Inspirational Muslim Women Who Shaped Our World

Women have proven time and again that they are capable of handling a wide range of responsibilities, from preparing their children for school to commanding armies. We take immense pride in witnessing an increasing number of women make significant contributions throughout history. Women have always held prominent roles as pioneers, educators, and leaders. Through this blog post, we aim to showcase Muslim women's impact on their societies from ancient times till the modern era- advancing knowledge and making groundbreaking changes around the world.

These five Muslim women defied societal norms and achieved incredible feats, proving that history is made by those who challenge the status quo.

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Qawiyya Black ~ Rayhana Collection  

Sameera Moussa
(March 3, 1917 ‚Äď August 5, 1952)

An Egyptian Nuclear Scientist, Sameera Moussa dedicated her work to promoting peace and the advancement of nuclear technology for medical purposes rather than military applications. As a trailblazer in academia, she achieved numerous milestones including becoming Cairo University's first female faculty member as well as the first woman to earn a PhD from said institution. Her legacy continues through her leadership and advocacy efforts.
Moussa was also a flagbearer of peace and responsibility. She organized the first-ever Atomic Energy for Peace Conference, encouraging prominent scientists to advocate for nuclear responsibility, and for the advancement of nuclear-based medicine.

In recognition of her research, Sameera Moussa was invited to visit nuclear facilities in the United States. Despite being offered employment and citizenship, she turned it down with the declaration that "Egypt, my dear homeland, is awaiting me."

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Fatma Al-Fihri
(800 a.d. - 880 a.d.)

Al-Qarawiyyin, located in Fez, Morocco is known to be the oldest university globally founded by Fatma Al-Fihri. Its inception dates back to 859 A.D. when Europe was experiencing a decline in literature and knowledge commonly referred to as the Dark Ages. Nonetheless, it remained at the forefront of scientific advancements due to its Islamic-based education program offering courses such as philosophy and mathematics.

Historic sources state that Al-Fihri used the inheritance left by her father, Mohammed Al-Fihri, who was a prosperous Fez merchant, to finance the university.

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Sayyida Al-Hurra
(1485 a.d. - 1561 a.d.)

Known as the Queen of Pirates, Sayyida Al-Hurra was initially the queen of Tetouan in Morocco and a Moroccan Andalusian. Forced into piracy after having to flee from Portuguese imperialists who had captured the Granada region, she allied with Barbarossa - a famous Turkish corsair- along with creating her fleet. Her ultimate goal became to destroy Portuguese shipping lines using her pirate tactics for which she became widely known and respected ultimately earning herself the title 'Queen of Pirates'.

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Lubna of Cordoba

Born in the Umayyad palace of Cordoba as a Spanish slave, Lubna's exceptional intelligence, diligent work ethic, and impressive social skills propelled her to great heights. In due course, she climbed the ranks at the palace and served as its secretary during the late 10th century. Her responsibilities included overseeing the royal library that boasted an extensive collection exceeding half a million books. Expertise in manuscript writing, copying, and translation along with commentary contribution, were instrumental contributions towards shaping knowledge during the Caliphate's golden era.

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Khadija Bint Khuwaylid
(555 a.d. - 1619 a.d.)

Khadijah was the initial wife of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and the precursor feminine follower of Islam. She hailed from a prosperous lineage that comprised traders who carried cargo via caravans in Mecca's vicinity. After her father passed away, she assumed ownership, rearing it prolifically through hard work and astuteness. Subsequently, Muhammad became one of her employees responsible for managing commerce roads due to his probity and courtesy; he earned Khadijah's trust over time as well. Moreover, it was ultimately Khadijah herself who proposed matrimonial union with Mohammed oftentimes called 'the proposal' personalized by many scholars dedicatedly researching Islamic scripture today because women proposing marriage were unusual during those days!

Mohammad's message from God, delivered by the Angel Gabriel, was initially believed by Khadijah. As he devoted himself to preaching full-time and left his business behind, she remained a steadfast supporter who ultimately became the first person to embrace Islam. To this day, Khadijah is often referred to as "Mother of Believers."

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