2008-08-17 18:07:35 UTC
What is the highest level of Islamic scholarship a woman can achieve?
Can a woman be a mufti and issue fatwas? Is there anything that she
cannot be a scholar of?
Wa`alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be
upon His Messenger.
Dear brother, thank for your question, which shows how far you are
interested in knowing the teachings of Islam.
Regarding your question, Islamic history is full of great persons, men
and women alike, who were revered for their knowledge. An example is
`A'ishah, the mother of the believers, (may Allah be pleased with
her). She narrated a lot of traditions of Prophet Muhammad (peace and
blessings be upon him).
It is narrated that, after the passing of the Prophet, the Companions
used to consult her when they were confused about some matters of
religion and would find the knowledge they were seeking available.
Thus, women can reach the highest degrees of knowledge.
Responding to your question, `Abdul-Majeed Subh, a prominent scholar
at Al-Azhar university, stated,
As far as Islamic Shari`ah is concerned, a woman is permitted to
assume the highest levels of scientific and scholarship posts. The
history of Islam witnesses that many women worked as muftis and
narrators of Hadith, some women had special circles where they used to
teach knowledge to men and women.
Moreover, the chain of narrators in Al-Bukhari and other scholars
of Hadith includes female narrators. It is also worth mentioning that
Al-Bukhari narrated on the authority of Umm Ad-Dardaa' As-Sughra some
issues related to salah (Arabic for: prayer) and said, "She [Umm Ad-
Dardaa'] was a faqihah (Arabic for: Muslim jurist)."
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