The following early women of Islamic history are greatly revered in Islamic history.
Khadijah Bint Khuwaylid was the first wife of Prophet Muhammad. She was a wealthy merchant who successfully ran a business. She always helped the poor and supported all her family.
Khadijah was the biggest advocate of Muhammad. She suffered and made many sacrifices to support his mission.
Aisha Bint Abu Bakr was another wife of Muhammad, and she is considered one of the greatest scholars of Islam. Aisha narrated many stories of the Prophet, and she had a great understanding of the Quran and Islam.
Aisha’s status in Islam breaks the stereotype that only men can be scholars of Islam.
Fatimah Bint Muhammad is the daughter of Muhammad and Khadijah. Fatimah was the biggest supporter of her father. She accompanied him from the beginning of his journey as a Prophet. She is a role model of faith, humility, purity, sacrifice, and patience.
Fatimah was nicknamed “The Splendid One.” She lived a life of simplicity and often experienced great hardship and poverty. The Prophet told her that she would be a leader of the women in Paradise.
Muhammad’s granddaughter, Zainab bint Ali, is also one of the most powerful figures in Islamic history. Zainab and her brothers were forced to defend themselves due to fighting that broke out after the Prophet’s death over leadership.
After the murder of her father, Zainab also witnessed the horrifying battles between her brothers and the Umayyad rulers. During the Battle of Karbala, her brother Hussain and other family members were brutally murdered. Zainab was forced to march to Damascus under Yazid’s rule.
Even in exile in Syria, Zainab remained faithful to Islam and continued to help spread the pure faith and devotion taught by her grandfather, the Prophet Muhammad. Even today she continues to inspire millions of Muslims to stand up against oppression and injustice.
Hafsa bint Umar was another wife of the Prophet Muhammad. There are about 60 hadith, or sayings and doings of the Prophet, recorded under her name.
Hafsa memorized the entire Quran, which had not yet been written down. Many others, including women, were then inspired to learn and memorize the Quran as well. After the first written version of the Quran was produced, the text was given to Hafsa for safekeeping.
Sumayyah bint Khayyat was one of the first Muslims who openly defied the Quraysh leaders and was killed because of her devotion to God. She is known as the first martyr of Islam.
Sumayyah was born a slave, but was freed later in life. She married and hers was one of the first families to convert to Islam. Coming from a small family without any tribal connections, Sumayyah and her family persecuted for becoming Muslims.
Sumayyah was kidnapped and tortured. Then she was murdered when she refused to renounce her new faith in Islam and reject the Prophet Muhammad. Sumayyah remains one of the most inspiring examples of the powerful women in Islamic history.
Source: The Great Women of Early Islamic History
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