Women scholars and the Qur’aan.

Abu Sa’d al-Sam’ani said about Fatimah bint Abi ‘Ali al-Daqqaq al-Naysaburiyyah (d. 480): “She was the pride of the women of her time, no parallel of her has been seen for her character. She was a scholar of the Book of Allaah and virtuous.”
(Tareekh al-Islaam by al-Dhahabi)

Al-Sayrafini said: “She knew the book of Allaah by heart, recited it day and night and knew its meaning.” (al-Muntakhb min kitaab al-siyaaq li al-tareekh Naysabur, al-Sayrafini)

Sayyidah bint `Abd al-Ghani al-Ghirnatiyyah (d. 647), brought up in Murcia (Spain), excelled in Qur’anic studies. Adh-Dhahabi says: “She knew the whole Qur’aan by heart.”

In the ninth century Bayram bint Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Dayrutiyyah mastered the seven recitations under the tuition of al-Shams ibn al-Sa’igh, studying in the company of his daughter Fatimah. Then this Fatimah moved, along with her father to Jerusalem, and practised reading of the Qur’aan with teachers there. (al-Sakhaawi, al-Daw’ al-Laami`)

Fatimah bint Shams al-Din Muhammad ibn Yusuf al-Dayruti (9th c.), also excelled in the seven recitations and memorized ash-Shaatibiyyah. She studied with several teachers before going on to teach the different recitations to both men and women. (al-Sakhaawi, al-Daw’ al-Laami`; 106)

ash-Shatibiyyah

وبعد ، فحبل الله فينا كتابه  *** فجاهد به حبل العدا متحبلا

Thereafter, (know that) the rope of Allaah amongst us is His Book.  So (use it) to battle the evil schemes of the enemies (of Islaam), ensnaring them.

وأخلق به إذ ليس يخلق جدة *** جديدا مواليه على الجد مقبلا

And it (the Qur’aan) is most deserving to be used as its grandeur is eternal and it never wears. Its companion (who values it as he should) are honoured and serve it with complete devotion.

وقارئه المرضي قر مثاله *** كالاترج حاليه مريحا وموكلا

The example of its approved reciter is like a citron; in both its conditions (internal & external) being good in aroma and taste.

هو المرتضى أما إذا كان أمة *** ويممه ظل الرزانة قنقلا

He (the reciter) is a noteworthy leader if he comes to hold praiseworthy characteristics, and a shade of honor desires to engulf him in droves.

هو الحر إن كان الحري حواريا *** له بتحريه إلى أن تنبلا

He is free if he is deserving, by becoming a disciple of it (the Qur’aan) through being (in its constant) service until he dies.

وإن كتاب الله أوثق شافع *** وأغني غناء واهبا متفضلا

And the Book of Allaah is indeed the most trusted intercessor and the most valued possession, (constantly) endowing its gifts and virtues.

وخير جليس لا يمل حديثه *** وترداده يزداد فيه تجملا

And it is the best sitting companion whose talk will never bore and whose (frequent) repetition increases it in beauty.

وحيث الفتى يرتاع في ظلماته *** من القبر يلقاه سناً متهللا

And when (the qaari’) is fearful in the darkness of the grave, the Qur’aan will meet him shining brightly, being cheerful and friendly.

هنالك يهنيه مقيلا وروضة *** ومن أجله في ذروة العز يجتلا

There (in the grave) it will congratulate him, becoming a place of rest and a beautiful garden (for him) and because of it (his efforts in serving the Qur’aan) he will be raised to the pinnacle of honor and respect which will be manifest.

يناشد في إرضائه لحبيبه *** وأجدر به سؤلاً إليه موصلا

It (the Qur’aan) will implore Allaah’s satisfaction for its beloved (companion). And what is more suitable to make a request (than the Qur’aan)? For its requests will surely be conveyed.

فيا أيها القاري به متمسكا *** مجلا له في كل حال مبجلا

So, O reciter! Hold firmly onto it, honoring and respecting it in all conditions.

هنيئا مري ئا والداك عليهما *** ملابس أنوار من التاج والحلا

Enjoy well (all coming your way in the gardens of paradise)! Your parents will be adorned with garments of pure light, crowns (of honor) and (other) adornments.

فما ظنكم بالنجل عند جزائه *** أولئك أهل الله والصفوة الملا

So what do you think of the children (of these parents) when they are rewarded? They are the family of Allaah and the high ranking elite.

أولو البر والإحسان والصبر والتقى *** حلاهم بها جاء القران مفصلا

Righteousness, doing good deeds, patience and God-consciousness are their adornment. The Qur’aan came with these attributes, explaining them in detail.

عليك بها ما عشت فيها منافسا *** وبع نفسك الدنيا بأنفاسها العلا

Adopt these qualities as long as you live, striving to obtain it. And exchange (the qualities of) your lowly soul for the valued fragrances of these qualities.


[From the Muqaddimah of ash-Shatibiyyah, transl. by Muhammad Saleem]