Women hadith scholars

In the name of Allah most gracious most merciful
Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatuallahi wa barakatuhu

Women hadith scholars

The following is a list of 30 of the major female hadith scholars from history:

1. ALIYYAH BINT HASAN (d. 2nd cetury AH)

She was the mother of Ismael ibn Ibrahim. She was a slave of Banu (tribe of) Shayban in Basra. Ismael's father was a cloth merchat who would travel to Basra frequently. He married Aliyyah after he manumitted her (set her free from slavery). She was a noble soul, wise and illustrous. Her kowledge of hadith ad fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) caused the nobles of Basra including
Saleh al-Mari to come to her house and discuss with her religious and Islamic law.

Ismael was born to her in 110 AH. Abdul Warith Jawwadi, very know narrator of hadith at that time said, 'one day Aliyyah brought her son to me and said, "This is my son, associate with him so he may be imbued with qualities
like yours"'.

[Reference: Ghuulaman Islam, Khilafat awr Hindustan]

2. AMINAH RAMLYAH (d. 3rd century AH)

Aminah was regarded as one of the learned of the 2nd ad 3rd century hijrah.
She was bor in 162 AH in Ramla, a suburb of Baghdad. She was very intelligent ad had a longing to attain kowledge since early childhood, but as her parents were very poor they could not afford her education. When she was young she accompanied her mother on hajj. In those days an eldery male scholar gave Dars (lectures) at the mosque in Makkah.

She joined his lectures and learned from him the knowledge of the Qur'an and Hadith. After his death, she went to Medina where Imam Malik had laid his rug for seekers of knowledge. Aminah joined his classes and learned hadith from him. Hafiz ibn Abdul Birr said that the number of ahadith reported from
her is around 100.

Afterwards she returned to Makkah and studied fiqh from Imam Shafi Rahimahullah. When she
was aged 36, Imam Shafi Rahimahullah left for Egypt ad she left for Kufa. By the time she reached Kufa word had spread about her knowledge and she began to deliver lectures (Dars) to those seeking kowledge. Her reputation was so great that
Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal Rahimahullah would visit her.

[Reference: Dariah Maaraf Islamia, Mashahir Niswa, Bakamal Muslaman Khawteen]


Qadfah was a lady of excellence during the Muslim rule of Spain under Caliph Hakam Thani (Al-Mustansar). She collected books on various subjects ad created a stockpile of invaluable books on literature, art and other subjects. She was a beautiful reciter of the Qur'an and she always swayed her audiences with eloquent speeches.


Karimah was a world reputed scholar in the 5th century Hijrah. Born in the town or Merv (Iran), she studied theology for many years and learned from the great scholars.
She went to Makkah after havig been qualified to narrate hadith where she began to give lectures (dars). The noted Muhaddith (scholar of hadith) of Spain, Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Sabaq Saqli Rahimullah was a devoted learner from her.
After the Muslim rule of Sicily ended, he went to Makkah where he
learned from her. Afterwhich he went to Spain and made his abode in Granada so that he could narrate hadith.

Ibn Bashkwal said, 'Abu Bakr reported hadith from Karimah and others. He came to Andalus (Islamic Spain) and the people of Granada passionatly learned from him'

Khatib Baghdadi says in Tarikh Baghdad (History of Baghdad) that he, in 463 AH, during the days of haj, heard Sahih of Bukhari from Karimah. Hudreds of seekers of knowledge would be at the lectures (dars) of Karimah. As well as Abu Bakr and Khatib Baghdadi and Talib Zaynabi, many other scholars of that age learned knowledge from her.

[Reference: Khazinat ul Asfia, Tarikh Saqqlya]


Shudah was the daughter of the scholar Abu Nasr Ahmad ibn Umar Al Abri.
Born in the Iranian city of Denvar she too became a scholar and a skilful calligraphist.
She leared from scholars such as Abu Abdullah Hasan ib Ahmad
Nomani, Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Ahmad as Shashi, Ahmad ibn Abdul Qadir ibn Yusuf and Abu Al Husayni.

Shudah had such an excellent reputation for teaching hadith that people would come from all over the world to listen to her lectures (dars).
It is said that many scholars of great fame would be perpetual members of her audience when delivering lectures.

Shudah showed such great knowledge of hadith, giving speeches on history, linguistics and literature - such that she became known as 'Fakr un Nisa' (Pride of the women).

The Caliph, Al Muqtadi BiamrAllah granted her a large estate to enhance the scope of her scholarly activities. With these resources she established a school on the banks of the river Tigris where hundreds of students studied.

When she died aged 90, her fueral prayer was held at Jame Al Qasr in Baghdad. Thousands of sorrowful people including the scholars, students ad dignitaries participated in her funeral. Ibn Jawzi, the noted scholar of hadith said, 'Shuhdah was a pious and devoted lady'.

[Reference: Ibn Khallikan, Syed Amir Ali]

6. SAFRI (d. 6th century AH)

Safri the daughter of Qadi Yaqub ibn Sulayman was a distiguished scholar of hadith.
She studied under the guidance of her grandfather and brother and then she herself educated the people for a long time.

[Reference: Mashahir Niswa]


Fatimah the daughter of Ibrahim Mahmud ibn Jawhar was a learned and sagacious person. She had the opportunities to recieve the best education and was taught by the best scholars. After completing her education her fame spread far ad wide.
The great scholars such as Taqiud-Din ibn Abuul-Hasan ad
Shaykh Dhahabi Rahimullah visited her school to learn from her.

