Fiqh & Verdicts of Women ScholarsMany female scholars were also jurists and givers of edicts. They excelled in this and the Muslims relied on them completely. Ibn Qayyim says that twenty two Companions were well-known in the subjects of Law and Ifta’. Seven of them were mothers of the believers. Sayyida ‘Ayesha had the title of Faqiha al-Ummah. Zaynab bint Abu Salama was also a leading jurist.
Shaykh ‘Alauddin Samarqandi was a well known Hanafi jurist and scholar and writer of Tuhfa al-Fuqaha. His daughter Fatima was a great Faqiha and her husband, Shaykh ‘Alauddin Kasani wrote al-Bada’i al-Sana’i, an exposition of Tuhfa al-Fuqaha. Whenever he hesitated she corrected him and she also issued edicts with her father and husband. The verdicts bore the signatures of all three.
The daughter of Qadi Abu ‘Abdullah Husayn ibn Isma’il Mahamili, ‘Amat al-Wahid Satayta heard hadith from her father and from Isma’il ibn ‘Abbbas Warraq ‘Abdul Ghafir ibn Salama Hamza, Abu’l Hasan Misri, Hamza Hashmi and others. She was very learned and righteous and had acquired proficiency in the laws of inheritance, accounts, grammar, other sciences and arts. But most of all, she had had memorized the Qur’an and fiqh. She was perfect in the fiqh of the Shafi’ school and used to issue verdicts with Shaykh Abu ‘Ali ibn Abu Hurayra. Ibn Jawzi has written about Bint Mahamili that she was a talented scholar and the greatest of those who had memorized the Shafi’ school of law. Thus, she had no equal in Shafi’ fiqh.
The Faqiha and Muftiha Umm Uyusiya, her sister Fatima and the grandmother of Shaykh Zawraq, Faqiha Umm al-Baneen were three prominent women of West Asqa’ in Fiqh and Fatwa.
Umm ‘Isa bint Ibrahim ibn Ishaq Baghdadiya was a scholar in Baghdad. Khatib says that she was an accomplished scholar and issued edicts on juristic questions. Ibn Jawzi confirms this.
The daughter of Shaykh Taqiuddin Ibrahim ibn ‘Ali Wasiti, ‘Amat al-Rahman was distinguished in fiqh and fatawa. She was known as Sitt al-Fuqaha’. The same can be said of Sharifa, sister of Amir Sayyid Sharif ‘Alauddin ‘Ali ibn Khatib Sharfuddin Ahmad. Umm Zaynab Fatima bint ‘Abbas Baghdadiya was a highly talented scholar, an ascetic, a content woman and the leader of the women of her times.
The sister of Faqih Yusuf ibn Yahya Andalusi, Fatima bint Yahya Andalusiyya Qurtubiyya was an accomplished scholar, very Allah-fearing and simple woman who was also a jurist. Her popularity can be guaged by the unprecedented number of people who attended her funeral.
Taken with corrections from ‘Achievements of Muslim Women in the Religious and Scholarly Fields’ by Qadi Athar Mubarakpuri.