Female Mufti

Female Mufti

Fatimah al-Samarqandiyyah Rahimahal-lah was the daughter of Sheikh Ala-uddin Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Abi Ahmad al-Samarqandi Rahimahul-lah, the author of Tuhfat al-Fuqaha. A commentary on this book, entitled Bada’i us-Sanaa’i, was written by Imam Abu Bakr Ibn Masoud Al-Kaasaani Rahimahul-lah, a student of Sheikh Ala’uddin. This commentary is one of the masterpieces of Hanafi Fiqh.  When Imam Kaasaani presented this book before his mentor, he was so pleased with it and accepted it as a mahr for his daughter’s marriage to him. Fatimah had received proposals from the kings of the time but these had been rejected by her father. Contemporary scholars would say: “He wrote a commentary on his Tuhfah and married his daughter!

 

To understand the scholarly greatness of this woman we first need to understand the luminosity of her husband. Imam Kaasaani was one of the great scholars of his time. He was known by the title ‘Malikul Ulama’ – the Ruler of the Scholars. His status can be gauged from his magnum opus, Bada’i us-Sanaa’i, in ten volumes. According to a number of Ulama, including Alaamah Aabideen Shaami Rahimahul-lah and others, this book is without a parallel in its field. He was extremely knowledgeable in the usool and furoo’, the principles and derivatives of jurisprudence. After completing his studies in Bukhara he traveled to Byzantium. From there he took up a position of teaching Hadeeth and Fiqh at Aleppo on the insistence of Noor ud-Deen Mahmood Ibn Zangi. Imam Kaasaani became renowned as a great scholar and author who was not afraid to speak out against the Mu’tazilah and the Innovators in his lectures. He was a dedicated teacher who took special care in teaching. Amazingly historical sources mention: “When he was in doubt he would consult his wife. She would advise him regarding the correct opinion and he would then accept her opinion.”

Fatimah was a great scholar of hadeeth and Fiqh. She had memorized her father’s compilation, Tuhfat al-Fuqaha. She was so proficient that when fatawaa were passed from this household, they would bear her signature, together with the signature of her father and her husband.

Lessons

1. Such women are the true role models for Muslim women to emulate. Their biographies have far more to offer than the film actresses, pop-stars and fashion models who have unfortunately been made into icons on the grounds of superficial beauty. 
2. An intelligent father sees to the religious upbringing of his daughter and marries her to the pious not necessarily the wealthy and influential.

References

1. Raddul Mukhtaar
2. Taaj at-Taarijim fi Tabaqaatil Hanafiyyah
3. Iqd ul-Jumaan fi Taareekh Ahl al-Zamaan
4. Bughyatut talab Fi Taareekh Halb

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