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The contributions of women in history are all too often forgotten; not only in Islam but in many religions and cultures. Here we celebrate the lives of extraordinary women who have furnished Islam’s rich heritage and have become role models to women today.


By recalling notable Muslim women in history, we can look at their unique contributions and draw insight from their thoughts and actions. As teachers, activists, nurses, rulers, spies and so much more, these women have impacted the lives of many and continue to do so through their inspirational life stories.

Aminatou Haidar

Halide Edip Adivar

Noor Inayat Khan

Nusayba bint Ka’b al-Ansariyah

Zaynab Al-Ghazali

Fatima Al-Fihri

Khadija bint Khuwaylid

Nur Jahan

Umm Kulthum

Fatima Aliye Hanim (Topuz)

Nana Asma’u

Nuriye Ulviye Mevlan Civelek

Umm Salamah


History teaches us many things. Therefore, when taking account of our present we should rethink our own knowledge of the past. Entering into wider themes and issues that have been lost over time, this section aims to (re)introduce ideas, processes, debates and initiatives once surrounding Muslim women, to see what can be made of them today.

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