This book is an English introduction to Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi's 43-volume Arabic compendium of female hadith scholars. Dr Nadwi's work reveals the high public standing and authority enjoyed by learned women in the formative years of Islam. For centuries thereafter, women travelled extensively to seek religious knowledge and routinely attended the most prestigious mosques and madrasas across the Islamic world, teaching, learning and making important contributions to the study and transmission of Prophetic hadith.
This previously unexplored history is uncovered through painstaking analysis of documents such as class registers and ijazahs from women authorizing men to teach, and the glowing testimonies from the most revered 'ulema about their female teachers. "Al-Muhaddithat: The Women Scholars in Islam" gives the reader a real insight into the most important lessons from Dr Nadwi's extensive research on this issue, and is essential reading for anyone interested in developing a balanced understanding of the role of women in Islamic societies, past and present.
About the author
Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi is a world-renowned scholar of Indian origin, who received in-depth training in the traditional Islamic disciplines at Nadwat al-Ulama (Lucknow, India) alongside a PhD in Arabic literature from Lucknow University. He spent several years as a Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies where he conducted research on a number of topics including hadith and Sufi orders in India. He is the author of close to 30 books across the full range of the Islamic Sciences