5 Muslim Women You Should Know About

by Farida Haji & Helmy Sa'at

The space and place women have been given in Islam cannot be found in any other practicing religion. In fact even before the women empowerment and equality movements began globally, Islam has been promoting and respecting the value of women.

Muslim Woman in a orange hijab, looking at a mosque

We share the praiseworthy actions of 5 women who show us that a human’s worth doesn’t lie in others’ hands, but in their own.

1. Khadija Bint Khuwalid

The earliest evidence of courage, self-sustenance, and sacrifice is Khadija Bint Khuwalid, a trailblazer in her own right. She was an elite figure and a successful merchant of Mecca even before she married the Prophet ﷺ. She played a pivotal role in supporting Rasulullah ﷺ when he received Prophethood. Thus becoming the first ever Muslim woman. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and Khadija had a daughter Fatima and through her, the Prophet’s ﷺ lineage was preserved (through her two sons, Hasan and Husayn).

2. Malala Yousufzai

The Pakistani activist’s rise to prominence began tragically when the Taliban shot her in a school bus for encouraging girls to go to school in Swat, Pakistan. In 2013, Malala addressed the United Nations and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. She co-received it in 2014 at the age of 17, thereby becoming its youngest-ever recipient.

muslim women working on her phone and staying abreast with technology

3. Muna Abu Sulayman

Known for her work in the media, and education, Muna is an iconic Arab media personality and humanitarian. Muna was the first Saudi woman to become a regional TV personality. She is one of the founding co-hosts of the social issues show Kalam Nawaem, ranked #1 across the Arab World for 7 years in a row. She was the first Saudi United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

4. Ibtihaj Mohammed

An influential sports figure for African-American Muslims, Ibtihaj Muhammad was the first American hijabi fencer to compete at the Olympics and win a medal in 2016. She is a 5-time Senior World medalist and World Champion. A sports ambassador with the U.S. Department of State’s Empowering Women and Girls through Sport Initiative. In 2017 the first hijabi Barbie was modeled after Ibtihaj as part of Barbie’s “Shero” line of dolls.

muslim sports woman in hijab

5. Professor Khatijah Yusoff

The Dean of the Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), her work has been recognized both locally and internationally. She was accorded UNESCO’s Carlos Finlay Prize for microbiology in 2005, the second Asian scientist ever to receive such an honor. She is also a strong believer in the need to translate science into tangible benefits for people around the world.

Muslim woman wearing a doctor's coat with equipments

Watch This On Qalbox 

In a spirit of celebrating women, we know and aspire to become, head over to Qalbox and experience video content that celebrates diverse Muslim identities and cultures.

woman playing foorball in afghanistan, a documentary still, streaming on Qalbox

Enjoy the heartwarming documentary A Goal for Freedom – Women’s Football in Kabul by Madina Azizi, a football coach and former member of the Afghan national football team, and her girls in their everyday life as footballers in Kabul, fighting a daily fight against discrimination and hostility.