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The Venerable Female Scholars of Islam

When: Saturday 28th  – Sunday 29th November 2020
Time: 10am-2pm EST (with break for lunch and dhuhr prayer)
Location:  ONLINE ONLY


The Islamic Intellectual tradition is rooted in four primary sources: the Book of God, the teachings of His Messenger (peace be upon him), the consensus of scholars and the tools of juristic reasoning. Remove the words of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and a huge corpus of religious knowledge is lost, including guidance on prayer, fasting, diet, marriage, parenting, interfaith relations, politics and so much more. Considering that the hadith literature plays such an important role in the spiritual, political, economic and social lives of Muslims, it behooves us to explore the origins of this science.

Fortunately, the Muslim community, from the very beginning, strove to maintain the integrity of the Prophetic tradition, or Sunnah, through careful preservation of his aḥādīth from their original sources so that we have them in the form we recognize today. It is no exaggeration to say that many aḥādīth would have been lost to history were it not for the preservation efforts of female scholars.

This workshop will examine the role of women in shaping, sharing, and securing the legacy of the Prophet (peace be upon him) through their work as Muhaddithat, scholars of the hadith canon. Through their efforts, the intellectual foundations of Islam were preserved and transmitted for the benefit of future generations. We may have heard the story of Sayyidah Aisha, may God be pleased with her, but how much do we know about the women who came after her?



To provide an overview of the preservation of the Sunna and the development of Hadith Sciences through centering the role and contributions of  female Hadith experts.

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of the course, God willing, the student will:

  • Gain a thorough overview of the history of women’s scholarship in Islam.
  • Gain an appreciation of the significance and vastness of the Ḥadīth tradition.
  • Learn about the origins of the Ḥadīth Sciences.
  • Be exposed to the brilliant accomplishments of generations of women Ḥadīth scholars.
  • Interrogate prevailing assumptions about the role of women in Islam.

Who Should Apply?

Anyone with serious interest in the Islamic intellectual tradition, the intersections of spirituality and scholarship, and the role of women in preserving and transmitting the Islamic tradition. Class may be of special interest to students who have enrolled in courses on Hadith, Seera, and Islamic Law.


Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Ustadha Zaynab Ansari spent a decade studying Farsi, Arabic, and traditional Islam in the Middle East, graduating from a seminary in Damascus, and spending time in the land of her ancestors. She also took degrees in history and Middle Eastern Studies at Georgia State University, where she collected oral histories from Atlanta’s historic African-American Muslim community for her research. Zaynab Ansari serves as an instructor, board member, and scholar-in-residence at Tayseer Seminary, where she teaches classes on Islamic law, Qur’anic studies, Prophetic biography, American Muslim history, and women in Islam. She is a contributor to various Islamic educational portals, including Seekers Guidance and Rabata, the latter a pioneering online resource for women’s theological training.


General Admission: $50

Student Admission: $20

Financial Aid is available. Contact