International Women's Day 2014

To celebrate Women’s Day on 8th March, no way is better than reproducing a collection of articles written by FSTC scholars and associates on the achievements of women in Muslim Heritage in various fields. We focused in our work on this topic of contributions made by women in science, technology, medicine, social care, management and patronage.

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To celebrate Women’s Day on 8th March, no way is better than reproducing a collection of articles written by FSTC scholars and associates on the achievements of women in Muslim Heritage in various fields. We focused in our work on this topic of contributions made by women in science, technology, medicine, social care, management and patronage.

Despite the scarcity of references to the historical role women played in these fields, we endeavoured to unearth significant pieces from various literary genres to build the first synthesis on this important subject. Among the examples we present there are famous ones, such as those of Zubayda who pioneered a most ambitious project of digging wells and building service stations all along the pilgrimage route from Baghdad to Makkah; thus constructing a complex water system to bring water from aquifers to Makkah using underwater canals and aqueducts. Additional examples being that of Dhayfa Khatun who excelled in management and statesmanship alongside Fatima al-Fehri who founded the Qarawiyin mosque and university in Fez.

It is equally as import to note, other cases which present the names of women of science who are much less known, such as Sutayta who was a mathematician and an expert witness in courts, Lubana of Cordoba whose expertise in mathematics was quoted in numerous historical sources, and the astrolabe maker Al-'Ijliya. In view of the growing importance of the subject of gender and women in society, this collection of articles we present below represents what is currently known about some famous Muslim women, in the hope of initiating debate and starting the process of unearthing what could be a most significant find.

 
 

Women's Contribution to Classical Islamic Civilisation: Science, Medicine and Politics

While there are numerous works on the role of Muslim women in jurisprudence (fiqh) and literature and there are also studies on Muslim women in education and in medicine- although on a much smaller scale-, few ...

     
 

Women Dealing with Health during the Ottoman Reign

... of Islamic civilization, many hospitals were founded by women, either as wives, daughters or mothers of sultans. All health personnel ... Healers Practicing Traditional Hearth Medicine 3. Women Preparing and Selling Drugs 4. Midwifery 5. Female Nurses ...

     
 

Jewels of Muslim Calligraphy: Book Review of “Female Calligraphers: Past & Present by Hilal Kazan”

Presentation of the book Research on women in the Islamic World is developing in concert with that on social history ... to the front in the 1970's. Research concerning the life of women who lived at different times within the wide spectrum of Islamic society ...

     
 

Women and learning in Islam

The female relatives of the khalifs and courtiers vied with each other in the patronage and cultivation of letters.

     
 

Book Review of ‘Ottoman Women - Myth and Reality’ by Asli Sancar

Aise Asli Sancar, a renowned writer and lecturer on women's issues has said when she began investigating the subject of Ottoman women, she realized that they were much more complex and multifaceted than they ... 

     
 

A 1000 Years Amnesia: Sports in Muslim Heritage

Professor Salim Al-Hassani published in the issue 369 (Spring 2012, p. 10) of Runnymede Bulletin (Spring 2012 Runnymede Bulletin - Sport) a short article on “Sports in Muslim Heritage”. He argues, notably, that while Europe was in the “Dark Ages”, the Islamic world enjoyed a period of high art, science, and sport. During this long period, various forms of Riyadha (sport in Arabic) was widely practiced in the classical Islamic world, and this practice continues intensively in the present.

     
 

Interview with Professor Emilie Savage-Smith

Professor Emilie Savage-Smith expands in this remarkable interview on Islamic medicine of which she draws a lively picture.

     
 

Interview with Professor Nil Sari

Professor Nil Sari Akdeniz, the head of the History of Medicine and Ethics Department of Istanbul University at the Cerrahpasha Medical School since 1983, is a world famous historian of Islamic medicine in general and of medical knowledge and practices in the Ottoman Empire and in modern Turkey in particular. 

     
 

Interview with Dr. Zohor Idrisi

In the following interview, Dr Zohor Idrisi sheds light on Islamic agriculture and the culinary art in Muslim heritage. She mentions the various factors that favorised the development of agriculture in the Islamic civilisation, such the use of astronomical knowledge, the availability of an efficient water management system, the introduction of new techniques in irrigation, the use of new varieties of crops and plants. 

     
 

Interview with Dr. Rim Turkmani

The tradition of Islamic astronomy is the main topic of the following interview, in which Dr Rim Turkmani, an astrophysicist scholar, draws on her passion for Islamic science to present a survey on salient aspects of Islamic classical astronomy.

     
 

Queen Rania and Bettany Hughes: Muslim Heritage in Our Homes Video

We are delighted to bring you the most recent YouTube clip uploaded by Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan. This clip highlights just some of the everyday items in our homes that came to us through a shared heritage with Muslim Civilisation.

     
 

Divine Women

Bettany Hughes is an advisor to the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation (FSTC) and member of its consultant network Muslim Heritage Awareness Group (MHAG). 

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