Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Religious Practices: Preaching and Women Preachers: Arab States (excepting North Africa and the Gulf)
(1,206 words)

Women preachers have existed in Islam since its inception. Both Fāṭima, the daughter of the Prophet Muḥammad, and ʿĀʾisha, one of his wives (reportedly his favorite) taught public lessons about Islam. ʿĀʾisha especially was and is acknowledged widely as an expert; she related 228 of the ḥadīths in Bukhārī's collection, and other sources attribute over 2,000 ḥadīths to her (Ahmed 1992). Thus, from its earliest days, a precedent was set within the Muslim community for women to play an important role in conveying religious knowledge, not only within the family, but also in the public arena.

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Deeb, Lara, “Religious Practices: Preaching and Women Preachers: Arab States (excepting North Africa and the Gulf)”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 23 September 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0615a>
First published online: 2009



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