The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim.” Therefore, seeking knowledge and getting an education is a must for every Muslim—and Muslim women are not an exception. Even though history failed to record many of them, there were many female Muslim scholars and scientists who specialized in hadith transmission, Islamic jurisprudence, medicine, math, astronomy and so on.

Amrah bint Abdur Rahman was one of the most reliable hadith transmitters and jurists of her time. She was the pupil of Aisha, who was the wife of the Prophet ﷺ. She was praised for her knowledge and called “the ocean of knowledge” by Imam Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri. When she heard that a judge misjudged a thief case, she immediately intervened to carry out the justice. Her decision was not questioned by the judge and it was carried out as she recommended.

Umm Darda was a companion of the Prophet ﷺ, an important hadith scholar and a judge in the 7th century. In Damascus and Jerusalem, she gave lectures to men who were imams, jurists and hadith scholars in mosques. One of her famous students of Islamic jurisprudence was the 5th Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, who ruled an empire stretching from Spain to India.

Rufaida Al-Aslamia was the daughter of a physician from whom she learnt the knowledge of medicine. She was the first female Muslim nurse and surgeon. She founded the first field hospital with the nurses she had trained, and they attended wars to treat soldiers.

Fatima bint Muhammad al-Fihriya al-Qurashiya was the founder of one of the oldest universities. She received a good education on hadith and Islamic jurisprudence. After her father and husband died, she spent her inheritance on the construction of a mosque in Fez, which became an education center. People from all around the world came here to learn not only Islamic sciences but also mathematics, astronomy, literature and foreign languages.

Mariam al-Asturlabi was an astronomer and maker of astrolabes. She developed an astrolabe that attracted a lot of attention in her time. She was called to the palace by the ruler, who gave her his patronage to produce astrolabes. She managed to calculate the latitude of celestial bodies. 

Lubna of Córdoba was a scholar, a mathematician and a librarian. She was also famous for her knowledge of grammar and the quality of her poetry. Thanks to her abilities, she was put in charge of the library of the palace. She contributed to the creation of the famous library of Medina Azahara by collecting more than 500,000 books in the library.