Amra bint Abdurrahman–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 Amra bint Abdurrahman, from the first century of Islam.

Amra bint Abdurrahman was one of the closest students of our mother Aisha, wife of the Prophet Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace. This made her from among the Tabi’in, or the righteous predecessors. She was known to be an ocean of knowledge, and it was said that no one knew more Hadith than her.

She was also a defender of social justice. One day, she heard an unjust decision that had been passed in a court case. She wasted no time, and immediately protested against it. She sent a messenger declaring that, in her opinion, the ruling was not only unjust but illegal. Such was her high rank and prestige, that the ruling was immediately corrected.

Amra was the one of the first in the tradition of female scholarship. May Allah be pleased with her.

With gratitude to Shaykha Tamara Gray and Rabata.

Resources for Seekers

Anse Tamara Grey on Nisf Sha‘ban: For Women, by Women

In this podcast, Shaykha Anse Tamara Grey of Rabata, speaks about Nisf Shaban; the fifteenth day of the Islamic month of Sha‘ban. Her talk is particularly catered to women.

Since there is much confusion about what has been narrated about Nisf Sha‘ban, she begins by reciting the various hadiths that clarify our understanding about it. From the hadith of our lady Aisha, Allah be pleased with her, when she asked the Prophet why he offered extra worship, to the scholar Imam al Subki, who concluded that this night atones for the sins committed during the year, she brings many references and proofs.

All who seek are forgiven this night, except a few people, including those who are arrogant, have hate in their heart, or are not good to their parents.

How to Free Ourselves

Shaykha Anse empowers us by taking us through the description of the people who are not forgiven on this night. The first two are fairly unusual;  those who are nonbelievers, or who addicted to alcohol (and perhaps the longing for this night will be a means for addicts to break the habit).

The rest, however, are shockingly common. Let’s look at the descriptions, and ask ourselves some questions:

The ones who incite rancor. Are we bringing people together, or are we causing problems?

The one who severs kinship bonds. Are we cutting our relatives off, or are we reaching out to them? It is important to remember that it is possible to keep a form of connection, while maintaining appropriate boundaries.

The one who drags their clothing (meaning people who looks at others with arrogance based on class or material). We can make an effort to wear simpler clothing, that doesn’t show the shape of our bodies.

The one who has hurt their parents. When your parents think of you, are they frustrated, or are they happy?Nisf Shaban

In addition, Shaykha Tamara offers some practical advice about how to make this night special for yourself and your family.

With thanks to Rabata, our content partner.

Resources for Seekers

Khadijah – She Who Believed in The Prophet ﷺ Before He Believed In Himself

Khadijah - the first convert to IslamWho believed in the Prophet ﷺ before he believed in himself? Who is the first ‘convert’ to Islam before anyone else? It was Khadijah, may Allah be pleased with her.
Khadijah believed. Her belief empowered her. She supported her husband ﷺ long before he was revealed as a prophet, because she had wisdom and foresight. In those terrifying moments after Angel Gabriel brought the first Qur’anic revelation to the prophet, it was Khadijah who fostered calm and clarity.
Who was this incredible woman and what can her example teach us in these times of confusion and turmoil?

A Role Model For Women and Men

Ustadha Anse Tamara Gray argues in this video from Mishkáh, that we need more women and men to imbibe these qualities if we are going to meet the challenges of our time.

Resources on Khadijah for seekers

Feeling unmosqued, demosqued and no-thank-you-mosqued?

Are you a Muslim woman who feels unmosqued, demosqued and no-thank-you-mosqued? You’re not alone but you must be part of the change. Ustadha Anse Tamara Gray has some excellent advice on how to move forward, with healing and positivity, in this video for Muslimah Media.

Afraid to get groceries? Ustadha Anse Tamara Gray on being a Muslim woman in today’s turbulent climate

Each time a high profile act of violence is committed by a Muslim or in the name of Islam, the fear of reprisal attacks rises acutely in Muslim communities. It has become almost par for the course, and the statistics prove the threat is real. Often, women who are visibly Muslim find themselves the primary soft target. Ustadha Anse Tamara Gray has been inundated with concerned messages from many who are directly and indirectly affected. From being afraid to leave the home to do basic, every day errands to fearing for their lives – this has become the sad reality for many. Ustadha Anse has some much needed advice.

Resources for seekers: