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The Great Women in Islam

Book Review by Haleema Naeem, 13yr old

This book speaks about many great women who have come to convey exceptional and amazing roles in the Islamic world. By reading this book and the stories about these special and amazing women, it inspired me to be like them.

They each had different personal traits and characters that made them who they were allowing them to stand out in many ways. Based on these traits, many of them would have Kunyas (righteous nicknames). For example, Sawdah (RAH) was known for her generosity. During the rule of Umar ibn Al- Khattab (RAH), she was sent a bag full of Dirhams. She distributed the money among the poor and needy. The stories of what they did, what they were known to be like, intrigued me and I was very interested to read the book.

The reason why I chose to read this book was because it portrays exemplary and inspiring incidents during the lifestyle of the Mothers of the believers and women companions, as well as sixteen women who have been given the good news of paradise by the beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). I benefited from this book by seeing how these outstanding women reacted in certain situations. I was also able to learn much about the way the Prophet (PBUH) treated his wives equally, with love and compassion as well as other women companions.

A particular part that I enjoyed was when Aisha (RAH) was young and playing with a winged horse, barely 5 years old at the time. The Prophet (PBUH) saw her playing and remarked that horses don’t fly. She replied wittedly that the horse of Suleyman (as) did fly. This incident showed me several things about Aisha (RAH) – she was quick-witted, knowledgeable about religious and historical matters and intelligent at such a young, tender age. I thought that this incident made me look up even more to Aisha (RAH) because of her confidence and intelligence.

Another wife of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was Umm Salamah bint Umayyah (RAH). She held an eminent position because of her beauty, knowledge and wisdom. After the truce of Hudaibiya, the Prophet (PBUH) ordered his companions to sacrifice animals and shave their heads. However, they all seemed reluctant and did not rise to obey his command. When Umm Salamah (RAH) saw the situation, she suggested that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) should go to the tent, offer the sacrifice and shave his head. Then he could see the effect of his action. The companions followed as Umm Salamah (RAH) expected.

Finally, another wife of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that I enjoyed reading about was Safiyyah bint Huyayee (RAH), who was a beautiful, intelligent and a God-fearing woman. She gave a lot of time to the reading of the Noble Quran and the effect it would have on her heart was so intense because of the fear of Allah, tears would pour on her face, and she would start sobbing. SubhanAllah! This was very inspirational for me, because of her strong connection with Allah and the Quran. The intensity and powerful love that she had for Allah was strongly rooted in her heart, through her eyes that shed tears upon the verses of the Quran that would shake her heart.

I would highly recommend this book to others as an inspiration of some of the amazing things these women did, in particular from the Mothers of the Believers. I feel that there is so much to learn, and these women inspire me personally as a young Muslimah.

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