulid, she acted as regent for her absent son, Sulaiman al-Malik al-Mujahid for fourteen months. She put the land on good order and ruled justly. She loved and honored scholars and the righteous. She went around the houses of the people, giving them gifts.She founded a Madrasa in Zabid, known as the Salahiyya, another Madrasa in al-Maslab, a Madrasa in as-Salama and two mosques. She died in Ta`izz, Yemen.

Afaq Begum Jalayir: (Scholar, Patron.) (d. after 934/1528). A well-known poetess, the daughter and sister of Jalayirid Amirs. She recited her verses at the court of Badi` az-Zamn Mirza (d.1514) in Herat (modern Afghanistan). She was extremely wealthy and a patron of several poets and scholars.

`Afifabint Ahmad al-Farifaniyya: (Scholar) (d. 606/1210). A Hadith scholar of Isfahan, Persia, who related from a number of scholars. She had given a number of Ijazas to a number of scholars.

`Afiyya al-Mushtaqa: (Sufi) ‘The one overcome by yearning.’ A Sufi from Basra, Iraq, who lived in the second half of the 3rd/9th century. She did a great deal of dhikr and had intense love for Allah(swt).

`Afrabint `Ubayd b. Tha`laba: (Companion). An Ansari woman of Khazraj who gave her allegiance to the Prophet. She was married to al-Harith b. Rifa`a. Her sons, Mu`awwidh and `Awf, were present in the Battle of Badr.

`A’idha: (Transmitter of Hadith). A woman of the Banu Asad who transmitted Hadith from `Abdullah b.Mas`ud. She was praised as reliable.

Aasia: (Ruler). She was the Sultana of Ma`yuta (Mayotte) from 1112/1700 to 1129/1717.

AasiakiliNgirmaramma: (Ruler).Ruler of the Kanuri Empire (Bornu) from about 970/1563 to 978/1570. She was the daughter of the previous ruler, Dunama. And stepped down in favour of her successor, Idris Aloma.