Parution : Ruth Roded, « Women in islamic biographical collections. From Ibn Sa’d to Who’s Who », Gorgias Press, fév 2019.

  • 0012725_women-in-islamic-biographical-collections

Women in Islamic Biographical Collections: From Ibn Sa’d to Who’s Who is a groundbreaking study of 40 bibliographical collections, dating from the 9th century to the present, investigating which type of woman Muslim scholars have were deemed worthy of recording for posterity. The analysis clearly indicates that Muslim women have achieved prominence in certain fields at certain times.

Table of Contents (v)

Preface (vii) 
Preface to the Second Edition (xi) 
Note on Style & Transliteration (xvii)
1. Introduction (1)
   The Biographical Genre: Origin, Development, and Purpose (5)
   Population Studied and Unit of Analysis (9)
   Limits of Quantitative Analysis (11)
   Forward to the Past (13)
   Dimensions of Analysis (14)
2. Companions of the Prophet (19)
   Number and Proportion of Female Companions (25)
   Kin and Early Converts (27)
   Quranic Exegesis (34)
   Transmission of Knowledge (37)
   Legal and Customary Precedents (41)
   Miracles and Religious Models (47)
   Material Benefits and Political Implications (50)
3. The Next Generation (57)
   ʿAmra, the Erudite Legist (61)
   Hafsa, the Ascetic Legist (63) 
   The Two Faces of Aisha d. Talha: Sacred and Profane (65)
   Umm al-Banin ʿAtika, Relative of Twelve Umayyad Rulers (69) 
   The Slave Singer, Sallama al-Qass (71)
   Kinship and Semimatrilineal Ascription (73) 
   The Twilight Zone (75)
4. Transmitters of Knowledge, Learned Women, and Scholars (79)
   The Rise and Fall of Women of Knowledge (82)
   Links to Men and Networks of Women (94)
   Family Ties (98) 
   Learning with Men Versus Seclusion (100) 
   Legitimacy of Female Transmitters of Information (102)
   Legal Experts (105)
5. Mystic Women (113) 
   Images of Devout Women (117)
   Beauty, Sexuality, and Marriage (122) 
   Sufi Women Mingling with Men (127)
   Aggressiveness of Spiritual Superiority (129)
   Preaching and Preachers (133)
   Women’s Retreats (136) 
   Sufi Women of Later Centuries (137)
6. Women’s Roles in Historical and Contemporary Collections (141)
   Political Influence and the Image of Women of the Ruling Elite (142) 
   Philanthropy (153)
   Poets and Singers (156)
   Family and Friends (158)
   Who’s Who: Tradition and Change (161)
7. Conclusions (165)
   The Ideal Past Syndrome (167) 
   Limits of Seclusion (169) 
   Semimatrilineal Prestige (171)
Biographical Collections with Abbreviations (175) 
Bibliography (179)
Index (189)


Ruth Roded

Ruth Roded is professor of the History of Islam and the Middle East at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She specialises in the social and cultural history of the Middle East, and for over three decades has focused on women and gender. Roded has published multiple books and articles in leading academic journals.

Hassan Bouali

Doctorant en histoire médiévale à l'université Paris Nanterre ( Paris X). Travaille sur le califat d'Ibn al-Zubayr (64/683-72/692).

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