|Copyright: Maartin Ruitjers (more on the image on the bottom left)|
I enjoyed gaining confidence from her strengths so much, that I have decided to focus the next 5 blog posts from the 6th through to the 10th of Ramadan on powerful Muslim women in history - women who used their power with their intelligence and resources for the betterment of civilizations.
Al Udar al-Karimah Shihaab ad Din Salah was one such woman from Yemen. Her son, Sultan Sayf Al Islam Al Mujahid Ali ibn Al Muayyad Hizbir Al Din Daud, was the ruler of Yemen from 1322-1363 AD (724-765 Hijri). She is known as a woman of great generosity and sympathy for the poor and needy. It is said that she would go from house to house looking out for those in need, hear their stories and give them generous gifts to alleviate their sufferings.
During his 14 months of absence from Yemen, when he had to join his forces to protect Egypt) Sultan Sayf al Islam left his mother as the Vicegerent Queen. In the 14 months that she ruled, she made more changes than her son had during his reign. Like Zubaidah bint Ja'afar, Al-Udar is also famous for her political acumen. She is known to have established internal security combined with justice and administrative order.
An extremely noble woman - she was a great patroness of religion and education, a quality we have noticed in all the women we have read about in the last five days. She established schools and mosques from Zabid and Taiiz to other parts of the land.
Although her age is unknown, it is recorded that she died in 1360 AD (762 Hijri).
The image on the right is by Maartin Ruitjers whose Flickr link can be found here - He explains that this mosque in Yemen "dating from the 13-14th century, shows the influence of Egypt.Yemen was a caliphate of Egypt during several centuries. Seen from below, the twin minarets are set against the background of spectacular mountains. The courtyard, already small, is almost completely filled with 3 domed tombs. In the middle at the right of the picture you see the domes of the Machdabiya mosque, dating from the 16th century. More about the photographer here http://www.flickr.com/photos/33427270@N05/
Kid's activity:Ask children to google famous old mosque(s) from Yemen and also from Egypt. Compare the images with them and work out with them what the differences in design are. Perhaps ask them to draw a part or the whole of the mosque and colour it. This can make a great Eid card for grand-parents too.
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