Muslim women try to embody Khadija, Ayesha

As I ruminate upon Women's History Month, iconic women in Islamic history emerge as a timeless inspiration.

Islam elevated the status of women, initiating rights to inheritance, education and equality. Muslim women feel a special recognition as The Qur'an has dedicated an entire chapter, Al-Nisa (The Women), to the rights of women.

Two women that are admired through Islamic history are the wives of Prophet Muhammad, Khadija and Ayesha. Khadija was his first wife, a philanthropist and a wealthy businesswoman. Mesmerized by the Prophet's character she proposed to marry him, handing over all her wealth to him. Prophet Muhammad said that she was the sole person to support him unconditionally when everyone else rejected him.

Ayesha was the daughter of Prophet Muhammad's close companion and after the death of his first wife he sought companionship in her. Ayesha was an educationist and scholarly in the science behind the teachings of Islam. Prophet Muhammad mentioned that she was so well versed in religion that Muslims could learn half of Islam through Ayesha's knowledge and wisdom alone.

Many of my Muslim peers and I seek to embody the bold and selfless nature of Khadija and the knowledge and wisdom of Ayesha.

Mariam Sadiqa Qaderi


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