Amina Assilmi

Karima bint Ahmad –15 Centuries of Female Scholarship

In this series, Shaykha Tamara Gray narrates the stories of great Muslim women through the centuries, who excelled in fields of Islamic knowledge, science, and philanthropy. This segment features Karima bint Ahmad from the 5th century.

Karima bint Ahmad

Karima, originally of Turkmenistani origin, travelled far and wide with her father. After going to Jerusalem, and as far as Iran, they settled in Mecca. She studied with many great Meccan scholars until she herself became a scholar, specialising in hadith, particularly in the collection of Sahih Bukhari. She became known as “The Shaykha of Mecca,” and was extremely sought after by students of her era.

The scholar Ad-Dhahabi spoke highly of her, saying that she was a woman of knowledge, piety and goodness. She was extremely careful in her assessment of who to grant her ijazah, or authorisation. She lived to the age of 100, and made a huge impact on the community around her.

With gratitude to Shaykha Tamara Gray and Rabata.

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