[Reference: Mashahir-un-Nisa]


Aisha was a native of Harran born in 647 AH.
From a young age she had wanted to aquire knowledge ad her father sent her to the best scholars to learn.
She achieved excellent knowledge in hadith and fiqh and became known as an authority of knowledge in these subjects. Amongst her students was one of her brothers who completed his study of hadith from her.

[Reference: Mashahir-un-Nisa]


Shirin was a native of India. She was the slave of the renowned scholar Ibn Bandayhi who set her free. She bore a distiguishable place amog the scholars owing to her erudition and digity. She gaied kowledge of hadith from Abdul Monem ibn Kulayb and then begand to teach people in large numbers.
Amongst her students was a man who later became a scholar, Abar Kohi.
In later years people would refer to her as the Shaykh of Abar Kohi.

[Reference: Khilaphat Abbasiah Awr Hindustar, Qadi Athar Mubarakpuri]


Fatimah was nicknamed Umm Abdullah. Her father was an eminent scholar of hadith.
She lived in Damascus and later established her own school.

[Reference: Mashahir-un-Nisa]

11. UMM-UL-KHAYR (d. 640 AH)

Umm-ul-Khayr was born in Baghdad and was know far-and-wide for her vast knowledge of hadith.
She reached such a high level of knowledge that she was given the title Jamal-un-Nisa (Elegance of women).

She gained knowledge from scholars such as Al-Bati, Abu Al Muzaffar, and Shuja Al Harbi. Later she established her own school which inturn generated many more scholars such as Fatimah bi Sulayman, Ibn Shehnah, Ibn Sadah, Ibn Asakir and Taqi-ud-Din Sulayman.

[Reference: Tadhkara-Ul-Khawteen]

12. KHADIJAH BINT AHMAD (d. 9th century AH)

Khadijah was the daughter of Shihab ud-Din. She was taken to the schools of Jawheri and Munsafi who were scholars of that time, when she was aged but two.

She became a great scholar and later established her own school in which she in turn taught scholars such as shaykh Jalal-ul-Din Suyyuti.

[Reference: Mashaheer-i-Niswan]

13. RAJAB (d. 869 AH)

Born in 800 AH, Rajab was a great scholar. Her father made special arrangements for her to learn from the scholars.
She attaied the reputation of wisdom and sagacity before she completed her studies. She was one of the teachers of shaykh Jalaluddin Suyyuti.

14. MARYAM BINT ALI (d. 8th or 9th century AH)

Maryam was nicknamed Umm Hani. She had extensive knowledge having memorised the Qur'an at an early age, as well as the well known book on Nahve (sytax) ad Mukhtasir Abi Shujaa, a noted book of the Shafi jurisprudence.
She was an authority on 'Nahve', Islamic jurisprudence and hadith. She established her own school and one she was one of the teachers of shaykh Jalal-ud-Din Suyyuti.


Zaynab was a native of Jerusalem. She was taught by scholars such as Ibrahim ibn Khalid.
She spent many years teaching Islam and was one of the teachers of the scholar Salah-ud-Din As-Safai.


Habibabah bint Abdur Rehman ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim bin Ahmad ibn Abdur Rehma ibn Ismael ibn Mansur Maqdisi was an amazing scholar.
She studied from scholars such as Al-Baldani ad Khatib Marwan who taught her about Islam, and she also leared about current fields of study from Ibrahim ibn Khalid. She also gained knowledge from Sibt Hafiz Sufi (the Chief scholar of Alexandria), Ibrahim ibn Abi Bakr Al Zaghabi (the Chief scholar of Baghdad)
and Fadlullah ib Abdur Razzaque.

After completing her studies she spent many years teaching Islam. Her memory allowed her to memorise hundreds of hadith with many scholars taking knowledge from her, such as Salah-ud-Di As-Safai, a world renow scholar of his time, where he mentions being taught by her in his book Ayan-ul-Asr Awan-un-Nasr.

[Reference: Mashahir-i-Niswan]

17. ZAYNAB BIT ABDULLAH AL-AZHARI (d. 10th century AH)

Zaynab was famous for having learned hadith, her reputation expanded along the entire Islamic world.
The value of her knowledge is shown when scholars such as Suyyuti attended her lectures (dars) to learn from her.

[Reference: Mashahir-in-Nisa]

18. AISHAH ANDALUSYAH (d. during rule of Muslim Spain)

Aisha went to Andalus (Muslim Spain) when the Muslim rule was at it's climax. Her memory was such that she memorised over ten thousand hadith including all of the narrators from the time of the Prophet to the present date.

[Reference: Nakhf-ut-Tayyab]

19. SATT-UL-FUQAHA (d. 8th cetury AH)

Satt was a scholar of hadith who had no equal in piety, continence and excellence of conduct in her time.
She gained knowledge from scholars such as Jafar Hamadani Ahmad Harrai, Abdur Rehman ibn Sulayman and Abdul Latif ibn
Qibti. Besides hadith she mastered Islamic urisprudence.
She established her own school and taught thousands.

[Reference: Mashahir-un-Nisa]

20. HANIFAH (d. 9th century AH)

She was the daughter of Abdur Rehman ibn Ahmed ibn Umar ibn Al-Qimni.
She was considered one of the world known scholars of the 9th century. She learned hadith from Kamal ibn Khayr, the Chief Scholar in her time period.
She established a school and taught thousands. Many scholars of the calibre of shaykh Jalal-ud-Din Suyyuti considered her as their guides and advisors.

Allah knows best