As a woman in a hijab, Dr. Rania Awaad gets funny looks in the hospital ward where she is a Muslim psychiatrist but few people know that at the age of fourteen she hopped on a plane and went to Damascus to formally study Islam.
The experience of studying scripture that was neither bound by culture nor politics inspired her so much that she decided to go back. After convincing her parents, she went back in her senior year. In the post-colonial era, women were no longer put at the forefront of the Islamic sciences as they had historically. After her perseverance, she was awarded ijazah, or permission to teach the proper recitation of the Quran.
Dr. Awaad takes us on a fascinating journey through her travels to Damascus and the making of a deeply rooted society that didn’t separate between secularism and religion, that empowered women.
Resources for Seekers
- “I Love Being a Woman!”
- Advice for Students of Knowledge Overseas: A Meeting with Dr Ingrid Mattson
- Do You Respect The Women Around You? – Habib Ali al-Jifri
- Where did the shaykhas go? Afterthoughts on Female Scholarship
- Advice to Single Sisters Entangled with Married Men
- The Noble Rank of Lady Fatima Zahra, by Shaykh Ahmed Abdo
- The Close Proximity of Single Mothers to the Prophet ﷺ