How Could Muslim Women Acquire Knowledge of Hadith?


How could the Muslim Women who are scholars of hadith have taught in the mosques, in the presence of men? Also, how could Muslim women acquire knowledge of hadith?

In the midst of men and women, will there be partitions, could eyes contact happen. Similarly, can Muslim women travel to acquire knowledge of hadith even without their mahram?

Because people think mahram is not necessary nowadays for transportation is much safer than old times.

All those questions are important to the Islamic religion because Allah (SWT) said we must seek the knowledge of Islam.


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Seeking Knowledge of Hadith is An Act of Worship

Not only Hadith, but any knowledge that is based on Islam is also an act of worship.

Likewise, seeking knowledge in Islam is not only a human activity; rather it is an act of worship, which the Muslims seek to draw closer to Allah ( may He be glorified and exalted).

Also, Muslims seek reward with Him to be able to enter Paradise and follow the true footpath of the Prophets, the strong and true in faith (siddeeqeen), the martyrs and the righteous.

That said, it’s compulsory for a Muslim woman to acquire knowledge, like Knowledge of Hadith.

However, because knowledge is an act of worship, Muslim women were keen to adhere to the laws of Allah when acquiring Hadith. And they should know that Allah (may He be glorified and exalted) is watching every thought that crosses their minds and their hearts, so that they should not drift away from the path of seeking knowledge only for the sake of Allah.

One aspect of that is that the way in which knowledge was sought

At the same time, these rulings guide Muslim women and young women to acquire the knowledge of Hadith within the framework of Islamic rulings.

And does not prevent them from acquiring a high level of religious knowledge, as ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: The best women are the women of the Ansaar. Shyness did not prevent them from seeking to acquire deep knowledge of religion. Narrated by Muslim (no. 322).

As a reminder, you may see from the biographies of women, narrators of hadith and scholars, how the commitment to Islamic guidelines on the part of the female seekers of knowledge has many aspects.


Should Muslim Women Travel Acquire The Knowledge of Hadith?

From the life of Sayahbaah and scholars of Islam, you will understand that travelling to acquire knowledge is necessary for Muslim women. But the prohibition on travelling without a mahram is something else.

There is consensus among the scholars and some of the fuqaha’ and scholars of hadith that Muslim women must travel with their mahram. The scholars did not make any exception except travelling for the obligatory Hajj and ‘umrah.

With that, Muslim women travelling to acquire knowledge of hadith or any kind of knowledge must go along with their mahram.

Can Their Be Direct Eye Contact Between Muslim Women And Men?

In regard to mixing, and Muslims men and women looking at each other, our righteous scholars of hadith, against it entirely. So in the pursuit of knowledge, the female scholar or seeker of knowledge must observe a complete hijab, which includes the face and hands. Also, she must listen and speak from behind a curtain or partition, following the example of the Mothers of the Believers (may Allah be pleased with them).

As a proof, the Taabi‘een learned from the Mothers of the Believers everything that they narrated, hundreds of hadiths, from behind a partition, in response to the command of Allah ( may He be glorified and exalted): “And when you ask [his wives] for something, ask them from behind a partition. That is purer for your hearts and their hearts” [al-Ahzaab 33:53].

Similar to that, al-Allamah al-Ameen ash-Shinqeeti (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

The fact that Allah, may He be exalted, explained the reason for this ruling – which is the obligation of hijab – by saying that it was purer for the hearts of both men and women and offered protection against suspicion is clear proof that this ruling is intended to be general in application. That is because none of the Muslims would say that anyone other than the wives of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah is upon him) did not have any need for their hearts to be purer, or that the hearts of men are freer of suspicion than the wives of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). – From Adwa’ al-Bayaan (6/242).

Muslims Women Listen Behind A Curtain

In the same sense, you will find in the books of biography many cases in which stated that listening was done from behind a curtain to obey the command of Allah (may He be glorified and exalted)

Like the scholars of hadith said, in response to those who rejected the report that Muhammad ibn Ishaaq heard from Faatimah the wife of Hishaam ibn ‘Urwah:

It may be that he heard from her with a partition between them in the absence of her husband.

Adh-Dhahabi said: That is what one would expect of them, which is the way in which many of the Taabi‘een learned from the female Sahaabah. And it may be that he went to listen to her and he saw her and learned from her when he was still a minor.

It is also possible that he learned from her when she had grown very old; that is possible because she was more than ten years older than Hishaam.

– From Siyar A‘laam an-Nubala’ (7/42):

Another situation in Musnad al-Imam Ahmad (33/401) says:

Some scholars of hadith came and asked for permission to visit Abu’l-Ashhab. He gave them permission to come in, and they said: Narrate to us. He said: Ask me something. They said: We do not have anything [in particular] to ask you about. His daughter said from behind the curtain: Ask him about the hadith of ‘Arfajah ibn As‘ad whose nose was cut off on the day of [the battle of] al-Kilaab.

Also, in ad-Daw’ al-Laami‘ li Ahl al-Qarn at-Taasi‘ (12/22), in the biography of Haleemah, the daughter of Abu ‘Ali al-Mazmalaani, that she listened from behind the partition to [the book] Thamaaniyaat an-Najeeb when al-Jamaal al-Hanbali was teaching it.

In conclusion, you can be certain that the way in which Muslim women sought Islamic knowledge was in accordance with Islamic etiquette. It is also an example of making sacrifices for the sake of acquiring knowledge of Hadit and achieving a high level of knowledge.


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