Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ramadan Challenge Day 24 - Ambra bint Abdur Rahman (a jurist)

“For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast, for men and women who guard their chastity and for men and women who engage much in Allah’s praise- for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward”
(Surah al-Ahzaab, ayah 34) 

The theme throughout this Ramadan Challenge series has been to show this absolute equal status of men and women given by Islam almost 1400 years ago. The gender differences i.e the struggle between genders is a modern concept which should probably not even come into question if the Islamic spirit and teachings are understood. This is probably why since early days of Islam, it is common to find Muslim women serve as jurists and legal experts, scholars, and authors of major legal texts.

Amra bint Abdur Rahman is an example of a woman who was a legal expert (her knowledge expanding over all fiqhs) in Medina and her opinion and authority highly regarded in society.  Amra, bint Abdur-Rahman was a student under Aisha bint Abu Bakr, the Prophet’s wife and an influential trasmitter of ahadith transmitter. Her opinion carried more weight than many other authorities so that there are records of her revering decisions by other judges. In fact she was regarded as the prime authority on legal concerns including that of agriculture. 
Amra was actually the grand daughter of one of the companions of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) by the name of Asad ibn Zararah Ansari. She had a special relationship with Aisha (RA)* and according to the scholar Iman Bukhari (RA) acted as her secretary responsible for all of Aisha's correspondence. It is also believed by what the scholar Ibn Habban has taught, that Amra was the person to have received the best knowledge of ahadith from Aisha (RA). 

*RA means radi Allah ta'ala anha which translates to "May Allah be pleased with her" - and is an Islamic tradition to add against the names of those people who were close to Allah and did much for Islam and Muslims. 


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